Do you pinch yourself off?

In the first two decades of my varied career – as a newspaper reporter, Governor’s press secretary and television company executive – I operated in public but never really stood alone with my own desires, views and opinions.

After I became a coach in 1995, an awareness crept upon me.

If I didn’t stand up publicly for what I truly believed in, no matter how much I talked about it behind the scenes, I would never be able to fulfill my own burning desire to help enough women to live lives they dream of.

By standing in the shadows, and feeling more comfortable being the voice for someone else or staying silent about my beliefs, I had essentially pinched myself off from my big dream.

When I look back now, I kept quiet to stay safe and free of criticism. I did this even with my favorite Eleanor Roosevelt quote posted on my desk:

Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you’ll be criticized anyway.

Today, over and over I observe the ways, big and small, women pinch themselves off from what they say they want.

So today, I invite you to look at yourself to see if any of these questions applies to you; and decide if you are closing yourself off from the abundance that is naturally flowing to you.

You may discover that you are limiting yourself without realizing it.

1) Do you put yourself and your needs last?
For instance, are your college daughter’s soccer games more important to attend than going back to college to get that degree you’ve promised yourself?

Do you put off your dreams until your husband, partner, kids get situated, graduate from school, find jobs, etc.?

Are you always there for your friends or family yet burn with resentment that you have not made progress on what you most want?

Our culture mistakenly has labeled us “selfish” when we put ourselves first. But what might happen if you didn’t put yourself last?

2) Do you feel unworthy or undeserving of your greatest dreams and desires?

I spent last week in the company of author and motivating force Esther Hicks of Abraham-Hicks, author of 10 books including Ask and It Is Given: Learning To Manifest Your Desires. Esther captured the notion of feeling “unworthy” better than anyone.

“Unworthy people are people with plenty of negative emotions and they are willing to put up with them,” she said.

We all know that you get what you believe and what you are focused on. So when your self-talk and beliefs are negative, it sets off a chain that conspires against creating your own success.

“Care more about what you feel at the earliest stage and don’t let yourself collapse toward the negative emotion,” she advises.

3) Do you march up to the line with your dream or goal and then pull back?

Fear will stop you in your tracks.

(And, just so you won’t think I’m perfect 😉 …
It took me years, step-by-step, day-in-and-day-out through every scary fear that showed up to follow my heart and to live my dream.  And it was worth every gremlin☺ )

The good news is that you are a Woman on Fire! And there is no better community in the world to surround you with the inspiration, strategies and support to keep you going and help you push through your fear.

If you are a monthly member, you have the private Facebook page where support is unparalleled! And you also have the Women on Fire fan page with more than 65,000 women to cheer you on.

Fear, and fear of failure in particular, keeps many women from even trying.

4) Do you ignore the need to invest in yourself?

Does your money trickle away and leave you with nothing to show for it?

Whether you budget $30, $300, $3,000 or $30,000 a year for your personal and professional growth, investing in yourself is key to your success.

You must expand your competency and relevancy by bolstering your skills, abilities and awarenesses throughout your life!  When was the last time you invested in yourself?  What did you do — and what was the result?

5) Do you avoid making a plan to get where you want to go?

Studies show that people who write down their goals and plans have a significantly greater chance of being successful than those who don’t.

What are you waiting for? Even a simple journal entry with your annual plan and goals will keep you focused and on track.

Knowing what you want can keep you from missing opportunities that will support your dreams.

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you are likely pinching yourself off, holding your back from sharing your great gifts with the world.

What might happen if you became aware the very next time that you were holding yourself back – and moved forward anyway?

Here’s to your success.  I know once you’re aware of how you pinch yourself off, you can do anything!


Debbie Signature

Spark Copy opt in box for blog

THE question to ask yourself

Hello to our wonderful Women On Fire community!

Women on Fire Tea in Columbus last week led by Jan Allen — From left: Jennifer Tewell, Jane Juergens, Arlene Alexander, Roxanne Crocco, Cheryl Hooker, Sara Diehl, Julia Prudhomme, Mary Ann Crawford, Jan Allen, Teresa Tyson, Lis Gibson, Patricia Wynn Brown, Kathy Nutter, Tricia Simpson, Mary Beth Ingram and Laura Tiberi.

Speaking of the power of our community, congratulations to everyone who attended the Women on Fire gathering led by Jan Allen in Columbus, Ohio last week.  I look forward to meeting many of you and seeing you at the Retreat in Chicago on Oct. 26-27!

This week I want to share a strategy with you that has changed my life and the life of many clients I coached over the years — and the strategy is one simple question!

You may already practice this strategy and good for you, if you do.

If you don’t or aren’t sure, by simply applying this question to your way of thinking, you’ll see positive results very quickly.

Before I tell you the question, here’s a little background …

I come from a family of positive thinkers. Parents from meager beginnings who believed — and I’m proud to say proved — anything is possible.

How was it for you?  Were your parents primarily positive or negative?  No matter, you can choose to change which direction you’re coming from at any time.  And it’s important for your success … and your health.

The Mayo Clinic reports that people who focus on the positives instead of the negatives live longer, have lower rates of mental illnesses and depression, are less likely to suffer from colds and cardiovascular disease and cope better with stress.

Still, I was a cranky teen-ager whose father marched me to the mirror and told me it would be good for my attitude if I repeated into my reflection: ‘I will greet each day with love in my heart.’

No matter how much fuss I made, my Dad just lovingly guided me to the mirror and never waivered in his view of the world as a happy, positive place and our individual duty to uphold that.

So I developed some very good habits, thanks to both of my parents, to see the glass half-full instead of half-empty.

Even so, now that I’m an adult I shudder to think of the times I’ve complained about what I don’t want, don’t like, don’t want to see happen in my life.

Wrong strategy!

Instead, how I find my way forward is to ask this simple question:

What do I want?

That’s right.  That’s the question to ask yourself.  What do I want to have happen? What do I want to be in this world? What is the result I’m looking for?

Things always seem to click right into place when I go with the more positive aspect of what I want!

So how are you doing when it comes to saying what you want instead of what you don’t?

There is a slight twist to this.  I’m reminded from the joyful, ever-positive Esther Hicks of Abraham-Hicks that if you only know what you don’t want, just consider what the opposite of that is — and transform it into what you do want!

Every time you hear someone go on and on about what they don’t want, you can even gently ask them: ‘what do you want?’  Be prepared for blank stares, but you will be doing those you care about a great service!

Good luck with knowing what you want.  And feel free to share your dreams and heart’s desires in the comments section below.


Bunny, Bunny!

Happy Bunny, Bunny Day today.

There is a superstition I believe in that if on day one of every month your first words are “rabbit rabbit,” your month will be filled with good luck!

Many years ago our friend (and, of course, a Woman on Fire) Debbie Cook told us about this first-day-of-the-month ritual she shared with her husband – and Rob and I made it ours.

Somehow saying “bunny, bunny” to people I love starts off my month right!

(And, I hope we’re not tempting fate by changing it to the fuzzier “bunny, bunny” instead of “rabbit, rabbit” ;-).

Do you have a fun ritual that keeps you upbeat and positive – and adds a dose of hope to your life?  I’d love you to share it In the comments section below..

In today’s SPARK! I’m going to tell you about three simple strategies — questions to ask yourself and be aware of — that can smooth out life’s wrinkles and help you get where you want to go.  Sound good?

But first, a little story …

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an Abraham-Hicks seminar with two members of our Women on Fire team — Jamie Eslinger and Regina Blos.

The thrill remains to this day of meeting the inspiring Esther and Jerry Hicks, creators of Abraham-Hicks, many years ago. (Although the blanket I seem to be wearing has long since been retired and forgotten about!)

If you’ve never heard of Esther and Jerry Hicks, the originators of The Law of Attraction material behind the movie The Secret, I urge you to check them out to see if you resonate to their particular brand of uplifting strategies for living your life.

They provide a goldmine of information and inspiration and, if you apply even just one of their strategies to your life, you will be amazed with what happens.

For years, I have read their books, attended their seminars and listened to a monthly CD that keeps me happy, hopeful and on-track with living my life full out.

Even in my darkest, scariest, most resistant moments, relying on their strategies and wisdom gets me through.

It wasn’t always that way.  In fact, I nearly turned away Abraham-Hicks’s help and insight which has provided me with more gifts and peace of mind in the years since than I could ever have imagined.

Because when I first heard Jerry and Esther talking on a cassette tape in 1998, I dismissed them with an ‘oh, brother, another bunch of crackpots as self-help experts.’

Then, as only a crazy-in-love girlfriend would do, I took my then-boyfriend, now-husband to see Jerry and Esther Hicks because he admired them so much.

We attended one of their seminars with about 40 other people (as opposed to the hundreds that now attend their workshops.)

At that first event, no one was more shocked than me! I loved everything Esther and Jerry and Abraham had to say.  Most importantly, I walked away with this life-altering strategy:

* If I focus on what I want in my life and why I want it – and not on what I don’t want – my dreams will happen.

I learned any focused attention and rumination on what’s going wrong or bad simply gives me more of the same!!

From that day forward, I got it!  And, I learned to give myself the permission, joy and freedom to dream and dream and dream about what I want in my life.

And, I started to minimize the drama, the stories, the injustices, the negativity to “prove” not having what I wanted “wasn’t all my fault.”

Today, I am seriously embarrassed at the resistance I had to living a richer, fuller life when I first listened to that cassette tape.

Do you know what I mean? You discount something at first and later discover how it helps you?

That little whisper … that you are not quite ready to hear yet.  But when you do, it provides you with just the perfect, amazing next steps of living a better life.

In the years since, these Abraham-Hicks strategies have further changed the direction my life:

* Point your canoe downstream, release the oars, and get into the flow of your life (rather than struggle, control and fight your way up stream against great resistance.)

* Are you a cooperative component to your wishes, dreams and desires? (Or, do you resist or thwart all the goodness and gifts waiting for you in the world?)

They are strategies and questions I continue to ask myself to stay on track.  And, I hope they are helpful to you, too!

Happy Bunny, Bunny Day ~