nancy's blog

Are you stuck in self-sabotage and self-doubt?

greenFeeling that we’re not enough, or not good enough translates into the fear that we’ll never have enough. Fear of success and fear of failure are two sides of one coin, and our self-sabotage and self-doubt are self-fulfilling prophecies in which we unknowingly make damn sure we never, ever have all that we need. It’s a painful arithmetic going on in the shadows of our unconscious, which many of us never even recognize.

Excuses take our beliefs and run with them. You could say they’re just our beliefs in sheep’s clothing. When excuses take hold, our self-imposed limitations are no longer just thoughts. Our excuses actually stop us cold from moving forward in our lives. They’re always based in fear, and their aim is inaction.

When we tell ourselves, “I can’t,” what we’re usually saying is “I won’t.” Using “can’t” allows us to pretend we have no choice but to give in to our excuses. But “can’t” is a matter of not having the skill to do something, while “won’t” is a matter of not having the will. If we “can’t,” it’s only because we haven’t bothered to develop the skills. In most cases, all we have to do is make the effort. (OK, if you’re hopelessly uncoordinated or over the age of 35, maybe you “can’t” ever become an Olympic gymnast. But I’ll assume that isn’t one of your desires.)

The point is that most of the time we can—if only we’re willing to step past our resistance. It’s a choice to give into fear and what we’re resistant to. Try replacing your “I can’t” with “I’m resistant to.” For example, “I’m resistant to trying to make it on my own.” “I’m resistant to spending money.” “I’m resistant to leaving my job.” “I’m resistant to taking responsibility and doing something for myself.” It isn’t that we can’t. It’s that our limiting beliefs have caused us to make excuses for not doing what we’d do if we weren’t so afraid.

Sometimes, we phrase an “I can’t” excuse as “I have to,” and we focus on the action we feel compelled to take rather than the action we’re avoiding. Some of us use the excuse that it will take too long to learn something new, but if we never begin, we never get there. It’s OK for learning to be slow…as long as we do it. How many of us don’t go back to school because “it will take years!” Then, four years down the road, we’re in the same situation because we never started.

Or, how many of us stay in a relationship too long saying “I can’t leave” or “I can’t make it on my own” or “I have to stay for the children” only to find the years pass and true fulfillment even more elusive.

Our excuses are the way we reinforce our beliefs. They’re how we explain why we don’t already have everything we say we want. They’re a form of self-sabotage because they give us permission not to try. They’re justifications, explanations, and rationalizations. We rationalize our choices and convince ourselves that there are no other options. And the benefit of those excuses is that we get to stay in our comfort zone. That makes sense to the child within, but for the adult, it’s a pretty lame benefit, isn’t it? Stepping out of our comfort zone and living a full, juicy life—now, that’s a benefit!

It’s time to right this distorted view of ourselves so we can stop sabotaging the liberation we’re longing for.

Yes, it takes work to get past the programming of our childhoods. But it isn’t a burden. It’s something to cherish and relish. As adults, we have a wonderful opportunity. We can choose to base our identities on who we truly are inside—the personality, the essence we came into this life with.

This is who you were before you were imprinted with anybody else’s opinions—imperfect, human, thoroughly beautiful, and oh so worthy. Trust me: There’s so much more possible for you than you know! Self-worth is the key. Turn that key in the lock, and open the door. The life you most desire is waiting.

One of the ways out of self-sabotage and self-doubt maze is to put a moratorium on excuses and take action.

Any action.

Taking action to move forward – without being concerned that it’s the “right” action – will open you to possibility. Movement creates momentum.

What action will you take today toward the life of liberation you long for? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

DecisionWhether it’s a marriage, relationship, job, geographical location – how do you know when it’s time to move on?

When it came to my marriage, the truth is that our relationship had been crumbling for quite some time. I’d chosen to stay in such deep denial that it took an explosion of epic proportions to wake me up. And i’m so grateful it did. (You can read all the juicy details in my book, Jump … And Your Life Will Appear.)

My life had been leading to a shattering like this. Decoding the chaos I created to avoid the truth. My soul knew but Ii didn’t want to see. So denial, she slows the speed of growth.

Suddenly, I had a choice: I could stay numb and go back to sleep, or I could face my fears, embrace change and get ready to jump!

What happens when you stay in a situation that isn’t working, denying your own needs long enough?

Your needs, your health, and your well-being begin to demand to be heard. Even if you don’t heed that call, the truth will come out. Unfortunately, it will come out sideways.

Perhaps you’ll become ill. Or depressed. Or if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself expressing those needs in destructive, self-sabotaging ways.

Your body is the barometer of your truth. Listen and pay attention to the inner whispers and wails you’ve been avoiding. It’s time to admit to yourself what you already know to be true.

Marriage was a long time to be away from myself.

By staying in my marriage, I wasn’t allowing the full expression of my life to emerge, and looking back, I realize that the marriage was another hiding place for me. As long as I stayed and propped him up, I could hide from what I truly wanted and from all I was capable of becoming.

With each choice, power replenishes my voice.

Leaving my marriage meant I would no longer have excuses for not fully inhabiting my life, and it led me to the deep inner work that’s been the catalyst for living my life in alignment with my truth and desires.

Are you hiding out in your current circumstance and wondering, “should I stay or should I go?” Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

Are You Living In Reaction or Taking Action?

 

Action

  • Are you constantly responding to people, situations and circumstances coming at you?
  • Do you wait for others to make decisions first and then just defer to their choices?
  • Are you chasing gold stars?
  • Do you feel responsible for catering to everyone else before yourself, believing that their wants, needs and desires are more important than yours?
  • Are you afraid to speak up and offer your opinion?
  • Is overwhelm your most familiar state?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above it’s likely that you’re living in reaction.

How do I know? I used to do all of these!

I had this pattern of cutting off my own freedom because I thought I needed restriction in order to feel safe. I was a world-class people pleaser and looked outside myself for validation. I was afraid to give voice to my truth. All of this  ultimately translated into a choice I made to live someone else’s life.

How did I stop?

It took getting really clear about my own truth and desires and no longer allowing anyone or anything else to cut me off from my freedom.  As well as a deep commitment to myself not to ever curtail my own freedom again.

Living in reaction disempowers us and puts our worthiness in the hands of others. While taking action invites us to move in alignment with our own authentic agency, truth and desires. Taking action is the way we take responsibility for our lives.

I learned that everything depends upon responsibility and choice. 

If we can agree that where we are today is the culmination of our choices, decisions and actions up until now, then it only goes to prove that if we don’t to anything different in the present moment, our future will arrive looking very much like our past. Our present moment choices are our greatest predictor of the future, our crystal ball if you will.

What choices and decisions would you make if you were living on your own terms instead of in response to everyone and everything thing around you, if you were stepping into full responsibility for your life?

Allow yourself to be drawn by the gravitational pull of a positive future and imagine what it would be like to let go of fear and live the life you most desire.

When we’re hiding from our truth, we create chaos.

We all believe there are things about us we need to hide, detours we need to take to sidestep the truth. So we willingly abandon ourselves along the way, in order to be loved and accepted.

Imagine what would be available to you if you lived your life in alignment with the truth you already know inside you.

I invite you to see if you’re willing to reveal what is hidden, regardless of what anyone else thinks. 

It starts with making one different choice. 

Remember: Your greatest gift is giving voice to your truth. And when you do – when you say yes to you – there is no wrong way to live your life. 

Are you ready to stop living in reaction and take action? Join the conversation with me on
Facebook.

 

Got a book in you?

I’ve invited my very first guest blogger to be part of my newsletter this week! I’m excited to introduce you to my brilliant editor – and (full disclosure) my very dear friend – Kelly Notaras!

Five Tips for Actually, Really Writing That Book
by 

You’ve been thinking about it for years. Maybe even talking about it with a few select friends. So tell me—why haven’t you written that book?According to one survey, a whopping 81% of Americans believe they have a book in them. That’s basically everybody, people. But how many of us actually sit down and write that book? The numbers are far less impressive.I should know. I myself am one of the 81%, and I have yet to make writing a book my priority.Now I have written books for other people—and feel highly motivated to do so. But that awesome novel idea I had on a road trip a few years ago? Or that memoir I outlined last summer? Yeah, no. When it comes to my own work, I’m just as bad as you are.That’s why today I’m sharing my top five tips for actually writing that book. I have gleaned this advice from highly functional working-writer friends of mine—as well as my own habits, when I’m working on a book for a client. Here’s hoping they inspire you…and me.

Tip #1: Make an appointment in your calendar. As a busy business owner, this is truly the only way I get any writing done these days. I block out half an hour in my calendar, sandwiched between author calls and errands. I don’t know about you, but if it’s in my calendar, I’m way more likely to actually sit down and do it. And contrary to authorial folklore, most books don’t get written during month-long writing retreats in the woods. Most books get written in small increments, sprinkled throughout the week.

Tip #2: Write a little bit, everyday. Set a very easy to reach daily writing goal. By easy to reach, I’m talking one page. (Double-spaced, if I’m going easy on myself.) I’m talking the kind of goal you can squeak out between your morning run and making breakfast for the kids. Let go of whether the output is “good.” Focus on the fact that you’re finally making progress. You’re writing! And there’s a bonus: I’ve found that when I give myself a tiny little goal, I often end up writing that and then some. Why? Because once I’m writing, it just feels so freaking good.

Tip #3: Start with an outline. Many of us sit down, look at that blank page, and then freeze. “What am I supposed to write about today??” Having an outline next to you is akin to having a tidy little homework assignment. You have your work cut out for you, so there’s no thinking involved. Just pick a spot that inspires you, and dive in. You’ll have that daily writing goal knocked out in no time.

Tip #4: Start writing—about anything. To immediately contradict myself, I will say that you don’t have to start writing from your outline—if your outline is causing you stress or nausea. (I speak from experience.) When you’re trying to overcome writing inertia, what you write doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you actually do write. If you’re having a hard time jumping into your book proper, just start moving that pen across the page, or those fingers on the keyboard. Write about what you see out your window. The enlightening conversation you had with a friend last night—or the argument you got into with your 7-year-old. Keep a list of writing prompts on your desk. Here are a few to get you started:

  • What’s lighting up my life right now is…
  • The most remarkable thing about me is…
  • What my Mom wouldn’t want me to write about is…

Tip #5: Imagine yourself finished. I got this trick from the inimitable Mike Dooley, creator of TUT: Notes from the Universe. (If you’re not familiar with TUT, check it out—this man writes a letter from God, to you, every single day. Talk about a committed, working writer!) Earlier this year at the Hay House Writer’s Workshop in Chicago, Mike revealed that he does a celebratory dance before he even sits down at his computer! He conjures up the feelings that will be running through his body once he’s successfully completed his writing assignment for the day—and he feels them in advance. The juice he gets from imagining himself finished puts a fire under his tush, and makes the day’s writing assignment FUN. After test-driving his theory (in the privacy of my own home) I’m here to tell you it works! So go on—jump up and down, pump your fist in the air, do whatever you need to do to feel the endorphins coursing through your veins. You did it! You rocked out your writing goal! Then, sit down and do it for real.

~*~*~*~
Nancy here….Hint: Tip #3 is the most important and you can download Kelly’s amazing classic book outline templates by signing up to her mailing list right here.

Kelly and I will have a lively discussion on the air tomorrow during my Hay House Radio show! So if you have the burning desire to write a book, I hope you will join us for the fun! We are live on the air at 8 AM PT/ 11 AM ET and you can call in to talk to us about writing, editing, publishing and all things book related.

My Jump! Coaching clients are writing away, and it is so exciting. Do you need support as you write your book? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

reclaiming the lost pieces of me

reclaiming the lost pieces of me

in seven hours
we reached the desert
by morning
clear blue sky
and red rock wake usScreen Shot 2015-06-30 at 10.04.06 AM
move us
remove us from
the usual

we travel
to see what happens
elsewhere
to find the difference
in ourselves
inside another place
reordering the regular
giving order to what has gone before

call for what has passed
and what will come
mark this moment

my body goes back
into the healing
it sits
in a canyon
i never left
drops down into
unlimited time

this writing
this ancient meaning of movement
distracts the body
creates a space
for the silence
of making

yes
each day
i can do
one more thing

seven river crossings
bridge past to present
rising and falling
between breath and bone
the perfect landmark
lights up a landscape

i could only come from center
something to go back to
so rooted and close to earth
becoming whole is a profound secret

each day – let go
everything is at stake

Is it time for a graceful exit?

HelpEvery entrance is also an exit.

Any major transition has the capacity to be a catalyst for rebirth. It’s up to us to allow in what is possible – whether blissful or challenging – and respond to it in a life-affirming way.

The Graceful Exit (Step 9 in my Jump! Coaching Process) is a transitional period. You’ve detached from your old life and jumped across the threshold into your new world but you haven’t yet fully landed in your new way of being.

Once you’ve jumped, it’s not all roses and sunshine. It isn’t like you never turn around and look back. You may still have doubts and growing pains. The jump is only the beginning of your new life. It’s natural to feel disoriented during this time or even a bit out of control.

It’s okay. It’s all part of the graceful exit.

Honor the space between no longer and not yet. 

This space allows you to integrate all that has happened for you, everything you’ve experienced, and what you desire to create. This is the place where resilience, possibility and opportunity are born.

The graceful exit is a time to honor what brought you to this moment. It involves diving deeply into your memories and experiencing an acute awareness of what you have lost.

When you allow these memories, reminders, awarenesses to be there, you will easily move through the emotions (or they will move through you). But when you fight them, the feelings will linger and fester.

It’s important to understand that when these feelings come – and I would use the word “grief” to sum up the emotions I’m describing – it isn’t a setback. It’s a passing visitor. It wants to be felt. Its presence doesn’t mean you’ve chosen wrong, jumped prematurely or didn’t jump far enough. It just means you’re human.

Welcome everything you’re feeling, the full range of feelings during this transition period.

Let the grief come. 

You can’t let go of something you haven’t fully felt.

You can’t release what isn’t firmly in your grasp. 

The only way to say goodbye to anything is to allow everything to have its say. No graceful exit can happen until you accept what has been.

This isn’t an invitation to wallow in your pain. I’m not suggesting that you continue to drag the baggage of the past around with you. You’re not looking back to get caught in the net of the past.

You have the choice to let go of whatever you’ve been holding on to…including an old outdated identity that no longer serves you. 

You are relearning who you are and you’ll need to get used to the new you. The authentic self will come through when you’re no longer performing, pretending or denying – when you are true to yourself.

Being authentic is a moment to moment proposition, a never-ending journey. 

Is it time for you to make a graceful exit and jump free? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

Bring Your Underlying Commitments Out of the Shadows

For eighteen years I thought I was committed to my marriage. But I’ve since discovered that what I was more committed to being indispensable. This drive kept me stuck in an unhealthy marriage, it overrode my own wants and needs, and had me abandon my own happiness.

HelpWe all think that we’re going after what we want in the world, we think we want what we say we want, but when our lives don’t reflect what we say we want, it’s because there’s this underlying unconscious commitment that’s driving us that we don’t even know about, that was again formed from way back when we were probably under ten years old. It was really formed in response, in partnership, with our shadow beliefs. The shadow beliefs are conclusions we draw about ourselves – I’m unlovable, I’m not enough, I’m unworthy – and the underlying commitment is the strategy, the coping mechanism that we use in the world to reinforce that shadow belief and to stay safe.

What I’ve learned is that, in life, we get what we’re committed to at the deepest level – and it’s usually something we’re not conscious of.

We are, whether we are aware of it or not, always creating exactly what we are most committed to. It is vital to understand that the choices we make are always in alignment with our deepest commitments. We think, or tell ourselves, we’re committed to one thing but deep down we’re actually committed to something else—like keeping quiet and staying small in order to feel safe. So you can see that would fly in the face of an overt desire to be big, loud, smashing success!

When our lives are not the way we want them to be, we can be certain we have a conflicting hidden unconscious commitment to something other than that which we say we are committed to. Once we unconceal it, we’re able to let go of what no longer serves us by consciously choosing a new commitment in support of the life we desire now.

So, now that you know this…what do you think you’ve been most committed to, and how can you transform this commitment into one that serves you now? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

Can you survive the fear of rejection and ask for help?

HelpIn April 2010, I was out to dinner with Louise Hay, Cheryl Richardson, and Reid Tracy after our “Speak, Write, Promote: Become a Mover and Shaker” event in Boston. Even though at that point I had been separated from my husband for three months, I had not revealed to Louise and Reid what was going on in my marriage. They were expecting my husband to be at the event, and I knew they would wonder why he wasn’t there. The time had come for me to tell them.

Still terrified by the shame and guilt of failure, I took a deep breath, and revealed myself. I told them all about my husband reading my journals, all about my affair, everything.

I ended my confession with, “Louise, I’m not perfect.”

With her hands on my shoulders, looking deeply into my eyes, Louise brought me in very close and said, “Darling…did you really think I thought you were the only person who was?”

And you know what? I did.

I know it sounds irrational and that if had stopped to really think about it I would’ve realized it was what I expected of myself that was unrealistic. But, I was operating on automatic pilot, attached to the belief that I could somehow do it all without anyone ever seeing me sweat.

Somewhere deep in my psyche was the belief that if they saw a weakness in me, everything would fall apart.

So I never asked for help. To me, asking for help would mean I wasn’t enough. That I was a failure, imperfect. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The moment I felt Louise accept me—all of me—I started thinking of her as my personal affirmation action figure. She saw me in a way that I had never been willing to see myself—as a human being with both strengths and weaknesses. She inspired me to embark on a path of self-discovery and self-love, and she gave me the courage to be transparent.

I wasn’t perfect. I needed help. And that was okay.

I’m grateful to say that over the years Louise has been by my side when I needed her the most – supporting me in every way from holding my hand at the salon when I cut all my hair off, to helping me release my grip on the proverbial branch I was clinging to before I could jump out of my marriage and into my life, to modeling for me the importance of having fun!

It’s a great honor to have my dear friend Louise with me on my Hay House Radio show this week. We’ll dive into the many themes of our relationship: asking for help, saying a courageous “yes” to Life, identity shifts, and the deep joy of play!

And now back to you! Take a moment here to imagine what would be possible for you if you simply ask for help? I want to know! Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

 

Are you listening?

I’m spending the night with myself for the first time in ages.

Contrary to what some might believe, I’m an introvert and recharge by being alone. I actually crave hours on end without anyone else around.

And I’m in a relationship with a man who has a strong need for connection, of course!

When I used to travel constantly for my work, I made a conscious effort to spend as much time with him as I could. And I got my alone-time on the road. But now that I’m around for long stretches of time between trips, honoring my own desire to be alone can be tricky.

We’ve been having a lot of togetherness lately and that’s led to my longing for solo-time.

In the past (like, last week) when this arose I would start to freak out and revert to my old belief that I’m not built for relationship and life is easier alone.

But I’ve recently (like, in the last few minutes) had a massive revelation.

I’m always going to sometimes want to be alone.
I’m always going to sometimes feel suffocated.
I’m always going to sometimes work my fight, flight or freeze muscle.
I’m always going to sometimes find it annoying to share life.
I’m always going to sometimes feel frustrated by the friction of rubbing up against another person.
I’m always going to sometimes feel triggered and project my shit all over him.

It’s not about him. It never is.

It’s about the big fat mirror he is holding up – thank you very much – for me to see myself more clearly, and evolve.

I get now that if I choose to accept that “I’m always going to sometimes feel X,” then I don’t need to be afraid when any of that stuff arises. I don’t need to resist it or wish it would go away or wish he would go away. I only need to listen and honor the voice of my truth and desires within.

Please don’t get me wrong. I love him. I love us. But I love me too, and I now know that if I don’t take care of my own needs, no one wins.

And so tonight, I get me all to myself.
No one else to rub up against – the good way or the bad way.
Grateful to feel liberated in love.
The sun just set over the mountains.
The sky is an invitation…and I am listening…

Join the conversation with me on Facebook.

Can you forgive and move forward?

harbor      

from this liminal state
we are reborn
into a threshold between worlds

through the fabric of fog
a map for another way
presents itself

we see – in a flash – how life could be
can we return to what is familiar
and make it new
finding mystery in comfort
or do i embark upon
the adventurous sensuous
on my own

surrender
to the acceleration of self-discovery
that can only come
from encouraging the emergence
of dormant forces

embracing this vantage point
let the past be memory

this pause
between present and future
is the alchemy
that will wake
unlock
transform

there is barely a moment
even in morning twilight
when i forget
to remember
the shift is happening

i am a light in the harbor
leaving the weight
of the past at sea
change is my anchor
deep inside
peace is so close

 

Forgiveness

 

 

 

 

 

“The greatest gift of forgiveness is that we free ourselves.”
~ Debbie Ford

I believe that transformation isn’t possible without forgiveness…of ourselves, and others.

Forgiveness allows us to release the pain the of the past by  relinquishing the burden of resentment, since holding onto it just keeps us imprisoned. Forgiving others does not absolve them from responsibility nor condone things they have done.

When we don’t forgive, a big part of us remains focused on negative, judgmental energy that could be used more productively in our lives, liberating our minds and hearts and opening us to possibility.

Forgiveness frees us from an attachment to the pain of the past, and validates our own self-worth and importance. We are removed from stagnant negativity while propelled to live with the full energy to move forward.

What will be available to you if you become willing to forgive? Join the conversation with me on Facebook.