You can unlearn their stories

It’s real easy for me to seek outside myself for the answers.

What should I wear?
What should I say?
What books should I read?
What should I eat?
What course should I take?
Who should I follow?
What should I study?
Who should I trust?

My questions all some version of “What’s the right thing to do?”

One of my biggest drivers is to not be wrong.

In that state, I was at the mercy of everyone else while simultaneously reinforcing the (total BS, but very real) story that I can’t be trusted.

Here’s what I learned to do

Step 1 – I redefined “right”

For me, what’s “right” is what feels good for me at the moment.

My inner protector immediately said, “Absolutely not. We cannot trust ourselves with what feels good.” 👈🏻That’s part of our patriarchal programming.

I listened and acknowledged their fears. “You’re right. It is scary. And, it is going to be super fucking uncomfortable until it’s not and that’s okay. We’re going to be with it together. I’m going to be with you and we’re going to learn how to move with the discomfort and fear.”

And we did.
And we are.

Step 2 – Practice the ask

I ask myself + my body what she wants. Wants to eat, wants to wear, wants to read, wants to study, wants to do at this moment.

I ask her if and how she wants to move, when she wants to wake up, when she wants breaks, who she wants to work with and what she wants to do for fun.

Step 3 – I communicate with her + take action on her desires

Sometimes we take action right away and sometimes it’s later that day and sometimes we negotiate to a different day.

I practice trusting her by letting her lead.

And, sometimes I find myself wanting to ask someone if they think I should take a course or hire a coach or take a program or buy the book and in those moments, I smile and I pause.

I remind myself who I am and what I know and I seek an answer from the only person who knows what I want.


Now I DO believe in external support.

It’s important + necessary.

The support I invest in is support that helps ME tap into MY answers.

Why? Because I’m fucking brilliant about me.

Just like YOU are fucking brilliant about YOU and anyone who has told you differently (even if it’s you) is lying.

They are likely lying because they love you and are trying to keep you safe. And they are lying about you.

You can unlearn the stories.
You can heal your relationship with your reflection.
You can come safely home to who you really are.

ignoring what is doesn’t make it not


full speed ahead 24/7/365 causes crashes
i know because
i’ve been on the floor
more than once
i’ve lost my sh*t
so many times i stopped counting
i’ve cried hysterically
after screaming at the top of my lungs
when something didn’t go my way
or plans changed
i’ve been so tense my muscles
forgot how to relax
i’ve clawed at my skin
to hold down the rage
but you didn’t know
i wouldn’t let you know
on the outside
i was successful
i was achieving
i was helpful & reliable
i looked the part
i was nice
i was friendly
i was pretty & polished
on the inside
i was raging
i was short-circuiting
i was melting down
i was burning out
>> many successful women are burning out <<
it’s a badge of honor to be busy & exhausted
we brag about our lack of sleep and long hours
like they give out awards for suffering
we drink a bottle of wine a night
every night
gotta numb out
so we can function
we take pills
to stop our tears
to block our emotions
we don’t have time to open that flood gate
if we did
we doubt
it would ever close
we’ve been locked up
so long
for years
our hard work is our salvation
really our protection
disguised as our perfection
keeping us from slowing down long enough
to look at the reality of our lives
burnout doesn’t happen overnight
it’s a slow burning fuse
>> there are warnings << 

the problem is, most of us ignore them because they are so accepted and expected that we don’t recognize them for the red flags they are

we push harder
motivating ourselves with self-abuse
it’s called being an adult
we say
pull it together
put your big girl panties on
just do it
what’s wrong with you
we ask
so-and-so has it worse than you
you’re so lazy
and then we justify
it’s not that bad
everyone i know is fried
i’m too busy
i don’t have time
today is the ONLY day to get things done
look at our to-do list
he needs me
they need me
she needs me
it’s fine
i’m fine
i’m fine
first, you’re not fine
second, fine is not a feeling
let’s stop pretending
let’s look at what is REAL
ignoring what is doesn’t make it not
if you’re curious about what you might be missing, click here and grab The 31 Most Commonly Missed Signs of Burnout for Women
it’s time we reclaim our power 🔥

It’s fine. I’m fine.



When you move to make a change in your life, your unconscious mind will resist.

“Nope.  We are not doing THAT.

She may lash out or rage.

She will dig her heels in.

She will scream.

“This doesn’t feel good!!!! I don’t like this at all!”

She does not, I repeat, does not want to change.


This feeling of massive resistance is natural.

It is totally normal.

It is all part of the process of change.

Resistance is embedded in the pavement leading to your dreams. The ONLY way to avoid the resistance is to step off the pavement.


Please don’t do that.

Please don’t quit on your dreams.

Most of us, upon feeling the resistance, will judge it as bad.

We’ll say that it’s wrong and assess that it shouldn’t be happening.



We’ll ask, “How do I stop this and how do I stop it right now????!!!!!!!”

So, we slam on the brakes.

We come to a screeching halt.

We allow our brain to convince us we are “fine”.

We allow our intellect talk us out of our dreams.

My coach implores, “Don’t let your mind convince your heart it’s happy when it’s not.” 

Here’s my invitation:  


If you’re committed to doing the work to transform your life and live your dreams, there are going to be times where you feel uncomfortable.


You will want to run away.


You might hear, “Psst.  Hide.  Bury it.”


You will feel the temptation to cover up.  You may want to mask with the pretty, polished perfection of “fine” and “good”.


Feel it. Feel all of it.  Feel the temptations.  Feel the resistance.

Sit in your uncomfortableness.  Let it wash over you.  Rub it on your skin.  Let it dry and cake so it may crumble away.

Feel it and stay in it.

Lean in.

And know that sometimes it will feel hard to lean.  I get it.  I’m not saying it’ll be easy.

I am saying, sometimes it will feel hard and I want you to choose to lean in anyway.  Stay anyway.

Change requires we do something new.  Getting out of our comfort zone calls for us to leave our comfort zone; this will require we get uncomfortable.

The uncomfortable feeling?  It’s normal.

You’re doing it right.

Don’t allow your brain to convince you to settle.

Don’t succumb to her lies.

For YEARS I said, “It’s okay. Whatever. It’s fine. I’m fine.” 


My growth required me to lift up the mask of perfection and ask myself the tough question:  Are you REALLY “fine”?

And the truth?  I wasn’t f–ing fine.

I’d just gotten used to things.  And that isn’t the same as “fine”.


Wanting to smack down the mirror as it’s being held up for you to look in is totally normal.

Want to smack it down and then stay.

It’s not going to be as hard as your brain is trying to convince you it will be.

It’s not going to be as painful as your mind will tell you it will be.

If your unconscious mind is anything like mine, she is a drama queen and a master catastrophizer.

Friends, consider this…

What if your freedom is right there…

So close you could practically touch it…

What if the heat you’re feeling means you’re near…

What if the yelling is loud because you’re so close to your freedom…

What if your doubts are the sign that you’re going in the RIGHT direction…

And you walk away?



Please don’t give up on yourself and your dreams as you cling to your lie about being fine.




It is absolutely okay to be okay.

But please don’t lie.

You cannot and will not heal what you refuse to look at.

Please let me know how I can best be of support.

You’re worthy.

She’s worth it.





I was both the ringmaster and the circus animal.



This image effects me in a deep way…

There is a tightening in my jaw.

A tension in my neck.

A dull, but present ache in my chest.

Once I allowed the sadness to come and wash over me, I sat with my truth.

The truth of what I saw in this disturbing picture.

A version of my punisher.

The part of me that does not like me.

The part of me who spent years telling me that I would be worthy and valuable if – and only if – I achieved perfection.

The part of me who demanded I adjust, assimilate, and accommodate those around me in order to be worthy of their attention.

The part of me who cracked her whip and shouted, “PERFORM!” 



I was on a call with my coach recently when I was struck with an analogy that created a nauseous feeling in my stomach.

I spent much of my life as a circus animal.


Night after night. Show after show.  Doing tricks for applause.  Wearing whatever mask or costume you wanted.  Dancing, standing on my back legs, jumping through rings of fire, or just sitting pretty -poised on a stool waiting for my next instruction.  Working hard.  Working SO hard.  My ferocious work ethic fueled by the hope that I’d get rewarded for making the ringmaster happy.

And if I didn’t?

Back to my cage.  Alone.  To think about what I did.  What I didn’t do. And how I could do more, be more, try harder.  I wasn’t just seeking external validation.  I was inspecting constantly.  And in my inspection, I was internally invalidating myself, my choices, my physical appearance, my performance…

You are wrong.

You are bad.

You are unworthy.

You disgust me.

You are fat.

You are ugly.

Fix this.  Fix that.  Fix everything.

Do more, more, more, MORE!

You are not and never will be enough.


“Okay” I said.  Next time.  I will work harder.

And I did.

For years.



One of the most empowering things I ever did, was taking responsibility for my personal healing and happiness.

But, the most empowering thing I have done to date, was take full ownership of my personal abuse as the abuser.

I was the punisher.

That was my hand striking the blows.

Those were my words coming out of my mouth.

Was this a learned behavior?


But the source of the learning was no longer doing the abuse.  And keeping myself tethered; a hostage to the teachings was MY doing.

And it was time to own up to that.

Not to abuse myself further.  Not to put one more thing on the list of things to feel bad about.  NO.

Embedded in my personal responsibility was my freedom… my healing.  If I was the one doing it, I was the one who could stop.

You see, for many years I fully believed I deserved to be punished.

But my friends.

When you’re ready to stop.

When you come to the place where you believe you have suffered enough.

You will stop fighting against yourself; fighting against others.

And you will begin to fight for her.

In advocacy.

In love.

Not protection.  She doesn’t need protection if you’re not beating her up.

And in that journey, you will heal the relationship with yourself.

So many of these patterns have been embedded for years.

Please give yourself grace as you travel along your path.

Be patient with yourself as you travel your personal healing journey.

But please keep going.

I promise, you are the one you’re waiting for.






If I may be of any support, please connect with me:








Life lessons courtesy of my new home…


You may or may not know this, but we have recently moved into a new home.
And, a new home = lots of projects.
So, here’s what’s been happening in my world as of late….
Every.  And, I mean EVERY project we have started has taken waaaay longer and required more than we anticipated.
More shopping.
More time.
More effort.
Every time we think, “YES!!!  We’ve got everything we need!” we find ourselves back in the Jeep (often with what we just purchased) and headed back to Home Depot or Lowes.
Here’s what I know for sure:
Every person and every situation can be your teacher.  There are lessons in all things if you’re open to receiving.
What I want to share today are a few of the mic drop truths my new home has been teaching me:

1.  Just jump in and get started.


The truth is, if you are doing something that you’ve never done before, there is literally NO WAY you are going to know exactly how long it will take or what will ultimately be required.

Even if you’ve “done research”.

Even if you’ve “asked around”.

Attempting to know the unknowable will keep you frustrated and stuck in inaction, clinging to your BS excuse as to why you have yet to “go for it”.

Even if you attempt a guess at the time and effort required, you’ll probably underestimate.  That’s what we do as humans.

And then you’ll get irritated that it’s taking longer than it is “supposed to”.

Does this cycle sound familiar?

My 2 cents?

Stop planning so much.

Stop trying to know the unknowable.

Jump in and start.

The truth is, you will not know what you actually need or what you really want until you begin.  The specific details and your true desires will not be revealed while you’re sitting on your couch thinking.

They will ONLY gain clarity while you are taking action.

2.  Your “microwave mentality” isn’t serving you.


That being said, I get it.

It’s how you’re programmed.

You want results immediately.

And by immediately, I mean yesterday.

You’re a human.  So am I.

There is a part of me that wants my results yesterday too.

But that’s not going to happen.
And, my expectations that it SHOULD will keep me frustrated, aggravated, exasperated and NOT celebrating all of the little wins along the way.
And the truth is, there have been a lot of little wins.
If I keep looking at what’s not yet complete, if I focus on what we still have to do, I will continue to feel behind, overwhelmed, so busy, and like “I just can’t get it together” all of which is BULLSHIT.
Do yourself a favor and drop the microwave mentality.
Go on and gift yourself some celebration.
You deserve it.
Look at how much you have done, how much you are accomplishing, how far you’ve come, and give yourself a well deserved high-five!

3.  The joy really is in the journey.


This phrase is repeated a lot and to be honest, I used to roll my eyes when I heard it.

But it’s TRUE.

The fun, the joy, the laughter, and all of the memories are made during the process.

Here’s what’s true, all of the memories I have when I think about our home are of the silly things that have happened along the way.

When I think of my laundry room I chuckle at the number of times Amanda had to go back and forth to Home Depot and Lowes.

I do wonder if the neighbors have seen us naked because there was a good week or so that we didn’t have any blinds.

There’s blood on our wall from when our friend helped us re-wire a light in our kitchen and he got electrocuted and there’s part of me that doesn’t want to paint over it.

We’ve ate dinner on the floor and the stairs and we’ve since upgraded to a card table which doubles as my office since my desk is still on the deck about 3/4 of the way sanded.
The truth is, the “old me” used to want all the things to be done perfectly and immediately.  And anything less would create stress and anxiety.
Now I know that perfection is an unattainable lie.
My home?
It is perfectly imperfect and I love it.
I love how it’s unfolding.
I love how it’s revealing itself to me.
I love the process and what I can now say with absolute certainty is, the joy really is in the journey.
You know, life is fun if you allow it to be.
When we change our perspective, when we change how we’re looking at things, the things we are looking at change.
I want to encourage you to stop.
Stop rushing to be done.
Stop rushing to arrive.
Stop chasing the achievement.
Stop hustling to get “there”.
How often are you not fully present because you’re racing to be somewhere else?
You’re missing out.
You’re missing out on memories.
You’re missing out on fun.
You’re missing out on joy and belly laughs.
I can almost guarantee that whatever you’re striving to accomplish will take you longer and potentially be waaay more involved and/or complicated that you anticipated.
But I can also almost guarantee that if you take the pressure off, relax and enjoy the process, you’ll create beautiful memories with friends and loved ones.
There will be more laughter.
More joy.
More learning.
More fun.

My journey : Self-loathing to celebration


Self loathing.

I wasn’t born hating myself and honestly, I don’t remember the exact moment that it started.  My best guess is that it happened slowly.  An unfolding over the course of many many years, events, and small, seemingly insignificant, moments and conversations.

All leading up to the day where I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror.


I felt unworthy.  I felt hard to love.  I was stuck and I couldn’t see it.  What I could see was my behavior.  I could see my acting out.  I could see my trying too hard.  I could see my drug use.  I could see my drinking.  I could see that I didn’t know how to relax.  I could see how tense and angry I was.  I could see when I sat still how my legs, feet, hands, and/or arms would shake.  I could see my skin scratched red and bleeding from me clawing at myself while I rocked in place.  I could see my tears.  A lot of tears.  I could see my poor health and how sick I was all the time.  And, I could see myself shift from seemingly “fine” to hysterical anger in no time flat.

What I was not yet aware of, what I couldn’t yet see, was that I was medicating my emotions to keep up the facade I believed that the world wanted to see.


I remember looking in the mirror and hating who I saw in the reflection.

I was burnt out and exhausted.

I was negative.

I hated my job.

I complained a lot.

I was afraid of failure.

I was afraid of being exposed.

I was afraid of what success would look like.

I was unclear.

I was insecure.

I was stressed out.

And, my head talk was out of control.


Shortly after that moment in the mirror, I started a home-based business and got introduced to the world of personal development and mindset.  For the very first time, I became aware of how I was sabotaging myself.  For me, the problem was, WTF was I supposed to DO with that awareness?!  The generic affirmations I was being given weren’t enough.  They weren’t working.  I didn’t have this awareness at the time, but it was almost as if they were making things WORSE because they magnified the distance between where I really was and what I was affirming.

What I really wanted was an “Easy 1,2,3 :  Steps to Fix Yourself”.  If I could have found anyone selling that anywhere, I’d have snatched it up immediately.

But, they weren’t.  No one was.  What I’ve come to know as truth is that the healing journey is individual and we must be willing to walk it ourselves.


Simply starting my new business didn’t “fix” anything because the work had to be done internally.  I had success, but I was still unhappy.  I felt like a loser and a fake.

Pretending to be perfect.

Pretending everything was okay.

Pretending I was happy.

Pretending I wasn’t struggling.

Pretending I wasn’t scared.


The first significant step in my healing was to put my hand up for help.  To stop pretending that I had it all figured out and that I could handle everything on my own.  How I was living wasn’t working and I needed to come clean.

What I’ve learned is that we cannot solve our “problems” while sitting in the same situation, with the same people, and with the same mind that created the “problems”.  We need outside perspective.


Thus began my in depth journey back home to me.  I’m not there yet.  But, I have come a looooooooooonnnnnng way and I am obsessed with guiding others while I continue to walk out my path.


What follows are a few of the things I’ve learned in my travels…..



1.  Be willing to answer the tough questions.


This is a “come to Jesus” moment.  Be willing to ask and HONESTLY answer the tough questions.

What’s NOT working?  Your career?  Your relationship?  Your health?

Where in your life are you not playing full out?

Where/when do you shrink back so that others won’t be uncomfortable?

Where in your life are you out of integrity?

How do you speak to yourself?  Do you frequently use words like stupid, idiot, klutz, dumb, fat, or ugly?

How much time do you spend on self care?

How negative are you?  (Think scale of 1-10)

How often do you experience anger and how quick are you to go there?

How often do you feel sad?

Do you like being alone?

How frequently are you using substances to mask your feelings?  (Drugs, alcohol, sex, exercise, food…)



2.  Stop pretending and own up to your reality.


Just stop it.

Stop pretending that you’re okay when you’re not.  Stop pretending that you have it all together.   Stop pretending that you’re always happy.  Take off the mask of perfection and take full ownership of what’s REALLY happening in your life.  Look at your previous answers and accept that this is your reality.  This is what’s real for now.  It CAN change, but the first step to change is acknowledgement of what IS.

The next step is taking responsibility for what IS.




Just acknowledge.  “This is my reality and I take responsibility for the choices I’ve made that have lead to this moment.”

Maya Angelou said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” 

There’s no blame in this space.  Just acceptance.  Beautiful, loving acceptance.


What you must know is that from THIS space, you can take ACTION.



3.  Embrace your process and love your exquisite journey.


You didn’t get here overnight.  You’re not going to heal overnight either.  I have to make a daily effort to stay showing up as the REAL ME.  Please give yourself time and trust me when I say you’ll save yourself a lot of energy if you’d simply be willing to drop the story that “you should have it all figured out by now” or “you shouldn’t still be struggling with this”, or whatever other BS lie you’re telling yourself.


I’ve learned exercises where I look at myself in the mirror, celebrate my wins, and tell the little girl I see in the reflection how much I love her and how very proud I am of who she is.  NOT what she’s accomplishing or how much money she’s making or how many likes or comments she’s getting on her posts or how many followers she has on IG or subscribers to her blog or emails.  None of those things have anything to do with who she is.

My value is innate.  It doesn’t increase when I “do good” or decrease when I “do bad”.  It’s completely detached from what I am accomplishing or producing.

I am worthy because I am.

I am valuable because I am.

I am enough because I am.


I’ve learned to label my identities as seperate from ME and as I’ve shared in previous articles, I’ve named them and communicate with them as the individuals they are.


I’ve learned to look backwards at how far I’ve come instead of constantly looking ahead to some undetermined place I’ll never reach because even if I get close, I’ll just keep moving the finish line to validate my “not enough” story.


I’ve learned to celebrate progress instead of exhaustively pushing for unattainable perfection.


I’ve learned to recognize that the identities that pop up aren’t ME, they’re simply a PART of me that is feeling unloved.

I’ve learned to love them.


I’ve reframed my fears from something to be avoided at all costs, to signs that I must be growing and confirmation that I’m moving in the right direction.


I’ve learned that I need a support system to help me.  I need a coach.  I need an accountability partner.  I need live events.  I need mentors.  I cannot do it alone.  (I’ve also learned that you can’t either.) 


Truth be told, I still battle my dark side.  But now, I bring it out to the open.  I don’t pretend it’s not there.  I don’t shame myself for having a dark side.  I’m not embarrassed of that part of me anymore.  I actually think she’s beautiful.  When I recognize that she’s in control, I reach out to my accountability partners, I post in my support groups, and I receive love, support, and acknowledgement that I am not alone.


I share this so you know you are not alone.  I share this to give you hope for what’s possible.  I share this to offer a first step or a next step depending on where you’re at in your journey.  I share this so that you know I recognize “stuck” as a real place.  I share this in the hope to breathe belief in you as you walk out your own healing journey.  I share this to offer support and a safe space.


Me?  I’m perfectly imperfect.  And, more often than not, I am pretty damn proud of that.






Image via Princess-Hanners on DeviantArt

Hello sabotage. Please come in.


I mean, I’m certain I have heard the word before…

But you know how you hear something that you’ve heard before and for some reason at one particular moment in time it lands with you in a new and different way?

That describes my relationship with identities.

I was at a coaching mastermind just a couple of months ago when I became acutely aware that there are different parts of me that show up in different situations.

Like, distinctly different people.

You see, there’d be moments where I was confident and bold and fierce in my language and advocacy for another and yet, there’d be other moments (in the same day or the same hour) where I felt insignificant and not good enough and like I needed to learn more before I could serve others and fully step into my powerful self.

Does this sound familiar?

In the past I have sometimes felt like a crazy woman, so if you’re thinking the same thing about me, it’s cool.  But, keep reading.

Here’s my truth:

I’ve spent over 25 years of my life trying to pretend these parts of me didn’t exist.  I shoved them in the closet (Think of it like what you might do when company is coming over and you don’t really have time to clean…) and slammed the door shut in the hopes that no one would see these “less desirable”, “unattractive”, “weak”, and “ugly” sides of me.  When my closet was overflowing, I began shoving them under the bed.  Shoving, and all the while, smiling at the world.  My exterior facade would say, “Everything is perfect.  I’m great.  I’m handling all aspects of my life brilliantly.”

And yet, internally I was terrified that you might see one of my “under the bed monsters”.  And if they happened to sneak out in a vulnerable moment, I would give ’em a low, hard, back kick and through gritted teeth, while I kept smiling, there was a stern, “Get back under there where you belong.  I’ll deal with you later.”  

What I’ve been able to discover is that the person shoving others in the closet and under the bed, the person who was being verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive to me was not actually me.

Not the REAL me anyway.

She was one of my identities.  Keep Up Appearances Kate.  She was working in tandem with Perfect Paula.  And if I slipped up and into fear, doubt, worry, or had a vulnerable moment where I showed weakness… Punisher Pam was ready to bring on the emotional, mental, and sometimes physical reprimand for my behavior.

And together, they were slowly crushing me.  The real me.

I was on a coaching call in 2016 when, for the first time, I shut Paula down.  I was DONE.  No more pretending.  No more acting as if my life was perfect and that I could flawlessly handle all of it.  That story was bullshit and I was exhausted and burnt out from telling it.  I wasn’t always “okay”.  I didn’t always feel “good”.  And I was tired of pretending.

Because of this new decision, the next step for me was to square up with my self-described “ugly” identities.  The ones waaaaay back in the closet.  The ones I didn’t want anyone to know about.  The unlovable, mean, fierce, and ferocious ones.  The ones no one clapped for.  The ones no one was proud of.  The parts of me that don’t love me.

Acceptance became my first real step toward attaining the elusive “self-love”.  Fully accepting who I was.

All of me.

And now?  Shit.  I meet new identities daily.  Just last week, I met Verbally Abusive Victoria, Self-loathing Sally, and I’m Sorry Stephanie.

The next day?  Overwhelmed Ola.

The day after that?  Self-Doubt Debbie, I Can’t Win Cathy, and Not Good Enough Natasha.

This week I’ve had encounters with many, many, many of my identities.  I believe it’s because I’m stretching.  I’m growing.  I’m expanding.  And with that, comes new layers to peel back, new sabotage to square up with, new identities to meet, and old ones to welcome back.

What do I actually DO when they show up?  Check out the 5 things that have been working for me lately.


1.  Name them.

I opened this conversation in a previous article, (See “Busting Through Your “Not Enough” Story in 4 Steps ) but it is important for you to differentiate your identities from YOU.  They are not YOU.  They are your sabotage developed by you.  Go ahead.  Give them a name.  As you may have noticed, I take what they “do” and use that in their name.  For example, “avoid”, “punish”, “second-guess”, or “busy work” turn into Avoidance Anna, Punisher Pam, Second-Guess Sally, and Busy Work Brenda.  I find alliteration to be helpful and fun.  My 2 rules?  Don’t stress about this part and don’t make them any part of your name.  Remember, they’re not you.  The objective here is that you’re able to distinguish and address them as a separate identity.


2.  Recognize when they’re trying to get your attention.

Notice yourself.  Become aware.  Pay attention to your urges, your head talk, your language, your gut reactions, and your responses.  Notice your habits, your actions, and your behaviors.  What are you doing?  What are you not doing?  What are you languaging?  How are you feeling?  Just notice.  Try and do this with no judgement.  Simply observe.  Stay as neutral as possible.

For example, how did I know Overwhelmed Ola was trying to get my attention?  Well, I heard myself saying things like, “I don’t have time to get everything done…  I am so overwhelmed…”  I noticed that I felt “off”.  I was unusually emotional, easily irritated, and sad.  I noticed that I crawled back into bed even though I had things to do.  I watched myself be needy and clingy and saw that I was seeking validation.


3.  Welcome them and invite them inside.

This may seem counter intuitive, but they’re showing up for a reason.  Invite them in.  Literally.  I said, “Why hello Overwhelm Ola!  It’s nice to see you.  Come on in.”  It may seem absurd, but it works.  I can’t speak for you, but personally, I would rather experience the transformation to freedom and come across as a little weird if the alternative option is to stay stuck in my stories while *appearing* cool.


4.  Ask them why they showed up, what they need, and engage in conversation.

Again, literally ask the question.

You can do this out loud (my preferred method) or you can journal, but you’ve got to ask the question.

In my case, “Ola may I ask you, why are you here right now?  Is there something you need?” 

The important piece here is to answer the above question as Overwhelm Ola (or whatever identity/sabotage has presented itself to you).

It is important that you let THEM speak.

In my case, it went something like… “Yes!  I need someone to acknowledge that I’m doing a good job.  I have a lot on my plate and I’m juggling a lot and I’m getting things done and no one is recognizing that.  No one is telling me good job and I’m struggling with getting it all done.  I just want someone to notice and recognize my efforts.”

5.  Love them.

Love them like you would a child.  I said, using a phrase I learned from Matt Kahn, “Ola, I hear you.  And I honor your power.”  Then, I proceeded to give her what she needed.  I said something like, “Ola, you are doing an amazing job.  I’m so proud of how you’re handling day to day life as an adult, how your navigating the early stages of buying a home, how you’re writing, coaching, how you’re taking consistent effort to build your business, how you invest time and money in personal coaching and training, and how you work your job all while trying to care for your fur babies, eat well, workout, and show up as the best wife you can.  You are crushing it and I while I know it’s not always easy, you keep showing up.  You are a champion.  A rock star.  A bad ass.  I love you so much.” 

Of course, your personal language will be different, but please allow it to be loving and supportive.

You cannot and will not abuse your identities away.

I know because I’ve tried.

6. Ask for completion.


I said, “Ola, is there anything else that you need from me right now?”

She said, “I’m good.”

I said, “Wonderful.  Thank you for stopping by.  Stay as long as you’d like.  You’re welcome here.”

And you wanna know what happened?  SHE LEFT!  She didn’t stay because she didn’t need to.  She got what she came for.

Please note, if she had said, “No.  I’m not good.”,  I would have repeated a version of my earlier question asking, What do you really need right now?” and I would have continued affirming and asking until she was complete.



Of course every identity is different and each one will require individual attention.  This isn’t a one size fits all approach and I don’t want to portray it like it is.  Sabotage is personal, it’s squirmy, and it takes on different forms in each individual.

But what I know for sure is that my identities want to be heard, loved, and welcomed.  They want to be celebrated and embraced.  They’re seeking nurturing and reassurance.  The ONLY reason they are yelling is because they’re trying to get my attention.  When I fulfill their desire to be heard, there is no reason for the yelling to continue.



I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.  Let me know if this resonates, if you’re willing to begin the process of awareness and acceptance of your identities, or if you have any questions!


Your “I don’t have time” story

“I’m overwhelmed.”

“I would, but I don’t have time.”

“I don’t have time to (or time for) ______________. ”


Go ahead and fill in the blank with all the things you SAY you want.  Fill the blank with all the things that you’re constantly THINKING about, all the things you JUDGE other people for doing and finding time for, all the things that you are intellectually committed to, but yet, you’re doing nothing about.

Let me give you some examples.  The blank is could filled with things like:  Eat healthy, workout, personal development, reading, writing, journaling, a mediation practice, a yoga practice, sleep, romance, sex, build my business, search for a new job, make the follow up calls, send the emails, make more money, market my business, take the class, do the research, learn the skill, and on and on and on….


Look, I get it.  Literally, earlier today I had a moment on a mastermind call where I heard myself expressing how I ONLY have 2 days to work on my business and how I CAN’T do anything Friday-Sunday when I’m at the restaurant where I work part-time and then I also NEED Monday for self care and Tuesday is my day off with my honey… How on earth can I possibly keep all this momentum going and still get everything done AND OMG NOW I’M FREAKING OUT AND I HAVE NO TIME FOR ANYTHINGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!

{cue self-induced overwhelm and dramatic meltdown}

You want to know what’s most insane about all of that?

I know that none of what I verbalized is ACTUALLY true.  In fact, it is complete bullshit.  I was pretending that in order to continue taking action on my dreams and goals I needed to have a totally clear schedule, this massive open space in my planner, this space in my life where all of the proverbial lights are green, and some big booming voice will declare, “ALL CLEAR!!!!” 

And, unless that happens, I obviously can’t do anything.  {massive eye roll}

Sounds ridiculous, right?!  That’s because it is!

In fact, that time will probably NEVER happen.  Not for me.  Not for you.  And, by me pretending that it’s a required element for me to achieve success,  I get to stay stuck in my “I can’t ever win and no matter what I do it’s never enough and I can’t get ahead.” BULLSHIT story.

You have one too.  The details may be different, but you have a story.

Thanks Michelle.  You’ve clearly identified the problem.  WHAT DO I DO ABOUT IT???


1.  Identify


Become aware of the story you’re telling.


Fill in the blank from earlier.  Really fill it out.  Get out a pen and piece of paper and write the following…

I don’t have time to/time for ____________. 

If multiple things would go in the blank, write the sentence multiple times.  Complete it for each and every thing that resonates with you.

If you want to experience a shift, it is imperative that you are HONEST with yourself.  What is true for you?  What do you believe you don’t have time for?  If you get stuck, simply spend a few days in observation.  Listen to yourself.  What are you languaging?  Your language is a CLEAR indicator of what you believe to be true.

Notice without judgment.  You don’t suck.  You’re not worthless or stupid or incapable or a loser or anything else.  You’re human.

Awareness is the first step on the path to freedom.


2. Call bullshit on your stories


Recognize that what you’ve written are stories.  They may be stories you’ve repeated for a loooonnnnngg time, they may be stories that you think are true, they may be stories other people have told you are true, but they are stories.  Made up stories.

If you really desire the things you say you want, if you really want to live and experience a life of freedom, you are going to want to read these stories out loud and call bullshit on each one.

Stop lying.

Stop pretending.

Stop the excuses.

Stop all of it.

You’ve got to accept that if what you’ve written and what you’re languaging isn’t UNIVERSALLY TRUE, then your story probably, just maybe, is a little teeny tiny bit BS.  You have to be willing to look at what’s real and call yourself on your stories.  I’ll admit, it’s not easy to do on your own.  I recommend you get support.  I have accountability partners, mastermind groups, and coaches.  Today my coach boldly called me on my shit.  And when he pointed out what I was doing, I said something to the effect of, You’re right.  That’s bullshit.  I’m lying.  I’m pretending like I need a large chunk of time to build my business, I’m pretending that small progress isn’t progress, I’m lying when I say that I’m incapable of doing things on the days I work, and I’m creating my own overwhelm by speaking this way….

Listen, here’s the real deal:  If your kids or your spouse or yourself were in danger… if their lives or your life were on the line and the ONLY way to save them from death was to do the thing you swear you don’t have time to do, you would do the thing.  Period.  If that’s true, then the issue is probably one of the following:  Either the stakes aren’t high enough to push you into action, you’re behaving like something is more important to you than it really is, OR you’re pretending that the “thing” takes much longer and requires more energy than it ACTUALLY takes.


3.  Take SMALL action steps daily


The truth is, I don’t have all day everyday to devote to my business, but I do have a few minutes every day.  There are always minutes.  Can I spend an hour journaling daily?  No.  But I can spend 3-5 minutes.  Can I write workshop proposals and follow up with speaking opportunities every day?  No.  But I can spend a few minutes researching who I want to follow up with and adding to my list of prospects.  Can I spend a WHOLE DAY every week in self care?  Probably not gonna happen.  But, I can find moments every day to read or listen to healing music, or move my body, or play with my dogs, or be in nature.  I meditated for 4 minutes today because that’s what my schedule allowed for.  Some days I workout for 45-60 minutes.  Other days 15 minutes.  And other days I do squats and leg lifts while I brush my teeth.



We spend so much of our time talking about and thinking about how we don’t have time to do the things we want to do.  I propose if we simply used that SAME TIME to take ACTION, we’d see and experience progress.


Let me know if this resonates with you!



Image via

Busting through your “not enough” story in 4 steps

I realized today that I don’t trust myself.


How do I know?  Well, let me share my (old) pattern.  First, I take a step into something new.  This could be a new group, a new training, a new entrepreneurial endeavor, or a new ANYTHING where I am unfamiliar.  Subconsciously I say, “I don’t know how to do this…” and my actions are to ask for help and or research.  As my coach pointed out to me today, neither of those things are necessarily bad, but my pattern of “I don’t know how to do this…” needs to stop.


Because if it doesn’t, I can (and I will and I have) stay stuck in preparation mode.  Not acting.  Not launching.  Not producing.  Not sharing.  Not teaching.  Not empowering.  Not living out my purpose of transforming the planet.

Here’s what’s crazy.  It’s been so much a part of who I am for so long, until it was pointed out to me today, I didn’t even realize I was doing it.  My sabotage was literally on auto-pilot.

In this post, I want to teach you what I’ve learned about how to move from your “not enough story” into action.


1.  Set yourself up with a support team.

We all have our blind spots.  It’s as if our heads are stuck inside a box that sits on our shoulders and we cannot see anything outside of our box.  All of our problems and struggles are inside the walls of our box, while all of our solutions are on the outside.  So, we need support in seeing what we cannot see.  From my experience, a support team has 5 elements: an accountability partner, a mastermind group, a private coach, live events, and a mentor.  We need these people to help us become aware of the things we’re simply unable to see.  Without my coach and my mastermind, I wouldn’t have come to recognize this pattern today.  And, if I remain unaware, I stay stuck.


2. Identify that this sabotage is part of you, but it’s not the real you.

Something that’s really helpful is to name the parts of you that are sabotaging your success.  I’m made up of Never Ready Nancy, Not Good Enough Natasha, Insecure Ingrid, Too Stupid Stephanie, Need To Learn More Naomi, Student Sabrina, Perfect Paula, Punisher Pam, Seeking Approval Astrid, Validation Val, and many more… Once I recognize these people as PART of me, but not the REAL ME, I can distinguish when one of them is taking the lead.  It’s okay that they’re all traveling with me in the van, the important question is, who is in the driver’s seat?


3.  Honor and accept these parts of you with love.

Recognize that while there are these parts of you that are sabotaging yourself, it’s all in an effort to protect the real you.  Think of them as different identities that were developed to keep you safe and love them for that.  Love them hard.  I love Never Ready Nancy and how she makes sure that I’m prepared for whatever I am doing.  I love Not Good Enough Natasha and the fact that she causes me to practice again and again in an effort to perfect my craft.  I love Insecure Ingrid and how vulnerable she is.  I love Too Stupid Stephanie and how she causes me to work hard and study more and make sure that I’m knowledgeable.  I love Need To Learn More Naomi and Student Sabrina for the same reasons.  I love Perfect Paula and how she wants me to put my very best foot forward.  I love Punisher Pam and how she ultimately just wants me to be excellent.  I love Seeking Approval Astrid and Validation Val and how much they love receiving praise from others and how the yearning for that praise pushes them to work so hard.  I love the little girl who makes up all of these identities and how she’s afraid of being wrong, afraid of making a mistake, afraid of speaking up and saying the wrong thing, and afraid of not being good enough or smart enough to figure things out herself.  I know that these parts of me that pretend not to know what to do are all acting from love and protection and I love them for that.  I love them so much.  They are doing a phenomenal job.


4.  Identify what’s most important and take an action step.

What’s the ONE THING that will give you the biggest leap forward if you took action on it?  What’s the ONE THING that you KNOW if you did it, would get you closer to your goal?  Start there.  With that one thing.  Stop pretending that you’re going to execute 100 things and then using that as an excuse as to why you can’t do anything and simply focus on the ONE THING.  For me today it was to make calls about booking speaking engagements.  I decided to move Never Ready Nancy to the back of the van and put the REAL ME in the driver’s seat.  Once I did that, it was easy to pick up the phone and dial.  When I felt doubt creep in, I reassured Need To Learn More Naomi that we already knew enough and reminded Perfect Paula that even if we “messed up” we were still moving forward and that it was safe to take this step toward our dreams.


The truth is, this work isn’t easy.  I won’t lie and say it is.  I cried today as I unloaded all of my overwhelm on my Mastermind sisters.  But then, after the awareness, I came to this beautiful place of acceptance.  After that came the overwhelming love.  And after that, came incredible clarity.  Clarity in my message as I picked up the phone and called for more opportunities to speak.  Clarity in the words to share here in this blog to teach and empower you.  And clarity for a program I want to launch in the new year.

This shit is awesome and hard and amazing and it works and it’s worth it.

You’re worth it.

Let me know in the comments if any of this resonated with you and if you’re willing to name your sabotaging identities!  



Image via Pinterest. Quote by Rebecca Ray.

My head talk is the co-author of this blog

Permission to be a work in progress.

This week I was on a call with my coach where he asked me directly, “What growth activities have you been doing since we last connected?”

Me:  “Um, what are growth activities?”

Him:  “The activities that are going to launch your business forward.  There really aren’t that many.  It could be 1:1 coaching calls, speaking, or calling people to book 1:1 calls and/or speaking opportunities.  What percentage of your time are you spending here?”

What followed was a lot of stuttering and a big ol’ lie.  I said 10%, but after really thinking about his question, I think the right answer is somewhere around 1% or less.

I’m over here talking about how I’m building my business and I’m simultaneously doing practically nothing that is actually going to build my business.

Then, I proceeded to do what I do so brilliantly.  In a matter of 5 seconds or less I went to the complete opposite extreme.  I began languaging things such as:

So, wait…
What does this mean?
Do I stop everything else?  
Do I no longer write in the blog I’ve just set up?  
Do I stop connecting on Facebook and Instagram?  
What about videos?  
Have I been wasting all of my time?
Am I doing everything wrong?

My coach interrupted my downward spiral to remind me that I am a solopreneur.

Oh yeah.  Duh.  It’s just me over here.
The engagement on social media and the videos ARE important.  Obviously.
The writing is a good idea.  Check.
Keep going Michelle.
But remember, you’re responsible for everything.
You’re the one building the foundation so, there simply has to be MORE growth, more networking, more exposure.
It’s not an either or conversation.
It’s BOTH.

But then I slip back onto my old tracks.
It’s quite impressive how fast I can move into overthinking, overanalyzing, and scrutinizing every activity.

Is it necessary?  
Is it moving me forward?  
When is the best time for the necessary maintenance?
Am I just avoiding?
Maybe I should start blocking my time?  
Should I get up earlier?
Should I stay up later?

My head hurts and I want a nap.

All of this growth and stretching and expanding is bringing me face to face with my sabotage on a regular basis.  It’s requiring a close up look at my life, my habits, how I structure my schedule, and it’s forcing me to evaluate what’s working and everything that is not.
Who loves that?
{no hands raise}  

So now here I am.  Lying on the couch, eating tortilla chips, typing this article.
Recognizing that I spend the bulk of my time on maintenance activities and very little on growth activities while simultaneously wanting my business to grow.

Houston.  We have a problem.  

After an inspiring call with my coach I made a shift.
Go me! {pats self on back}
I made 10 reach outs for speaking gigs.
I left 9 voicemail messages.
I sent 3 text/Facebook messages which created engagement.
I made a post.
I asked for more feedback.
I held 1 conversation.
As of now, 2 people have called me back and given referrals.

Nothing booked.

{Cue head talk}  

“Can I really do this?  Do I have what it takes?  I suck.  I talk too much and sound stupid.  I don’t sound confident.  I don’t know what I’m talking about.  Are people really going to respond?  What if they DO??? Then what?!  No one is answering.  This is a sign.  This is hard.  Marketing yourself sucks.  I’m not good at this.  No one cares about my message.  Who is going to say yes to me anyway?  I don’t know these people.  I’m not ready.  I should quit.  Well, at least slow down.  I need to learn more.  This is uncomfortable.  I don’t like this!!!!!!  This isn’t fun.  I’m sleepy….”

And now here I am.
On the couch.
With the chips.
Not calling anyone.
Not growing.

Sabotage, I hear you and I honor your power.
Fear, I hear you and I honor your power.
Head talk, I hear you and I honor your power.
Procrastination, I hear you and I honor your power.

Here’s what I know for sure.
I’m stepping into a new territory.
And new territories will ALWAYS bring you face to face with your dark side.
There’s literally NO WAY I can experience the new territory without experiencing all of my fears, doubts, limiting beliefs, head talk, and sabotage.
So, instead of trying to avoid them and pretend that they don’t exist, I’m honoring their power and inviting them in.  I’m asking what they want to tell me and I’m hearing what they have to say.

And indulge me for a moment.
Allow me to be EXTRA real.
The thing I’m MOST afraid of is my own damn head talk.
I’m afraid of what I’ll say to myself when it doesn’t work in the way I’ve planned out in detail in my brain.
I’m afraid of how I’ll beat myself up if I say the “wrong” thing.
I’m afraid of how crappy I’ll feel after I fuss at myself for how I could have done better.

I’m the worst.
Well, actually I’m the BEST.
I’m the BEST at beating myself up.
I’m the BEST at making myself feel like shit.
No one does it better.
I am the #1 self punisher.
In fact, there is no one better or more qualified to beat up Michelle than me.

And there it is.
What I’m really afraid of.
Well, that part of me.

So, I honor the headtalk and I keep dialing.
I acknowledge what’s real, accept what is, and tell myself, “I can make 1 call.”  That’s all I have to do.  1 call.  And then, if I feel like it, I can make another.

I can take it one step at a time.
I can keep practicing.
I can remind myself of WHY I’m doing this.

Wait.  Why am I doing this?

I am fiercely passionate about transforming the planet.
I am ALL IN on being a change agent.
I am committed to delivering REAL TALK, no bullshit tips, on how to move from hopeless and stuck to joy and freedom.

But this is all new.
My coach has said, “Knowledge is just a rumor ‘til it lives in your body.”
This is still a rumor.
It’s not fully “in my body” yet.
And that is okay.

I can give myself grace as I walk out this new territory.
I can remember that I’m building a business and not a get rich quick scheme.
I will remind myself that while great things can happen quickly, there is most often A LOT of work that goes into an overnight success.

And I’m committed to showing my work.
Showing the ups and downs.
Sharing the real moments.
Expressing my fears and how I act in spite of.
Giving you an insight to how I celebrate and honor the stereotypically less loveable parts of myself.

I am not a hype-y person and I won’t pretend to be.
I will speak what is real.
I will share my truth.
I know you are out there struggling with the same things that I’ve struggled with.
I am speaking to you.
I am speaking for you.
You are not alone.

Stop trying to hide the fear, bury the shame, cover up the guilt, and pretend that your sabotage doesn’t exist.

Just stop it.
Pretending to be perfect.
Pretending everything’s okay.
Pretending you feel great all the time.
Pretending you love your business everyday.
Pretending that you’re never afraid.
Pretending that you don’t have negative head talk.
Pretending that it’s not hard.
Pretending that it doesn’t take focused and deliberate effort.
Pretending that you’re not scared.

Here’s what you do instead.
Cut yourself some slack.
Love on yourself.
Celebrate how far you’ve come.
Celebrate what you DID do.
Celebrate the calls you did make.
Celebrate the new contacts you do have.
Celebrate that you’re growing.
Celebrate your head talk and that it means you’re stepping outside of your comfort zone. Celebrate your willingness to act in spite of.

And that ain’t easy.
None of it is.
Stop pretending that it should be.
It’s delusional and it keeps you stuck in shame and judgement.

Here’s the truth.
I am a work in progress.
I am doing a great job.

And so are you.

Comment below if any of this resonated with you!  I’d love to hear from you!  XO



Image via Pinterest –