Month: June 2018

The Painful Truth We All Must Learn

I’m forcing myself to write this article before I begin second-guessing myself and before my mind wanders back to politics (both of these things will inevitably have happened by the time you read this).  This piece is dedicated to all the hustlers, artists, entrepreneurs and dream-builders out there who have experienced that exasperating feeling of, “WTF.  I know I’m exceptional at what I’m doing – or the concept I created is phenomenal (or something similar), so why am I not moving forward fast enough?”

No one wants to talk about or acknowledge the event you spent weeks preparing for, when only a few people showed up — or when a potentially life-changing opportunity that seemed like a sure thing suddenly doesn’t pan out.  As an artist, a rollercoaster ride of career highs and lows is pretty much expected; and when I read about and speak with entrepreneurs from many fields, there are clear similarities.  To makes matters worse, it’s during our most challenging times that many of us learn that some of our nearest and dearest aren’t able to provide the emotional support and assurance we need (and even worse: that look of pity).

The most important thing to remember is that most people just don’t get it.  And that’s okay.  As hard as it is to let yourself down and to be let down by those you love, we need to remind ourselves of the wise words of Anaïs Nin: “We don’t see the world as it is.  We see the world as we are.”  I’m willing to bet that the same friends and family members who aren’t able to be there for you the way you hoped have been less than courageous in their own lives, making it harder for them to relate.  Don’t take it personally because it’s no one’s fault (this took me years to learn).  Rest assured, you will find other sources of support that will broaden your life in new and exciting ways.  Meanwhile, remember that many of life’s greatest success stories begin with failure and heartbreak and overcoming obstacles is a surefire way to develop extraordinary resilience, grit and inner strength.

My personal belief is that in these situations it’s very important to allow yourself to feel that sh*t deeply and process it.  Do whatever you need to do to express yourself and to experience a sense of release and relief – whether it’s journaling, working out or spending time with friends and family.  Trust your instincts when it comes to self-care.  Then, when you’re ready, consciously decide to remove the negative cloud you felt hanging over you and clear it from your system.  Stand in your light and own it.  I realize these words may sound a bit hokey, but I’ve personally experienced the powerful result of consciously choosing to transform a let down into something positive and I know it works.  Owning your feelings, your successes and your failures is incredibly empowering.

You are your greatest asset.  When we experience any type of struggle, we are forced to deeply connect with our most authentic self (whether we want to or not).  We need to make sure that even while we’re feeling down, we are still fully aware of the fact that we are our greatest asset.  And our greatness can’t be measured or changed by the result of an event, a failure or a success – but by how we live each day, how we respond to challenges, how we treat other people and how we move forward.  When we lead with our hearts and trust ourselves at a core level, there is no limit to our happiness and success.

Song For This Moment: “Remember Me”  by Daley & Jessie J :: unrelated lyrics but this song has a kickass and empowering quality that just works.

Related Articles:

The 5 Best Ways To Build Resiliency, article in Experience Life.

Get Gritty and Win“, article in NoBubblegum.

62 Business Leaders Answer What Does Success Mean To You?“, article in Under 30 CEO.

Are You Sabotaging Yourself?

I’ve always considered myself a pretty confident person, so when I recently discovered I’ve been limiting my success it shook me.  Even to admit it makes me uneasy because I’m embarrassed it’s taken this long to realize.  I’ve been hustling with heart (and hustling hard) for many years without enough self-belief that I can do better than just okay, and that I’m worthy of doing better than just okay (my heart sinks while typing).  On the surface, my major life decisions suggest otherwise; I’ve consistently prioritized passion and happiness over stability, pursuing a career in music without a plan, connections, money or emotional support from family (this was heart-crushing during my twenties) – not to mention major student loan debt.  My creative journey has always felt like a blessing and even when things have been tough, my desire, ability and need to connect have outweighed my fear and self-doubt.  To a point.  I’ve still managed not to notice as my subconscious (emotional) mind continues to masterfully impose boundaries to protect me from too much success.  My details and reasons aren’t important here though; the reason I’m sharing this is because my pattern of self-sabotage isn’t unique – it’s practically universal.


credit: Flavia Raddavero

So many of us  limit our potential for happiness, wellness, success and love by either consciously accepting and expecting less of ourselves and/or others, or by getting so caught up with life that we don’t notice it’s happening.  The irony in my situation is that I feel sooopassionate about connecting with, supporting and uplifting others.  It’s the reason I write and perform music, launched NoBubblegum and created  TNL 58‘ — so how could I be holding myself back? Anyway (sigh).

I hope this article sparks a few of you to look inward and explore your patterns of behavior;  if you recognize a self-sabotaging tendency (or two) that’s a pivotal first step.  Once we decide we’re ready and determined to do the work, we can absolutely make positive changes that will expand us in beautiful and powerful ways.  I’m personally committed to this and would love you to join me in stepping into your next level.  To start, see if any of the tendencies below resonate with you.

4 Common Self-sabotage Themes:

  • Procrastination & Inaction.Delaying or not doing what you need and even wantto do; feeling unable to move forward even when exciting opportunities present themselves; dreaming about doing something for months and years without acting on it.
  • Worrying Too Much.  Being afraid of what others will think of you if you fail or succeed; doubting yourself even though you know you’re super talented; needing to be liked by everyone (even people you don’t appreciate).
  • Feeling and Accepting Less.Allowing others to speak down or talk over you; taking others’ words to heart too much.  Accepting less than you’re worth in job compensation and neglecting to ask for what you want and deserve.
  • Lashing Out in Anger. Being aggressive rather than assertive with others in order to injure rather than heal and build strong relationships.

credit: Marcelo Matarazzo


What You Can Do About it:

Recognize it. Self-sabotage happens when your subconscious (emotional) mind and your logical mind are at odds with one another; for example, showing up 30 minutes late to a job interview for a position you really want or not responding to emails or phone calls offering you a fabulous new opportunity.  Even positive change is hard and requires work and courage; many coaches and therapists agree that we need to be uncomfortable to grow and expand.  Positive change can be terrifying and self-sabotage is our subconscious’ way of handling fear.  Become aware of your tendencies so you can “catch yourself” and turn things around.

Kindness.  If you feel ashamed about past self-sabotaging behavior, acknowledge it and then decide to release these negative feelings.  Experiencing self-doubt and regret simply make us human; it doesn’t mean we need to allow these feelings to overtake us and linger indefinitely.  Self-compassion is a must for moving forward. Much of our behavior as adults has to do with our early life experiences, so try and observe yourself from the outside and consider what advice you might give to someone else in your situation.

Accountability. Meanwhile, seek out a trusted and supportive friend and share what you’ve recognized in your behavior.  Ask this person to (kindly and honestly) hold you accountable when they recognize your behavior is leaning back toward self-sabotage.  Be extremely selective and intentional with whom you share this stuff.  Your heart is platinum and you’ve got to protect it.  (Side note: your accountability partner doesn’t need to be a close friend; a mentor or therapist may be extremely helpful.)

Explore Why:  Shifting away from self-sabotage requires deep personal commitment and continual dedication.  Whether it’s a professional issue (like imposter syndrome) or a pattern of behavior in your relationships (check out this insightful article) this will take time – and that’s okay.  Be patient with yourself and recognize that each positive step is significant and valuable.  Celebrate your progress and forgive yourself when you slip.  Above all, always remember that you are worth the work.

Listen to this Article here:

* Song for this Moment:acoustic cover of Michael Jackson’s classic, “Man in the Mirror”, performed by James Morrison.

Related Links:

How To Stop Self-Sabotaging“, article inVICE. 

“Beating Self-Sabotage”, article in Mind Tools.

“The Five Types of Imposter Syndrome and How To Beat Them”,article inFast Company.

“Am I Sabotaging My Relationship?”, article in Elite Daily.


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