Happy No Matter What


How to Be True to Yourself

Guest Post by Theresa Trosky Robbins

About 5 months ago, my husband and I decided to end our marriage.

Actually it was more my decision than his. I had come to the realization that what I had wasn’t what I wanted nor had it been for a long time. But I was too scared to do anything about it. In part because I had given away my power to what my husband thought about me.

I was so worried about his thoughts and feelings, so worried about hurting him, that I held on for far too long, unable to let go. I couldn’t give myself permission to do what was right for me because I believed that the pain he might suffer was more important than my own.

For months an internal battle between my inner rebel and my inner approval addict raged like Mike Tyson on steroids. My inner rebel wanted the freedom to live the beautiful life she knows she deserves, but my inner approval addict simply could not bear the pain of losing my husband’s approval.

Round and round they went. The rebel fighting for freedom, the approval addict wanting nothing more than to do whatever it took to keep my husband happy. It wasn’t pretty. When he suggested we work things out, I couldn’t give him a definitive yes or no answer partially because I was torn between what I wanted and not wanting to hurt his feelings.

So I wallowed in guilt. Spinning, not trusting myself, uncertain, and scared with what felt like the weight of the world sitting firmly upon my shoulders.

Until I realized that by trying to protect his feelings, I wasn’t standing in my power or owning what I want. In essence, it resulted in my stringing him along, failing to release him so he could move into the grieving process.

My attempts to protect his feelings (so I could earn a hit of approval) backfired. In the end, it created far more pain for each of us than just allowing myself to own what I want.

And that’s the thing about needing other people’s approval. You tell yourself you do it to be nice, kind or polite, but you end up being not so kind after all. You end up hurting other people and doing a number on your own sanity and well being at the same time.

The only way out of it is through it. By giving yourself permission to be there for yourself, to own what you want, and to let other people have their feelings, you become a mighty force for good for everyone involved.

Here are 4 Tips to Be There for Yourself:

1. Know your wants and needs.

It might sound like sacrilege to explore your desires and put your needs first, but when you aren’t familiar with them, you end up trying to take care of others’ instead of yours. Taking time to befriend your wants and needs is the first step in giving yourself permission to be there for yourself.

2. Ask yourself how your need for approval hurts other people.

You’ve probably noticed that you end up hurting yourself when you hustle for others’ approval, but have you ever noticed how often you end up in an argument or misunderstanding as a result? Reflect on those times when all you were trying to do was be helpful or kind, but the other person ended up feeling angry or insulted. Those moments of relationship tension are a sure sign your approval seeking is cultivating an opportunity for pain. Keep track of the pattern to more easily recognize when your approval seeking bums out all involved so you stop it before it begins.

3. Notice how giving yourself permission to be true to yourself helps other people.

The next time you choose what you want – without consulting everyone around you – step back and notice what you’re giving them. It might be the chance to get to know who you really are. It might be the opportunity to try something new. Or it might just be letting them deal with not getting what they want…without you trying to make it better. If you are really honest and open with yourself, you will be amazed at what you find.

4. Give yourself a break.

For those of us recovering, this is a process. It takes lots of practice. Beating yourself up for seeking approval only makes it tougher to gain the only approval you truly need: Yours. Give yourself some credit for the miles you’ve come, the awareness you’ve gained, and your desire to create the beautiful life you deserve.

So…How has giving yourself permission to be true to yourself helped others? Leave a comment on the blog because I LOVE that!

Theresa Trosky Robbins is a former self-help virgin turned Martha Beck Certified Master Life Coach, mom to two ridiculously amazing boys, and the Curator for the Home for Wayward Women. She dedicates her practice to helping women break the rules that keep them stuck and create the beautiful lives they deserve. Click here to download her free guide: The Self-Help Virgin’s Guide to Living Authentically.

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“I’m not good enough. I don’t have what it takes. I’m a fraud…”

We all seem to be singing the same tune.

If you boil it down, here is what we tell ourselves:

“I am not enough.”

We use our “flaws,” or “mistakes” as evidence to prove it true.

Scarcity Thinking

This is scarcity thinking at its core. The truth is we want abundance, prosperity, love, all of that good stuff but most of us, deep down, don’t feel worthy of it. We look in the mirror and all we can see is lack, lack, lack.

So what do we do?

First, we compare ourselves to some preconceived idea of what it takes to be “enough.” Then we take an inventory of all the ways we fall short. Finally, we work like hell to hit a constantly moving target, to earn our badge of worthiness by meeting or exceeding a preconceived concept of “enoughness.”

In short, we erect an elaborate facade of perfection, likeability, selflessness… that requires endless time and feeding.

I Know About Facades

Before I became a life coach I spent much of my life hiding behind an elaborate facade.

My quest? Amass enough gold stars that everyone in my immediate proximity would instantly and irrevocably revere me.

There came a point though when this got too exhausting. When I lost the ability to bullshit.

And so I dropped the façade.

What Happens When You Drop a Facade?

It exposes all that stuff you’ve been hiding underneath it. The stuff you hope no one will ever find out about. Things you’re deeply ashamed of — parts of your personality, a decision you made in the past, things done to you, things you have done to others.

So let’s talk about shame…

Shame is  “a painful feeling that comes about from the consciousness of something dishonorable or improper, done by oneself or another.” The root of the word can be traced back to an older word meaning “to cover.”

And this is what we do. We cover up our shame — those so called flaws, the failures, our bad behavior or crappy decisions — so nobody finds out. We keep it all out of sight and out of mind. We think we have it under control but shame is the one with the true power, whether we’re conscious of it or not, it fuels our decisions, our choices and our actions.


Quoting Brene’ Brown the preeminent shame researcher, author of multiple books, world famous speaker and lover of great tunics, “you put shame in a petri dish and it needs secrecy, silence and judgment to grow exponentially.”

Shame, Brene’ says, is not the same as guilt. Shame whispers (or shouts), “what were you thinking?!”, “you are such a loser!”, “you must be crazy if you think you can pull that off.”

We will never be competent, capable or worthy in the eyes of shame. Shame is a bully; dogmatic and obstinate, it demands over and over again that you submit to the idea that you are not enough.

With shame, there is no other choice but to hide. Hide away under a persona that you use to overcompensate for the parts of you that shame wants you to believe are dishonorable or improper.


But guilt, Brene’ argues, is different. Guilt says to us, “Hey, slow down. Stop and think about that for a minute. You sure screwed up, now how can you do it better next time?”

Guilt is your mentor. It asks you to be a grown up. There is no hiding with guilt. Guilt asks you to take an honest look at your actions and figure out a way to do it better. Guilt doesn’t give up on you. Guilt believes in you and all you are capable of. Guilt helps you to course correct so you can do better next time.

So, what are you hiding?

Whatever it is, as long as it stays hidden it will continue to grow, impacting your decisions and your actions and most of all your ability to feel worthy enough to receive.

It doesn’t matter how many self help books you read, how long you sit in meditation or how many affirmations you say to yourself in the mirror, As long as you hide, you will unconsciously side with team shame and you will struggle to perceive, let alone, receive the abundance that is there for you.

But when you shine a light on shame, you realize that there was gold hiding underneath that facade. Those “flaws” end up being your most fascinating and lovable personality traits. Those “mistakes” become the exact feedback you need to move forward. The past, when shared, heals you and heals others too. Everything about you that you hide is a source of inspiration.

And that’s when it hits you: You Are Enough. You are so ridiculously more than enough. You are the living, breathing embodiment of abundance.

Here are 3 steps to uncover your “enoughness”:

1. Just say NO to black or white thinking. Or dichotomous thinking as psychologists call it… It’s the tendency to see things in black or white. While most of us understand on a logical level that everything is a shade of grey, the majority of us label our personality traits or our past as either “good” or “bad.” Everything, I mean everything, encompasses both the shadow and the light. Here’s my guarantee, your flaws, your mistakes, even the tragedies you have endured make you special in a powerful way that no one else can claim.

2. Uncover your shame. There is no such thing as a bad personality, only a stifled one. Here are some questions to help you access your hidden shame:

  • What about yourself do you consider your biggest flaws?
  • What do you hide about yourself?
  • What are some things you enjoy that you don’t want anyone to know about?
  • What bugs you about other people (you spot it, you got it as they say)

3. Take everything you can find about yourself that you have been hiding underneath a façade of likability, perfection and selflessness and reframe it into a positive trait immediately.

To give you an example, I love to watch reality TV. I used to be embarrassed about it. I thought it proved I was a superficial and shallow person. When I reframe my obsession with Survivor (my favorite) as a positive, I see that it doesn’t make me superficial. Quite the opposite in fact. I like reality TV because I find people fascinating. I want to see beyond the facade and know them on a deeper level. Not sure if this is what I truly get when I watch a show like Survivor, but it’s why I gravitate to the genre. And it’s what makes me a great life coach.

Never forget, when you hide Who You Are, you render invisible the very parts of you that fascinate, heal and inspire the people you were meant to serve.

You are the living, breathing embodiment of enough.

So… What are you hiding? How could this actually be your gold? Leave a comment below because I LOVE that!

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I need YOU

As you may know I’m on a crusade. I want everyone to know about The Approval Trap – the secret reason woman on a mission struggle to magnetize to them the people they were meant to serve, make an amazing living and finally making the impact they want to make in the world.

Which is why I entered a contest!

It’s called “I Want to Be a Telesummit Star” and if I get enough votes, I’ll be one of the speakers in this online event. And most important: I’ll be able to reach thousands and thousands of new souls with my message.

Which is why I need your help!

You can vote for me by clicking this link and signing up for the telesummit. When you sign up, you not only register your vote for me (the link above will track your vote), but you’ll be able to participate in the series for free. Some of the presentations have already happened but there are many more good ones to come. For change agents featuring speakers by change agents, it’s all about the mindset you need to kick butt in biz.

It’s a win-win!

Here’s my entry video:

So, vote for me now by clicking here to sign up.

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The Real Truth About “Too Busy”

Guest post by Jill Farmer

You might classify my prim neighbor slipping on cat vomit in my dining room, our laptop’s violent explosion caused by a build up of unread e-mails, and dropping my daughter off at camp two weeks before counselors arrived, as a series of unrelated (albeit unfortunate) events.

But they were all related—related to my lack of time.

Who has the luxury of enough time to clean up the cat puke, read all the e-mails, and remember mundane details like camp start dates?

I lived my life trying to prove I had less time than any other human being on the planet. If people would just concede I was “the busiest,” then they would approve of me and of my shortcomings. I just needed to get and stay busy for others to see how important, relevant and worthwhile I really was.

Except… that didn’t work.

Countless hours of wailing and gnashing my teeth and a couple of near-breakdowns showed me, as is often the case, I pretty much had it totally wrong. And, I’m not alone.

I hear it all the time, “Jill, I’d LOVE to spend more time praying, meditating, reading, spending time with friends, exercising (fill in the blank, here…) But, I’m just too busy.”

Here’s the thing. Being busy is a choice.


I believe you’re screaming “You’re so flipping WRONG, Jill,” in your head at me. That’s okay, I can hack it. Take a deep breath and play along for just a minute. Even though very few of us write “Have To Do” on the top of our to-do list, it’s often what we’re thinking.

“I have to cook dinner.”
“I have to pick up my kids.”
“I have to clean the house.”
“I have to go to work.”

But, that’s not really true. I don’t have to do anything but breathe today. Everything else I’m doing is a choice.

“But, but, but,” you may be saying. “The first three things on your example, I’ll give you. Those may be choices. But, I have to go to work, or I’ll lose my job, and then I won’t have enough money to pay my mortgage, and then I’ll lose my house.” That does not feel like a choice.

In reality, you choose to go to work because you don’t like the potential consequences of losing your job. It is still a choice. It’s a perfectly good choice. But, it is still a choice.

And, quite often, the things we tell ourselves we have to do are really choices we make to try to get everyone else’s approval.

So, it’s not surprising that most of us forget, or at least our fear-brains conveniently forget, our level of busyness is also a choice.

New York Time writer, author and cartoonist Tim Kreider writes, “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”

Unwinding the Busy

Week after week, Trey, a client of mine with a fast-paced career in the entertainment industry, pelted me with a list of reasons he was far to busy to do anything for himself. I asked Trey to rate his busyness on a scale of one to ten.
“Eleven,”  he said.

He indignantly reminded me, if he didn’t take care of his customers, then his company would fold. I asked Trey to list what had him so busy. Here’s what he wrote:
1) Client phone calls
2) Client e-mails
3) Accounting and paperwork
4) House stuff
5) Kid/family stuff
6) Making sure everyone is happy.

You don’t have to be a life coach to see #6 on his list is where Trey may have been tripping himself up. His fear of others’ disapproval (his family, his clients, even his competitors) rendered him unable to risk being still.

I asked Trey to try an experiment. For just a week, I encouraged him to focus on the things that made him happy. His list:
1) Creating fabulous scripts
2) Project development
3) Being outside
4) Laughing with his kids
5) Clearing off his desk
6) Working out

Reluctantly, he agreed to give it a shot. He was quite sure if he focused on the list of things that made him happy, he would fall woefully behind at work, and his business would crumble.

But, a week later, Trey was amazed at how energized he felt. I asked him to rate how busy he’d been the previous week. “About a 4,” he said. And, even though he reported being so much less busy, Trey’s productivity was off the charts. He finished an entire script. Ideas flowed so fast, he couldn’t write them all down. He had more fun with his wife and kids than he remembered in a long time.

Why the enormous shift? Trey didn’t stop doing everything. He just started doing things that made his soul sing. Everything felt in better alignment and flowed better in that space. When he stopped trying to make every one else happy, he was able to get calm, clear and connected? Terrific proof that’s the best place to get stuff done.

List Three Things you can do that make you happy that are currently being squeezed out by your busyness:

Now, conduct an experiment. For a week, do each of the things you listed. Then, notice what happens to your contentment and to your productivity.

Next, try the ultimate test, dare to be the least busy person you know. Your competitors in the “who can be the busiest” contest may not approve of your blatant calm clarity and contentment.

But, I have a hunch you’ll still feel like a winner.

So… What are 3 things you do that make you happy that are currently being squeezed out by busy? Post a comment to the blog. Because I LOVE that!

Jill Farmer is the author of “There’s Not Enough Time: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves,” from which this is excerpted. It’s scheduled to be published late in the fall of 2012. She’s a speaker, life coach, enlivener, mom, retired TV reporter and lover of tea and great boots. You can stay connected with Jill by signing up for her newsletter here.

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If you look it up in the dictionary, the definition isn’t pleasant:

\ vul•ner•a•ble: capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or being open to attack or damage. \


Well, I disagree with the dictionary.

Granted, there is a kind of vulnerable that is truly dangerous. It involves walking alone down a dark alley in the middle of the night. That’s physical vulnerability.

Emotional vulnerability or physical vulnerability?

But physical vulnerability is not the same as emotional vulnerability.

Too many people believe being emotionally vulnerable is dangerous. We fear it opens us up to attack or physical or emotional damage.

To protect ourselves we put up a persona of perfection, likeability and/or selflessness. We hide Who We Really Are underneath this façade. We think we’re protecting ourselves.

So here’s the REAL truth about emotionally vulnerability:

1 ) When you hide Who You Really Are to avoid being vulnerable, you pre-emptively reject yourself to avoid the possibility of rejection.

The logic goes something like… I don’t think I’m good enough to write that post so I’ll pass at it because no one will like it anyway.

Do you see the flawed logic? You reject yourself to avoid the very possibility of rejection.

2) You’re already uncomfortable!

You avoid vulnerability to avoid rejection but all the while you feel highly uncomfortable avoiding emotional vulnerability by trying to be someone you are not.

See the flawed logic with this one as well? You want to avoid discomfort hence you hide but the persona you use to hide is the root of your discomfort.

3) No one can emotionally wound you. Only you can do that.

Say you have a wild wish to wear that purple dress that feels 100 % like you and you haven’t had the nerve to do it until now. Then while you’re out and about, someone approaches you and tells you look fat.

Now granted this is a very rude person, she did not wound you. What if she came up to you and told you your hair was on fire? You would probably laugh. But when she says you look fat, you feel wounded.


Because you believe some kind of lie that has to do with the idea of fat. You believe that it makes you less worthy. And this very rude gal is simply holding up a mirror to your own belief system. She is reminding you that you think fat = unworthy. And when you feel wounded, you wound yourself by making “fat” mean you are not worthy of your favorite purple dress.

4) Emotional vulnerability is key to connection, in your relationships, and most importantly with yourself

Think about your closest relationships, they’re close because you’ve allowed these people to see beyond the façade, to really see you. When you pretend to be perfect, when you strain to be likeable, when you go to great lengths to demonstrate your selflessness, you cut other people off from the real you. You render yourself invisible to your tribe.

Last and most important:

Emotional vulnerability connects you to yourself. It’s only when you give yourself permission to be vulnerable, to make mistakes, to fail, to have “flaws” that you can grow.

When you allow yourself to be vulnerable to yourself – without beating the crap out of yourself in your head — you can heal, change, transform. When you buy into “the voice,” when you believe that you have to have your shit together (and why isn’t my shit together and what the hell is my problem, and you must be joking if you think you can pull that off…), you will never be able to connect with yourself long enough to get clarity about your real desires, your true purpose or the unique contribution only you can make. Because who wants listen to that voice?

5) Emotional vulnerability is fascinating

A students in my five part coaching series, Be Brazen, wrote  some very flattering things about me in a blog post. She said I’m photogenic, good at stuff, the life of the party…

BUT, she wrote, it’s my honesty– about my struggles, my many mistakes, my shortcomings — not my success that makes me so loveable in her eyes.

If she hadn’t mentioned my willingness to be honest about all that stuff, I would have probably appeared a very dull protagonist – one you wouldn’t connect with or root for.

And this is my point about vulnerability. We human beings love it when other people are  vulnerable. It gives us the courage to be vulnerable too. It’s also just a lot more interesting because REAL fascinates us.

So there you have it. Don’t you think it’s time to drop that shiny and sparkly façade and show us who you really are? You’ll be glad you did.

Start here. Tell us what makes you feel vulnerable? Why?

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You Are So Not The Boss of Me

Guest post by Adriane Nichols

(Note from Amy: Adriane Nichols is a current participant in my five week coaching program, Be Brazen. She is a bad-ass brazenista who happens to be freakishly down to earth and whose writing is always a joy for me to read, even irreverent emails sent after witnessing bizarre traffic infractions.)

I am a little sister…

I have a big sister. When we were kids, she could do anything. She could ride horses, arm-wrestle, play tetherball, and she was never afraid on the playground (all practically death defying undertakings to a puny little sister). Of her omnipotence I was more certain than of the fact of my own birth. Being a big sister, she could also expertly terrorize me. One of her favorite things was to tell me that because I had no birthmark it meant I had never been born. Insert totally confused little sister emoticon here.

I Played the “Little Sister” in All My Relationships

I held my sister, who called herself Justine The Great, in such high regard that I never quite developed the ability to see anything she said as wrong (even the part about my never being born). No matter how sweet or crappy she treated me, I saw her as knowing everything. And then I grew up and I forgot to read all those books about birth order that could have explained a whole lot about how I saw the world and how I related to others. In short, I played the little sister in all of my relationships (even with my stepsisters, who are technically little sisters). This paradigm reached an agonizing critical mass when I was getting divorced.

A Fantasy/Denial Combo

My habit of projecting awesome big sister-dome onto every person who crossed my path was the fantasy/denial combo that kept me from feeling the most terrifying thing possible: Ultimately, I was gonna have to figure this divorce thing out for myself.

While I am a total lover of good old-fashioned guidance, TLC, and fabulous legal representation, what I was seeking was something else. I wanted other people to solve my problems. I didn’t think I could do it. I thought everybody else was smarter than me. I did manage to put one foot in front of the other, but with every step I was certain that I was doing it wrong. For me the answer was to look to all my fearless tether-balling big sister brethren and ask them what the hell I should be feeling, thinking, and doing several times a day.

“The thing is when you act like you don’t know what you are doing, people will start treating you like that is so”

They will grant you your wish and inform you of what you should be doing. They will express opinions about things large and small. And then their friends, whom you’ve never met, will start chiming in. Until all you can hear is the din of conflicting advice that all shares the same awful subtext: You are clueless and you are, in fact, doing this whole thing wrong.

“You need to sell your house./ Don’t ever leave your house-you’ll never make it back into such a nice neighborhood./ You have no business driving that BMW./ Don’t sell the car!/Don’t date for at least a year./ You need to sleep with your husband’s cutest friend as soon as possible./ Stay away from match.com./ Have you tried match.com?/ My friend in Seattle says the guy you’re dating from match.com is an asshole.”

Ouchie Wawa

Reflecting back, all I can say is ouchie wawa. But I asked for it. This was my doing. We do indeed teach people how to treat us. I really needed help during that time. The care of my family, friends, and that dude in Seattle I’ve never met, did buoy me up. But I had to stop being such a baby, as Justine the Great would say. I needed to grow up and take responsibility for my own darn life. I don’t know how it happened. All I know is that at some point I had this really revolutionary thought: I want to make my own mistakes.

A Revolutionary Thought: I Want to Make My Own Mistakes

This idea was so comforting that I started to follow it like a pinpoint of light in a pitch-black tunnel. It was very faint at first, but the more I followed this logic the brighter the light got and the more I felt like I was getting somewhere that I actually wanted to go. I was discovering what it felt like to really listen to my instincts. And by following my instincts one of two things happened. Option one, something great. Or option two, some big hairy mistake that contained a lesson tailor made for me. This was exhilarating. Who would have thought mistakes could be so cool? Maybe my life would not look great to other people, I decided. But, as much as I could, I wanted to take my life by the tetherballs.

So, for all you math geeks, here’s how the equation shakes out:

Making Mistakes = Pain + Humiliation + God almighty why did that have to happen?

Making Mistakes = Usually pain + Often mortification + I am learning precisely the things that I need to learn + Learning these things is making my life better + Yay!

Living this way takes me into territory that I consider pretty dorky and not that evolved. I do sort of worship at the altar of Taylor Swift. I like glitter nail polish and the promise of true love in a Nora Roberts romance novel. What am I gonna do? Read Nietzsche so that guy in Seattle won’t judge my dating? Did they even have glitter nail polish when Nietzsche was around? I think not. So, I will lean on my loved ones and most likely continue to gorge on self-help books. I have a lot to learn, people. But at the end of the day (or beginning), I want to put on some groovy big girl panties-La Perla would be nice- and make my own mistakes.

Adriane Nichols is an actress/writer/mom. She is a Southern California native and is still totally in the midst of a radical life makeover. She blogs infrequently at adrianenichols.com.

So…. Do YOU let yourself make your own mistakes? Yes or no? We want to hear about it. Here. On this blog. Down there in the comments section. Because I love that!

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The Great Rejection Hoax

Early last Saturday morning I was outside with my kids when I noticed my new neighbor running by. I watched as he and his little boy ran over to the house across the street. The little boy who lives there came out to greet them and they all bounded off together.

I immediately thought to myself, “Wow… those guys are sure close in a hurry.” And in the pit of my stomach I felt rejected.

This feeling is not new to me. Just last week I posted a status update to my Facebook wall:

“I’m not gonna lie. Facebook is bringing up my shit. Signing off.”

What happened was I saw some photos of good friends at the beach. I was hurt that they hadn’t invited me and my family. I assumed they had deliberately chosen not to mention the trip to me. Rejected again.

Rejection Sensitivity

I suffer from what psychologists call “Rejection Sensitivity.” It’s a tendency to “anxiously expect, readily perceive, and over-react to social rejection.”

I find that a lot of self described approval addicts have it. Many describe trauma in childhood — alcoholism, violence, abuse, an unstable or unpredictable home life. Some experience social exclusion at school– bullying is a biggie. Some report having a pretty mild childhood but encounter some kind of social exclusion as adults.

However it’s acquired, one of the consequences is a kind of paranoia about rejection.


Me as case in point… The neighbors, I learned later, had actually sent a text to my husband that morning which he missed. Apparently their little girl had fallen off the bed and hurt her head. The reason the new neighbor was running to their house that morning was to watch their son while they rushed to the hospital.

Those friends at the beach? They actually had invited me. In that moment it totally slipped my mind. (Ironically when I shared this story with a client, she confessed that she thought I posted that status update because I was annoyed at her!)

People with rejection sensitivity interpret ambiguous social situations as rejection.

For example…

You might feel mortified when an old friend doesn’t respond to your friend request. Or you might interpret a sour look from the guy sitting next to you on the plane as a sign he’s annoyed at your fidgeting. Maybe you come to the conclusion that your sister disapproves of your parenting because she couldn’t make it to your son’s birthday party.

We glob onto these stories as a way to protect ourselves from further rejection but what ends up happening is we undermine our ability to connect with other people.

Here’s the Fix

So if you find yourself on constant alert for rejection, what you have to do is switch your story. Change that rejection narrative immediately!

Your first reaction might be to send a whiny email to your friend, or phone your mother to complain about your sister or shoot sour looks in retaliation.

But this will only create what you fear. Your sad story of rejection will lead you to feel crappy which will lead you to act defensive or angry at the people around you leading them to run for the hills rather than hang out with you.

So when you encounter a social situation that makes your brain scream “rejection!” stop making it all about you and figure out a new thought that brings you some relief.

Because there are a million ways to interpret a social situation. If you’re going to make up a story about it, you might as well make one up that leads to some good.

That guy on the plane for example who shot you a sour look? Maybe he has gas. Maybe he just got a nasty text from his mistress. Maybe his pants are too tight…

The point is, you don’t know! When you make the sour look mean he rejects you, you will surely have a miserable flight. If you make that sour look mean something else that brings you relief, you might actually end up figuring out a way to feel compassion for that guy. And who knows, he might need you to hunt down some Pepto Bismal for him.


So…. Does your brain scream “rejection!” or do you have it more or less under control? Share your experience below in the comments section below. Because I LOVE that!

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Guest post by Mindy Crary

[Note: I just love this guest post by financial coach Mindy Crary, a self-described approval addict in recovery. There is so much wisdom about how our approval addiction shows up in our financial life. Good stuff!]

I am a recovering approval addict.  I used to believe that I was responsible for (and that I had control over) everything that happened in my life, so I spent countless dollars trying to make my life as “perfect” as possible.

In my first serious relationship, I used all of my money to help my boyfriend become an independent filmmaker. Even though we didn’t live together, I paid for all of our food, entertainment and vacations, as well as bought him equipment to help his career.

At the time, I just thought I was being generous.  It wasn’t until years later that I had the clarity to realize I was trying to control my boyfriend into having the “perfect” career that I could brag about.  That I thought maybe someday, he would make the same sacrifices for me and “prove” his love.

I wasted thousands of dollars because I was trying to get from someone else the things I could only give myself–love, support, time and security.

Are YOU damaging your financial life with your approval addiction?  Here are 7 questions to self assess.

Do you use money to…

1. Try to be perfect?  Perfection is costly to maintain: perfect home, furniture, décor, car, clothes . . . when you aren’t concerned with being perfect, your spending accurately reflects what you really value.  But when you succumb to approval addiction, you might even catch yourself trying to “perfect” a spouse or child, if you believe something about them reflects poorly on you.

2. Ignore your needs and try to please other people?  I remember once I drove 45 minutes both ways to network with someone—I never even considered the possibility of meeting in the middle!  Approval addicts waste a lot of time and money catering to what other people want, mostly because you haven’t stopped to think about what it is you actually want for yourself.

3. Give to others excessively? I used to be a lavish gift giver . . . I would plan holiday gifts MONTHS in advance, and give gifts to mere acquaintances.  In relationships, I always had the perfect gift for each occasion, often giving more than I got back.

4. Jump into other people’s problems?  Because I always gave SO much to everyone in my life, I felt I earned this “right” to provide advice and input.  I kept tabs on everyone and had an opinion on every action they took.  It never occurred to me NOT to drop everything and insert myself.  The need to help was compulsive

5. Pay for things because you don’t know how to establish boundaries?  How many times did I go to dinners, trips and events, just because I couldn’t say no?  It never occurred to me that “no” was an option.  I wasted countless dollars doing things I never even cared about.

6. Avoid thinking about yourself and instead focus on what your spouse and children want?  As a approval addict, I spent so much time focused on my loved ones, that I lost sight of what made me happy.  I never spent much money on myself because I honestly didn’t KNOW what I wanted.  But I sure knew what my loved ones wanted (or, I THOUGHT I knew), so I spent a lot of money on them!

7.  Try to make people care about you as much as you care about them?  As an approval addict, you might spend A LOT of time figuring out (or TRYING to figure out) what other people are thinking; how dare they not spend the same amount of time thinking about you!  So to try and get the attention you want from someone, you might spend lavishly.

Try This Analogy To Save You Money

The first step to recovery is realizing that as hard as you try, your path to “perfect” isn’t getting you what you ultimately want out of life—be that wealth, love or something else.  You have to realize that you’ll never reach your destination when you’re making “perfect” the priority.

I’ve found that I have to tell myself—even now, years later—that I’m ONLY responsible for my part of any relationship.  I find this analogy be especially useful:

I’m not alone in the boat, therefore, I’m not solely responsible for rowing . . . in fact, every now and then, I need to STOP rowing the boat to make sure that others in the boat are right there with me, rowing along and doing their share.  I don’t need to tell anyone how to row a boat or help them see that they’re not rowing (that’s their own business).  And, I don’t need to maintain relationships where other people in the boat aren’t rowing.

This analogy has saved me countless relationships and dollars.  Now, I know that my first step with any decision involving money and other people is to ask myself, am I using money to help row the boat, or is this MY part of an equitable relationship?  Once you’re clear about what you want, you’ll make better decisions not just around your money, but in all areas of your life.

So…. How is your Approval Addiction costing YOU money? Share your experience below in the comments section. Because Mindy and I LOVE that!

Mindy Crary (MBA, CFP® practitioner and financial coach at CreativeMoney) helps you become a lot more educated (never inundated) about not just your money — but the whackjob behind it.  Go to Creative Money to download the free ebook,Getting Started with Spending.

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And the winner is…

Congratulations Heather! You won a free spot in my one of a kind five week coaching program, “Be Brazen” ($497 value)! I loved your entry and I am SO excited to have you!

A huge thank you to all the amazing women who participated. I was so inspired by your tweets and your posts that I decided to gift each of a you a copy of The Coach Yo’Self Toolkit ($57) — my absolute can’t live without favorite tools for self coaching.

Big humongous love to each of you!

(Click here to read the entries)



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Want a free spot in my five-week coaching program “Be Brazen”?

I’m having a contest!

I loaded this program with the mindset and the groundbreaking tactics every confident, change making, status quo busting, awe inspiring woman on a mission needs to know to kick ass in biz and life, magnetize her tribe and make great money doing it.

It’s for you if you’re an entrepreneur, coach, healer or leader and you know you need to drop the approval drama once and for all so you can do epic shit in the world the way only YOU can.

Here are some of the shifts and transformations you can expect after joining me in Be Brazen:

  • Clarity! A sense of purpose and direction in your biz and in life
  • Bye bye overwhelm. You’ll know your priorities and bid adieu to time-sucking stuff that used to bog you down.
  • You’ll voice your ideas with confidence without coming off arrogant or conceited.
  • You’ll stop being phobic about trying new things.
  • You’ll charge what you want without apology energy.
  • You’ll be able to ask for what you want when you need it (and keep your head up high).
  • You’ll create real connections with other people, no more superficial shop talk with other coaches or surfacy small talk at networking events
  • You’ll form a supertribe to experience what true belonging is like (and get the support you need)
  • You’ll learn how to actually say no (without spending the next 48 hours obsessing over it) and set healthy boundaries with your clients
  • You’ll regain lost stores of energy and creativity
  • You will drop kick the habit of worrying about other people’s opinions of you
  • You will learn how to channel criticism in a crazy-productive way to improve your business and life
  • You will stop sacrificing yourself at the alter of other people’s needs so you can have more time do your work in the world
  • You will learn how to literally magnetize your ideal client to you
  • You’ll access buckets of inner charisma that you didn’t even know you had to inspire other people to share their truth with the world (and hire you)
  • You’ll learn how to stop Energy Vampires and Debby Downers from sucking up all of your time an energy
  • And lots more!

I’ll be sharing the exact strategies I used to escape The Approval Trap so I could stand up and Be Brazen (and start experiencing major results in my business!).

So…how can you win a spot, you ask? 

I’m giving away one seat to my upcoming 5 week coaching program “Be Brazen” valued at $497! 

Two Ways You Can Win: 

1)     Twitter – all you have to do is click here to tweet the information below to enter!

I want to win a ticket to @pearsonamy ‘s 5 week coaching program “Be Brazen” http://bit.ly/T1tDiB #winbb

You can tweet to enter twice per day, each tweet will gain you one entry. All tweets must have the #winbb to enter!

2)   Written Entry – Write about how you represent a “woman on a mission” and how you want to get over the approval drama and play a bigger game in the world. A written submission will gain two entries and can only be submitted once.  Post your submission as a reply  below. 

Details to remember:

  1. You can enter to win via both entry ways 1 and 2.
  2. Tweets must contain #winbb to win
  3. The deadline is Friday, September 7th at midnight PST.

Good luck! I look forward to “seeing” you on my upcoming no cost training call September 5th. Click here if you have not yet joined!


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