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What Kept Me Stuck For Years

Today I want to talk about how stuck I was in my life for so many years (and I really had no idea that I was stuck). I had a really great life--I had three healthy children, a loving husband, and a satisfying career as a psychotherapist. But I never felt really satisfied. I never felt that sense of peace and contentment that I was really craving.

And that is because I spent many years waiting for the circumstances of my life to match the ideal picture that I had in my mind. I spent so much energy focusing on why my private practice as a therapist was sometimes not as busy as I wanted it to be. I was making pretty good money and definitely making a difference in people’s lives. But I knew deep down that I could have a bigger reach and a greater impact. I found myself often frustrated and stuck about how to make this a reality and worried about whether I would ever make my dreams come true to write a book and speak to large audiences. 

I also spent years in frustration and worry about my kids. Was my oldest son confident in himself? Was my middle son getting enough attention from me? Will my daughter keep her spunky spirit? And because of my worry, I spent years trying to control and fix my kids’ lives which often led to battles and frustration. (Lots and lots of frustration!)

The pendulum basically swung from frustration about my practice to worry about my kids. That was the daily narrative in my mind every day...and it was this way for years! This pendulum of frustration and worry affected my mood, my connections to my family, and to my overall satisfaction in my life.

What I didn’t realize for so long was that I was waiting for the circumstances of my life to change so that I could feel the peace and contentment I was craving. I would be happy if I could have more clients, figure out how to write that book, speak to larger audiences or if my kids would just behave the way I wanted them to. I focused on trying to fix my external world so that I could feel how I wanted to feel. 

The more I tried to fix, control and perfect, the more frustrated I felt. And then I would try to fix some more which led to more frustration. And I was completely blind to this.  

What I didn’t realize for all of those years, was the old, unconscious, habitual and conditioned beliefs that were ruling my mind.  These are the beliefs of my Inner Critic. We all have this running commentary in our mind, but most people don’t recognize it as the Inner Critic.

Most people think they are the running commentary of their Inner Critic and let that voice dictate how life goes.  I was completely unaware that. And the thing is that my surface beliefs are that I am a really great therapist and life coach. I’m confident and I am someone who easily connects to people. But my Inner Critic’s underlying belief is that I’m really not good enough. 

Deep down, I thought that the people who were making a bigger impact had something that I didn’t have and knew something I didn’t know. And because of those beliefs lurking below the surface, I kept taking the same actions I had always taken before in my life. 

I led workshops locally to very small groups. Which was GREAT but just not the reach I wanted.

I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, but not in a way that would terrify me. Just in a way that would make me slightly uncomfortable.

With my relationship with my kids, I stayed focused on changing their circumstances and their behavior instead of really looking at the relationship with them that I wanted to create. 

I did not have crystal clear clarity about the goals I really wanted to achieve. I just did a lot of complaining about the circumstances and a lot of hoping, both a favorite pastime of my Inner Critic. I had goals that I was really interested in, but not committed to.

And that’s true for most people. When you get committed to your goals, you stop at nothing in order to achieve them. You do whatever it takes and you don’t let anything get in your way.  And most people have reasons for why the circumstances are the way they are and hope they can achieve their goals. 

That was me for a long time. Hoping that you can achieve your goals is what keeps them in the realm of dreams as opposed to reality.  I had to get crystal clear on what I wanted to achieve in my business and my relationship with my kids, which were the two areas where I was suffering the most. 

I had to stop using my old mind to create my life. Because the mind that kept me stuck in worry and frustration was not going to design a new future. It was actually just going to keep having me create more of what I already had which was not at all bad, mind you. It was really fine!

I am not interested in a fine life. I am interested in a life in which I am playing to the fullest and manifesting my wildest dreams into reality. So, I hadn’t set the bullseye.  I had been practicing personal growth and development since the age of 19 so I had a lot of tools. But nothing really changed until I learned the key: I could no longer take guidance from my mind.

I had to learn to rewire my mind and actually create a new mind to design my future with.  And that is when I first developed the concept of Dethroning Your Inner Critic. When I separated myself from my old mind, I became unstoppable because I saw that what I really needed to do was get out of my own way and break the habit of being ME!

I needed to know exactly where I was going, write it down, and visualize it every day like this was already my life.  Just the act of writing down what I wanted to achieve in my business and in my relationship with my kids got my mind, my emotions and my actions in line with manifesting all of it.

This is when the magic began to happen for me. Some people call this the law of attraction, but there is actually science that backs this up. Your brain gets focused on your new beliefs that you intentionally cultivate. 

You have to break the habit of letting your old mind dictate how your future will go. Most people get into trouble when they have bad habits of thinking that don’t have them focus on their goal every day. Because when you focus on your goal every day, you set a map inside your mind so that your brain begins to see things in your life that match up with the goal.

Most people don’t write down their goals clearly and precisely, and even if they do, they don’t look at them on a daily basis.  You need to create a blueprint for how to get there. So my blueprint for my business became that I am a thought leader having a global impact, teaching people all over the world to master their minds and design their new future.

I started to reach out to other influencers. I learned about marketing, how to create online programs, and how to write book proposals. I partnered with a brilliant corporate coach named Emily Golden for 2 years, who taught me things I didn’t even know I needed to learn. 

My blueprint for my relationship with my kids continues to be to let go and just love them no matter what. To let go of my attachments to how I think their lives should go. To provide teaching and support but to also practice surrender and acceptance. For both of these areas in my life, I had to learn to change the habits of thinking, feeling, and action that I was locked into.

See, people get locked in a habitual loop of thoughts, feelings, and actions and then get accustomed to doing life like this every day. Our brain is lazy and it wants to think the same automatic thoughts that it has always thought.

Your current habits of thoughts, feelings, and actions are 100% aligned towards achieving exactly what you have already achieved. I had to wake up to this idea before my life began to change. I didn’t even recognize that my mind had the exact same thoughts every day for years, which created the same feelings, which created the same behaviors.

If you want to create a new life, you have to create new habits of thinking, feeling and acting that will get your life to match the dream that you are wanting to create. 

Every day when you wake up, you have the same triggers that give you the same thoughts, feelings and actions. We do what we do because we think that it is going to make us feel a particular way. But we get blind to the fact that these habits are exactly what keeps us feeling the same way--the way we say we don’t want to feel. 

When we change the habitual thoughts, we can actually change how we feel and then how we behave.  In order to change your life, you have to break the habit of being who you are. You have habits that you have been engaged in for most of your life that make you, YOU.  And unless you change those habits that you have built up for years (or even decades) you will not change the way your life looks. You can set goals and even create the strategies to get the goal, but it is your habits of thought that drive your behavior every single day. 

Even if you have your goals and strategies, if you are not changing the habits of thought that have created your life so far you will never get there. When your habitual thoughts don’t change, nothing else will change.

Some of you don’t even know what your habitual thoughts are because you haven’t stopped to pay attention. You need to be aware of your automatic thoughts that lead to your automatic feelings and lead to the same routine behaviors you’ve been engaged in for years, like complaining, being frustrated, having anxious thoughts, feeling helpless, lacking confidence, blaming other people or circumstances for why you feel how you feel. Otherwise you will be on autopilot and will stay a creature of habit.  

People get locked in a habit loop which is what they get accustomed to doing every day. Our brain is lazy and it wants to think the same automatic thoughts that it has always thought.  Your current habits are 100% geared towards achieving exactly what you have already achieved. If you want to create a new future, you have to create new habits of thinking, feeling and acting that will get your life to match the dream that you are wanting to create.  

Because the triggers will continue.  When my kids are behaving in ways that don’t match my ideal pictures, you bet I get triggered!  But it’s what I am going to think when the trigger comes that is going to change my actions. I have to first think about my goal to stay loving, calm and connected no matter what, and then take an action that is consistent with that goal even if I’m upset. I have goals in my business that I haven’t yet achieved. I have to become the person that can achieve that goal in my mind first. 

I mentioned earlier that there are two types of beliefs.  The first kind of belief is the surface belief or what we say we believe.  You can say, “I believe that I can lose weight, I believe that I can grow my business, I believe I can be successful, I believe that I can create the relationship I want” but if you don’t have the results you want, it is because your behavior does not fully reflect the belief. 

For years, I believed that I could create my dream business and I could transform my frustration with my kids. But my life didn’t fully match those beliefs. And that is because I wasn’t aware of my underlying, unconscious beliefs, the beliefs that lie underneath the surface. Those are what you think about in secret to be true about you:

Am I smart enough?

What if I fail?

What if I’m not good enough?

Do I deserve this?

Can I really do this?

These underlying beliefs cause you to doubt yourself and question your abilities. This is your Inner Critic who has been with you for forever and will never really leave you. If you don’t learn to master your mind, your Inner Critic's beliefs and your habits go hand in hand.  It is your Inner Critic's beliefs that drive your behavior.

If you’re going to change how your life goes, you have to learn to manage the underlying beliefs of your Inner Critic. If you don’t learn to manage your mind, you will do the work. But when life doesn’t go as smoothly as you had wanted, your Inner Critic will start her incessant and forever running commentary and that’s when you’ll lose hope and start to doubt yourself.   

Here’s what also trips people up:  When you are setting an intention to transform some aspect of your life, many people think they need to know the exact strategies, methods, and tactics that will get them to their goal. So until they know exactly what they want and how to get there, they become paralyzed.

But this is not at all the case. You don’t have to know ahead of time how you’re going to do it. You just have to visit your intention in your mind every day and ask yourself, “Are my thoughts, feelings, and actions consistent with the life I am designing?" 

When I began to create my clear vision for my career and relationship goals, I didn’t really know exactly what my goals were. I just knew that I wanted to make a bigger impact and I wanted to stop being frustrated and worried so often.  So I had to see my beliefs like, “I’m good but I’m just not good enough” or “If I were a better mom, my kids wouldn’t act this way” as nothing more than really old computer programming that came from my childhood.

I didn’t even understand where they came from!  You don’t have to have experienced any serious trauma or pain to have these underlying beliefs. We all have an Inner Critic, which is a culmination of patterns of thoughts that have been created from your upbringing, what your parents or siblings said, your teachers said, our culture has said.  

God gave you and I the amazing ability to set goals. We are different than animals in this regard. But we need to stop looking to our past to determine what we believe to be true.  For any goal any of us have, it’s pretty easy to find the strategies to accomplish the goal, whether that’s in business, weight loss, health, relationships.  There are people that have already achieved these goals and are happy to share the strategies.

That’s not where the real work lies. The real work lies in no longer listening to the underlying beliefs of your Inner Critic.  

You have to visualize the life you want as though it has already happened and experience the emotion that comes with that new life. Your Inner Critic will continue to have the same underlying beliefs, but you are not going to pay attention to your Inner Critic's voice. 

Instead, you’re going to keep visualizing those goals as though they have already been achieved and actually experience the emotions ahead of time when you achieve them. You visualize this every day as though it is already real.

This is what changes your life.  This is how I have created a business that is truly blowing my mind. I have the same old, habitual beliefs that creep into my mind. But I visualize daily how I feel when I am teaching hundreds of people to master their minds and help them design and live their greatest life. 

When my Inner Critic rants, I don’t listen. This is how I change my beliefs from the inside out. Because even if your automatic mind is still shouting all of the same negativity, when you see your new life in your mind’s eye you are rewiring your brain to search for the things in your life that will achieve your goals. That’s the science of your brain.

If you do this consistently, this becomes your new habit. And if you do a little bit every day of the right habits of thought, this compounds over time. You start to believe that you are actually good enough, smart enough, and deserve to achieve your goals. Even if your Inner Critic still tells you the same stuff, she’s always told you.  You engrain your new thoughts into your mind simply by introducing that new habit of thought over and over, which creates new feelings and new actions, which over time transforms your life.

And when you believe it from the inside out, you start to feel differently NOW--not once you get there. Because when you feel differently, you start to take different actions. You can’t set big goals for yourself without learning how to master your mind.  The only way to achieve big goals is to rewire a new mind.  

I want to make a huge difference in the world and share talents and gifts so that people love their life.  Because life is meant to be lived to the fullest and to experience the joy, love, and connection that is available to each and every one of us.  

Attracting the tools, resources, and people that you need to achieve your goals comes down to this: You don’t attract what you need.  You attract what you already are. 

When you become what it is that you want to achieve, you are like a Hollywood actress who practices a script month after month by rehearsing the lines every day with emotion until she becomes the character she is portraying. 

If you want to achieve your goals, you have to be and own that role already. When you understand exactly how to use your mind to no longer let your fears, doubts and insecurities hold you back from the life you want, this is when your whole life changes.  


Is Your Inner Critic Keeping You From Success?

Find out what your Inner Critic is saying to sabotage your success and how you can move past her limiting beliefs. 


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