125 posts categorized "CHANGING ME, CHANGES WE"

May 28, 2014

Why Does He Keep Doing This to Me?

IStock_000000381585_ExtraSmallHave you ever found yourself in the same painful situation with the same person time and time again and wondered why that person keeps hurting you? If so, you’re not alone. Many women wonder:
•    How could he do this to me again? This is his third affair—doesn’t he know how much he’s hurting me?
•    I can’t believe he’s drunk again! I’m so tired of his drinking. Why does he keep doing this?
•    Oh my gosh -- another lie! Why does he keep lying to me? Doesn’t he know I can’t trust him?

The issues could be anything, but the message is often the same: “How could he possible do this to me again?” The answer, though, is most likely not what you want to hear or look at. The truth is that it doesn’t matter why he does what he does. The important question is why do you keep responding the same way and expecting a different result? He knows your response is going to be the same as it always is and that in the end you’ll most likely still be there. You may be angrier, sadder or a little more distant for a while, but after all is said and done he knows things will go back to normal. He’ll make his apologies (hopefully), promise to not do it again and he’ll be in the dog house for a few days. Soon everything will go back to the way it was. You’ll think to yourself that maybe this time he really will change or perhaps he really does mean what he says. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll hope, this relationship will be what you always wished for.  

So you wait and see.

Continue reading "Why Does He Keep Doing This to Me?" »

April 10, 2014

The Story of Self-Sabotage…Karen’s Journey

IStock_000008480884_ExtraSmall(Note: This is a fictitious story and “Karen” is a conglomeration of women and their life-sabotaging choices)

Karen is 28 years old, single and has never been married. More than anything she wants to be married and have kids. She just can’t seem to find the “right” guy, though, and often seems to end up with men who are just plain bad for her. She doesn’t understand how that happens. She throws her hands up often, asking, “Are there any nice guys out there?”

Next thing you know, Karen meets Bob. Bob’s “great.” He’s fun to hang out with, he can be nice when he wants to be and has a great job. He also… has a temper, loves to party and has cheated on everyone with whom he’s ever been in a serious relationship. The good news, though, according to Karen, is that Bob has seen the error of his ways and wants to cut back on his drinking and start being faithful.

Karen decides to give Bob a chance—after all, he’s “seen the error of his ways.” On their fourth date, Bob has too much to drink and says some stupid things to Karen’s friends. He blows it off, saying he just had too much to drink and it was no big deal. Karen has an uneasy feeling, but continues to date Bob. A couple of weeks later Bob gets angry with Karen for something she says and yells at her. Karen lets it go, thinking it was really her fault since she “didn’t think about how she spoke.” Two weeks later Karen and Bob go out with friends and Karen watches as Bob gets ticked off with the waitress at the bar and aggressively shames her in front of everyone at the table.

Soon Karen realizes this isn’t going to work. Bob obviously has anger issues and she has no interest in getting involved with someone who’s a hot head. She tells Bob she wants to just be friends. They part ways.

Continue reading "The Story of Self-Sabotage…Karen’s Journey " »

March 26, 2014

Building Your Accountability Muscles

IStock_000007605445XSmallPeople have this fantasy that “if only” their partner was kind, or respectful or caring or … (fill in the blank),  their relationship would be great; this is not how relationships work. The idea that your relationship would be fine or easy “if only” your partner…, is a convenient way of taking the responsibility of creating a healthy relationship off of yourself. Chances are your partner is thinking the same thing about you – if only you would…

She said: “You never talk, it’s like I’m living alone!”

He said: “I would talk if you weren’t nagging all the time. Did you ever think of that?!”

She said: “Well, if you did something around here, I wouldn’t have to nag. Did YOU ever think of that?!”

…and on and on they go with little, if any, resolution to many exquisitely described problems. 

To create the relationships you want, you have to be consciously working them in new ways. This requires that you look at your part FIRST, and when you’ve changed you, THEN, you look at your partner’s part. For example if your partner is treating you poorly, are you putting up with it, treating him/her poorly back, setting limits around it or just complaining about it? 

Continue reading "Building Your Accountability Muscles" »

March 19, 2014

Asking for What You Want

Directly asking for what you want can be a difficult skill to master for many women. One of the biggest obstacles for women with this struggle is worry. Women often get caught up in worrying about whether what they’re asking for is reasonable, whether the person is likely to give them what they ask for, how the other person might respond to their request and whether or not their request is likely to upset the other person. No wonder women struggle with asking for what they want; all of these concerns would paralyze most people!

Rather than fretting over what is and is not okay to ask for or how someone may or may not respond, women will go farther by simply getting clear on what it is they want. The bottom line is: there is nothing you can’t ask for. Women, men and all fellow human beings can ask for anything as long as they understand that asking doesn’t mean they will get it. In other words, ask for anything, expect nothing. Your job, when it comes to asking for things, is to be clear about what it is you’re asking for and to ask for it respectfully and “cleanly.” Below are five tips to keep in mind when it comes to requests:
1.    Ask for what you want, not what you think you’ll get. Don’t try to figure out what the other person is willing to agree to. Instead, get clear on what it is you want. You’d be surprised how often people are willing to do more than you ever thought they would. Get out of your own way on this one and ask for your true wish.  
2.    Be concrete and clear. Know what you’re asking for and state it in concrete terms, so there is no misunderstanding. Don’t water down your request to make it more palpable. Say it straight and to the point.

Continue reading " Asking for What You Want" »

February 06, 2014

Be BOLD...Take a Chance…“Stop Settling:" A Tele-class for Creating Change

IStock_000013800766_ExtraSmall I’ve watched women settle for less than they deserve for most of my life. I’m tired of watching women settle. I hated watching it when I was a child and I hate it now that I’m a grown up. I’ve watched women cower to rage, complain about rage, beg for the rage to stop and on and on. What I've seldom seen is women putting an end to rage directed at them. I’ve watched women plead, beg, yell, scream and cry to others in an attempt to get more help with the kids, the house, their sanity. Seldom do I witness women calmly and effectively stop over-doing and allow others to feel the hit of this decision. I’ve watched women sleep with men in an effort to “get” the man, only to later be heartbroken when they realize they are only one of many he is sleeping with. Far too many women are not willing to risk losing the man they never had by asking for exclusivity. I’ve watched women stay in jobs with abusive bosses, “mean girl” environments and toxic teams because they felt they had no other options. Seldom are there no other options. 

Far too many couples are actively destructive with one another, silently co-existing with one another or are coldly tuning one another out. Studies show that people in happy marriages outlive those in unhappy ones. In contrast, people in chronically unhappy marriages experience serious health issues such as depression, heart disease and even cancer. The bad relationships are killing us…and greatly impacting our children. 

It’s time for women to step into the world in a new way…as an equal, deserving of great things and, most certainly, great relationships. Not settling requires a bold determination to step into your life and your relationships differently. I’m offering a new tele-class to help you do just that. “Stop Settling” is your chance to create a new beginning. You don’t have to leave a relationship in order to transform it, nor do you have to leave a job, friendship or community. You do, however, have to be different in your relationship/job/friendship/community in order for change to happen. “Stop Settling” will walk you through the steps of how to create the change you’ve been looking for, but have been too afraid to go after. This class will show you how to step into your life with a Grounded Powerful Strength (GPS) that produces results both within you and around you.

Be BOLD, take the leap, and make the decision to “Stop Settling”…the stakes are too high not to. Click here for more information. 


January 23, 2014

Changing Me, Changes We: Taking Control of Your Life


There are countless women all over the world settling for poor relationships, bad jobs and unfulfilling lives.

  • Sally is in her third long-term, miserable romantic relationship with yet another man who has issues with anger and control.
  • Karen feels like a demanding boss, a crazy work schedule and a toxic work environment have sucked the life out of her.
  • Leigh can’t believe she’s stayed in her emotionally cold marriage for 20 years.

All these women -- and countless more -- can’t believe they’ve ended up where they have. Many of them are lonely, overworked, tired and resentful. They’re resentful that the people in their lives don’t treat them better. They’re angry that the years have trickled by with little change and they’re sad that somewhere along the way they have lost themselves.

What many of these women don’t know, though, is that the only one responsible for getting them where they are is themselves. What they don’t know is that they, and only they, have the power to change things. They don’t realize that their utter focus on changing those around them has resulted in those women staying stuck themselves.

The more they tried to “make” others be kinder, softer, more available, the more time they wasted. The more they tried to work longer hours for their crazy boss, bow down to their spouse’s rage and over-accommodate for their lover’s short-comings, the more they sabotaged their dreams. The more they sabotaged their dreams, the more they lost themselves. And the more they lost themselves, the more hopeless, angry and resentful they became.

Women without number find themselves repeating toxic patterns in their relationships. They end up with the “same” guy, who just happens to have a different name or with the same job, but in a different company. Many of these women saw the same warning flags well before they got involved with man or job number one, two and three. Some didn’t see any red flags until they were deeply entrenched, at which time it became difficult to disentangle. All of the women let things go too far, get too bad and last too long.

The hard reality that all women would benefit from hearing is this: You’re responsible for your happiness. You determine your life. You create your future. When things aren’t the way you’d like them to be, you are responsible for changing them. Continually trying to get others to change their moves is the quickest way to sabotage your future. Get your eyes off the other person and back on you.

  • If your partner rages… change your response to his rage.
  • If your boss demands 24/7 attention…don’t buy in, look for another job, set limits or do all of the above.
  • If you’re controlling, critical and perfectionistic…learn to let go and be more compassionate.
  • If your date flirts with other women…recognize the red flags early and move on.

It’s an act of courage and takes enormous strength for a person to be accountable for their mistakes, imperfections and struggles. I challenge women across the world to step into this level of accountability and to take full ownership of their happiness. Neither blaming others for causing our pain nor looking to others to solve our pain serves women. When women learn to effectively step into the world in a new way, their world will change. Get grounded, not reactive; powerful, not aggressive, and strong, not helpless. Rely on yourself for change and stop looking to others to make you happy.

Challenge: If you’re unhappy, courageously look at yourself and how you’re sabotaging your happiness. Step into your life differently and take control of your destiny. 


January 08, 2014

How Did I End Up Here?

IStock_000002084023_ExtraSmallWhen girls are young and first beginning to explore relationships, they often have big visions. They’re certain their “soulmate” is out there somewhere and they can’t wait to meet their best friend, lover, confidante and life partner. They dream of laughing with someone who gets their jokes, sharing their biggest secrets with someone who will hold those secrets in the greatest of confidence and of holding hands with someone who holds them in the highest regard. 

Through the years, though, things change. These young girls grow up to be women. They have met countless frogs along the way and they have stopped imagining that they would meet their prince. They learned that what they looked like is far more important than who they are. They stopped laughing as much, sharing their opinions as much or expecting as much as they did before. They learned to settle for less than they ever thought they would. No longer do they believe they will meet their soulmate -- or that there even is such a thing. The men they’ve met along the way don’t like to talk about their dreams, laugh at their jokes or hold them in high regard. In fact, over the years, the women continued to lower their expectations and the men they met seemed, coincidentally, to barely meet even these expectations. 

With each relationship that didn’t pan out, the bar was lowered for the next one. Soon the bar was so low that the women couldn’t believe what they had learned to settle for. Their vision went from finding their soulmate and a man who loved, cherished and honored them to finding…a man. Some women though did meet men who seemed great, yet, somewhere along the way the relationship started to go down hill. Regardless of whether they found a great guy or a not so great guy, once they found a man, their next task became keeping him. They began to believe that, in order to keep a man, they had to learn to pretend to be happy. They couldn’t complain about something they didn’t like or the men would say they were nagging. The women couldn’t ask for more emotional connection because then they would be accused of being needy and the men would give them even less of their attention. The women learned to stay silent when the men became angry because to not do so would mean having to deal with an even greater wrath of anger. 

Continue reading "How Did I End Up Here?" »

August 23, 2013

What Takes Me Off Track in My Relationships: A Relationship Expert’s Journey (Part II)

IStock_000008637129_ExtraSmallBelow is the continuation from my previous post of things that have taken me off track in my relationships. I hope some of these will serve as a reminder to you to pay attention to the moves you make that may also be taking you off track in your relationships. After being married for twenty years, I’m sure I could probably come up with many more but I don’t want to overwhelm you. 

  1. Let fear drive my actions. Fear of failure, success, financial problems, future happenings etc., all keep me out of the present and have often lead me to make poor choices. Some times the fear leads me to making no choices. Either way, fear has taken me down the wrong path too many times. If the bad thing is not happening now, I’ve learned to stop fretting about it (on a good day). I’m realizing that if the bad thing does happen, I’ll only have to fret about it later anyway so why not give myself a break now.
  2. Assumed that as my kids got older they wanted to see less of me. I’ve learned that universally kids want their parent’s time and attention. Of course there are times when they need a their space, however, even then they need to know you’re always there for them. Pay attention, listen to their stories and don’t assume they don’t care. I’m learning everyday to be more present and to SHOW I care, I’m listening and I have their back.
  3. Shut down and shut others out when I was angry/hurt. Although I’ve come a long way on this issue, this has been an ongoing edge for me. All I can say is shutting down and stewing is not productive. Giving someone the silent treatment is not justified, okay or helpful. I’ve learned through the years that resolution cannot happen if there is no conversation to work issues through. I’ve had to learn to speak it in the moment…or at least as soon as I can find the strength to do so.
  4. Forgot to lean into the good moments. This is so big and something I am still trying to remind myself to do every day. LEAN IN. There are little moments that occur all the time that so many of us forget to take in. We have to learn to take them in. Breathe in: A moment of laughter with your child, a spark of tenderness with your spouse, a great conversation, a cool success, a healing moment etc. We have to learn to notice the gifts…especially if we’re going to be so hyper-vigilant to the struggles/imperfections of life. Feel the joy and… LEAN IN.
  5. Allowed perfectionism to get in the way of acceptance. If I could re-do the first 6 years of my parenting I would do my very best to stop the tweaking and critiquing and instead enjoy my children’s imperfections and journey of discovery. I would also have started much earlier to let go of all the self-tweaking as well. Perfection is an impossible feat and it’s time we all stop demanding it of others and ourselves.

Relationships can be amazing opportunities for self-growth if we dare to allow ourselves to see our fault lines. We all have our own particular vulnerabilities when it comes to life and relationships and it’s up to each of us to be aware of what those are. It’s also up to each of us to be conscious of when we’re going down the wrong path and then, have the courage to take steps to self-correct. 

Challenge: I encourage you to make a list of the ways you can go off track in your relationships. Pay attention to signs that you’re headed down the wrong path and learn to self-correct. You and your loved ones will thank you for it! 



August 08, 2013

What Takes Me Off Track in My Relationships: A Relationship Expert’s Journey

IStock_thinkingallI started out to write a post about what to do to keep your relationship going and realized there are probably a thousand posts like that. Instead, I’ve decided to write about what takes us off track in our relationships…and to write this post from my own personal experience. It would be so nice to be able to say that being a relationship expert has finally taught me to be in my relationships perfectly, but unfortunately that is not the case. My humanity has stepped in the way of my knowledge countless times and taken me off course. Hopefully, some of my missteps will help lead to your successes. 

Below are the first five of ten ways I’ve gone off track in my relationships. I hope that my sharing these, will enable you to avoid the traps that have tripped me up now and again:

  1. Worked too much, paid attention too little. Throughout the years there have been too many moments when my e-mail, cell phone, projects or workshops came before playing, listening or just being with my family. The angst of not getting work done was too much for me to put aside for an hour, a day or certainly not a week. The lesson I have learned is to always be mindful to work less and pay attention more. Children and spouses want our time above all else.
  2. Allowed my insecurity to shake my trust. In times of my own self-doubt, upset or moments of insecurity, I doubted the love of my loved ones.  I looked to them to build me up and help me feel better rather than looking to myself to manage my insecurities. Other people cannot fill us up. They can add to our lives, but they cannot complete our lives or be responsible for making our lives bearable. Only we can do that.
  3. Forgot to be mindful. The everyday ticking of life makes it very easy to slowly drift apart—from my husband and kids, friends and from extended family. It takes mindfulness to stay connected. Sometimes the only thing that brought me back was feeling the distance I had grown apart. I must remember to keep my finger on the pulse of my relationships. If I’m feeling distant, chances are I’ve stopped being mindful…and as a result, there is, in fact, distance.
  4. Ignored the importance of date night. When the kids were young it was too easy to say I was tired or we couldn’t leave the kids with someone else. Young parents have to learn to leave the kids with a trusted babysitter—couples need the time together. Now I have to remember that even though life is busy, spending time with my husband is more important.
  5. Let stress and worry justify my distraction. A new project, a crazy schedule, worry etc., can all become excellent excuses to tune out. Not listening to those I love because I’m too distracted by other things can wear down even the best of relationships. I’ve had to learn to tune in—even when every fiber of my being is pulling me to tune out.

While I don’t believe relationships should be hard work, I do believe that they require a certain level of mindfulness. We have to pay attention, not only to the relationship itself, but how we are in them as well. When we keep our finger on the pulse of our relationships and friendships, we provide ourselves with the ability to make quick adjustments before unhealthy patterns become too entrenched.  Obviously the quicker we realize we’re going off course the better it is for every one…so tune in.

Challenge: Take a moment to think about where you go awry in your relationships or use my experiences above if they ring true for you. Make a mental note of how to regroup and get back on course. Let us know your list—so we can learn from you too!


June 10, 2013

Ten Reasons to Stop Avoiding Conflict and Start Dealing with Issues

IStock_000010586566_ExtraSmallThere are countless people who believe that the best way to handle conflict is to not have any. When things get tough, their choice is to duck, avoid, distract or disengage, in the hope that the issue will resolve itself. If the issue doesn’t resolve itself, they feel a sense of relief that at least they succeeded in avoiding conflict. 

The unfortunate truth about conflict, though, is that not talking about conflict often creates more conflict—either internally, externally or both. 

Stop fooling yourself into thinking that avoiding difficult conversations is doing you any favors. If anything, ducking is causing you more problems then you realize. Below are ten reasons to stop avoiding -- and start having -- adult conversations.

  1. Avoiding difficult conversations makes solutions almost impossible. It’s very difficult to solve a problem if you’re not willing to talk about it.
  2. When you stay silent in response to conflict, inherent in your silence is acceptance. If you don’t like the behavior, stop silently acting as if you do.
  3. The more you ignore issues, the bigger they grow. The issues you ignore today will likely drive you crazy and harm your life tomorrow. Tomorrow may be a day from now, a week from now or even five years from now…and, tomorrow will come. 
  4. The bigger the issues grow, the bigger your resentment is likely to get. It’s almost impossible to continually avoid addressing poor treatment or upsets without getting resentful. Avoiding conflict with others externally doesn’t mean you won’t feel the turmoil internally. 
  5. You teach others how to treat you. In your effort to avoid conflict, you often teach a very warped lesson to others about how you like to be treated.
  6. The more you duck and avoid, the more others get away with their behavior and the worse they treat you.
  7. The worse others treat you, the worse you feel about yourself and your relationship. Your attempt to avoid conflict at all cost, in an effort to save a relationship, ironically ends up rotting out the relationship. 
  8. The more others treat you poorly, the more angry and resentful you’re likely to become. The angrier you become, the more likely you are to oscillate between silence and blowing up--neither of which are effective.
  9. Your anger is, in part, at yourself. You can only take so much poor treatment before the wisest part of you gets angry at your lack of self-care.
  10. If you avoid conflict in one relationship, you are likely to avoid conflict in all relationships. Your avoidance is about your edge, not about the other person’s behavior.

Avoiding conflict is a seductive pull for many people. On the surface, it looks like doing anything to keep the peace is the smartest choice. When you look beyond the surface, however, the reality is that this tactic seldom keeps the peace for long. 

Stop ducking. Trust that you are mature enough to handle an honest conversation about a difficult issue and then step in and respectfully have the conversation. Handle a moment of discomfort now and avoid years of anger and resentment later.

Challenge: Notice all the things you do and say to avoid conflict. What impact does your avoidance have on your life and your relationship? Start to take baby steps to stop avoiding and start dealing.



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