What if they don’t like me?


This seems to be a reoccurring theme for so many in the past couple months so naturally I feel called to address it here in case any of you are feeling the same way. 

Of course the feeling of rejection from those who may not like you feels crappy. Nobody wants to be rejected but the need to have everyone like you isn’t realistic for two reasons. 

Reason one: It falls under the life drift of approval. If you’ve read my previous emails or seen my live videos, there are three major life drifts that everyone falls into almost every day throughout several different circumstances. The life drift of approval is heavily present in this scenario. Approval says “I’ll never BE enough.” You fall into the gutter of people pleasing with the fear of rejection and the need for acceptance. What approval leads to is Ambition- doing more to gain that acceptance or even doing anything to get that satisfaction no matter what it costs you in the process. This can lead to Appetite- the fear of not having enough (friends, love, space, time, money, etc) and around and around the triangle we go.

Reason two is an effect of number one. Not being authentic. See, when you fall into the Approval life drift and then are lead down the dark alley of ambition, you start to do more and more to gain the approval of those who supposedly don’t like you. You do things you wouldn’t normally do, things that don’t line up with your core values, and your identity is compromised all because you wanted a certain someone to like you. 

If we aren’t completely set in and comfortable with who we are, we will almost always sabotage our story by becoming something we aren’t. 

You are never going to make every one like you. Even Princess Diana and Mother Teresa had those select few that just had to see something negative about them. But what’s worse? Having people not like you or having people like you only for the facade you’ve put on so they would? That has a name, you know. It’s called manipulation. You’re manipulating people to see and like a version of you that isn’t truly you. So what will happen when the authentic you shines through? Believe me, it will! 

The people who are supposed to be in your circle will like you for being who God created you to be and those who don’t, aren’t meant to be in your circle. It sounds like a lesson you’d give a 10 year old but that’s only because it’s a lesson that we all need to learn and get comfortable with because this little lie we tell ourselves that everyone needs to like us starts somewhere around the age of 10. Unfortunately, it follows us into our 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, even 50’s and 60’s! Let it go friend. You are fighting a battle that literally cannot be won. 

Besides that, by not being your authentic self, you’re not sharing the gifts of who you are whether it be in the form of time, treasure or talent with the world! The book The Ten Percent Solution by Marc Allen talks about this very concept. He says that if we would all give away just ten percent of our gifts the world as a whole would be a substantially happier place. 

Be who you are, authentically and unapologetically. You’re the only one who can and the world needs more of that kind of courage and genuine presence anyway! Those who are supposed to be impacted by you will be. Those who are supposed to be in your presences will be. Those who aren’t, aren’t meant for you.

How Clear Is Your Communication?

Every person has a fight style and a communication style. 

But what happens when the two combine? When you’re upset with your partner, how do you communicate? 

In many of the couples I work with, when an argument ensues, one of the parties will brush their wants and needs under the rug. Your partner comes in and asks “What’s wrong?” You answer with a harsh “nothing.” Your words (7% of your communication) say nothing. But your tone and body language (93% of your communication) say “something BIG”. 

Understand a few things here. 
1. Your partner is not you, they do not think, feel, communicate or operate the way you do.
2. Your partner is not a mind reader. Without clear, concise communication, your partner will not understand what you want them to. 
3. Your feelings, thoughts, irritations, triggers, etc are your responsibility. Communication is imperative to living a happy, fulfilled life with your partner. 

So let’s go back to our scenario. If you are upset with your partner, it’s your responsibility to let them know why you’re upset. If you are communicating “nothing” then their reaction is going to reflect that nothing is wrong and this is something you are working through on your own. The problem becomes deeper and a solution is never found. Additionally, this is a toxic behavior that is started when we begin dating as teenagers and we take this behavior with us through each relationship until we eventually recognize it for what it is and let it go for a more mature response. On a deeper level, we are hoping that our partner recognizes their own wrongdoing without us having to communicate it but that only leads to more disappointment when that hope is lost. 

So what’s the most effective way to communicate? 

Most wrongdoings between partners are simply because of mindlessness, not malice. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt (antidote) instead of assuming the worst (poison). 

Communicate a clear message that covers both the surface and the deeper levels. “I am upset because you said you would…. and you didn’t. I feel that you didn’t keep your word and I am disappointed because that lessened the character I believe you to have and left me feeling abandoned.” 

Sounds like a bunch of psychobabble BS, right? Ok follow me here. A simple 2-3 sentence message like this is powerful to the nth degree. Here’s why. 

  • I statements (I am..I feel…) take responsibility for your feelings and avoid blame, shame or guilt of the other party. It keeps the gate of communication open instead of saying “You didn’t keep your word” which then triggers defensiveness. 
  • You’re not sweeping your feelings under the rug. You’re validating yourself, your feelings and your equal partnership in this relationship. 
  • You’re hitting the underlying problem (abandonment and lessened character) which could be a repeated problem in your relationship. 
  • Simply stating facts avoids whining (defensiveness) or using contempt (communicating that you’re superior to your partner).
  • Saying “I’m upset that you said you would (a behavior), lessened the character I believe you to have (behavior), you’re complaining about the behavior, not criticizing the overall character of your partner. This avoids later problems and is more easily accepted than criticism. 
  • By shortening the message, it’s easier for your partner to hear, understand and stay focused than having a long, drawn out explanation. This hits high points, details and communicates needs. Everyone wins. 
  • A statement like this is less likely to escalate the conversation which avoids more hurt and promotes a healing, solution oriented environment instead. 

This message leaves an opening for your partner to now reply with a calmer, more productive feedback of “I’m sorry for leaving you abandoned and not keeping my word. In the future, I will…” 

I understand that toxic patterns of behavior are difficult to break but in an ideal relationship, communication and arguments are handled calmly, rationally and a lot less heated. If you’re trying to uplevel your relationship, this is the framework you’re ultimately working toward. It eliminates the 4 deadly horsemen of the apocalypse as well as gas-lighting which are all high indicators of divorce. 

I can tell you from experience in changing this exact behavior in myself, the latter, more effective communication technique produces much more satisfying results in the short and the long run.

I hope this helps your relationships and helps everyone move forward in a healthier manner. 

Top 10 Things You Need to Live Your Best Life

This evening, I was indulging in some serious self-care. For me, this comes most often in the form of soaking in a hot bath. My husband comes in and says “you truly are living your best life, huh?” You better believe it babe. 

So here’s my Top 10 List for what you need to live your best life too. There are lots of links and name brands in here. These are not ads, just things we use and truly love. 

1. An Instant Pot
Anyone else tired of cooking 3,281 meals a week? Yeah, me too. Throw about 8 chicken breasts (frozen or fresh- doesn’t matter) in your instant pot with some water and a couple bouillon cubes, set it and forget it. You’ve now got cooked chicken for chicken salad. Throw the rest of it in a bowl and mix it with a hand mixer or your Kitchen Aid and now you have shredded chicken for enchiladas in a couple days and chicken spaghetti tonight. You can do roasts, soups, casseroles. Seriously, your possibilities here are truly endless. So is what you can do with the time you’ll save. 

2. A Hobby
Every single person I have coached in the last 6 weeks who has struggled the most with being quarantined has one thing in common. They don’t have a hobby. I started knitting again after not having touched it in probably two years. The child I’m currently pregnant with will probably be 10 by the time I’m done with the blanket I’m making but hey, it’s fun and it passes the time! 

3. A 90 day goal
Not only does a 90 day goal give you something to work toward, a purpose. It also gives you something to look forward to. This should be a SMART goal but also something that has enough impact that it propels you forward to being able to reach your yearly goal. 

4. A social media feed that you ENJOY!
I did a serious Marie Kondo of my social media not long ago and it was the smartest thing I could’ve done. The average person spends at least 4 hours a day on social media. If you’re spending half of a work day on your social media feed, shouldn’t it bring you joy instead of anger and resentment? 

5. A blue light blocker 
I know this one is super random but hear me out. I spend a ridiculous amount of time staring at a screen. Writing, coaching via Zoom, editing the podcast, teaching my child the torture that is 4th grade math, whatever it is, I’m staring at a screen clear up until it’s time to go to bed. Before I got my blue light blocking glasses, I didn’t realize how much the blue light was keeping me from sleeping well! Total game changer! There are apps you can use, settings you can change on your chromebook or if you’re in need of a new pair of glasses for you or your kiddo- www.zennioptical.com. It’s been our go to for about 4 years now. I’ve ordered a dozen pair from them and never been disappointed. Yes, 12. Mason seriously lost 7 pair between his first and second grade year. God help this child. 

6. Hot baths
Or something that makes you feel just as relaxed, calm and chillaxed as a hot bath does. 

7. A really good probiotic
90% of your immune system is in your gut. A healthy gut leads to a ton of other health benefits as well. How can you possibly live your best life if your health isn’t on par? Know that not all probiotics are equal. Good probiotics should list the strand of active cultures on the bottle and what they are good for! 

8. Virtual nights with friends
Myself and four friends did a virtual murder mystery dinner the other night and let me tell you. I have not laughed that hard in months. We all dressed up to play our parts more authentically and really get into the role. We did the 80’s Prom Night but there are so many options to choose from! Seriously so much fun! 

9. Self-Improvement
If you’re not growing, you’re dying. Growth looks different for everyone but if you’re into podcasts, some of my faves are (mine of course) Recognizing Potential podcast, Lewis Howes- School of Greatness, Jay Shetty- On Purpose, Jenna Kutcher- The Goal Digger podcast, Rachel & Dave Hollis- Rise Together, The Vision Lab podcast- Cuff & Mo, just to name a few. You can read or listen to books on Audible. Three fantastic books I’ve read since March are- Get out of your own way by Dave Hollis, Atomic Habits by James Clear and I’m currently reading The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. 

10. A Morning Routine
The days that I have felt most productive and have truly felt like I’m living my best life are the days that I follow my morning routine. I go to sleep at a decent time the night before, get a good night’s sleep. For me, that’s a solid 10-12 hours right now. I wake up refreshed, journal, read and start the day slow. Routine. Whatever that looks like for you. It’s what the most successful folks attribute to their success and I would have to agree. 

What are you going to add to your life from this list? I’d love to know how it works out for you! Reply to this email and let me know! 

Enjoy your week!  

What is Balance?

One of the hottest buzzwords right now is “balance”. Everyone is working to achieve it but are we striving to reach something that doesn’t even exist? 

Balance, self-care, alignment, all of these words are completely subjective. We are pressured by society, our families, and friends to achieve all of them but I’m here to offer a little bit of relief. 

What balance and self-care look like to you is not the same as what it looks like for anyone else. One person may have to try to juggle being a working mom, a wife and a million other things while someone else may not be married, may be a single mom or not have kids at all but still have to juggle a million other things. It’s all hard to each person but for different reasons. 

Comparing yourself to your friend who’s storm looks completely different than your own is only going to lead to feeling defeated, angry and a shame spiral of not being good enough. All lies. You are not defeated and you are good enough. Every day. 

Last week on the podcast, I had a guest speaker on named Edie Noble. She’s a military wife and mother of 8 children. I love that she talked about replacing the word “balance” with satisfaction. What is satisfying to your family? Is it eating on the couch off of paper plates instead of around the table with the good dishes? Awesome. Is it saying no to the 400th birthday party this month because you need to reconnect as a family? That’s perfectly ok too. Is it doing church online with coffee and cinnamon rolls because the rush of getting your family out the door and to a place where you’re not all together anyway is too much? God is where your family is gathered. What does satisfaction look like to you and your family? Strive for that! 

Same with self-care. Stop telling yourself that self-care has to be getting your nails done every week or spending your Saturday at the salon and spa. Maybe self-care to you is getting your kitchen fully cleaned during the only 20 minute break you have for the day because it makes you feel accomplished. Maybe it’s locking yourself in your closet for 7 minutes just because it’s the only place your kids are too scared to look for you. Maybe it’s sitting in your car in the garage to talk to your best friend because it’s the only place you feel like you can have one conversation instead of being interrupted by the masses asking for snacks. All of these are great and again, only subjective to what your circumstances are. 

Too often we compare ourselves to the highlight reels and the belief that we have created about a person and their circumstances. If we were to get a real look inside though, we’d see that the people we are comparing ourselves to have things to deal with that we didn’t know before, didn’t see before or don’t have to deal with ourselves. 

So how do we achieve the satisfaction we are striving for? 

Create the habits that will satisfy your family. Most of the problems that bring us down in life can be traced back to the habits we are or are not engaging in. If your house is always a mess, utilize the “Yours +1” rule. You pick up every single thing that’s yours plus 1 thing that’s not. If you’re finding yourself scrolling and wasting time on social media, start time blocking your day. This has been the single most helpful thing I’ve personally done to help myself become better and less stressed each day. 

Say no. Just because you’re invited doesn’t mean you have to go. When you say yes to something, you’re taking away from something else. If what you’re saying yes to isn’t more important than your sanity, the connection with your family or the stress it’s going to cause in following through, say no. One of my favorite sayings ever and I can’t even figure out who coined it exactly says: “If it’s not a HELL YES, then it’s a no.” 

Stop comparing yourself to your friends and neighbors. They’re in the same storm as you but not the same boat anyway.

Take care of yourself so that you’re not always pouring from an empty cup, in whatever way makes sense to you.

Don’t worry if things don’t look completely balanced from the outside. Nobody is paying that much attention to how you stacked your plates because they’re too focused on keeping theirs from toppling over anyway. Stack ’em how you need to. You’re doing just fine! 

10 Tips to Survive Quarantine with Your Spouse

1. Nobody is in the same boat as you. 
Not your mom, not your neighbor and not your partner. Everyone handles quarantine differently. Approach with caution, care and compassion. 

2. Everyone’s needs are different. 
I’m talking basic needs here. Because everyone is in a different boat, everyone has needs that aren’t anything like yours.

3. Basic needs have to be met first
Refer to the picture above. The bottom section lists your basic needs and these have to be met before you can move to the next rung up. Your basic needs also have to be met before you have a conversation that requires you to focus, respond rationally, etc. Think about when you’re hangry, thirsty, exhausted, or otherwise. Can you focus well? Can you respond in kindness? Can you control your behavior as well as you can when you aren’t all those things? 

Additionally, love languages are added in there because if your love tank isn’t full, you aren’t able to put forth 100% effort into your relationship like you would if it were full. Feeling less than full leaves you exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally. Feeling full gives you the ability to overflow onto others. If you aren’t sure what your love language is or how to speak the love language of your spouse, click here and take the quiz.

4. Nobody is a mind reader.
Communicate clearly. “I need….” Check in with your spouse every day. “How can I show up best for you today? How are you feeling? What do you need?” I heard someone say “We’ve been married for a number of years now. At this point, I shouldn’t have to ask for what I need. My partner should just know.” It’s this kind of toxic communication that leads to a dead end on resentment street. You and your partner are both changing constantly. Nobody is a mind reader. You wouldn’t go into a restaurant to eat and feel like the waiter should just know what you want before you order. Don’t expect that of your partner either. Communicate. 

5. Be a TEAM player. 
 The responsibilities at home are 100% yours and 100% your partner’s. This includes housework, yard work and kids. Everyone helps everyone. A relationship is only as strong as weakest partner. If you’re responding to your partner’s request of “I need help” with “What’s in it for me?” (or anything of that regard), you are the weakest link. Everyone pulls their weight, even the kids. If they’re old enough to get it out, they’re old enough to put it away. Help them build a sense of responsibility by making kids put away dishes, take out the trash, sweep or mop the floor. 

6. Think BIG Picture. 
In the grand scheme of things, does it matter how your spouse loaded the dishwasher or folded the towels? Of course, it isn’t how you would do it but it’s done. Does your making a big deal of it and nit-picking the minor details really matter or is it just going to bring your spouse down and make the environment feel negative and tense? 

7. Communication is key. 
Should the need arise to complain about a behavior, make sure you’re doing just that. Complaining, not criticizing. Complaints focus on the behavior. “Can you fill the car up with gas after you use it please? It leaves me pressed for time if I have to do it in the mornings.” Criticizing focuses on the person’s character “You never fill the car up with gas! You’re so selfish to leave it for me to do!” 

Think about the Golden Rule here. If you turn your communication back on yourself (58% body language, 35% tone of voice, 7% words used) how would you feel on the receiving end? Treat your partner as you’d want to be treated. They’re a human you love after all. 

If you need a good app for communicating to-do lists, grocery lists, kids events, basically anything that would be the control station of your family- COZI is amazing. Not an ad, just what we use as a family. I love it because it even color coordinates who’s events are what and emails you in the mornings to say “hey! This is what your day looks like.” It’s free and fantastic. 

8. Have your own routine.
Set your to-do list the night before, get up and do what you would do if you weren’t in a quarantine situation. Go for a run, make breakfast, clean, have your morning routine. Do whatever you need to do to be productive for yourself. You’ll feel so much more accomplished in doing this.

9. Take time for yourself each day. 
The absolute best thing that my family has done in all of this is starting our day off by ourselves. We each go to our own spaces, by ourselves and we read, journal, write, do yoga, meditate, study, paint, draw, listen to music or whatever we feel like doing for 1-2 hours every morning. I’ve always got my sunflower butter and banana toast, my coffee, my journal and the latest book. My husband is usually studying for one of his classes. My son takes my laptop and goes to do his online school lessons for the day. When we emerge, we are better humans who appreciate each other versus wanting to punch each other in the face. We are already productive and we have our sanity. We don’t feel smothered and it is simply GLORIOUS. Many people have talked to me about being at their wits end in the past few weeks. Do you know what the common denominator is? Not having time to themselves every single day.

10. Gratitude
One of my trademark moves in coaching any couple is to make them start a gratitude journal and out of the 10 things they write down every day, 3 of them have to be about their spouse. When you are grateful, you’re focus on being grateful grows. When you’re negative about your spouse, you’re only thinking more negatively about your spouse. Grow your mindset and include a gratitude practice for your spouse each day. Share what you’re grateful for with them. It will build them up and make them more grateful for you too! Total win for both! 

These are all things that are tried and true with my spouse. I can honestly say that my husband and I have been quarantined together now since March 9. He’s taken 3 trips that were quick turns (1 flight somewhere and back the same day) in that time. Otherwise, we’ve been home together, the whole family. In that time, we’ve had two small arguments. The first was because taxes are stressful and something that literally nobody wants to deal with. The second was a total miscommunication because of the language barrier. Trust me when I tell you that this list works and it also makes an unfortunate time that you can’t control a lot more enjoyable! If you find that your relationship is struggling and you need even more help, I have opened my schedule for 2 couples to have 1:1 coaching. You can find more info on that here.

What’s Your Perspective?

I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completely different.

This whole pandemic has taught me the same. I have had a lot of conversations in the past week and the range of emotions everyone is feeling is wider than Mariah Carey’s vocal abilities. 

Then I was reading something that talked about how in several years people are going to look back and say things like “don’t you remember the shortage of food in the grocery stores and everyone hoarding toilet paper? Remember how we couldn’t leave our houses for several weeks and how we had to juggle working from home and teaching our kids online? UGH! It was such a struggle!”

However, the kids that are living this right now are not going to remember that. They’re going to remember that their parents were more present with them than they ever had been before, more affectionate than before. They will remember that mom made homemade breakfast and she wasn’t screaming to put the shoes on in the car because everyone was running late…again! Moms and Dads had time for things like family bike rides, playing board games, walks around the neighborhood, watching movies and eating dinner as a family, setting up a tent in the living room in the name of science or building a fort just because. 

The perspective here is that while we are feeling such a disconnect from the world, our kids are feeling more connected to us in ways they never have before. That may be the biggest blessing that comes out of this. But what else could be working for us instead of it happening to us?  

Maybe we choose to look at this from a place filled with joy. Maybe we get our own reality check here and start prioritizing things, look at what we don’t need to go back to when all this is over. Maybe we start journaling and stop overthinking everything because now we have the time to analyze what is making our situation better and what’s making it worse. Whatever it is, it has to be a conscious choice that we make that may not come from a place of comfort. We may need to take that stretch step out of our comfort zone in order to change what we don’t like while understanding that we still have control over the majority of our reality. 

What I know for sure is that THIS. WILL. PASS. I promise you. I started teaching my Chinese kids online again this morning just to check on them, see how they are and earn a little more cushion income because we aren’t certain of what the airlines are going to do for my husband’s job and because we’re still fighting for our goal of buying a house at the end of the year. My little ones told me that parks are starting to open up again. Kids are going back to school next week and what they are all most excited about is going outside and feeling the sunshine. People over there live in high rise apartments and because of rules, regulations and over crowding on the streets, children are physically not able to go outside. At. All. Let that sink in from a child’s perspective and from an adult who has or has been around children. 

This is not a competition of what country or what neighbor has it worse. Lord knows we need none of that right now, but it is a matter of perspective. You can go outside. You can facetime friends. Social distancing should actually be called physical distancing. Right now, connection is indeed a necessity.  Connect with your friends through zoom, facetime or any other means necessary. If you’re reading this and you’re interested in a mastermind group that has free coaching or free networking or just adult interaction and connection, reply to this email and I will absolutely get it set up! Get back to your inner child and connect with the things you once loved but no longer “have time for”. Learn a new skill! My pilot wife group is BLOWING UP with all these amazing things that people are baking. We’re talking things like souffles and truffles, cookies that have like a billion steps and dishes that put Julia Child to shame! 

What you focus on magnifies. I have preached that for years and will until the day I die because it’s a concept I witness and live out every single day. Goals and ideas that I had a year or more ago are coming to fruition right this very moment because I didn’t pull up when things got hard or scary (more on this in a couple weeks). I fought for what I wanted most and not even quarantine or Rona was going to stop me. That was my perspective. If your perspective is to live in the anxiety, that’s going to be magnified exponentially right now. If you’re perspective is to choose to see the light, to be excited for each day and live in joy and happiness, that’s going to be magnified immensely.  What you’re looking for, you will find. If it’s hard for you to find joy and happiness, I encourage you to take a walk. Start a gratitude practice and listen to some Disney music. Seriously. Really listen to the message in each song. The words are powerful. It also makes for a great dance party if you don’t feel like exercising in a traditional sense. 

Your perspective in this time is going to make you the best version of yourself during and after this is over or it’s going to break you and you’re going to have an incredibly hard time with it all. If you are struggling but you want to be the best version of yourself, reach out. Let’s do a one hour strategy session to help you make that a reality. 

If you need even more content, don’t forget my podcast comes out THIS THURSDAY (another goal I’ve had for over a year now!) Watch my Facebook group and Instagram for more info (follow links are at the bottom of this email).

Take care and think happy thoughts!