Are you getting enough?

I did a survey in my facebook group about a week and a half ago. How much sleep do you normally get on any average night? As someone who prioritizes sleep above food, water, or really any other need, I expected the results to be somewhere around 7-8 hours. I was shocked. 

Most of the women in my group are getting somewhere between 3 to 6 hours a night. THREE hours of sleep?! Y’all. That’s not a night’s rest. That’s a nap! 

I talk until I’m blue in the face about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I do this because I think it’s the basis of what makes the rest of our lives great and sadly, the bottom rung of it, our most basic needs, are not being met on a daily basis. The survey I posted is a prime example of that. Food, water, air, homeostasis, sex and sleep. How many of those are you actually meeting every day? 

We’ve always heard that adults need between 6-8 hours of sleep per night. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. The National Sleep Foundation says that statistic is just to function. To truly thrive, an adult needs 7-9 hours a night. This is merely an average. Some adults (like myself) need more like 9.5-10 hours to truly wake up feeling rested, rejuvenated and ready to crush the day. So what if we’re cutting that in half and not getting enough? 

Well first off, your cognitive abilities are slowed…like being drunk. You can’t think as clearly, communicate as well, or handle the obstacles life throws at you like you would if you were rested. Secondly, all you can concentrate on is how tired you are so you start habit stacking in the worst way. You add caffeine in the form of more coffee and soda. This causes your body to release even more cortisol (the belly fat hormone) which also taxes your adrenal glands. Because of the release of cortisol, your sweet tooth is triggered and you’re now adding an additional habit stack of reaching for all the junk food. This also adds to more fat storage because as your pancreas releases insulin to break down the food that’s then passed around to your muscles but rejected because you aren’t moving as much (because again, you’re too tired) so that energy is now stored as fat. Additionally, according to this article, coffee has a half life of 3-5 hours but your body also builds up a resistance to it causing you to need more and more in order to stay awake. So 10 hours after you drink the first cup, the caffeine starts to work and 10 hours after your last cup is when your body actually rests enough to sleep and sleep well. Is your mind racing when you lay down at night? Count backwards 10 hours. Were you still drinking coffee OR soda at that time? The caffeine is causing you not to sleep, but you “need” it in the morning to stay awake. See the complicated problem here? 

Our daily lives also play a part in not getting enough sleep. In my survey, many women weren’t going to bed at night because they felt they still had so much to do. This makes us fall into the life drifts of ambition and approval. Approval says we’ll never “be good enough” and ambition says we’ll “never do enough”. Put those together and you have a recipe for disaster that has your subconscious telling you that you’ll never be a good enough parent, spouse, person, or success story unless you (fill in the blank with any to do list item). But the reality is that you are already good enough and you already do plenty! But if you aren’t well rested, you can’t do anything to the best of your ability and you can’t be a good enough person if you’re a snappy jerk to everyone who says hello because you are exhausted. 

So how do you overcome this? A lot of willpower, change and a deep look into why you aren’t sleeping in the first place. 
1. Anxiety. I’ve been there. It’s a beast but you have to overcome your mindset in order to overcome your anxiety. Get a coach or someone to help you. 
2. Wein yourself off the caffeine and drink more water! Water will help energize you, leave you less dehydrated and help your overall health. It will also fill you up so you aren’t reaching for the sweet treats.
3. Put down the phone. The blue light is wrecking your serotonin levels and causing your brain to think you’re more awake, counteractive to the goal here. 
4. Stop telling yourself you’re a bad person if you don’t get the dishes done or the laundry or the house is a wreck. Really analyze WHY you’re breaking yourself in order to have this clean of a house. Wouldn’t you be able to be more efficient if you had the energy (from sleep- not caffeine) to do it? 
5. Delegate and/or Ask for Help! Do you have children? They NEED to be helping you. Teach them responsibility. Teach them to help out around the house. It takes everyone doing their part to make your household a well oiled machine. Same goes for your spouse. Team players here. At the same time though, nobody can read minds so everyone needs to know what you’d like done and how you’d like it done. Communicate your expectations. 
6. Priorities. Get ’em straight. If TV is higher on your priority list than sleep, we might need to take a look at that. 

Lastly, I have realized that this is such a struggle for so many that if you are truly ready to make a change and you’re not sure how to incorporate more/better sleep into your day, I am offering 60 minutes of sleep strategy coaching for $35. We will go over your routine and what keeps you up at night, revamp it and make a plan that works for you to help you get the sleep you need. All you need to do is implement the plan! Email me at coaching@recognizingpotential.com with 3 times that work for you in the next week and let’s get you to a place where you are less stressed, less depleted and better rested! 

XOXO,

Kameran

Is “NO” a struggle for you?

I spent most of my life saying yes to everything anyone asked me to do or help with because deep down I feared that I would let them down if I said no. After all, why would they ask if they didn’t really need my help? 

About 3 years ago, I started recognizing that people would come to me quite often asking for help and I always said yes, even if I had a magnificent amount of loathing for whatever it was they were asking for. But when I needed help and actually swallowed my pride enough to ask for that help, those same people were rarely there to help me. OUCH!. 

That’s when I realized that everyone falls into one of two categories. Those who have no problem saying No and those who struggle with it daily. Guess which category is happier? Hint: it’s not the strugglers. 

Well my friend, here are a few reasons why saying no is so dang hard. 

You’re a people pleaser. 
Plain and simple, you’ve been conditioned to believe that it’s your job to make others happy, to comply, to be the helper, and to always do the right thing. That translates in your head as “I have to say yes because if I say no, people won’t love me as much. They’ll be mad and that doesn’t feel good.” This level of thinking isn’t exactly true. As a recovering people pleaser myself, I can tell you that the need for approval runs a lot deeper than being able to say no. Saying yes all the time is only one symptom of the need for approval. However, it doesn’t feel good when you disappoint others. But I challenge you to think about these questions. First, when you say yes but you really wanted to say no, how do you feel while you’re carrying out the task asked of you? Chances are you feel just as bad because you know you said yes when you didn’t really want to do this thing in the first place. This is a problem because not only are you now giving 50% effort in the task, you’re harboring a lot of irritation, resentment and maybe even anger. How is that helping the person who asked for the help? How is it helping you? 

Secondly, when you say yes but really wanted to say no, you’re giving away your power over your time, energy, and priorities. With your actions, you’re telling the other person that they come before yourself. So if you say no, you’re telling that person that “hey! I’m really sorry but I matter. My time matters. My priorities matter.” You’re affirming that whatever you’re saying yes to (more time with family, friends, yourself, your money, your other resources) is more important than what they were asking for. So now ask yourself, if this person is disappointed in you putting yourself and your happiness over them, how good of a friend/loved one are they really? Who does that say more about, you or them? 

Next, I say this a lot in my coaching. There is a massive difference between helping and enabling. Helping is doing something for others that they can’t do themselves. Enabling is doing something for others that they can do for themselves, they just choose not to. Those who are enabled once will continue to come back to you knowing you’ll never say no to them and you’ll continue to enable them. They are like a leech. They’ll suck the energy right out of you and never move on until you start putting yourself first! Along with that, how are you helping them live into their fullest potential if you’re constantly enabling them and never setting those much needed boundaries? 

You fear the feeling of guilt. 

This goes hand in hand with being a people pleaser but it also runs much deeper. Why do you feel guilty? Now ask yourself Why again and a third time. Maybe journal on this. When you hit that 3rd why deep, you’ll uncover a monsterous breakthrough. Feel free to email me when you hit this breakthrough and let me know what you uncovered. I love hearing stories of people leveling up! 

Here’s how to calm the guilt though because Lord knows, learning to say no is not an overnight experience. So start by saying something like “That sounds interesting, let me check my calendar” or asking “Can I think about it?” You can even politely say something like “You know, I’m just not sure that I’m the right fit for that job but I sure appreciate you asking/thinking of me!” You don’t have to bluntly say NO, just don’t immediately say yes. Remember, if your heart and soul aren’t in it, you’ll end up giving 50% and find yourself in the toxic realm of resentment and negativity. Which is more beneficial in the long run for both of you? 50% effort or 100% effort? Positivity and joy or anger and resentment? 

I saw a shirt about a year ago and while I probably wouldn’t have worn it much, I still love the saying-
If it’s not a HELL YES, it’s gotta be a No. 

XOXO,

Kameran

How much stress can you take?

Do you hit snooze every morning? Is coffee a MUST in order to thrive each day? Are you irritable, snappy with your spouse/kids? You might be burnt out. 

Ever heard of microstressors? A microstressor is something that happens in your day that gives you a small jolt of cortisol. It stresses your body but comes across cognitively as an annoyance, irritation or inconvenience. Examples would be: your alarm clock going off when you’re in the middle of a REM cycle, your spouse asking you to do something for them when you’re already running late, a child telling you at 7 PM they have a science experiment due that night or they need a certain shirt, brownies or something else for the next day, a car pulling out in front of you on the way to work, spilling your coffee, etc. Anything that makes you have to pivot or utter curse words under your breath. 

Your body is only equipped to handle 40 microstressors per day. 40. If you hit snooze each morning, that’s another microstressor for each time your alarm goes off. That being said, think of how many times you experience a microstressor each day. Is it more than 40? Anything more than 40 causes your body to release extra cortisol (public enemy number 1) into your system causing belly fat, exhaustion in emotional, physical and mental form, and a taxation on your adrenal glands. Tired, cranky and out of energy and patience all the time? Now you know why. All of these extra microstressors lead to burn out and chronic stress. Chronic stress then leads to chronic health problems. 

So how do you overcome them? 

1. Get 7-9 hours of sleep. The recommended amount is 6-8 but 7-9 are needed to thrive, not just function. Turn off electronics at least 1 hour before bed. Get a diffuser or sound machine. STOP hitting SNOOZE!
2. Meet your other physiological needs- food, air, water, homeostasis. If those needs aren’t filled, you can’t concentrate on anything. Kids are the same way by the way. My 10 year old didn’t go to sleep until late last night and this morning, I think I heard at least 10 times in 2 hours how tired he was while he was trying to concentrate on school work. Kids need between 11-13 hours of sleep every night to thrive too. Ever tried to have a serious conversation when you’re hungry? Doesn’t work so well, does it? 
3. Eat healthy, enough and often. When your brain is depleted from nutrients, you can’t concentrate and everything is more intense. 
4. Exercise but if you’re exhausted, don’t try to do a HIIT or something strenuous. Do yoga or go for a nature walk. 
5. Socialize with friends. 2 hours a week with friends can increase happiness by 40%! Encourage your spouse to go on that guys/girls weekend! They’ll come back refreshed and be a better spouse/parent. 
6. Progress over perfection. There’s a difference in being a perfectionist and just living in fear and “perfect” doesn’t actually exist anyway! 
7. Deep breaths. Search cosmic yoga for a fun resource for your kids to calm down. For you, 5 deep breaths every 3 hours, indulging in a hobby, journaling, meditation. All of these are fantastic! 
8. Time management. Prioritize, let go of the small stuff (does it really matter if your spouse didn’t fold the towels right? They fit in the cupboard, they’re folded and you didn’t have to do it. Let it go), delegate, partner up, share the resources you have, stop trying to reinvent the wheel…see number 6 on the perfectionist thing. 
9. When you or your child are having a meltdown, ask “what need isn’t being met here”? What do you need?
10. Set expectations clearly, early and often. Talk to your kids about your expectations for the day during breakfast. Talk to your spouse about your expectations for budgeting at the beginning of the month, for the job you’re requesting they do before they start it, etc. 

If you need more information on microstressors or expectations, I’ve done a video on both in the facebook group. Feel free to join and check them out! I do free coaching in that group 2-3x a week every week! 
Otherwise, I hope this has helped and I wish you a weekend filled with less stress! 

XOXO,

Kameran

Hit Reset

“How in the name of Christmas does my house look like a hurricane hit when I just cleaned yesterday?”

It’s said that the way you keep your car or your house is a direct reflection of your life. Is your house chaos? Coordinated chaos? Neat and tidy? Boring and dull? Bright and happy? 

I’ve mentioned several times before but if you’re new here, my husband is a commercial airline pilot. Sometimes, like this month, he is gone for 4 days, home for 16 hours-5 days and gone again. The “joke” that’s not very ha ha funny is that he blows in, blows up and blows out. Well one day, not too long ago, I was not so secretly tired of walking behind him and our 10 year old picking socks up off the floor, grabbing the sweatshirt off the back of the chair, cleaning up 33 pairs of shoes by the door, etc. etc. I was also reading a book that I talked about a couple weeks ago called Atomic Habits by James Clear.

In the book, he talks about a bachelor that got tired of his apartment always being messy and refers to himself as “lazy”. But the one thing that got this bachelor on track was starting a “ROOM RESET”. When he was finished with the blanket, he’d shut the TV off, refold the blanket and put it back on the couch where it goes. He would literally reset the room before leaving it. 

This seemed completely brilliant! I started implementing this in my home immediately. When my husband started having to pick up all of his own things, I began to have more help, more time for what I wanted to do and less to pick up and he started understanding how much work it really takes to keep a home in order without losing your mind. We also implemented two other rules at the same time. A game called “one touch” and a rule called All+ 1. “One touch” means that whatever you touch, you touch once and put it where it goes right away. No more picking up a cup to move it to the counter then later move it to the dishwasher. Nope. Pick up the cup, in the dishwasher it goes. Dishes are in the dishwasher? You just got the responsibility of putting the dishes away, even if you’re 10. I’ll also add that my child doesn’t get an allowance. He helps out because we are a team and he is a part of that team. Everyone pulls their weight. I don’t get paid to cook dinner, he doesn’t get paid vaccum. Team effort. I will give him a little extra for detailing the car, or dusting base boards. All +1 means that when we do the room reset, you pick up all your junk plus one thing that isn’t yours. That way everyone is helping out. It gets done faster and the house stays picked up. 

So how does this apply to your life? Well for starters, it’s not too late to do a “reset” on your life. Stop dwelling on the past and move forward from where you are now. Reset where you are and start moving toward where you want to go. Reset your habits to start new ones or change old ones. Reset your relationship to be better. Get help, change behaviors, fix what’s broken, do a reset. Then check in every day. What’s it look like? How’d the reset go that day? What needs to happen to make it even better the next day? 

People never get to the end of something and know exactly what went wrong. They look back and think “what happened”? Small, repeated habits and patterns happened. They never got reset and now the breaking point has come. That breaking point may be your sanity, a divorce, a sippy cup of milk that has molded after getting lost under the seat, an extra 50 pounds, a health issue, whatever applies to you. 

If you don’t like who you are, what you’ve become, what your house, your car, or your life look like just yell out “RESET” and commit to it. 

XOXO,

Kameran

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of the unknown. So many questions and not enough definitive answers. People are more divided than ever. Will we ever get back to “normal”? What does “normal” even mean anymore? Does it seem like there’s more fear than hope lately? 

You’re not alone. There are definitely so many questions that every person ponders on a daily basis. It’s scary and a lot to handle. I can’t say that I haven’t had my moments of uncertainty and fear. Those moments are to be expected as a human being. But I don’t set up camp and live there. 

“Normal” doesn’t exist. It never has. Life is always changing. Our individual circumstances are changing, our government officials change, jobs, amount of money, diseases to watch out for. Look back at when you were a kid. How much of life can you say has stayed exactly the same? Probably not much. But you’ve adapted. You’ve overcome the obstacles and you’re still here to read this email so you haven’t died. Bravo! You’ve made it through 100% of your trials, tribulations and bad days. Guess what? You’re going to make it through this too, the same way you did all the rest. The best part is, in 5 years, you’re going to look back and be truly astonished at how you’ve handled everything! Are the circumstances different? Yes. Is there still fear? Yes. Are there still unknowns? Yes. 

You’re not afraid of the unknown. You’re afraid of the belief you’ve created around the unknown. It’s human nature to automatically gravitate toward the negative instead of the positive. If it were the other way around, sales tactics, the media and the idea of what would happen if you missed curfew when you were in high school wouldn’t have worked as well. Fear is an emotion that was given to you to keep you safe. Anxiety is when that fear is amped up because you’re looking too far into the future without having all of the variables accounted for. It’s like trying to make a cake when you don’t know what temperature to set the oven for, how many eggs to use or if you need to use water or oil. You don’t have all the ingredients or a complete recipe. Sure, you can wing it. But what are the chances of it turning out great? You must wait for the rest of the information. Can you name one situation in your life where you got anxious and the resolution turned out worse than you imagined? Most likely not because we fear the worst. 

Can you prepare for the possibility of job loss? Sure. Cut back on what you can. Save money if possible. Pay off debts if possible. But until you know if that’s a for sure, stop worrying about it. What you focus on expands. If you’re focusing on the negative, you’re going to receive a lot more negative. Will you have enough money to live on if the job loss does happen? Yes! If you’re reading this email, you have a mindset that, even if it’s a small amount, wants to live your best life. Trust me when I say (because I’ve been there), that you are an intelligent human being! You have the capability to go get another job! Is it the job you want? Maybe not. But could it also be the job you’ve dreamed of your entire life and didn’t even know it was your calling because you’ve had blinders on with the current one? It’s a possibility! So you can focus on the idea of the future being awful or of the infinite possibilities, the choice is yours and will grow based on the decision you make. 

Many of you know that I also teach Kindergarten when I’m not coaching. I have taught four different grade levels in the last 5 1/2 years now and I’ve been in 3 different districts so I have a good outlook on a lot of different perspectives and experiences. Here’s what I can tell you. 

Homeschool or in school? What works best for YOUR family? There is no cookie cutter approach here. This is a whole new era of education, not only for your family but also for the teachers. “Normal” classrooms are not what is to come. Colorful walls, fun and interactive lessons are not what we get to do. Kids will not be socializing like they used to. The “fun” in our job and in your child’s learning has been removed by something we know just as much about as you do. We didn’t prepare for this. This is not what we went to college for. This is not what we signed up for when we got into teaching, just like we didn’t sign up for the possibility of being gunned down by a psychopath. But you know what? We adapt. Educators pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars out of their own already underpaid pockets every single year to give kids the best possible experience in learning. Educators didn’t choose to teach for the summers off or because it was the “easiest profession to choose from”. Yes, someone actually said that to me yesterday. Educators get paid for 180 days of teaching. That paycheck is then divided over 12 months. That’s what’s contracted. What’s not accounted for in the other 180 days is grading, planning, continuing education, planning for the next year, consoling parents who don’t “get” the homework, and the list goes on forever. Educators are constantly looking at what’s not working and changing it to be better. Even now, virtual learning was expected to be put into place in less than a week last spring. Was it a sh*t show? In some cases. But teachers know that! They’ve adapted and they’ve worked all summer to make this Fall an even better experience! They do this job to make sure that the future generations will be good, educated, contributing members of society. They do it because they love it. But you know what? Educators are only half of the team. Parents make up that other half and have a louder, stronger presence than the education system does. If you are discouraged with the way the education system is handling things, ask yourself if it’s because you’re not having your expectations met or if they’re really just not handling things well. Are your expectations reasonable? Could you do better? Have you ever been in their shoes? If not, check your mindset. Check what you’re saying out loud. Your thoughts and beliefs are being instilled into your child and I guarantee those thoughts and beliefs are being passed along to their teachers.  Teachers who are doing the best they can with what they’ve got, just like you are as a parent.

There is not one plan of action for your job, the education or your children, the way you hold social gatherings, or the way you get your groceries in the foreseeable future that is going to make everyone happy, going to fit everyone’s circumstances, going to work for everyone. Stop asking your neighbor what they’re going to do, what works for your friend, your pastor or the Amazon delivery driver. Their circumstances are not yours. 

Work with the ingredients you’ve been given. Really look at your expectations, your thoughts and your beliefs. SLOW. IT. DOWN. Y’all know I’m a big fan of the enneagram. Every number handles stress, conflict, and change differently. Nobody is right or wrong. Everyone has their own perspective, their own families with their own circumstances. Everyone gets to make a decision for themselves and shouldn’t have the added stress of judgement added to it. Try for the sake of your mental health and the sanity of those around you to focus on the good. Write out 10 things you’re grateful for every day. It’s one of the few things that I’ve done every day for the last year and a half and it’s what gets me through the hardships of situations like this. It’s physically impossible to be anxious and grateful at the same time. But in everything, remember that one thing that hasn’t changed is that you have the choice to focus on the negative or the positive. What you focus on grows. 

XOXO, 

Kameran

The 3 Things That Keep Us From Investing In Ourselves

Life is full of opportunities. Thomas Edison said that “opportunity is missed because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” I would add that many times it’s also because we know nothing about the opportunity being offered to us or we are quick to create a belief around that opportunity that holds us back. 

In coaching people, I use a tool that’s based on the bible verse Matthew 25:14-30. In this verse, a Master gives 3 men different amounts of money. To one, he gives 5 bags of gold to which that man multiplies into 10. To the second, he gives 2 bags of gold to which the man multiplies into 4. The last man gets 1 bag of gold and instead of taking risks with the money to multiply it, he buries it in a “safe place” until the Master wants it back. The Master is pleased with the 2 who multiplied the gold. Was it a risk? Absolutely but it paid double in what was invested. To the man who buried the gold out of fear, the Master is furious, coming back with “you wicked and slothful servant…”. 

You are not responsible for anything God hasn’t given to you. But what about the gifts He gave you? Are you keeping them for yourself or are you blessing others with your gifts and talents as God called you to do? Are you too fearful of judgment or other’s opinions? Or are you proud of yourself and the gifts that only you can do in the way you share them? 

This is quite common. It’s also the first thing that holds us back. Insecurity. We undervalue what we have been given. 
We let the thoughts and opinions of people who don’t pay our bills, don’t live our lives and have never walked the path we have dictate what we can or can’t, should or should not do. Nobody else has been given the same set of skills, gifts, talents, experiences or purpose that you have. They aren’t supposed to do what you are. They have their own path, as do you. Stay in your own lane and be proud of who you are and what you do. 

The second thing that holds us back is fear. I see this one more than any of them. Fear comes when we overvalue what we could lose. We hold ourselves back from moving forward because we tell ourselves that “we can’t afford it” and the next week we spend three times the amount on a random Amazon order. So was it that we couldn’t afford it or did we create a belief that we wouldn’t find success in whatever opportunity was presented in the first place?
I remember the first coaching course I ever invested in. Moe and I were so incredibly broke. I didn’t have tangible money in the bank and I had an incredible insecurity in myself. I wasn’t confident in my coaching abilities just yet. I also knew that I’d be paying a rather large amount for a series of courses but knew I wasn’t getting anything tangible in return. I wasn’t going to be able to show people a thing that I’d purchased or point to something that my money had gone toward. I was overwhelmed with fear but in the back of my mind, I kept thinking “what if”. What if this was the one thing that would propel my business forward? What if this one series of courses would help me get more clients? What if this opportunity was being presented to me because I was meant to take the risk? So I did. You know what? It’s paid me back at least 10 fold what I invested in the first place! Worth it doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface! But what if I hadn’t? What if I would’ve let my fear keep me paralyzed? 

Well friend, that leads me to the third thing that keeps us from investing. Misperception. We misvalue who God is. We try to control everything in life and leave little to no room for God’s hand in our success. Honey, the reality is that the only reason you have the success you do, the opportunities you do or the blessings you do is because of GOD! Your’e co-creating a life with God. He gives you opportunities and also the free will to choose what you do with those opportunities. You just have to be smart enough to see an opportunity as such when it slaps you in the face. So it comes down to this- Do you believe God has your best in mind? Do you think He would give you the opportunity of a lifetime so you could fail? Do you think He would give you all these gifts and talents to put out into the world for you to be laughed at or ridiculed by people who actually matter? Do you think He would give you opportunities to rise to your fullest potential for you to be paralyzed by fear and turn away from the opportunity to stay stuck at the same level you’re at now? 

We are the hands and feet of Jesus. So if we don’t live to our fullest potential, our ripple effect doesn’t ever expand. Therefore, it’s not just us that we’re holding back. We’re stunting the growth of the entire Kingdom and keeping the Kingdom from rising to it’s fullest potential. 

Stop holding yourself back. Let go of the insecurity, fear and misperceptions. See opportunities for what they are so you can grow yourself and the Kingdom. Easier said than done, of course. But I can honestly say that nothing that has ever been presented as a true opportunity has kept me stagnant. I’ve always grown and become better in some shape or form. So the investment always been worth it. 

XOXO, 

Kameran

6 Tips to Help You Save a Ton of Money

Last week I talked to you about how 8 years ago, I had zero savings, was constantly overdrawn in my account and didn’t have enough money to pay bills. Here’s how I created a savings, increased my credit 300 points and got my financial life together. 

People say things like “there will always be debt”, “money doesn’t grow on trees”, or “there’s never enough money.” Bull. These beliefs makeup your money mindset. When your money mindset is trash, so is your bank account. It’s hard to hear but it’s the truth and the sooner you accept it and change your mindset, the sooner you can start building real wealth. What you focus on grows. 

1. Start budgeting. 
Bleck. I know. The thought of it makes people want to throw up. But I’m here to tell you, though it’s the hardest to start, it’s also the most crucial. We started with pencil and paper but it wasn’t as easy as digital and things kept getting left off. Now, my husband and I have a google excel sheet that we share so it’s on our phones, laptops, etc. Always at our fingertips. Easy access sets you up for success. We have 4 sections. The first section is monthly bills (mortgage/rent, electricity, groceries, etc). Things like groceries and gas get a number at the beginning of the month. So let’s say $150 for gas. There are simple formulas you can input to subtract 150- (total of each fill up) so you always know what you have left to get you through the rest of the month.The second section is all debt (credit cards, medical bills, etc). In each section make sure you the name of the bill, the amount due, the date due, and whether it comes out automatically or if you have to pay it. We also include login info as well (again for easy access). The third section is for extras (eating out, amazon orders, random things like car maintenance or oil changes). The fourth section is GOALS. All of our debt is listed in this section from highest interest rate to lowest. We’ve calculated what we can pay off every 90 days and that’s what we focus on. Again, what you focus on grows so when you’re laser focused on paying 3 to 4 things off every 90 days, you get through that list speedy quick. What you were paying on those 3-4 now goes to the next 3-4 you’re focused on. A debt avalanche. Everything is color coded. Pink items get paid at the beginning of the month, blue items get paid with the mid month checks. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. 

2. Pay yourself first. 
Every wealthy person in history will tell you to always pay yourself first. This was tough when we started and another thing that was hard and made us want to puke. But this is what started our savings. 10% of every single check or cash payment coming in goes straight to your savings account. You live on what’s left over. Not enough? Start cutting. I promise, you can do hard things! Trust me on this. 

3. Record it. 
On that spreadsheet, we record every single penny that’s spent (including cash) every month. Every cent is accounted for. At the end of each week, we look at it and discuss what we need to reign in and what’s coming up. The first time we had $800 leftover at the end of the month, my husband and I got into a huge argument that “something didn’t get paid! There’s no way this is right!” It was. It just hadn’t ever happened to us before. So whatever is left goes to debt. Pay all of that off as fast as possible. This increases your credit significantly and helps you meet your goals faster. A few months we halved what was left over and put part in savings and part toward debt. Either way works as long as you get an emergency fund set up and debt paid off. Your definition of “emergency” changes when you have a fund for it. 

4. Unpopular Opinion
Interest will kick you in the teeth every single month. This is a super unpopular opinion but has saved us a TON over the last year. Open a 0 interest credit card that will let you transfer balances. We did this with our largest credit card that was charging us almost $100 a month in interest. That move right there saved us over a grand last year alone and increased my credit score by almost 50 points!

5. Start reading and Stop Listening
Pay attention to what you’re listening to and looking at. If you’re listening to people that are always broke, you’re probably going to be as well. Surround yourself with people who push you up, teach you things and help you become better. I believe with all my heart and soul that you become like the top 5 people you hang around with most. Read books like Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eckert, anything by David Bach, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kyosaki, Tony Robbins has some good ones. Here’s why I’m not a huge Dave Ramsey fan. He says things like – if you owe any debt, you should not be eating out. No. Sometimes you need to enjoy a family dinner out to celebrate or save your ever loving sanity! Family morale means a lot! Does it dent your budget a little more than eating at home, yes. But the fear inducing mindset that statements like that promote are far more damaging than 1-2 meals out a month. 

6. Same ole, same ole
Cut what you can. We haven’t had cable in probably 10 years. How many channels do you really watch on your TV? Can you get those same channels with a Roku or an Amazon Firestick, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime? 

Shop at places like Aldi. I kid you not, their produce is WAY more fresh than places like Walmart and they have more organic options too. 

Do what you have to do for a short amount of time- teach English to Chinese kids online, sell essential oils, sell signs or paintings or clothes, substitute teach, all things I did for a couple years just to have extra funds to help get us ahead. My husband stayed in airport lounges instead of hotels and flew pipeline 5-6 days a week just to save. It wasn’t fun or pretty and our marriage struggled on the daily with all the stress but the payoff was incredible. 

These are all the things that you already know. I wanted to help you with things that you may not know or may not do. Everyone hears how they need to budget and many will ignore that advice but that was one of the best things we did for ourselves. 

I hope this helped and wish you the best of luck! When your financial life is in order, everything else feels so much better! Nobody will ever have their entire life completely together. That doesn’t exist. But having your finances in order sure does make a huge difference and significantly boosts your confidence! 

XOXO, 

Kameran

How I Changed My Life…

Some of you know my story. Some of you don’t but 8 years ago this week my life looked drastically different than it does now.

My best friend had just passed away unexpectedly at 8 months pregnant. 
My husband and I were having the same exact argument every 90 days with no change. We were beyond broke. Like so broke I couldn’t afford gas to drive the 4 hour trip to go home for the weekend, couldn’t buy new clothes, credit cards were all maxed out and I came home to no electricity more than a couple times. I filed for divorce, moved out on my own for the first time and had developed the belief that living by myself with a 2 year old was not safe. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t but not because of people, because it was so janky the floor may have fallen through at any moment and I’m pretty sure there was tetanus in every inch of the staircase outside that lead to the only laundry unit. I was a full-time college student, trying to get another degree because I couldn’t be a single mom on a teacher’s salary. (another limiting belief) I was working 3 part time jobs to make ends meet and vividly remember opening the door to the refrigerator one night only to discover a small jar of pickles and one slice of cheese. We had put everything in my name and when I got divorced, my ex-husband decided he didn’t need to help pay child support, or his half of the $40,000 in debt we’d accumulated over the 5 years we were married. I weighed 260 lbs and ate all my feelings. All. The. Feelings. The picture above is a before (top) and after (bottom). I’m about 90% sure that’s the only picture from around that time because of the pure embarrassment I had with looking at myself in the mirror. 

You can imagine at this point I was pretty low. Depressed and had debilitating anxiety. I watched reruns of One Tree Hill night after night because the anxiety was too bad to sleep. Hot Mess Express doesn’t even begin to cover it. 

I had to get it together, for myself and for my son. I started with what I knew. I knew my basic needs had to be met which meant food and sleep. I swallowed my pride and the limiting beliefs that I was a piece of crap if I got on food stamps. That’s what it’s there for. People who need temporary help, that was me. I had my cousin send me a bottle of lavender essential oil and a blend she made up for anxiety. I used these religiously and my anxiety got a little better, enough to at least sleep through the night. I finished school and with bribing Mason at 2 and a half to be SUPER quiet for 15 minutes while we sat in a Walgreen’s parking lot, I interviewed for a job in Dallas and got it. We moved 6 days later with a lot of help! I knew one person but I also knew deep down this job would propel me forward. It did. It helped me get back on my feet and introduced me to some of the greatest friends and mentors I still have today. 

I got off food stamps when I moved and I called a lady I knew from when I was married that’s a financial planner. She did my financial needs analysis for free, as she does all families and I followed it to the letter. I never had extra money to do a lot of trips or anything more than hitting the zoo once every few months but I paid that $40,000 debt off in 4 years. I still got no help with child support so I did that all on my own too. I didn’t have cable or anything that wasn’t necessary. I got real good at finding free entertainment for Mason and I to enjoy and still use that little trick to this day! 

Time management, grit, determination and a lot of swallowing my pride and asking for help made a huge difference in my success. I made a plan and I stuck to it. When I felt like I had kind of gotten a hold of my life, I borrowed the P90X program from a friend and I lost 30 lbs. with it. Shortly after, I met Moe which is a whole different story for another day.

But if I could give you any advice at all, I’d say- Have Persistence. Was it all easy? No. It was hard as hell! But I believed in myself and I believed that the steps I was taking, no matter how small, were still steps forward and would eventually pay off. 

8 years later, I’m happier than I’ve ever been. I’ll be completely debt free except for my student loans by 2021. I’m having another baby (something I never thought would be in my cards again), happily married and truly thriving. A lot of that growth came from taking a hard look in the mirror, getting rid of the limiting beliefs and reading…so much reading. I read on everything I needed help with, success stories I could learn from, parenting hacks, anything that could possibly get me where I wanted to go. It took working hard and smart. It took doing what wasn’t always popular and not always what I wanted but what I needed. Lastly, it took having a circle of people I wanted to be like, people who were smarter than me, more financially independent than me, people I could learn from to help me grow instead of people who only held me back. 

If you or someone you know is in this same situation, just know that like those food stamps, it’s temporary if you want it to be. It’s 100% possible to claw your way out of any hole you’re in. Just keep moving in the right direction. 

XOXO, 

Kameran

Your Upper Limit Problem

Have you ever…

had that nagging feeling like you wanted something so bad and then when you got it, you felt like you didn’t deserve it? Ever applied for a job that was out of your comfort zone and “a long shot” but then you got it and felt like you weren’t good enough? Ever not applied for a job because you felt like you weren’t qualified enough? Ever started worrying about when the next shoe was going to drop because things in life were “going too well”? Ever started a fight with your spouse because things were “too good to be true”? 

All of these are self-sabotaging examples that have to do with your Upper Limit Problem

Your Upper Limit is the glass ceiling belief that you put on yourself, your thermostat. It’s the level of success in your relationship, your job, your personal life, or where you’ll be to be successful. The problem comes in when you get to that point or just above that point, you sabotage yourself because you don’t know what to do with that success or you have a certain negative belief around actually achieving it. 

Did you know that according to Harvard Business Review, statistically women will not apply for a job unless they have 100% of the job criteria met while men will apply if they have only 60% of the job criteria met? Most of that job criteria is a “it’d be nice to have but isn’t necessary” anyway.

Ladies! What does this say about our sense of self-worth? You don’t know if you don’t try, right? But there’s that Upper Limit Problem. We don’t believe that we will get the job, so we hold ourselves back from even trying in the first place because what if you do accidentally get it and then everyone finds out you’re a fraud. Worst case scenarioing things never got anyone anywhere.

Stop living in fear. Robert Heller said that fear is the exact same emotion as exhilaration but without the breath. Think about an athlete, speaker, celebrity, or whomever has a lot of nerves but also a responsibility to uphold. What do they do just before they go perform? They take a big breath and they change the energy of fear into the energy of exhilaration by blowing that air out as if they’re blowing out candles on a birthday cake. Then they move. They take action.

You do new things every day, drive a new route because of a road construction detour, speak to new patients or clients, learn new things, complete new tasks, dive head first into learning 4th grade common core math just to help your child with their homework, figure out how to get spaghetti sauce out of your brand new white rug and didn’t disown your child for spilling it in the first place. (All of which are examples I’ve been through in the last 2 months so believe me when I say, when you put your mind to it- you can do hard, new things!) You can take that breath, blow it out, change the energy and take action. So why the self-sabotage when we finally get what we’ve asked for or hold ourselves back because of our own limiting beliefs? 

When I work with couples, at least one session is dedicated to finances. Not only because it’s one of the top reasons for divorce but because the fights about money are never just about money. They are so much deeper than that. The upper limit problem of one or both parties that make up that couple keep them thinking small. That limited belief system then spills over into the relationship and one picks a fight with the other over “spending too much” when it’s really the limiting belief of angered party that’s the problem- not the “money being blown by buying the good toilet paper instead of the generic.”

Another example is of a good friend of mine. She is married to the love of her life, has 4 beautiful children who are all healthy. They own a home on quite a bit of land with an enormous backyard and have little to no debt. They travel and genuinely live “a great life” (her exact words). Yet, she has debilitating anxiety attacks almost nightly because she believes that something is going to happen and they’ll lose it all or one of them will die. Her upper limit problem- she doesn’t believe she is good enough to have this great of a life so something has to happen to make it “normal”. 

How do you spot your Upper Limit problem? If you have: anxiety, frequent bouts of criticizing or blaming your partner, deflecting when someone points out your limiting belief system, picking fights with your partner, friends or family, frequent sickness or injuries, frequently comparing your life with others, finding fault in everyone else but yourself/having a “victim” mentality, you my friend, are suffering from an upper limit problem. 

How do you fix it? Well naturally, I’m going to tell you coaching! Additionally though, letting go of the guilt and the blame. Get to the root of the upper limit problem- do you have more than one? Commit to identifying them and working through them consistently. Work to not just get through it but completely dissolve the problem. Close the gap by recognizing when you’re letting your upper limit problem get in the way of your success and recover from it by acknowledging it and then changing the narrative in your head- “The lie I’m telling myself is that I have not done enough to deserve my success. My TRUTH is that I have worked very hard for the accolades that I’ve earned and I am successful because of that dedication and determination. I excel in all I do!” Lastly, make a conscious decision to change your thought process from a lack mindset to thinking abundantly, with gratitude, love and success! What you focus on grows! 

If you resonated with this, I’d love to hear from you. If you want to read more about it, Gay Hendricks talks all about it in his book The Big Leap. If you need help with this, I’d love to help you through it! I used to have debilitating anxiety as well and now I have none because I took responsibility for my own mindset, my own upper limit problems and my own dissolving of those limits. Upper limit problems aren’t forever. They’re only there as long as you let them take up space. 

XOXO, 

Kameran

P.S.- This week’s episode, just dropped this morning, talks more in depth about the Upper Limit Problem and how to overcome it. It’s fire, if I do say so myself.

Are You As Empathetic As You Think You Are?

Empathy. 

/ˈempəTHē/
the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions: the ability to share someone else’s feelings. 

This morning I was in a yoga class and had chatted quite a bit with the lady on the mat next to me before class began. About a quarter of the way through class, she got up and left with only her phone. About 20 minutes went by and she came back sobbing but trying to pull it together. She lasted about 3 minutes before she got up, gathered her things and left. During the 3 minutes she was laying there, I wanted to reach out. I wanted to touch her hand or somehow let her know that I was there because she was clearly not ok but you know…I’ve literally only known her for about 28 minutes at this point and then you’ve got social distancing…so many thoughts. After she left, I spent the rest of the class praying for her comfort, her safety, the safety of her children and husband, for her to have peace with whatever wrecked her so fiercely. What I had for her was a deep amount of sympathy. I acknowledge that she was struggling and I wanted to comfort her. But without knowing her circumstances and what was going on, I could not have empathy for her. I could not understand what she was going through and relate because I don’t know if I’ve ever gone through a similar experience. See the difference? Empathy and Sympathy both come from Greek roots and are often confused. However, empathy is much more than sympathy. 

Looking at a relationship standpoint, think back to the last argument you got into with your significant other. Did you hear to respond or hear to really listen and understand? If you heard to understand, most likely you showed empathy and the argument that was dissolved quickly. If you heard to respond, the argument probably escalated in a hurry. Don’t worry, you’re human. We tend to think we’re doing a lot better than we really are and more often than not, we hear to respond instead of listening to understand. Empathy. You’ve probably been in a situation where someone heard you and responded quickly without understanding your perspective or your need in that situation. You may have felt judged and you may have felt truly unheard. You can understand how you just made your partner feel. Now you can do better. 

Think about your children, if you have them. Does their frustration and fit throwing come from them “being bad” or do they need you to listen to them and understand better? I can’t count the number of times in the last week that my son tried to tell me something and then had to repeat it because I was only hearing him half way. No wonder he was frustrated with me. I can empathize with him on this. I have been in these situations before and it felt irritating, rage inducing and unfair. I will do better. 

Think about your community. Did you visit the friend down the street who just had a baby to hold the baby, maybe bring a gift and split after 20 minutes into the visit because “she needs to rest” but really it was so you could run to the store and keep up with your schedule? OR did you offer to come sit with the baby for a couple hours, do a couple loads of laundry, her dishes and bring a meal she could freeze for next week? Did you check on her after a few weeks to make sure that she isn’t suffering from PPD? Gents, did you help that new dad knock out some of his honey-do list or bother to ask him what he really needs right now? His world has been flipped upside down too but society has told him that if he says anything, he’s weak and unsupportive of his wife. How did you help the man who lost his business because of Covid? How did you help the family whose house burned down or their kid was just diagnosed with a terrible illness? Have you reached out to the single mom or the couple who are new to the neighborhood? Empathy. You’ve been there. You can relate to at least one of these circumstances, if not all. What did YOU need in those moments? How can you do better?

Now think about our country. Empathy would go a long way here. If you are white, like me, you can’t share in the emotions or experiences that your BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) friends have experienced but you absolutely can sit down and ask them to tell you about it. Listen to understand, not to respond. You can have sympathy here but that’s not going to change things. Empathy and educating future generations on why people have different levels of melanin in their skin, why it’s not ok to judge others, why nobody is better than anybody else, why it’s not ok to dehumanize anyone, ever. These are the things that are going to make a lasting change. Additionally, look at your circle. Is it filled with only (or more than 80% with) people who look, think, vote, and were raised like you? If that’s the case, you’re part of the problem. Expand your circle. If you’re fearful of this, ask yourself why.  Ask yourself why you believe what you do about people? Why do you have the unconscious biases that you do? Is it because of media? Because of what your grandma told you when you were 5 years old? Because you met one person that had less than stellar behavior? Are your beliefs fair to judge an entire population on? Are your beliefs still serving you? Your community? There’s incredible greatness in differences. Greatness that you are only open to seeing and living if you step out of your norm to develop those relationships. You might be pleasantly surprised at how much empathy you develop as a result of those relationships. If nothing else, by putting some or all of these practices into play, maybe we’ll be able to say, “this is how I’m doing better.” Hopefully, this will allow our children to say “we live in a better world than my parents grew up in.” Instead of “we’re still fighting the same battles my ancestors did.”

XOXO, 

Kameran

P.S.- If you’re like me and you want to do better, you’ll definitely want to check out this week’s podcast dropping Thursday morning. I interview 3 friends of mine who are all black, all from different upbringings and all phenomenal individuals making a HUGE impact in this world in different ways. We have a very real and raw conversation about the world, what we need for change and how people can do better. Make sure you tune in by searching Recognizing Potential on Spotify or Apple podcast platforms.