How Commitment Makes Your Dreams Come True

commitment

Every day, I get to talk to the most amazing women.

Hard-working. Smart. Devoted. Funny. Accomplished. Generous Women.

Who each have a desire to do big things in their lives.

They can’t wait to tell me about what they really want. They talk about their dreams in full detail. And how much happier they will be on the other side of achieving these dreams.

As they talk, their energy and excitement amplify. They have rehearsed this exact conversation about their dreams so many times.

And despite all their differences in age, marital status, professions, income, geographic location – we often arrive at the exact same place in our conversation.

I say – “Are you ready to commit to making this happen?”

They say – “Well, I’m not sure if I’m ready to commit right now…but I’m definitely really interested in pursuing it someday.”

Interested.

Oh…ok. Great.

Another dream bites the dust.

Here’s what “being interested” really means.

It means a slow surrender and the painful death of a dream.

“Interested” sounds really good. But it requires no real effort or action.

It’s like dipping your big toe in the water and never jumping in.

It’s like taking one baby step and then stopping in that place and staying there forever.

“Interested” is the same as “hoping” – and you know how I feel about “hoping”. It’s Passive. Safe. Risk-free.

Default Living.

Waiting for someday.

Keep the status quo.

At this point in our conversation, I often encourage my clients to just say no to their dream now. I explain how it is much better, in the long run, to kill it quickly and move on, then to stay “interested” and 1/2 committed forever.

Wait. What?

I know that “interested” pretends to feel like positive momentum in creating the dream, but it’s actually just a stall tactic.

We stall out when we anticipate fear, failure, risk, and change.

And yet, real dreams are born out of fear, failure, risk, and change. It’s part of the deal.

“Interested” saps energy. Creates distraction. It keeps all the options open. Nothing ever gets accomplished. Someday gets pushed out further and further into the future.

Got a big dream? I say, throw everything you’ve got at it, now.

Go all in. Move from interested to committed.

Take those baby steps towards what you want and don’t stop until you have it.

Dip all your toes in the water, then both feet, both legs, your whole body and start swimming until you reach your destination.

Yes, there will be fear and some failures – setbacks, and changes. And there is a high likelihood that you will achieve that dream. That dream will become your future reality.

Commitment makes it possible. Interest will not.

Are you a woman with an amazing dream?

Then, go get it!

Do you want to go from interested to committed? Why not, schedule a complimentary Breakthrough Session and we can talk about what’s getting in your way and holding you back. This no-obligation conversation could be just what you need to set yourself free. Book your session today!

The Upside of Risk-Taking

risk-taking

Some people are great at risk-taking. They thrive on pursuing what they want, despite big challenges or even danger.

Trying new things seems to come more easily to them. They appear to be fearless. Uber confident. Or completely insane.

They seem care-free and unburdened. Always up for an adventure. Completely willing to try new things.

And always answering, “YES!!!! Let’s do this!”

I used to admire and simultaneously fear risk-takers.

Who are these people? I wondered.
What did they I have that I didn’t have?
Was it a special gene that I just wasn’t born with?

Where does that all that fearlessness come from?

I always knew that had a tiny risk-taker inside of me.

But I also learned how to silence her.

She was inconvenient. Restless and unpredictable. She wanted to mess with my perfectly thoughtful and careful planning.

How dare her?

I wanted to be in control.
And to stay safe.
Numb the fear.
Danger was to be avoided at all costs, no matter what.

But, here’s what I have learned about safety and fear and danger.

Safety is easy. Fear is necessary. And danger is a myth.

The truth is that there’s very little in our everyday lives, that is actually dangerous.

We have homes. And clothes to keep us warm. There is more than enough food to eat. There is clean water. We have heat, drug stores, phones, and jobs. We have education, pets to love, medicine and bank accounts.

We are safer than we think.

Now that’s not to say that a lot of things feel huge and scary and totally impossible, but this is different than dangerous.

Fear trips us up all the time. Our brains get super confused by fear.

Our ‘fight or flight brains’ try to tell us that everything is DANGEROUS and that we must avoid, stay away and protect against danger and the possibility of suffering harm or injury.

Fear is necessary. For growth and change and evolution.
And fear does mean the same thing as danger.

Fear is an emotion. Plain and simple. Fear is a vibration that passes through our bodies that usually feels uncomfortable. Despite what we believe, there is no physical harm with feeling the emotion of fear.

And yet, fear is the biggest excuse we use to not take risks, make a change, pursue a dream, to fall in love, to make more money, to follow our passion.

We also use the excuse of fear justify procrastination, over-eating, avoiding, complaining, gossiping, self-doubt and indecision.

SAFETY FIRST.

Stay comfortable. Stay familiar. Stay predictable.

Everything that we really want is just on the other side of fear.

The best way I know to work with fear in pursuit of growth and change is to acknowledge that fear is necessary and danger is a myth.
Fearlessness takes practice.
The best way to practice is to challenge yourself to do something uncomfortable.
Dare yourself. Unleash your inner risk-taker.
It bolsters self-confidence and courage, which builds the muscle of working with fear in your future.

Everything that you really want is on the other side of fear and fear is just an emotion. Feeling the emotion of fear is not dangerous.

Make a sales call.
Ask for raise.
Schedule some time for yourself.
Go to an event, alone.
Say no.
Sign up for a class.
Start the first chapter of your book.
Say, I love you, first.
Volunteer to speak in public.
End a toxic relationship.

Notice how these things are not dangerous. They are just tasks that seem hard because of an uncomfortable feeling. Don’t let your brain fool you. It wants to protect you from danger.

I want you to have what you want and not to let a little fear get in your way of having it.

I want you to say “YES! Let’s do this!”

Set your inner risk-taker free. I dare you!

Do you want to explore the idea of setting your inner risk-taker free? Why not, schedule a complimentary Breakthrough Session and we can talk about what’s getting in your way and holding you back. This no-obligation conversation could be just what you need to set yourself free. Book your session today!

Hope Is Not The GPS For Your Life.

hope

Hope.
It feels good.
It’s optimistic.
It can bring a smile to our faces.
It feels promising.

When we hope, we are on to something.
The thing that we want comes into our sight lines.
It’s out there.
It’s exciting.
It feels possible.

Perhaps.

Maybe it will come true. Fingers crossed. Hope. Hope. Hope.

But sadly and likely, it will not.

Here’s why…

Hope is passive.
It is non-committal.
It is seeing something we want out in our future and observing, waiting, wishing, fingers crossed.

More waiting.
It is watching our lives and feeling good (hoping) versus, rolling up our sleeves and committing to creating our lives, no matter what.

Hope is choosing to ride in the passenger seat of a stranger’s car with your fingers crossed that you will arrive at your desired destination.

Hope is NOT a GPS.

Here’s what else is true…
Hope doesn’t stir up any fear or doubt.
And that’s a problem.
If you want something, the best way to approach having it is to fully commit, even if that commitment scares you to death.
Seriously.

Committing is the opposite of hope.
And it requires making a decision to have what you want, even when you have no idea how to get it.
Committing will trigger fear and doubt. YES!!!!
Committing will mean that you will take massive action to overcome the fear and doubt.
It will likely mean that you will fail (more than once) on your way to achieving that thing that you want.

Failure is good. Lessons learned. An opportunity to take your commitment in a new direction. To keep learning new things. To grow. To evolve.

Committing is driving YOUR car in the direction that you want in – and then consulting your GPS to course-correct your route along the way to get to the desired destination no matter what.

It’s intentioned.
It’s purposeful.
It’s directed.
It’s planned.

Reaching your desired destination is inevitable.
Achieving what you want is inevitable.

Committing feels scary and creates dreams coming true.
Hoping feels good and withholds dreams coming true.

I know which one I choose. Do you?

Explore these questions below to find your answer!

Can you think of a recent example of something that you passively hoped for?
Describe what happened?
Can you think of a recent example of something that you massively committed to?
Exactly what happened?
What was different between these two experiences?
What is something that you are hoping for right now?
Can you turn this hoping into commitment?

If your answer is yes, write down your new commitment.
What is the decision that you need to make to begin working towards your commitment? Now, give yourself no more than 24 hours to make the decision.
Next, write down the action steps that you need to take to start working towards this commitment. What you know right now is perfect. You don’t have to know ‘how’.

Just start here. Jump in the driver’s seat. Turn on your GPS. Start taking action and course-correct as needed.

hope

One action you could take that could be extremely beneficial is to book a FREE Breakthrough Session with me. We can put our two heads together to help you get clear about the commitment you want to make and why. This is a great {no obligation} way to see how coaching can help you solve your toughest challenges and get you heading in the right direction. Book your session today!

Got Perfect Pairings?

katie puslifer coaching

When I talk to my clients about perfect pairings, we usually aren’t talking about what their local wine shop owner suggests to serve with that new grilled fish dish that she’s cooking on Saturday night.

And we are not talking about what heels to pair with her cute new dress, either

Nope, we are talking about a whole other kind of perfect pairing.

We are talking about the unusual combination of two things – that have absolutely nothing in common, but go together perfectly!

When I first start working with my clients, they aren’t even aware that they create perfect pairings in their life. They don’t even know what they are and they can’t see them right away.

But working together for awhile, they get really good at noticing what is going on. They start to pay attention to what they do and what they feel. It’s completely fascinating to them. It’s like the lights come on in their life. Their awareness is ignited and suddenly, they see perfect pairings that they had never noticed before.

Here are five stories about five women and their perfect pairings…

She is following her instincts and pairing back her weekend yoga workshop offerings, so she can create more time to be with her family. She is worried about how this business decision will affect her students. She is worried that they will be mad at her. She really wants to make this change in her schedule and she is totally afraid to do it. She doesn’t want to disappoint anyone. She is filled with doubt as she creates her new fall on-line calendar and then publishes it. She goes to the freezer for ice cream to make her feel better. It’s interesting to point out that she doesn’t even like ice cream, but it makes her feel better. Perfect Pairing = Self-Doubt + Ice Cream

She gets the kids off to school after packing backpacks, lunches, reviewing the day’s schedule and preparing breakfast. She looks around the kitchen and sees the messes that need to be cleaned up. There are exploding laundry baskets in every bedroom. The pile of bills and papers on the dining room table is so high, it’s blocking her view out the front window. She is exhausted. There is clutter everywhere. She loves being a mom and has such a challenging time staying on top of all of all the household stuff. And she feels so guilty that she can’t figure this out. So, she heads back upstairs and climbs under the covers, right after setting the alarm for 2:30pm. She wants to wake up before the kids get home from school and more rest will definitely make her feel better. Perfect Pairing = Guilt + Napping

This woman is writing a project proposal to a non-profit that she hopes will hire her. With every words she types, she is filling up with discomfort as she writes about her qualifications and experience. She starts to think that she is a fraud and that they will see right through her and never hire her. She keeps getting up from her desk and going to kitchen for a small spoonful of cookie dough. When it is all said and done, she has made 10 trips to the kitchen while writing the proposal and it takes all morning. Despite the fact that she is currently on a 3 week cleanse, she eats the cookie dough anyway. It doesn’t really taste that good, but make her feel better. Perfect Pairing = Fear + Cookie Dough

She is moving to a new town and is facing 17 years worth of stuff in her house. Every item is screaming for her attention. And she sees 1000 decisions ahead of her, just to decide what to pack and what to purge. She looks around her house and feels completely overwhelmed and knows she should just get to work, but she can’t quite motivate. She is beginning to regret her decision to move and starts to question everything. Then, she curls up on the couch and watches two movies and eats a cheese plate. It’s 10 in the morning and it does make her feel better. Perfect Pairing = Overwhelm + Cheese plate with Bridget Jones double feature

This woman is gives and gives all day long. She takes care of other people for a living and for fun. She expends a lot of energy for those she loves. Sometimes in the evening, when she is making dinner, she can feel invisible and unappreciated in her house. It feels like everybody needs something and doesn’t seem to notice that she could use some help. It doesn’t help that she’s not great at asking for help and in fact, it makes her really uncomfortable. So, she does all the work of preparing and cleaning up from dinner herself, while her resentment towards her family builds beneath the surface. She opens a bottle of wine almost every night while she cooks. The wine always makes her feel better. Perfect Pairing = Unappreciated + Cabernet Sauvignon

These pairings all have 3 things in common.

Each begins with experiencing of an uncomfortable emotion first. Followed by doing something, eating something, drinking something to soothe that discomfort and to feel better. And finally, after that momentary soothing subsides, here comes another uncomfortable emotion, like regret, guilt, shame, or embarrassment.

Here’s how it works….

You feel something unpleasant or uncomfortable. And you want seek relief from that discomfort with something that feels better. So, you give what you want in that moment, there is relief. YES! The discomfort dissolves.

And then the discomfort is replaced with another negative emotion and you return to the familiar lecture that you have given yourself a million times and it goes something like this…

Why did you eat that? You know better. 

Why did you do that? You wasted hours that you don’t have.

Why did you drink that? You overslept this morning, again.

What’s wrong with you? You know better. Seriously, why did you do that?

Here’s why…

We don’t like to be uncomfortable or to experience negative emotions.

We like to feel good, as much as we possibly can. In fact, we want and almost expect to be happy all the time. We get so many messages in the world about trying to be positive, optimistic and grateful. It creates this unrealistic expectation for sustained and continuous happiness (at all costs) and we start to believe that something is wrong with us, if we can’t achieve it.

As the perfect pairing stories suggest, we seek comfort and happiness when things get hard and find ourselves eating things we don’t want or avoiding things we need to do. We seek pleasure or escape as a way to avoid the pain of discomfort.

And most of the time, we are only mildly aware of what is happening. We talk ourselves into the fact that we are just giving ourselves a little treat or a small reward – for the hard work, the big decision, the struggle or the effort.

We tell ourselves that we deserve it. And say anything to justify it. It’s just a little self-care. No biggie!

It’s just one little bowl, one glass, one hour…

And if it is just that…every once in a while…it would be no big deal.

But, most of the time it is more than one. It’s a few.

And it happens whenever there is a feeling that is uncomfortable or unpleasant.

It becomes a habit. Coping. Soothing. Dealing. Managing. Escaping.

It’s a little pick-me-up or a treat disguised as self-care coming to our rescue, when things get tough.

And yet, that seemingly innocent treat has a negative consequence attached to it if it goes unchanged – gaining extra weight, breaking a commitment, not showing up, missing a deadline, feeling hungover.

Which brings more negative emotions…more guilt, more shame, more discomfort and disappointment. It’s basically choosing to sabotage ourselves with these results, instead of just being uncomfortable.

Here’s what you can learn to do about this.

Look at the whole sequence of events. Slow down and turn the lights on. Notice what is happening. See how the perfect pairing is formed. They go through every step.

Feel the un-appreciation. Notice the desire for Cabernet to soothe the discomfort. Feel the relief that Cabernet brings. Followed by regret and disappointment, when you remember that you want to stop drinking on weeknights. Notice how you keep hitting the snooze button the next morning. See how hard it is to wake up. Feel the sluggishness and fogginess. Feel the new wave of regret and disappointment.

Ask yourself if it’s worth it? Is this perfect pairing working for you? Do you like the end result?

If not, decide to make a new one. Begin with the un-appreciation again and try a new way to pair it.

Breathing. Music. Asking for help. New thoughts. Decide to feel appreciated. Seltzer water in a wine glass. Just be with the uncomfortable emotion until it goes away.

Do this until you find the pairing that is perfect for you. Find one that allows you to not sabotage your way through discomfort. And that has no negative consequences. One that feels better in a lasting way, not a fleeting and temporary way.

Interested in exploring and overcoming a Perfect Pairing in your life?

Download the Perfect Pairing cheat sheet here. This free worksheet will help uncover what you are doing and how you can make some positive changes going forward.

Free Download

Think you might have a perfect pairing problem?

This free (and highly actionable) worksheet will help you discover how your perfect pairing is impacting your life and exactly how to create a positive pairing going forward.

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4 Powerful Lessons to Create an Empowered Life

Here are four of the most significant lessons that I have learned and used to create an empowered life.

These lessons have changed my life in radical ways – helping me to let go of what I can’t control and focus on what I can. These lessons have taught me how to know myself better and how to positively influence every direction of my life, creating what I want on purpose and not by default.

 

1. Stay out of everyone else’s emotions.

I’ll admit, this one took me a long time to learn.

I used to believe that it was my responsibility to create other people’s emotions.
I believed that it was my job to make people feel happy, appreciated, included, calm, engaged, interested and special.
Therefore, I believed that it was also my responsibility to ensure that the people in my life never felt disappointment, anger, sadness, frustration, worry, fear or loneliness.
I thought that was my job and just the way things worked.
It meant that I spent a lot of time trying to ensure that people would feel the way that I wanted them to. Of course, I wanted the people I knew and loved to feel good (positive emotions) and to never suffer (negative emotions) so I worked really hard to manipulate situations, so there would always be happy endings and positive outcomes. I tried to anticipate potential negative outcomes and remove that possibility if I could.
It was a lot of work. It took so much effort. It was exhausting.
Sometimes I felt like I was successful and a lot of the time, I felt like I was not.
I continued to do this, until I learned the important lesson that other people’s emotions are none of my business.
People get to feel and experience any emotion that they want.
I have no business going into their lives and trying to manipulate circumstances in order to create a specific outcome.
Their emotional experience is 100% their own responsibility. It is for their benefit. What they do in their lives is entirely dependent on what they feel. I have no place trying to influence their experience of processing their own emotions – whatever that means for them.
My only job is to create, observe and understand my own emotions and manage them effectively. Lesson one of living an empowered life.

2. Stir up some fear and self-doubt on purpose.

I used to be very risk adverse.
I was afraid of experiencing fear.
I hated feeling self-doubt.
So, I lived in a very cozy comfort zone. Everything was safe and predictable. I loved trying to control everything and make it perfect.
Perfect to me – meant stable and consistent, reliable and steady.
And it also meant my life was stagnant and stuck.
The safety and security that I had created around me was like a protective shield and it was literally sucking the life out of me.
I craved growth and evolution in my own life. I loved learning new things. But as soon as a little fear of the unknown or self-doubt about my abilities to create something new creeped in, I retreated back to the security of my comfort zone.
I started new things and stopped when I got scared, felt uncertain or uncomfortable.
I didn’t know that evolving and growth automatically meant that fear, self-doubt, uncertainty and discomfort would show up.
I didn’t know experiencing the feelings of self-doubt and fear are exactly what I had to experience in order to grow.
I learned that those emotions came from my thoughts.
Those emotions are actually harmless.
The worse thing that could ever happen is that I would feel some self-doubt, some fear, some uncertainty and some discomfort.
Those emotions would wash through my body and I would feel them.
And by being willing to experience them, I would grow towards the new thing that I wanted to learn. I would evolve and stretch myself towards the new experience and ultimately create a new experience in my life.
I learned the lesson that fear and self-doubt are a necessary and manageable part of growing out of a comfort zone. Lesson two of living an empowered life.

 3. Protect my yes.

I used to believe that I had to do it all.
I had to always say yes.
To create the best for family. To make everything perfect. To please everyone. To never disappoint or let anyone down. To always be prepared for anything.
And that I could never ask for help doing it all.
And guess what?
I completely wore myself out.
For a while, it was fulfilling work. I told myself that it was noble.
It’s what women do – they just take care of everything.
And then, my exhaustion caught up with me.
I stopped taking care of myself.
I was angry.
I felt unappreciated.
I was disappointed.
I was deeply resentful.
I didn’t understand why I had these feelings and then I felt badly that I had them. I was ashamed that all my attempts to take care of everything and make it perfect didn’t bring me more satisfaction. It was distressing to realize that I was actually making myself miserable trying to be a woman who took care of everything all the time, at my own expense.
Then, I learned the important lesson of constraint. I learned that I could protect my yes. And most importantly, I did not need to say yes to others at my own expense.
I learned that I was trying to take care of everyone and make everything perfect, so others would be happy.
I was always saying yes to manage other people’s emotions (lesson 1).
This was a big wake-up call for me. If other people are ultimately responsible for creating their own emotions, then it doesn’t matter how much effort I expend and how many times I say yes to everything to try and control their emotions.
It doesn’t work that way.
I was suffering by over-extending myself to do the impossible – manage other people’s emotions.
I learned the lesson of protecting my yes, so that I could take better care of myself and focus on what I could control, not what I couldn’t. Lesson three of creating an empowered life.

4. Love myself, no matter what.

This is my most favorite lesson.
This one is powerful because it means that I have learned to generate my own self-love – under any circumstance, no matter what.
I am not reliant on others to love me, so that I feel love.
I am not dependent on taking care of everyone, making everything perfect, managing all the details, manipulating happy ending and outcomes, so that I will experience love.
My job is to love myself.
When I do this, then I can show up and allow other people to experience their own emotions without trying to change them.
When I love myself, I don’t feel compelled to influence other people’s emotions. I allow them to feel whatever they want and I am ok.
When I love myself, I know that I can embrace fear and self-doubt as a necessary part of growing and evolving into the best version of myself.
I use self-love to help me overcome the moments when fear and self-doubt tempt me to quit, give up or sabotage my dreams.
I use self-love to keep from retreating back to the comfort zone of my old life.
When I love myself, I protect my yes, with ease. I know exactly how to ensure that I do not over-extend myself to my own detriment.
When I love myself, I know that perfect doesn’t matter.
When I love myself, I know that taking care of myself is my top priority. And that I can take care of myself without feeling selfish and guilty – because feeling selfish and guilty never inspire me to take care of myself. Those feelings are unnecessary, not useful and do not feel good.
Love always feels good.
And I am the beneficiary of my love.
I get to enjoying the double experience of creating love for myself and receiving the love that I create for myself.
And now I go out of my way to create and experience more of it, every day. Lesson four of creating an empowered life.

A Recovering Perfectionist Response to Epic Fails.

perfectionist, epic fails, failure, recovering

Wonder what I am laughing at in this picture? Well, I am laughing at what is about to happen. Yes, I am cracking myself up – because this is what I do now, when I realize that I have just made an epic fail and my inner perfectionist is going to get her ass kicked.

Seriously. As a self-proclaimed recovering perfectionist, this is how I have learned to approach my ‘failings’.

I laugh, hard – thinking “Oh, this is going to be sooooooo good”.

Then I get to work – to make it right, to move forward and try to recover as gracefully as possible.

Here is the backstory on the epic fail that inspired this photo.

For the last several months, I have been working on a video series about how to overcome denying what you really want. I had the idea for this series about 6 months ago and had been gathering notes and ideas in a big folder for quite a while. I wrote “create video series” on my to-do list each month and slowly, I tackled the project.

But in truth, I was hiding out in my perfectionist tendencies – slightly scared to put myself out there for the world to see. Afraid that it wouldn’t be good enough. Scared of the potential judgment and scrutiny.

About six weeks ago, I got completely sick of myself.

Seriously? Was was I so stalled out? What was the worse thing that could happen?

I was sick and tired of this slow and ineffectual way of ‘trying’ to get this project done. I was sick of my scared and cautious brain holding me back and making up lame excuses. I was sick of caving into my perfectionist side.

So, I made a decision to complete the video project. And I put a completion date on the calendar. I wrote out all the steps that I needed to do. I captured each step in careful detail and then I scheduled each step on my calendar. It took exactly 3 weeks from start to finish to do the writing, recording, editing, re-recording, uploading and publishing.

There. It was done. It was live and I was thrilled.

And in that process of taking all that action, I had to literally say ‘no’ to my inner perfectionist over and over again.

Here is what I mean by that – there were so many times that I just didn’t feel like working on the videos, so many times that I was bored with myself because I thought it wasn’t good enough, so many times that I was nervous and scared. And I kept having to tell myself NO – Stay in this. Keep going and finish.

So, I did. I worked through my negative emotions (unmotivated, scared, worried, nervous, bored) and got it done. Yes, I did cave some into distraction now and again, but big picture, I was pretty impressed with myself.

Katie = 1. Perfectionist = 0.

Now the video series was out there and my real emotional work was just about to begin.

My thoughts were going into over-drive…

“Would women want this?” “Had I remembered everything?” “Was it any good?” “Was it full of mistakes that I just didn’t see?” “Maybe, I should have waited.”

My emotions were all over the place.

Pride. Fear. Worry. Anxiousness. Excitement. More Fear. Self-judgment. Nervousness.

Then I got a kind note from a woman who let me know that she had signed up for the video series, was excited to get it and was still waiting for it. The video series never arrived in her inbox. She let me know that it was NOT a great first impression so far, with frowning emojis and everything!

OUCH. Epic Fail.

More thoughts….

“See, I told you that you shouldn’t have made this.” “What were you thinking?” “This is a disaster.” “Everyone is going to know that you can’t do things right.” “This woman is going to tell everyone you are a fraud!” “I need to go back to my corporate job.”

More negative emotions…

Panic. Anxiety. Embarrassment. Fear. Worry. More panic. Dread.

Those feelings made me want to run – out of my house and down the road and never come back.

In that moment, I had a choice.

I could let those negative emotions consume me and take me down or I could decide to get back to work.

I sat back down at my computer. All those negative thoughts and emotions were still with me.

I was vibrating negativity in such a big way that I was almost visibly shaking.

Deep breath. Another deep breath. Find the mistake. You can do this. It’s just technology. Breathe. Keep going. The world is not going to end.

I found the glitch and I fixed it. It took less than 5 minutes.

I started laughing. Seriously deep laughter. Perfectionist ass kicking just happened.

I was literally ready to run away and thought the world was ending, because I had made a mistake that took only 5 minutes to fix.

That is what panic and fear and embarrassment can feel like. It can feel like the walls are closing in – the end is near and that you are going to die. It’s completely brutal. And here is the funny part – all that emotional energy is created by what we think and we allow ourselves to think some pretty crazy thoughts.

As I kept laughing at myself and the 5 minute fix, I wrote back to this super awesome woman and thanked her from the bottom of my heart for sharing her disappointment with me. I knew that there was a good chance that she could have given up on me and that was ok – she was entitled to be disappointed by her experience with me and move on.

Regardless of what response I got back (or not), I wanted her to know how grateful I was that she had written me. Not only did it give me a chance to fix a technological issue for her and others, it gave me a chance to practice overcoming my perfectionism tendencies. And I got to kick some serious booty that day. What a gift!

Because, the more I fail and put myself out there and manage the inevitable discomfort that comes along with it, the better I get at overcoming perfectionism, once and for all.

And the better I become at overcome my limiting perfectionism, the more that I will do and learn and create and make. And a life of action is really the one I want to live.

So, a big thank you to L. for letting me know that I did not make a great first impression on you. As you can see, I got a lot from your feedback.

And in case you are wondering about the video series that inspired all of this in the first place, you can access it here. Click the link below to sign up – glitches are fixed!

How to Become an Expert at Creating What you Want – FREE 3 Part Video Series

Why Quitting Feels Good.

katie pulsifer coaching, life coaching, life coach

Last week, I had a severe case of writer’s block. Or at least that’s what I kept telling myself.

I sat down to write this weekly email so many times and had absolutely nothing to say.

I called it writer’s block because that felt legitimate. It meant I was a serious writer, plagued with this “official” and “inconvenient” curse of not being able to produce the words when I needed something to write.

So, I let myself off the hook and said – “Just don’t send it. You have nothing to say this week.”

And, so I quit.

And it felt like such a relief.

And I tried again the next day and the day after that, with the same result.

So, I kept quitting and I kept feeling relieved when I let myself off the hook.

I justified my writer’s block as the week went on with these thoughts.

You have so many things on your plate right now, it makes perfect sense that you don’t know what to write
You work so hard, it’s ok to skip a week
Give yourself this break and you will be full of ideas next week
Everyone else is so busy too
No one reads it anyway
No one will notice that it wasn’t in their inbox this week

But here is what is interesting – I noticed.

All week – I noticed that I had not done something that I had done every Tuesday for 18 months.

I thought about it all week.
And it bothered me.
And it really distracted me.

The quitting didn’t actually bring me any lasting relief. The quitting that felt good in the moment, left me with this heavy feeling of remorse and disappointment instead.

Here is what I also noticed.
Not sending out the weekly email on Tuesday wasn’t for the reason that I wanted it to be.

It wasn’t writer’s block.

I knew that because I had written plenty of draft versions that were waiting for me in my folder and I could have hit send on any one of them.

Here’s what really happened and why I didn’t publish anything last week.

Sometime early last week, I allowed my ego to start making important decisions for me.
And my ego operates from a place of fear.
And my ego is a harsh and judgmental critic.
And my ego wants to keep me safe and comfortable.

I also refer to my ego as my “old brain” – the un-evolved part of my brain that wants to seek comfort, security and not take any risks. This old brain wants my life to be easy.

This is why quitting felt so good. My ego was protecting me from feeling embarrassed or not good enough or judged by others who would read what I wrote.
And why justifying the quitting and calling it writer’s block felt safe and protected me from experiencing any that discomfort.

But I know better.

I do not get the results that I want in my life when I let my ego make the decisions. Period.

Because my ego will always be working to keep me safe, comfortable – expending minimal effort – basically not growing or evolving.

I have to overcome my “old brain” (ego) to grow, to take risks and to challenge myself. I have to be willing to be uncomfortable in pursuit of moving my life forward. Otherwise, I will always stay in exactly the same place.

So when I look back at last week, I am fascinated by how quickly my ego got the better of me.

And I let it.

There was definitely a part of me that felt unsure and tentative in my writing last week.

And that became the perfect moment for my ego to show up and begin to fill my thoughts with doubt, uncertainty, fear, and worry. I bought into those thoughts 100%. I justified the thoughts and then gave myself permission to quit. Fascinating.

As you head into this week – think about where you might be letting your ego make the decisions for you. And how do you feel about that? Can you be curious about where you might want to push through the self-doubt and fear anyway and overcome your ego, for your benefit?

Remember that your ego is trying to keep you safe and protected, which probably also means not putting yourself out there or doing something uncomfortable. How can you overcome your “old brain” in pursuit of something that matters to you? And most importantly, what can you learn about yourself in the process?

If you prefer, we can do this work together – because I know that two minds are better than one. Book a complimentary Breakthrough Session to see how to overcome a desire to quit in pursuit of relief. Let’s take 30 minutes to talk about it. Book your session today!

7 Reasons We Hold Ourselves Back.

hold back

Do you have a big vision for your life and lots of ideas that you would like act upon, but you are stuck in rut wondering when life will shift for once and for all? It’s time to let go of these 7 things that cause you to hold back.

I have the honor of coaching some amazing women. What I have learned is that most women have a few things in common: They are brilliant, they work hard, take care of lots of other people, try to do the right thing and they have really amazing ideas about what they would like to accomplish in their lives.

However, these same women are almost always fearful, confused and full of self-doubt. Their ideas never really get fully implemented because they are stuck, overwhelmed, frustrated and unclear. I really relate to this because I used to be the same exact way!

All of these brilliant women have a strong desire to make a difference in their lifetime. They want to leave a legacy behind and help their kids and others by doing what they love. They want to create their lives on purpose and not by default.

It is really interesting when one of my clients gets really clear and connects to her true vision for herself – she becomes aware that if she were living this desire FULLY, she would be so happy, unstoppable, fearless and feel a complete sense of freedom.

Can you relate to this?

If we have brilliant ideas and heartfelt desires, why do we struggle with creating a life on purpose? Where’s the disconnect? Why do we default into accepting our states of weakness and stagnation and claim it to be normal?

Here are the 7 reasons that women hold themselves back from living their lives on purpose. Indecision, Procrastination, Self Doubt, Worry, Fear, Waiting and Negative Body Image.

The good news is that these 7 things are very easy to overcome with the right mindset and support. This is easier than you think, though it may not feel this way at the moment.
The only person holding you back is you. Your life, your body, and your mind can be in a state of growth and evolvement. It is possible to move past the blocks and these 7 reasons, for good.

Here are the 7 reasons women hold themselves back:

1. Indecision
Indecision means putting off making decisions or not making a decision at all. Successful women reach decisions promptly and have learned how to make their decisions “right” after they have made them. They have a deep trust and feel confident they can change course at any given time. Making quick decisions will liberate you.
People who are stuck and aren’t living the life they truly want are wishy-washy and change their mind frequently. They say yes/no/maybe over and over again. Ultimately they never come to any decision, so their life does not change – which leads to number two (see below).

2. Procrastination
Procrastination is putting off what needs to be done today until some point in the future. Your life is now and is waiting for you to fully show up in the present moment.
Understand and become aware of why you are procrastinating, instead of being unconscious to this behavior.
If you have a big dream, but you procrastinate, there is huge misalignment between what you say you want and what you do. Why is that? It is worth your time to invest and understand why you are putting off the exact things you say you desire.

3. Self-Doubt
Self-doubt shows up whenever we are ready to step out of comfort zones and do something new. It is an expected emotion and yet, we work so hard to dismiss it and fight it. Self-doubt and our resistance to experience it will cause us to make excuses or justifications for why we can’t have what we want or why it won’t work out. We will blame other people, we will say we are confused or not ready. It will give us an excuse to quit before we start.
If you are filled with self-doubt, you need more clarity about what you want to help fuel you through the discomfort of self-doubt. Connecting with your compelling reason why you want to live your life of purpose, or follow your heart’s desire, will give you the strength to lean into the self-doubt and pursue your dreams anyway.

4. Worry
Worry is one the biggest forms of distraction I know. It takes you out of the present moment and takes you into the future – the unknown – which is scary for most. However, in my experience the future is filled with wonder and possibility. And the future holds the results of your current thinking. You create everything in your life through your mind. So if your mind is filled with worry about what will happen, the negative stuff, the failures and worse-case scenarios – then those will absolutely come true for you.
Worry is a form of fear and is just an illusion about something that may happen in the future. It a form of “trying” to control an outcome.
What if you let go of worry and allowed something amazing to happen?

5. Fear
Fear is not real. It is an illusion created in the mind by negative thinking. The negative and limiting thinking is keeping you from growing and expanding. It wants to keep you small and safe. Growth and evolution require that we step into areas of discomfort and the unknown, in pursuit of our dreams. It requires that we expand our thinking to what is possible and available to us.
Love and fear can’t exist at the same time.
Successful women experience fear but they understand they have power over it. They are willing to lean into what they are afraid of and support themselves through it with self-love.

6. Waiting
You want it now – right? So why are you waiting to go for it? It is so important to get really clear about this.
Most women wait for the right time, the right amount of money, etc. I learned how to completely love myself through choosing not to wait – to go after what I want – especially when things aren’t perfect. Waiting is stagnant energy that only creates more stagnant energy – it shows up in painful thoughts, self-sabotage, emotional eating, etc. – fueling the belief that you can’t do it. And honestly, waiting does not feel good. Waiting takes all your power away.
Creating a life on purpose requires action and deciding that now is the perfect time to take a step in the direction of creating it.

7. Negative Body Image
Yesterday, I spoke with a woman who shared her struggle with her body image. She told me she often isolates in her house. When it comes to going out to events, she gets nervous about who will be there and how they will judge her, and this often stops her from going – or if she does go, she immediately starts comparing herself to other women.
Her image of herself is completely holding her back in her life.
Body image and self-perception matter deeply when we give them the power to alter our behavior in a negative way – creating shame and wanting to hide from the world.

In our personal and professional lives, a negative body image blocks us from having deeper intimacy with others, sharing authentic experiences, meeting new people, putting ourselves out there and even, making more money – it stops us from creating the ultimate life, health, body, and even financial status, we deeply desire.

Please do yourself a big favor and commit to moving beyond these 7 things that keep you from living your life on purpose.

Stop waiting for the perfect time, let go of the need for complete certainty, the fear of scarcity, the struggle with your body weight and waiting for the right amount of money.

If you don’t, you will continue to live by default and deny your greatest gifts and talents to the world. Please do us a favor and put yourself out there – decide and commit, embrace the discomfort and uncertainty, put your brilliance to work for you.

We need you and we are waiting.

Not sure where to begin? Why not book a complimentary BREAKTHROUGH SESSION? Let’s talk about what’s holding you back and what steps you can take to move through these blocks with ease and confidence. Book your no-obligation free session today!

Self-Doubt.

ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

Most people let self-doubt stand between them and the thing that they desire most in their life.

Self-doubt is powerful.
And it has a grip on many of us.
It is a quiet and subtle dream killer.

Here is how I approach self-doubt, especially as it relates to setting a new goal or attempting to create something new in my life.

If you set a new goal for yourself and the goal is going to stretch you, as a good goal should, then is likely you will experience some self-doubt and fear. This is a very good sign because it means that you have the opportunity to grow. To overcome the self-doubt, is to grow.

On the other hand, if you pretend that self-doubt doesn’t exist and just ignore it, you do not overcome it. Instead you let it determine your action with very little awareness. Most people, at this point, run away from the feeling by changing the goal or deciding that they don’t like goal setting because of the negative emotion (self-doubt) that it causes.

Instead, be willing to feel it…to feel the self-doubt.

Let’s think about it. What does doubt feel like? I am guessing that it must feel pretty terrible to work so hard at avoiding it, right?

If you had to describe your self-doubt, what would you say about it?
Can you distinguish the way that it is different from other feelings you experience?
Does it have a color?
Do it move through your body at a slow or rapid pace?
Where is located in your body?

If you can get there and describe your self-doubt,or any emotion with this level of detail, then you are the one in control of it. When we avoid our emotions or try to push them away, we experience resistance.
It is always the negative emotion + resistance that feel unbearable.
And that is where the emotion is controlling us instead of the other way around.

I would describe my own self-doubt as being located in the pit of my stomach. It is slow moving with a subtle vibration to it. It is usually dark green and feels heavy.

I know this may sound a little weird, but stay with me on this.

Because I have paid attention to my self-doubt. I recognize it as soon as it shows up. In fact I have even been know to talk to my self-doubt and the conversation goes something like this…

“Hey self-doubt. What’s up? I have been expecting you. I just set a new goal (or I want to do this new thing) and whenever I put myself in a situation like this, you show up! I know you are here because of the thoughts that I am creating in my mind and you will leave when I have found new thoughts to think. So, self-doubt, let’s do this!”

OK, you might be laughing at me at this point or have stopped reading this altogether, but seriously, imagine this…

What if I actually let a dark green, heavy, slow moving with a slight vibration in the pit of my stomach emotion, prevent me from working on a stretch goal in my life?
Seriously, that would be the saddest thing ever.
And as I wrote at the beginning – most people let self-doubt stand between them and the thing that they desire most in their life.

If you allow yourself to experience self doubt and describe it in detail, lean into it and embrace it, you begin to realize you can do it. You can do self-doubt. You can do humiliation. You can do fear.

This works with any emotion!

What would happen if you were willing to feel any emotion on purpose? Not just tolerate them but really feel and allow all of them. Think about the all the things that you would be able to do and the relationships that you would hold the space for. Think about the goals you would set and dreams that could be fulfilled.

It’s powerful.

It is called taking emotional responsibility for yourself. Instead of your emotions taking responsibility for you.

Give it a try this week and let me know how it goes. I look forward to hearing from you.

The Downside of Indecision.

ask yourself this question life coaching confidence self care

I can absolutely relate when someone says to me, “I have a decision to make but I’m just not making it and it’s driving me crazy!”

I know this so well because when I avoid making a decision or taking action – it constantly weighs on my thoughts, disrupts my sleep, depletes my energy and disconnects me from my personal power. I feel distracted and overwhelmed by the fact that I have a decision to make or action to take. I feel detached from the present moment, like I am just going through the motions and everything feels a little unsettled. The state of indecision or inaction does begin to drive me crazy.
A client of mine recently put off a decision about creating her dream career because she was afraid to make the wrong decision. This kept her blocked from doing what she really wanted and prevented her from spending time doing what she loves to do, all because she was afraid of making the wrong decision. Another client stayed in a relationship with someone she knew she was not right for her. She was focused on thoughts of, “I need to tell him” and then constantly worried about how and when to do it – all of which blocked her from pursuing other aspects of her life that she was really passionate about. Both of these clients referred to “driving themselves crazy” with the constant distraction of indecision and inaction.
In both of these cases, my clients allowed fear to create indecisiveness and it kept them from taking positive steps toward their goals. They both knew with 100% certainty that simply making their decision would make them feel better, but they didn’t trust that the correct answers were within them. If they had fully decided and responded, they would have been less stressed; less distracted and felt a whole lot better. A decision, followed by action would have allowed both of these women to spend more time doing what they love and less time worrying.
Being indecisive leads to procrastination, self-doubt and distraction.
The constant thinking about making a decision, drains and depletes your energy and only drives you further away from the success you want. Decision-making always feels better, creates empowerment, clears the way for new opportunities, and propels you towards everything that you want in your life.
Being an empowered woman means being the leader in your life. One of the most empowering skills a leader has is the ability to make a good decision.

So how do you move away from the fear of making the wrong decision?

Know that it is absolutely impossible to make a wrong decision. Ever. For every decision you make, you gain experience and knowledge for the future and you open up new opportunities. There is always something positive to be gained from the result of a decision, even it is not what you hoped for.
Step into your BEST SELF. When you are in a feel-good place, you will be more decisive and make quicker decisions. Connect to your best self through meditating, journaling, exercise, etc. Visualize your best self-making decisions that need to be made. Imagine exactly how your best self feels and what she thinks. Then, when it’s time to make decisions in life, ask how your best self would handle the situation. Would she procrastinate or take action?
Trust your intuition. Go with it, without question, otherwise things get confusing and unnecessarily complicated. Your answer on what to do, is already within you, it’s just a matter of connecting to what is true. Believe that your first choice is always the best. If you feel a little unsure about a specific decision, put a time frame on it. Tell yourself that within 24 hours you will make a decision and then do it.
One thing I know for sure is that avoiding decisions only brings you more of what you don’t want. Making choices can become easy and lead to more freedom when you do it from a place of calm and connection. You will experience some degree of fear in the process of making a decision or taking action – that is to be expected. Fear is just an uncomfortable emotion, not proof that things won’t work out.
As you look at your life this week, think about where you are stuck in indecision or inaction. What can you do today, to make a shift? Commit to making a decision or taking action within the next 24 hours and see how good you feel when you honor that commitment. Feel free to email me, if you want support in this process. I would love to help you stay committed and accountable during this process.