Did You Hero or Zero Yourself This Year?

Did You Hero or Zero Yourself This Year?

I have a question for you.  How often do you take the time to notice and congratulate yourself on something you did right? 

Not very often? Never? It’s unfortunate, but most people are very quick to turn to their inner critic and beat themselves up over what they didn’t do well. At the same time, most of us are very slow to notice the things we actually accomplished and got right.

We’ve been raised to focus on and fix what’s wrong with us. But focusing on the wrongs all the time builds a platform of self-defeat that is rickety at best. Constant criticism won’t make you happy, and it won’t support your growth.

Inspiring personal evolution and supporting one’s dreams is like trying to grow a houseplant. Just like any other living thing, people need a little sunshine, pixie dust, and validation to thrive. They need to be noticed and approved of when they succeed—just like giving a houseplant water to grow. 

Coming to the end of the year, now is a good time to sit down and notice what you got right this year. For example, what one new thought, feeling or action did you have around relationships, money or career that grew you? Take the time to think about it and make a list. Seriously. Recognizing and acknowledging your growth provides you with fuel to go out and do the same thing again next year. 

And your dreams don’t have to be gigantic. The breakthroughs needn’t be enormous. They just need to be important to you. So, where have you stretched yourself in order to move in the direction you wanted to go this year? Teaching yourself to recognize growth trains you to get excited about YOU. It stimulates your brain, heart and gut to move towards creating the hero in you. 

Again, it doesn’t matter how big or how small your accomplishments were. Where did you take the time to show up as the best you possible? 

Write down your moments of accomplishment in the comments section below. We’d love to hear about some of your proudest moments this year! And next year, focus on making yourself a hero!

Using the Holidays to Create Your Own Miracles

Using the Holidays to Create Your Own Miracles

The holidays, it seems, are the most perfect times for limiting family patterns to come marching in the door. They seem almost purposefully designed to elicit our deepest insecurities and most disproportionate emotional reactions to things.

Somebody is going to mess up the turkey. Somebody else is going to drink too much and say the wrong thing. Children will scream and cry. Aunt Mary will complain loudly about undisciplined children. Mom will tell us how we got it wrong. And the inevitable green bean casserole is going to sit untouched in the middle of the table, insulting somebody’s valiant culinary efforts.

In my family it was the same thing every year, with people trying to cram too much food into full stomachs, which always led to short tempers and unpleasant blowups after dinner. Then, about five years ago my mother wondered what might happen if we ate Thanksgiving dinner without dessert – which almost caused a riot until she finished her thought, which was that we could keep dessert for later and eat it along with leftovers. 

What a concept! That one new thought led to fewer tummy aches and a lot more pleasantness in the family. And then there was the joy of eating dessert later on when we really were hungry for it! 

One small change, one big dividend.

So, what patterns do you find yourself struggling with over the holidays? Now is a great time to create a new pattern. All it takes is one new thought, one new feeling, and one new action. Good places to look are where you feel the most stressed during the holidays. Ask yourself how it could be and make a suggestion!

And please, drop us a line to let us know what new pattern you started this holiday season. The more you share, the more we all grow! (link to share comments)

Looking for gift ideas?  Give the gift of inspiration and transformation this year.

Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint: A Powerful Guide to Transformation Through Disentangling Multigenerational Patterns

Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint: A Powerful Guide to Transformation Through Disentangling Multigenerational Patterns

Judy Wilkins-Smith. Sounds True, $19.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-68364-888-8

Leadership coach Wilkins-Smith debuts with an eye-opening exploration of how nature and nurture shape personality. The author draws on her leadership workshops to encourage readers to “discover and face the invisible patterns you’ve been loyally following that have been handed down to you by your ancestors.” Doing so, she suggests, will help one learn to change these habits. For example, Wilkins-Smith tells of a client who struggled to make an impression at work before he realized that taking care of his younger siblings while growing up gave him a tendency to put others first, and that he should start prioritizing his own career. To reveal one’s family patterns, Wilkins-Smith urges readers to ask themselves such questions as “Do your family members have similar events, thoughts, and experiences in their lives (e.g., the women all leave)?” She also recommends positioning note cards representing family members in a manner of one’s choosing and then analyzing the layout to uncover one’s feelings about one’s relatives. The client stories brim with keen psychological analysis, and the exercises effectively package the author’s workshop techniques for solo use. The result is an insightful and informative guide to better knowing oneself.

Emotional Spring Cleaning: Indigo Sun

Emotional Spring Cleaning

Clear Away Old Patterns and Open the Door to New Beginnings with a Systemic Approach to Transformation

Spring is an exciting time of year. Trees and gardens sprout new growth. Students catch spring fever and play hooky. The rest of us go into a frenzy of spring cleaning. Like our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents before us, we clear out closets, pack winter clothes away, clean windows and contemplate the garage. We get the “itch” to do home improvement. At the very least we buy some flowers to bring a bit of color back into our lives.

But spring cleaning is more than an annual household event. It’s an internal happening as well. As nature awakens, something stirs in us. We feel a twinge of creativity, a flutter of potential signaling new growth and a calling to new adventures. We feel deep stirrings. But do we always act on them? Do we pursue these inner urgings to change? More often than not, we don’t. And more often than not we don’t even know why.

I remember Louise, a client who came to me soon after she had gotten her real estate sales license. Despite the beautiful spring day, she was dressed somberly in grey slacks and a black jacket. For years she’d worked quietly as a clerk in her county’s administrative offices until she discovered she had a love for houses, a flare for sales and an easy ability to work with people. She was excited about her new career. But she felt intimidated by her female associates, all of whom dressed in an upscale manner and drove late model cars. “I bought a few new clothes,” she gestured to her uninspiring outfit. “And I know I should get a newer car. But it all feels wrong. I’m freaking out and I don’t know why. It’s just so stupid!”

It’s not like she came from a poor background. An only child from a solid middle class family, she’d gone to good schools and had never wanted for anything … except, as it turned out, anything fashionable or colorful. Her mother, a nurse whom she desperately admired, never wore makeup. She had shopped for drab, unfashionable clothes for herself and Louise at bargain basements and Goodwill. Even Louise’s bike, which she rode to school for years, was old and ugly when she got it. “I remember when I was twelve I wanted a bright red bike with a white basket for Christmas.” She sighed unhappily. “I got a boy’s used brown Schwinn.”

When Louise told me she couldn’t remember her mother’s mother wearing anything but black or dark brown, it became obvious there was a family pattern of the women being extremely modest and self-effacing. As we drilled down, a light bulb finally went off for Louise. “Oh, my God!” she exclaimed. “I remember there was a picture of Grandma taken in Paris right before World War II. She had pink cheeks and was wearing this beautiful pink dress with a pink bow in her hair and she looked so happy.”

“What happened to her?” I asked.

Louise blushed and ducked her head. “I forgot because it was never talked about. But she was raped by a German soldier. My mom was born nine months later and after the war the family moved here to America.”

And there it was. All of her life Louise had lived in the shadow of that rape. Driven by concern for her safety, her grandmother had taught her daughter to never call attention to herself by wearing colorful things—to never look pretty or make a statement with her cars, clothes or makeup. Louise’s mother, in unconscious loyalty to her mother, raised Louise the same way. Now Louise, in unconscious loyalty to her mother, was doing the same thing. Almost 70 years after the fateful rape of her grandmother, she was dressing like a church mouse, torturing herself with anxiety over buying new clothes, upscaling her image and investing in a new car.

Once she saw the pattern and understood the unconscious ancestral program that was limiting her, Louise was able to make changes. She realized her fear wasn’t hers. She also realized it was okay to make other choices and that in doing so she would not be disrespecting her mother—something that was very important to her. The last time I saw her she was still dressed conservatively, but smartly, wearing a little makeup and a big smile as she proudly showed off her new car—a deep burgundy sedan. “It’s not exactly red,” she said. “But I’m getting there!”

Internal spring cleaning tips

So, what excites you this spring? What inner prompting for change is stirring? Does a new job beckon? A new hobby? A new relationship? A new step in your finances? A new fashion look?

Give yourself permission to explore possibilities and let yourself get excited about them. Just this act, in itself, is a gift. And if you need an excuse to cut loose from some of the old habits and constraints of your normal family ways of doing things, blame it on spring!

Once you settle on one particular change, explore your emotions. What feelings come up when you imagine yourself doing this new thing? Are they positive? Negative? Don’t judge. Just take note and jot all your feelings down.

Let’s say the idea of a new love relationship excites you, but misgivings show up. Maybe it even scares you. Explore relationship patterns in your family system to see if this fear even belongs to you. As we saw with Louise, emotional patterns take root and travel through the generations. You may well have inherited your fear from a parent or sibling or even an earlier ancestor who got badly burned in a love affair. Take note of the way you’re thinking. Do certain negative thoughts predominate? “I’m not attractive enough to find a great love. Good relationships don’t happen in our family. I’m not deserving enough.” Or how about, “Love is overrated.” Or “Love makes you weak.”

Just like emotions, thought patterns, words and sayings—something called systemic sentences— travel through the family line. We end up thinking and saying things automatically, never realizing these thoughts don’t really belong to us. Louise had some real zingers running through her head. “People who need attention are just begging for trouble” was one systemic sentence. Another was “Just keep your head down, don’t ask for much, and things will work out fine.” How could she possibly stand out and shine in a sales profession with thoughts like that running the show?

So, get a broom and sweep those old dusty thoughts from your focus. Acknowledge and thank the old patterns for the wisdom they have provided, then put them down and create new thoughts and feelings you can believe in deeply to replace them. Grab a cloth and polish the windows to your soul. Stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye and tell yourself it’s not just okay to have a new love—or a new car or a new job or a new puppy—in your life. It’s your destiny. After all, it’s just a part of spring cleaning.

By Judy Wilkins-Smith

Judy Wilkins-Smith, author of Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint: A Powerful Guide to Transformation Through Disentangling Multigenerational Patterns, is a highly-regarded, international organizational, individual and family patterns expert, systemic coach, trainer, facilitator, leadership conference and motivational speaker and founder of System Dynamics for Individuals & Organizations. 

To Whom Do I Owe Thanks?

To Whom Do I Owe Thanks?

As we approach the holiday season, it’s time to thank those who have supported us in life and contributed to our success.  All the nice people who’ve given us compliments, propped us up when we were sad, and given us encouragement when we wanted to quit. 

Those are the easy ones to thank. But what about others? People who’ve contributed significantly to our lives by saying “No,” and shutting a door?  What about parents who did not “see” us or encourage us much?  What about parents who weren’t even there at all?

These people are a little more difficult to thank. And yet these kinds of people often contribute more to our lives than we can imagine.

A client, “Rebecca,” came to a constellations event determined to somehow find peace with a father who had abandoned his family when she was tiny.  Her opening words to the group were, “I’m a very successful woman, no thanks to that jerk, my father.” 

Not a promising beginning. Right? But we went ahead and set up a constellation with representatives for assorted members of her family, including her father and stepfather. 

As she stood there, looking at the representatives in her constellation, Rebecca’s knees were locked, and her jaw was tight, her anger palpable. Then, to her surprise, the representative for her stepfather moved over to stand in front of the representative for her father. Her surprise deepened when the representative for her stepfather gave thanks to her father. “Without you leaving,” he said, “I would never have had the opportunity to raise a child.” 

Rebecca found herself oddly touched, but the next sentence took her breath away. The representative for her father responded, “I wasn’t old enough to be a father. I couldn’t have given her what she needed.” 

Rebecca burst into tears. “I never thought of it that way,” she said. “My biological father hasn’t done well in his life.  Now I realize that had we had stayed with him, I wouldn’t have had the life I do now.”  Turning to the representative for her father, Rebecca said, “Thank you for giving me a very different chance at life. I am grateful.”

Needless to say, this reframing gave Rebecca a very different attitude towards her life and family!

All too often, we forget that our parents and others around us are on a journey of their own.  They’re not just parents, or friends, or teachers. They’re individuals. It’s also super important to realize that sometimes when a door closes, an entirely different possibility is asking to emerge in your life. It may not have a pretty bow or look like you wanted, but it will have the gold you need to create an incredible chapter in your life.

Make the Holidays Magical Not Tragical

Make the Holidays Magical Not Tragical

Sometimes it can be a little difficult to find that ignition point for transformation. But when you are in the heart of magic it becomes a whole lot easier. Imagine being in a place specifically designed to inspire and illicit the best of who we are. Imagine the inner magic you can make happen there!

Kids naturally live the “wow” factor everyday. All of life is their playground. But most of us adults need a little help to get there. Disney World is specifically geared to open your eyes to wonder and put you in touch with an open heart once again.

“Uncle Walt” was well aware that transformation is entirely possible through openness, enjoyment and belief in self. He built an entire world around those principles. And look at his success!

So come work and play amidst “wow!” Let it ignite a fire in you as it invites you to drop your guard and experience transformation through joy. 

During the day, we will go deep to uncover the inner capability and resilience that belong to only you. With an open heart and mind and a little “pixie dust,” the incredible will happen for you. 

In the evenings, you are invited to be kid at heart again and open up to what’s possible through play at the parks.

Be the master magician of your own adventure and discover what happens when you put down resistance and explore Capability and Resilience DNA.

Join us at our Disney World event at The Beach and Yacht Club November 10-13! By the end of this event your life will no longer be the same. 

Join Us for Transformation in the Heart of Magic

Join Us for Transformation in the Heart of Magic

It can be a little difficult sometimes to find the ignition point for transformation, especially when you’re caught in the day-to-day grind and staying in your normal environment. It’s hard to imagine something amazing and brand new for yourself when everything around you is the same ho-hum thing. But catapult yourself into the heart of magic? Surround yourself with color and fun? Surround yourself with a sense of “wow” and possibility? Transformation suddenly becomes inevitable.

When you’re staying in a place specifically designed to inspire and facilitate shift, the best of who you are cannot help but emerge. With so much energy and enthusiasm around you, the impossible suddenly becomes totally possible.

I’ve long understood that Disney World is specifically geared to put adults back in touch with childhood when they lived with an unguarded heart, an open mind and a sense of excitement about life. What many people don’t realize is that it’s also designed to resonate with the “biggest” version of you. It’s no accident that the appeal is to the heart of both children and adults when magic is welcomed.

The wow factor is unmistakable, the light-heartedness is contagious, the permission to “be” is welcomed.  And this ignites the fire in you, even as it invites you to drop your guard and experience the possibility of transformation through joy. 

During our day sessions, we will go deep and uncover the capability and resilience that belongs to only you—the capability and resilience that form the firm foundation of creativity and that hold the door open for transformation to happen.

In the evenings, you are invited to be a kid at heart and notice what happens when you say “Yes” to the remarkable and fully invest yourself in creating the life you want to lead … just like Walt Disney himself did.

The original mastermind creator of the park was well aware that transformation is entirely possible when openness and enjoyment are the primary energies. He knew these energies were direct conduits to a heightened belief in self, and that coming from a secure sense of self was the foundation of all creation. He built entire kingdoms around that understanding and shared the energy of joy with the whole world. He spread excitement and imagination around like pixie dust!

So, come and discover your joy and new possibilities this November. Come and discover your amazing Capability and Resilience DNA. Come and learn to be the master magician of your own life adventure and discover what happens when you put down resistance and explore possibility instead. By the end of this event, you will have wired-in at least one new thought, one new feeling and one new action.  And when that happens, your life will no longer be the same!

Come, join us at our Disney World event at The Beach and Yacht Club this November in Orlando, and watch the magic unfold.

Turning Triggers Into Treasure by Judy Wilkins-Smith

Turning Triggers Into Treasure

Content and trigger warnings, book bans, gender sensitivity, cancel culture. Even though most psychologists and social workers now agree that trigger warnings don’t work and “cognitive avoidance” (dodging sensitive topics) is counterproductive to emotional growth, the list of social hot potatoes and things we won’t or can’t look at grows longer by the day.

Perhaps this is because we haven’t understood these unpalatable hot buttons for what they are: messengers sent directly from our subconscious pointing us in the direction of where the buried treasure within us lies.

American novelist and activist James Arthur Baldwin wrote, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” And that’s very true. But I’d like to take his words a big step further and say that, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but everything we face holds a gift.” We just need to look at things the right way.

Let me give you an example. A client (I’ll call her “Alison”) came to me after a recent vacation in Hawaii. She was deeply disturbed because mask mandates had been set in place that made it impossible for her and her family, who were not vaccinated, to sit inside a restaurant to eat. They had to sit outside or ask for takeout. “Fortunately Maui has great weather and many restaurants have outdoor seating,” she said. “But that’s not the point. I got hugely upset and angry. I felt discriminated against and couldn’t help but think about how my grandmother and grandfather had been excluded from eating in restaurants because they were Black. I knew it wasn’t the same thing, and tried not to react. But I ended up getting so upset I got sick and we had to fly home early.”

As we explored her situation, it became clear that Alison was always looking out for the underdog. Although it was deeply unconscious on her part, she often projected her own issues about discrimination onto others. As a lawyer representing women of color who were victims of discrimination, this wasn’t hard for her to do. She also kept getting emotionally involved and angry at the injustices her clients experienced. “It’s like all the hurt and unexpressed rage of my forefathers and mothers is coming out through me,” she said. “I can’t control it and I hate it! I’m even beginning to think I need to change careers.” I reassured her that, although running away is what most of us naturally consider when we’re feeling overwhelmed emotionally, instead of quitting her career, what she needed to do was to see beyond the triggers and anger to the treasure they were pointing her toward.

Together we set up what’s called a “constellation,” in this case a physical 3D map of her closest family members— her mom, dad, siblings, and maternal grandparents—comprised of pieces of paper with one family member’s name written on each piece. Alison then arranged the names in her family system on the floor in a way that energetically made sense to her, a pattern that reflected the actual relationship dynamics of the family: who was closer to whom, who was distant, who was absent, who was engaged and who wasn’t. We also included the presence of anger. Alison wrote the word on a piece of paper and placed it where she felt it needed to go, which was beside the names of her mother’s parents. As she looked at the whole pattern, literally standing in the middle of the pieces of paper set out on the floor, I prompted Alison to talk about her family.

As it turned out, her mother’s parents, who lived in the South, had been deeply active in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 60s. But her mother moved to Chicago to go to school and met her father whose family wasn’t involved at all. “It’s like when she moved North, Mamma washed her hands of the whole thing,” Alison said. “My parents acted like discrimination didn’t even exist— like they’d escaped or something. And early on both my older brothers got into computers and IT.” She studied the layout of the names on the floor. “It’s like everything grandma and gramps felt and did and stood for went totally unseen by everybody.”

“Except you,” I said. Her eyes flew wide. “So,” I continued, “What do you think your grandmother and grandfather wanted for their children and grandchildren? What were they working toward?” “A world where we could live in peace and be free to live the lives we choose,” she replied promptly. “And isn’t that exactly what your parents and brothers have done?” She gasped. “Oh, my God, yes,” she said slowly, realization dawning.

“Is it possible that anger has its time and place? Is it possible that while your grandparents used their anger to effective purpose, holding onto their anger is not honoring them so much as holding you back and denying the gift they worked so hard to give you?” Alison was stunned. “I never looked at it that way before,” she whispered. I asked her, “What has anger given you? Can you look at anger and thank it for anything?”

She thought about it and nodded. Taking a deep breath, she said, “Thank you, anger, for what you did for my family. You inspired ambition, success and peace. I can see you had a place in my family. But I don’t need to carry you anymore.”

Systems—whether it’s a family system, a business system or a social system— are like the people that comprise them. They’re wired to evolve and grow. And, like people, growth is dependent upon actions and breakthroughs in the system being built upon and expanded. Alison had been acknowledging her grandparents by emulating them—repeating the pattern of anger instead of moving beyond anger to take their legacy to the next level. Subconsciously, she was angry at herself for not doing so. She’d also been angry at the rest of her family, interpreting the gift of their peace as indifference.

That which doesn’t grow, stagnates. Sir Winston Churchill summed up this cycle very well when he said, “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” Alison had been repeating history, finding all sorts of people and situations around her to keep the old anger pattern alive.

When I asked Alison what new emotion could replace anger and take her and her family’s legacy forward, she was quick to reply. “Determination!” she cried. “I can keep my career and not be victimized by it. I can be bold in my determination to help other women. I can show them what it looks like not to be a victim! I can help them live the kind of free life my grandparents created for me!”

See how you can move beyond a trigger and find strength? Next time you get upset by something, don’t judge yourself or try to dodge it. Stop for a moment. Reflect upon the trigger. Consider the issue and its context within your family. Ask where it belongs. Where did the issue start? Who else had this issue? Was it expressed? Was it buried and ignored? Was it judged? By whom? What is trying to be expressed and/or healed through you? If you look deeply enough, you’ll find the gift waiting for you, longing to ignite the next step. And that is true transformation.

Judy Wilkins-Smith,Judy Wilkins-Smithauthor of Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint: A Powerful Guide to Transformation Through Disentangling Multigenerational Patterns, is a highly-regarded Systemic Work & Constellations expert, coach, motivational speaker and founder of System Dynamics for Individuals & Organizations. For more information: https://judywilkins-smith.com.

Gearing Up for Capability and Resilience DNA at Disney World

Gearing Up for Capability & Resilience DNA at Disney World

Many people ask me, “Why do you hold major events at Disney World? Does the place really lend itself to deep inner work? Isn’t it just a commercial playground made for kids?” 

My answer is always the same: Disney World is only commercial for those who see it through a superficial lens. When you are working in the heart of magic your own sense of possibility is activated. When you consider the level of imagination and accomplishment the place exudes; the attention paid to detail; the focus on relationships, fun, and finding and celebrating the hero in everyone; when you get involved in the celebration of adventure, you understand very quickly that Disney World is not just for kids. It’s a gateway for imagination, creativity and a whole new life for yourself.

Of course, the place appeals to kids because they still have open hearts and minds—a state in which creating the incredible is inevitable. Which is what most of us adults are looking for!

Creating and manifesting begins with elevated emotions, commitment, and a belief in something bigger than our current reality. So, what better place could you possibly go to ignite such an important transformational journey? How much more motivating could a place be? And for those of you who are scientifically minded, what better environment could there be for rewiring your brain and changing limiting cycles?

The energies surrounding every event are those of awe, wonder, invitation and possibility. Coming into our event space in that state of mind enables people to put down resistance and more willingly embrace an exploration and expansion of their current reality. 

If you are ready to move your life to the next level, this year’s event has never been more important. Building Capability and Resilience DNA lays the foundation for creativity and all levels of transformation. Staying a few days and exploring your inner world in such rich surroundings can take you far beyond your limitations into a world of fulfillment, happiness and purpose. There, you will find that you are, indeed, the captain of your own ship and the creator of your own destiny.

Playful fun is a much-neglected doorway to change. I look forward to working with you during the day and then setting your heart and imagination free in the parks at night. Once you realize that Disney World is designed to be a portal of possibility, you will never see it the same way again.  

Join us on an adventure at The Beach and Yacht Club in November to identify, build, and wire-in your own unique Capability & Resilience DNA (a very special part of your Emotional DNA) for yourself and successive generations!

Resilience DNA

Resilience DNA

Any of you who have been through a tough time and finally emerged intact and standing have increased your resilience. Unfortunately, we often don’t stop to recognize and acknowledge our victories when they occur. We gloss over our increased resilience and ability to deal with difficult situations, robbing ourselves of a potent skillset.

When everything is falling apart, resilience is the quiet little voice (or maybe the not so quiet voice) that says “Yes, you can.” It’s the voice that says “Stand up and get back on track.” after you’ve fallen away from the path you desire to follow. The voice that whispers “You can do this” as you’re quaking in fear, waiting to start that very public presentation.

Resilience is your unique voice that anchors you into your purpose, ultimately telling you who you are. If you haven’t consciously acknowledged your growing resilience in the face of difficulty, this lack of self-approval and awareness may be rooted in your Emotional DNA—patterns of thoughts, emotions and actions that you have inherited from your ancestors. If instead of an encouraging voice you have an inner voice that says “You’ll never do it. You’ll never be good enough.” this inflexible negativity (which is the polar opposite of resilience) too, may be rooted in your Emotional DNA.

Let’s say your parents or grandparents made it out of Vietnam or communist Cuba, came to the US without a penny, set to work with a will and made their fortune. It’s highly likely you were raised with an incredible sense of resilience and have an inner voice that positively urges you to strive for more. “You can do it! You can do anything if you set your mind to it and are willing to work hard. Nothing can keep you down!” Notice how you are anchored in the present and future? That’s resilience.

If you come from a family that lost a lot of money or failed at various business ventures or has been plagued with a series of misfortunes, the voice you may have inherited might come from a place of hopelessness. “Why bother trying? Things won’t work out anyhow.” That’s usually limiting ancient history pretending to be your truth right now.

If you have a positive encouraging inner voice and your resiliency is high, maximize it! But if you don’t, it’s not a disaster. It’s a portal to possibility. You can coach that inner voice into becoming a positive support partner by 1) recognizing the negative input; 2) accepting that it is what it is and that you inherited this voice from one (or many) of your predecessors (it’s not you!); and 3) realizing you can change this voice by replacing negative heart and body-felt statements with positive heart and body-felt statements that you can accept as true. For example, “Why bother trying? Things won’t work out anyhow.” can be shifted to: “Take a deep breath. I can figure this out. Here’s one thing I can do, one thing I can think and/or feel right now and take it one small step at a time.”

When the first small step pays off, even the tiniest of changes, celebrate yourself! Do the same thing with the next step and the next. And feel it. Before you know it you will have successfully coached your inner voice and rewired your brain and become your own best advocate for positive change. Now that is what resilience is all about.

The pandemic flattened a lot of people. But there were also so many who pivoted and bounced back, creating new careers and new directions for themselves and their families and their businesses. They chose to elevate their thoughts, feelings and actions to move from overwhelm and self-doubt to determination and self-confidence. If you are one of those people, take a moment and honor your accomplishment. It’s so important to consciously wire that into your brain so you can draw upon it when you need it.

If you still feel flattened and even traumatized by the whole experience, if you find you have fearful, limiting voices around future possibilities and find yourself stuck in survival mode, sit down and mindfully map out one new thought, one new feeling and one new action you can take. Be determined to practice those three things. Be relentless and take your foot off the brake. Put down the “yes-buts” and know that you can change this. You can build resilience by taking control of  the voice within. Understanding that you can shift your situation this way  equips you with a skillset that will only keep you moving forward.

Join me on an adventure to build capability and resilience at our Disney World event at The Beach and Yacht Club November 10-13. Come find and wire in your own unique Resilience DNA.