And now for something completely different..."Limned" for World Storytelling Day

For the past two years, I have been meeting with a writing group. Three women whose writing brings me to my knees with depth and wisdom and heart and soul. They are Ronna Detrick Julie M Daley and Amy Palko.

You can imagine how rampant my Impostor Complex railed when they invited me to join them. My Impostor Complex went batshit crazy, truth be told.

But I know how to overcome it, especially when something is deeply meaningful to me.

The purpose of the group was to come together to express pieces of writing that would not (necessarily) show up on our blogs. And the rules of engagement were stunningly simple but deceptively challenging:

Show up.
Tell the truth.
Be fierce for one another.

So I did.
Every week.
And sometimes the writing that I would share was egregious. (But it was the truth, so there was that.)

And other times I would share words that came from outside of me. (I liked those weeks.)

I would be heard. I would be seen. I would be fierce for them as they would be fierce for me. It’s been a lifeline of sorts and I give thanks every week. Every day, in fact.

Somewhere along the way, we discovered that we were writing the same things. From extremely different perspectives to be certain. Three different time zones, worlds of different experiences, values, beliefs and conditioning will do that. And yet, yet...there it was.

We decided to start to braid our pieces together. One would start, the next of us would pull a strand and stitch from there, then would the next, then would the next until it came back to the one who started the piece. And it would be complete. 

We have decided to share one such piece with you today, on World Storytelling Day. We recorded it so you could hear, REALLY HEAR our voices. (And, as I'm being honest, I had to apply some of my own Perfectionism hacks that I'll be teaching this Thursday on the Perfection Paradox webinar - you can register for that here.)

It is called “Limned”. It's just over 36 minutes long. As Amy suggests:

"My recommendation is that you go and grab yourself a mug of your favourite hot drink, curl up on the couch and listen as we tell you stories of transformation and promise, relationship and sovereignty, love and truth."

And with that, we invite you today, in your own way, to:

Show up.
Tell the truth.
Be fierce.

All love,

PS - Warning: NSFW (or for your kids!) We swear. Quite a fair bit.


Untying the Binds of the Impostor Complex

What do procrastination, perfectionism, comparison, leaky boundaries, diminishment and people-pleasing all have in common?

(Nope. This isn’t a joke. We’ve already established that I’m no masterful joke crafter.)

Well, of course they are each a massive pain in the ass and an impediment to getting your work out in the way you want, ammirite?

But digging in a little deeper, they are also common habits for people struggling with the Impostor Complex.

And while we don’t typically experience them all at once (oh LORD…can you imagine a worse fate?) we often experience one or two more acutely that the others. For me, my particular poison is people-pleasing. It’s still acute for me.

But what fascinates me the most about these behaviours is the way in which they are all double binds.

And it’s this fascination that has lead me to create the six-part webinar series called the Untying the Binds of the Impostor Complex.

Here’s why I can’t stop, won’t stop talking about the Impostor Complex. The richness staggers.

Each of the six behaviours actually feeds our confirmation bias. That tendency to find proof that our beliefs are right. And the belief with the Impostor Complex: You don’t belong. You are a fraud. It’s just a matter of time before they find out.

And so on.

For instance, last month, we untied the double binds of procrastination.

We saw how when we suffer from the Impostor Complex, and are about to start something we might feel wobbly about because we’ve never done it before, we might procrastinate in the beginning. We avoid getting to it for fear of imminent failure (or the magnitude of the job, or the difficulty level, or even success). And in the procrastination and putting the work off, we start to feel helpless, foolish, amateurish and beat ourselves up for succumbing (once again) to this habit or pattern of ours. When we finally dig ourselves out from under the mess, we may end up producing work that is sub-par.

And then we use that sub-par effort as PROOF that we are frauds and not worthy of the opportunity we were given. (Someone far more capable than us wouldn’t have procrastinated in the first place, we think.)

See? It can trip you up coming AND going. Like I said, fascinating. And entirely overcome-able.

That’s the fabulous news.

So, in the coming months, I will be diving deeper, much deeper into the inner workings of each of these behaviours in my free six-part webinar series.

Next week, we’ll be exploring the Perfection Paradox on March 23rd, 2pm EDT / 11a PDT (register here). It ALSO happens to be the first year anniversary of the Starring Role Playbook. Expect some special treats.

Email us with any questions you have about the Impostor Complex, perfectionism and I’ll do my best to get to them on the webinar.

Know why you’re feeling so wobbly?

Know why you’re feeling so wobbly?

Know why you feel like you’re freaking out?

It’s okay, Love.

And it’s actually quite simple.

You’ve never been here before.

In your lifetime, you have never seen the likes of what you’re seeing in your newsfeed. In fact, even HAVING a newsfeed is new. Relatively speaking. So you’re seeing every preposterous tweet. Every unimaginable utterance. Every inflammatory order. Every doomsday prediction.

You’ve never faced this before. Few have.

And when you’re on the precipice of something new, you tend to freak out.

It’s what you (WE) do. Well, those of us who come up against the Impostor Complex, that is.

Those of us who feel a cellular need to GET IT RIGHT. With impenetrable values of mastery, excellence and integrity. (That’s key.)

Now, normally I talk about this in the context of the NEW you desire.

The new level. The new opportunity. The new ROLE.

This NEW, of course, is not THE new you had hoped for.

But it’s the new that’s here.

And it’s calling you, US, forth.
And you don’t know how to DO IT RIGHT. Yet.

Just like you didn’t know how to take the stage until you took the stage.
Just like you didn’t know how to be a parent until you held her in your arms.
Just like you didn’t know how to manage someone else before you were made a manager.

You were new to that then. You are new to this now. So cut yourself a massive swath of slack.

OF COURSE you want to do it RIGHT. You want to honour those values of mastery, excellence and integrity.

For yourself, to be certain. And for everyone around you.

No pressure, eh?

And your Impostor Complex, with its incredibly high standards and competence extremities (i.e.: “Lie #3 of the Impostor Complex: You are all or nothing”) are berating you for what you are doing, aren’t doing and all in-between. So, you’re still on the outside. Freaking out on the inside.

I get it.

Oh, and also:

We all need to rally.jpg


It feels like it’s all on the line.

Because there’s a way in which it is.

Yes. We all need to rally.

But how should we rally?

From our own known sources of strength. (click to tweet)


Decide what role you need to play. And step in.

What are YOUR strengths? (Try hard not to compare yours to others…stay in your lane of competence and mastery. I repeat: What are YOUR strengths?)

Speaking? Speak what you know so that you may inspire the same in others.
Writing? Write what you know so that you may inspire the same in others.
Coaching? Coach your heart out and get your people into the action they are here to activate upon.
Parenting? Parent like your life depends on it. Feed their minds and hearts and be there to soothe their furrowed brows.
Cooking? We will need soup and comfort.
Healer? Heal. Use all of your tools and heal others.
Hosting? Gather the people.

Share what you have. Share what you do. Bring joy you have to those out of joy. Bring light to those sitting in the dark.

We need marchers and activists, yes. AND we need artists and bakers.

Do your job and do it better than ever.

Feeling called to step into a role that you really don’t know?

Learn from those who HAVE been here before. Who have been fighting injustice their whole lives. They are your teachers. Honour their teachings. Honour their hard-earned wisdom and be their willing apprentice. If you show up with tenacity and willingness and a beginner’s mind, they will hand you the tools. Thank them. And then use them wisely.

Still don’t know what to do next?

I shared this on Facebook, and it bears repeating. When you don't quite know what to believe and don't quite know what to are three simple steps towards liberation from the spinning.

1) Take a deep breath, with an extra sip of oxygen at the top of your inhalation. Exhale.
2) Ask your heart what it needs, and listen for the answer.
3) Ask your gut what it wants you to do next.

Proceed accordingly.

No matter where you are at, keep your eye on the bigger picture. Then act in the increments most appropriate to YOUR capacity.

Yes. You may mess up and say and do the wrong things. (That’s always possible.)
No, you may not be fully ready. (No one was ever fully ready. For anything.)
Of course, there is room for you to improve. (That’s the only good news that comes with the Impostor Complex.)

We’re going to need all of you. But it’s not ALL on you. (click to tweet)



Hop Up Onto The Counter

She had something to say. She often does. She’s not shy. But there was something unique about this time. She needed something more…urgently.

So she jumped up onto the counter, right where the two slabs of granite lengths meet in the corner.

It was a gesture that felt so teen-like in its confidence, it made me catch my breath. And the way she brushed her hair out of her eyes also gave me a glimpse into the young woman she’s becoming. Right before my eyes.

That general area by the second sink and the cutting board being the one that I typically occupy as I chop vegetables and pontificate and expound and lecture at her blessed dear heart, there was nowhere for me to go but to sit at the island, facing her. Where she normally sits enduring my lectures (mostly) patiently.

He sat down next to me. We both turned our phones off at the same moment, the same gesture. And then, we lifted our chins to watch her face, for she was at last taller than us.

Once she was assured that we were there, REALLY there, she started to tell her story…not a story I’m at liberty to share. But a story that is deeply meaningful to her, and deserving of our full and undivided attention. Which she received when she jumped up onto the counter.

It was a symbol of resoluteness. A symbol of worthiness.

Hear me. See me. Listen to me.

And we did.

And her story was good.

I mean…REALLY good. Like, this girl SEES things. KNOWS things.

As stories are when we offer our undivided attention. When there are no iPhones and agendas. When someone we love and admire and respect says: “Hear me. See me. Listen to me.”

Often times “being seen” or “being heard” is actually code for “being right”. Let’s be clear: that’s very different. (Also different? Getting noticed...NOT the same as being seen.)

In any case, in THIS case, our girl didn’t need to be right. She just needed to be heard.

And the extra few feet of counter height gave her the exact amount of leverage she needed. That act of hopping up was even better than her excellent and worthy story.

You caught the metaphor, right?

Go ahead.

When you have something to say that needs to be heard, change your delivery.

Hop up onto the counter.

Your people will hear you. See you. Listen to you. (Click to tweet)

Expect a breakthrough


At the top of every coaching session, I will ask my client where they would like to be at the end of the call.

A powerful question that typically lands in a peculiar place for most, it generally elicits dead air for a moment. It’s rare and unusual that we are asked what we want.

Where do you want to be at the end of the call? (Its power is that it sets an intention, to be certain, but the mind can’t help but constrain it … and it sets the unconscious in motion: where do I want to be at the end of this day, at the end of this week, at the end of this year?)

I don’t prompt, and we sit in the silence for a brief time as they navigate the whirlpool of their stories about wanting and asking and expecting. But then, oh then the silence yields to a space filled with named desires and wishes and hopes.

And then we’re off.

But every once in a while, I’ll get this answer instead: Well, I certainly don’t expect a breakthrough.

Hmm. Really? And here’s what I always say: Maybe that’s been the problem. Try again.

We’ll negotiate back and forth some more until we get to them saying, finally naming the truth: I’d like to experience a breakthrough.

And then we’re off.

You know what happens then, right? Breakthroughs. Sometimes within 10 minutes, sometimes right at the end of our time, sometimes in rapid-fire succession.

But here’s what you and I both know: the assertion of the expectation IS the breakthrough.

Oh please….I KNOW expectations are hard to hold. We’ve been disappointed by people who haven’t delivered on their promises. We’ve hedged our asks, dumbed down our requests, held back our desires. Somehow protecting them. From the world, to be certain. But moreover? From activation. From seeing the light of day.

Disappointment is hard, but not as hard as the alternative. Your life keeps showing you that.

Expect a breakthrough. (Click to tweet!)

In a follow up email with my most recent client who had an unexpected breakthrough, I reminded them of their dialed down expectations that weren’t aligned with their heart’s desire. And I wrote this:

The lesson here? No more hedging for you.
Surround yourself with the best.
Ask for what you want.
Expect a breakthrough.
And then watch it show up.

And so, that is also my wish for you.

It’s a good time to start.

Right now.

Expect a breakthrough.