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Step into your starring role

How you feel about the role you want may be keeping you from the role you want.

My life’s work is about helping people step into their starring role. (Perhaps you’ve noticed.) The first challenge (and it’s no small feat) is naming what that role IS. Writer? Entrepreneur? Leader? Expert?

For those who are clear about the role they want to step into, I see two places where they may stop short and not move towards stepping in.

1)    They want to step into their starring roles BUT they doubt that they have the ability or the RIGHT to do so.

Which sounds like:

I’m not a “Writer”. Writers are…smart. Accomplished. ACTUAL Artists. Me? I’ve just got decent ideas and can kinda string ‘em together. I’m not an “Expert”. I know what I know, but it’s not very much. “Experts” have 10,000 hours under their belt and legitimacy and credentials and degrees. Me, not so much.   Impostor Complex 101 stuff right here.

You want to be known as a Writer? Do you write? Then, Love…you are a Writer. Keep doing it. You have the right to write. Proceed.

You want to be known as an Authority? An Expert? Yes, that’s available to you too. Check out my TEDx talk that guides you through a process. Or this program. You’re way, WAY closer than you think.

2)    They want to step into their starring role, but the very thing they want to claim is supercharged and spring loaded with their own judgment.

Which sounds like:

I can’t want to be an “Expert”. Experts are…stuffy and stodgy. That’s not me. Sure I’d love to BE an Authority, but I would never call myself an “Authority”. Anyone who calls themselves that is a fake and a phony. It’s a fabricated construct. “Star”? Pfft. That’s fluffy and silly and selfish and pointless and pure ego-driven BS. Only an overinflated gasbag would call themselves a “Thought Leader”.

And, I suspect that there is a part of you that reads those words, feels their familiarity and still wants…THAT. If so, then lean in nice and close.

Here’s what I want you to know.

1)    You are allowed to want what you want. In fact, it’s your job. Without apology, shame or embarrassment. 2)    You are safe here. I won’t tell anyone that you want to be a Star. An Expert. An Authority. I promise (Until you’re ready for me to, and then I shall sing it from the mountaintops.) 3)    Your discomfort with that title is the very thing that is holding you back from allowing yourself to step into it.

But because it’s just you and me, will you whisper the title that you want. Authority? Expert? Star? Muse? Thought Leader?

That wasn’t so bad, was it?

Can you now try to say it a little louder?

Mm hmm.

Now, can you proclaim in a statement, from the depths of your belly?

I WANT TO BE A _______!!!

There. Infinitely better.

But even as you sit there, a little breathless for what you’ve just named, the familiar voices are creeping in.

It’s selfish. That’s stupid. It’s for someone else. Not yet.

Yes. Yours is clearly a complicated relationship with that label.

So let’s have a look at what’s sitting under this tension you’re feeling. The tender yearning to be known as an Expert and the discomfort you feel with what it represents.

Typically, we experience this tension because our relationship with authority has been informed by witnessing the behaviour or impact we’ve felt by someone else in that role.

Let’s try this out, super quick.

Think about someone in your sphere (or beyond) who embodies (pick the label that lands with you): Expert, Authority, Star. How do you feel about them, in general? Notice what you admire about them (that’s a mirror, by the way). AND notice when you disconnect from them. Notice what feelings come up that cause you to disconnect (disappointment, anger, frustration). Notice what you would “do differently” if you were them.

Do you see the correlation between how you feel about that person and how that may be well be holding you back from claiming that title for yourself? From stepping into your starring role?




Just start.

What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss.

- Joseph Campbell

START BIG, we hear and it causes our heart to flutter with excitement. Big leaps, grand gestures. Visions of stages and handshakes and purposeful strides and posh airport terminals and legacy start to fill our minds with wonder and what else possibilities. For some, this is the only way.

But maybe for you, this happens:: “reality” sets in. All the reasons starting big will lead to failure upon failure, bankrupting our families, causing us to turn to illicit substances and of course, leading to our final days as the destitute bag lady.

And so. not much happens.

START SMALL, we hear and we breathe easier, smoother, more rhythmically. Yes. Zen-like simplicity. Morsels of meaning. THAT we can do. Sweet baby steps where no one gets hurt and dreams come alive with some planning, patience and perseverance. For some, THIS is the only way.

But maybe for you, this happens:: “reality” sets in. All the reasons starting small will take too damned long. We don’t have the decades available to us to pull it off in that way. We need to get there NOW.

And so, not much happens.

In either case, we know that when “not much happens” we really can’t fail. But it also means we really can’t win.

I think you want to win.

And by “win”, I mean living your life as though it were actually the gift you’ve been given.

I want you to win. We want you to win.

You’ll never plan for every eventuality (where’s the fun in that?) nor can you foresee the magic that will rain down upon you (ditto). You’ll never be 100% ready. You’ll never know it all. You’ll never have all the answers.

But I know you have just enough to get started. Do you dare?

Start big...start small
Start big...start small


Seats are starting to fill for my 12-Week Step into Your Starring Role program with the most incredible group of women. See if it’s the right time for YOU to START here.

And over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be speaking with Stars Tara Gentile, and Kate Northrup about all manners of star-stepping goodness. Check that out here. (Over 600 people have already listened to my conversation with Kate Swoboda about “The Courage to Decide to Strive”. Rich and generative stuff. Watch it here.)

Loving my Life like it’s Golden

When we were young, just out of university, my now-husband worked for Harlequin Entreprises, (and the endured the requisite Fabio jokes - being a blonde hunka-hunka himself). He was well-immersed in a culture of chocolates and roses and cards. So, no matter how poor we were, I never did too badly in the tokens-of-love department on February 14th. And though I would (of course) appreciate the sweetness of the intention, there was always a “should” quality to the day that never quite sat right with either of us. Besides, it was always the evening that capped the day that was the highlight. What I had appreciated as a child was the quiet contemplation of love + gratitude that Valentines’ Day afforded. Devoted time to consider how I felt about my wee friends as I would write out their wee valentines. Some hurried years, I’d fill out bought cards from the pharmacy, labouriously deliberating over which pun would be most appreciated by which classmate. Other, more relaxed years, my Mama and I would handcraft the cards, gluing hearts, ribbons and sprinkles onto doilies. I would give a great deal of thought about the choice between “to/dear” and “from/love” for each recipient. Nuance matters.

As the “shouldness” of the day became too…much, and we’ve abandoned the tokens-of-love checklist, we’ve continued the tradition of slowing down and spending the evening together (sometimes alone, sometimes with our kid for a family date night). And I’ve tried to uphold that practice contemplating love + gratitude.

Here’s a round-up of where I’ve been working and what I’ve been loving since the beginning of 2013. The two seem blessedly and inextricably linked.

Loving in my work

This year started with surges of goodness for a number of clients. I can’t reveal much, but there has been a launch,  new product streams mapped out, a dreamy house purchase and some other shifts that have been wanting to happen for some time. Thrilling to bear witness to.

Golden Ticket

Oh. My. Word. This 12 week Golden Ticket program that Michelle Ward and I co-created was beyond my grandest expectations. We got to work with an incredible group of women entrepreneurs and helped them gain clarity in their audience, message and offerings and then rolled all that goodness into a day of shooting their “about me” videos in NYC last week.

It was simply outstanding.

Michelle did a fabulous job recapping the program and video shoot here and some of the Golden Goddesses shared their perspectives here, here, and here. I am still swimming in the delight of the sparkly, bubbly, golden glow that was the whole experience. And yeah, there was champagne. To say that I am looking forward to witnessing this group of women soar to new heights in their businesses is a gross understatement.

The Golden Goddesses (cred: Kylie Bellard)

Also an understatement:: to say we cannot wait to run the program all over again. (Sign up for early notice here).

Step into Your Starring Role:: The Dress Rehearsal

An amazing group of women have joined me for the 6 week Step into Your Starring Role:: The Dress Rehearsal. It’s for people who are done with play-acting, practicing, rehearsing, being an understudy in their roles and are deeply wanting to fully step into it. To own it. To own the (metaphorical…or not) stage.

We’re just about to get this baby off the ground (first call is March 1st), and man oh man, we are going to SOAR.

Annnnnd due to a glitchy issue, there is ONE spot left in the Dress Rehearsal. Is it yours to claim?

Board of Your Life

Board of Your Life is not for everyone. That much I’ve always known. With its blend of coaching and brainstorming, it’s unique, propulsive, seriously powerful and transformative. It’s big. Really big. And for some? Too big. So I’ve been looking for an alternate version that brings a different energy with it. Cut to Christine Francoeur:: a gifted coach and wondrously generous woman who went through the program last year. We’re working together on a crafting a new iteration that is going to change the way we champion, support and bolster one another in our circles of friendship. Hoooo boy, is it gonna be good. (Keep your eyes open in May 2013).

Loving in the work of others

I am well-surrounded by inspiration. We all are. And today, I’m appreciating the groundswell of commitment created by Eve Ensler around One Billion Rising…I can almost feel the earth moving with dance. (I’ve pledged…you?)

I also love witnessing people happily ensconced projects that really and truly speak to their wealth of natural abilities, loves and desires (aff link),  or cravings.  Also, The Body Stories is making me happy today. It’s a gorgeous compilation by Sas that I am thrilled to have contributed to. I’m also enjoying the mission behind Harvesting Happiness Radio and was thrilled to be their guest. Lisa and I talked about love, happiness and impostor complex…listen here.

Loving in my life

You know I love me lots of things. And so far in 2013, I’m really appreciating:: a refreshed office with spaaaaaaaaace. Finding my ski legs again after 15 (16?) years. The fact that I have neither lost my new Lamy fountain pen nor have killed my magenta orchid. One successful surgery (and recovery) in my family. Making homemade pasta with my man. The tender beginnings of my new 4(-ish) am practice of yoga followed by writing. And always, always love.

Thank you for sitting at my table with me as I wrote out these valentines.

I would love, love, LOVE to hear from you. What are you appreciating, enjoying and loving?