“That’s just how I am… take it or leave it!”

Have you ever said those words?  I’m guessing the answer is yes, because I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. 😊

What if you never had to say those words again?  What if you never had to feel shame or guilt for who you are?

Sometimes the “Why” question comes from a place of love and caring, and sometimes it doesn’t.  All I know is that it generally doesn’t matter, as it leaves a sting to the heart when we feel like we have to be on the defensive.

The Strengths Journey that people take with me through the CliftonStrengths Assessment and coaching puts you back in the driver seat.  It’s only when you begin to understand yourself on a deeper level and stop focusing on your areas of weakness that you are able to excel.  Who doesn’t want to excel? 

What will it feel like when you can respond to the next “WHY” with an answer of Strength and truly explain?  No more guilt and no more shame.

You are UNIQUE and deserve to understand just how amazing you are.  Plus, hold the power to help others understand it too.  That’s just the beginning of where the Strengths Journey will take you!


Be true to you….


Expectations… they can lead to a smile on your face or disappointment!

Are you disappointed sometimes because you have built something up so big and grand in your head, that when the time comes, you feel let down? 

I have been doing some real thinking on this subject lately, and I presented a free training on it this morning.  In that training I shared three instances that have me in true reflection and thought lately, and I’d love to share them with you.

Let me share my first experience.

I was able to see Rachel Hollis in person.  She wrote the book Girl Wash Your Face.  I was excited and couldn't wait to hear what awesome things she was going to say to energize and empower me to be the best me.  (Because that is kind of what the book is about).  Plus, I know she's highly sought after as a speaker, so my expectations were HIGH, HIGH, HIGH!  What I can tell you is that I left the event feeling disappointed.  So much so, that I saved my opinion until after my friend gave me hers.  We all see things differently...right? Was it where I was at mentally that day?  Maybe!  Do I have too high of expectations of speakers?  Probably!  So, of course, I had to seek out my friends who were also in attendance and see what their take was.  What we discovered is that her message was crafted to hit a segment of women, not the wide range in the room. Which is totally cool, just wish I had known that ahead of time. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy her book and will buy the next one. Because, in the end, she spoke to many women in the room who were happy to say they loved it.  The difference, I believe, really came down to EXPECTATIONS and the picture I had created in my head.  Let me just say, I’m pretty good at creating that picture in my head, and usually with a pretty good story to go with it 😊

Are you more of a person that creates a larger than life picture with high expectations, so no matter what you always walk away just a little disappointed?  Or are you a person that has realistic expectations? 

This leads us to example two.

I bought my husband and I two tickets to go see Vince Neil (he was the lead singer of Motley Crue for anyone who doesn't know) as his Christmas present.  He's a big 80's band guy, so why not.  We both looked at it as an opportunity to go out, have a drink or two and dinner, and for sure some good people watching.  Our expectations were low as far as the concert.  Which overall was fun, and we walked away with a lot to talk about.  The thing about expectations, is people were walking out of the concert super mad.  I guess they thought they were going to a concert with the 20-year-old Vince Neil...ummm... not sure how or why they'd think that.  The disgust and irritation were evident for a lot of people.  As we stood there saying, "It wasn't bad, and we enjoyed it".  Others were walking out saying, "that was awful, and I can't believe I paid money for that!"  Definitely, high expectations verses low expectations, and that made a difference in the experience.

 In that case my low expectations really set me and my husband up to enjoy verses look for what expectation wasn’t met.  I truly believe that when we can begin to understand we are in control of our expectations, which impacts joy, we can start to “let people off the hook”!  Which brings me to my final example.

Last weekend was my 45th...yes, 45th birthday.  Now in the past, I’ve always had this hidden expectation, I called it a hope, that my husband and boys would really treat me like a queen on my birthday.  You know, plan a day that I would love, bring me breakfast in bed, buy me flowers, and blah, blah, blah.  Yes, I know there are families out there who do that stuff (Yay for you), and that is exactly what I was setting my expectation on.  Other people, so dumb!   So, what did I do?  I “let them off the hook”!  I planned my birthday to be exactly what I wanted to bring me joy and happiness.  That meant coffee with friends, pedicure and shopping with a friend, lunch with my sister, and then finished off the day with my husband, sons, and my son’s girlfriend doing an escape room and dinner.  Everyone won!  I had a great day, and all they had to do was show up. 

 So where do you fall when it comes to your expectations, and how they impact your overall happiness?  Are you still letting others dictate your happiness and joy?  I encourage you to evaluate your expectations.


Your happiness and joy matter… let them off the hook!



Who really stretches their thoughts anymore?

In recent days, the word “Stretch” has surfaced in my life in several different places. I personally used it in leading my free lunchtime webinar this week called “Gaining Clarity:  Mindset & Goals”. I asked the participants to really stretch their thought process in answering some personal/professional questions in regards to habits, goals and dreams. 

What? Wait a minute, as adults do we even remember how to dream? Do we let our minds “stretch” and encompass true dreams? Do we even know what that looks like?  

Oh to be a kid again…

As kids that’s how we lived life. We “stretched” and dreamed of being a nurse, teacher, fire fighter, turning 13, then we dreamed of being 16 and being able to drive, and then 18… an “adult” and living out every dream we had when we were a “kid”.   There were no limits.

I see this everyday in our boys who are in 4th grade, 8th grade, and a Senior.  I love when they share their dreams and goals.  Are you helping kids learn to “Stretch” dream?  

Then came 21…

YES… 21…  a “real adult”, and a slow transition to a world of  the “hidden dream” or ” no dream” era.  The dreaming becomes something that we tend to push away.  Do you sit around with family or friends and talk about “Stretch” dreams on a Friday night?  If you do, I want to hear from you!  I’d say the answer for most is no. 

What happened?

Life happened!  We use one of my most disliked words “busy” to describe every part of our lives. 

My challenge for all of us is to write the word “STRETCH” somewhere where you can see it everyday. Step outside of your comfort zone/habits and allow yourself the time to go deeper with your own dreams, maybe write them down, or if you want to get crazy and really “STRETCH” yourself, have a DREAM conversation with someone. 

Remember Dreams can be personal, professional, or both. NO LIMITS!

As the quote from Buddha says, “We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joys follows like a shadow that never leaves”.

Stretch your thoughts and dreams… and see the joy that follows.