Episode 5: How To Land a Dream Job at the Salary You Deserve, with Austin Belcak

Today’s guest for Finding Brave is Austin Belcak, the founder of Cultivated Culture. Through his work, Austin helps people land amazing jobs that they love – at the salaries they deserve.

Austin shares his powerful personal story of pursuing a degree that in the end, didn’t help him land work he would enjoy (or work at all!).  After applying to approximately 200 jobs online in the space of a couple of months and hearing nothing but one letter of rejection, he decided he needed to take a completely different tack. He embarked on a journey of researching exactly what people his age had done to secure amazing positions at the nation’s top companies, including Google, Microsoft and Twitter. From his intensive research, he began applying what he learned to secure a dream job, and launched his own business helping others do the same.

Austin’s strategies have been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Inc., Fast Company, and more, and his students have landed interviews and offers at Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Uber, Deloitte, Accenture, ESPN and more.

The strategies you’ll hear in this episode go far beyond what you hear every day, and Austin’s advice can be applied immediately to your own job search to get you noticed and moving in a direction you’ll be thrilled with.   

Austin is one of those individuals who has truly turned his “mess into a message,” and you’ll be inspired by his success to build your own.

Highlights from this Episode:

  • What Austin decided to do when he realized that his degree wasn’t be enough to get him the job he was after [6:07]
  • Why your network is becoming even more important in today’s job market [10:26]
  • How to muster the confidence needed – from the inside! [15:37]
  • Ways to interject your personality into the job search, while making the other person feel valuable [17:52]
  • How getting excited to go the extra mile (and providing added value) is a true investment you make in yourself [23:54]
  • Why when approaching influencers, your energy (and intent) is so important [30:17]

For more information, visit:

https://cultivatedculture.com/

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

Austin’s Resume Revamp course: https://cultivatedculture.com/findingbrave/

His blog: https://cultivatedculture.com/blog/

https://landing.google.com/academyforads/

https://www.upwork.com/

QUOTES:

“I was miserable. I was really unhappy because I figured that again, my degree would have gotten me something that I wanted to do.” [5:55]

“I ended up applying to about anywhere from 150 to 200 jobs online in the space of a couple of months. The only time I heard back from somebody was an automated rejection letter.” [7:27]

“Only take advice from the people who already have what you want.” [8:15]

“When it comes to job searching who you know will get you in the door, what you know will get you the rest of the way.” [12:05]

“When I did jump on the phone with them…my agenda was to figure out something I could latch onto where I could provide value. [19:20]

“Job searching for a dream job is a full-time job on its own.” [24:05]

“Being able to put in a couple of hours consistently, every single day, those small wins add up.” [28:51]

“The best thing that I can recommend is just always think about what you can give and where you can add value.” [30:25]

 


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Episode 4: Gender, Power and Relationships: The Crushing Effects of Patriarchy, with Terry Real

Bestselling author and nationally renowned couple’s and family therapist Terry Real joins Finding Brave to explore the critical and complex  issues at the heart of Gender, Power, and Relationships.

A lecturer for over twenty years, Terry is a member of the senior faculty at the Family Institute of Cambridge and Director of the Gender Relations program at the Meadows Institute in Arizona. His work shares a rigorous yet commonsense approach, and speaks to both men and women powerfully. His ideas on men’s issues and on couple’s therapy have been celebrated in venues from Good Morning America, The Today Show and 20/20, to Oprah and The New York Times.

A proponent of “full-throttle marriage,” as described in his book The New Rules of Marriage, Terry has been called “the most innovative voice in thinking about and treating men and their relationships in the world today.”

Join us in this raw, emotional and eye-opening discussion that explores:

  1. The far-reaching and damaging effects of patriarchy for both men and women today
  2. How men are trained to hate and shun vulnerability and what that does to their ability to live fully, relate with others and connect intimately
  3. How men can assess with one simple question if their behavior with and to women is appropriate or not
  4. Ways in which parents can help their children today find wholeness, which is essential for healthy, loving, connected lives
  5. The difference between empathy and compassion, and why compassion is essential to relationships 
  6. The top three steps to take today to begin to reverse the damage that our gender role training has forced within us

Highlights from this Episode:

  • Learning to be a man today can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be that way [3:36]
  • Terry’s definition of “patriarchy” and what each of us can achieve and experience when we get out of it [6:49]
  • What is the “halving” process that both men and women have been taught [10:21]
  • What is expected of men in today’s society, from a female’s perspective [15:41]
  • You can step out of the frame of patriarchy and seize your own empowerment – but how? [21:32]
  • A powerful, living example of wholeness that we observed in first responders during the tragedies of 9/11 [27:31]

For more information, visit:

Terry Real – http://www.terryreal.com

Resources mentioned in this podcast:

Terry’s book How Can I Get Through To You

Terry’s “How’s My Relationship” Quiz: http://www.terryreal.com/quiz/

Terry’s Trainings: http://www.terryreal.com/training/

Stay tuned for Kathy’s interview with Terry coming in February in her Forbes blog “Career Bliss.”

QUOTES:

“Into the mix comes a challenge to traditional masculinity, without a very clear vision of what the next step is.” [4:33]

“The essence of masculinity is contempt for the feminine.” [12:53]

“If there is a powerful figure and a substantially less powerful figure, can there even be consent?” [32:58]

“I think people overuse the word empathy, and what we really mean is compassion.” [36:07]


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Episode 3: How To Birth Your BIG Creative Idea Into the World, with Avril McDonald

Avril McDonald, award-winning author of the Feel Brave book series and founder of Feel Brave, joins Kathy to discuss how we can move forward to launch our big creative idea into the world with tremendous success.

From the early age of 8, Avril experienced anxiety and panic attacks, and felt very alone in understanding what it was and how to deal with it. Later in life, after becoming a teacher and witnessing the pervasiveness of anxiety in young children, Avril developed a heartfelt vision to provide all children around the world with access to effective tools to help them manage tough emotions and reach their highest potential.  

Her books are now being translated into many languages, and she’s working with one of the world’s largest global broadcasters on a new animated series. Further, she’s launching a pilot program with schools around the world to integrate Feel Brave strategies into schools every day and help children effectively address their fears and gain the strength and resilience to thrive.

Join us as we talk about:

  1. How to ask for help in moving forward with your big vision
  2. How knowing your values and aligning your work with your authentic values dramatically impacts your success
  3. How to push past doubts and keep going with your big idea in the face of challenges 
  4. Top 3 tips for giving birth to the BIG idea inside of you
  5. The bravest thing Avril has ever done and how it impacted her life

Highlights from this Episode

  • Where Avril gets her passion from [3:30] and quite literally how she “birthed” her idea for a book series into reality [6:33]
  • Why her work is just as healing for parents and teachers as it is for children [8:32]
  • The biggest lessons Avril has learned in her journey to bring turn her stories into an animated series [9:18]
  • The two archetypes that she is associating with that are helping her recognize her own triggers [11:32]
  • Avril’s 3 tips for giving birth to that idea you have inside of you – plus one big bonus tip from me [17:41]
  • Why parents can’t really change their children until they do the same for themselves [19:05]
  • The bravest thing that Avril herself has ever done [24:32]

For more information, visit:

http://www.feelbrave.com/

Connect with Avril:

FB: /FeelBraveLtd
Twitter: @Feel_brave
LinkedIn: /AvrilMcDonald
Instagram: /feelbrave

Links mentioned in this show:

Episode 2: Transforming Crisis Into Positive Power, with Cheryl Hunter

Tony Robbins’ Morning Ritual

Brain Pickings Newsletter

Shawn Achor’s TED Talk on Happiness

QUOTES:

I grew up with anxiety. I had my first panic attack when I was 8 years old, and I still have anxiety. It doesn’t go (away).” [3:41]

“I’m a really creative person, so I found a place where I could creatively sit and serve the world that was sort of aligning everything: all of my personal experiences and my passions.” [4:16]

“There’s a taboo about death, and I think death and change is the one thing that we really need to be talking about most.” [8:17]

“I’ve been going through a massive emotional healing shift myself through some of the work I’m doing, and the writing process is so good for that.” [11:08]

“Understand your values and make sure what you’re doing is authentically aligned to who you are” [18:02]

Photo Credit: Fran Hales Photography


Episode 2: Transforming Crisis Into Positive Power, with Cheryl Hunter

Cheryl Hunter, bestselling author, speaker and resilience expert, joins Kathy to share her moving and powerful story of surviving — and finding brave — after experiencing a traumatic crisis as a teenager. Cheryl offers effective, inspiring strategies for overcoming and moving beyond deep crisis and challenge and transforming it – to bring out the best, most impactful and authentic version of ourselves, so we can live the life we’re destined for.

Highlights from this Episode:

  • The life-changing experience that started Cheryl on the path to Finding Brave, and why it really isn’t hard for her to share it with others [4:55]
  • Why what happened to her is so relevant in the world we live in today – and not just for people in Hollywood [10:12]
  • The turning point when she stopped allowing others and the past to take away from her present and future [13:25]
  • How studying what other survivors before her had done gave Cheryl perspective, which helped on her own journey [15:10]
  • Her steps to Finding Brave, and what Cheryl means by “Resilience 2.0” [17:30]
  • The practical exercise that she uses to fill her own tank while helping others, and how it can be implemented in your own life [25:00]
  • An eye-opening answer to the question “In the end, are you grateful for this traumatic experience?” [28:35]

Links mentioned in this show:

For more information, visit:

https://www.CherylHunter.com

Cheryl’s book:
How to Get Unstuck
http://www.cherylhunter.com/get-unstuck

Cheryl’s TEDx talk:
Wabi Sabi: The Magnificence of Imperfection
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1gxziZwmkc

Connect with Cheryl:
FB: /cherylhunter
Twitter: @HunterCheryl
LinkedIn: /CherylHunter
Instagram: /huntercheryl

Kathy’s Forbes Articles:

How to Successfully Reach Out To A Stranger and Make A Connection

Millionaire Brendon Burchard Shares The One Most Important Trait “Experts” Need To Succeed

Don’t Become a Survivor: 8 Resilience Behaviors That Help You Recover and Thrive After Trauma and Suffering

Quotes:

“As crazy as it sounds, I feel like I was gifted with this experience so that I could connect with people.” [5:27]

“Finally it hit me, that I had become somebody I didn’t like.” [14:05]

“In shifting our perspective, it shifts our experience of being alive.” [23:29]

“Because it occurred, I now love who I get to be and I’m proud of myself for the life I get to live. I don’t know that I would have ever gotten there before.” [29:39]

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm


Episode 1: Why We Need to “Find Brave” and 10 Ways To Start, with Kathy Caprino

In this inaugural episode, Kathy shares her deeply personal story about how she embarked on “Finding Brave” in her own life, and why mustering more bravery and courage is a vital endeavor for men and women around the world who want to live the highest version of themselves and reach their highest, most joyful potential.

She defines #FINDINGBRAVE as this: Recognizing — and courageously leveraging — what you’re made of as a human and spiritual being, and mustering the commitment, passion and courage to draw on all that you are to create the life you dream of, through the fear and the pain.

And she offers 10 essential ways to find brave in your life, with specific tips to get moving on your brave path.

Highlights from this Episode:

  • Why “Finding Brave” is so important to Kathy and how the idea for this podcast that you’re listening to came to be [1:32]
  • She didn’t know it, but Kathy was becoming a therapist even back at the age of 16 and a decision at 22 set the tone for much of her life [3:47]
  • There are 12 hidden crises that working women face – and she faced all of them [5:32]
  • A life changing conversation…[7:02]
  • Why we go “underground” and stop using our own voices (men too) [10:37]
  • What will really happen when we’re fake and hiding [11:47]
  • Just networking with others isn’t enough – here’s what you need to do [22:44]
  • Who the happiest group of people in the world are [26:37]
  • The new frontier of bravery that Kathy is currently facing in her own life [37:00]

Links mentioned in this show:

Forbes post: 10 Ways To Brave Up: How To Rise Up, Speak Up and Stand Up Boldly for Yourself

Kathy’s 6 Dominant Action Styles quiz

Kathy’s TEDx Talk “Time To Brave Up

Forbes Interview with Richie Norton: The Power of Starting Something ‘Stupid’

Forbes article: The Top Three Mistakes Career Professionals Make On Their LinkedIn Profiles

Forbes interview: 6 Ways Pushing Past Your Comfort Zone Is Critical To Success

Forbes article: Why We Don’t Speak Up Against Abuse of Others When We Know Of It

American Assn. of Marriage and Family Therapy

The Energy of Money by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D.

Quotes:

“Why I care about Finding Brave is I wasn’t brave enough for a full 18 years in my corporate life.” [3:16]

“I wasn’t brave enough. I didn’t know how to risk. I didn’t know what that felt like to believe in myself” [6:09]

“You’re going to make mistakes, that’s life. It’s not all going to be perfect. If it were perfect, why would we be here? Why would we be living?” [8:08]

“Really it’s time now. It’s time that we engage our spirits and our souls and our hearts.” [25:07]

“Get good with scared. Start to stretch way beyond your comfort zone and your life will change!” [33:35]


My Theme For 2018 Might Inspire You As Well

Part of Kathy’s series “Finding Brave To Build a Better Life”

Every year at this time, I love to identify a “theme” for the coming year – a word or phrase that represents what I want to cultivate more of in my life, work, relationships, and in the world directly around me. I’ve found that what we focus on truly expands, so focusing on an exciting and meaningful new element in my life brings it closer to me, and in greater abundance.

My theme for 2018 is “finding brave.” It’s amazing that, from the minute these two little words came into my sphere (and I thank my dear friend and author Avril McDonald for that), I’ve truly experienced more bravery, resilience, strength and hope, and I can see more clearly how I’m on the Finding Brave path.

I remember just when this term was birthed. It was in Mykonos, Greece this past September, while I was co-hosting a women’s retreat Light From the Dawn with Avril, Miisa Mink, Kaisa Peltola, and Charlotte Gillbanks. For the past year, I had been using the term “Brave Up” extensively in my work, writing, TEDx talk and other places. But in September as I was working on launching my new podcast (hope you’ll check it out on January 4th), I discovered that someone had trademarked the term.

I felt so angry and truly gutted. But there was no one to blame but myself. Even though I had been using this term for a full year and had made my mark on it, I hadn’t protected the term legally (this is something we all should learn from.) The year before, I had even published a great interview with business and branding attorney Ashley Brewer on my Forbes.com blog about not waiting to protect your intellectual property, but failed to take my own advice! Now I’ve learned.

I was with Avril in Greece talking about wanting to come up with a new phrase that represented my work at its core, and Avril said, “What about ‘Finding Brave’?” And it hit me right between the eyes. Yes! That’s it. As I got thinking about bravery and what we need to cultivate in order to be our true selves powerfully and transparently, I realized It’s not about “braving up” in one isolated moment, and then falling off the brave journey. It’s about Finding Brave every week, every day, every minute. [tweet_quote hashtags=”#FindingBrave” ]It’s a holistic, heart-and-soul journey that grabs you by the collar and won’t let go[/tweet_quote], and keeps fueling you to be and share more of yourself, in open, honest, and transformative ways.

In 2018, I’ll be focusing on Finding Brave even more, from what I choose to do in my business (stretching out of my comfort zone and starting new ventures and expanding my focus), in my relationships, with how I invest my time and money to ensure growth, and in seeing my own potential more powerfully.

Here are three core ways I’ll be focusing on Finding Brave in 2018 that might be of help to you in your life:

Brave Sight
While I have a good bit of confidence in myself and my work, I realize (if I’m really honest with myself) that I’ve hesitated moving in some new directions because of fear – fear of failure, fear of success and overwhelm, and even a bit of fear around how “hard” this new work will be. But my focus on Brave Sight helps me see myself in a different light – as someone who has reinvented herself numerous times throughout life, relished the process, and grew exponentially throughout it.

I’m ready to see myself as more competent, confident and ready for more. I hope you are too.

Are you ready to tap into more confidence and trust about what you’re capable of?

Brave Service

While we hear every day (and I teach and coach) that “the riches are in the niches” – meaning, you need a very tight and narrow focus to be profitable in your business – I feel that it’s also important to be of brave service in ways that might stretch you out of your tight niche. For me, for instance, that means that I can be of help to people not only with career growth strategies but also by offering them all that I’ve learned, about psychology, marketing, client development, business growth, management, writing and thought leadership. So why wouldn’t I do that?

I’m going to put a new stake in the ground in 2018 and offer more of what I’ve learned throughout my 32-year career, leveraging my corporate and marketing background, therapy training, and business development experience. I can’t wait to stretch to new domains that I hope will serve others in a brave new way.

What can you do in your work that will stretch you beyond how you see yourself today?

Brave Love

I recently divorced, and this experience has opened my eyes and my heart to so much. I’ve experienced firsthand what society views is the “right way” to live, and the negative projections other people put on you about their judgments and fears around divorce. I’ve seen too what it is to live as an independent individual outside of marriage, and how enlightening it is to begin to understand yourself more deeply in a new context of being single.

I have a great deal more compassion now for single people, and the challenges we/they face in loving and accepting themselves fully when the world pressures us to see married people as the model to aspire to (even when so many marriages are miserable and harmful to the couple and to the children, and in fact should end in divorce).

In 2018 I’m committed to expanding my experience of love, compassion and connection – with myself and with others. I’m ready to become braver in loving, and letting out into the world the most authentic, real and honest version of myself than ever before, which I hope will help others do the same.

I’ve seen that when we feel forced to hide, suppress or alter our most authentic, real selves and our most loving, positive spirits in order to be accepted or appreciated – that’s when we suffer the most.

How can you love and connect to yourself more deeply this year, and start letting out the more authentic, real version of who you are?

In 2018, I hope that “finding brave” in your life will also be a theme that will pave the way for more joy, fulfillment and meaning in your life, career and relationships.

Happy 2018 to you, with (brave) love.

For more about Finding Brave in your life, tune into my new podcast at FindingBrave.org  starting January 4th and work with me in a Finding Brave Life Mastery program.

 


9 Crucial Life Lessons I Wish I'd Learned 30 Years Ago

Part of Kathy Caprino’s new series “Finding Brave”

At 57 years old, I’m able to look back and view my life in an utterly different light from when I was 40, 30 or 20. So much of what I believed was crucial to my success and happiness when I was in my 20s and 30s proved to be erroneous and misguided. And most of those misguided notions were based on the “shoulds ” we are taught and hear every day – what society, our families, or the “group think” deems as “success” (meaning: make a lot of money, have a big house, rise to a high level in corporate America, strive for power and influence, etc.). The problem is that these outer measures of “success” simply cannot and will not give us the fulfillment, meaning and wholehearted contentment and peace we’re longing for.

Interestingly, I achieved all of those measures of success at one point or another, and literally none of them have come close to yielding the happiness and fulfillment I craved.

On the other hand, the endeavors that have made me who I am today (and paved the way for so much more joy and deep fulfillment) are all around experiencing wholehearted love, honesty, compassion, healing, building strong boundaries, mustering intense commitment, taking big risks, and bravely standing up for who I really am at my core, and making as good use of that in the world as I can.

I’ve seen in working with and coaching thousands of people over the past 12 years that it’s the very things that society warns us against, that tend to yield the most powerful returns in our lives. Society tends to subtly or overtly instruct us NOT to risk, NOT to follow our passions, NOT to rise up and speak up and stand up for authentic ourselves (if you’re a woman even more so) or do the “stupid” thing that you feel in your heart is the right direction for who you really are. But societal thinking is often dead wrong.

In looking back, I’ve found there are 9 powerful lessons of my life that I wish I’d understand long before now. If I had known these 30 years ago, I would have not wasted so much time and energy on the wrong choices.

The top 9 lessons we need to learn before midlife are: 

#1: Make a brave decision on what you want to stand for

I’ve worked now with hundreds of adult children of narcissists around the world, and many others who were treated terribly and emotionally manipulated as children and adults. When this happens to us as young children, our development is thwarted, and we find it very difficult to ever believe we’re “good enough” or to speak up and stand up for who we really are (or even to dare to figure out what that is.) Even if we weren’t mistreated as children, so many don’t take a stand on the life they want to live.

It took me until I was 41 years old to start standing up and speaking up powerfully for myself and my life, and never again will I let others define or suppress me.

Before it’s too late, you need to “find your brave” and make a powerful stand about who you want to be in the world, and what you stand for. It’s also time to STOP tolerating and allowing what you can no longer accept, in your life and in the world.

Make the decision today to become the person you will be proud and honored to be, so you have no regrets when the time comes for you to leave this life.

What do you want to stand for, starting right now? 

#2: Never compromise your soul 

There are things that it’s ok to compromise on – perhaps the size of your home, or the geographic location of your job, or the length of your commute, or where you’ll go for summer vacation. But it’s NOT ok to compromise your soul. If you do, disastrous outcomes will occur.

Know what keeps your spirit alive, and honor that with all you’ve got.

For me, that’s truth, transparency, compassion, strength and integrity. For years I couldn’t freely express any of those without punishment or suppression. If I can’t live those qualities in my work or my relationships, I start to wither, fail and disappear. But I’ve learned what’s required to honor my soul, and I won’t compromise it ever again.

What do you need to do to keep your spirit alive? 

#3: Engage your wisdom and discernment when you choose whom to love and trust 

The people you choose to enter into relationships with – be it through marriage, friendship, business partnerships, work colleagues and those you hire to work with and for you – will dramatically impact the quality and condition of your life. Don’t let people into your life who will hurt or demean, diminish and mistreat you. Simply don’t allow it. If you continually attract people who hurt or abuse you, you have to look at what is inside of you that needs healing so you won’t repeat or continue to hook into abusive patterns over and over.

Be incredibly discerning about who you will give your heart and trust to.

And if and when they violate your trust, care and respect, don’t wait to do something self-affirming and powerful about it.

Who is in your life today that you now need to move away from? 

#4: Don’t wait one single minute more to express and honor your creativity

For so many years, I didn’t see myself as creative – I thought of myself as the “money bags” for my family. I thought other people in my family and life were the creative ones. But that’s simply not true. I just hadn’t allowed myself to see what’s inside of me. Or more aptly put, I let so many of my creative abilities from my childhood and my teen years go underground – I didn’t understand how valuable they are.

Once I began to honor and nurture the creative force inside, my world changed overnight, and my work became a vehicle through which I could express my creative longings and abilities.

I’d be millionaire if I had a dollar for every professional woman who has told me that she’s dying of boredom and meaninglessness in her work, and that there’s a creative side of her that’s bursting to come forward.

The truth is this: Writers write, painters paint, dancers dance. Just DO the thing you’re desperate to do. You don’t have to throw your whole career out the window to honor your creativity. Just pick up that paint brush and start committing to painting, today. Just that step will improve your life.

What creative urge are you desperate to bring forward in your life today? 

#5: Get help when don’t have the strength or power to change what’s necessary 

This one is really simple. When you feel that you can’t do what you want to alone, then go get some help. Don’t wait. Reach out to a mentor, a friend, an ally, someone who loves and respects you, and sees the future vision of you before it’s hatched.

Don’t wait on the sidelines for years and years thinking “I don’t have what it takes to do this.”

The truth is, maybe you don’t have what it takes right now, but with the right kind of help, you will.

What help can you ask for right now in your life, to get moving towards what you really want? 

#6: Don’t break yourself against what is 

For years, I stayed stuck in lousy situations, jobs and relationships because I didn’t want to face reality – that I needed a BIG change in my life and in how I was operating in the world, if I wanted to be happy. I broke myself against my reality, instead of going with the flow of it, and changing course, or even making tiny pivots and revisions that would get me out of the bad scenarios I continually attracted.

Don’t break yourself against your reality – change it. And doing that doesn’t mean you have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Figure out some small steps you can take to take today to make a discernible difference in your situation, and start doing them.

What reality are you breaking yourself against today? 

#7: Heal your relationship with money and don’t poison yourself with it 

In looking back on what I learned about money as a child, and how I began to relate to it, I see now that I developed some very negative and unhealthy ideas about money. The worst was this idea: “I’ll always make a lot of money in my work, but I’ll feel like a prostitute doing it.” Meaning, I began to feel in my corporate life that the only way to make a lot of money was to sell my soul, hate what I did and the people I did it with, and compromise who I really was – to sell myself for the almighty dollar.

These negative beliefs will control how you relate to, and attract (or repel) money, unless you address your relationship with money and heal your money story.

Look back on your childhood and ask yourself “What did I learn from my family and childhood about how to view and relate to money?” Was it with power or weakness, secrecy or openness, shame or pride, courage or fear, love or hatred, resentment or happy expectation? Who controlled the money and who gave up control? When you write out your money story from the beginning of time until now, you’ll see patterns that are alive today that are keeping you from embracing money as a positive energy form in your life.

What is your money story, and how is it holding you back from a healthy relationship with it?

#8 Don’t waste one second of time on “should” 

As one who explores issues of gender identity, unconscious bias and conformity, I see so clearly now how society’s (and our “tribe’s) rules about what is feminine, and what women “should” do, be and act like, have been so constraining for me, personally and professionally. And I see now how expectations and projections about what is “masculine” suppress men from their authentic selves as well. I see too how my role in my family growing up led me to focus keenly on living up to what I felt others wanted of me, in order to make them proud or to feel loved and accepted.

All of these are the “shoulds” of my life, and caving to the “shoulds” (others’ expectations and demands on how you should live and behave) just can’t lead to a happy life.

As someone so wisely said, “Stop shoulding all over yourself.” Stop responding to what you feel is obligation, and start doing what you truly want to do, the way you want to do it. Then deal powerfully with the results and outcomes of that.

How are you behaving today that is all about “should” rather than what you authentically want to do? 

#9 Let go of the pain, anger and resentment 

Wow. I, like you I’m guessing, have experienced so much pain, anger, disappointment resentment and confusion in my lifetime. From relationships that devastated me, to jobs that crushed me, to colleagues who turned on me – I’ve experienced heartbreak that has brought me to my knees. And I know you have too. Life is full of incredibly hard bumps that can leave us broken and bloodied.

But life can also be so very stunningly beautiful, shining and radiant that you’re brought to your knees with amazing gratitude and humility at the sheer beauty and wonder of it.

I’ve learned that it’s a choice – to be either consumed with the terrible pain and anger, or to find a way to heal and release it.

To stay stuck, drowning in the poison of hate and devastated dreams, or to find it in your heart to forgive, see your part in it, let go, and move on to keep building a meaningful and rewarding life.

I’ve learned that holding onto the pain and anger misses the whole point of living. We didn’t come here, to this planet at this time, to spend our entire life here in a state of rage and disillusionment. We came here to learn, grow and thrive.

So, what pain and anger are you hanging onto that you need to release? 

I continue to learn these 9 lessons every day, every minute, but re-learning them has transformed my life. I only wish I had learned them sooner.

Which of these lessons resonates most deeply with you? Please share. 

For more information visit KathyCaprino.comFindingBrave.org and my Finding Brave Group Coaching Program.


5 Core Reasons People Resist Facing Reality Instead of Changing it

Part of Kathy Caprino’s series “Finding Brave To Build a Better Life

In talking this week with a friend with an extremely narcissistic spouse, something became even clearer to me than ever before: When we’re in an unhealthy, manipulative or demeaning relationship or situation but keep saying to ourselves “I can’t believe this is happening to me!” we keep ourselves stuck in pain and victimization. Our disbelief and/or resistance to the situation prevent us from taking the brave action we need to, to revise it.

When we can finally say, “I now see exactly what’s going on, and why,” then and only then do we have the objectivity and power to start moving forward to doing what’s necessary to protect ourselves and our lives.

I learned in my therapy training that “What you resist persists.” And while there’s always going to be some period of time during which we need to process what’s happening to us, emotionally and mentally, it’s best to stop resisting the reality of the situation as soon as you can, and stop beating your head against it. It’s much more empowering and growth-inducing to embrace the harsh reality with eyes wide open as soon as you can, so you can change your situation and your life, from an aware, empowered and courageous position.

In working with people to better their lives and careers over the past 11 years, I’ve seen that there are 5 core reasons people stay stuck in resistance rather than moving forward towards change. And sadly, this resistance can sometimes last a lifetime.

We think:

“This is not all that bad.”

I remember when I was in my most unhappy time in corporate life, I would try to hang on and keep soldiering through it by thinking “OK, this is bad, but it’s not always horrible. There are some good moments and experiences.” If I’m really honest, I can see that I did that because I didn’t want to leave behind the high salary I was getting, or the convenience of being very close to my home and my young kids. But the price I paid for that was enormous.

When we’re in damaging, painful or unhappy relationships, careers or situations, we often cling to the good moments – when it feels healthy, fun, or rewarding. We want desperately for everything to work out without our having to make significant changes, so we hold on too tightly to the times that aren’t awful, praying that the terrible experiences will just pass quickly, or be just an aberration.

The problem with this thinking is that,

 if you tolerate any amount abuse, mistreatment, or manipulation that makes you feel awful, you open the door for more of it .

No amount of physical, emotional, sexual, or other forms of mistreatment or abuse (or continual pain and misery) should be tolerated in your life. You have to fight to change the situation, and if you can’t do that by yourself, you need outside support.

“Why do have to be the one to change? They’re the ones in the wrong.”

I’ve heard this from thousands of professionals in horrible work environments as well as spouses or others in relationships gone wrong – they feel they’re in the right so they should NOT have to be the one to make any changes.

The problem with this mindset is that when you are experiencing people, events, and behaviors that are wrong for you, you alone have to be the one to take action, and not wait for others to change. Most likely, these others won’t change because they have no motivation to. You’re the one in pain, so you have the motivation.

The measure of joy, satisfaction and reward you achieve in your life will closely match the degree to which you are open to engaging in the brave work to create it.

“This isn’t fair.”

Many folks beat the drum of “This isn’t fair!” No, it probably isn’t. The reality is that life isn’t fair and expecting it to be is a waste of energy. Life is what we make it. If we wait for fairness to happen to us, we’ll most likely be crushed.

Fairness, respect, equality and being treated in positive, life-affirming ways are experiences we have to co-create by being strong, forthright, integrity-filled, honest, and brave – standing up for ourselves and others, and speaking up courageously for what we believe in and what we think we (and others) deserve. “Fairness” doesn’t just happen – we make it happen with our own actions and mindsets.

“I can’t believe they did this to me! I don’t deserve this treatment.”

Many people who’ve been mistreated, or who’ve been fired, laid off or somehow feel they’ve been kicked to the curb like garbage, and stay stuck in a cycle of disbelief and extreme pain, saying “I can’t believe this – I don’t deserve this.” They take it all personally, as if it’s an affront to who they are deep down, at their core. (I know I did, when I was laid off from my corporate VP role.) They fight against what happened as a way to defend and preserve their sense of worthiness, value and self-esteem.

Most often, however, mistreatment (or situations in which you’ve been let down in a big way) are more about the other person’s issues or the organization’s dysfunction and challenges that you’ve been swept up in. If you can stop taking it all so personally, and start seeing the full dynamics involved, you’ll most likely see a very different picture — of the full system you were embroiled in, why you were initially attracted to it, and why you need to separate from it now.

“This will somehow magically get better – they’ll (or it) will change on its own.”

Finally, I see this reasoning as one that keeps more people stuck in pain and misery than any other.

Most of us don’t ever want to change – we want whatever we have created to work out beautifully.

In fact, we expect it to and put all our eggs in that one basket. Especially when we’ve worked so long and hard to build a particular career, and sacrificed so much in the process. We’re often shattered when it ends up being the wrong one.

When this occurs, we’re bewildered, frustrated and highly resistant. We have magical thinking that if we just work harder, or longer, or give more of ourselves to it, the situation will magically improve.

But as we’ve seen, nothing improves without some critical shift that paves the way for a new way of operating or seeing the world. Magic has nothing to do with it. Change comes from seeing our situation with clear eyes, not taking it personally, learning what we need to, integrating that learning, then getting moving to create an entirely new experience for ourselves.

What thinking has kept you stuck in a situation that you now know you have to change?

For more from Kathy Caprino, visit her career growth programs and her TEDx talk “Time to Brave Up.


5 Ways BIG Change Can Boost Your Self-Esteem, Happiness and Success

Part of Kathy Caprino’s series “Finding Brave To Build Your Best Life”

Often, when I’m working with my clients or course members, the concepts we explore together take on a brand new meaning given what’s going on in my own life. Such was the case this summer. In late June, I underwent a massive change in my life, including selling our house of 16 years where we raised our children, moving (in the span of only a few weeks) from a country-like small suburban town in Connecticut to a bustling, diverse city with 122,000+ residents, dealing with big relationship shifts, letting go of so much from the past, and much more. The changes have rippled through every part of my life, and impacted literally everything about my identity and self-concept.

This was a voluntary, conscious move and plan for me, yet it’s still rocked my world in ways I couldn’t imagine. When we go through something this big (like a move, a change in relationship status, a serious illness, a loss, a firing) – whether it’s a voluntary choice or a move that’s has been foisted on us – we shift and evolve.

The question I think that’s important to answer is:
Am I growing stronger and happier through this change, or breaking myself against it?

I’ve found that if we’re extremely mindful and conscious about how we’re thinking, feeling, and addressing the challenges and changes, our life can improve dramatically because of it. Even those changes that we considered devastating and horribly negative can yield true blessings and amazing opportunities and developments that were not possible had the change not occurred.

Below are 5 ways that life-altering change boosts people’s power, happiness and fulfillment, if they approach it with positive, life-affirming mindsets and actions:

#1: You are able to see your own brilliance and the strength of your capabilities in a radically new light

When we stay unhappily stuck in one place for many years, we forget what we’re capable of – how strong, resilient, creative and resourceful we can be. We can go underground and suppress who we really are. We become highly influenced by the people around us, including their beliefs, actions, values and mindsets.

Have you ever found yourself living or working for years amongst people you simply don’t align with, or even respect and like? That experience – of being isolated and alone in your environment – can be crushing, yet millions are living it every day, whether in relationships that fail to fulfill them, or work that falls very short of what they want to do in the world.

When you take brave, bold action to leave behind a culture or environment that doesn’t fit, you’re finally free to soar and become who you want to be, consciously and with deliberate intention.

#2: You overcome challenges you believed you never could

I remember that towards the end of my corporate life, I was green with envy of consultants I knew who ran fabulous, lucrative practices and businesses of their own. I fantasized frequently about having my own business, and being free of the misery I experienced in corporate roles that didn’t fit me.

But deep down, I just didn’t feel smart, strong, or capable enough to make the leap. But when the tragedies of 9/11 occurred and I was laid off, I took that chance and said, “Enough! I’ve had it with this unfulfilling career that isn’t me. I’m going to create something that IS me that I’ll be proud and happy to engage with.” And I did it.

I stayed stuck and sick for many years because I never believed I was capable enough to thrive in my own venture. Now I know how wrong I was.

Change can help us see that we are stronger and more competent and capable than we believed. And it’s a thrilling revelation. (By the way, if you’re green with envy of someone else, that’s a warning sign that change is called for in your life.)

#3: You see clearly who your real friends are

When we undergo huge change, we often need some patient, powerful support and help from friends and loved ones to stay afloat and regain our footing. I’ve seen in my own life that some people whom I thought were close, enduring friends actually weren’t. They were only “fair-weather friends” who were attracted to friendship with me because of certain things I gave them, but weren’t there for me when the going got tough in my life. And I saw the opposite too – amazing friends and allies who would do anything for me in my time of need, offering beautiful help, love and support.

Seeing who your real friends are in life is a powerful gift. Take that gift and run with it. Don’t keep people in your life who are “friends” only because of what they can take from you.

#4: You learn to deal with people’s negativity, judgments and projections in a more powerful, life-affirming way

In my coaching work, I see brave women every day making huge changes in their lives, and when they do, they often face harsh, critical judgments from their “friends,” family and colleagues. Many of the folks I work with long to take a leap away from their unhappy corporate lives, and start their own compelling new venture, but their “friends” say things like:

“You’re crazy to give up your 9 to 5 job and great benefits in this market!”

“Are you sure you have what it takes to succeed in this new direction? So many fail at it.”

“Why do you want to rock the boat and try this? Can’t you be happy with what you have?”

I remember when I decided to leave corporate life behind and earn my master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, one woman in the grocery store said, “Why do you feel you need to do THAT?” And even my financial consultant (whom I quickly fired) said, “You’ll never make any money doing that.”

Making big change threatens other human beings around us. People want to stay in the familiar, even if that familiar territory is killing their souls. And I’ve seen that when someone leaves their unhappy life or job behind, many of the folks around them become even more dissatisfied and angry because they’re watching someone else escape the pain and they long for that. (Here’s a helpful look at why we resist change and the factors that influence resistance).

Embracing change in an empowering way and following your own, authentic path helps you build stronger boundaries, communicate more bravely, follow your own heart and mind, and deal more effectively with all the naysayers, judgers and detractors.

#5: You become much more nimble and open to change in the future

Finally, making bold, exciting change is like exercising a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger and more flexible it becomes. While not changing can feel easier and more comfortable, I’ve seen that this “comfort” can actually lead to mind-numbing unhappiness, dissatisfaction, hopelessness, victimization, fear, and utter resistance to growth. It can keep us in situations, relationships and environments that hurt us, but we’re simply too afraid to make the changes we need to in order to live the lives we long for.

But there are ways to make change more easily. The best strategy I’ve found is to first become extremely clear about the new life situation you want, and make sure it’s not about just running away from your pain. Take some time to explore it deeply and thoroughly in your mind. Journal about why this new direction will be more satisfying, and what types of help, support and information you need to make this change happen.

Then surround yourself with amazing people who are in “harmonious sympathy” with your desires and goals, who believe in the future vision of you before it’s hatched. Let them serve as your support team and accountability buddies, to help you navigate and stay the course of change, and buoy you with deep love and encouragement when the road to change gets a bit bumpy, which it will.

Once you make the dramatic positive change you’re dreaming of, life will look completely new, fresh and open.  And greater access to happiness, power and bravery will be yours.

For help to make change, visit my personal growth programs, download my new e-guide “A Surefire Plan To Figure Out What You Want” and tune into my Finding Brave podcast.


Are You Truly Open To The Signs That Help Is Near

 

Last winter, I learned of the powerful work and messages of Irish mystic, international bestselling author, and spiritual leader Lorna Byrne, and I was truly riveted. I was introduced to her work through the inspirational Mike Dooley (whose work I love), and was enthralled watching their video together. Simply put, Lorna is able to see and hear angels as clearly as the rest of us see humans. And she’s had this ability since early childhood.

As a writer and media person, I’ve watched countless videos, webinars, interviews and TED talks with international bestselling authors and thought leaders, and many are fascinating. But Lorna’s interview was something completely different – she resonates with the power of pure, loving energy like no one I’ve ever seen before.

During this past holiday season, I felt compelled to read all of her books including my favorite Angels In My Hair. I loved it so much I even listened to the 5-hour audio version as well, which was particularly mesmerizing because the narrator delivered it with a lush Irish accent, just as Lorna has. Lorna’s messages of love, compassion, kindness, and unconditional support from the angels made a tremendous impact on me.

I was so moved that I (bravely) reached out to Lorna and asked if she’d be open to doing a webinar with me, and lo and behold, she said “Yes!” Being able to converse openly with Lorna about her experiences with angels and the angelic world, and to be able to ask my most burning questions without fear, was a beautiful and transformative experience for me.

Here’s a look at our conversation Messages from The Angels for 2017:

When I learned of Lorna’s new book Angels at My Fingertips, I raced to buy it. I started reading it yesterday, and an amazing thing happened. In the beginning of book, there’s a long passage about how the angels (Lorna believes that each and every one of us has a guardian angel who is here to support us for eternity, even if we don’t believe in angels) are reaching out to us continually, doing their best to leave us signs of their love and support.

Sadly, most of us miss the signs completely, or don’t recognize them for what they are. According to what she has been told through her conversations with the angels, they often use bird feathers as a sign of their presence and support, and they leave them in unexpected places for us as a reminder of their love. But most of us never notice them.

In her book, she shares a story of a fisherman who’s deeply worried about the welfare of his family, and is asking continually for a sign from God that all will be well. His guardian angel continues to leave bird feathers for him, but he doesn’t notice. Until finally, he does. He stops, looks at it and puts it in his pocket. His guardian angel then embraces him.

Lorna mentions too in the book that as a young child, she was deeply longing to find a beautiful black and white feather, and promptly her guardian angel helped one appear for her.

As I read this, I was reminded of how stunningly beautiful it is to receive signs of loving, compassionate help in our lives. Whether you believe in the existence of angels or not, we all know that being helped by someone who is in loving, harmonious sympathy with our desires and with our heart and soul, is a magical, transformative experience.

I believe in angels and have been conversing with and writing to my angels for many years now. For me, it’s been a process full of love, learning and enlightenment. I don’t feel alone in the world anymore, even during the darkest, loneliness and most chaotic times.

Right after reading this passage of Lorna’s book, I took my 11-year old beagle, Lily, for a walk. Lily has been extremely stressed and overwhelmed this past month, as we’ve made a huge change, moving from a large house and property in the quietness and privacy of woods to a very busy apartment building in a bustling new city. During this big move of ours and after, I’ve been praying to the angels for assistance for Lily, to help calm and soothe her when she gets overly-stressed.

Ten steps out the door on our walk, I heard a loud, “urgent” chirping, much louder than chirping I normally encounter. I looked up to see what was making such a beautiful racket. I saw two sweet little birds on the branch right above my head. I then looked down at Lily, and this is what I saw at my feet:

I scooped it up and knew in my heart this was a sign, surprisingly not only for Lily, but for me as well. It was a reminder that we are loved, cared for and supported through this time of massive change. And for me, it’s a reminder to breathe deeply, be more present, to relax and just let go of all the worry and strain. I felt truly comforted and soothed.

I realized too that, like the fisherman in Lorna’s book, sometimes I’m just too preoccupied, harried and distracted to be present, to breathe deeply, and to open my eyes, heart and spirit to all the signs that loving help is right at my fingertips.

An amazing sequel to this story is that today, I looked down on the floor by my desk, and I found this laying there:

A second reminder!

This moving experience brought to mind several questions that I’d love to answer, and ask you to answer too:

What challenges are you facing right now that would be made easier with some loving support to help?

Are you truly open to the signs that support, love and compassion is very near — from this world and/or the angelic one?

Are you allowing yourself to be fully present for at least a few minutes each day, to breathe deeply, restore your calm and balance, and to see and embrace the signs of help?

If you were to get the kind of loving help you’re longing for, what might be possible for you?

Finally, where can you find that loving, compassionate and gentle help you need to get moving?

I hope you’ll answer those questions, and begin to open yourself to the signs of love and support that is at your fingertips.

Please share below the signs you see in the next week and month. I’d love to hear your stories!

To learn how to connect more deeply to your true spirit, check out my new Live Your True Spirit personal growth coaching program.