Life Lessons Letter from Unconfident Girl

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Dear friend, recently I have been thinking about the lessons I’ve learned so far. I’ve had so many painful, but valuable lessons. I want to share them with you. You might find them both entertaining and useful. If so, my lessons will have served a double purpose. They started out as beliefs of the unconfindent girl and grew into something bigger. Here is what I mean by it. Early in my twenties I was naive, motivated and yet not confident as a young woman. I was obsessed with making the uncertain future certain. I was sure that my main goal in life is to allow happiness to come in and avoid pain at all costs. If I am really good, I will succeed to live happily ever after. Boy, was I wrong about this. Thank you universe, I was wrong about this. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, my biggest life lessons:

Life is half negative emotion, half positive emotion. I know, I know… this really sucks to hear, but it's actually great news. It’s the sour moments in life that make us truly appreciate the happy moments. Without the loss we cannot feel the joy of gain. It’s the contrast of events that gives us a full human experience. You and I both tried to make life 100% positive experience. We all do. It’s a recipe for continuous disappointment that leads to losing hope on having it all figured out. Dear friend, next time you feel down, take the lesson and know half of the time we will feel positive emotion and the other half is for negative emotion.

Don’t avoid failure, instead focus on learning how to deal with it. I can say with 100% confidence that I spent all of my twenties building barricades to avoid failure, pain and disappointment. I can also say with 100% confidence that I have since experienced all of the above many times over. What did I do wrong? I focused on preventing instead of embracing that failure is part of life. It’s not even a question whether or not we will experience failure. The question is when it happens what are we going to do? Are we going to spend the rest of what is left dwelling on it? I say not. Dear friend, claim your lesson as soon as you get back up and come with a plan for next time.

Friendships need to be managed. I went from expecting people to read my mind to not needing people to not relying on anyone else. I have since learned that the middle ground is where it feels best. To do that I needed to learn to speak my truth, make asks, come from a place of love and befriend boundaries. These 4 are always with me in my cheat-sheet. If I am upset, chances are I am failing to honor one of them. Dear friend, if you have not managed your relationships yet, start by setting loving boundaries before you find yourself stretched too thin and in a hoard of unhealthy friendships.

Lastly, there is not a single thing or person who can make us feel confident. At first I thought it had to be the relationship. When that happened, confidence didn’t show up. Then I expected motherhood to give me confidence. Confidence was a no show again. Finally, I knew money was the answer. When I make my first 100K, then I would feel it. You guessed it right. Money had nothing to do with it. Dear friend, your confident self is waiting for you to claim it. Think back to your most proud moment and remember how you’ve felt in great detail. Remember what you thought and said, how it felt, where you were and your surroundings… You will feel a wave of emotion overcome you. THAT is how you bring out the confidence.

Love,

Your Now Confident Girl

Finances and Divorce Conversation with Grace Pomroy - Financial Educator, Speaker and Coach

I have a soft spot for everyone who makes our lives better. I love everything coaching! It’s worked so well for me and many others. I have recently met Grace Pomroy, an amazing woman entrepreneur in the financial arena. Every time I hear finances, I think about my relationship with money. I think about how scarce money was after divorce. I also think about losing my house, not making enough to pay for daycare at certain points. I think about the shame I felt about it all. Grace and I talked divorce and finances, happiness, generosity and non-negotiables.

If you want to learn more about Grace and how she can help you, find her here!

I hope you find this blog post at the perfect time for you. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

Pulling The Thread or How To Start Making Progress

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If you've met me in real life, chances are you’ve heard me say 'keep pulling the thread'.  In case we have not met, let me to explain.  Imagine a tangled up thread that you want to untangle. Maybe your kids played with it and then your cats and then it was stepped on.  Now that you want to untangle the mess, you try pull it in different directions and loosen it up.  May be you even try employing a stick to help it.  Eventually you get it just right and have yourself a thread free from knots and ties.  It will be worn out a bit from all the manipulation, but it’s nice and free now.  In my mind many difficult circumstances are just like a tangled thread.  It’s a big mess and you don’t know where to start.  If you let it sit there, it remains a tangled mess.  If you try to untangle it, it may even appear to get worse at first. 

Back in 2014 I had myself a tangled up triple mess.  In short I had two minor children that I now was solely responsible for, a mortgage that I couldn’t afford even if I tracked every dollar in my budget, a car payment, daycare expenses and a job schedule that didn’t accommodate raising children.  I can still remember the blank stare that I had back then.  All I could think about was how messed up this is and I cannot opt out. Without any clue what to do, I started pulling the thread.  I took some good and not so good advice, I attended workshops, started dating, borrowed money to build out a rental in the basement of my house, went out to social gatherings, put too much money on my credit card and… I was routinely late for work and the first one to leave for the day. If we worked together we probably wouldn’t be friends. Few years had gone by and nothing felt like progress. I still wasn’t sure if I was moving in the right direction or just floating around. It was clear that nothing was for sure. Looking back I can tell you what I know for sure now.

I know for sure that looking for answers creates answers…

Trying different things creates different results…

Action doesn’t require assurances that it will work…

Trying new things opens doors to more answers…

What I know for sure is to keep going we start by pulling that thread until we get ourselves a worn out, but free from knots and ties thread. 

RoadMap2You Places THIRD in 2018 Twin Cities Collective Nomination For Best Small Business!

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Friends, I am happily sharing this wonderful news with you! I was recently nominated as one of the top 5 local small businesses. At the end of the voting, I was selected to take the third place! This award is so so fun to receive. It reminds me of how fun this journey of growing your own business can be. As a life coach my passion is within working with people. Having the interactions with them, helping and learning. The business side of things is another animal. As a business owner I have to be my own IT, marketer, sales, product developer, you name it! This award reminds me once again to keep going, to do what I know best and the rest will work out. I am thrilled to have contributed and impacted many women’s lives this year. Thank you for voting, thanking for sending the good thoughts, thank you for trusting. Let 2019 roll in!

Helping Women Thrive After Divorce with Becca Erickson's

Several weeks ago I set down with Becca Erickson, the co-founder of Emerge Mother’s Academy, to share my story. In the midst of my own crisis, years ago, I binge-read anything I could get my hands on related to post-divorce resilience. I wanted to find proof that anything is possible and so I did find it. This interview is my story about falling, rising and what got me here. My goal is to spread the wisdom and hope. If you are in the middle of building yourself back up, this podcast episode is for you. To you, the woman is looking for answers.

Listen to this episode now

Say Yes To Compliments

In recent years I have been paying a lot of attention to giving and receiving compliments.  We all love getting them, but for some reason many of us are not taking them for what they are. I am pretty certain I’ve rejected compliments all my life.  Actually, it’s considered to be good to pull fake modesty and slam it all over the compliment. I know it sounds strange, but most people doesn’t take compliments well.  You, too, may be rejecting compliments.  

Let me explain.  A compliment is a thought turned into words to acknowledge someone's abilities, looks or efforts.  It sounds often like this - "I love your dress", "You look great", "I loved your book".   Simple, fun and kind. In my experience, there are two ways to respond to compliments.  One is by saying a thank you.  The other is to say thank you and compliment the other person right back.  Both make you and the compliment-er feel acknowledged and appreciated.  Really, there is nothing more to it.  But how do we do in practice? Let's take a closer look some of the common responses:

You look fantastic!  What have you been up to?

- Really?  No, I've gained 10 lbs.
- Oh please... this is not my best.
- Are you serious?  I don't know what you are smoking.  I was drinking last night, didn't sleep at all, etc.
- I have looked better.
- She must not be sincere, I don't believe her.
- Please stop it, you are going to make me blush.
- Why would anyone compliment me on this?

We've just missed the opportunity to feel good and put the to other person in an awkward position.  This serves no one. So what is the alternative? The question is, why not say just yes?  Even if you have looked better, say yes today.  Say yes to everything and fight the urge to dismiss the words.  Say yes even when you know you this wasn’t your best effort. Our only job is to thank the other person and stay in the presence of words.  It's sooo powerful to stop and think about the compliment.  Let the positive emotion rise up and thank the universe for this unexpected gift.  Think about the words and look at overcome with gratitude on person.  You do look good enough.  Your work was done well enough.  The one tiny thing they are thanking you for was enough.  Your mere company is just enough.  You are enough.
 
Say yes!  Take ALL compliments.  There is no upside to denying yourself a moment of joy.  Let people shower you with kind words.  Let them show you what they see.  Let them see the good in you and feel amazing doing it.

When You Feel Guilty For Marrying Your Now Ex-Husband

Last week I connected with a friend who has been recovering after divorce for a couple of years.  She is a smart, successful and beautiful. She is now a sole parent of their two children.  I asked her how she was doing and she blurted out - I am trying to forgive myself for choosing the wrong guy.  I feel guilt for marrying a man who is not the best father for my children.  Suddenly I felt a hot wave wash over me.  I, too, spent many months feeling deep guilt about bringing children into this world with an unfit parent.  Someone who one day typed the message “I am done”, shut the door behind him and unsubscribed from being a dad.

I have tried countless ways to reconcile the choice that I made.  I mean… I chose the guy and said I do and stayed with him for a decade. Why did I think he was a great choice? There were many books, therapy sessions and bitch fests with the girlfriends. Some of these things helped a little, others helped me make a shift toward letting the guilt go.  Outlining thoughts one by one is my favorite way of sharing information.  Today I am sharing with you the four perspectives that helped me move away from guilt into a space of healing.  But first, why let go of the guilt and heal?  Wouldn’t it negate the lesson that I deserve? No, it would not.  The lesson is learned the moment we realize it was not the best choice.  It is through self-love, support and acceptance that we can move forward effectively.  The reason to let go of guilt is so we can be loving and understanding parents.  So we can show our children that mom is a human and makes mistakes too.  So we can be our best selves and invite healthier relationships into our lives. So we can feel happy and content more often.

WHEN YOU FEEL GUILTY FOR MARRYING THE WRONG PERSON, consider these:

I. Feeling guilt is not therapeutic

Let's look at what the purpose of guilt is.  Why do we express it to others?  We feel awful about what happened in the after math of the decision.  We make ourselves feel bad in hopes of learning the lesson for next time.  Growing up most of us had parents that made our mistakes feel very unpleasant.  The more guilt we feel now, the better our decisions will be in the future.  In retrospect guilt impacts our future decisions and confidence in a negative way.   When we are immersed in guilt, we don't make the best decisions for ourselves or the kids.  We make decisions based on fear.  And if life taught me anything, decisions based on fear rob me of my full potential.  They rob me of going all in and dreaming big, because I need to be really careful this time.  Feeling guilt is neither therapeutic, nor preventative.  All that we need to do is recognize what we no longer want to have in our lives and decide to do differently next time.  Guilt has us looking back, which is the opposite direction of hope, happiness and thriving.

II.  Having your own back is a must 

No matter what happened, one thing we should always give ourselves is having our own back.  It requires nothing but supportive thoughts for ourselves (something we do all the time for our dearest friends). Trusting that at all times we do our best.  I know you'll disagree and say this wasn't your best.  It certainly isn't your best today or you wouldn't be here looking for answers.  But trust that you make the best decisions based on what_you_know_today.  Your best will always shift and that's the beauty of wisdom.

III.  All relationships have expiration point 

As much as we refuse this notion, if you we look at our past relationships of any kind, we'll see that all of us have had relationships that faded, finished or completed.  While I believe all relationships serve a purpose, not all are meant to last a lifetime.    Our relationships with ex- husbands lasted exactly as they should.  Nothing have gone wrong there. They run its course and are now complete.  Thank you for the beautiful moments.

IV.  Feeling compassion for him

When it came to letting go of the anger for having to raise the children by myself, not much helped long term.  I didn’t choose this life, I didn’t choose to be a single mother. I wanted to be angry all the time, I wanted revenge even.  I imagined that he'd come back and want to see the kids, but as time passed the less likely it seemed.  Revenge wasn't an option:)  I started learning about forgiveness.  At that time I have experienced an amazing uplifting and relief after forgiving a family member from a long term pain.  I got a taste for what forgiveness does for me. I decided that I had to move toward forgiveness for my ex husband.  I knew he wouldn't feel my forgiveness, but I would.  He wouldn't benefit from it, but the kids and I really would thrive if I could forgive.  It is to this day one of the hardest things to do for me. I found a form of forgiveness that resonated with me. I chose to cultivate compassion for him.  Knowing that living your life far a way from your own children, made me feel compassion for him.  Knowing that he is not able to live his best life in exile made me feel more compassion.  When I imagine living away from my children for more than a month, I feel tremendous pain and compassion for his state.  No one in their right mind would choose this life.  I give compassion to him and myself.

When it comes to taming guilt, always remember that the purpose of life is to live a full vibrant life. It is both the dark and bright moments that make it vibrant. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

When You Think You Do The Wrong Thing

The other day I talked to my mom.  She purchased a new home and was in the process of selling her old home.  She had an idea of selling the old house to invest in a multi-unit rental property.  On the first day of sale she received a great offer from a prospective seller. The faster the sale was progressing, the more worried she became. As I imagined all the opportunities she is going to create by selling her house, I wanted to be in her shoes.  The wealth building and becoming a landlord (after all who doesn’t want passive income?).  I wanted to be like my mom when I grow up!

But mom wasn't thrilled.  To her selling a home means something else entirely. It means lack of sleep and loss of appetite in her world.  Making big steps means loads of worry and uncertainty.  She was afraid of both - keeping or selling the house.  Even though I wasn't in mom's shoes at the moment, I remember feeling this way about pretty much everything.  What if it was the wrong thing to do?!   How do you know what the right thing is>

My process today is a mental dialogue or a conversation with myself.  I repeat it often.  It gives me confidence in my decisions, a piece of mind and room for mistakes. Lots of room for mistakes:

- Should I change my job???

- What do you think you should do?

- I should get a new job.

- Why?

- Because I think it's time to try something else, get a raise and work from home.  But... I have been out of work force/on maternity leave for too long/I don't know what's out there/what if the new job is worse than this one/I am too old/etc?

- You will figure it out as you go.  Start by starting. Start by updating your resume

- I don't want to lose my perks at this job though.

- What has more weight for you today - existing perks or more money/work at home/new project?

-  The latter.  But... what if I it was the wrong thing and I regret it later?

- What if you knew both decisions are equally great, what would you choose?

- I would look for another job right away.

P.S. Mom decided to sell her house after all and proceed with her long time coming plan of becoming a landlord.

Four Reads for Your Soul!

I have not gotten into reading until my late 20’s. Since I dropped the idea that only classic books are worth reading, I have discovered so many amazing books that changed they way I see the world. Today I am sharing with you my top four books. These are the type of books I return to re-read. Please enjoy!

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The mysterious power of the coincidences.  Why do they happen and is there a special meaning?  Chopra dives deep into the meaning of random events that *always* lead to a certain manifestation.  I picked up this book randomly at a library book sale.  Surprisingly it was exactly what I needed at the time.  Isn't it a coincidence?  Must read.

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As soon as I read about Martha's life I was impressed.  Martha was studying for a PhD at Harvard all the while having three small children including her son with Down's syndrome.  In this fantastic book, Martha teaches us how to find and nurture our intuition.  After reading this book I turned back to listening to my gut more which added to my self-confidence a great deal.  This book won't disappoint. 

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I'll be honest, the concept of 'healing' typically makes me cautious, but this books is the exception.  Louise Hay was and is the thought leader in healing ourselves with thoughts.  Louise talks about the connection between our words, the way we feel and what we create for ourselves as a result.  What I really love about this book is that she tells you exactly what to do should you want to apply.

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Dr. Brené Brown a renowned researcher in vulnerability and shame.  She teaches us what shame means and why we have it.  Through her stories Brené shows supreme vulnerability and how she doesn't always champion it despite having a PhD in the subject.  Like the other four writers, Brené's writing style is cozy, which makes reading so much more fun.

Have fun with these and share your favorite books in the comments!

10 Thoughts To Change Your Life. Literally!

Every day I try to do a better job than I did yesterday. I try to be a better parent all the time. I think about how to improve my relationships day after day. I put a lot of focus on creating a lot of value in my business and my corporate job. In doing so, I find a lot of things that don’t work. They don’t add value to my life and things don’t change. But then there are things that I do that make a huge difference. Things get better, and better, and better! I am sharing with you my guide on 10 thoughts that will change your life for better for ever.

Thoughts? What in the world? Here is how this works. What we think is a critically important part to getting what you want in life. Our thoughts determine how we are going to feel about a problem, a desire, a goal, a job… What you think really matters! I have put together 10 most impactful thoughts that will change your life. If you have not yet, get this FREE guide immediately! Today I am sharing the first life changing thought:

THOUGHT #1: WE CAN DO HARD THINGS
Many of us quit when things get hard.  Somewhere down the road we adopted a belief that easy means we are on the right track.  This belief doesn't serve us and here is how you can look at it differently.  Big goals always require us to stretch beyond comfort zone and overcome obstacles.  There will be a guaranteed point of confusion and resistance no matter what you are pursuing.  When we believe that obstacles are there to help us, we feel empowered and don’t quit.  When empowered, our minds immediately start searching for solutions. 

A while back I decided to be okay with doing hard things.  It looks like this – as soon as I encounter something difficult, I tell myself that I am learning to do hard things.  It's been the single driving force behind my relentless pursuit to successfully achieve my goals and I have not looked back.  The reason why it works is because we give ourselves permission to resolve the difficult tasks.  We make it normal to encounter problems. You start to look at challenges as part of the journey without trying to get rid of them. When you truly start to embrace that
you can do hard things, you start to believe in yourself unconditionally.  This is where the
magic happens.  

Download 9 more thoughts here.