The Push-Pull of Making Changes (And Why Most Never Do)

When you’re trying to make massive changes in your life, whether that be starting to exercise, eating better, doing first things first, or any other kind of change you want to make, there’s something that happens. You get into making the changes, you’re consistent for a few days, and then suddenly… life chaos. Or your car breaks down. Or you get sick. Or you get a hate email.

Or something else bad happens and you think to yourself—I guess I shouldn’t be making these changes. I guess the Universe just doesn’t want me to have the money, the body, the success, the [insert whatever change you’re trying to make].

And that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Its unfortunate, but when you’re making big changes, the Universe tests you. To see how bad you really want it. To see how far you’re willing to go. To see how committed you really are to your life being different.

Because most people aren’t. Most people will let tiny little obstacles get in the way and stop them.

Ever since I implemented a major diet change recently, my life has been hell, on and off. Some days are great—everything flows and feels totally aligned. And other days, it’s like I’m trudging through mud, with no end in sight.

And there’s a lot of back-and-forth that goes on. For a while.

Good stuff… not so good stuff… good stuff… not so good stuff… really good stuff… really not so good stuff… really good stuff… Over and over again it goes on like this.

And at every twist and turn you have a choice: to keep going, or to give into the chaos.

When my health took a hit after I implemented my diet change I could have quit. The pain I was going through was almost unbearable. I could have thrown in the towel and decided that I’d just have to eat like shit the rest of my life, because making a change is just too hard and too painful.

When I started (again) on my journey to being consistent, doing what matters and putting first things first, and everything around me started falling apart, I could have quit. I still could quit.

But I won’t.

No matter how hard it gets.

No matter how rough the chaos.

No matter how bad it all feels.

Because I know what’s on the other side when you keep going. I’ve been through up-levels in my life enough times now to know that this is just a phase. And when you make a major life change, chaos always ensues.

Why? Because your reality is shifting, and things that you’re asking for are trying to come to you… but getting those things requires other parts of your life and reality to shift as well.

Example… in August 2015 I started doing a daily mindset practice. It’s the first time in my life I committed to working on my mindset every single day (and I’ve been doing it ever since, minus a handful of days where I fell off). And the week after I’d been totally consistent with everything and was feeling like I’m making progress… I was flat broke and my car got re-poed.

Most people would take that as a sign to quit. As a sign that it’s just not gonna work out and that you’re not meant to have the things you really want.

But I pushed on.

Because even though it looked like my world was falling apart on the outside, I had this feeling deep inside me that everything was gonna be OK. I didn’t how and I didn’t know when, I just knew it was going to happen.

So I kept going. Kept doing my mindset practice.

Not even 24 hours later, I had another car. And within the next 30 days, I made $15,000+ dollars CASH. 

Now imagine if I hadn’t kept going. Imagine if I’d said, this isn’t working and gave up. Imagine if I’d let the chaos and the nonsense I was seeing in my reality stop me.

Where would I be if I’d done that?

Definitely not where I am right now, running a thriving business that grows every month and makes an incredible impact in the world.

So this week, when all the typical signs of a massive up-level have been showing up in my life again… hate emails, feeling like shit, arguing with people close to me, things I’m looking forward to getting canceled or rescheduled… I have to throw logic to the wind and continue on.

And let me just say… it’s NOT FUCKING EASY to do this!! 

This week, for example, I had an appointment to get a massage. Something I’ve been treating myself to once a month as part of taking better care of myself and my health. But on Sunday, I got an email… they had to cancel my appointment for Monday because my massage therapist was sick.

Fine. I call and reschedule for Wednesday morning. Show up to the place on Wednesday morning… they don’t have an appointment for me in the system. HUH???

So I reschedule AGAIN and the customer service manager gives me 30 minutes free on my rescheduled appointment as an apology for messing up so badly this week. And then I get back out to my car, and the car parked next to me has the numbers 777 in the license plate. (77 and 777 are my angel numbers that show up for me ALL the time to tell me that I’m in the right place, I’m doing the right things and I just need to keep going.)

It’s like a wink from the Universe. It’s like the Universe is saying, I know things don’t make a lot of sense right now, but keep trusting and keep taking action. 

So even though I’m extremely pissed off at this point and I’m fucking DONE with this week and just want to crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and not come back out ’till next Monday, I keep going anyhow. I get home from trying to go to my appointment, and I write this post.

After I finish writing this, I will go to the gym, and burn off some of the anger. Because I know that even if my reality looks like a shit-show right now, something amazing is on the horizon.

And to get there, I just have to keep going. 

That is the push-pull of making changes in your life. Of taking things to a whole new level. Of bringing your dream life to reality.

And most people can’t handle it. Most people will hit one obstacle or challenge and they’ll quit and they’ll tell themselves it’s not worth it and they can’t do it. Believe me, I’ve thought about it. Many, many times.

Thought about what my life would be like if I hadn’t kept going… if I don’t keep going now. If I decide to call it quits and zone out with Netflix and junk food for the rest of my life.

The phrase, “just fucking quit” has been running through my mind for weeks now.

And yet I’m still moving forward. Still working on my food and fitness changes, still committed to doing what matters every day and doing it first things first.

At this point, nothing will stop me. No matter how bad it gets. Because I know it’s all temporary, and a brand new shiny, sparkly reality is on its way to me. 

But when you ask the Universe for something new, for something bigger than you’ve allowed yourself to ask for previously, your physical reality has to shake up. It has to. There’s no way around it.

Because the old can’t exist with the new. And the Universe is always rearranging itself based on your thoughts, beliefs, feelings and the things that you’re asking for. 

And if you can just stay focused on that fact, and keep moving forward, even though everything is falling apart around you and even though you think you should quit and even though you’re fighting with every ounce of your being to not quit… you will succeed.

There’s no way around it. It’s inevitable.

Because the ONLY WAY you won’t get what you want or where you want to go, is if you stop. 

You have a choice in every single moment, to just keep going. To let the life chaos be there and do the work anyhow. To let hell rain down upon you and to continue on.

That is the choice I’m making. It’s the choice I make every single day. And it’s always the choice I will make. Even when it’s hard. Even when it’s easy. Even when it feels fucking impossible. 

It’s the only way.

#DailyThinkDifferent #DreamLifeOrBust

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How do you keep pushing forward when life chaos happens? Share in the comments. 


So often when people sign up for workshops they immediately find that life chaos gets in the way of them doing the work and finishing. I’ve been teaching workshops for 5+ years now and I see it every single time, without fail. Some people just stop doing the work and you never hear from them again. Others try to weasel their way out with excuses and BS.

But the ones who show up fully and do the work ALWAYS achieve the results they set out to. 

Which is why I’ve designed my upcoming workshop, Write and Publish Your Nonfiction eBook in 10 Days, as a step-by-step process, so that you don’t get overwhelmed and even if life chaos does happen (‘cause let’s face it—it’s going to), you can still make the time to complete each day’s activities.

This is a fast-paced, no-excuses, take-fucking-action workshop that will help you go from idea in your head to published eBook on Amazon. 

If you’re ready for the ride of your writing life… then let’s do this!!

>> Details and sign up here

If You Want to Be A Pro Writer, You’ve Gotta Be Able to Deal With This

A few weeks ago I launched a passion project called the Bestselling Author Mastermind. The idea for a group like this had been in my mind for awhile. But I never acted on it, because it never felt like the right idea.

Until one Monday afternoon back in April. I had just gotten off a call with my accountability partner (one of many) where I told her I was going to write and publish one eBook a month for the rest of the year (and one novel). No idea how I’d do it, but that’s what I wanted to do.

Not long after our call, I was sitting at my desk thinking about how I was going to pull this massive, insane goal off, when an idea pops in my head: create a mastermind group for emerging authors who want high-level accountability, kick-ass motivation, success mindset and to see the behind-the-scenes of my writing life.

I was even being nudged to invite them to watch me as I became a bestselling author.

Now this was a seriously scary idea when I first heard it. I mean, really? Invite people to WATCH me as I become a bestselling author? (Talk about surfacing my fears and doubts!)

So I texted one of my other accountability buddies (well, she’s more like my save-my-ass, talk-me-off-the-ledge, idea-brainstomer-and-totally-amazing-writer-friend, but I digress) and told her what I was thinking. She wrote back that it was freaking genius and I should totally do it.

I then told her  I wanted to call it the Bestselling Author Mastermind, but I was worried because how could I call it that when I wasn’t actually a bestselling author yet? Wouldn’t people judge me and criticize me for it?

A lame fear that had no merit, because as my awesome friend pointed out, I would eventually be a bestselling author, there was no doubt about it in her mind. And so calling my group the Bestselling Author Mastermind was totally in alignment with that goal.


I called the group the Bestselling Author Mastermind, and then I invited everyone in to watch behind-the-scenes as I became a bestselling author. I didn’t know how, I didn’t know when, I just knew it was a done deal.

The funny thing is, I was doing some very powerful intention-setting during that time, without even realizing it. I had not only called my mastermind group, The Bestselling Author Mastermind, but during the promotion of it, I was sending out emails telling over 4,000 people that I am going to be a bestselling author AND that they could watch me do it.

Almost 30 writers jumped in and my new mastermind group was born. I became a bestselling author on Amazon a week later (no joke!).

The crazy part is, this group was more about giving myself a boost of high-level accountability for my goal of writing and publishing one eBook a month for the rest of the year (’cause when you’re leading others, you’ve gotta walk your talk) than anything else. But it ended up becoming something that totally changed my writing life and is now going to be a main focus of mine moving forward.

This group has totally shown me what’s possible when people show up consistently and do the work. I’ve already watched so many transformations it’s incredible. And to hear people stepping up and claiming their dreams and declaring what they want for their writing lives is so beautiful it nearly brings me to tears every time I think about it.

There is so much power in knowing what you want and being willing to let the fear and the uncertainty be there and then acting anyways. 

It’s a common myth that when you achieve success all the fear, doubt and self-sabotaging behaviors drop away. It’s the opposite, really. The fears, doubts and self-sabotage get stronger the further you push outside your comfort zone.

What changes is your awareness of them. Before you were blinded by them, letting them hold you back–even subconsciously–and not knowing it.

But once you know what fear, doubt and self-sabotage looks like for you, you will be more aware of it and more able to recognize when you’re repeating a pattern in behavior that aligns with those old ways of thinking and being.

For example, I now recognize my Upper Limit Problem in-action. I can even predict it’s arrival based on what’s going on in my writing life. Whenever I have a new book coming out, I know my ULP is going to appear at some point following the release of that book. So I watch for it. I look for the patterns in my behavior or the things I’m thinking over the next week or two after the book comes out, and if I notice anything self-sabotagy coming up, I stop it in its tracks and don’t give it any additional energy.

For me, the ULP usually looks like starting pointless arguments with the people closest to me, sickness (in myself or my dog) and accidentally hurting myself (like bumping into stuff and getting bruises or tripping or something like that).

Totally freaking lame-o stuff… but at least now I recognize it. That’s really the key. You have to be aware enough to recognize when you’re self-sabotaging or letting fear or doubt take over your thinking.

And then you’ve gotta axe it. Immediately if not sooner. Otherwise that shit will drag you down.

I’ve spent months nearly flatlined in my business because I was doubting myself so much and in so much fear that it had consumed me and I couldn’t take any action that didn’t feel totally desperate (and that’s not the energy I operate from). It wasn’t that I was doing anything wrong, per se, I just wasn’t aware that these behaviors were my ULP and human-nature self-doubt trying to “protect” me from leaving my comfort zone.

I get it now. I see that you never really lose the fear, the doubt, the self-sabotaging behaviors. They’ll always be there. (As one of my early mentors always said, “New level, new devil.”)

And that’s what you need to see too.

The fear, the doubt, the uncertainty that you feel around your writing, it’s never gonna go away. BUT you can learn how to recognize it in-action, so you can put a stop to it before it takes you down a path you don’t want to go down (the path of procrastination and not taking action).

And the only way to know your fears, doubts and self-sabotaging behaviors–inside and out–is to do the work. Every day, step up and do the work. As you run into the fears, the doubts, ask yourself: what I am doing right now that would cause thoughts like this to come up? 

Nine times out of 10 you’re doing something that will help you make progress on your goals and move you forward on getting your book out there. I can predict this because that’s how fears and doubts work. They’re lazy and so they only come out to play when you’re doing something they consider to be “dangerous” or “unsafe” (aka: trying to leave your comfort zone or be consistent with something or, most importantly, finish a creative project).

If you’re just sitting on your ass watching Netflix and procrastinating on your writing, the fears and doubts will still be there, but not as strongly because they don’t have to be. You’re not doing anything they consider to be a problem.

But remember, the fear, doubt and self-sabotage can only stop you if you let it. So don’t.

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What fears, doubts and self-sabotaging behaviors surround your writing life? And how do you deal with them? 

If you’re ready to kick fear, doubt and self-sabotage to the curb–realizing it will come crawling back from time-to-time, but knowing full-well you have what it takes to get rid of it again–be sure to check out the Bestselling Author Mastermind, a high-level accountability, kick-ass motivation and success mindset group for emerging authors (fiction and nonfiction) who want to create their dream writing lives.

Featured image courtesy of Vic

The Upper Limit Problem: What It Is and How To Deal With It

My dog just choked! (No, that’s not my dog in the picture. This is my dog.)

He was eating and started having hiccups (from his acid reflux) and then he sucked a piece of his dog food into his throat. I screamed for my husband, while pressing on the dog’s stomach, trying to force the obstruction out, and then when my husband got over to us I handed Weiland off and ran to Google how to do the doggie Heimlich Maneuver (dog owners–this is something we need to know! I don’t know why I never learned it before now.) Meanwhile my husband was able to remove the obstruction and Weiland was breathing again.

I skipped the gym this morning… so Weiland got my heart rate up for me.

After it was over I felt totally relieved and also like I just ran a marathon while being chased by a serial killer. Panicked and out of breath.

And the first thought that hit me wasn’t what I expected.

I expected my first thought to be, thank you God, Weiland is OK. But instead it was a three-word phrase I’ve been uttering a lot lately.

Upper Limit Problem (aka: ULP).

What’s An Upper Limit Problem

This is a phrase coined by Gay Hendricks, author of the book, The Big Leap. In it he talks about how we all have an internal thermostat that’s programmed to tell us how much love, money, success, happiness, good experiences, positive emotions, etc. that we’re allowed to feel and experience on a day-to-day basis.

And when something happens to trigger that thermostat and send it higher than it’s set to go, chaos will break out in your life to force it to go back down to where it usually is.

That’s why you’ll see people win the lottery, but then spend all the money, or you’ll win an award or complete a major project you’ve been working on and then you get sick.

It’s an Upper Limit Problem.

Hendricks talks about how the ULP is often triggered when you’ve done something that’s in your Zone of Genius, but you’re used to living in your Zone of Excellence. The Zone of Excellence is your comfort zone. It’s that place where you can coast along, being mediocre and mildly good at what you do. 

But your Zone of Genius is that place where you shine. Where your true gifts come through and where you could work all day long and feel like you’re playing.

Well, I hit my ULP yesterday.

Because I not only published a new book (my ULP is always triggered by me publishing a book), but it became a #1 Best Seller on Amazon.

Talk about a shove out of my usual thermostat zone. That shit skyrocketed out.

And then my poor dog choked. Just to bring me back down. Still feeling good, but not as good as I was feeling the day before.

How To Bust An ULP

This is something I’ve been working on for months. Because I’ve been on a major upswing this year, and I’ve challenged myself to insane heights that I’ve never even dreamed of soaring previously.

And I’ve been making shit happen.

But yesterday when my book hit #1, all the noise (aka: negative, limiting thoughts) came in full-force, and with even more uncertainty:

Great, you’re a bestseller. Now you’ve done it. You’ve gone and put all this pressure on yourself. Telling the world you’re going to write and publish 9 books in one year. Shouting from the rooftops that your book was a bestseller. Do you know the kind of expectations you’ve now put on yourself? If your next book isn’t a bestseller, you’ve failed. All of your books have to be bestsellers now, otherwise you’re a hack. And nine books? Are you insane? I mean, really, should we take you to the mental institution and have your head examined? Most people would be happy to write and publish one book in a year. And you want to write and publish nine. Delusional. Unrealistic. Fucking stupid. Why didn’t you say five books? Why nine? Why put that much pressure on yourself?

And on and on it goes…

Until I stop it. Until I actively choose to not listen and to instead say, I know what I’m meant to do. I’m intuitively guided and no matter what happens I’ll love myself anyhow.

And then I start a chain of new thoughts, ones that support my dreams:

You did great. Really great. I’m proud of you. Good job. You did it and you can keep doing it. There’s no pressure. None whatsoever. Because what other people think doesn’t matter. You live life on your terms. You’re defining success for yourself. And that looks however you want it to. Brilliant. Keep it coming. I love you.

And then I keep going. I keep taking action on my goals.

I could’ve totally freaked out and let what just happened with Weiland ruin my whole day. Maybe even totally derail me from all my goals for the week. I could’ve called myself names and said I’m a bad poodle-mom and how did I let this happen to him and blamed myself and worried and helicoptered over him all day.

But that’s what my ULP wants me to do. It wants me to stop doing the work. To crawl back into a safe space and protect my poodle from everything that could potentially harm him.

Which is why I can’t do it (and also why I didn’t). I made sure he was OK. I calmed myself back down. I cuddled with him ’til I knew he was over it and had moved on.

And then I sat my ass in a chair and I wrote this blog post. Because the writer and author I dream of being writes a blog post every day (or at least 5-6 days a week).

Shit’s gonna happen, doesn’t mean you have to stand in it.

The ULP is exactly what the name suggests: it’s a problem creator. When things are going well, it steps in to throw a curveball at you. To give you a problem to deal with.

What allows you to push through the ULP and not let it stop you is dealing with the problem and getting back to work.

What you don’t want to do is let the problem totally distract you, changing your focus and your thoughts to panic, scarcity, limiting thinking or anything negative. Because that’s what happens most of the time.

You’re working hard on your novel. You’ve made more progress lately on your story than you ever have before. And then you get sick. You come down with the flu and are bed-ridden for a week. Can’t lift your head off the pillow. Can’t work on your novel.

What determines the level of success you’ll get to in your life is what you do AFTER you’re not sick anymore. If you get right back to work (and maybe even work as much as you’re able while you’re still sick), success is inevitable for you. You’re not gonna let anything stop you.

But if the sickness would derail you. If it would cause you to drop your project, spending more time planted on the couch with a bag of chips and a movie on Netflix, then you’re doomed. You may as well hang up the towel now and take up a new hobby, because you don’t have what it takes.

I’ve always had what it takes, but I haven’t always been stepping up. There was a period of time in my life where my excuses and my bullshit was a lot more important than my dreams.

But that time is over now. Now there’s only the results I want to see and the taking action to get there.

That’s what I’m committed to. How about you?

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How do you deal with your ULP? 

If you’re ready to bust through your ULP and step up to the next level in your writing life, a life where you’re committed to the results you want for your writing and taking the actions to make it happen, check out my Bestselling Author Mastermind group. Doors will be opening to new members in the near future.

Featured image courtesy of Steven Carlton