Creating Massive Transformation in Your Personal, Professional and Financial Life
If you are tired of running, chasing, and dreaming about a better life and are serious about creating massive change, look no further than in the mirror. Change starts in your head. The nature of your thoughts determines the quality of your life. As Norman Vincent Peale once said, “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
I’ve compiled this list of eight transformative mindsets to help you create massive transformation in your personal, professional and financial life. They will help you wring every ounce of happiness from the highs, prepare for your next transition, and give you a reservoir of strength and healthy habits for any drop to your knees sadness that may come your way.
These mindsets have gotten me through hell and back in my personal life. They’ve taken me from a single mom hustling to make ends meet and provide a better life for her children, to becoming a leader of one of the fastest growing financial service companies in the country. They dictate my inner dialogue and form the basis for how I view the world and how others perceive me. They are quite literally, the secrets to my success. And I do believe they have the power to unlock your inner warrior and help you become the best possible version of yourself.
Why are so many of us uncomfortable honoring our true selves? Why can’t we admit to who we are deep in our souls? Why do we look to others for validation and accreditation from others? Why doesn’t hard work and “success” bring us inner peace and happiness?
The answer to this question lies in one’s ability to accept every aspect of their being: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It means embracing who you are without any conditions, qualifications, or exceptions.
In his book Happiness Now! Robert Holden says, “Happiness and self-acceptance go hand in hand. Your level of self-acceptance determines your happiness. The more self-acceptance you have, the more happiness you’ll allow yourself to accept, receive, and enjoy. In other words, you enjoy as much happiness as you believe you’re worthy of.”
Self-acceptance means recognizing, owning, and honoring your strengths and weaknesses. When you have clarity about your capabilities and limitations, you can better evaluate your options and create strategies and solutions playing to your unique gifts.
Here’s is what gives a self-acceptance mindset its transformative power. Your sense of belonging and worth can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance.
Without self-acceptance, you’ll lack confidence in your ability to make decisions because the decisions don’t reflect your innermost thoughts and values. So, it becomes easier not to make decisions, do nothing, or wait until someone else decides for you. Little by little, you put your future in the hands of someone else. Eventually, you lose control over your own outcomes.
There is a variety of free self-assessments online that can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. Check out, Forbes’s suggestions at Best Tests to Help You Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses.
Once you’ve identified your strengths and weaknesses, you must put in the work to accept who you are and where you’ve been in your journey.
I look back at my chaotic formative years with pride, not shame. Everything I went through as a child serves as a bedrock for who I have become. I learned to cope with constant stress and instability, how to be effective, efficient, and negotiate solutions. I also discovered I could rely on myself, work hard for what I wanted, and take action to shape my destiny.
Likewise, I recognize the vulnerabilities deep within me that resulted from my early experiences. By knowing my weaknesses and vulnerabilities, I can more easily identify potential failure points. For example, as children we’re able to accept ourselves only to the degree we feel accepted by our parents. My parents were incapable of getting to know who I was inside, let alone accept me, because they needed me to keep the familial ship afloat. If I failed at these duties, every last thing would fall apart for my family. Fear of failure resides deep in my psyche and serves as a catapulting reason for me to honor my commitments and do what I say I will do. There is a flip side. I am my own harshest critic and tend to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Knowing my innate nature has made me more compassionate towards myself.
Transformation happens when you permit yourself to accept who you and where we’ve been. Rather than running from your past, accept it as the reason you are who you are today. Take a minute to celebrate that you’ve been given the strength and the perseverance to create the best version of you. By taking control of your outcomes and gaining knowledge where there are short fallings, you will not live a life of regret. You will no longer be running away from something, but instead running towards your best life.
With every fiber of your being you must believe can live a life of significance on your terms. You are worthy of creating the impact, influence, and income you desire. Self-love isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity.
You must put yourself first and hold yourself capable of taking action which is in your best interest and yours alone. It’s a radical idea for most women to consider putting their own needs before their families’ but caring for others can only come after you have taken care of yourself.
Growing up, my family didn’t have any means. So, my natural inclination is to give my children the opportunities I missed out on when I grew up, I don’t ever want them to know the feeling of starting a new school year with no pencils, books or clothes that fit properly. I don’t want them to wake up on Christmas morning to yard-sale castaways under a sad tree. But I know I can’t provide strength from a place of deficit. Shoring up my financial foundation has to come first. Unfortunately, most Americans haven’t gotten this message. Even though no bank in the world gives retirement loans, a recent study showed that 74% of Americans prioritize saving for their children’s college over retirement.
Retirement savings, paying off debt, and building an emergency fund are all critical to financial independence, however many people refrain from taking action thinking they will get to it at some later time. In reality, the only time horizon guaranteed is today. And, here is the mind-blower for some people: if you put off financial discipline, you’re choosing to make your financial burdens someone else’s problem later in life. The children you are working so hard to support and help build a bring future may have to cut their education/careers/personal life short to help you later in life.
Women tend to accept what they are given. We readily advocate for loved ones, but seldom for ourselves. Most often, it’s not because we think we are not worthy of more; we just haven’t developed the confidence and skills to advocate for ourselves. Self-love also means you don’t accept the limitations others put on your future. You set your bar. In all aspects of our lives, others make judgments about who we are and what we are capable of achieving.
When I was pursuing a career in finance, I was thrilled to receive an invitation to meet with a key decision-maker at a firm where I had already interviewed three times. I was convinced the career, and that particular firm was an excellent fit for me. I was right about the job, but not the firm.
What should have been a fourth interview leading to an offer turned out to be nothing more than an older man giving misguided career advice. I sensed his pity and could read his intentions. He thought he could give me the inspiration and guidance I needed to get on what he thought was the right track for me. He cautioned me that a career in finance would be too complicated because I would have to figure out how to take care of my kids. He also didn’t think I had the financial foundation needed to launch a successful practice. He thought I would be better off returning to a job in education for the flexibility in scheduling it offered.
I will never forget how sad, disappointed, and angry it made me feel. He judged me because I single mother who, in his eyes, lacked financial stability. Even more disappointingly, the gentleman judged my talents, without getting to know me. Rather than give power to his presumptions, I held my head high. The experience inspired me to create my own opportunity and find a firm willing to invest in my potential.
If you had a blank sheet of paper, could you jot down your values and core beliefs? Most people cannot. Our values and beliefs are what guide all of our behaviors and give us a unique code of conduct. It’s how we know right from wrong and gives you a benchmark for what is good, useful, desirable, beneficial or constructive.
A deep-rooted belief is having trust, faith, and confidence in something. Without a firm grasp on your core beliefs, it’s easy to become listless. You’ll spend a lot of time and energy wandering, unsure of where your efforts will lead. Prioritization is nearly impossible because you don’t know the one, two or three things to do each day to bring you joy. It becomes easier to go with the flow, let others make decisions, and wait-and-see where the current of life takes you. And, if you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.
If you have trouble articulating your beliefs, start by making a list of what is important to you. Not what your parents told you was important, or your spouse, or your boss. Not what you think you ought to believe, or what you’ve heard from others you should believe. What’s important to you? What do you hold true and will do so for the rest of your life?
Still stumped … … try this five-minute assessment tool.
You must also make sure your daily actions and lifestyle are in alignment with those values and beliefs. With alignment between actions and beliefs, your true self magnifies, and inner peace becomes a natural consequence. You gain conviction and confidence in your ability to make decisions because you aren’t trying to appease others. You can prioritize how to spend your time and your resources. It gives you the confidence and courage to right wrongs and unleashes your inner warrior. Martin Luther King said it best when he said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” It all starts with knowing what matters!
Do you sometimes go through days, weeks, and even years feeling like you are merely going through the motions? Are you doing everything you thought you were “supposed” to do, but still feel empty inside?
Earlier in my career, I worked and worked and worked without once stopping and asking myself if I was enjoying the journey. My efforts and results were rewarded with promotions, awards, and leadership opportunities. I thought that if I became a leader in a male-dominated industry, I would be accepted as part of an elite “successful” world. What those early leadership positions did for me, however, was much more profound. They ignited my true passion.
As I assumed leadership responsibilities, I found my true calling. I realized that helping people and seeing them grow and live their best lives was more rewarding than any leadership title. When I realized that the race to the top wasn’t providing the self-fulfillment or joy I deserved, I made a conscious choice to stop chasing what I thought was a success and focus on my passion instead. I wanted to help create massive transformation in others’ lives.
I decided to listen to the desire in my heart and chase my passions rather than the elusive concept of success. I focused on sharing my wisdom with others to magnify the impact in every moments of my life, my children’s lives, and anyone else who would listen! And an amazing thing happened. Every small success was … and is … exhilarating to me.
Everyone has a goal, whether it is to achieve financial security, pay off your debts, get a promotion, have a closer relationship with your spouse, or lose 10 pounds. These goals will likely go unmet unless you have a reservoir of desire providing a sense of excitement, fulfillment, and accomplishment along the journey. Desire isn’t something you can revisit once or twice a year. It is the cementing reason behind what motivates you and provides you with the fuel you need to conquer any obstacles along your journey.
For resources on developing a Desirous Mindset, check out:
A purposeful mindset is a supreme motivational force. It has the power to transform your entire perspective on work, family, and money. When you know your true purpose or calling in life, you’ll trade in salary and titles as measuring sticks of success for the level of impact you can have on others. Questions about work/life balance will morph into how you can best use your time and given talents to achieve your full potential. The question of what you should do with your life will get turned on its head, and you’ll begin to ask what your life do for others. Rather than asking how you can get more; you’ll ask how you can give more. And, that’s when the magic happens.
As a single mother of two, I chased stability over purpose. While I achieved monetary rewards and accolades from management, I felt unfulfilled. When I connected with my deeper purpose of helping others achieve significance in their lives, I developed more meaningful relationships. I became more engaged. I had more of myself to give, and I was more open to receiving the gifts others had to offer.
While everyone’s true purpose is distinctive, common themes emerge. Typically, someone with a purposeful mindset describes it as a calling or higher purpose, is committed to making a positive impact on the lives of others and has the confidence to allow their purpose guide their behaviors. Knowing your purpose – or Your “Why” — will enable you to be proactive about where you want to be and what you want to be doing. It gives you a guilt-free way to decline any opportunities that do not support your higher purpose. Your purpose gives you confidence; and, when confidence builds, your doubts die, and your heart aligns with your actions.
Check out Michael Jr.’s video clip Know Your Why
Another good resource to help you identify and embrace your life’s purpose is, Knowing Your Why: Finding and Fulfilling Your Calling in Life, by Ken Costa
Some people react to death, divorce, cancer, disabilities, or any other adversity with unwavering confidence that they will get through it and be okay on the other side. Others fall apart. The difference between these two generic character types is a Perseverance Mindset.
A perseverance mindset is what makes some people’s glass always half full in good times and bad. It is having the grit to put in the work, endure the rough times, and shape your outcomes. People with a perseverance mindset are doers; no matter what is going on in their lives, they buckle down and get things done. They’re committed to long-term goals and are willing to work hard despite challenges, and failures. A perseverance mindset requires a solution focus. You have to be willing to do whatever it takes to make a no a yes.
Thankfully, a perseverance mindset came naturally to me. I’m thankful because I have had to call upon it all too often. The most extreme example of how I persevered over adversity began in August of 2012. At the time, my children were 13, 14, and 15 years old. My career was going gangbusters, and my husband and I were enjoying a relaxing day at the lake with our family and friends. Everything changed in an instant when I dove into too shallow water, and severely damaging my spinal cord and breaking three vertebrae in my neck.
Once my neck was stabilized, I underwent emergency surgery and then was transported to Kessler Spinal Institute. The Institute was seven hours away from my family, and we had no idea how long I would be there nor how much mobility and functionality I would regain. I will never forget the terror of being loaded into a transport vehicle, unable to move my head, feel my legs, or even tell if my eyes were streaming tears. The only bodily function I had available to me was my voice.
The ensuing 18 months of round the clock physical and occupational therapy was grueling. But I was determined to use every minute effectively and efficiently. I knew the extent of my recovery would be out of my control, so I decided to accept whatever was in store for me calmly. No matter the outcome, I would do everything in my power to control my reaction. So, every day, I pushed through the pain. Against doctor’s recommendations, I got off pain medications. I fought through exhaustion and attended every single therapy session. At the end of each day, my husband would help me stand, then shuffle, then walk. If I were too wrung out, he’d stretch out my feet, arms, and hands. These nightly rituals shaved weeks off my recovery and returned me to my family sooner.
My doctors had never seen someone with the extent of injuries I suffered heal so quickly. They attributed my recovery to my attitude, commitment to improvement, and mental toughness.
I’ve come to realize the accident wasn’t about what happened to me; it was about how I choose to handle what happened to me. Support from my husband, family, friends all played an essential role in ensuring I had the right attitude and would dig deep and persevere.
For more on Perseverance, take six minutes to view Angela Lee Duckworth’s TED Talk, The power of passion and perseverance.
There are two ways to view the world: as abundant or scarce. Someone with an abundance mentality believes there is no limit to love, resources, happiness, career success, or wealth. With an abundant mindset, you are open to new experiences and free and comfortable, allowing things to come into your life even if you don’t have all the answers. You are confident you will figure it out and be able to adjust to whatever situation life throws your way.
The opposite of an abundance mindset is scarcity. Someone with a scarcity mindset views the world as limited. These people tend to be pessimistic and often create limitations or boundaries which prevent them from pursuing their goals. These are the people who live paycheck to paycheck, or are afraid to spend money, or spend the moment they earn because they feel like they may run out of time or money, or both! With a scarcity mentality, the focus is on never having quite enough.
I’ve been brought to my knees by too many sad, chaotic, and scary situations to count. In each case, an abundance mindset has gotten me through. I’ve had complete confidence in knowing I would be okay. I trusted in my affluence, intellect, knowledge, and willingness to persevere. When I had more questions than answers, I would remind myself to be patient and set to work at figuring it out. I knew I wouldn’t take no as an answer when it came to advocating for myself or for the ones I love.
Was I scared when a family member was battling an addiction? Hell yes. I was terrified. I also knew I wouldn’t rest until I had done everything possible to help my loved one through recovery. Was I petrified by the notion of raising my three children with limited physical mobility? Was I afraid I would no longer be able to lead my team or guide my clients? Absolutely. But, instead of grieving what the accident may have taken from me, I focused every ounce of my energy on achieving the best possible outcomes. I made every moment of every day doing what I needed o to ensure I could live my best possible life no matter what the outcome.
To create massive transformation, you must be able to give yourself permission to think and dream big. B-I-G! You have to identify and flip the script on your limiting beliefs. Be sure to surround yourself with positive people who push you to be the best version of yourself and hold you capable of your fullest potential.
You’ve heard of superfoods, like dark leafy greens, avocado, and berries, right? Well, gratitude is the superfood of mindsets. It has the power to improve every area of your life.
People with a grateful mindsets report being happier and healthier. They achieve more, pay it forward more frequently, are more engaged with others, and tend to be more morally alert. They also have lower levels of stress, make more effective business leaders, and increase their capacity for goal achievement and productivity.
When we pay attention to what we are thankful for, it creates space in our minds for more positive things to influence our everyday lives. It’s the law of attraction. When the negative becomes the focus, more negative comes to mind. If instead, you start your day focusing on the positive, more positive will come your way.
Think of your gratefulness mindset as an emotional muscle that can and should be used regularly and strengthened.
Gratitude got me through the darkest of hours during the moments, months, and years following my spinal cord injury.
Rather than feeling sorry for myself and sinking into a depression, I felt blessed to be alive and able to return to my home where I got to live with my amazing husband and three great kids. Even though I couldn’t move, I was ecstatic knowing someday I would return to our lake house and see another glorious sunset. When, about three months after the accident, I first felt my toes and legs, I was bowled over with gratitude. Soon after came the realization that many others at the hospital were not so fortunate. I felt incredibly conflicted when the same patients cheered my progress and supported my goal to return to my family, didn’t have a similarly promising outlook. I was thrilled for the opportunity to recover, but sad for those who did not have the same opportunities. It was an emotionally charged, physically challenging, mixed up experience that forever changed my life.
Every morning before I plant my feet on the floor, I take the time to reflect on all of the people and things I am thankful to have come into my life. My mind typically wanders to the people who have invested in my success, the advisors who trust me with their careers, and the clients who have chosen me to guide their financial transformation. I am invariably filled with both a sense of gratitude, loyalty, and kinship with the people who believe in my vision and purpose.
Before my head hits my pillow each night, I reflect on my day. I bear witness to everything from the great cup of coffee to the fascinating discussion with my uber driver, to my associate who passed her CFP exam, to the client who decided to take control over her financial world. These are the everyday blessings that give my life meaning. They inspire me and give me the strength and courage to be the best possible version of myself.
I encourage you to schedule time for reflection. Make a note of what you are thankful for, whether it is in a gratitude journal or simply a mental note. Take the time to thank people who have in some way brought joy to your life. A few words of appreciation can go a long way.
Give gratitude space in your mind and your heart, and watch your blessings grow.
There are tons of gratitude journal products and apps on line. Here are some of my favorite.
There is nothing more empowering than living life on your terms. This freedom, however, comes with responsibility. You have to be willing to own your actions, reactions, beliefs, and behaviors. If you know nothing else about the future, know this: you can do it. Everything you need is at your disposal and within your control.
If you’d like to create a blueprint to guide your transformation, click here. Together we will build the foundation for your transformation, one block at a time. I believe in you and would be happy to hold you accountable and capable of living the best version of your professional, personal, and financial life.