This is part 5 in a blog series on why we are so afraid to be ourselves, how that fear keeps us broke and invisible – and how to stop that shit.
Previous installments can be read via the links below.
In my work with clients, I always start with mindset: how you think.
Mindset is about the beliefs you carry, whether about yourself or the world at large. Those beliefs show how you are functioning in the world at the most basic, core level.
It’s important to know what kind of beliefs people carry for several reasons:
- Your mindset absolutely impacts the decisions you make each day.
- Included in this impact are the ways your mindset keeps you from reaching your dreams.
- But they also shape how you show up in the world, especially if you believe you should be doing something different than what you are (or you change your behavior because you think people will like you more by behaving a certain way).
Think about your education (and natural intelligence), your character and your areas of genius. These are three key areas we often judge ourselves and our success. Can you change them?
Thanks to Carol Dweck – a world-renown Stanford psychologist, leading researcher on motivation, and the author of the international bestseller Mindset: The New Psychology of Success – we know people generally fall into two camps when it comes to mindset.
If you have a fixed mindset, you believe those areas (intelligence, characters and innate genius) are personality-driven and can’t be adapted. You have a certain process or aptitude for learning and living and it’s fixed.
If you believe this, understand that at the core of this belief, chasing down what you really want becomes impossible. You don’t think you’ll ever be able to reach what you want, based on the fact that you cannot change your intelligence and character.
Trust me, people with this type of fixed mindset are the ones who worry the most about being accepted. They work incredibly hard to prove their worth (instead of utilizing it for the greater good). They will do this cyclically, repeatedly trying over and over again to prove they are worthy or smart or funny or something more than they are.
Not only are they beating their audience over the head with the same damn message, but they’re selling themselves short.
That’s tunnel vision.
If you have to prove you’re good enough or smart enough, you’re not actually using the intellect you’re trying to prove you already have.
Take a gander at the following questions and see how often they come up in your life:
If I try this, will I fail?
If I do ____ , will I look intelligent or incredibly stupid?
Will people reject me for sharing this opinion or will they love me for it?
Many will argue that society places value on these things and it’s normal to want the good – winning vs. losing, smarts vs. stupidity.
But remember that making decisions based on what everyone else “thinks” has never truly gotten you where you want to go.
You can’t tell me the constant beat down your brain takes from answering these questions (and acting based on the answers) has ever benefited you, the human who has to live with the outcome.
So I aim to cut through the crap these things cause by doing the real work up front.
Growth mindset, the opposite of fixed mindset (also coined by Carol Dweck), means you believe you can develop these traits into something much bigger. People with a growth mindset use their character traits as a starting point. But they work hard at developing more and more talent and experience. They dream, they conquer, they flourish.
This is what I want for each of you: To dream bigger than you thought possible, to dominate, and then to develop and nurture new ideas so you can constantly grow. It’s not always easy, but it’s certainly worth it.
You can change at a cellular level.
So mindset work, as I’ve already said, is the beginning and also the most vital.
How does this play into being real? It’s critical to seek out and debunk any limiting beliefs you have about yourself so you can fix them. Pronto.
Sounds simple, right?
Well, it is. But far too many people resist doing the deep dives into their own beliefs because they are often terrified by what they’ll find.
I was guilty of this for an exceptionally long time.
Maybe I’ve actually been holding myself back is a thought that’s important in growing in life and business. But it’s also a hard one to accept. We’re already tough on ourselves. So why touch on the root of the problem when we already know it exists?
Because when you acknowledge these beliefs you’re carrying around, you can switch over to a growth mindset and begin enhancing your life: your business, your education, your talents and relationships.
And you can stop making decisions based on how you think others will react to them, and do what feels best to you. THAT, in turn, boosts your confidence in decision-making and killing whatever epic awfulness is trying to nest in your brain (anxiety).
It’s common knowledge each of us thinks and acts differently and – hell – we’re all fighting demons others may never experience. But when old school researchers and therapists started digging into why this might be happening, they realized the biggest factor in how a person faired throughout life wasn’t what they were given.
It IS how they saw themselves inside of their own lives and what they believed they could do.
Read that last line again.
People, you have more capacity for life-long change than you realize.
Your brain is a magic organ that can adapt and change.
If you know this and you use your brain as a tool, then your experience, training and EFFORT are bigger factors in where you go than anything else, especially genetics.
The way you view yourself completely changes the way you lead your life. So if you can transform your mindset, your life will also transform.
Plus, you’ll begin to appreciate and accept the differences you see in the world as beautiful, organic and – swoon – things that will make you grow even more.
People with this mindset believe it’s impossible to look at another human and know exactly where they will end up because their current performance is not an indicator.
I was a typical kid by society’s standard. I wasn’t the top of my class. I wasn’t the most beautiful or most popular girl. And you know what? For a long time, my fixed mindset made me believe that meant I didn’t deserve to go after what I wanted.
It made me see myself as unworthy of the very things my heart kept telling me I should be doing, so I didn’t do any of them.
Trying to attain anything might mean I’d fail and the naysayers would be there to say, “Well, Becky, I don’t know why you went after that without really evaluating if you were [smart enough, talented enough, rich enough].”
Those reasons alone were enough to give me severe anxiety and gut health issues when I went into journalism and editing. Every time something came back to my desk with a “try again” or “do more” note, I was convinced the higher ups would fire me and I’d be left with no job and no chance to stock my pantry.
To be clear, at the point when this situation became dire, I didn’t realize I was shifting my mindset. But I did make the choice to try to grow. I was at the very bottom, feeling really piss poor about myself as a person, and I knew the only way to climb out of the sewage was to believe I could adapt and learn.
I could try.
I have talked extensively about this moment, plus a later one (when I took the leap from writing coach to business coach), throughout my blogs, but I will say this:
Even though I wasn’t 100 percent convinced I could change the outcome, I was certain I had the capacity to learn more and to grow, so I gave myself the chance to do it.
And here I am.
Still living, still breathing, and still working hard on figuring out how to develop my skills even further.
And I help others learn how to grow.
Let’s use my Money Mindset Mastermind as an example.
Here’s some of the sales copy:
The U.S. dollar bill is a 2.61 inch wide x 6.14 inch long x .0043 inch thick rectangular little piece of paper that exists for an average of 5.9 measly years before it’s thrown out and replaced with another.
Yet, this dispensable little piece of printed paper has its tight little claws wrapped around your throat, doesn’t it?
You worry about getting enough of it, saving enough of it, having enough of it — because your ability to effectively and efficiently convince other people to give you their little pieces of paper, in exchange for something you have, is the only thing that’s standing in your way.
So why is it so hard to ask for a stupid little piece of paper?
Let’s talk money.
Get every elephant out of the room — every weak person squirming.
Money is what you want. Straight up.
So, do you have a plan to get it?
Or are you just crossing your fingers behind your back, hoping the paper will fall into your purse? (That’s a piss poor strategy, by the way.)
If you’re selling something, and you’re not collecting as many little pieces of paper as you’d like to, chances are good it’s your fault.
I know, that sounds brutal. But that’s why we’re here, and that’s why you’re reading this page in the first place. Because you know you can do better. You just don’t know how.
WELCOME TO REBECCA T. DICKSON’S MONEY MINDSET MASTERMIND
CREATED FOR WOMEN WHO FEEL LIKE GUILTY SH*TS WHEN THEY ASK TO GET PAID.
This is a course for anyone who’s ever thought, “I can’t charge that much,” or “No one will ever pay that much,” or “What if they don’t think I’m worth it?” or “Who the fuck can actually charge $500 an hour?” (Hint: Your future self, soon.)
Money messes with people — fact.
Even though it’s nothing but a flimsy little piece of paper, most people get all sorts of irrational when it comes to asking for it, taking it, giving it and not feeling one bit guilty about any of it.
A few years ago, I set out to discover why that is. And what I discovered is simple: Most people just don’t know how.
They don’t know how to ask for money in a way that makes them feel good about it. They don’t know how to take money in a way that makes them feel confident about it. And they certainly don’t know how to experience money in a way that feels natural, powerful and WELL-DESERVED.
Which, as you can imagine, leads to a lot of problems when you’re a business owner and your #1 job? Is to get money.
Enter: This mastermind.
The Money Mindset Mastermind is designed to change all of that — and then some.
If you’re someone who’s shy about charging money. If you’re someone who’s reluctant to raise your rates. If you’re questioning your self-worth and the value you bring to the table. If you have no idea where to even begin with your pricing.
Then this is for you. (And FYI, the answer to “where do I begin with my pricing?” is right here.)
Because how you think about money is just as important as you how ask for it.
And how you think about money? Might just be the one thing your bank account has been missing.
Did that sales copy make you question your beliefs about money? If so, I hope you’re starting to see you can get some skins in your bank.
But what if you gave yourself permission to feel this way about other areas of your life too? This type of growth mindset fosters a passion for whatever area of life you’d like to improve.
If you feel inadequate in any way, don’t try to hide what you think are your shortcomings. You don’t have to live with them either. But why not acknowledge them so you can then overcome them?
Why not go after the career you’ve always wanted?
Why settle for a douche when the man of your dreams is out there?
It’s absolutely time to stretch, to grow and develop and become a better person.
Are you ready?
Let me show you how.
Step 1: Determine how your inner voice is speaking to you. (I call mine Riva, and she is a bitch.)
Got any of those negative messages cropping up in your decision making (or daily activities)?
Can you really do that?
People will laugh when you fail.
If you were more (enter appealing quality here), this wouldn’t have been so risky.
Launch is still a week away, so I still have time to quit.
Basically, are you making excuses before you even start, or anticipating a set back? Because, if you are, your inner voice is kind of an asshole (and needs to be silenced).
This can also happen when you face criticism from someone else, whether your spouse, your family, your employer or friend. It shows up as defensiveness and excuse-making or depression (and disappointment).
Once you realize the areas in which you need to work on your self-talk, you’ll be better able work through the limits you’ve placed on yourself via your brain. Do NOT beat yourself up for having these beliefs. We all have them.
Just notice them without judgement.
Step 2: Remember you get to choose.
Now that you’ve noticed these beliefs and/or reactions, you get to choose how to respond to them. I know it’s hard to stop yourself from spiraling in shame when you’ve found a pain point or feel inadequate, but you certainly won’t ever beat those feelings if you don’t freaking choose to try a different way.
How you take trials and criticism is your choice. You can interpret them with a fixed mindset (as previously discussed) or you can interpret them with a growth mindset (so you can stretch and grow).
Totally your call, but you know which way will actually get you where you want to go.
Step 3: Stop being so fucking mean to yourself.
Let’s use an example here so I can better show you the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
Fixed Mindset: “Your launch failed and proved your partner right. You’ll never make it as an entrepreneur.”
Growth Mindset: “I don’t know how I missed the mark, but I’ve learned from several mistakes and think it’s worth trying again.”
Fixed Mindset: “I don’t think I’m smart enough to hang out in this crowd.”
Growth Mindset: “Being around other intelligent people will naturally help me continue learning more and more.”
When you counter your limiting beliefs (or thoughts from a fixed mindset) with something more positive and more growth-driven, you’re telling yourself you believe you are worthy of the outcome you were seeking in the first place – and you’re still going after it.
You’re saying you believe in yourself.
Practice a growth mindset every time you say something negative in your head. Notice the voice and then change it. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but your commitment to it will shift things in major ways – and pretty quickly.
You’re being a warrior, woman.
Step 4: Get moving.
Now that you’ve given yourself a chance to think about things in a different way, you have to start acting. Thinking is one thing, but proving to yourself these new thoughts are true can’t happen unless you move your ass.
You’ve put so much intentional effort into this already, acting shouldn’t be terribly difficult.
Step 5: Love the process more than the outcome.
If you’re so focused on the outcome that you can’t enjoy the process, you’re doing it wrong. There is no way you’ll get the end result if you’re in pain every time you try.
Relish in the fact that you’re giving yourself another chance to grow, learn and develop as a human. Every single fuck up gets you closer to your goal. You win or you learn. Powerful information you will use to ultimately achieve whatever you are after.
Every setback and all of the effort you put in are what will make you into the person you want to be. Facing obstacles with a positive attitude and seeing yourself as another step closer is absolutely mandatory.
Sure, the outcome will feel really good once you reach your goal. But you have to celebrate every milestone along the way too. It’s called motivation. And you get to give it to yourself all the time. How awesome is that?
Because each time you step into the arena and work toward a better end result, you’re gaining strength, know-how and you’re thriving. Those are the biggest pieces to celebrate.
Plenty more posts are coming that will cover a few of the biggest places mindset work are beneficial. The places most of us fail to see the usefulness of coming up with a different perspective.
Hang tight, you’ll be a better and happier person at the end of this.
This is part 4 in a blog series on why we are so afraid to be ourselves. And how that fear keeps us broke and invisible.
We can’t take everything we hear as absolute truth.
Eye witness testimonies that don’t match up. Familial stories told differently by different siblings.
What we are actually dealing with is the perception of truth, even in our own heads. Do we have the ability to believe what we want? Can we adjust our perception?
The ability to perceive also lends itself to the ability to believe totally damaging, bullshit stories that may have been shaped by previous beliefs, our personal preferences, and illusions we’ve been fed as truth.
Your perception of yourself is not your truth.
Hell, sometimes whatever you think is a flat out lie.
You can almost always be certain you’re lying to yourself when you are speaking negatively about your abilities. When you begin seeking answers, deciding whether or not what you’ve always believed is actually factual, you’re breaking free of the herd mentality and furthering your journey to insightfulness.
This series of posts stems from the countless women – clients and not – who come to me to ask me how I show up as myself in a world that cuts us down and expects us to be perfect.
These women apparently think I have everything together. This, of course, is exactly the myth I’ve laid out there in previous posts – here, here and here – where I explained that image and truth are vastly different.
No, I am not perfect.
Yes, I am perfectly fine with that.
In fact, over the last ten years in business, the social media posts that resonate with the most women are the ones in which I acknowledge my own mistakes. People flock to those, thanking me for my transparency and slapping my ass for being brave enough to share my own failures.
Do you think that’s easy?
Some days I wake up and think, “Yep, I’d like to ignore my latest blunder and pretend it never happened.” But I know doing this once means I’m setting myself up to make a habit of hiding whatever I don’t like in my life.
In fact, one of the most recent situations I can recall posting about happened when I talked about having a difference with a client.
At the end of our time together, my anonymous and unhappy client said I didn’t provide what I promised. And the behavior afterward – telling as many women as possible I was a liar and imposter – made me so insecure, I stopped showing up in my business. I tried to hide from it and let it blow over instead of confronting my own insecurities.
I hid away long enough that my yearly earnings were significantly impacted.
A complete waste of time.
See, the thing about being real is it doesn’t take the problems away. They still keep rearing their ugly heads. That’s okay. It’s part of life we have to learn how to deal with, especially when we are interacting with other people.
What’s not okay is to preach you have to work on accepting your own imperfections, while continuing to beat yourself up for someone else’s opinion of you.
Doing exactly that – what I did – is out of alignment with my soul’s purpose.
I realized that wasn’t fair to me (to try for this sort of constant winning and/or succeeding) and it certainly wasn’t fair to the people I coach or who want to work with me later. They want to learn from me and my own path? Then I have to acknowledge the things that go bad.
And I have to share how I worked through the doubt and fear this caused.
By exposing this vulnerable moment and the lesson I learned from it, not only am I taking ownership of my own shit, but I’m showing up for the people who want someone to lead by example.
This doesn’t mean every time I make a mistake I rush to social media to announce it. Instead, I evaluate the situation, sit in the discomfort and try to figure out a different way of moving forward. Then, if there’s a lesson I think is important for my crew, I show up and talk about it.
We each make daily choices which could lead to less than ideal outcomes. It’s just a part of life we accept.
Should I adhere to the food guidelines I know are healthiest for me or can I cheat and eat what sounds best right now?
Should I go pick up that prescription I called in or send for it tomorrow?
Should I work on the book or binge on Netflix?
None of those examples are high risk unless they become habitual, right? Nobody is going to freak if you take a day off and watch six hours of bad TV. So we don’t often punish ourselves if that decision ends up putting us at a disadvantage.
And we don’t really feel the need to broadcast it when we look back and go, “Damn, I shouldn’t have done that.”
While you don’t know every time I hit a road block, I certainly do. And I don’t overlook the teachable moments that come along with a bad launch or a bad experience with another entrepreneur.
You shouldn’t either.
A more basic, more egotistical example:
A year or so ago I did a major photoshoot in NYC. I got a gorgeous red Donna Karan dress, paid for the best of the best to do my hair and makeup and hired a photographer I’d been dying to work with. Other than the boobs I’m rocking in my photo (because they are quite delightful) – the rest of my body, including my face, has been touched up.
I don’t say that because I think you’re shocked, but I didn’t want to spend a shit-ton of money only to have my eyebrows look bushy or distracting. My image – I thought – is a huge part of my business, so any time something crops up (like a potential crow’s foot) I start to panic a little. And I was paying to look and feel like a goddess, so I wanted my little blemishes to go bye-bye.
But isn’t that ridiculous?
Why would the way I look be something that keeps people from working with me?
And maybe this photoshoot, which happened shortly before my disgruntled client signed on, was a symptom of a bigger problem in my business at the time. Maybe I wasn’t showing up as myself and – maybe – the image I presented wasn’t what you get behind the scenes.
So was it possible this is part of the reason my former client wasn’t satisfied?
Fuck if I know.
But I am certain it was time for a change: In my own beliefs about myself and my looks and the way I showed up.
The glam was incredibly fun, but I don’t get all dolled up when I go live on Facebook and I certainly don’t hide the other side of me. The chick who loves her horses and German Shepherds, and feels better at home when she’s in her bathrobe.
Unless I want to do a glam photoshoot like that again for myself, it’s unlikely you’ll see me doing one for my business.
I gleaned valuable information that will help me continue growing my business. For that reason, it’s not really a failure or – at least – not one I’m disappointed for experiencing.
Somehow society has associated a perfect image with a perfect person, so we’re drawn to what we think is attractive or appealing.
And while I’m quite capable of noticing and acknowledging when I’m free-falling backwards, I still have to do the work.
I still have to remind myself that being vulnerable, original (and edgy, in my case) is better than being a lemming. So are laugh lines and forehead wrinkles.
And I just have to be okay with that.
Every. Single. Time.
Similarly, as I sit here typing, I can’t help but think that maybe the information I provide here won’t help every person who reads it.
Yep. That’s me anticipating something I cannot control and allowing it to put fear in my creative space (when I really don’t need nastiness to stop my imagination).
There will never be a moment when I tell you you should chase perfection – because you’ll never catch it and you’ll be exhausted by the cardio. Just as I cannot plan for my words to storm the internet.
All I can do is know the content I put out is beneficial to someone (which probably means someone else will hate it), and work to get it into the hands of those who will be helped.
I can dream about and work toward excellence, but I can’t control it. Knowing that means I’m taking the pressure off while I sit down to type. I means I can focus on what’s most important (and my biggest goal in life):
Perfectionism takes me away from that mission and makes me show up to you as someone I’m not. Which in turn makes me work hard toward an unrealistic expectation, that then keeps me from doing what I do best.
So I’ve learned to stop being so damn hard on myself and let myself show up as ME.
Now that I’m doing this, I’m also showing up more, which means I’m reaching more people. Yep. Ol’ Beckster needed to take her own advice and let go. And as soon as she did, the perfect clients started rolling in.
The easiest way to begin the journey toward truly accepting yourself is by acknowledging you’ll always be imperfect.
You could look at that fact two ways:
- The shitty one (poor you)
- The way that makes each of us entirely unique, which makes us all far more beautiful
I prefer the second, as it doesn’t keep me feeling like a turd while I’m typing.
For me to keep that mindset, there are things I have to do when I feel fear, doubt or anxiety pop up.
What’s next explores the most common creators of internal conflict and provides specific exercises on how to navigate each. And while some of them might seem ridiculous as you read them, I assure you that trying each is no more ridiculous than doing nothing.
Ya hear me?
But first, we start with mindset…