When faced with a challenge, an unexpected circumstance, or even a new opportunity, do you consider yourself a “glass half-full” or a “glass half-empty” kind of person? If you’re like me, you probably have experience with both outlooks, sometimes seeing life as half-full and other times feeling a little half-empty. That half-empty feeling can be hard to shake, but with a little work you can nurture that glass half-full kind of outlook, no matter what life, love, or business throws at you.
What being a “glass half-full” or a “glass half-empty” person really comes down to is mindset—and whether or not you approach the world with a poverty mindset or a prosperity mindset. You might have heard these terms before, but if not, let’s take a moment to break them down.
A poverty mindset can start out as a “lack mindset” or “scarcity mindset” — the fear that there isn’t enough; there aren’t enough resources to go around; things like success, money, and happiness are finite; and that somebody else’s gain is your loss. When you get too bogged down by lack mindset, or when you refuse to work on altering that mindset, the result is a poverty mindset—fueled by a “poor me” attitude and debilitated by the fear that there isn’t enough for you and there never will be. In fact, a poverty mindset can become so deeply rooted that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.
A prosperity mindset, on the other hand, is all about creating and nourishing abundance. If you approach the world with a prosperity mindset, you realize there are enough resources to go around, the success of others doesn’t lead to your failure, that abundance will come your way, and you’ll be deserving of it (and able to manage it) when it comes.
The key is to transform a lack mindset, or a poverty mindset, into a prosperity mindset. But how do we do that?
The first step is to clearly identify whether you’re working from a poverty mindset or a prosperity mindset.
Here are some ways to recognize when you might be feeding a poverty mindset:
Consider these tips for breaking free from a poverty mindset:
Complete the following sentences:
i.Money is ________________________________________
ii.Money means ____________________________________
iii.In my life, money represents ________________________
So now, consider your mindset around money. How do you respond to words like wealth, poverty, abundance, and prosperity? Do you have any mindset blocks? Do you recognize any of the typical characteristics of poverty mindset in yourself? If so, are you doing anything to shift your energy to a healthier mindset? Have you invested enough time in a gratitude practice, mediation, or other mindfulness exercise to help you tune into your energy and avoid making fear-based decisions?
We all struggle at one point or another with lack, scarcity, and poverty mindset. Sometimes it’s easy to believe that there is finite amount of everything, that things will run out, or there is just not enough to go around. But when we shift our energy from a poverty mindset to one of prosperity, believing that the universe is abundant and there is always enough, that's when we start manifesting the wealth and success we desire.
To learn more about poverty vs. prosperity mindsets and how to develop a mindset that works for you, check out the Facebook Live video that accompanies this blog post, visit my Alpha Female Sisterhood Facebook page, or sign up to receive updates about my 21 Day Mindset Makeover "Money Edition" program , where we discuss all of this and more! "This program, being the "Money Edition" - focused all around shifting the energy and mindset around our conscious and subconscious money beliefs so we can create the abundance and wealth we desire." More info at 21daymindset.com
As a life and business coach, I have the opportunity to meet and work with tons of amazing women. You know who you are: alpha female sisters with tons of talent, power, and passion for what you do. You’re qualified, you’re creative, you’re driven, you’ve got great energy, and you don’t let anything stand in your way.
Well… anything except for yourself.
One thing I’ve noticed both in my own life and throughout my work as a coach is that sometimes, the one thing standing in between us and our dreams, is ourselves. No matter how badass a boss-lady we might be, when it comes to playing big, we always end up playing small.
Maybe, for you, playing it small means using words like “practical”, “realistic”, “responsible”, and “good” — words that might sound positive, but ones that women often use to keep ourselves small; to enable ourselves to continue to play small. To stay stuck in a job, a relationship, a health or lifestyle situation that isn’t serving us.
Maybe, playing it small comes from a fear-based mindset: one that says we’re not good enough, that there’s always someone who can do our job better, that we’re charging too much for the work that we do. Maybe that mindset tells you that asking for something — more clients, increased pay, that promotion, a new position entirely — isn’t worth the risk of rejection.
Maybe, in your experience, playing it small grows from a lack mindset. You’ve learned to believe that there isn’t enough to go around — enough money, enough resources, enough clients, enough opportunities — so you constantly have to be on guard for competition; hording the success you do have while refusing to risk losing it on a bigger venture.
Maybe you play it small out of fear of success. You’ve bought into the idea of “no pain, no gain.” Nothing good comes easy — and your dream is so big, achieving it must be impossibly hard, right? Maybe you believe that in order to be successful you have to sacrifice a lot, and you have to do it all alone. It’s you against the world. If you’re too successful, you won’t be able to handle it. Your family will suffer, your marriage will deteriorate, you won’t be able to handle the stress, and then you’ll lose everything.
Maybe you’re comfortable just coasting. If you’re already a high-performing woman, maybe you think you’re playing it “big enough”. For you, playing small is still pretty powerful. So why not just coast along, staying under the radar and avoiding too great a risk? It’s so tempting — and safe — to stay in one stagnant (but yeah, mediocre) spot.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Ask yourself: when you think about playing big, what fears or mental blocks come to mind? What resistance do you notice that you might have to work though?
I’ve shared my story before: since childhood, I learned a certain set of rules about how people — and women in particular — should behave in the world. It was necessary to always behave well, get straight As, graduate with honors, get a good job, have a lot of friends, get promoted, keep working hard to show my worth, get married, have a family, have stability, feed my retirement account, retire at 60, have grandchildren. There was a clear set of rules for how to live a successful life, and these rules were the only rules.
You’ve probably heard a lot of these rules in your own work, relationships, and life. They’re rules like: be humble. Be a team player. Don’t shine your light. Dream, but not too big — only dream the dreams you can afford to dream. Don’t be disagreeable. Communicate passively, or people won’t like you. Don’t speak too loudly. Stay small and feminine, or you’ll become abrasive to others. Dress neatly and attractively. Go above and beyond what everyone else is doing — but don’t take too much credit. Constantly prove your worth. Remember that your health and personal life come after your professional life. Distance yourself from loud or “trouble-making” women — opinionated women, women who other people think are difficult, alpha women, challengers of the status quo.
I followed these rules for 30-some years. And guess what? They worked: I was successful in the corporate world, I got promoted, people liked me. And at the end of the day I was miserable. When I look back at that time, I feel like I followed those rules because those were the rules, but I never thought to question them. Who wrote those rules? Whose rules are those? Whose success are those rules designed to support? All those rules do is keep us small and rob us of our joy. Those rules prevent us from manifesting our dreams and building the lives that we want.
What if we wrote our own rules? What would that look like?
The truth is, there’s only one person who has the right to write the rules you follow as you live your life and run your business, and that person is you. The rules you follow should be your own rules, so you can live and work in a way that is authentic and feels good to you. This is the only way you’re going to be able to create the life you desire.
From now on, I’m writing my own rules.
Here are some of the rules I follow now:
If you were to write your own rules, what would you write? Would you know how to start? Would you recognize rules that feel authentic to you? Do you know your core values? Do you feel connected to your intuition? Are you in tune with yourself enough to write — and then follow — your own rules?
-Am I selling myself short?
-Am I staying within my comfort zone?
-What if I took this opportunity?
-What if I went after that dream?
-But what if I’m not rejected?
-What if it is a huge success?
-What if, instead of playing small, I jumped in with both feet and played it big?
You have the choice to stay where you are or you have the choice to step outside of your comfort zone, tune in to your deepest desires, break through your deepest fears, and manifest the life you really dream of.
What if we all collectively decided to stop playing small? What if we decided to all start playing bigger? What if each one of us decided to set the intention to write our own rules? How much could we do to change this world? What kind of positive impact will we make when we start showing up and playing big?
Don’t you want to be a part of that?
To stop playing it small as start playing it big, check out the Facebook Live video that accompanies this blog post, connect with other like-minded women in my Alpha Female Sisterhood Facebook page, or sign up to receive updates about my 21 Day Mindset Makeover program. It could be the first step in playing life even bigger than you’ve been dreaming.
Guest post by Emily Miller.
Traveling to Costa Rica had long been on my bucket list. The rainforests. The beaches. The waterfalls. The howler monkeys munching mango's overhead. So when I learned that Seo Kelleher and Rose Maghdouri were hosting a week-long, women’s-only Strength and Relaxation Retreat on the sandy beaches of Playa Grande, Costa Rica, it didn’t take me long to pack my bags.
Traveling is familiar to me. I’ve filled a passport, and then some. But traveling without a rigid agenda — now that was totally foreign. As much as I love exploring in the world, challenging my language skills, sense of direction, and taste buds, traveling is typically a bit of a race for me: a race to see the most, do the most, pack in as many sights and sounds and smells as I can before I return home; often wearing myself ragged and moving at such a frenetic pace that I don’t always remember what exactly it is I’ve seen and done and eaten. My memories of Peru become muddled with my memories of Ecuador. The photograph I think is my sister and I on the cliffs of San Cristóbal Island was actually taken in Paracas. I’ve spent plane rides looking forward to my favorite macaroon shop in Paris, only to discover upon arrival the cosmopolitan café I’m thinking of was actually in Fes — a whopping 1500 miles away.
This was not so in Costa Rica.
In Costa Rica, there’s a saying: “la pura vida.” Simply translated, it means “the simple life” or “the pure life.” But for those who live there, la pura vida is more than just a saying — it is a way of life. It’s all about taking things slow, going with the flow, letting the energy of the day move you in ways you might not have anticipated. It’s about savoring every moment. It’s about being in the present moment — whether that moment is filled with high energy and activity, or is a space for stillness. More often than not, as I discovered, the present moment was one of stillness.
It took me a little while to get used to la pura vida.
Not having a to-do list a mile long was a new feeling for me. Not having a packed travel itinerary, scheduled down to the minute, was new for me. Going to sleep without the stress of knowing my buzzing alarm was just four, or five, or six hours away was new for me. Walking slowly enough to notice, say, the blue crab tucked away in the rocks at my feet, was new for me. Stopping in the middle of my day just to take fifteen or twenty minutes to watch the family of howler monkeys playing in the treetops above, was new for me.
And guess what? I remember every single meal I ate in Costa Rica. I remember savoring the plates of fresh fruit, rice and beans, crispy fish tacos. I remember the names of everyone on the retreat with me (I’m usually terrible with names.) I remember conversations — both those had in passing, and ones of greater significance. I remember where every single photograph was taken. I took late-night swims without worrying about being tired in the morning. I actually sat down to eat breakfast. Every. Single. Morning. I took walks. Slow walks. Mindful walks. I meditated — I actually meditated, by myself, without feeling guilty about the 100 other things I “should” have been doing. I practiced yoga. I laughed my butt off during water aerobics. I got to connect with strong, empowered, beautiful, like-minded women who were as unfamiliar with la pura vida as I was, but who were embracing it.
I took the time to invest in myself and my well-being, and my right to take it easy every once in a while. I got to connect more deeply with my sister, who traveled on the retreat with me. I made new friends and new professional connections. I discovered the world’s greatest sunburn treatment. I took one whole nap. I left my phone off for entire days. I discovered something new about a relationship I was in back home. I discovered a few new things about myself too.
Are you ready to discover la pura vida for yourself? If so, the ladies who introduced me to the pure life are headed back to Costa Rica in February! You don’t want to miss it, believe me.
Meet Seo Kelleher, an intuitive coach for life and business, committed to empowering women. "I am passionate about helping women find the courage to transform their lives by embracing their vulnerability and taking the responsibility."