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Tag Archives: Kathy Caprino

The Gift of Opening Yourself To Receiving


Happy Thanksgiving, my friends!

This is one of my most favorite holidays, because as a nation we’re invited and encouraged to immerse ourselves in the experience of gratitude, and we’re reminded to be a bit more aware of the many blessings that surround us each day. (Of course, the scrumptious food and delicious love of family and friends doesn’t hurt either!)

In honor of this wonderful time of year, I’d love to send along a little gift from my heart to yours in the form of a special Best Work/Best Life podcast (with my podcast partner Mo Faul), in which we talk about The Gift of Opening Yourself To Receiving.

In this episode, Mo and I get real – we share in a raw and very open way all about our own vulnerabilities, and the walls we now realize we’ve put up all our lives – that stop us from deep connection, effective and honest communication, and experiencing the help, love and connection we long for.

We share too how critical it is to “get hip to our own trips” in terms of recognizing how we habitually experience fear, insecurity, vulnerability, and shame, and the false stories we tell ourselves that keep us from the deepest truths of ourselves and our lives.

Take a listen here during your Thanksgiving break!

Episode 010: The Gift Of Opening Yourself To Receiving

I sincerely hope our sharing will release in you some new thoughts and insights about how to embrace vulnerability, see the barriers you may be putting up (often subconsciously) to protect yourself, and how to build a new life practice of opening yourself to more honesty, love and compassion for who you are, right here, right now.

And please join us in our new Facebook group Kathy and Mo, and share your thoughts, insights and your candid experiences when you open yourself to more vulnerability and love this week.

Wishing you a joyous Thanksgiving, full of love, compassion, and the true gift of receiving. I’m so grateful for YOU!

Love and light,

P.S. Please don’t forget – if you’re ready for more happiness and gratitude (and blessings!) in your life, take my friend Shawn Achor’s fabulous 21 Day Happiness Course on, or give it as a holiday gift to someone you love. It’s a life-changer, for sure! Here’s more about it. Happy Thanksgiving! xo

Longing For a True Breakthrough? Make a Change Today


Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of joining a number of inspiring local authors from Fairfield County, CT at the Wilton Library, to meet our area residents and share about our books and our work. It was a wonderful experience to connect with talented authors in my community – accomplished writers of a wide range of material including non-fiction, novels, memoirs, sports, etc.  who have poured their talents and brilliance into their works to share their ideas and perspectives with the world.  (I was very inspired to launch my 2nd book which is with a great agent now, and finish my screenplay this summer.)  I sat next to Jack Cavanaugh, for instance, whose book Tunney: Boxing’s Brainiest Champ and His Upset of the Great Jack Demsey was nominated for a Pulitzer prize, and I was awed by his vast body of work.

In talking about my book Breakdown, Breakthrough: The Professional Woman’s Guide to Claiming a Life of Passion, Power and Purpose, it brought back the powerful experience I had in 2006-7 of conducting my yearlong in-depth research study on women overcoming professional crisis. I interviewed over 100 professional women across the country who’d experienced deep challenges in the workplace and in their careers, to dimensionalize and understand more deeply the key challenges and issues, and bring new solutions to the table.  We explored the many social, cultural, organizational, and individual factors that contribute to these 12 “hidden” challenges professional women face, and identified more clearly how to successfully navigate through them.  I learned in my subsequent quantitative follow-up study that 7 out of 10 working women ages 30-55 are experiencing at least one of these hidden challenges, and on average, they’re facing three at the same time.

Here’s a bit more about Breakdown, Breakthrough and paving the way to career bliss, from my interview with The Wilton Bulletin editor Jeannette Ross:

As I mentioned in the interview, while Breakdown, Breakthrough was published in 2008, it’s as relevant today as it was then.  In my coaching, teaching and career consulting work with over 10,000 women in 10 years, I see and hear daily how these 12 challenges hit women hard, and over half don’t know what to do about it.

The 12 “hidden” challenges the book explores are experiences of disempowerment, professional paralysis and emotional pain that fall into four categories: our relationship (and empowerment – or disempowerment) with Ourselves, Others, the World and our Higher Selves.  Here’s a brief look at these challenges:

Empowerment With Self

1. Resolving Chronic Health Problems

2. Overcoming Loss

3. Achieving Self-Love

Empowerment with Others

4. Speaking Up with Power

5. Breaking Cycles of Mistreatment

6. Shifting from Competition to Collaboration

Empowerment with the World

7. Escaping Financial Traps

8. Using Real Talents in Life and Work

9. Helping Others and the World

Empowerment with Higher Self

10. Falling Together After Falling Apart

11. Balancing Life and Work

12. Doing Work and Play You Love

One thing I’ve seen countless times in my career consulting programs – the vast majority of people wait until a true crisis hits before they take action to change how they operate in the world.  I lived this experience as well – staying for 18 years in a corporate career and life that was terribly ill-fitting and unfulfilling (even damaging) for me. I waited until I’d experienced all 12 of the crises I write and speak about, before I finally snapped and said “I’m done with this! I refuse to feel like a victim one minute longer.”

If any of these challenges ring true for you, I hope you’ll make this the day you finally take one concrete action to improve your life. It doesn’t have to turn your whole life upset down, and you don’t necessarily have to chuck your entire career out the window. (As I love to say, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”) But you do have to do something different, to modify and improve the way you operate in the world. Whether it’s committing to taking the necessary time to restore and rejuvenate yourself from the toxicity around you, or taking my Career Path Self-Assessment to gain more clarity on what you really want going forward, or finally mustering the courage to have that tough conversation with your boss (or your spouse), today is the day to do it.

Don’t wait until true crisis smacks you in the face before you realize that you deserve better in your life and work, and you’re ready to get it.

For more on how to pave the way for career bliss, visit my career consulting programs and the Amazing Career Project, and check out my book Breakdown, Breakthrough.


The Most Paralyzing Blocks We Need To Overcome To Do Our Best Work


This week, I had a career consultation with a client that hit me right between the eyes. While I’ve delivered hundreds of laser-focused consulting sessions in the past, in this one, it was clear in literally 10 minutes why this individual had struggled for 20 years in her work as an attorney, and what she needed to do to change that. A powerful realization emerged for both of us – that how she internally conceived of, and viewed her work with divorce had been triggering significant pain and emotional trauma from her childhood.

I’m seeing more clearly than ever that the way people speak and write about their work, the way they frame it and emotionally relate to it reveals exactly what’s in the way of their moving forward to a happier life. And from their responses to my Career Path Self-Assessment survey (a specially-designed set of questions I wish someone had asked me when I was just starting out and that all professionals need to answer), they reveal striking clues about the pain, negative internal messaging and emotional struggles from the past that are now hampering their ability to move forward to craft a joyful livelihood.

Literally every single client of mine in the past 10 years who is stuck in an unhappy career is struggling with at least one of the six common blocks to progress. On the flip side, the highly successful and happy professionals I work with who find joy, reward, and passion in their work have overcome these blocks, either intentionally or organically.

I believe that it’s an inevitable aspect of our human condition to have developed subconscious mindsets, beliefs and blocks that will somehow, at some point, thwart and undermine our happiness and success unless we work to uncover and resolve them. I’ve faced all six of these blocks myself in my 30 years of professional life, and can attest to how damaging they are.

Below are the six core blocks that successful professionals have overcome to be happy and well-rewarded in their work. And these six blocks keep others stuck in career misery, confusion and paralysis.

Block 1: The outcomes you are striving for are, in some core way, conflicting with what you believe is good, right and true.

You simply can’t succeed if you’re in a tangle about the outcomes you’re focused on achieving in your work.

Years ago in my corporate life, I found that the marketing work I was doing felt very wrong to me. I was promoting products that I felt had no real meaning or benefit to customers, and our sweepstakes promotions were attracting people desperate to win big money because they couldn’t pay their bills. They didn’t want our products; they wanted to win money (I’d listen in to our telemarketing calls for the sweepstakes promotions and my heart would break). In the end, I hated the outcomes I was paid to achieve.

You will not achieve success (emotional, financial, professional or otherwise) if you can’t get behind the outcomes you’re bringing about in your work. Shift your work focus so that you’re proud of and fully behind the outcomes you’re striving for, advertising and promoting.

Ask yourself: What are the critical outcomes my work currently focuses on? Now…how excited and supportive am I, really, about these outcomes?

Block 2: Your shaken confidence and faltering self-esteem have impaired your ability to see that you’re worth great money and respect in the workplace.

How well you’re doing professionally is inextricably linked to your relationship with and feelings about money and self-worth. If you feel, for instance, that you need to keep your service prices down to the bare minimum (where you’re not earning anything) because you aren’t sure what you’re worth (or you think that charging a lot is “bad”), you’ll most likely fail in your business. There are ways to be of service to every budget, certainly, but you need to build a smart, flexible, multi-tiered business model that allows you to serve both those with and without access to money. You can do that many different ways including offering high-quality free materials and low-cost products as well as higher-cost services and programs. But in the end, you’ll go broke if you think that charging good money is a bad thing or that you’re not worthy anything to anyone.

In another example, as you’re going out in the world interviewing and applying for jobs, if you subconsciously doubt that you are worthy of being well-paid, you never will get the offers and recognition you deserve.

There are many ways to earn great money doing soulful, mission-driven work, but again, you need to be clear about your beliefs around what you “should” be earning and charging and how you feel about being wealthy or well-paid. If you have any shame about charging well, then you’ll need to heal to issues around self-confidence and self-esteem, and gain more clarity about the great skills and talents you have to offer.

Ask yourself: What do I feel I truly deserve in terms of compensation for my work? How do I feel about being well-compensated, even wealthy, doing this work? What holds me back from earning more?

Block 3: You persistently doubt that you are smart, talented or experienced enough to succeed at what you want.

My goodness, I’d be a millionaire if I had a dime for every person I’ve worked with who doubts the power and usefulness of her smarts, experience and abilities. Thousands of people I’ve worked with have suffered from some degree of “unworthiness” (and I have too). If you’re feeling that you really don’t have the talent, brains, expertise or experience to be valuable in the direction you long to, you’ll have to address this block proactively. You need to look first at where you got the idea you’re “nothing” or not enough, and secondly, you need a realistic assessment of what’s required to succeed in the field or direction you wish to pursue.

If you need additional experience or training, then go out and get it. Find a way. If you’re solid right where you are (with no need for more training or experience), stop yourself from your chronic put downs and from thinking you don’t have what it takes. Fake it until you become it (see Amy Cuddy’s powerful Ted talk for more on this). If you don’t know if you need more training or experience, do some exploratory online and in-person research with people, recruiters and hiring managers in the field and figure it out once and for all.

Ask yourself: Do I believe I have the talent and expertise (and worthiness) to be a tremendous success at what I long to do? If not, what step can I take today?

Block 4: You were culturally trained and taught that it’s not right or good to shine too brightly or stand out.

No matter what field or function you’re in today, you have to be able to broadcast in powerful, engaging ways what you’re great at (your “superpower”), and you have to do it both online and in person. You need other people to help you succeed and thrive, and to engage others, you need to talk about what you do incredibly well (and everyone has something that they’re amazing at). Become more comfortable sharing what excites and enthralls you, and stimulating others by your passion and your mission. If that’s too challenging, get some support to overcome this resistance.

Start by reading my book Breakdown, Breakthrough and Peggy Klaus’s book Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, and take steps to begin speaking and sharing about yourself and your work in engaging and compelling ways.

Ask yourself: Was I raised or conditioned to think that shining my light too brightly was garish, arrogant, unseemly or not humble enough? Was I shamed by my family when I shone too brightly? Was there someone else in my family I was told not to outshine?

Block 5: You have been taught that following your passion is a huge mistake – you believe it will hurt you or you’ll end up broke or miserable if you do.

The people who are the most successful and joyful (and empowered) in life have followed their passions, values, integrity and interests to a very high degree. They know what they’re made of, and they aren’t afraid to pursue an “unsure” path because they understand that the happiest lives are about being of use and making a difference in ways that matter. They know how they uniquely contribute and they won’t be stopped in delivering those contributions. Because of their indifference to the “sure” path, they are risk tolerant and have found great joy and security within themselves.

On the other hand, there are thousands of people who were taught and trained by their parents that following their passions for work would be a disaster – crazy, irresponsible and stupid. Many of these folks were potentially well-meaning authority figures who wanted security for their children. Sadly, their dogged insistence that “following your passion will lead to failure” generated a very negative result. These parents stripped their adult children of the ability to think for themselves, and live by their own beliefs, values, and standards, independently and confidently.

What to do? Complete my Career Path Self-Assessment and brainstorm every day for a full week about what you would pursue if money, time, support, etc. were no object. What would you research, explore and try on, and what new directions would you identify as desirable? Identify the visions you could, in actuality, commit to bringing into reality. And determine the activities that you’re passionate about that should remain as hobbies vs. endeavors you wish to explore making at a living in. If you don’t know, start talking to people doing work you’re interested in, and shadow folks engaged in what you think you want to do. Try on the professional identity. When you do, you’ll learn quickly if it’s for you.

Ask yourself: Do you believe that following your passion for your work will end badly? Who taught you that and what was their motivation and (hidden) agenda?

Block 6: You think you must chuck everything and leave your old career totally behind to be happy.

This is the most misguided belief of all. You don’t necessarily have to leave your old identity and your old work completely behind to have a happier life. More often, it’s a pivot or a tweak – in direction, focus, outcomes, those you’re helping, and how you’re operating in the world – that will bring the most fulfillment, not chucking everything and completely starting over. In fact, the pain you’re feeling won’t go away if you just run – it will follow you wherever you go unless you learn how to BE different – and see things differently — in the world.

Take the time this month to explore ways you can draw on what you’ve already learned, done and achieved. Identify 3 new directions that could potentially marry up and make great use of everything you are already, and everything you’ve learned and done. Understand who you are and the great skills, talents and abilities you already possess, and find new ways to leverage those.

If any of these blocks resonate with you, there’s work to be done. Don’t waste another minute remaining paralyzed in unhappy, unrewarding work.

For more about how to do your best work to live your best life, visit The Amazing Career Project online course, Breakdown, Breakthrough and

Why You’ve Hit a Career Wall, and What To Do About It


Throughout the past ten years of career success coaching, I’ve become deeply committed to “scaling transformation” – finding new ways to help not just a handful of people each month, but thousands, and assist them in figuring out what they really want to do with their careers or businesses, and making it a reality.

I’ve learned that bringing about large scale transformation requires helping people complete the puzzle of their lives, assembling the pieces together so that they can honor all that has happened to them from birth on, and leverage exactly who they are and amplify those talents and abilities. When done right, the puzzle is truly beautiful – it becomes a unique, powerful and thrilling picture of why they’re on this planet now and what they’re longing to create and achieve.

The challenge to this, however, is unearthing exactly what holds them back from a happier life and more a satisfying professional focus, and offering practical, tailored, and realistic steps to get them unstuck. Another deeper challenge is helping individuals modify what’s necessary in their mindset and behavior to become more confident, courageous and capable of pursuing the direction of their dreams.

As a start, I’ve launched a 16-week online course, the Amazing Career Project, and we’re in Week 6 right now, with 75 courageous and committed members. What I’m seeing with members of this course validates everything I’ve learned in my 30-year career (and through my own career walls and reinventions) about why we stay stuck and miserable, and why so many millions of people won’t budge out of their unhappiness, ever.

I’ve observed six personal blocks that lead straight to a career wall.  These six personal blocks are:

1. Messages and experiences from your past keep you stuck.

Literally every single person I’ve worked with in some capacity (that’s over 10,000 people now) has had things happen in their lives that have ground them to a halt at some point. Whether it’s an abusive father, a controlling spouse, an alcoholic mother, a tragedy that shaped them, negative messages they received from authority figures or trauma from a painful work experience — everyone on this planet seems to have had extremely challenging experiences that altered them. The question then isn’t “Have you had deep challenges?” but “How have you processed these experiences and what have you interpreted about life and about yourself from them?” Most of us, sadly, don’t learn the right lessons from our experiences and come away feeling crushed, “less than” and defeated by these events.

Tip: If the lessons you’ve learned from your challenges suppress, limit and exhaust you, they’re the wrong lessons.

2. You don’t really believe that you’re worth more than this unhappiness.

Another personal block is a deep lack of a sense of worthiness. Women upon women I’ve worked with have shared that they really don’t feel worthy of an amazing life, and more than that, they don’t feel worthy of putting their needs and desires first.

The reality is that takes a good deal of time, effort, commitment (and in many cases an investment of money and resources) to build a fabulous life. If everyone else in your life is getting your love, energy and nurturing except you, you’ll never move forward. You’ll just never make it happen for yourself if you’re the last person on the planet who is getting your attention.

Tip: Start putting yourself first for a change and address your own needs and desires if you want an amazing career.

3. You don’t understand how to differentiate between the “essence” of what you want vs. the right “form.”

In my Career Path Self-Assessment survey (which offers deep and revealing clues as to where you’re stuck), I see over and over that what people fantasize about in terms of new careers are actually NOT the right roles for them because they don’t fit other key criteria necessary for success. For instance, they dream about being a:

  • Therapist or social worker
  • Restaurant owner
  • Dancer (or singer, actor, voiceover artist, painter, etc.)
  • Non-profit founder
  • Teacher
  • Massage therapist
  • Travel writer
  • Author


Most people know nothing about the professional identity of their fantasy careers, and they‘re not able to distinguish between endeavors that will truly make them happy as a paying profession vs. hobbies that will bring them joy. For instance, launching a startup sounds glamorous, but it takes so much more work, grit and risk-tolerance than people understand.

They fantasize about these jobs because of the “essence” they believe these roles represent, such as helping others, moving the needle on an important cause, teaching and inspiring others, healing, etc. These are great goals in life, certainly, and meaningful ones, but not every dream of ours is the right professional direction for us.

We can find ways to bring the desired essence into our lives a million different ways other than assuming the professional identities listed above. You have to be able to figure out the right “form” (job and role) that will not only give you the essence of what you want, but also will fit your personality, your values and approach to living along with all the other needs and desires you have (including financial, spiritual and behavioral needs).

Tip: Look at your list of fantasy jobs. Identify the “essence” that these represent, then brainstorm 10 different ways to bring that essence into your life.

4. You don’t recognize that you’re depressed.

Additionally, so many people in unhappy careers are actually depressed. When you’re depressed, you don’t have the capacity to envision a happier direction, or find the energy to make it a reality. Or, often you’re looking for a quick fix or a magic bullet to feel better, and more fulfilled.  So many of the people I’ve spoken to this year who desperately want a new career are struggling with some form of depression, and they’re not alone. Nearly one in 12 Americans suffer from depression. Almost 8% of Americans aged 12 and older were moderately to severely depressed during 2009 to 2012 but only slightly more than one third of those suffering from severe depression seek treatment.

To know if this is you, read this list of symptoms. If these represent your state and your experience right now, it’s time for therapeutic support to help you navigate through your depression and feel better. (Visit the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and find a therapist near you.)

Tip: As a trained therapist I can tell you that depression is real and not something to be ignored. Don’t just sweep it under the rug. Get help to feel better. And if traditional talk therapy doesn’t move you forward, explore alternative approaches to healing.

5. You don’t know how to leverage what you know and use that to launch to next level.

A fabulous career is created by leveraging all that you are, know and experienced. It’s not about running from pain and suppressing what you hate, or pretending it doesn’t exist. It requires that you marry up all the skills, talents, capabilities and passions you have, and find a new direction that will make great use of these abilities. When you’re looking for the best direction that will make you thrilled to be alive, start with a fearless inventory of who you are and what you have to offer the world.

Tip: The happiest careers use all that you are and all that you’ve learned. Don’t leap off the cliff trying to be someone you’re not.

6. You want everything right now, and aren’t willing to do the real, hard work of building a fabulous life.

Finally, I’ve seen thousands of people who want it all – an enormous salary, great flexibility, total control of their time, a fabulous lifestyle, and great meaning in their work, yet aren’t willing to change anything about themselves or their lives to get it. They want all the joys and passion of a calling, along with the stability and financial security of a job. Forget that.

Do you “deserve” everything you want? Yes, but you can’t have everything you want if you’re not committed to doing the work on yourself, and in the world, to make it a reality.

If you’re unhappy with your life now, but won’t change yourself, then nothing in your life will ever change.

Tip: If you think your new career will heal all that has gone wrong before and all that hurts in your life, you’re asking too much of a career. Your career is a natural outgrowth of all that you are, not a replacement for it. If you desperately want more happiness in your work, you first have to access more happiness in yourself, despite what’s around you.

(To build an exciting, rewarding and successful career, visit my Career Breakthrough Programs, The Amazing Career Project, and read my book Breakdown, Breakthrough.)

6 Ways to Identify What You Love, And Build a Rewarding, Lucrative Career Around It

The world around you will change only


June 2nd was my birthday, and when that day comes each year, I focus on doing a few things well: spend it with people I adore, reflect back on the year and see clearly the key lessons I need to learn from it, and finally, relish what’s appeared in my life and be grateful for it.

Towards that end, I’m deeply thankful for not only the achievements and happy experiences, but also the terribly hard pitfalls that tripped me up and pushed me to my knees, as these ultimately cleared the pathway to what I really enjoy doing in my life and work. Transforming from a very unhappy 18-year corporate career to a highly fulfilling life as a career coach, writer and business owner, and also figuring out how to make money pursuing my deepest passions, I’ve learned that it can be very hard to see things clearly for yourself – and take empowered action — when you’re lost in the muck and the mud.

Of all the questions I receive from folks desperately longing to change careers, the one that stumps them the most is this:

“Kathy, how do I figure out what my core passion, then build a lucrative career around it?”

After all, we all want to do what we’re passionate about, but we don’t want to go broke and lose everything pursuing it, right? (Here are what I believe are the top 8 reasons why people go broke pursuing their dreams.)

Personally speaking, years ago I faced deep financial challenges doing work I loved, and then figured out exactly why, and I teach those principles now. And I’ve answered this question in many other posts, videos, exercises and homework assignments (and in my Amazing Career Project online course). But I’d like to take a different tack today and offer six ways to identify what will make you happy to focus on in your career, then generate the great income you need and want from it.

To figure out what your mission and passion are:

Don’t just look at who you are today, but who you’ve always been.

I’ve seen through my clients’ revelations that who we are (what we care about, what we’re drawn to, what enlivens us) often emerges very early in life. For most of us, there were glaring signs and clues of our essential happiest selves in our teen and young adult years, and even earlier. Even if your parents suppressed your gifts and talents, you knew and felt they were there. But sadly, we don’t recognize these signs. We don’t see our own special talents, interests, gifts and exciting areas of focus as important or unique.

Tip: To tap into the awe-inspiring aspects of who you are and always will be, take some time over the next week to make a thorough inventory of everything you’ve ever loved and cared about when you were young and in your 20s. Then, spend some time thinking about what’s remained a constant in your life – what you still care about deeply and are drawn to – and develop new ideas for how to bring your gifts, talents or areas of passion forward more prominently in your life today.

Identify the skills you love to use.

One of the toughest lessons I’ve learned was the idea that just because you’re great at something doesn’t mean you should build a career around it. I realized late in life that I had become good at a number of tasks in my 18-year corporate career (such as presenting to a boardroom of senior executives on my programs’ P&L’s, or selling major bank clients on working with us in multimillion-dollar marketing campaigns) but I actually intensely disliked this work.

Tip: Think back on every job you’ve ever had – what you loved, hated, your biggest accomplishments, hardest lessons and, finally, what you want to bring forward from those experiences in a deeper way in your career now. Then do some critical research about jobs and careers that will allow you to draw on the specific skills and talents you love to use.

Figure out who you really want to help.

In my own business now, I use many of the same marketing and communications skills that I developed throughout my corporate career. But the biggest difference is that I’m using these skills and talents now for a completely different purpose and cause, one that I really care about — helping others who need support to build careers they love. In my previous corporate life, I felt that my talents and time were being utterly wasted on promoting meaningless products that contributed no real value to the world. Back then, it was all about the “bottom line,” and I wished the bottom line was focused on something more than just money.

You’ll find that if don’t believe in the outcomes you’re being asked to work toward, you’ll never enjoy your professional life. You’ll feel wasted, spent, lost and miserable.

Tip: Figure out as concretely and specifically as possible who you want to help, and the outcomes you wish to support in your work. Then, start networking extensively to help you land a role (or launch a business) that will give you the chance to support those causes and areas that most matter to you.

Now…how do you build a lucrative career around your passions?

Millions of people today believe that following your passions will break and ruin you. I’ve seen throughout my 10 years of career success coaching, however, that this is just a terribly misguided myth. Following your passions is not a recipe for failure, IF you do the right things (but so many people don’t). Here are three most powerful steps:

Learn how to monetize what you’re fabulous at.

My husband is a jazz percussionist, composer and music educator, and the world he’s immersed in is filled with an enormous array of incredible artists, creatives and highly gifted individuals. Some are extremely successful financially, but sadly, many others aren’t. I’ve seen that so many creatives (singers, filmmakers, painters, actors, jewelers, designers, sculptors, etc.) are amazing at their artistic talents, but aren’t clear on how to monetize their work and talents – how to promote and broadcast them, and create a fierce demand for what they do. Often, gifted individuals feel the world “owes” them because they’re so talented. But that’s not the way the world works. You have to identify what you’re fabulous at, illustrate why that’s important to the world, then find ways to be of service to others with your talents so that people (and organizations) are happy to pay richly for what you bring that enhances their goals and visions.

Tip: It’s not enough to be fabulous. Take the time to find new ways to be of service to others with your great talents. This week, brainstorm 30 new ways you can use and apply your immense talents to help others succeed and organizations grow and flourish. Then start sharing your vision for helping others with everyone you know, and asking people to connect you with others who might be helpful to speak with.

Build the necessary confidence to believe that you can earn great money.

I’ve seen firsthand that without confidence, you don’t make the right decisions and take the right actions to bring money and reward your way. And we’re not born with confidence – it’s BOLD action that generates confidence. To build a lucrative career, you have to be able to communicate confidently, and in compelling ways – not with arrogance and egotism, but in a way that illustrates clearly why people should hire you, and utilize your special skills. If you can’t speak and share with courage and confidence how you stand apart from the competition and why what you do is critical, you simply won’t move forward to earning sufficient income. And you won’t earn what you deserve.

Tip: As a start, read Peggy Klaus’ great book BRAG: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, and develop your own “bragologues” so you can share with others why your work is powerful, needed, and important. And if you feel your work isn’t yet at the highest level, do something about it this year to reach the next level of expertise.

If you’re very stuck, get outside help (and it’s all around you).

Finally, if all of these steps are too challenging for you, or you’re still left feeling dazed, confused, and paralyzed, there’s likely more going on within you than you realize that is keeping you stuck. Among the thousands of folks I’ve worked with, a solid majority have some form of financial or emotional block, and/or trauma left over from past experiences that they haven’t yet healed or addressed. And these blocks do stop you in your tracks.

This describes me in my former life – I was stuck because my boundaries were insufficient, my understanding of my talents was poor, I was angry and resentful, and I was rudderless – unsure what I cared about and how to find work that mattered.  And I hadn’t recognized the need for inspiring role models, mentors and sponsors. Once I figured all that out, the path was cleared (but, of course, there is always internal and external work that needs to be done to continue to reach the level you long to). Therapy and coaching were essential for me to see what I couldn’t on my own.

Tip: If no matter what you do or what job you pursue, you’re unhappy and unsuccessful, it’s time to get some outside help – in some cases career coaching will help, in others it’s therapeutic support that’s needed (vist for great therapeutic support in your area). And role models, mentors and sponsors are critical. As Einstein said so powerfully, “We cannot solve a problem on the level of consciousness that created it.” It’s very hard to see clearly what’s holding you back from the life you dream of, especially when the block is you.

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