What's Holding You Back?

Valorie Burton is a bestselling author, speaker, and life coach dedicated
to helping you:

  • Be happier and have more fun, even when life seems routine.
  • Navigate setbacks or disappointments that make you better, not bitter.
  • Make a major life change that's exciting and scary at the same time.

You Can Find the Answer

Back in the summer of 1999 when I had an epiphany about my life purpose – using writing and speaking to inspire women to live more fulfilling lives – I didn’t have a clue about how to get a book published. But having grown up enamored with books, I figured, “Surely, someone has written a book about how to publish a book!” I headed to the book store, and lo and behold, there was a whole section about writing and publishing. There were books about how to write a novel, how to get an agent, how to overcome writer’s block, how to write for magazines. I needed an A-Z manual on how to publish a book, so when I saw the title “The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing” staring back at me from the bookshelf, I figured that was the one.

I bought the book, followed it step by step, and over the next four months, at night and on the weekends, I wrote and published my first book. I didn’t have anyone to call and tell me how to make my vision a reality. I was simply determined to find the answer. If not for that self-published book, I wouldn’t have been invited to a Book Expo in 2000 where I met an editor from the largest trade publisher in the world. The editor liked the book and a few days later offered me my first book deal. Since then, I’ve written ten books translated into seven languages, and it all started with an audacious and hopeful trip to the bookstore sixteen years ago.

It isn’t something I think of often, but this week, I share this piece of my story because the principle could apply to the dream that is in your heart right now, especially if you feel discouraged that you don’t have the connections or information you need to get there.

I don’t know what your goal is – whether it is a career you want to launch or the financial freedom you dream of or the relationship you hope for or the fact that you want to enhance your sense of style. Whatever it is, there is an answer for how to bring it to fruition. Just because you don’t have the connections now doesn’t mean that you can’t build a road that leads you to the right connections. Refuse to let your lack of connections become an excuse for why you can’t have the desire God has placed in your heart. Do your research, find a book, ask someone who knows and then ask someone else who knows. Boost your “literacy” (financial, relational or otherwise) in the area where you are lacking the information you need to move forward. Be tenacious about finding the answer. Don’t worry if your path seems unconventional (you can’t write a book just by reading a book about how to write a book, can you??). Successful women think differently. Unconventional may just be the path that leads you directly to your dream.

My challenge to you:
Search for the “how to” of your dream. Don’t stop until you find your answer.

Journaling assignment: What answer or information do you need, but feel discouraged by a lack of connections with people who can give you the answer? Where might you search for a book, class, or educational resource you could use to fill in the answers? When will you start your search? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!

How to Deal with Narcissists, Guilt-Trippers and Manipulators

Have you ever had someone say something so upsetting to you that you found yourself quickly ticking off a list of counterarguments to dispute their assertions? You fuss aloud as though they are there, practicing what you are going to say – or what you should have said. You get sucked into rehashing the conversation, ruminating about similar, past incidents, and chatting up a storm about it with your BFF. The person pushed your buttons and you must figure out just the right thing to say or do to deal with them. Problem is, when dealing with narcissists, bullies, guilt-trippers, and manipulators, your “counterarguments” and explanations do nothing but feed their thirst for strife and turmoil. What they really want is control. And you give them control when you react heatedly when they push your buttons.

I have a simple message for you: Deactivate the buttons they like to push.

Stop letting that difficult person get a rise out of you whenever they want simply by spewing negativity and nonsense your way. Take a breath. Walk away. Don’t engage them in more conversation. They’ve lost the privilege. Set boundaries. Focus on what you need to do to move forward and do it. Actions speak louder than words. Emotionally unhealthy people will attempt to pull you into arguments by saying things they know will make you want to defend yourself. Don’t bother. Some criticisms don’t deserve a response. Save your energy, keep your peace and let them argue by themselves.


My challenge to you: Deactivate the buttons others like to push.


Journal about it: Who pushes your buttons? Next time they attempt to do so, what would it look like to simply react in a way opposite to the way you normally react? What boundary could you set that would give you peace of mind?