Life by Subtraction or Attraction?

The oddest, most wonderful thought came to mind recently as I awoke one morning: I have been living my life by subtraction. Let me explain.

The Big Ah-ha

Several years ago, I had the privilege of being coached by Karen Salmansohn. One of the first exercises she had me complete was to examine my relationship attraction pattern. I made a list of personal attributes for a person I’d like to have in my life. (Maybe you’ve done something similar.) Karen didn’t stop there, and it’s the next bit that shifted everything.

Karen instructed me to add two columns to my master list: one to the left and one to the right, flanking my “ideal” attributes. In the left-hand column, I was to note what would be “too little” for the associated ideal. In the right, list what would be “too much” of that attribute. Last, she had me chart my serious relationships by quality—and an astonishing pattern appeared: my relationship partners ping-ponged from the too much column to the too little one. None landed in the ideal center.

Not one.

One partner had a specific quality (let’s say, “too much”) so my next had too little of the same quality. (To combat this, I created a MANifesto–a visual representation of the qualities in a man with whom I’d want to be in a relationship.)

Going Beyond Relationships

Upon deeper reflection, I realized that I had been living my entire life focusing on what I didn’t want to happen rather than I did. But why?

My inability to declare what I really wanted came from fear. Fear of not being enough. Fear that I’d be rejected if I stated my needs. Fear of being seen and known. (To be fair, my fledgling forays into expressing my needs were met with derision, which further impeded my growth.) My naturally quiet voice felt choked off.

These fears ruled my life, mostly in my subconscious. It was only when I examined that one area of my life that it became apparent this pattern proliferated my day-to-day. By increasing my awareness, I stopped repeating patterns—imperfectly. Today, I quickly recognize when I slide into a habitual way of thinking or acting. Then, I’m able to choose differently. The more I practice, the less frequently I slide backward, and I reacclimate faster. And I use my voice to speak my truth.

A New Approach

I’ve created short-term and long-term visions for my life–and these visions consist of plans, vision boards, affirmations, and accountability. I plan to expand my business globally, do more coaching and teaching and less one-to-one projects, successfully publish ten entrepreneur-authors annually, and spend half my year living in Europe.

Inviting abundance into my life supports my service mindset, so I can donate to causes which mean so much to me. Within five years, I will have a family foundation where giving consumes much of my time.

I’m here on this earth to make a positive impact and live a life of fullness and joy. And I can’t do that with simple subtraction.

If you’re ready to dig into your own stories and examine how they’re holding you back, I invite you to join me in the Journey Program, a 12-week deep dive into how our stories weigh us down and how we can change our success maps. Those who join before September 11 will receive a huge bonus of an additional seven-week course about beliefs!



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