What If You Don’t Suck After All?

I almost titled this blog: “The Self Help Industry May Hate Me For This”.  Soon you’ll see why.  I constantly have questions running through my mind on those days where I doubt everything.  Do you have those days?  Questions come while driving to work or in the bread isle: Am I a good dad? Am I doing enough for my kids?  Did I really earn my paycheck this week?  And a personal favorite of mine, “Should I exercise more? (Or am I totally copping out by walking my dog in the morning and calling it good ).”


Today’s blog question (that is sure to get the self help industry after me) is, what if you are just fine? What if that last “nightmare of a relationship” doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you?  What if your abusive childhood doesn’t mean you’re screwed up and your therapy sessions working through PTSD don’t mean you are broken?


What if you are were you need to be, learning what you need to, how you need to, in your own way?  What if your best friend’s way is different, but fine too?

All of this, coming from a perfectionist, and a seasoned one at that.  I would get down on myself for not volunteering for every sign up sheet that went around at church.  I’d feel guilty for spending two hours a day playing tennis instead of mothering for those two hours.  I’d feel like I was to blame if my oldest dog wasn’t happy because I brought a new puppy into the family.  I could’ve won awards for how hard I was on myself.


A few years ago I came up with this phrase, (its one that I whisper to myself often), “Perfect As Is”.  I didn’t even know what that meant despite it coming to me clear as day.  I pondered it for years.  How could I be perfect if I was 15 lbs over weight? How could I be perfect if I raised my voice at my toddler? And a big one for me, how could I be perfect if I allowed abusive relationships into my life?


We live in a world of shame. We shame others and we shame ourselves. Guilt is remorse, but shame, now thats some potentially dark, depressing and downright damaging stuff.

To cure myself from the shame virus, I remind myself of some simple but powerful truths.  Number one being the most ironic:  Maybe shame is part of my journey too and it doesn’t have to be fixed today.  Other mindset tricks I use are reminding myself that other’s opinions of me don’t change my worth and each minute of our lives can be a fresh start if we choose it to be so.


As I’ve worked on letting go of blame and shame, it’s helped me tremendously in my professional life as a marketer and visual designer.  I have not yet met a successful (and happy) marketer, entrepreneur or driven person that hadn’t done at least some inner work in the area of letting go of shame and accepting themselves as they are.  At some point to be risky in business, you have to believe in yourself.  You learn to quiet those negative whisperings enough to sign that contract, start that new business or ask for that raise.


As we let go of shame, our confidence builds.  As our confidence builds we step into our power.  As we step into our power, we attract that which we most desire.


And remember, there’s no time limit on how quickly you need to learn.  Where you’re at right now is perfect as is. 

Know Your “Why”, Fill Your Bank Account

There are VERY few people who get rich by the simple sentiment, “I wanna be rich and never have to work again!” or “I want to win the lottery!”


Have you ever asked yourself why you want that huge home or that sports car or to live on the ocean?


Most people have vague answers.  “A huge home is so pretty, like what you see in movies.”

“I’d look so hot in my sports car and drive so fast!  All the ladies would love me!”

“Celebrities live on the ocean and oh my gosh it looks amazing!!”


I help people dig into their “whys” for life and business.  When you get clear, and I mean crystal clear like “water out of the alps” clear, you will attract that which you desire.  Some people’s “why” is because they never want to be poor as they were growing up.  I call that a “yah it’ll get what you want but it might lack depth once you actually get there” kind of “why”.


I find that my most powerful “why” statements go to my core.  “I want a Lamborghini because I ache to recall memories I had with my father and brother growing up where we talked about cars and engines.”

Why must you always have a convertible Victoria? Because my dad, my hero, used to take me in his convertible and we’d chat and chat.  I want that experience for MY kids and I.  The legacy of freedom, wind in our hair, laughing and singing on a road trip.  Even in writing this I can feel it.  So… I have a convertible.  One that most would think a single mom shouldn’t have.


But when you know your “why”, then the label just doesn’t matter.  A single mom of 5 can have a convertible Maserati.  God, energy and the universe don’t care about labels.  Society does.


In business, my “why” is to provide jobs for hard working, self loving people.  I want to ease the burden in America where so many struggle despite living in such a powerful country.  I can do that in business.  I can also set a tone for the WORLD  as to how employees ought to be treated and the falsehood that a 40-60 hour work week is needed.  No, a focused, project based week is needed, however long that takes.  So here I sit building businesses where my “why” is my driver.


Take a moment to ask yourself what matters MOST to you. What gets you out of bed each day?  If you could do any job without pay, what would it be? If you were on your death bed, what do you think you would wish you spent more time doing?

For myself, its always about family and unity.  My dreams, my list of things I want to buy or places I want to visit, always seem to be centered around family.


Again, in “single mom mode”, I attracted an opportunity to go to Poland, and trace the steps of my son who served an LDS mission there.


When something matters, a confidence and drive will come out of you; Inner power you didn’t know you had.  You’ll forget about the fears and concerns of self worth and just go after it.  But you MUST know your “why” for doing it.  Thats the magic in this equation.

Chasing is empty.  Attracting is whole.  

The 3 Desires

I’m learning that I have 3 different types of desires.


I thought there were only 2.  That which I want to do and that which others want me to do.  I’m finding that to be only partially true.  On my journey to authenticity and therefore a more peaceful life, I’m learning that there’s a 3rd type of desire.

It goes something like this,

Friend: “Victoria, what would you like to do to today?”

Me:  I should clean my garage and send some work emails.

(Note: the word “should” denotes that I know its not a true desire for self but more obligatory)

Read on…

“I was also thinking it would be so nice to look for horse property and maybe go to a rock store to look at some geodes.  I also want to take the crazy puppy to the dog park and finally call my mom, she hasn’t heard from me in a while.”

(Note: That sneaky last desire for myself really isn’t for myself or directly for myself.  Going to the dog park actually doesn’t sound great today but in order to get that puppy to give me some quiet time, it feels like my only option. The same goes for calling family. The energy of it also comes from obligation rather than joy)


So we have multiple desires running through our minds all day:

  1. What we actually desire
  2. What others want from us 
  3. What we say we desire but its more for someone else than ourselves if we were to be honest  a.k.a “authentic” 


I find that number 3 is extremely important to be aware of,  especially for my personality type.  I have seen myself spend 25% of my day in “must do to survive mode” (ie work, laundry and driving kids around) and 5% on “me mode” (each day differs but that can mean playing tennis or playing with my horse or smoothies with a friend) and 70% on how to take care of the rest of the world.    I serve and serve and serve, but have I done it to the detriment of my own peace?


Mindfulness is key to designing one’s life.  As someone who boasts being a life designer and UX designer (“user experience designer” in marketing), I have to pause and ask myself where I fall short of designing my own life.  I say I want peace but is it peaceful to hand my day over to others?  Or is the more peaceful path to design it for myself and know that is where I will actually derive the energy to help others to my fullest capabilities, with love and joy and high energy?


Yesterday I took my daughters out for a special night where I didn’t get home till 11pm and then worked after that.  Today I find myself feeling like I’m having a birthday celebration hangover (without an ounce of alcohol) and I also find myself feeling like my “want list” is actually a “have to” list.

We could go on and on into the depths of the rabbit hole on this topic with other questions such as “Do I judge myself when I decide to change my self love time from 5% to 30% of my day?” “If so, why?”


For now I invite you when planning your days to simply be aware of the 3 different types of desires.  And be honest with them.  Of course there’s nothing wrong with taking the wild puppy to the dog park or calling family, the item in question here is honesty with one’s self as to how you spend your day and why.  And even perhaps taking your daily self love percentage and lifting it a bit because you matter too.

Authenticity is a powerful tool on the path to a more joyful and peaceful life— so if that’s a current goal this year, then spending time categorizing your day into The 3 Desires will bring you that much closer!

How Your Business Plays Out Like A Dating Site

Once upon a time I went on a “dating time out”.  It’s that metaphorical corner that you put yourself in after being in a really dumb relationship and letting it last too long.  So you ask yourself,  “What the heck is wrong with me?!” And then take some time to self evaluate.  In my case, because I had a past of moving on too quickly, I put myself into “time out” for almost a year.  As I worked my life out (and myself), I became open to the idea of slowly and cautiously  dating again.  My friends would suggest dating sites and I’d give a good belly laugh proclaiming, “You know I don’t get on those!  I meet people while I’m out and about, living life!”   What I did consider though, is a social experiment of sorts, where I’d be my 100% authentic self on a dating site and post photos of how I actually look on a Monday morning.  I was under the impression that those sites are for putting your best foot forward so you can scare the living daylights out of someone when you meet them and don’t look how you look, but do have oodles of dark secrets and a hairy past only law enforcement knows about.


As a side note, though important to mention, one friend reminded me that there are real people on those “human menu” sites, as I called them, and that I might want to reconsider the idea if I’m not actually open to meeting someone for true connection.  I took his advice and committed to having an open mind and an open heart.


This “plunge” I’ll call it, ended up being deeper than I had ever expected.  I thought if I wrote in the “Things I care about and do in my spare time” portion of the dating site, that no one would want to chat with me.  Come on really?  Someone who loves the study of why people do what they do, say what they say, and think what they think?  Then add being a Star Wars dork, a comic book hero fan, lover of cars and can get caught talking to my dog like she knows what the hell I’m talking about… Well, I had my doubts.


What happened to me on the dating site ran parallel to what happened to me in business years ago.  I remember when I first got the “brave bug” and showed my humorous side online.  I was incredibly scared thinking it was going to kill my credibility.  Who posts about putting their yoga pants on backwards?  …And then hires them!  Its like a designer who posts about wearing their favorite Charlie Brown Great Pumpkin pajama pants to the grocery store, proudly.  (yes, that was me too) It can be scary to be authentic in your business and branding. And it can be scary to be authentic in your personal life as well.


To wrap up the dating site story, I did get attention but it was from like minded people like myself.  People tired of an inauthentic society where looks are what matter and deep conversations are what our grandparents did.  I met someone who I found interest in and consequently got off the site within 2 weeks.  We hiked and talked for hours, camped and did basic but meaningful things.  A year later we changed our status back to “friends” and I went on another “time out”, but this time with newfound belief in the world and in myself.  This time I realized my value was inherent no matter looks or how unique my backstory.


Choose authenticity.  Choose transparency.  Choose to design your life and business.

Squished In Between Two

I have a queen bed.  It’s just enough room for myself and a kid to watch some Netflix or myself to stretch out with a dog and a pile of laundry next to me.  As my family has grown and my youngest, my twins, turned 18 this year (gulp) life has changed drastically.  They used to come in and cuddle with me, talk about their day and boys, but now they’re gone almost every day of the week.  I miss them.  I miss them deeply.  We were talking last night about them moving to their dads house.  Part of me sang a tune in my head of “FREEEDDOMMM!!” and part of me heard a melancholy song from Fiddler On The Roof” about daughters growing up.

I reminded them last night that if I moved my big pile of clean, yet mismatched socks on the bed, that there’d be room for one of them to sleep with me.  (#MomHints) One of them hopped in my bed and I was overjoyed then 20 minutes later her sister came in and asked to join.  Her sister rolled over and said “There’s no room!”  I sternly and lovingly stated, “We will make room.”


I woke up multiple times last night, either over heated or falling off the bed. I woke up with elbows to my face and the sound of a kid mumbling in her sleep.  I also woke up to joy, to gratitude and to deep connection as I contemplated that everything was going to be ok.  That my girls love me no matter how near or far, and I them.


It was the best worst night’s sleep I’ve ever had.


As I have always had a natural focus on gratitude even as a little girl my parents tell me, I contemplate business and other areas of our personal lives.  When times get tough do we focus on the negative?  Do we see the downside to everything?  My most successful days where I dug myself out of my self loathing ditch, were the days I didn’t get angered at the arm to my face.  I saw it for what it was.  In business it was usually a person on my team not doing their job to their fullest potential or a big deal going sour, a high maintenance client or over scheduling my day.

When I take a step back, I see it all so differently.  How lucky am I to run a business?  How lucky am I to have a team that cares and a business partner who’s honest and damn good at what he does?  How fortunate that I have a roof over my head, 2 dogs and a horse and cars I play with friends and family in?  That business provided those things.  So I get head butted from time to time, in the big scheme of things I’m building a bolder and brighter future for myself.


And with my twins?  Well, may I get kicked in the shin every night they are willing.  <3