On Gratitude and Writing Your Own Story



I’ve lived in my house for ten years.

When I moved in, it was supposed to be my “for a while” house, one that was small and affordable and in a nice but not fancy suburb in a town I knew.

Ten years later, there are still boxes in the crawl space, unfinished paint in the den, an a non-committal array of impersonal-ish books and knick knacks on shelves as if they’re waiting to be packed up again or transplanted to some other nondescript suburban living room. [Read more…]

Defeating the Doubt That Sabotages Our Best Efforts Every Day




It’s one of the things that plagues us all. Universal, just like fear and love, really. We all have them.

Some of us are particularly susceptible to something called imposter syndrome, a form of chronic doubt where you pretty much think that, at any moment, the world — whether it’s at work or personally — will figure out that you’re a fraud and have been faking your capabilities and success all along.

I’m one of those people.

My spirit animal for dealing with doubt has become Brené Brown, because I really believe that her work on vulnerability is the antidote to doubt.

Mostly because I believe we counteract doubt by displaying empathy for others, and vulnerability on our own in order to acknowledge what limits we believe we have in order to connect, break through, and conquer them.

But let me back up a minute.

One thing I’ve learned from a dear friend and therapist is that giving oxygen to doubt is one of the ways we manage to defeat it. 

Essentially, putting it out there – ugly and all – and relying on the act of exposing it and giving it over to other people to vanquish on our behalf.

I know, kind of woo-woo. Especially for me.

But I’m actually on board with this one.

As a person who has long dealt with anxiety and depression issues, I’ve learned that giving air to my fears, my anxieties, my doubts and my hurts actually suffocates them. They simply can’t fester, locked in dark corners of my mind, when I expose them to the light and breath of day.

Mental vampires, anyone?

So, I’ve been practicing expressing my doubts so that they can choke on the air I give them.

It’s not so much seeking validation; sometimes that comes from others, sometimes not. Sometimes others will reassure you, sometimes they won’t. And it still works even if you speak them aloud or write them down and no one ever sees them. There’s something about acknowledging them, expressing them in words, and hearing yourself (or reading yourself) say them aloud that gives them so much less power than they had before.

Three of the ones I’ve been working on:

I doubt that I am capable of finding, keeping, and making happy a wonderful, caring man who wants to share my imperfect world, in large part because I am not particularly slender, and that makes me feel like I will always be inadequate as a partner.

I doubt that I am able to raise my daughter to be free of the self-doubts and confidence issues that I have.

I doubt my professional capabilities all the time, even in the face of my own success, because of a few people along my career path that have said unkind things about me.


As open and transparent as I am, it’s still scary to type those words out loud. It’s as if by giving them words, I am giving those doubts life and credence and the ability to become reality.

Strangely, it doesn’t work that way.

Every time I say them out loud, I am able to read them as though I were someone else. A friend, maybe, reading the words of someone I love and care about.

I think about the things I would say in return.

So I say them to myself.

And the next time, I am stronger, and the words are weaker, and a little sliver of that doubt gets chipped away, never to return.

I don’t think we ever completely vanquish our doubts. Our ability to question things – including ourselves – is uniquely and beautifully human.

But I do think there’s something to turning on the lamp in the dark room and shining it brightly on the things that go bump in the night.

It worked when we were kids. Why not now?

How about you, my friends? Are you brave enough to put your doubts out there to suffocate in the light of day?

Want To Break Into Digital Marketing? Do This First.


It’s a question I get asked after almost every talk I do.

“How do I advance my career in social media or digital marketing?”

Usually someone has become enamored of the social web or the power of digital to accelerate marketing and – just like many of us – wants to devote their careers to something they feel is changing the world for the better and where they know they can make a difference.

My answer to the question, however, is usually not one people expect.

It’s two-fold. [Read more…]