Resources

How Big is Your “But”

WHY YOU’RE HIDING BEHIND IT AND HOW TO BREAK FREE.

Odette Peek

Founder, OdettePeek.com

January 10, 2019

There are a quadrillion different clichés out there about how you should live your best life, how the next gal should live her best life, how we should think, feel and even act. I happen to love clichés and sayings. They can be just plain funny or they can hit you right smack between the eyes. But what they always are is truthful. Can we really dispute the pearls of wisdom garnered from Oprah’s “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time.” Or Donald Trump’s “If you’re going to be thinking, you may as well think big.”

And of course Bill Gates’ “Life is not fair; get used to it.” And last but not least, the inspirational legend, Gandhi “Man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” Well high achievers and successful people, they live by these words. There is a basic reality to these little sayings that keep us motivated, inspired and focused. As you can tell, I’m a big fan of catchy names. When I first decided to become a coach I wanted a business name that stood out from all the rest.

I was taking a course called ‘Self Expression and Leadership’ and the group was trying to help me out with a name for my business, one that reflected me as a person. Nothing really grabbed me until I sat down and the woman beside me leaned into me and said; ‘Women On Top’. I said; ‘Pardon?’, and she said; ‘Women On Top…that should be the name of your business. You are a Woman who gets what she wants, stops at nothing to get it, and is determined, motivated and audacious as hell’.

I thought to myself; ‘Wow, she really thinks that about me? That’s pretty cool.’ I can tell you, it instantly set the tone for my business, for my life. Hey, when it feels right, you gotta roll with it. Ladies, we spend more time looking back at our reflection in the mirror checking out our butt, our rear end, than we do looking past our physical imperfections, to the person we truly are.

Yup, you know you do it too. In other words, we focus on the negative, our “But”, aka, our excuses, justifications, and foolish reasoning for not becoming, doing or having what we really want in life. And we hoard these excuses and justifications until they become our reality. How many times have you said to yourself; Yeah “But” I can’t, Yeah “But” I am not good enough, Yeah “But” I don’t have enough time, Yeah “But” I don’t have enough money. How many times have you compared yourself to others? How many times have you had this great idea, only to talk yourself out of it?

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time.”
- OPRAH WINFREY

How many times have you made excuses for not getting to the gym, sticking to that diet or starting that business you daydream about at your employer’s office? If this is the reality you have built for yourself, the future’s not looking too good.

Over the years I have worked with women from all walks of life. I have been a woman from all walks of life: I have been a teenager, a young woman, a mother (still am actually), a wife, a divorcee, a business owner, an employer, an employee, a student, a daughter, a caretaker, a step mom, a friend, a confidante, a survivor, a coach, a mentor.

Life hasn’t always been easy. But it was the low points in my life that gave me the strength and courage to carry on, to move forward. I am your poster child of ‘been there, done that’. At 18 I left home with $950 in my pocket (inflation!) and bounced around Europe…for a year and a half. I was politely asked to leave… a country… for not having working papers. The other option was jail, and that wasn’t quite what I had in mind for my future. Tsk, tsk. I was bold. I was audacious. I finagled my way into University on the strong advice of my equally audacious father; ‘go anywhere, but just go’.

So I did…to England, leveraging my Dutch ancestry to avoid foreigner fees. Did I mention I am also resourceful? I did return home, 5 years later. I floundered between jobs, not quite professionally satisfied. Personally I had a ball. A highlight of my 20’s was sparring my way to a Black Belt in the martial arts. Then one day, a light bulb went off in my head and a business was born.

I worked that business and lived life like most; marriage, kids, travelling and stopping at all the milestones along the way. A decade later, both personal and professional partnerships dissolved and the reinvention of Odette Peek began. I survived the trials and tribulations of single motherhood and full time studies at College. I embarked on a new journey in health care while my own health took a serious down turn.

Friends and family have often asked me; ‘How do you do it, how do you keep going’? My only answer is that it comes down to choice. You can choose to give up or you can choose to keep going. I identified what I wanted in life. I learned from my mistakes and every time I hit a brick wall I would change my perspective, my way of thinking. I was unstoppable because giving up was not a viable option.

I often get asked why did I become a Coach? Well I have many answers to that question. I used to think that the reasons why we’re all separate from each other but I have come to realize that my life experiences are all intertwined and have resulted in me having to be a Coach. I remember when I was 17 and backpacking through Europe, I wrote in a journal. I found this journal a few years ago.

In it, I wrote; ‘What do you want to be when you grow up’? I had written, ‘I want to help people’. I wasn’t all that surprised by this answer, seeing as I was in a career that was doing just that, helping people by
sharing my life and business experiences. What I was surprised at was how obvious it was to me, at the age
of 17, that I was destined to ‘help people’.

I am the super model of ‘been there, done that’ and I couldn’t be happier. I am your beacon of hope. I want to show you how your experiences, the highs and lows, will enrich your life. I will show you how you can be a Woman On Top. Let’s see just how big YOUR “But” is and what we can do about it!

If you are that one exceptional Woman (cause there’s only one of you) whose big “But” does not get the better of you, then stop reading. I am not talking to you. I am talking to the other 99.9% of you out there. That’s right, YOU! I know who you are! And I want you to leave your ego at the door because a great many of you don’t know how big your “But” actually is.

As Women we spend more time and money trying to keep our butt small and tight, than we do trying to reduce
the size and number of our “Buts”. Here are 7 BIG “Buts” that continue to get in the way of your success. Have a pen and paper and be prepared to dig deep. Together we will explore simple yet effective strategies to break free of your BIG “But’.

1. We compare our successes to those of other women and find them lacking.

Sound familiar? Comparing yourself is a natural thing; it’s how you let it affect you that can be a bummer.
When you find yourself making these comparisons, immediately stop the downward spiral and think of 3
things that you have accomplished in your life. Now write them down.

Write a few more things. Don’t stop until you are satisfied you have written down all the things you are proud of. Don’t over think this, just write down what comes to mind without judging, without second-guessing yourself. If you do that, you are comparing yourself… to yourself.

When you have your list, write down the ripple effect these great accomplishments have had on your life and the lives of those around you. You will be amazed at just how amazing you really are. Now keep that list and post it so you can go back to it every time you need a kick in the rear!

2. We dwell on past failures and use them as an excuse to not try again.

Otherwise known as taking the easy way out. I mentioned that failures are just as important as successes.
In fact, it’s the successful people that usually have failed the most. Now I want you to jot down something
that you failed at, a huge fail.

For example, did you not make the basketball team as a kid, or get the job you thought would have advanced your career? Did you get a divorce? Lose your shirt on a business venture? Now I want you to write down what resulted from this failure. For example, 20 years ago I was fired from a job, a really good job. Now there’s a blow to the ego.

But it was the kick in the rear that I needed to launch the business idea I’d been toying with for many months. Sure, I was scared. I was petrified. I almost gave up. I don’t know how many times I said to myself; ‘What the hell are you thinking, you can’t do that!’ Believe me, I know full well how hard it is to ignore that little voice, but I kicked it to the curb because I wanted something more for my life. And the rest is history as they say. Remember, failures can lead to successes, but not if you turn them into excuses to put on the brakes.

3. We often think we are not good enough or deserving enough to succeed.

This is where I start to get really steamed! I’d like a show of hands here. How many of you ever secretly
thought deep down inside; ‘I am not good enough to… be on the team, get that job, start that business, get
that guy?’

If you did not raise your hand you are lying to yourself! We all do it, and we all do it almost every day! How many times does that little voice in your head say; ‘oh you can’t do that, silly you for even thinking it.’ I want you to Stop It, Right Now! What I want you to do is this. Think about what you are good at.

For instance, are you a good cook? A good writer? A good parent, friend, spouse? Are you good at sports, writing reports or have a good sense for numbers? How did you get good at this? You will shock the pants off yourself when you see that practice, perseverance and deliberate, consistent action are what made you good at these things.

All it took was the desire and willingness to try. So the next time you listen to that mean little voice in your head telling you you’re not good enough, so why bother trying, look at your list and remember what it took to be great at something and apply that same process.

4. We are afraid of being judged and care too much what others will think.

What we forget is that they are comparing themselves to us and finding themselves lacking. It’s a vicious circle. We have a worse opinion of ourselves than what others think of us. We also believe that other people think less of us then they actually do.

Isn’t it shocking to hear the truth about what someone thinks of us? Especially when it’s complimentary? Your first reaction typically is; ‘Really, you think that about me? Wow’. And then maybe; ‘Oh, you’re just saying that to be nice’. Ok, here’s what I want you to do. Write down the personality traits, skills and abilities a successful person has.

If you can’t be kind to yourself, ask a friend or family member what your best character traits are. Hmmm, what do you see? You are more successful than you thought you were and that’s what others know, see and admire about you.

I know all about ‘you aren’t good enough’. It used to be my default setting when I got into a funk. Instead of going down that mind trap, I trip my default switch with ‘you are way better than just good enough!’ It works every time.

5. We think we lack the skills required and so find excuses to not even try.

It’s kind of like the lottery. You can’t win if you don’t buy a ticket. Let’s face it, if you don’t try something you will never know if you can do it. If you didn’t learn to walk, you would never run. If you didn’t learn your ABC’s, you wouldn’t be able to read or write. Please don’t say; ‘Ya but that was when I was a kid, you had to learn those things’.

Well you have to learn things now, as an adult. If you don’t try, you don’t learn and you don’t grow. You
will live a boring, mediocre life. And that’s not the life you want. So I want you to write down the 1 thing you have always wanted to do and the skills that are required to do it.

What action do you need to make it happen? For example, if you want to learn how to cook, you take a cooking class and make all your friends dinner to practice. If you want to start your own business,
you would talk to anyone you know and ask them how they got started. You would go online and research
how to start a business. You would call me and I would guide you through the process, step by step. For my
first business I enrolled in a 12-month entrepreneurial course.

It was invaluable. 20 years later that business is still a success, which is no easy feat for a small
business, especially after 2 major recessions. When I embarked on a career as a coach, I hired a coach!
Currently I am engaged in a mastermind and group coaching program as well as 1:1 coaching. So start
small and work your way up. Without action, we just have excuses.

6. We have trouble making a decision and sticking with it.

Hmmm, I’m on the fence about this one. Indecision is actually a
decision, just backwards. When we make a decision to do something, invariably, we talk ourselves
out of it because our little voice says; ‘You can’t, you aren’t good enough, you don’t have enough money,
skill or talent’. Our decision is clouded and we justify our indecision or our fence sitting. So we need to focus here.

Pick a couple of tasks that have been on your mind, that you would like to start or finish. Put them in order of priority. Start with small tasks. It could be as simple as finishing the book you have neglected to read, or visiting the new restaurant you have wanted to try, or just cleaning out the closet. If you can challenge yourself, think bigger such as joining the gym or cutting calories.

When I made the decision to start a career as a coach, I had moments of ‘what do you think you are doing?’ My little voice sure could scream at me. My confidence waivered but my integrity was in tact, I was not going to break my promise to myself. It’s natural to check in with yourself and re-confirm your decision.

The key here is to practice making a decision and follow through with action, and creating that list will help you to focus. Make a promise to yourself to do one thing a week that you really want to do, and stick
with it. You will reap the rewards tenfold and it will be easier and easier to keep your word. Plus, you get to put a big check mark beside it when you’re done!

7. We are resistant to change.

Come on ladies, wrap your arms around it and give it a big hug! Change is inevitable, change is good, so
embrace it. Yes it is easier to remain status but it’s boring as hell. And it’s not going to improve your
life. If you want to overcome your resistance to change, consider this; your reasons for not moving forward are simply a justification to allow you to stay where you are.

It’s comfortable there. Even if you are not that happy where you are, you still resist making a change, because the unknown is simply a scary place for a lot of us. You may convince yourself that your needs are being met, even if you are just ‘settling’ for second rate. You may have invested time, energy and money and are stubbornly waiting to reap the expected rewards.

You can stonewall the change, ignore it, and pretend it doesn’t exist, but what if the change is forced upon you? A break up, or job loss? That’s when the change feels like you are being pushed from the frying pan and into the fire. The destination terrifies you and the journey looks painful, the future, hazy.

The change feels wrong to you and you don’t know which way to move. But the reality is this; you will not die from change. You will survive. If you have experienced a major change in the past ask yourself; ‘How am I a better person today because of that change? How have I grown?’ If you are really daring, ask yourself; ‘What would your life look like if you didn’t experience that change?’

When you reflect back on that change, I want you to reflect back on your initial feelings and compare them to how you feel now. Open up your mind to the possibility that change is a good thing. Scary, for sure, but it is always going to benefit you in the end. Always. The best advice I ever got was this; “Take it one step at a time, but take the step, NOW!”

Life and business are not linear, they are steps…side ways…backwards…and inevitably forwards. It’s heartbreaking how some women talk themselves out of becoming or doing something extraordinary because they make up excuses or justify to themselves and anyone that will listen, why they
cannot do something. Are you one of these women? Do you want to learn the secret behind your BIG “But” and
how to overcome it?

Well you just had a taste of it. So tell me, are you number 3 or 7, or perhaps 1, 4 and 5? I am so passionate about helping women live their best life, and that’s why I am gifting to You, a complimentary
coaching call. It’s 30 minutes and it’s free! I know you want to make a change in your life. I know you want to have it all….and you can.

For those of you that do have it all, congratulations, you are definitely a Woman on Top. For those of you that don’t, I am talking to YOU, about YOU. Not your friend or your neighbour or anyone else you think has a BIG “But”. I want each and every one of you to be a Woman on Top of her game. I want you to be the best possible you, not someone else, but you. Just like in the Dove commercial. We all come in different shapes and sizes, with different histories and futures.

The beauty of You is simply that you are an amazing, exciting, beautiful, talented and extraordinary
Woman who is just bursting to get out! And to quote the great Martha Stewart; ‘That’s a good thing!’
I want to work with women in all stages of their lives and business. If you are trying to get your business
off the ground, I can help you.

If you are a successful entrepreneur but want something more for your business, I am here for you. Together we will transform and advance your business. If you are struggling with foolish reasoning and mind boggling justifications, definitely get in touch with me. I will turn you inside out and show you that, yes you
have what it takes and yes you can be whoever you want to be in life. Anything.

You ask the question countless times; ‘How can I do this?’ Well I have the answer for you. I have the
experience, the tools and the skills to work with you to help you realize your potential to reclaim your
life.

So I ask you again, how BIG is your “But” and what are you going to do about…today?