How To See Yourself Better


“Audrey,” a copy editor, recently came to me quite upset that she had spent her weekend working on a “rush” job for her client, Paul.

Audrey was convinced that “Paul didn’t value her” because Paul had made a challenging, last-minute request that ruined Audrey’s weekend.

In addition to being a “demanding” client, Paul routinely did not pay his bills on time.

As we did some coaching, it became clear that Audrey wasn’t valuing Audrey when she agreed to change her weekend plans to finish work for Paul.

Audrey decided to own the thought, “I value me.”

When she began valuing herself, her time and her work, she made changes to her client agreement. She included parameters for weekend work, the extra costs involved, and the necessity of being paid promptly.

She then billed Paul for the extensive work. Paul paid her promptly. 😁


 Noticing your part in a situation is learning to look at the facts in an objective way.

I like to use the phrase, what is “your side of the fence?”

In every situation, there are two parts, and we each play a part.

Simply asking, “How did I contribute to the situation?” is very powerful.

Audrey’s complaint about Paul not “valuing” her was really a complaint about herself.

When Audrey took responsibility for her actions in the situation, she could then give Paul parameters for working with her.

Paul may still make last-minute requests or choose not to pay her on time, but now Audrey can decide whether to work with him – or not.


The next time you find yourself upset with someone or criticizing them for a particular action, try this:

  1. Take a moment to see where that criticism could apply to yourself. Have a sense of humor about it!
  2. Determine how you may have contributed to the situation.
  3. Don’t beat yourself – or the other person – up! We are ALL work-in-progress humans. 😉
  4. Do your best to frame the situation in an objective, non-personal way.

When we own our criticisms of others, it empowers us to take responsibility for the parts of the situation that we have control over.


Kathy McCabe
Life Coach

P.S.—If you want to turn your criticisms into positive actions to make your life AWESOME…join my next “Transform Your Life!” Group starting this Saturday 4/28!!

What Makes You Come Alive? 🤸

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

– Howard Thurman, Civil Rights Leader

I love this quote because I truly believe that if everyone did more of what “made them come alive,” our world would be better.

What If I Don’t Know What Lights Me Up?

I often hear: “But I don’t know what I love, or what makes me come alive.”

At one point in my life, I used to say – and believe – that I didn’t know what I loved.

My thinking was full of “shoulds,” and I had plenty of worries about what “others might think.”

When I freed myself of the “shoulds” in my head and the worry of what “others might think,” my list of items that “lit me up” became clear. This is how I became a life coach.

There will always be someone who has an opinion of me, no matter what I do. Worrying about what other people think is not my business.

If you don’t know what makes you “come alive,” start by learning to hear – and follow – your inner voice.

I Know What Makes Me Come Alive, But I Can’t…

I often hear from clients that they know what they would love to do, but they just don’t believe it’s possible.

For example, many women would love to have more flexibility at work with their hours and/or be able to work from home sometimes. Many employers are not going to make that offer to employees – unless they request it!

More than once, I have worked with clients who, when they asked their employer for flexibility or more money, their employer said yes. That has been my work experience as well. But it only happened because of the “ask.”

The biggest barrier to knowing what you want more of but believing you can’t have, is your language around it.

Instead of saying, “I can’t do that…”

Try saying, “I won’t.” Or, “I am not going to.”

Saying, “I won’t ask my boss to work from home,” or “I am not going to get a sitter so that I can go to an art museum,” has a much different feel than, “I can’t.”

When you put the ownership of what makes you come alive as your responsibility, it changes your thinking, which is the first step towards changing your actions.

What Could Spark Joy For Me Today?

You don’t have to quit your job, run off to Tahiti, or jump out of an airplane to start doing more of what lights you up.

Start small. Each day ask, “What could spark joy for me today?”  Listen to your answers.

At work, it might be developing relationships with clients, writing, or channeling more energy toward creative projects. If certain tasks at work “spark joy”’ for you, ask if you can do more of them.

At home, it might be buying flowers, playing with your dog, signing up for salsa lessons, or reading M.A.D. Magazine.

The more paths you find to light yourself in up in tiny ways, the more paths you will find to light yourself up in big ways. You will be happier – and you will inspire others.

And the world needs more people who have come alive!

Kathy McCabe
Life Coach

P.S. One Spot left for “Transform Your Life!” Group starting 4/28. Email me for more information. If you like this blog, please share it below.

What I Have In Common With J-Lo…


Except…we are both cited in this article for the mantras we use:

One of my mantras,”I want to feel focused and calm…” is a bit different 😀 than J-Lo’s, “I am timeless and youthful!.”

Mantras or affirmations are repeated positive statements.  I like to call them “power thoughts.”

Power thoughts work…as long as you believe them.

What Are You Telling Yourself Every Day?

Quite often we are unknowingly repeating statements in our heads that do not serve us. Statements like:

  • “I should or should not have done that”
  • “I can’t do…”
  • “It will never work..”

If you have thoughts like these running through your brain, take a moment to see if those thoughts are helping you. So often these statements are untrue, especially when we take the time to truly question them.

Repeated thoughts in our brain create our reality.

Set Your Day With An Intention, and Support It With A Thought: 

I love to support my intention for the day or an event I may be going to with a power thought. (To help you do this each day, get my free “Create A Great Tool:

The most important rules I have when I decide what thought I will use are:

  • I have to believe it;
  • I have to remind my brain of the thought throughout the day.

For example, my kids have, on occasion, argued or yelled when I asked them to do chores, I have, on occasion,😉, responded with arguing or raising my voice.

If I set my intention  to not yell, get angry or react to them in the moment, my power thought is “I am calm and centered.” Or, it might be “I am in charge, not my kids, of my emotions.”

If I am aware of my intention and thought, I am much more likely to respond calmly or however I intended in the moment.

What you tell yourself is so important…Look at J-Lo…it looks like her mantra is working for her!

I’d love to hear what mantras, affirmations or thoughts that are working for you!


PS—2 spots left for my Transform Your Life! small group coaching program starting 4/21. Email me to apply!

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Kathy McCabe
Life Coach