Are You Stuck In The Muck Of Life Change?

author/source: Therese R. Nicklas


5 steps to take today to get your life back on track and moving forward

Have you ever in your adult life looked in the mirror and thought to yourself, “Wow, I thought I’d be further ahead by now.”  If you have, you’re not alone.  Today, I’m going to share the ONE THING that I learned that allowed me to help women go from wanting more to having more.

I share it with my Money Coaching clients, and today I want to share it with you.  So, if you are at a crossroads, and don’t know whether to turn left or right, read on.


Let’s face it, ladies.  Change sucks.  Even when it is our idea, that place between where you are and where you want to be is so uncomfortable!  And, who wants to be forced out of their comfort zone?  Nobody, right?

Fear of change often keeps us stuck in bad jobs, bad relationships, even bad habits.  Not knowing what is on the other side can be terrifying.  Well, the truth is, our real growth happens just outside of that soft, cushy place of the familiar.  Like the beautiful butterfly emerging from the ugly cocoon, or a gorgeous locust flower that pushes through the muck, the only way out is by pushing through.


Everything in your life, right now, is a reflection of what you believe you deserve.  If you have an “itty bitty committee” in your head telling you you’re not worthy, that is an example of a sub-conscious limiting belief.

Studies show 95% of our thoughts are processed in the sub-conscious and are usually negative.  95%!  So, if 95% of the time we are telling ourselves we can’t, or we don’t deserve, or we are not worthy, guess what?  That becomes a reality.  And here’s another tip: Your net-worth has a direct correlation with your self-worth.


I know change is challenging.  Standing at the intersection of “what I know and what I don’t know” causes the part of our brain, known as the Reptile Brain to go into fight or flight mode.  When this happens, the frontal cortex (the decision-making brain) shuts down.  What a double whammy!  Just when we need it most, the decision-making part of the brain turns off!


So while we are in “fight or flight” mode, confusion sets in.  Knowing which direction to take becomes so overwhelming, we often decide to do nothing.  And guess what?  Nothing changes.  We are still in a bad job, bad relationship, or doing the bad habit.

Why is that?  We want certainty, and change is the opposite of certainty.


Growing up, I watched women stay in bad, often unsafe relationships out of fear of change.  My own mother was one of them.  She was miserable in her marriage and suffered bouts of depression because of it.  Her fear of not knowing how she would support herself if she left kept her stuck and miserable.  She preferred the certainty of where she was over the unknown.  My mother didn’t have “proof” that she couldn’t support herself.  But fear and limiting beliefs prevented her from finding out.


Even with all the progress made by today’s women, there are many that need to learn how to build their money muscles so they can be financially self-sufficient.

Mary (not her real name) came to me because in her mind she was bad at handling money.  She told me about how she grew up and shared her painful money memories.  After working through “the muck”, she was able to identify the origin of her negative money patterns.  Once she became aware, Mary made a commitment to break the familiar pattern and learn new behaviors that would help her improve her finances.  With a young daughter to raise, she became determined to break the cycle of poor money decisions caused by negative self-talk for herself and her daughter.


After studying Mary’s finances, I realized her income was much lower than my other clients in the same field and with comparable work experience.  By working through the Money Coaching exercises, Mary was able to trace back to why she developed a low self-worth image.

By using Money Coaching exercises and tools, Mary shifted her mindset and transformed her self-esteem.  Mary’s transformation was probably the most impactful one I’ve witnessed.  Her courage and commitment to doing the work to get positive results inspire me every day.


When we started working together, the idea of looking for a better job freaked Mary out.  She said, “I’d rather walk down the street naked than go on a job interview”.  By teaching her to focus on her “WHY”, Mary realized she had to earn more money to break the cycle for herself and her daughter.  With a new level of determination and courage, Mary agreed to search for a better job.  By focusing on exactly what she wanted, and acting on leads that fit, Mary replaced her dead-end job with one that was more fulfilling and doubled her income!


When you take time to become aware of your subconscious thoughts and limiting beliefs, your behavior changes.  For some, the only way to make that shift is to work with a coach.  Look for someone that will hold you accountable while providing constructive exercises to help you form habits that will serve your future self. 

the best investment you can ever make is an investment in yourself


If you’re holding on to negative self-talk, it’s time to rewrite the “itty bitty committee” tape.

Begin by taking inventory of every time you think a negative thought about yourself, your situation, or your ability.  Do this exercise over the next 30 minutes.  With each thought, ask yourself “is this the truth”?  Keep asking until you reach a resounding NO WAY!

Then, replace the negative thought with a positive one.

Try this on for a daily positive affirmation:

“I am loved, I am smart, I can do anything!”  Can you feel a shift in your mindset?  To change your results, change your mind!

Practice repeating positive affirmations to yourself.  Do this exercise daily until it becomes your new normal.


Do you know what you don’t want, but not sure about what you do want?  This mindset will keep you stuck.  It’s essential to learn to move through it if you want to create change.

Here’s an exercise that will help you quickly gain clarity:

Think about what you want, and ask yourself this simple question:

What about _____________is important to me?

Don’t overthink it, answer with the first thought that comes to mind.

For example, if your goal is to start a business, ask yourself:

What about starting a business is important to me?

Your answer might be “having a flexible schedule”.

You put that answer into the previous question.  Then ask:

What about having a flexible schedule is important to me?

Repeat this process at least 7 times until you get to the core of WHY this is important to you.  Go really deep.  That is when the magic happens.

You will have a deep level of clarity that will motivate and inspire you to press on.

You will show up in an authentic way.

You will act from your heart, not your head.

The buzz will be empowering and make you unstoppable!


Often, I am asked to explain the difference between coaching and therapy.  In a nutshell, coaching addresses your past to help drill down to where the limiting beliefs originated.  Once this is identified, a coach will teach you new habits, beliefs, and behaviors to help a client create a better future.

Therapy usually stays in the past with a focus on resolving past pain.  People often turn to therapy to learn how to handle emotional issues that stem from some type of trauma.

Coaching empowers the client to find the answers from within, while therapy offers guidance and direction.


If you want to make a change in any area of your life, start by changing your mind!

Make a commitment today to deciding what you want and just go for it!  Use at least one of these ideas in your everyday life.  I hope they inspire you to take steps to live your life by design and not by default. 

Terri Nicklas aka Therese NicklasBIO:

Therese R. Nicklas is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Certified Money Coach(CMC)®, founder of The Wealth Coach for Women, Inc.

She’s passionate about helping women improve their money mindset so they live their life by design and not by default. Learn more about Therese at The Wealth Coach For Women, Inc. You can download her eBook, filled with tools and tips to help you attain financial freedom “The Money & Life Playbook” .