Mindset & Confidence

Why you might not be achieving the happiness and success you deserve

BY Meridith Hankenson Alexander

Success That You Deserve

4 ways that we sabotage ourselves without even knowing it

Let’s get real. If you are here on #BossBabe, I’m going to assume that you are not just looking to create something “good”.

This site is geared toward the powerhouse women of the world who strive to create something massive — to make an impact.

Yes, I mean IMPACT — spelled out in capitals, covered in bling and crooned at the top of your lungs IMPACT.

I’m not just talking about having impact on your own lives (although that is inevitable when you are dealing with powerhouses). I’m talking about having impact on entire industries.

I’m talking about impacting not only the way that things are done but even impacting the way that we think.

So there is no question that if you are on this site that you are willing to think big.

If that’s the case, then why do you keep getting results that aren’t that big?

In fact, you keep getting results that feel pretty dismal. Yes?

To add insult to injury, you quite possibly have invested a lot of time, money and energy in training, webinars, and other versions of “deep dive intensives”.  

You’ve gotten a great education.

You’ve read tips from the cutting edge gurus.

You have even invested in “done for you success formulas”.

In fact, if you are a real leader and trendsetter, you have probably done “whatever it takes” to insure success — and yet what if the results are just not coming?

And it can feel pretty impossible to feel happy when your mind keeps muttering the “F” word.

No, not that F word (although that word may also be on the menu). I’m talking about the dreaded word that is like poison to a BossBabe: Failure.

As you might be able to guess by now, I describe this so well because this used to be me.

I knew that I was smart. I knew that I was willing to work hard. I knew that I had passion.

I even knew that I had a great idea and yet, something was broke and I apparently had no idea how to fix it.

It was beyond humiliating.

So what changed? What created the tipping point in my life?

The answer might surprise you.

create something massive

Calling all powerhouse women who strive to create something massive.

I discovered brules — in other words, b***sh*t rules, as Vishant Lakhiani calls them.

I discovered that I was buying into certain beliefs that had been instilled upon me as a child that were not real truths. I was allowing myself to believe that I had to follow certain commonly accepted “rules” because these rules reflect “reality”.

I didn’t call them brules at the time, but these certainly were bogus beliefs.

They had become such a part of my outlook on life, upon myself and upon money that I didn’t even realize that buying into them was optional.

When I came out of Georgetown University, I realized that all of my amazing book learning from both prep school and college had exposed me to some of the classic writers and philosophers.

None of what I had learned, however, really answered my most burning question: in the midst of all of this chaos called life, how are we supposed to find happiness?

I began traveling around the US and Canada looking for answers, spending many days hiking in the rockies secluded from humanity.

I studied the Japanese martial art aikido and learned about the incredible power of energy.

I devoured books by Carlos Casteneda and Ram Dass . I began looking everywhere for the missing piece.

I had seen lots of “success” in the world, but I wasn’t seeing a lot of happiness.

Clearly, “money can’t buy happiness.”

Never did I dream that with those words, my mind was buying into a hidden brule. By pondering those words within my mind on a regular basis, I had created a mental setpoint relative to money that would act like a wall to any real level of financial success for me.

At a particular low point in my life when not only was my business not taking off but I had managed to waltz my way into an abusive relationship, I walked into a book store looking for a diversion.

I stumbled upon two books that would rock my mindset forever: T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of a Millionaire Mind and Esther Hicks’ Ask and It is Given.

You see, what I had been missing was not any secret path that would lead me to happiness.

What I was missing was not the latest secret revenue generating system.

It was the mindset that would allow me to reap the benefits of those systems.

I discovered that my potential success lay not in things that I had yet to learn but in the things that I needed to “un-learn”.

I had things leeching onto my mind that were far more parasitic than any deadly physical virus.

I had powerful beliefs about myself, about life, about humanity, about success, about money, about longevity, about virtually every topic imaginable — and these beliefs were so ingrained in me that I didn’t even realize that these thoughts were choices, not realities.

At the time, these thoughts were absolutely “true”. In many cases, I believed that I had lived their truth.

I had seen “proof” that these things were real.

For decades, I had been weaned away from my youthful “naivete” and I had partnered with my negative self-talk to carve out some pretty amazing (and scary) stories.

All of a sudden, I understood what I had been doing.

I had created a mental blueprint that prevented me from getting any closer to the success and happiness that I deserved.

I had inadvertently chosen to wire myself toward my limitations and away from the potential for massive success.

I was living in a world of brules and trusting my success to a faulty blueprint that could take me no higher than I believed that I was capable of going.

As Henry Ford said, “if you believe you can or you believe you can’t, you’re right.”

Only by breaking free of those brules and by rewriting that blueprint would my results truly begin to change.

And change they did — almost instantly.

So what does this mean If you are an ambitious boss babe who is truly committed to your own success and happiness?

It means that before you take the next step, the most important system that you will ever create is your “personal empowerment system.”

You must learn to think your thoughts versus allowing your thoughts to think you.

You must learn to identify choices that you may be making every single day — choices that right now you may not realize that you are making. You must start breaking free of the brules.

Then and only then will you be able to reach your full potential of success and happiness.

As Steve Jobs said, “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. Once you learn that, you'll never be the same again”

So what are some of these hidden choices that we don’t realize that we are making?

More importantly, how might they be showing up and sabotaging your life, your success and your #BossBabe sparkle?


  1. Choosing to believe that our experiences have left us flawed. Many of the most successful people in the world have lived through great challenge, heartache, poverty, injury and in some cases literal abuse. These experiences have become the gems that make their stories so rich and so inspiring. It’s not in spite of these obstacles that they became great. It’s thanks to the greatness that these challenges evoked that they discovered just how powerfully they already were. The greatness was there, waiting to be unleashed. A reluctant hero is still a hero. How many of us doubt our own worthiness because we choose to believe that something in our past left us scarred? Can’t we choose to believe that these scars cry out that we were mightier than the boulders that tried to bring us down? What if we choose to use these experiences as proof of our ability to be resilient no matter what? What if we use these experiences as reasons to be bold? Are there experiences in your own life that you could choose to look at from a new perspective? Could you choose to give yourself credit instead of choosing shame and doubt?
  2. Choosing to define ourselves as less. How often have you caught yourself thinking or saying: “My challenge is _____” or “Every time I get in that kind of situation, I ____” or “that’s just how I’m wired” or “I just can’t help myself” or “I tend to _____” ?  How often have you directed the “what’s wrong with that picture” mode toward yourself (or others)? How often have you chosen to buy into a definition of yourself that may not even be accurate — and that in most cases is definitely not empowering? I went through decades believing that I was afraid of heights. I had blatant physical symptoms — panic, tears, anxiety, dizziness. A year ago, I went to an adventure retreat. One of the challenges involved facing extreme heights. I was terrified. And then I did something different with my mindset. I began to play with my thoughts. I asked myself, “What if I have mistakenly believed that I am afraid of heights when actually I am not? What if the churning that I feel is actually exhilaration?” What would it look like if I have been wrong all of this time? What if I choose to believe that I actually love being up high? I decided that I would experiment with CHOOSING to believe that I actually loved these height challenges. Amazingly, once I deliberately commanded my mind to focus in the new direction, not only did I master the first obstacle in record time, I literally blew through the much more demanding challenges on the course. At the end, when I confided to my group that until that day, I had chosen to be terrified of heights, every single jaw dropped. Every single person assumed that I was an experienced climber and that’s why I had mastered the challenges “so easily”. Sometimes the answer to our fear is not in seeking a different solution, it’s in learning to ask a different question. It’s allowing ourselves to believe that we are truly enough. So what are you choosing to believe about yourself? What do you assume is real that may not “in a different reality” be real at all?
  3. Choosing to “should” all over yourself and others. Nothing takes away our own power faster than believing that everything else around us “should” be a certain way in order for us to feel ok — much less successful and happy. The moment that we choose to put circumstances and other people into our driver seat, we doom ourselves to a life of living in reactive mode. Clarity is power so even “failures” and things that we “don’t like” ultimately serve us by helping us to create that which we do want. When you do encounter a situation that you feel “should” be different, instead of fuming, try stopping for a moment and remember one word: temporary. Then look for clues within the “should storm”. Knowing what you don’t want makes it easier to identify what you do want. Knowing ways not to do something creates better ideas that can be applied next time.  Evidence continues to mount supporting that what you focus on, expands. Choose to adopt the perspective going forward that if you don’t see the results that you want, you simply haven’t gotten them yet.
  4. Choosing to give up the big dreams in your life. Have you ever noticed that the people who seem to stay young always seem to be asking “what’s next?” We are encouraged to dream big — and then told to be “realistic”. No wonder our minds get confused. At one point in our life, most of us really believed that we could achieve anything that we put our minds to. When we started to slow down was when we began agreeing to choose to think differently. We began to wait to commit to a dream until we felt like we could specifically map out how we would achieve it. We began to eliminate the dreams that “common logic” convinced us were unrealistic and unnecessary. We carved and hacked and carved and hacked until many of us were simply left choosing only to dream of paying our bills with something left over for retirement.  We chose to give up our own ability to live our life purpose simply because we got stuck on the one word: “how”. Today, more and more research points to the power of not only dreaming big, but of writing down those goals and visions. In fact, the Contentment Foundation led by Yale’s Dr. Daniel Cordaro feels that mindfulness and wellbeing are so essential to leadership and achievement that they are working in elementary schools to teach these internal skills to children. Have you given up some of your own dreams when you were only moments away from striking gold?

Today, if you are serious about your success and happiness, it’s time to lose the automatic pilot mode and begin taking a look at those hidden choices.

It’s time to reboot, upgrade and unleash that incredible #Bossbabe mind so that nothing — much less your own choices — can get in the way of your brilliance and vision.

Your limits need only be limited by your ability to dream.

And when you start looking at those dreams with your “brule free” eyes, you may be amazed at just how boss this amazing babe can be.  



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