January 2016

“The line between failure and success is so fine that we are often on the line and do not even know it. How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success.  A little more effort, and what seemed to be a hopeless failure may turn into glorified success.” – From the book 212° the extra degree by Sam Parker

Last week’s blog about The Comparison Trap really struck a chord with many readers!  One of the biggest pitfalls in business and in life is comparing yourself to someone else’s (apparent) success – especially to how quickly they achieve it.

Now, I want to shine a light on another insidious pitfall that can make you lose heart and give up on your dreams too soon. By understanding how normal it is, you can keep your belief strong and keep pursuing your heartfelt desires. If you do, you will eventually break through the final barrier and reach your goal.

A client came to me two months ago, looking to have a breakthrough in sponsoring strong new business partners into her network marketing business – people who share her vision of success and want to join her Team.  But after a few weeks of faithfully using the tools I gave her and working her daily Action Plan with enthusiasm, confidence and high hopes, she sent me this dejected email:

“I hit a roadblock.  I am trying to pull myself out of it.  A girl about to sign keeps pushing back. I am trying to be nonchalant about her and keep moving.  Then an email comes in critiquing a class I teach. Then my therapist just basically diagnosed me as having ADHD.  I just want to cry. Why is the Universe having it all crash down?  How do I look at the brighter side and stay strong?”

In my eleven-plus years of coaching, I have seen this phenomenon many, many times.  In fact, I would say it’s more the norm than the exception for my clients — and for me!  Years ago, when I was taking a series of personal development and leadership courses with Landmark Education, the instructors used to describe it this way: When you declare a new Possibility for your life, the first thing that shows up is everything that is NOT that.

Nobody can say for sure what causes this phenomenon. Many people with a religious background are convinced it is a sign that the forces of Darkness are opposing God and anyone who is trying to pursue the Light. Here’s what my favorite Christian minister, Joel Osteen, says about it:

“Sometimes, people have problems because they are making poor choices or doing something wrong.  But other times, people are having difficulties because they are doing something right.

When you’re determined to fulfill your God-given destiny, and you’re taking steps to improve your life to make a difference in your family or community, don’t be surprised if you face opposition. The enemy is not going to just roll out the red carpet and watch you fulfill your God-given destiny.

He’ll do whatever he can to keep you from moving forward….I’ve found that anytime you try to go forward in life, anytime you try to make progress, there will be opposition. But with God on your side, you can stand your ground! Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. If you’re facing opposition today, keep standing, keep believing, keep hoping.  Keep fighting the good fight of faith until you see the victory He has in store for you!”

Another plausible explanation is that God/The Universe is simply testing your COMMITMENT to your Big Goal.  Will you stand in your faith when things get hard, or will you simply fold?  Words alone can’t prove you truly believe you are worthy to have what your heart desires and that God/The Universe is on your side.  You must demonstrate your BELIEF by continuing to take action in the face of all opposition, and then God/the Universe will show you how to break through all barriers to your success.

A third explanation is one that students of human psychology have long known: Whenever you begin to change your life — even if it is a healthy, positive change – your Ego gets scared.  As far as the “Inner Protector” part of your psyche is concerned, ALL change is potentially dangerous, because the consequences are unknown.  Because your Ego’s primary job is to keep you safe and make sure that your physical, emotional and mental needs are met, any change to the status quo of your life is potentially risky. What feels like “stuck” to you feels “safe” to your Ego.

I tried to sum all this up in a brief response to my client’s email:

“One of the things that happens when you try to change is that your Ego rebels a bit. And I think the Universe may also test us to see how committed we really are to our goals.

It is not at all unusual that things seem to get WORSE before they get better. The only remedy is faith. You have to BELIEVE in your dream and in yourself. You have to believe that God/The Universe wants you to have what your heart desires. You have to just persevere and keep moving forward. Then things will shift and turn around for you.  If you quit in the face of roadblocks, you will never grow as a person and learn to move through them and see just how strong you can be.

Ultimately, you will get far more than just the goal you are after – you get to see that NOTHING and NOBODY can stop you in life.  Only YOU can stop you by throwing in the towel too soon.

So show your fearful Ego that everything is going to be fine and show God/The Universe that you really, really ARE committed to having your goal.  Keep talking to new people and ignoring the nay-sayers and criticizers and dream stealers. Then you will get what you want AND become a stronger, better, more faith-filled person in the end — which is the REAL prize in life.”

To her great credit, my client instantly got the message, restored her positive mindset, and continues to pursue her goal with gusto. By demonstrating her commitment to her Big Goal through her daily actions and belief, she is tapping into the power of the Law of Attraction (“energy attracts like energy”) to draw like-minded people to her Team. I firmly believe she is going to reach her Big Goal much more smoothly and quickly from here on out.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

I invite you to give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for awhile, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.  

“See your differences as strengths rather than handicaps. And, instead of comparing  yourself to others…be inspired by them!” – Kathy Davis in Simple Secrets: 7 Principles to Inspire Success

This week, several of my coaching clients admitted they suffer from “Facebook Envy.” Their friends and colleagues’ posts on social media appear to indicate they are enjoying more rapid success and leading more exciting, happy and fulfilling lives. One client asked me, “How do I stop comparing myself to others? It’s making me feel depressed and discouraged!”

The innate drive to compare ourselves to our peers is a survival mechanism that’s hardwired into the human Ego from caveman days. If we see another pulling ahead of us, our Ego prods us to measure ourselves against their success as a way to motivate us to try harder.

“Healthy” competition is a good thing because it gets us off the couch and makes us strive for our personal best. The “carrot” the Ego uses is the universal desire to gain recognition and tangible rewards in return for working hard and excelling at something we care about. That’s why we enter competitions and watch sports contests and awards shows. The Ego tells us that being labeled The Best at something guarantees we will be considered valuable and worthy by our peers and authority figures.

While it is certainly nice to be admired and rewarded, the truth is, you aren’t going to be cut from the herd and left to die on the savanna if you don’t come in first, or get promoted as quickly as someone else. Your placement in the social hierarchy isn’t a true measure of your value.  There is nobody else on the planet with the exact same personality, character, gifts and life purpose that YOU have. Therefore, nobody can compare to or replace you.  And because you are unique and irreplaceable, you are MORE than just “valuable” – you are PRICELESS.

Your Ego needs to understand that pushing you to compare yourself to others in order to motivate you to succeed is a “Limiting Belief” that will likely have the opposite effect of demotivating you.  Let’s examine three underlying myths about the Comparison Game:

MYTH #1: You have the FULL picture of someone else’s life. One of my clients recently admitted, “Looking at my life from the outside, everyone thinks I’m wildly successful and have it all together. The reality is that I’m a bundle of insecurities and have a mountain of debt to pay off that nobody knows about. I feel under constant pressure to succeed.”

So I asked her, “If you keep part of the truth about your life hidden from others, why would you think that you know the whole truth about THEIR life? Your colleagues post only the GOOD stuff on social media in order to motivate their Team to want to be successful too. But their lives must contain good and bad elements, just like yours. When you compare your accomplishments to theirs, based only on what they choose to let you see, aren’t you buying THEIR façade too?” Yep, she had to admit that was probably true.

MYTH #2:  It’s a level playing field. We are extremely fortunate to live in a society where if you are willing to work hard enough and steadfastly believe in your dreams, you WILL eventually succeed. Comparing how long it takes you to reach the same goal as someone else is useless because no two individuals have identical backgrounds, talents, education, experience, financial resources or contacts.

We are all inspired by individuals who overcome great disabilities, challenges or hardships to reach their dreams because we ALL have some type of handicap – including self-doubt and lack of support from loved ones. It’s never as easy as it looks from the outside. But that doesn’t mean you won’t win your game if you will just keep on playing.

Does it really matter if reaching the goal takes someone else a shorter amount of time than you?  Maybe they have some advantages you don’t, but think of the inner strength and character you will develop because your quest requires you to persevere! Imagine what our world would look like today if Edison, Disney and Jobs had given up on their dreams in the face of all the setbacks and criticism they faced? The only way you can lose your game is to quit.

MYTH #3: The Ego’s goals are the real prize. You can’t stay positive and motivated if you are in the game just for personal accolades or material rewards.  Those are great but they have a short shelf life. The Oscar ends up gathering dust on the shelf and it’s really hard to remember who won Best Actor two years ago.  Rather than allowing your Ego to fixate on the goodies you will get when you reach your goal, you must stay focused on your real WHY. What difference do you want to make for others and the world?  You won’t waste precious time on envy or pity parties if you are striving to reach a goal that is bigger than yourself.

One client told me that she originally started her network marketing business because she wanted to be able to afford a luxury vacation for her family each year. But after seeing how her leadership has empowered others on her Team, she now has a much bigger motivation for succeeding at her business. She plans to use a large portion of her earnings to support a worthy cause that helps others reach THEIR dreams.

Now, that is something her Ego can really get inspired about!

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

This New Year, give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for awhile, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* hour of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION on making it their best year yet, have them contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.

January 10, 2016

“Words are like seeds. When you speak something out, you give life to what you are saying. If you continue to say it, eventually that can become a reality…You are prophesying your future…Your life will move in the direction of your words.” – Joel Osteen

I hope you are working on creating your 2016 just the way you want it to go!  In the last blog, I gave you a format for “prophesying your future” that my clients and I have been using every January since I began coaching over 11 years ago.  I would say that, on average, the things I have declared in each of my Year Creations have come true about 80% of the time — far better odds than winning The Lottery!

My 2015 Year Creation had some items in it that I had been wanting to manifest for years, including my first trip to Orlando to experience all the Disney Florida parks in a magical week with Rick’s and my dear friends. They invited us to share their Disney Vacation Club luxury two-bedroom suite at no cost, and we would just pay for our own transportation, food and activities.

I had first listed that trip in my 2014 Year Creation, but a few months into the year, when we would have to start planning in earnest and buy our plane tickets, our friends told us that they had another trip they wanted to take that Fall, so they were going to postpone their Orlando trip until 2015.

That is when I got a lesson about “Divine Timing” always being the perfect timing.  When you list your heart’s desires for the year, you are simply giving God/The Universe and your subconscious mind an idea of when you would be willing to receive them.  Having a target to aim for is a GOOD thing.

But you can’t be attached to your own timing. I believe that God/The Universe always has the Big Picture view and knows things about our individual paths and futures that we don’t. So it is important for you to stay positive about your desires and not be disappointed if something doesn’t happen when you thought it should.  You must simply stay committed to your goal and continue to believe that everything is working out behind the scenes for your very Highest Good.

At first, we were actually relieved that our friends didn’t want to go in the Fall of 2014, because early in the year, Rick’s real estate business still had not recovered from the Great Recession.  He didn’t have much business at the time, and we weren’t sure we should spend a big chunk of our savings on a vacation.

As it turned out, Divine Timing was absolutely perfect, as always. Rick’s business took off in the second half of the year and he had so many deals going at once, we would have had the money for the trip but there was no way he could have taken 10 days off from his business at that critical time. So, I simply forwarded my “October dream trip to Orlando” request to my 2015 Year Creation and it unfolded smoothly and perfectly when the time came.

On New Year’s Eve, as I was writing my 2016 Year Creation, I was delighted to see that almost everything I had asked for last year had manifested. There was only ONE thing I thought I had missed out on, and it was the most important item I wanted — a new car.  Rick’s Ford Explorer was repossessed five years ago during the Great Recession, with just 5 months left until it would have been paid off. It had been his primary business vehicle for taking clients out to see properties, and we were forced to share my 2002 VW Passat for both personal and business driving.

Although we were very grateful that my Passat was paid off, and very grateful that it has been reliable all this time, it was still inconvenient to try to jockey our schedules around sharing one car and by 2015, it was definitely beginning to show its age. So, with great faith, I had put a new car in my 2015 Year Creation, trusting that it would manifest at what seemed like the right time for our need.

But by December, we still had not decided on exactly what make and model we wanted and I thought we had not saved up quite enough for a down payment on the type of high-end vehicle we wanted Rick to have for his business driving. I wanted to be sure that the car we chose would be a keeper and something we could comfortably afford to make monthly payments on for the next four or five years.

On New Year’s Eve, I was still waiting for my Inner Guidance to kick in and direct us to the perfect car at the perfect time.  I admit I was a little disappointed that we weren’t ready to buy something and take advantage of the year-end sales.  But I quickly got back into my belief that it WOULD happen at the perfect time and in the perfect way, just as the Orlando trip had.

Little did I know that our “car miracle” would come just 24 hours later!

A couple of days earlier, Rick was at our local VW dealership to get a light bulb fixed in our Passat. To amuse himself while he waited, he walked around the lot. That’s when he spotted a beautiful 2013 black Passat with cream interior that looked new but was listed at about HALF of what a new 2015 would cost.

Although we had been discussing a completely different make and type of new vehicle, when Rick got home, he mentioned the 2013 Passat . Today’s version is much bigger and more luxurious than the lightly used 2002 Passat I had been happy to purchase in 2004. And the low-mileage, beautiful 2013 he saw seemed like such a good deal, he thought maybe we should consider it.

So, on New Year’s Day, we went to the lot again and approached the black Passat with cream interior that was parked in the same spot.  Only it wasn’t the same car.  It was a 2014, a year newer and with just 10,000 miles on it, instead of the 30,000 on the 2013 he had seen.  And it was listed for just $4,000 more than the 2013 vehicle.

Before we knew it, we were on a test drive that felt completely right to both of us, and then we were filling out the credit application, putting down a much smaller down payment than I had imagined we would need, and at a much lower interest rate and monthly payment than I had thought we would have. Once again, God/The Universe knew best!  And this time it was Rick’s Inner Guidance that prodded him to go to the dealership and walk around the lot when he did.

Once again, I was reminded that if a heartfelt goal is delayed, it simply means that something EVEN better than I had been imagining is on its way. Divine Timing always works effortlessly and perfectly – if you will simply trust and follow the nudges of your own subconscious mind that is constantly listening to the directional whispers of the Divine Mind.

NOTE: The blog will be off next Sunday. Enjoy your Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, and A Cup of Caroll will return on January 24. If you haven’t yet written your own 2016 Year Creation, I hope you will soon, so that all the good things you want to have in your life this year can begin to manifest!

*************Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! *******************

This New Year, give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for awhile, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.  

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. – Edith Lovejoy Pierce, poet

 “If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney

In the last blog of 2015, we discussed the importance of completing your OLD year before you can create your NEW year.  Once you have laid to rest any lingering resentments, incompletions and regrets over what did or didn’t happen for you last year, you are ready to create an even better new year for yourself.

I have been doing a New Year Creation exercise every year since 2004. I can’t say every year turned out exactly the way I had envisioned in every area of my life. Still, as I re-read each New Year’s Eve what I had set out to create, I was amazed to find that despite some very difficult challenges, much of what I truly wanted did come true.  Whatever turned out differently than what I created in each of those years, I had faith would ultimately bring me my highest good because that’s the way God/the Universe works!

By the way, if you haven’t yet completed the “Relfections Exercise” that my coaching colleage, Sue Koch, and I designed to help you powerfully complete the old year, identify your Big Lessons from it, and create the mental and emotional space for a year of new manifestations, please take all the time you need to finish it before you begin this next exercise. See blog 217 at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com


Once you have gotten complete with the old, you are ready for a brand new year of creating your life to be just the way YOU want it to be!  Every January, my coaching clients use this very effective technique for creating their year on their own terms, rather than passively waiting to see how it all “turns out.” You CAN ask for what you want – and get it!

STEP ONE: Create a “theme” for the year. How would you like this year show to up in your life?  Make it catchy so you can remember it on a daily basis. Last year, my theme was “2015: The Year of Limitless Abundance.”  I am happy to say that it turned out exactly like that! My coaching practice was nearly full and my husband’s real estate business did well too. On the first day of 2016, we were able to purchase our first new car together. My theme for the new year is “2016: The Year of Effortless Expansion” because I want to share the simple principles that have helped me to create my own prosperity with MORE people than ever before. 

STEP TWO: Create a list of attributes to describe how YOU want to show up for the world this year. State it in the present tense, as though it’s ALREADY a fact. Here’s my current one: “In 2016, I am a richly-rewarded Messenger of Limitless Prosperity and Possibility: Irresistible, Confident, Peaceful, Joyous, Patient, a Good Listener, Loving and Giving. I attract Effortlessly WHO I AM and EVERYTHING I want and need.” 

By declaring who you are in writing, you will begin to become this person. And these qualities and attributes will attract to you “who you are” and “everything you want.”  As the Law of Attraction, states, “Energy attracts like energy.”  So whatever you cultivate in yourself will show up in those who will be attracted to you – in business, friendship, relationship – everywhere!

STEP THREE: List the main areas of life that are important to you.  Then simply state what you intend to have show up in each area this year.  Remember, you do not have to know how you are going to get those outcomes!  Each dream you list is simply a declaration to God/the Universe that this is what you WANT – stated in the present tense, as though it’s already happened.  It’s up to God/the Universe to figure out the HOW. It’s your job to quietly listen for Divine direction and then take ACTION.

Last year, one of my clients created the clearest, most powerful and graceful Year Creation I have ever read – all on a single page, which is much shorter than my own!  (And most of her personal dreams came true as well!) With her permission, I share it again as an example of what the format looks like when complete.

Remember, the areas of life she created her own dreams in are the most important to HER; yours may be in different areas, which is perfectly fine. If you see something you would like too, feel free to “borrow” it for your own!

2015 – My Year of Gentle Strength

I am a strong athlete, tender and caring friend, and open-hearted leader. I am creative, expressive and joyful. I feel and speak my truth. I am grateful, resilient and committed to my well-being.  

Health and Well-being:

I am strong and healthy.  I revel in the joy of moving and challenging my body.  I run, swim, cycle, lift weights and do yoga with passion, as these things make me fully alive. I treat myself with gentle love, accepting what my body needs and can do on any given day. I eat whole, real foods that nourish me and provide me with optimal health. I give thanks for my healthy body.


I have a comforting spiritual practice that allows me to build a beautiful connection with God.  Through regular prayer, gratitude and reflection, I allow God’s will to be my guide.


I am grateful for a fulfilling marriage and friendship with my husband.  We appreciate our time spent together, especially when we are separated geographically. We love, honor and respect one another and the gift of building our marriage and sharing experiences together.


I have a fulfilling and rewarding job that allows me to use my leadership skills.  I have a steady income that continues to grow.  I maintain a healthy balance between challenging work and my personal life, allowing me to nurture myself on many levels for overall health. As part of my self-care journey I balance time for work and time for home.


I comfortably attract abundance into my life.  I earn enough steady income to feel a sense of peace about our life.  I ask for what I want and need with confidence and a strong sense of self-worth.


I live a life that seeks and celebrates balance.  I nurture many parts of myself so that I may flourish. I pray and meditate daily, I capture my profound gratitude in my journal and I connect with my inner wisdom to live each day at the pace and intensity that is right for me.  I treat myself with kindness, compassion, and unconditional love. I feel lightness in my every day being.


I am surrounded by a small circle of loving friends who accept me for who I am, support me, and teach me what I need to learn.  We want only the best for each other. I see them for socializing regularly.


Our home is filled with nourishing sunlight and love.  It is open, warm and welcoming.  It comforts and sustains me and is where I find peace and love. It provides beauty and safety for our family. 

What matters most to YOU right now? 

In this exercise, all you have to do is ASK God/the Universe for it and BELIEVE it will show up for you at the perfect time and in the perfect way. Some of my clients like to read their Year Creation daily or weekly. I read mine just a few times during the year, to stay connected to it. But you could put yours away in a drawer and not take it out until next New Years — and you will be amazed that your own subconscious mind has been conspiring with the Divine Mind behind the scenes to create opportunities for you to make your Big Dreams real. That’s the Law of Attraction in action. So don’t delay! The BEST year of your life to date is just waiting for you to create it.

****************** Give the Gift of Dreams Fulfilled! ********************

This New Year, give a friend, colleague or loved one a truly unique gift that can change their life — ONE HOUR of Personal Success Coaching.  It is absolutely F*R*E*E* with no obligation and no strings attached!  You can give this to as many people who will really appreciate it as you wish.  (If you haven’t been in coaching with me for awhile, feel free to claim it for YOURSELF, too!)

To schedule a F*R*E*E* HOUR of phone coaching that will help them clarify their Big Goals for the New Year and get into ACTION to make this their BEST year yet, have them email me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or 888-503-8145 to schedule their session.