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Chris Linnares, Published October 02 2013

Women's Wisdom: Women must heal themselves to change the world

“I feel like a failure!” I confessed with tears in my eyes during a coaching session.

Behind the feeling of worthlessness was my frustration of being unable to finish a project I had started two years ago, a script for which I’d had so much passion.

After a few months of inner-work, I realized the person making me feel like a failure was my horrible, critical boss who was always giving me unrealistic deadlines and setting impossible standards.

That horrible boss was me.

I grew up wanting to see the fruits of my labor immediately. I watched “Wonder Woman,” “Charlie’s Angels” and Samantha of “Bewitched,” who, with a twitch of her nose, got her home, her man and her kids in order.

However, reality taught me achievement doesn’t come so quickly. I could twitch my nose and stomp my feet all I wanted, but my 7-year-old daughter would still be sitting in the middle of her messy room, playing with Barbies and a pile of things to do would still be waiting for me.

In order to let go of the sense of worthlessness when I didn’t achieve my high expectations, I learned the idea of the “3 foot toss,” a concept that celebrates steady progress.

I began to give myself what my “Wonder Woman” megamind would call small but realistic goals. If I didn’t have time to clean the whole closet, I could celebrate completing the goal of organizing one drawer. If I couldn’t write seven hours a day and finish the script in a month, I could celebrate fulfilling the goal of writing 30 minutes a week.

By creating realistic goals, I was able not just to finish the script but to silence my inner horrible boss. I learned, as Sheryl Sandberg so famously wrote about, to “lean in” to my passion and my career.

More importantly, however, I learned to “lean back” and allow myself to relax, taking one small step at a time.

The woman who taught me the “3 foot toss” concept was Debbie Robins, the bestselling author of the book “Shovel It” who has been called one of the top executive, leadership and career coaches in the country.

Debbie’s work has been praised by Arianna Huffington, Maria Shriver, Deepak Chopra and many others. I felt thrilled when she took the time to share her wisdom with us through this column and on an interview on InforumTV.com.

I don’t know if you are the CEO of a big company, the CEO of your family or both, but I hope you will feel empowered by Debbie’s message to create the script of your dream life- one line at a time.

Q In the story of your life, what was the most challenging moment you needed to overcome?

A The most challenging moment of my life was changing careers at the height of my success. My 20 years as a successful Hollywood film producer and high-level executive brought me to a career crossroads at 44 years old where I literally, at the height of my accomplishments, changed careers. My relentless courage to grow literally became my vocation.

Now, considered one of the top leadership and executive coaches in the global business community, about which I feel grateful and humbled every day, I am living the heart and soul of my narrative with every breath I take. I evolve myself so I can help others move forward too

QWhat empowered you to overcome those challenging moments?

A What empowers me to overcome challenging moments is my belief in myself coupled with my belief that there is an energy working with and through me. Many people call this God. I believe that everything that happens to me, even the most painful chapters of my life, is for my highest good and advancement.

QIf you gave the book of your life to your teenage self, what lessons do you wish she’d learn then that you know now?

A I would want my teenage self to love herself more, respect herself more, believe in herself more, treat herself with greater tenderness, and know, at the depth of her soul, that she is a divine being.

Q What advice can you give to empower a woman’s life story?

A My advice to women is to do whatever it takes to resolve the places inside of themselves that lacks confidence. Therapy and coaching are wonderful resources to fulfill this intention. It is still extremely important that, as women, we stand up for ourselves and claim the empowerment and respect we deserve. Our society has come a long way. Having said that, there is still work to be done to create a more equitable world.

Q How can women best impact the world today?

A I think that the best way women can impact the world is through living the most healed and healthy lives they can and sharing those positive beliefs and behaviors with their family, friends, colleagues, community and world.

Chris Linnares is international author, psychotherapist and founder of Women’s Impact, formerly Diva Connection Foundation. Originally from Brazil, she lives in Fargo with her daughter and husband Bill Marcil Jr., publisher of the Forum. To suggest a woman for this column, email chris@womensimpact.org. For more information on Linnares’ work www.chrislinnares.com.