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Are you waiting for permission to move forward? Do you feel that you are waiting for something…that there is an unexplained feeling of holding yourself back? Do you feel like you are stuck in frustration, spinning your wheels in the same place, over and over…I like to think of this as a bad déjà vu…


Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success.

Bo Bennett

The Pain of Frustration in Your Relationships

Let me count the ways…the many ways that you might feel the pain of frustration in your relationships. Let me tell you a story about a time…many years ago…when I was a young mother. I was not ready to toilet train my youngest daughter but she was ready to be toilet trained.

My mother and I went shopping at our local Kmart and in the middle of the store, my little girl ripped off her diaper and refused to put it on. She insisted that she was a BIG girl and it was time for her to go potty just like her sisters. She needed to have BIG girl panties…the time for diapers was past.

Now, I think I can hear you saying…”Great! So what’s the problem?”. The problem was that she was 16 months old…too young to really understand what was going on and to have control of her bodily functions.

At the end of a very, very, very frustrating week of mopping up the floor and doing mounds and mounds and mounds of laundry…she had that eureka moment, that AHA!…and she got it…she was trained…because she wanted to be…even though it wasn’t a time of my choosing.

Perhaps you have a spouse who frustrates you…who continues to forget to shut the cupboard doors and leaves them open for you to walk into…or who leaves the toilet seat up so that you can discover it in the middle of the night…or grinds the gears of your standard transmission car…or doesn’t listen to you when you speak to them.

We all have frustrations and some of us think that we have more than others and that might be true. 

Breaking the Spell of Frustration and Inertia

“All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right about face which turns us from failure to success.” Dorthea Brande

Does that sound like a tall order to you? It can be…especially if the years have proven to you, over and over again, that you can’t possibly succeed. Success is the opposite of failing isn’t it? If it were impossible to fail, then you would succeed, most definitely.

When you act “as if”, your brain, that other than conscious part of you, starts to believe in the possibility of that really happening. It doesn’t distinguish between real and imagined events. In order to act as if you won’t fail, you need to imagine the opposite.

You need to imagine that you are successful, in all of the great and grand glory of THAT picture in your mind. See the event happening with all of the sights and sounds and KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you will succeed. That is how I dealt with that frustrating time in my life.

I remember that day…I had just mopped up the mess for the 100th time…I leaned back on the brown wall papered wall and I slid down to sit on the floor, my hands pressed up to my face…

I started to cry, the tears of frustration streaming down my face…and then…I looked into the face of that beautiful little girl, standing there…and I saw, suddenly, that this was temporary…and I imagined her running up to me, proudly telling me of her success in using the potty…

And in a few short days, that is just what happened…because the frustration was gone and I knew that it WOULD happen…because I saw it…right there…in my mind…just like a photograph, complete with color and sounds and that wonderful feeling that it was accomplished…and I began to act "as if" it would happen, in spite of present moment evidence…

Our actions change when we eliminate frustration. Mine did with my little girl. Patience replaced frustration and I was able to communicate with her. The one simple trick is so easy that we often overlook that it can be that easy. See the success and act “as if” and if all the other factors are in play…that it is within the realm of possibility…it will happen…just like that.

Step through the frustration like it is a vapor in the mist…and allow it to be replaced with patience and positive expectation. Try it and see…

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner

Image credit: Master isolated images


How is your phobia impacting your relationships? It all depends…on what that phobia is of…if you have a phobia about being committed in a relationship, there is a huge impact. If the phobia is of rattlesnakes and you live in an area, where there aren’t any…and you don’t plan on visiting a place where there are…well then….

What would your life look like…if that phobia was gone…think of all the possibilities….

How Do You Know it is a Phobia not Just a Fear?

There are fears and there are phobias. While it is normal and natural to have the odd fear, it is debilitating to have a phobia, for some people. A phobia is an exaggerated response of the fear system. A phobia is an amplified, magnified TERROR.

When you have a phobia, there is a compelling need to avoid that situation, thing or event. For example, if you have  a fear of snakes,  you would be able to see a picture of them on television, feel some revulsion and be able to shake if off quickly.

If you have a phobia (and of course, responses are greatly varied, in real life)…you might scream, hide your eyes, feel a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, start to shake, sweat, shiver…you will go to ANY lengths to avoid seeing one, hearing about one…in fact, the very word “snake” can be a problem…

Phobia Symptoms

  • Sweating, perspiring a lot
  • Vivid images
  • Quickened breathing
  • Unable to move
  • Glassy eyes
  • Terror
  • Panic
  • Overwhelm

Common phobias are snakes, spiders, elevators, flying, small dark spaces…and the list can go on…germs, moths, butterflies, water, dentists…you get the picture, right? Some people even have commitment phobias…yes, that’s right…it can be real, not just a catch phrase that people use when they don’t want to be in a relationship with you and then go off and marry someone else! : D

Is It Just Men Who Have Commitment Phobias?

No. While we might be more aware of men who are literally terrified to commit to any form of relationship, there are also women who have a commitment phobia. These people have casual relationships. They can date and have fun, as long as there are NO strings attached. For some, they are embodied by the perpetual bachelor image or that of the eternal spinster. 

People who have a commitment phobia are literally terrifying themselves when they think of taking any step that can be seen as being a commitment. You might have had the experience of dating someone who dumped you as soon as there was the first inkling of commitment coming. If this is a pattern that happens to ALL of the people that they date, then the possibility exists that they have a commitment phobia. It would require a few questions to make a determination, though.

How Do Phobias Develop?

When I was four years old, we lived in Germany because my Dad was stationed there, as part of Canada’s peacekeeping mission. I needed to see a dentist and have a filling done on one of my teeth. ( As a side note, because of having undiagnosed celiac disease, my teeth have suffered but that’s another story).

The dentist decided that anesthetic was not necessary and as a result, drilled into that extremely painful and sensitive tooth with no freezing. Imagine…how that little girl felt…sitting there, not able to move, with a dentist drilling…yes…I developed a full blown phobia of the dentist…just a terrifying experience…that did turn into a full blown phobia…

So that is one way to develop a phobia. Another way is to IMAGINE an event so clearly that you thought you were there. When the movie "Jaws" was released in the seventies, a lot of people developed phobias of the water, just because they saw that movie…that is the power of the imagination…

What Can Get Rid of A Phobia (including a Commitment Phobia)

  • Determine, first of all if it is a true phobia or a deep rooted fear
  • Discover the underlying root cause
  • Do a fast phobia cure (find a licensed NLP practitioner for this!), EFT, hynpnosis, timeline work
  • Install a new strategy

For relationship based phobias, like commitment phobia, it can occur because of an extremely negative experience that had such deep emotional impact, it created the phobia in the person’s mind….

When you realize that all phobias are created first in the mind…whether it is the result of a real or imagined event…then you do have the power to change it. Yes, you might need the guidance of someone else…I believe that a lot of NLP techniques can be done by yourself…this is one that needs help since it deals with such a powerful emotional response…terror.

Phobias do impact relationships and especially the one you have with yourself, the most powerful relationship of all…if you have a phobia, seek out help…you really deserve to live a life free of it…don’t you?

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?” Sherie Venner

P.S. Yes…I did get rid of my dental phobia…just like that!


My house is always clean in November because I am procrastinating…sound strange? In November, I enter Nanowrimo, a contest of sorts, where you write a novel of 50,000 words in a month. I find myself strangely attracted to vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing bathrooms, doing laundry and eating chips! I, of course, do this to avoid sitting down and writing. Dr. Wayne Dyer says it very well…“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday and avoiding today.”

It takes me a while to overcome it but I do…each of the 4 times that I have participated in Nanowrimo, I have “won”. That just means that I have accomplished my goal of 50,000 words written in a month. Now, just to clarify, it doesn’t mean that what I have written is good or great…it is done,though. 

Facing the 3 Elements of Eliminating Procrastinating 

#1. Fear of starting
For me, in order to get over that fear, I needed to create a compelling future that included completing the word count in the allotted time frame. So I did…I imagined what it would look like…that final step…writing that 50,000th word…I saw myself uploading the document to the Nano site…saw the computer verify the word count…felt the excitement as it spit out the verification on my screen…I felt the pounding rush of euphoria at having DONE IT!! I brought that image closer in, so that I could see it clearly and made the feelings stronger, the colors brighter, the sounds more intense.
For other people, they work better if they are moving away from a situation they don’t want. So for them, creating a compelling image of discomfort and negative consequences of what will happen if they DON’T accomplish it, works brilliantly.
You need to ask yourself this question: “Am I more motivated by going towards a dream or a goal, having a vision of it, that is bright and beautiful, full of vibrant colors, sounds and feelings?”  or “Am I motivated by thinking of what I am trying to get away from, thinking of a negative situation that might occur if I don’t do this thing?” There is no right or wrong answer…it is just the way you motivate yourself 
#2. Fear of completing the project or task (Who am I to do that?)
If you have this fear and it is a factor in your procrastinating, you need to pay attention to what it is trying to tell you. Is there a part of you that wants to keep you safe? Is that why you aren’t getting down to business (even if it is just clearing off the weeks worth of dishes that have accumulated on the kitchen counter)? 
There often is a positive intention behind procrastinating, even if you don’t know what it is.Does your self image support you in accomplishing this task? Are you attempting something that is beyond the glass ceiling of who you think you are?
#3. Blowing the task out of proportion and overwhelming yourself
If you are procrastinating because you have blown your task out of proportion, made it bigger than life and so overwhelming…well…there is a simple solution. Here is what I did…Wow…you know that 50,000 words is a BIG deal. I had to chunk it down into manageable steps…and I can hear some of you saying…how else would you do it? You actually write one word at a time, don’t you?
There are many ways to write 50,000 words…you can write one word 50.000 times or many different words…one word at a time…and do it 50,000 times. I decided that for me, the best way was to take 50,000 words, divide it by 30 to get a goal of 1667 words per day. And it worked. In fact, it worked so well, that I did more than that some days and finished a few days ahead of time.
I set up a routine, using the same music every single day and that worked for me. You have to find what will work for you. On days when I found my mind wandering to the joys of cleaning, I set a timer for 15 minutes and wrote for just that amount. Once I started, it was easier to continue.

Is Procrastinating Always Bad?

No…pay attention to the meaning behind the procrastinating. Do you need more facts? Is your intuition trying to protect you from doing something it believes can harm you? Think of it this way…if you are someone who is trying to quit smoking, then procrastinating having the next cigarette…forever…is a good thing. 
Procrastinating hitting your child is good thing too…know what I mean? Procrastinating is a strategy…a way that you think…because when you do think of it, we all have a way that we like to do things…don’t we? So think about what you are wanting to accomplish…decide if it is really something you want to do that fits in with your values…and go from there.
We have all been guilty of procrastinating in our lives at one time or another. For most people, a tiny bit of procrastination here or there isn’t a problem… in fact, it has its place…For others, it is…either a big problem or just enough of a problem so that they don’t feel satisfied with their lives. You decide…for most people, facing those 3 elements will make all the difference in the world…
"Drive your own life…you deserve to, don't you?"  Sherie Venner


As we approach Mothers Day, I think of one of my favorite quotes for Mothers Day that says it all for me…

“No gift to your mother can ever equal her gift to you – life” ~ Anonymous 

Life…we all had a mother and some of us were blessed to be raised by the woman who gave birth to us. Others were blessed to be raised by other women who did not give birth to them. My mom was raised by my great grandmother, even though her mother was still alive. In Gran, who wouldn’t have been here if she had caught her passage on the Titanic, my mom had the best mother.

Gran was someone who taught my mother how to love and how to show that love to her own children. I didn’t realize how much my mother had loved us until I myself became a parent. You know…when you are a young woman, sometimes…you think you know everything.

Then…that first child comes along and you realize that you don’t know everything and you need some help in raising that little one that has been entrusted to you. It was then, at the birth of my first daughter, Jennifer, that the full impact of how much my mother loved me became so apparent. That leads me to the second of my favorite quotes for Mothers Day.

“We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves.” Henry Ward Beecher

It’s Not About Being the Perfect Mother

It really isn’t…because none of us are… the perfect mother is a modern myth that has been used to sell ideas, to sell stuff and the ultimate result is that a lot of mothers feel like they are failures. Yes, there are mothers who have made mistakes and some of those mistakes have been ones that no one recovered from.

The mothers that I am talking to today are those mothers who always feel that they are not good enough. The mothers who have to work two jobs to keep food on the table…the mothers who don’t get any sleep because they have a newborn. …the mothers who know that they would sacrifice their lives if it meant saving their child.

What would happen if you weren’t so hard on yourself? Do you think that if you cut yourself some slack and acknowledged the things that you do right in raising your children, that you might see yourself in a different light? And when you see yourself in a better light, you allow yourself to do better…it might not make sense but that is how it works…just try it and see…

Forgiving Yourself and Your Parents

So forgive yourself for the short comings that you think you have. If you are in the habit of being your own worst critic, stop…ask your children what they need from you. Are you giving them what they really need? Perhaps…when you sit down and evaluate what you are really doing, you can focus on your strengths…

Forgive your parents…they weren’t perfect either…and this step will help you in your life as a mother. We are trying to do the best we can…and your parents were small children at one time…imagine them…young and being 3 years old and just needing to be loved…just like all of us wanted at that age…

So to all of those mothers we love and to all of those children who love their mothers, be you…love each other…because, in the end, that is all that really counts…isn’t it? And Mom, thanks for the greatest gift of all…life!

“Drive your own life…you deserve to, don’t you?”  Sherie Venner


Everything is relationship. That fact is one that I knew…and yet, it was brought home even more as I attended an intensive Licensed Master Practitioner of NLP TM training. When you attend one of these trainings, there is one underlying theme…the power is in being in the now. The past has gone, the future can be planned…yet all change happens in the present moment…because, really, it is all there is.

Being in the Now Will Free You

Do you know the expression,  "The truth shall set you free?".  It's true. Yes. Everything…and I mean everything…that happened in the past…whether it was "good" or it was "bad" has brought you to this moment in time, this right now moment. 

And in this moment, you have the power of choice and therein is the secret to everything. You always have a choice, even if it is only to choose how you feel about something. There are myriads of possibilities that open to us when we acknowledge and accept that we have choice.

So, how would your life look different if you did accept that you could choose to make everything new…right now? One of the really neat experiences in Master Practitioner training is that you work with other NLP practitioners and do the exercises with each other. Even though most of us have been working in this self development arena for many years, we still have stuff to work on…because it is all about progress, not perfection, isn't it? : D

One of the exercises that we had to do was a live presentation in front of the group that would be recorded on video. I was comfortable and excited to do the presentation. I was horrified at the idea of  having to watch it played back on the television screen! It was necessary…and you know…when it came down to it, it was my refusal to be in the now that was causing me pain.

Choosing to Be in the Now

So, I chose to be in the now…and watch the replay on that BIG television screen with BOTH eyes wide open. I saw how I looked to others through the unforgiving eye of the video lens. I heard my voice as others heard it. It was not what I expected (but I imagine that it never is… for anyone…lol). Sitting there and seeing what I saw and hearing what I heard…and being in the now…it worked! 

I was able to watch that video, there in that room, with all of my fellow students and my instructors. I was able to look at my performance with an accepting eye…to not judge how I looked or how I sounded…and to make decisions on how I would do the next presentation (which would also be recorded) a little bit differently. I accepted myself in that moment and it was wonderful…

I have avoided doing video on my blog for quite some time…and now…you can look forward to me doing some recordings (once I figure out how to work my camera!)…because it is okay…

I created this inspirational quote (from an unknown source) graphic for my facebook page (shameless plug, here…if you haven’t checked out my page, please do so, I share some neat things over there!). 

Know this…that being in the now is right there for all of us…we just have to accept it and let it be…

"Drive your own life…you deserve to, don't you?"  Sherie Venner