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Don’t Get it Backwards: The Unconventional Secret to Success

This is a guest post by my super badass girl friend Kelly Trach, who is an author, life coach and podcast host. It is a long post but I can assure you that it’ll be the best 10 minutes read of your life!

Don’t Get it Backwards

Here’s the deal, If you are not where you want to be, maybe you’re too obsessed with taking action. Now there’s a right time to take action and there’s a wrong time to take action. I mean how many times have you seriously done all of the things and found yourself saying: “Why the hell am I not there? How come this is not working? What more can I possibly do?

Okay here is the secret: it took me years to figure this out and now that I have, I teach it for a living. If you start with the inner mindset work first and then take action your efforts will be amplified almost 10x. I know, I know, that’s a huge number and we’ll get to the data later.

So, what do I mean by this? Doing the inner mindset work means changing the way you think. This includes mastering your inner critic, your fear, doubt, worry, acing your self-talk, and getting a choke hold grip on the negative Nelly that dwells in your head. If you do this inner work first and then take action on your big juicy goal, your success is almost guaranteed because you aren’t standing in your way anymore, self-sabotaging your own success, or talking yourself down from what you really truly want.

I mean, how many times have you wanted to do that big thing and then somehow talked yourself out of it? What if that never happened again? What if your self-talk and thoughts were so damn productive that you took action without blinking an eye? And you could fly high doing whatever the heck you wanted because you knew deep down in the vibrations of your soul that it was possible for you? Yes, that is what I’m talking about.

You become who you really are and do what you’ve always wanted to do by starting with the mindset work first. This is really where the zest and juice of life hangs out – when you get to play big and go for gold with some serious, badass gumption and today we are talking about just that.

So, how exactly do you get there?

Well, let me tell you first that I figured this out the hard way. So, I’m doing you a huge favor by giving you the secret sauce upfront. I definitely was a person who took a s*** ton of action. If you look at my professional resume it tells a really different story of my life. I went to business school on a full scholarship, graduated with honors, had all of the big job offers lined up and decided to turn everything down to move down to San Francisco and start my own tech startup. After three failed tech startups, attending Draper University, a prestigious silicon valley entrepreneurship school, and really hanging out in my ego, I decided to pursue what I was good at instead.

It was only until I started trusting myself, listening to my intuition, honoring my divine inner wisdom  and mastering my thoughts that I started to believe that I could pursue what I actually loved. Not just a life that looked really dang good on paper. Now, I teach what has been truly transformational for me as an author, life coach, and podcast host.

I share my story with you because I want you to know that it is possible for you too. Because when you strip away everything that you’re not, you are left with the pure pith of your own power. And then we can start weaving some serious magic for your life.  

Step 1: Honor your divine gifts

You were given a unique set of tools. You were put on this Earth with a unique set of colored crayons in your toolbox. It is up to you to play with all of your colors, not just a select few. Successful people are just humans that opened up all of their gifts. Talents have a way of coming out when called, so call out a few more of yours.

Steve Jobs once said: “you can only connect the dots looking backwards.” And, when you look back at your past experiences (no matter how discombobulated they might look) you’ll uncover that you’ve picked up skills, strengths, and wisdom from your entire history on Earth. When you choose to weave all of those together and tell that empowering version of your life instead, you’ll understand that you have all of the colored crayons in your toolbox already. These aren’t’ random occurrences or lame summer gigs, these were divine markers on your path for greatness.

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Step 2: Don’t dim your light & round out your edges

If you try to fit into the box, you’re getting the whole game wrong. The point of life is to express your divine gifts. If you are toning it down, playing it safe, dimming your light, and keeping your most sacred goals and personality traits off the table, you’re doing it wrong. If you are in an environment where you are not living fully expressed and showing up as who you really, you’re missing out on all of the fun.

Instead of looking at your life as a square that needs to be buffed into a circle, choose to lean into your hard edges. Lean into your strengths. Lean into your differences. Let your freak flag fly. Put your most sacred traits on your resume. Make sure that those traits get expressed every single day because successful people lean into their edges. FYI: being well-rounded is highly overrated.

Step 3:  Conquer your self-limiting beliefs

So here’s the deal: if you don’t rule your thoughts, your thoughts will rule your life.

Ok, hold up. What are self-limiting beliefs? A belief is just a thought that you keep thinking. And in the self-development world a lot of people call these beliefs limiting beliefs but I call them self-limiting beliefs because they are thoughts that you think and actively choose to keep narrating. This includes examples like: “I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m too young, I’m too old, nobody will ever hire me, I can’t do that, I’m not rich enough, I need more time, I need more education, and I need more money.”

These are the beliefs that hold you back in the lack. The best way to figure out where these dang beliefs are lurking in your life is to figure out where you are using the words I can’t but and yeah but. (Watch this video tutorial here for more clarity).  Awareness is always the first step because when you bring it out to the light,  then you can bleach it.

Step 4: Question everything

As a life coach who helps people build a mindset that’s so strong that you could bounce a quarter off of it, the first thing I do with all of my clients is to question all of their beliefs and underlying assumptions about the world.

I encourage you to pick an area of your life and question every single assumption that you have. Take out a big sheet of paper and write down every learned belief, pattern, or habit to get some awareness about the story you are telling. (Chances are, you’re telling a disempowering story). If you are working on your money consciousness for example, you’d write down every single thing you learned about money growing up. Then, when you look at that sheet of paper, you’ll see where your mindset is at.

Tap into finer sensations like how it feels when you pull out your credit card to buy a $5 matcha almond milk latte. Or,  what happens in your brain when you want to buy a membership to a new yoga studio and it’s $200 a month which is far more money than any studio you’ve attended before.  See what happens in your head. Tune into the thoughts that you are thinking, how it feels in your body, and start to get awareness around the underlying vibrations you are emitting about money.

It is so critical to question everything that you know about a certain topic because that is how you begin to blast your blocks. After you uncover your self-limiting beliefs, acknowledge how they served you, send them back, and take on a new belief (which is a process I teach in Your Best Life).

Step 5: Invest in your personal development

You have to invest time in the mental gym. It’s a daily practice. Thought work takes effort and every time you hit a negative thought, you gotta do the work to clean it up and to move on you don’t hang out and ruminate in it. The mindset stuff is just as important as the physical stuff. And in the same way you go to the gym every day, you gotta go to the mental gym too. The best way to get better at this stuff is by practicing.

One of the fastest ways you can speed up your success rate is by investing in yourself. Sometimes we look at self investment as an intangible asset, like how in the heavens could we even graph this on a chart? How could this go in a bar graph? Can I see a statistical analysis here? If you are used to leading with your logical rational brain, this is a bit of a new ball game.

Investing in yourself through enrolling in a program, reading a self-help book, watching a video on YouTube, or hiring a coach is actually the fastest way to exponentially increase your progress in the physical world. This means your bank account, a new spiffy apartment, some nicer clothes, more clients, and all of the other things that you can see and touch and feel in the physical realm.

Speaking from personal experience, I was very much a left brain, logical thinker. As a person who went to Business School, started three previous tech companies in San Francisco, and used to work for Tesla Motors, hanging out in my left brain was my strength. I used to think that if I couldn’t see the payoffs in an excel spreadsheet then it wasn’t really a payoff. Living my life in a different way now, and investing a ton of money and time into my own personal development, I can see a direct correlation between how much I up-level my mindset and how much my business exponentially increases. In 2018 already I’ve already made 75% of my income in 2017 in January and February alone just because I have been throwing myself into the big, hairy, unknown, really putting down the big dolla dolla bills for some A-plus coaching, and doing the mindset work #IRL.

So, if you think this stuff is just airy-fairy or fluffy, I encourage you to try it on yourself. Because you never know just how much amazing goodness is going to come out of this. And, by amazing goodness I mean more money, more abundance, and more what you really want. ‘Cause at the end of the day, that’s probably what you want anyways.

So, the fastest way to get there is to take the shortcut, do the inner mental work first, and then go out and take action.

Step 6: Ask yourself: “What if I did this now?”

One of the things I teach in my private coaching practice is inverse thinking and taking the flipped perspective. This is a methodology that I hand-crafted. Because, when you run the show, you get to craft the map, devise the plan, and birth a new methodology into existence.

So when you’re looking at a big project or a big goal, don’t kid yourself into thinking that you need 10 years to get there. Ask yourself: “what if I had to do this in one year? What if I had to do this in the next six months? What if I started this now?”

Don’t wait for anybody to give you permission. Give the permission to yourself. Chances are you already have the tools you need to create what you want already. If you think you need 10 years to create something, you will take 10 years because you’re buying into your self-limiting beliefs that you aren’t ready enough to start now.

Here’s the secret: there is never going to be a right time. You are never going to be at a place where you already have all the puzzle pieces before you before you create your masterpiece. There will always be unknowns. Delaying your goals and juicy aspirations is just feeding your egos fear doubt and worry.

Do it now. Take the leap before you think you are ready. Jump off that diving board while you are still a little scared, because when you catch some air, you’re going to realize that you’ve been ready all along.


All the love,

Check out Kelly’s latest coaching program, Your Best Life.

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I just signed up for it and I can’t wait to share with you my personal experience woohoo!

About Kelly

kelly trachKelly Trach is an author, life coach, and podcast host that teaches people how to live their best life.

Her soulful work has an emphasis on mastering your mindset, overcoming your self-limiting beliefs, acing your self-talk, ditching the inner critic and becoming who you really are.

She is the author of the book F*ck this Sh*t I’m Curing Myself and the host of The Kelly Trach Show, a top-rated podcast that’s frequently featured in iTunes which shares high profile guests from around the globe who are the best in their field.

Kelly has a Bachelor of Commerce honors degree from the University of British Columbia, previously worked for Tesla Motors, and has 3 (failed) tech startups under her belt. Now, Kelly lives in Vancouver, Canada and pursues her real calling instead.

You can find her on and just about everywhere on social media.