S.M.A.C.K.s for Stepmoms: Give and receive validation.

13 01 2009

I love this short film. It’s worth watching the entire thing. And it will help you with this week’s stepmom challenge.

See more smackdowns at my other blog www.smackyourinnercritic.com

New Workshop

25 11 2008

Dear stepmoms:

If you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota area or feel like visiting, I have put together a new workshop you might be interested in. Though it doesn’t focus specifically on stepparenting issues, the things we’ll cover in the workshop certainly do apply to stepfamily life! Check it out and let me know what you think.

Best wishes,

S.M.A.C.K. Your Inner Critic and Live the Life of Your Dreams!

Now you can learn the proven strategies to smackdown your fears so you can identify and create the life you’ve always wanted to live.

 Dear Friend,

In 1994, I weighed 260 pounds. Late one night, I had a vision of what my life would be like if I continued on the path I was on. I saw health problems. I saw unresolved emotional pain. I saw loneliness. And that vision terrified me.

During that long night I made a decision that would change my life. I would stop listening to that voice in my head that said, “You’ll never lose the weight! You’re lazy! You can’t do it!” In that moment I decided I would learn how to be healthy and prove my Inner Critic wrong.

That’s when I first discovered the power of smacking down the Inner Critic. Each day my Inner Critic would attack me with its pessimism about my chances for recovery. And each day I would smack it down with a new technique. I lost 100 pounds.



Jacquelyn in 1994 and 2008

Since then I’ve gone on to use the same methods to combat my fear of public speaking, publish a book, and launch my own business. I even used the S.M.A.C.K. Your Inner Critic system to find the man of my dreams and create a relationship that I couldn’t have even imagined 15 years ago.

But I didn’t create these amazing changes in my life alone. I had help. When I met my best friend Clare X. Gailey more than a decade ago while attending Wellesley College, we had no idea we would embark on a journey together that would shape our entire lives.

Two years after college, we were both feeling restless and dissatisfied. I had just finished graduate school and moved home to Minneapolis from Boston with no job, no boyfriend, and a really bad haircut. Clare, still in Boston, was spending half her life reading and the other half temping. She had no particularly special talent, no ambition, no hobbies or specific interests; just a vague hope that something would change. We both felt lost – with absolutely no idea about how to get a life that included romantic partners, families, and careers that gave us a sense of purpose. 

In January 1998, at the height of feeling like clueless losers, we took a vacation together. The trip started with a tank of gas, but the real journey began with a proposition:

“What if we each choose one thing every year that we’re afraid of – one really big thing -and face it down?”

Would we become better at taking risks? Would we feel more comfortable asking for what we desired? Could we actually create lives we wanted to live?

And so we began an experiment to see if we could successfully create ways to smackdown our fears. There were hundreds of late-night phone calls with the latest epiphanies about new techniques to try when we were feeling shy with a boyfriend or unsure that we were walking the right career path. We brainstormed ways to work through our doubts, overcome procrastination, and ride out the times when nothing seemed to be happening.

“How do we develop the courage to create a life that has meaning?” On the tenth anniversary of the snowy January when we first asked that question, the S.M.A.C.K. Your Inner Critic concept came to be. Clare and I wrote a book, started the blog, and created this workshop, not because we had finished asking the question, but because we found ourselves looking back over the last decade with awe. So many of our techniques worked that we wanted to share them with others. 

So are you ready to begin creating your ideal life? Then let us help you. Because it’s easier when you’re not alone.

The S.M.A.C.K. Your Inner Critic and Live the Life of Your Dreams Workshop is for you if:

  • You have a dream but your Inner Critic keeps you from doing it.
  • You desire a life that balances inspiring work, deep friendships, and a loving partnership.
  • There’s something you’ve always wanted to do but have been too afraid to try in your personal or professional life.
  • You want to create a fulfilling and inspiring career.
  • You want to find ways to make money that allow you more time with your loved ones.
  • You have graduated or lost a job and don’t know what to do next.
  • You’re dissatisfied with your body, your job, or your relationships and you don’t know how to create change.
  • You want to develop a greater sense of self-confidence and ease.

Now you can learn the proven strategies that people just like you have used to Become Who They Want to Be and Do What They Want to Do. 


“I learned A LOT. Jacquelyn is everything it says in her bio – part cheerleader, part strategist. Thank you Jacquelyn!”

-former student

Here’s just some of what you’ll learn:

  • How to tell the difference between your Inner Critic and your gut instinct.
  • The art of the smackdown so you can achieve milestone after milestone.
  • Five steps to reaching your goals without succumbing to fear fizzle or burn out.
  • Three techniques you can use to sustain your energy while you create a balanced life.
  • The smartest methods for finding cheerleaders and mentors.
  • The secret to asking for what you want and getting it.
  • The best methods for motivating yourself.

“Jacquelyn strikes just the kind of balance one wants in a teacher: she provides relevant and incredibly useful information and is also an endless source of enthusiastic support. As an instructor and coach, Jacque lets you know what works and what doesn’t, and helps you both articulate your goals and believe that you can reach them.
You just can’t ask for more valuable help and inspiration.”

-Jennifer, former student

So, What’s An Inner Critic?

The Inner Critic is not your conscience, your gut instinct, your intuition, or your voice of reason. The Inner Critic likes to pretend it is all of those things, but there’s one big difference: The Inner Critic does not have your best interests at heart. Basically, the Inner Critic is the part of you that wants you to give up on your dreams. It’s your own worst enemy, and it’s trying to paralyze you with its pessimism.


And What’s A Smackdown?

The Inner Critic has a big, fat mouth. It’s a verbal abuser. So a smackdown is anything you do that quiets the Inner Critic. S.M.A.C.K.s are methods that combine deep knowledge of self plus optimism plus action. They are actions you can do to turn on the reticular activating system in your brain, which helps you see the solutions to problems so you can achieve your dreams.

The S.M.A.C.K. Your Inner Critic and Live the Life of Your Dreams Workshop addresses the crucial developmental dilemmas that people across the country struggle with daily and during major transitions in their lives: How do I identify what I want? How do I maintain the courage to go for what I want? How do I learn to listen to my instincts? How do I smackdown the inner critic that tells me I can’t do it, I’m no good?

You’ll learn battle-tested ways to knock out the excuses so many of us cling to while our dreams slip away.       

The S.M.A.C.K. Your Inner Critic and Live the Life of Your Dreams Workshop is a critical experience if you’ve ever wanted more – in your career, family life, friendships, intimate relationships – but have been too afraid to go for it.

To find out more visit: www.smackyourinnercritic.com

S.M.A.C.K.s for Stepmoms: Do you have a pleasure deficit?

25 11 2008

dec08_cvr1Yesterday, a series of things happened that made me realize I am experiencing a pleasure deficit. First, I had a lunch with some really groovy folks. Jocelyn Hale, the Executive Director of the Loft Literary Center, Dennis Cass, the author of the hilarious and fantastic book Head Case, and Pilar Gerasimo, Editor-in-Chief of Experience Life magazine. We were discussing an article that is coming out in the December issue of Experience Life called A Real Pleasure in which the staff of the magazine describe how all the latest research in the fields of positive psychology, neurology, and psychoneuroimmunology show that pleasure is good for us. Yet, each of us at the table admitted to not taking proper care of ourselves by doing activities that really gave us joy. For instance, I absolutely love massages but I haven’t booked one since before Eva was born. She’s 8 months old.

Then I ended up at the eye doctor yesterday afternoon with what turns out to be a case of episcleritis. My left eye is all red and it hurts. Why? Because I’ve been staring at the computer for too many hours in a row. You got it. I’ve been working too hard, with too few breaks for fun.

The final straw was a voice message from my co-author Clare. She admitted she was totally exhausted. She’s working two jobs and has to work through the Thanksgiving holiday without a break.

Consider this quote from the Experience Life article: “Pursuing pleasure and feeling stress, it turns out, are mutually exclusive – which means that embracing pleasurable experiences may present not just an opportunity for warm fuzzies, but a very real antidote to stress and a very necessary ingredient to sustained well-being.”

Instead of letting the Inner Critic freak out on me and tell me I can’t possibly get up from the desk since there is so much to do, I flipped it the bird. After a business phone call I must take at 10:30 a.m. CST, I am outta here! If you don’t hear from me for the rest of the day, you’ll know I am off visiting a flower shop and inhaling as deeply as I can. Or maybe I’ll be tasting a cup of joe in my favorite coffee shop. Or perhaps I’ll even book a massage for later this very day. The only errand I’ll run is to buy myself a pair of reading glasses – promise!

It seems to me that this post is really important for us stepmoms since the place where most of us go to relax – our home – produces serious stress in our lives. So what will you do today, right this minute, to increase the joy and pleasurable experiences in your life?

Visit www.smackyourinnercritic.com for more about how to knock out your Inner Critic and live the life of your dreams!

S.M.A.C.K.s for Stepmoms: Just You And Me

18 11 2008

I received a great question from a reader: Can you talk about your spouse’s ex too much with your partner? My response? YES. The ex can easily become the focal point of your new marriage if you’re not careful – especially if there is a lot of tension between the households, a court battle, issues over money, etc. etc. etc. I will do a bigger post on this topic in the near future, but for now remember this: Though it might feel like there is another woman in your marriage, there is only you and your husband. That’s it. No one else can come between you. No one else is in your relationship with each other. Sure, the ex and the kids pull on that bond and test your strength, but at the end of the day your marriage is between you and him. If you find yourself talking about the ex and her actions each day, then consciously decide to only discuss the ex and any issues pertaining to her once a week.

Visit www.smackyourinnercritic.com for more about how to smackdown your Inner Critic.