You probably had a bunch of those Thanksgiving messages in your inbox last week too. And you may have noticed that many of them were holiday-themed sales pitches. You know, they went something like “I’m soooo thankful for my clients … that I have a special offer just for you, so you can spend even more of your money on my stuff.”

Not that there’s anything wrong with selling, of course. We wouldn’t be in business if we weren’t selling. In fact, marketing maven Dan Kennedy (“The Millionaire Maker”) says Rule #1 for entrepreneurs is “There will always be an offer.” And he means it – every newsletter, every email, every web page must include an offer if you want your business to make money.

Still, I was struck by the pitch-less message I got from Scout Wilkins, the unconscious mind re-patterning expert. She marked the holiday writing about appreciation. Specifically, about how often we negate the gratitude by tacking on a “but” … some sort of correction or suggestion about how things could be even better.

Sound familiar? It did to me. My sister Rebecca tells me regularly that I should just appreciate Frank’s table-setting, and stop complaining that he put the napkin in the wrong place.

And don’t get me started on the appreciation-undermining that goes on when I contemplate my own efforts!

So this habit of diluting our appreciation – why do we do that? We compare ourselves to others and they come out way on top. We think it’s more honest to point out the negative, and we worry that flattery is false. We think criticism will make them – or us – do better.

Here’s what Scout had to say: “This could not be further from the truth. In fact, it’s the opposite.

It is a deeply buried sense of not being good enough that keeps you settling, that keeps you from shining like the brilliant light that you are.”

Maybe that passage resonated so much because I so often tell my clients it’s time to stop hiding their light under a bushel basket. And they have a lot of ways to hide! What if we – all of us – just decided to go ahead and shine?

Imagine what we could accomplish, if we each decided that we ARE good enough. That we don’t need to settle in our business or our personal life. That we can – we must – be a brilliant light.

So I invite you to join me in full-out, unqualified appreciation of you. Your talents, your skills, your very being.

As we head into the end of one year and gear up for another, let yourself be comfortable in your own skin. Speak with your own voice, say what’s really true for you. And show up fully as who you really are.


And okay, next week I promise to get back to speaking suggestions and talking tips and the usual business buzz.