Four Steps to Building Your Life on Your Terms

Building your life doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out, complicated process. It’s very similar to building a home; the same elements are required.

Building Your Life on Your Terms

To build a home, you start with a solid foundation, then you add a frame or structure, clad the exterior & add a roof and the final step is decorating. It is really that simple, but how does that apply to building your own life? Follow along and I will explain it all!


Everything stable starts with a solid foundation. This foundation includes your Core Beliefs, your Values and the expectations you have for yourself.

Most of us grow up with expectations set out for us. Rules that others (usually parents) have created.

  • You need to focus on an education
  • You need to get a job
  • You need to “suck it up”
  • You need to follow family traditions (join the military, work in the family business, have a large family, etc…)
  • You need to make others happy first.

The list of “you need” is endless, exhausting and anxiety inducing. If there is anything on this list that doesn’t truly feed your soul, you will get anxious when trying to complete this task. We all know the signs & symptoms of anxiety. Over time, anxiety spreads like a virus and eventually, every task becomes overwhelming.

This anxiety is a very clear sign that you are trying to live someone else’s life. You are not living the life you were designed to live.

Creating a clear vision of who you are is the first step to reducing your anxiety. Your life has taught you a very unique set of skills and created a deeper level of understanding. This wisdom is where you begin to discover your Core Values. Follow this link to get started on your Core Values right now, but be sure to come back here to finish building your life.


Now that we have started to secure our foundation, we should start to think about the structure that is going to hold everything together.

A house in it’s simplest form has 4 walls. These are the exterior walls and all the good stuff happens inside them. So let’s create 4 Goals that will helps us map out a successful first year in your new home.

Goals are such an interesting concept. Everybody talks about goals, but have you ever learned how to actually create goals that are achievable?

There are several steps to creating attainable goals:

  • Know your goal & be specific. What are you hoping to achieve?
  • What do you need to HAVE to achieve the goal? Money, passport, education, support?
  • What do you need to DO to achieve this goal? Alter your diet, create a resume, apply to school, join a group or team?
  • Who will help you achieve your goal? Family, friend, co-worker, professional?
  • How will you know that you have achieved your goal? How will you feel, what will you have, what will you know?
  • What are the tiny little steps you need to complete everyday to get you closer to your goal?

Who will help you achieve your goal?

This is mapping out your goal. Be very specific. Create 4 Goals that can be achieved in 1 year.

  • Personal – this is almost like a “Bucket List”. Think of something you have always wanted to do? What can you check off your Bucket List this year? Travel, learn a skill, join a group or team?
  • Professional – How will you advance or change your career in 1 year? Do you need to upgrade your education, take a course, gain a certification, upgrade your resume, or switch companies?
  • Health – how can you improve your health in 1 year? Break a habit (smoking, drinking), join a gym, change your diet, seek support?
  • Financial – how will you change your current financial situation in 1 year? Earn more money, save money, downsize, break a habit?

Our Team is available to help you understand what you want to achieve and create a detailed map to ensure your success.

Protection from the Elements

What good is a house, if it doesn’t protect you from rain, snow cold or heat? A house is clad with wood or bricks, has windows, doors and a leak-proof roof. All of these elements work simultaneously to shelter you from the harmful effects that Mother Nature has been known to throw at you.

So what protects you from potential threats of harm as you travel through life? Our greatest defence against the harmful effects of life is relationships. Solid, loving, supportive & nurturing relationships. Surrounding yourself with the right people.

As humans, we were designed to live in colonies or communities. These communities are supposed to protect us from harm. I will be the first to admit that not all colonies offer effective defence against the trials of life, but it is possible to create your circle of care.

Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something; they’re trying to find someone who will make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place to give, not a place to receive.

Tony Robbins

So, what do you have to offer in a relationship? Before entering (or exiting) a relationship we should probably do a little self-analysis.

  • Are you looking for someone who can fill a void? Someone who will make you happy?
  • Are you looking for stability?
  • Are you looking for financial security?
  • Are you looking for a co-parent your children?

Do you have your basic needs met?

  • Do you have safe shelter, enough sleep, clothing & food?
  • Do you have a sense of safety, security & protection?
  • Do you have people who love you & accept you just as you are?
  • Do you love, accept and truly appreciate who you are?
  • Do you have the means for self-growth, development & change?

If you answered YES to all of the above questions, then you are ready for a happy, healthy relationship. If you got stuck on one or more, then you should probably work on YOU before you try to explore a relationship.

Reach out for support, if you feel you need to enhance any of the 5 areas of your life.

Moving In

Now that you have built a solid foundation, created structure and built your means of protection, it’s time to finally move in!!

Throughout this process, you should have gained a clearer understanding of who you are, what you want, what you need and who will support you. Let’s put all of this together and create a very powerful, profoundly honest Mission Statement.

This statement is like a shingle you hang on your front door, an indication of what visitor can expect when they walk inside.

Your statement looks like this:

I see, feel, hear & know that I am __________ because I ______________________!

In the first blank space goes an adjective that best describes who you are. Go back to your Core Values and pick 1 that truly resonates with you. The second blank space is how you know this is true. You have survived, persevered, helped others, fought for change, inspired action. Whatever you have accomplished in your life, is now the theme for who you are today!!

That’s it. Short, sweet & to the point. We have cleared out all the other stuff that bogs you down and discourages your progress.

Build a foundation, add some structure, re-enforce with protection and decorate. Your Life on Your Terms!

Please click on EVENTS for more information

We know that sometimes you need a little support or guidance to work through tasks such as this. We have put all of this into a 1 day workshop that is powerful & life altering!! Please click on EVENTS for a workshop near you.

Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

Are you in a relationship with a narcissist?

Here’s a scary statistic; 35% of women report either a current or past relationship with a narcissist.  35%.  Are you one of us?  Are you uncertain?  Let me help you clarify.

~ You firmly believe that your partner is smarter, wiser & more capable of managing life.  You depend on him/her to help you navigate your life because they have helped you realize that you are unable to do this on your own.  Your thoughts & choices cannot be trusted because you have made some grave errors in the past.  He or she is more likely to provide a solution to the sticky situations you find yourself in.  Without their constant guidance, instruction or input you would not be able to complete even the simplest of daily tasks.  Tasks you thought you could manage, such as choosing appropriate outfits, how to properly clean a home, effective discipline for children and managing finances are too much for you.

~  Your partner is very compassionate about the abuse you have suffered in the past and understands that because of the damage done to you, you are too broken to survive on your own.  He or she is your protector, your hero.  Your partner can see through the manipulation of your family & friends.  He or she knows that you are unsafe with them alone.  Your partner has suggested that you start to create distance between you & the people you thought loved you.  To keep you safe from these people causing further harm to you, perhaps you should cut ties all together, because your partner is the only one you can trust to keep you safe.

~  Your partner is always considerate enough to point out that little changes would be a great improvement.  “It’s too bad you can’t put together an outfit like her.  She’s hot in those heals with her hair up like that.”  He is also very careful to point out that you do not suit an up-do in heals, because it makes you look like a hooker.

~  Your partner encourages open dialogue to discuss the relationship.  You feel valued when you offer suggestions for improvement and he explains the reality of your situation: “I wish you looked at me they way you look at her.” “I look at her that way because she is strong & confident, something you will never be because you’re too broken.”

~  There have been times when you have doubted the wisdom and the authority of your partner, but each time you question this, he is able to mention a friend or co-worker who feels the same way he does, thus proving that you are once again to broken to form an opinion about anything.

~  You are fully aware that you are damaged goods and are so grateful that your partner was willing to take pity on you and love you in spite of your past.  You are unlovable to everyone and without him to save you, you would be lost.

If any of this sounds familiar, then you are in a relationship with a narcissist.  Let’s insert the appropriate terms for each point above:

Gaslighting – creating uncertainty in your thoughts, beliefs & abilities.  This is used to diminish your self-worth and create dependency on the narcissist.

Isolation – creating distance between you & your support system.  With your family & friends out-of-the-way, your abuser has more control.  You are no longer guided by outside positive influences and are fully dependant on him.

Shaming – sounds like a compliment, but leaves you feeling small & insecure.  Used to reduce your self-confidence.

Deflecting – blames you for their indiscretions.  Narcissists are unable to accept responsibility for their actions.  They deflect accountability and choose to be the victim of others.

Triangulation – Bring a third-party into a conversation to back up their thoughts & beliefs.  Used to force you to second guess your thoughts & beliefs.

Projection – they are unable to accept their own feelings of worthlessness, so they cast these feelings on to you in such a way that you are convinced they are true.  They project their insecurities onto you.

How do I know this?

Because I was one of the 35%.  I was in an 11-year relationship with a narcissist.  I was told that he was forced to sleep with other women because my being pregnant made me fat (I gained 12 pounds in 9 months).  I was told that cocaine & hookers were necessary because of the burden I placed on him.  I was told that he deserved the settlement from my injury for dragging my sorry ass around all these years.  I was told that I was lucky to have him because no one else would put up with my stupidity & laziness.

I was also told that it didn’t have to be this way.  I heard whispers of strength & determination.  I saw the fear in the eyes of my daughters.  I heard the inner voice tell me that this is not what I would choose for them.  This is not the example I wanted them to structure theirs lives on.  They were worth more than this.  They deserved more than this.  They, my girls, gave me the strength & the courage to want more, believe more and hope for more.

How do you break free from a narcissist?

Start by listening for that voice.  The voice buried deep inside you that tells you this isn’t right.  The voice that brought you to this article.  The voice that has led you to secretly seek out alternative solutions, choices & possibilities.  Look around you.  Find your source of strength.  Is it in your children, your family or even a memory?  When you’re ready, reach out.  There is always someone close by that will support you.

  1. Contact your local abuse shelter: they will help you with a safety plan, housing & Legal Counsel
  2. Contact your local Police & tell them you are planning to leave a toxic relationship& ask for a Police Escort if needed. Let them know of any weapons in the home.
  3. Begin to slowly save & hide money.
  4. Pack a bag of essentials & leave it with a friend
  5. Download this Safety Plan for Domestic Violence 

You cannot fix this person.  They do not see themselves as the problem.  They feel you are the problem.

The honeymoon (those moments when you are treated like a queen, the apologies, the gifts, the promises) won’t last.  You know this.  This is just another manipulation tool to get you to stay.

You are never alone in this.  There are thousands of narcissists in this world, but there are millions of survivors.  When survivors band together, we begin to thrive, to dream, to create & to conquer!!  Together, we will change this world.  We’re ready for you to join us.  Let us know how we can help.

Click here to read more stories of survival.

Andrea Scarborough
Life / Parenting Coach