motivation

All posts tagged motivation

Know Your Worth

Published March 24, 2019 by Maryanne

DSCF3485Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

#sundayblessings So blessed to have created a life I most love — wife, author/writer, speaker, creator, self-employed, cat mommy  🙏

In my last blog I wrote about how the world views artists, creators, writers, poets, musicians. If you’re not super famous, people falsely assume you’re not doing too well, which is incorrect.

Over the past 20+ years as I was making a good living as a writer, I’ve seen it all with friends in my creative circles. People will try to low-ball you to get a service. Some may want to barter (something I will do with good friends, but not with a client). But the worst of all is when another who is also in a creative field will try to downplay your success in order to make himself or herself look “better.”

That’s really sad.

First, since we’re all in the same game of life, we should elevate each other. That is why we are put here on Earth. When the love vibration is the biggest vibration you can offer, it’s absolutely amazing what comes out of it.

I’ve been so blessed these past 20+ years to rub elbows with other creatives in my journey. The ones I remember most, and keep in my inner circle are those who have been incredibly supportive. Those who don’t feel that complimenting me on my talents makes them question their own.

You see, knowing your worth is not an ego thing. It’s a thing of confidence. When you are at a point in your career, knowing that you get the job done–and done right, you are able to charge as much as you want for a blog, for a painting, for a class…whatever.

You stick to your price.

And that said, stick to your confidence too. Don’t let anyone low-ball your talent, or your confidence. Know your worth.

If you work for yourself in a creative field, or any field, I’m sure you may have heard the following snarky, or perhaps ignorant comments from people who don’t get it:

“Self employed…that’s hard.”

“I feel better having a real job.”

“What you do is a labor of love.”

Working for yourself, yes, it can be hard. Even if you’re a famous rock star there are lulls in your career. Sometimes I tell myself I’ve had more comebacks than Cher.

But guess what? I am DOING IT. And I have been doing it. Writing professionally since 1995. And speaking professionally since 2014. It is a REAL JOB and I make a good living.

More important, I am happy.

By now, I’m well past the point of caring what others think of me or trying to impress people. I’ve been waking up every morning with a smile on myself, since 1995, saying to myself, “I’m a writer.”

If I dropped dead over 20 years ago, my life was already complete. It just gets better and better over the years. Every few months something great happens that I would have never imagined.

What others think of me doesn’t count, because I know my worth.

I believe in myself and I feel truly blessed.

And unstoppable.

Don’t let anyone stop you either!

Fellow creatives, share your stories below!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for motivational speaking engagements and is the author of the following books: 

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta 

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“On the Guest List” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“On the Guest List” is available directly from my publisher, Next Century! To get your copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Guest-List-Adventures-Music-Journalist/dp/162903908X

“Love Cats” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“Love Cats” is now available on Amazon! For paperback, go here:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1681020513 and for Kindle, go here:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/

 “The Gypsy Smiled” by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

“The Gypsy Smiled” is now available Amazon! For paperback go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1545447470

And for Kindle, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

Gaslighting: Sneaky Emotional Abuse

Published March 17, 2019 by Maryanne

high-blood-pressureDon’t Let Them High-Blood Pressure You! 

Hello Happy Person!

Everything in your life is so right!

Maybe you just met the love of your life. Or you got a promotion at work. Or, I know, you just adopted the cutest little kitten. LUCKY YOU!

Then BANG! Some psycho comes along to try and steal your joy. Most likely it will be a jealous relative, or maybe a former so-called friend or ex coming back to haunt you after you made it very clear you don’t want that person in your life.

This happened to me a few days ago. Oh, I was in such a great place! As a writer, I was high on the fact that I’m half-way through helping an all-time favorite client write his book. And the fact that I have a new client. My writing and blogging with the new client may lead to more speaking engagements. I also joined a new spiritually aware group that had me especially stoked. AND, I just started healing after the loss of my cat. Boy, was I on Cloud 9!

Then out of the blue, I noticed an email in the box of my business page. It was from a former so-called friend who was reaching out. He said he wanted to “apologize.”

Five years ago, this so-called friend and I had a huge argument via emails. It got ugly. I couldn’t figure out what I did that triggered his anger to the point of no return. And check this out …He stooped so low to insult my deceased grandmother. (It was painful to type that…but I need to let people know if they are a victim of bat shit crazy, they are not alone).

So, five years later…

I’m a positive, look on the bright side kind of person, so I returned his email, with caution. I simply wrote something positive, accentuating this person’s good points, but equally illustrating my frustrations with his judgement five years ago (in a compassionate manner, not at all insulting). It was reasonable, I thought.

In his email, five years ago, one of his gripes was that I was bitching at him while he was jobless. I figured he was jealous because my first book was selling pretty well and he got on my case saying that I was over-promoting and “forcing” people to read my books. (I guess in his twisted mind I was holding a gun to heads screaming, “BUY MY BOOK!”) Heh. Not!

So, in this new email, I apologized for what happened back then and wrote, “I’m sure you’re rocking it now!” As well as other encouraging stuff, like I was sorry I let him down because I always admired him.

The punch line?

A returned email with venom! The same exact emotional vomit from five years ago, he was now stirring up again. He quoted word-for-word and also misquoted word-for word the entire fight from five years ago! He tried to make me feel small. Called me negative things and AGAIN brought up my deceased grandmother. (Thanks for reminding me my grandmother is dead, dude! You’re such a charmer!)

Man, it was all pure poison. Actually, the term is “gas lighting.” That’s when someone tries to manipulate you into believing that you are at fault and there is something wrong with you. Nasty people nail the whole gas lighting thing. Cool people don’t do shit like that. Cool people talk their problems out. They don’t attack and make the other party feel like shit — or try to.

I knew in my heart I wasn’t at fault because: A. I didn’t insult him, my email came from a place of love and forgiveness (though he certainly didn’t deserve it). B. When someone is constantly putting you down, it’s on THEM, not you. Sane, nice people don’t deliberately set out to hurt others. Sane, nice people are too busy doing great things for others, being creative, elevating their careers, or just having fun.

When someone is mean and defensive and doesn’t have anything good to say, they are “zero.” Nothing. (I wrote in the past, that it’s okay to fight. You can fight with your friends. You can fight with your significant other. You can fight with clients. But it’s HOW you fight. If you’re just arguing to make a point, and not hurting or insulting each other, chances are, it’s a wonderful relationship and you will make up!)

Anyway, I simply wrote back to the dude, “This is not a good friendship. Please don’t contact me again. Have a super duper fantastic day.”

I ended it with class and dignity.

Did I stew over his negativity? No! In fact, I welcomed it. Yes, that’s right, I WELCOMED IT! I’m of the belief that anything that happens is for good reason. A way to grow. And grow I did! It was a great test from the universe to help me know that I was in control of my brain!

Five years ago when the shit hit the fan, I was sad for weeks. But this go ’round, his gas lighting, and making me feel like I was “wrong” and attacking me like it was all my fault had ZERO effect on me. ZERO!

It only took 10 minutes to get over it! YES!!! JUST 10 MINUTES!

What did I do?

First, I took a deep breath.

A lovely new friend called me.  I told her what happened. She was sweet, listened, gave a few words of encouragement and emailed me a pretty song she wrote.

Her kindness led me to counting my blessings. I thought of all the beautiful friendships I have. In fact, the day after, I had a great lunch with two guys I was friends with since the 1980s! It was all positive, and inspirational.

I took 10 minutes to think about all the successful, happy, cool people I know and do things with on a regular basis.

Then I thought about my beautiful, supportive husband and how blessed I am to have him! (And how he thinks that ex “friend” is a nut case!)

And finally, I found a happy song that was stuck in my head. It’s an old song by Peggy Lee called, “It’s a Good Day” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If82O1e0bow

I put the song on and did a cute dance!

Yes, it’s a good day!

Is someone is trying to gaslight you?

DO NOT LET THEM STEAL YOUR JOY! Re-train your brain. It’s not easy, but once you get the knack of it, it will get easier in time. You owe it to yourself, and the good people in your life not to let the shit heads get you down. Life is short. Cherish the lovely ones around you, and let the crazy ones go.

Share your stories below!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of the memoir “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which is about her experiences growing up being bullied. She is available for public speaking engagements. Contact her for availability and rates at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Links to the book are here: 

HGBM Store:  https://highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product/i-dont-want-to-be-like-you

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446696&sr=8-2&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H6H4CY1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446756&sr=8-1&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta+kindle 

Her next book, “Be (Extra) Ordinary: Ten Ways to Be Your Own Hero” will be out October 2019. Pre-order your copy today! https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

 

Pronoia: Everything Happens For You

Published March 14, 2019 by Maryanne

Katy Perry Shoes with Spools

When the universe works in your favor, by way of a cute pair of Katy Perry shoes! 

There’s a term called “pronoia.” It’s the opposite of paranoia. The gist is, instead of being paranoid that the world is against you, believe that the world is for you. Anything that happens in your life, even what seems to be seemingly “bad” is in your favor. It’s a big step up from the belief of everything happening for a reason.

Life has proven it time and time again.

How many people have been dumped only to meet the love of their life shortly afterwards? I know I have!

How many people have lost a job or a client, then the very next one that comes along not only pays much more, but is something you really love, like perhaps a dream job? Me too!

Were you ever on line for an event, and someone pushed in front of you, then YOU were the winner of a door prize? Yes, it happened to me too!

Now, while those are all great things that can happen for you, sometimes it can happen with little things too. Like a pair of shoes. See those shoes pictured above? They are in my collection. About a year and a half ago I started collecting Katy Perry shoes and boots. I just love her line because not only are her shoes different, they are comfy!

I recently decided to treat myself to another pair. Something practical this time. Winter in NJ is coming to an end, but I could use a new pair of ankle booties. At least until it gets warm enough to go without socks and transition to open-toe heels and ballerina flats.

Today was the day my cute new ankle booties were to arrive.

They never came.

I checked the order status and it said “canceled.”

WHAT?!

Instead of getting pissed, I took a deep breath and calmly called their Customer Service. And I asked, “Why?”

Turns out, the booties I wanted were OUT OF STOCK.

Out of stock. And then, instead of being mad and disappointed, I asked myself, Where is the pronoia here? How is the universe working in my favor? 

I simply went back on the website to look for another pair of black booties. And guess what? I found a pair that was even cuter than the first! I mean, these boots really spoke to me! How did I not see them the first time around?! I ordered them immediately.

If that’s not the universe working in my favor, I don’t know what is! And, hey, I just checked my order, and it’s in progress. I think that means they are packing them as we speak!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of the memoir “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which is about her experiences growing up being bullied. She is available for public speaking engagements. Contact her for availability and rates at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Links to the book are here: 

HGBM Store:  https://highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product/i-dont-want-to-be-like-you

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446696&sr=8-2&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H6H4CY1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446756&sr=8-1&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta+kindle 

Her next book, “Be (Extra) Ordinary: Ten Ways to Be Your Own Hero” will be out October 2019. Pre-order your copy today! https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

 

The Most Beautiful Cat in the World

Published March 4, 2019 by Maryanne

DSCF2770Our Bennie cat, a feral we took in last summer. We had to put him down two weeks ago. He had a brain tumor. 

Our pets love us through life and communicate to us through death. About a week after we put Bennie down, I started reading “Strays” by Britt Collins. It’s a book about how a homeless man named Michael found a lost cat, named her Tabor and took care of her.
Just yesterday I was singing the old Charlie Rich song, “The Most Beautiful Girl” and changed the words to “The Most Beautiful Cat” (about Bennie.)
So, last night I was reading “Strays” and, without giving a spoiler, I’ll just say, Michael heard “The Most Beautiful Girl” (and of course was relating it to his cat, Tabor.
Coincidence? No, they love us through life and death. It was Bennie’s way of contacting me. He’ll never leave my heart. ❤
Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of “Love Cats” available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback editions: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta/dp/1681020513
Contact Maryanne to have “Love Cats” in your book club! (MaryAnneChristiano@Gmail.com) 

Keep Fighting!

Published February 27, 2019 by Maryanne

Don't Give Up

Sometimes it’s best for a smart person to “ignore.” But I have to beg to differ in some circumstances. Rosa Parks didn’t change the world by ignoring. Enough said.

If you feel strongly about something, speak up! Whether it’s in love, friendship, business, or a random situation.

Being diplomatic can sometimes serve a purpose, but it’s not the best way to go. Be a friend to everyone means you’re a friend to no one. Think about that.

I don’t do diplomatic. I don’t do shoving things under a rug. And while I can ignore some internet trolling, I won’t ignore all of it.

The best people in the world are fighters. That’s when you see who your real friends are. To fight is to straighten a bond. We can never honestly love each other unless we know what makes each other mad. We can learn how to be better people by talking things out. Now, I’m not talking about name calling or purposely hurting people. By “fight” I mean to put it all out there with all heart and soul!

I’m always the first to call someone on their bullshit. If I point out to someone that what they are doing/saying isn’t call and they get all defensive and say stupid phrases like, “I don’t want to be your friend because I don’t want to walk on eggshells.” That is DUMB!

People who don’t want to “walk on eggshells” are wimps because what they are saying is, “I don’t want to make an effort to know you better. I don’t want to learn to be a better person. You’re not worth it.” So they are definitely not someone you should be friends with! Kind people are sensitive, caring, and people who try to elevate themselves. Not everyone has the same sense of humor. If you say something stupid, don’t cover up by saying, “I was only joking.” If someone doesn’t get the joke, maybe you should re-evaluate your sense of humor.

All that said, I said it once, I’ll say it 1000 times, IT’S OKAY TO FIGHT!

My Grandmother was my favorite person in the world — and boy, did we fight! But we also forgave and made up. THAT is how you have a loving relationship. No holding back. No lies. And getting shit off your chest! 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of the memoir “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which is about her experiences growing up being bullied. She now is putting adult bullies in their places and available for public speaking engagements! Contact her for availability and rates at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Links to the book are here: 

HGBM Store:  https://highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product/i-dont-want-to-be-like-you

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446696&sr=8-2&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H6H4CY1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446756&sr=8-1&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta+kindle 

Her next book, “Be (Extra) Ordinary: Ten Ways to Be Your Own Hero” will be out October 2019. Pre-order your copy today! https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

Take the High Road, Don’t Low Ball!

Published January 31, 2019 by Maryanne

Maryanne summerDon’t let anyone low-ball you! 

As a self-employed business woman (ghost writer, blogger, Facebook updater, author, speaker) each year I compare the market as to what others in my genre are making. That’s how I come up with my prices. I’ve been self-employed since 2009 and for the most part, I’m living the dream.

Every now and then, I get a potential client who wants to price haggle. That’s when I have to pull the reins in and say, “This is not a good fit.”

You can read my article “The Four Types of Clients You’ll Encounter” and see why you shouldn’t say “yes” to every potential client: https://patch.com/new-jersey/verona/bp–the-four-types-of-clients-youll-encounter

I am writing this blog to encourage self-employed people, especially those who are just starting out, to not let anyone low-ball you. Know your worth and increase your prices each year, or every other year.  AND I would also like clients to stop price haggling business professionals like they’re at a yard sale! It is not cool!

Since 2009 I’ve been helping people write their books. Many of them are now on Amazon; some doing incredibly well. I’ve written four books myself, two picked up by a traditional publisher. My fifth is a self-help book. It’s is going to be published by KiCam and is set for an October 2019 release (see here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/).

With all that, it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about the publishing industry. So, it’s highly insulting when a potential new client asks me, “Is that your final price?”

Yes, it is. Or should I go much higher so you can haggle me down to my “final price”?

A few days ago I met a woman who had an incredible story. In fact, it was so incredible that one of my friends in the traditional publishing industry said she’d take a look at the story and possibly publish it.

Do you know what that means? As opposed to self-publishing (which most unknown authors do) it means the publisher was going to consider taking on this project and financing it. So, to use me as an editor, this potential client would still be way ahead of the game even though she thought my services were pricey. She wouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars to a self publisher. She wouldn’t have to pay an agent to find her a traditional publisher. I could have helped her save so much time and money. But, no, because my per-hour price was too high, she took it upon herself to disrespect me and yell at me. Whoa, what a foolish woman!

I politely told her, “This is not a good fit. If you are worrying about money now, the project may never be finished.” And I hung up on her.

Nothing comes easy in life. If you want singing lessons, you pay by the teacher’s price. If you want therapy, you pay the psychologist’s price. If you want a health consultation, you pay the nutritionist’s price. So, if you want a good ghost writer/book editor, you pay their price. Get it? Got it? Good!

Try price haggling your doctor next time you go for a flu shot. (Or whatever it is that people do when they go to doctors. I don’t know, I don’t do doctors…but that’s another blog). My point is, if you want a good product, from a professional (that would be me) who has over 20 years in the publishing industry, you are going to pay for top quality.

Clients who have succeeded in working with me, from start to finish, have nothing but good to say about my work ethic. If I wasn’t that good, I wouldn’t be in business for so long. And it just keeps getting better because everyone who I helped write a book, tells their friends about me and I get their service too.

I’ve had many happy customers over the years, but I have to say, the happiest was Antoinette and Domenic Lombardi. I helped them write and publish their book 200 Letters, 62 Years and a War which was their love story. Soon after they started dating, Domenic went to serve in the Korean War. During that time, he wrote Antoinette 200 love letters. When I wrote the book in 2015, they were together 62 years. To this day, they send me a Christmas card every year, with a handwritten note, “Come visit us.”

But that’s besides the point. I don’t have to convince readers how good I am. I know I’m good. If I wasn’t, I still wouldn’t be doing something I love all this time!

So, if you hire me–or any professional–take the high road, don’t low ball. If you can’t afford a service, it may be God’s way of telling you to “wait, it’s not time yet.” But that’s between you and God, not you and the professional.

It’s more respectable to say to someone, “I can’t afford this…yet” instead of taking a shit fit over a price you feel is not affordable (as that lady did to me.)

If you want a ghost writer to help you write a book, it’s simple. Save your money. Or just own up to the fact that you’re not ready to write a book. If you want to do something, you’ll make it a priority. It’s as easy as that. Otherwise, this is not something you’re dying to do. Unless you want something so bad you can’t breath, you probably should be dreaming about doing something else.

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a motivational speaker and the author of “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which addresses her experiences with being bullied. You can order the book from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Her next book “BeExtraordinary” will be published in October 2019 by KiCam. To pre-order or visit the landing page, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

To book Maryanne for a speaking engagement, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Giving Goals

Published January 19, 2019 by Maryanne

baby and mommyPhoto by Mistretta

People have been busy writing down their goals for 2019, which is great. Then it dawned on me, it would be awesome to have giving goals as well.

There are three ways to give: money, time, and sharing (in other words, being vulnerable). Below are ways to up the ante for all of them!

  1. Money. Even if you’re on a strict budget, money is the easiest way to give. You can put a dollar in a veteran’s can and get a free poppy. For some, it’s the best we can do, but I think in our hearts we always want to do more. In my younger days I know I did. When the basket went around in church and I was only able to spare a few dollars, I secretly longed for the day I could throw in a $20 bill or more. Then that day happened! My next goal was for the Go Fund Me pages. I wanted to give more than $50. And that happened too. As we earn more, we can focus more on giving to others. It’s great to share!
  2. Time. Time is a very precious thing to give someone because life is short. You hear so many stories about children who have had successful parents that were never around. This is a lesson to balance your time so you can be more giving to people you love. While being spontaneous is wonderful, it’s also important to balance your day so you can be able to balance your time. Since I work for myself, at home, I have the luxury of making my own hours. That said, there’s a time I plan to shut down and devote to my husband and cats. Of course I also like to donate my time to good causes, and fun stuff. But always remember, to take time for yourself because if you’re not healthy and happy, you won’t be able to make others happy. Then when you feel optimal, you can give time in so many ways–volunteering, listening, offering your help, surprising someone by doing something nice unexpectedly. The list goes on and on! With little money to spare, you can always be creative with your time. Or even if you have a lot of money, perhaps someone would appreciate your time more? It’s something to think about.
  3. Sharing/Being Vulnerable. Sharing and being vulnerable is the biggest and best way to give, in my humble opinion. Time and money are the easy way out because ego isn’t involved. But when you take the time to pour your heart out to someone who desperately needs to know he or she is not alone, that is GOLD! Many people are afraid to share because of their ego. They want to put on a facade that they are perfect. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, the most inspiring people are the ones who are so free and open about sharing. They have truly made the world a better place. By “sharing” I don’t mean venting. I mean digging deep inside, no longer feeling the shame, and going with your heart and gut that by sharing something bad that happened to you, you are going to make another person feel not so alone! How great is that?! It takes a strong person to say, “Screw it, I’m going to try to help someone else. I don’t care if I am judged!” Anyone who has gone that route should be super proud of themselves. Put aside any shame you are feeling, because it’s not your fault that something bad happened to you if some loser took advantage of you. Because it’s a horrible person who should feel the shame–not YOU! So if you want to be a better friend, or a better person in general, make a point to get vulnerable. It’s the greatest way to give! You never know who you may help!

What do you think? What are your giving goals for 2019?

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is a motivational speaker and the author of “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which addresses her experiences with being bullied. You can order the book from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Her next book “BeExtraordinary” will be published in October 2019 by KiCam. To pre-order or visit the landing page, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

To book Maryanne for a speaking engagement, contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com