I am delighted to have been profiled by Arbiter News in their Meet the Author section. My favorite question, outside of the chance to talk about my book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live was when they asked who I would invite to a dinner party. Who would you invite if you could only have 5 guests (alive or dead and real or make believe?)
In Chapter 2 of my book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live, I ask the question, “What is keeping you locked up?” You may think your life is chugging along without much interruption but I would challenge you to think about the story you are telling yourself that doesn’t allow you the permission to design your best life. Perhaps it stems from childhood, or an ex telling you that you are less than, or comparing yourself to every Photoshopped woman in magazines.
Embarrassingly, I held onto something that happened to me in high school for over 20 years. It all stems from my self-doubt about my prom date asking me out of charity versus out of desire. I share my lack of self-esteem for all to read in Chapter 2. It wasn’t until I met my prom date at our 20th reunion that I was able to silence the tape in my head about not being good enough. Twenty years of telling myself I was less than and a charity case crept into all of my future relationships with men. I had allowed myself to craft a story that was untrue and to live in a place of feeling like a bridesmaid and never a bride. Take it from me, that has been exhausting.
What I’ve come to learn is that usually the crazy story we are telling ourselves is far from reality, but until we face the demon head on (in my case, admitting to my prom date that I thought he took me out of charity and being shot down by his reality) it paralyzes us from being authentic and soulfully happy.
In Chapter 1 of my book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live, I ask the reader if they are the “architect of your own life?” On the surface, it seems easy to say yes because you have checked the box on the work, the relationships and the dreams you have. But I would challenge you to probe a little deeper. Do you drive to work dreading your job? Are you in a relationship that is “fine” but not extraordinary? Just because there is nothing wrong in a relationship doesn’t mean everything is right. Are you just existing instead of thriving?
I realized that I was allowing my life to live me; which is why I found myself in a job I didn’t love, a relationship that felt like I was wearing a heavy emotional trench coat, and a life devoid of dreams. When I called my architect up for duty, things began to change. I found my voice, and with that voice came a power and internal authority that had long been missing.
Being the architect of your own life forces you to start living life, not just letting life live you. You have to be present, engaged, and always committed to a bigger cause – your personal happiness! I had to draft a blueprint, like every good architect, that illustrated what it was that I wanted to build. (Permission, Pg. 7)
Do you believe you are the architect of your own life? Do you feel present, engaged and committed to your personal happiness? Most importantly, do you feel like you live life or does life live you? Happiness is a destination only you can build.
Drop a comment below and let me know what you are doing to design the life you want to live!
When I wrote my first book, Permission: Stop Competing & Start Creating the Life You Want to Live, I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming support and positive reviews. To write a book is a very personal journey, and although I wrote very quickly (over 200 pages in 6 weeks), I found the process resonated with me long after. I’m very proud of the fact Permission seems to be striking a cord with readers and audiences as I share my story.
Here is just a sampling of some of the reviews I’ve received:
One may think that Permission is meant mainly to inspire and encourage young women to take command of their lives. Well, I am a male twice Nicole’s age and I am inspired and encouraged by this book, too. I recommend it from three perspectives. First, the storyline is so fascinating and Nicole’s writing style almost puts one in her skin as one feels the intense joy and pain of her personal and business lives. Second, important points are well articulated: like authentic intentions, followed by aggressive pursuing, risk, and trying are what brings good fortune, along with sound social advice, such as dropping basement dweller “friends’. Nicole’s ultimate success proves that her advice works. Third, the ‘how to do it’ portions are helpful.The theme, Permission, is all pervasive as we confront authority, ego, self-concept and will. I found the book persuasive and a good read.
-Rick Kaylor January 10, 2015
Nicole made me laugh and cry (at the same time) … she has a delightful way of telling stories that I could completely relate to. So many women (and men) will enjoy this book and probably feel exactly the same way. Nicole’s life has such inspiration and aspiration, I loved reading all about her experiences and successes. The fact that she has a great network of friends and family and a real “go getter” attitude has made me look at my life and give myself Permission to seek the life I want to live. Thank you for such a great read, I will tell everyone I know to read this book! – Kelly
Permission! is an engaging and inspiring read. Nicole Matthews’ voice is at once both strong and vulnerable, and offers those of us who feel like we have to do it all the guidance to lean on others to help us accomplish our goals. The raw, personal stories Nicole uses to illustrate her ideas for achieving success connect the reader in a way that makes this book hard to put down. -Christene