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The First Step to Living Life by Your Design



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If you’d like to learn how to live a purposeful life so you can experience the success you dream of, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of, Joel Brown.

Too many of us are living someone else’s life. We are living out what someone else wanted for us, or what someone else expected of us. It may not even be ‘someone,’ because it can be the culture we grew up in that defines us, the religion we’re a part of, or the family we are in. 

It doesn’t make this ‘someone’ or ‘something’ bad. It just makes us aware of how easy it is to follow the ‘norm’ or the ‘expected’ versus living out who we are really designed to be. How do we get out of this ‘rut’ of doing the ‘norm’ or what is ‘expected?’ How do we get to where we are living life by our unique design?

Before we get to that, let’s determine if we are even in a rut. It’s a bit like not seeing the forest for the trees. Ruts tend to look like roadways or paths when we are in them.

Three ways to know if you are in rut:

1. The why of your childhood dream

Are you doing what you dreamed of doing when you were a child? Do you remember your childhood dreams? What was behind them? Why those particular dreams? This exercise is not to point out that you are not doing those dreams, but to understand what was behind those dreams.

I want you to think of why you wanted  to be a firefighter, or a ballerina, or an artist. Was it about helping others, bringing joy to others, or bringing beauty to others? What was behind your dreams?

So often, it’s not about the actual job as it is to what’s behind wanting to be in that job or position. If what you are doing today does not line up with the reasons you wanted to be that firefighter, ballerina, artist, or whatever it is for you, then you may be in a rut.

“Dream big dreams! Imagine that you have no limitations and then decide what’s right before you decide what’s possible.” – Brian Tracy

2. Your Favorite Things

Can you tell me your favorite color, or artist, or architect, or flower, or …? As creative beings, we crave creativity – if we are really living. Too often, our need for creativity gets buried – and we don’t even know it. 

Naming a favorite color, artist, or having any kind of favorite in what we consider the creative world, is a good sign that there is still some creativity in our lives. However, if we can only name one favorite thing or none at all, then my guess is that creativity is not a part of our lives.

3. What moves you

And yet another question around rut-checking that centers around feeling and emotion. When was the last time you laughed, cried, or felt anger? If we’re not feeling joy nor sadness, we are likely doing life on autopilot. 

We’re likely to get up in the morning, shower, dress, go to work, and come home. We may spend some time with family, although probably not quality time. We finish the day by going to bed. We do it all over the next day, and the next, and the next. It changes up a bit on the weekend, but even the weekend doesn’t bring laughter or tears.

Perhaps you don’t go to work everyday, but you feel the same monotony and routine of your days. You haven’t felt strong emotions for a long time. If this describes you, I suggest that you may be in a rut.

“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

4. How to Start Living Life by Your Design

Now that we know if we are in a rut, let’s look at the one thing I’ve found that helps anyone to get out of the rut and start living by their unique design.

For me, and for many others, this journey of living life by our unique design starts with introducing creativity back into our lives.

When I started moving into what creativity was for me, I was surprised by what I discovered and what it produced in me. I discovered there were many choices in my life that had been made for me and didn’t really decide for myself. I didn’t know what clothes I liked, what hairstyle I preferred, what type of art moved me, or what type of music touched my soul.

For me, this piece of my journey uncovered a number of things. The most surprising was I discovered I could draw! But for you, it doesn’t have to be what is normally considered ‘creative.’ Creativity is that which pulls you out of your rut – whatever that rut may be. 

I didn’t just start drawing one day when I decided to re-introduce creativity back into my life. It started with going shopping! While I don’t like shopping, for me, going shopping got me thinking about what I like and don’t like. What colors? What styles?

Then, I started observing artwork. I even visited art galleries. I visited street fairs where photographers, artists, and sculptures set up their creative work for all to see and buy. I started to realize the type of art I enjoyed and didn’t enjoy.

I did the same with music by listening to a variety of genres and deciding what resonated and what didn’t. I began to understand more about myself. All of this eventually led to going back to school for graphic design and becoming much more creative than I ever thought possible.

Your journey may not lead to what is normally considered creative, but just the act of moving towards what you consider creative will begin to reveal more about yourself. This is always the first step in being able to live life by your design.

What is your Creative? Begin the journey to explore your likes and dislikes. In that process, it will eventually lead to you living life by your unique design.

A caveat is that this journey never ends. That’s the beauty and the challenge of it all. The beauty of discovering more and more of what you are capable of along with the challenge of never really knowing where the journey is going to take us. 

Are you living your life by design? Share your thoughts with us below!

Carma Baughman is a tech trainer and people developer. She has enjoyed the solopreneur lifestyle for nearly 20 years. She supports others in pursuing their dreams and living life by their own unique design, helping them discover their contribution to the world.  Learn more at

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Failing is More Important Than Succeeding

Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures.



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People often consider failure a stigma.  Society often doesn’t respect the people who failed and avoids and criticizes their actions. Failure is an integral part of life as life is incomplete without failures. Not to have endeavored is worse than failing in life as at some stage of your life you regret not having tried in your life.  (more…)

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5 Indicators of Unresolved Attachment Trauma



Emotional Attachment Trauma

Trauma caused during specific stages of a child’s development, known as attachment trauma, can have lasting effects on a person’s sense of safety, security, predictability, and trust. This type of trauma is often the result of abuse, neglect, or inconsistent care from a primary caregiver.

Individuals who have not fully processed attachment trauma may display similar patterns of behavior and physical or psychological symptoms that negatively impact their adult lives, including the choices they make in relationships and business.

Unfortunately, many people may not even be aware that they are struggling with trauma. Research estimates that 6% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetime, with a majority of males and females having experienced significant trauma.

Unresolved attachment trauma can significantly impair the overall quality of a person’s life, including their ability to form healthy relationships and make positive choices for themselves. One well-known effect of unhealed attachment trauma is the compulsion to repeat past wounds by unconsciously selecting romantic partners who trigger their developmental trauma.

However, there are other less recognized but equally detrimental signs of unprocessed developmental trauma.


Five possible indications of unresolved attachment trauma are:


1.  Unconscious Sabotage

Self-sabotage is a common pattern among individuals with unprocessed attachment trauma. This cycle often begins with hurting others, which is then followed by hurting oneself. It is also common for those with attachment trauma to have heightened emotional sensitivity, which can trigger this cycle.

This pattern can manifest in lashing out, shutting down, or impulsive behavior that leads to feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing.

Many people with attachment trauma are not aware of their wounds and operate on survival mode, unconsciously testing or challenging the emotional investment of those around them, and pushing them away out of self-preservation and fear of abandonment.

This can lead to a pattern of making poor choices for themselves based on impulsivity.


2. Persistent Pain

Chronic pain is a common symptom that can stem from early trauma. Studies have shown a connection between physical conditions such as fibromyalgia, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, insomnia, muscle aches, back pain, chest pain, and chronic fatigue with the aftermath of chronic developmental trauma, particularly physical abuse.
Research has found that individuals with insecure attachment styles, such as anxious, avoidant, or disorganized, have a higher incidence of somatic symptoms and a history of physical and emotional abuse in childhood compared to those with a secure attachment style.

3. Behaviors That Block Out Trauma

Trauma blocking practises are used to avoid the pain and memories connected with traumatic events.
Emotional numbing, avoidance, and escape via briefly pleasurable activities that distract from terrible memories or suffering are common examples. Unfortunately, this escape habit stops people from successfully processing and recovering from their trauma.
Furthermore, when the pain resurfaces, more and more diversions are necessary to continue ignoring it. This can be seen in compulsive behaviours such as drug or alcohol addiction, emotional eating, numbing oneself through relationships, workaholism, excessive or dangerous exercise routines, compulsive internet or technology use, or any other compulsive behaviour used to distract yoursef from intrusive thoughts and emotions.
These actions have the potential to prolong a cycle of avoidance and repression, preventing persons from healing and progressing.

4. A strong need for control

It’s understandable that some people may struggle with control issues in their adult lives, especially if they felt helpless or vulnerable during their childhood.
This can happen if someone had an overbearing caregiver who didn’t let them make their own choices, expected too much from them, or didn’t take care of them properly. As adults, they might try to control everything in their life to feel more in control and less anxious or scared. This might be because they didn’t feel like they had control over their life when they were a child.
It’s important to remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s okay to seek help if you’re struggling with control issues.

5. Psychological Symptoms That Are Not Explained

Individuals with a history of developmental trauma may experience a range of psychological symptoms, including obsessive-compulsive behavior, intense mood swings, irritability, anger, depression, emotional numbing, or severe anxiety.
These symptoms can vary in intensity and may occur intermittently throughout the day. People with this type of trauma may attempt to “distract” themselves from these symptoms by denying or rationalizing them, or may resort to substance abuse or behavioral addictions as coping mechanisms. This can be a maladaptive way of trying to numb their symptoms.

What to do next if you’re suffering from emotional attachment trauma?

Everyone’s experience of healing from trauma is unique. It’s important to be aware of whether you have experienced childhood developmental trauma and how it may be affecting your relationships as an adult. Sometimes, the effects of trauma can be overwhelming and we may try to push them away or avoid them.
If you notice that you’re engaging in these behaviors, it’s important to seek help from a trauma therapist who can support you on your healing journey. Remember, you’re not alone and it’s never too late to start healing.

There are several ways that people can work to overcome emotional attachment trauma:

  1. Therapy: One of the most effective ways to overcome emotional attachment trauma is through therapy. A therapist can help you process your experiences, understand the impact of your trauma on your life, and develop coping strategies to manage symptoms.
  2. Support groups: Joining a support group of people who have had similar experiences can be a great way to find validation, empathy, and a sense of community.
  3. Mindfulness practices: Mindfulness practices such as meditation, pilates, prayer time with God or journaling can help you become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, and develop a sense of spiritual connection and self-regulation.
  4. Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT): This is a type of therapy that is specifically designed to help individuals process and recover from traumatic events.
  5. Building a safety net: Building a support system of people you trust, who are there for you when you need them, can help you feel more secure and safe in your life.

It’s important to remember that healing from emotional attachment trauma is a process and it may take time. It’s also important to find a therapist who is experienced in treating trauma, who you feel comfortable talking with, and who can help you develop a personalized treatment plan.

If you desire to work with me on healing your wounds and unlocking the aspects of you that were never realized so you can achieve more success in your life then head over to and join my weekly LIVE online mentorship calls.
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3 Simple Steps to Cultivate Courage and Create a Life of Meaning

we cultivate meaning in our lives when we pursue our calling



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Our deepest human desire is to cultivate meaning in our lives. Our deepest human need is to survive. (more…)

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Grit: The Key to Your Ultimate Greatness

Grit is an overlooked aspect of success, but it plays a critical role.



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A grit mindset is an essential key to your greatness. It’s what separates those who achieve their goals from those who give up and never reach their potential. It’s also the difference between success and failure, happiness and misery. If you want to be great and achieve your dreams, then you need grit. Luckily, it’s something that can be learned. Please keep reading to learn more about grit and discover four ways to develop it. (more…)

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