“Living an Empowered Life” with NY Times Best Selling Author, Speaker and Expert Relationship Coach, Debbie Ford
Just For Women
Alissa Kriteman

Episode 26 - “Living an Empowered Life” with NY Times Best Selling Author, Speaker and Expert Relationship Coach, Debbie Ford

In this insightful interview with New York Times best selling author and internationally acclaimed workshop leader, Debbie Ford, we delve into what it takes to live an alive, vibrant, empowered life. Sharing with us powerful concepts from her book The Best Year of Your Life, Debbie outlines for us some of the important ways we can start taking responsibility for the direction of our lives. Debbie is such a refreshing and knowledgeable guest, I hope you will listen in and feel inspired to take action in your life! She speaks directly to the heart of what is happening for so many women who desire to live the life of their dreams - everyday - and restores us to a place of confidence that it is completely possible if and when we are ready to do the work. Another - don’t miss interview - with Debbie Ford who also echoes a similar theme for women to really face at this time in our conscious evolution - No One Is Coming to Save Us...we are the ones we have been waiting for.



“Living an Empowered Life” with NY Times Best Selling Author, Speaker and Expert Relationship Coach, Debbie Ford

This program is brought to you by personallifemedia.com

[intro music]

Alissa Kriteman: Welcome to just for women; dating, relationships and sex. I’m your host Alissa Kriteman.

My show is dedicated to bringing you today’s most insightful experts on sex, dating, relationships and more. Today on the show, I’m very, very, very excited to have back the incredible Debbie Ford, whose transformational books, workshops and coaching techniques have changed thousands of lives.  On the show today we will discuss Debbie’s book, “The Best Year of Your Life, How to Dream It Plan It and Live It”. We’re going to talk about key steps in creating the best year of your life. Identifying pitfalls and obstacles and living your dreams every day. Some key components being integrity and excellence.

Debbie Ford :  They just let themselves go. They say they don’t have the desire; yes you don’t have the desire because you’re programmed not to have the desire. You know, if you were programmed that you get younger, hotter, sexier, more alive, that your life gets more exciting, that you get more creative , that more opportunities open up for you, for some reason,  again it’s programming and saying o.k. to have the best year of my life I have to be in I have  to be giving and receiving I have to be giving I think that’s the self absorption that women become so narcissistic and self absorbed and can’t see themselves is because they have given so much they don’t know how to create healthy boundaries. You’re going to deal with it. So the question is this is getting out of denial am I going to deal with it this year or next? Maybe I should go back to school and get some other skills so I can get a better job.  Maybe I can do a seminar so I can work on my self esteem so I know I’m worthy of a better job. They don’t deal with it. That’s part of popping out of denial and dealing in integrity and telling the truth.  What is sad, and you can grieve it for 28 days.  Do a little grieving process.  Make yourself a little memorial.  Write it down every day, “I’m sad Daddy’s not coming to take care of me. So I’m going to have to take care of myself. “ And in 28 days bury all those papers and say, “O.k., now I’m a grown up woman. I am emotionally grown up and I’m going to take care of myself. “

Alissa Kriteman: Welcome back to “Just for Women”, Debbie, I’m so glad to have you back on the show.

Debbie Ford:   And I’m excited to be here.  Listeners, let me give you some highlights of who Debbie Ford is in case you are unaware. She is New York Times #1best-selling author, internationally acclaimed workshop leader and trainer who’s committed to the evolution of human consciousness.

She’s best known for her ground breaking work known as, “The Shadow Process” which we delved into in our first interview. So if you haven’t listened to that yet please check it out.  It was fabulous. She has been featured on Oprah, Good Morning America, and recently as an expert coach on ABC’s Ex-Wives Club.  She also hosts a weekly audio program on Hay House Radio. So Debbie, let’s get into creating the best year of our lives; specifically how we as women can create the best year of our life. I know you have a lot to say about women. How important it is to be empowered in this day and age? So what are some of the keys?

Debbie Ford:  I wanted to start by just saying that first we have to check and see if we are willing to have the best year of our life.  Because that can be the biggest transformational moment for most people is that they are not even willing to have it. Not only don’t they think they can’t or they had it 10 years ago. Especially women, when I looked better.  That’s when I had the best year of my life. I can’t have it as I grow up and get older. And once we start to look at that and release anything. Just the acknowledgment, of oh my God, I’m not willing to have the best year of my life. Will start to open something up inside of us. All or most of my work is based on the truth will set you free. It’s an old adage but I think most of us are living a life of some kind of lie. We don’t even know  it’s a lie because we are either in denial or we just covered it up so much. And actually I decided to write “The Best Year of Your Life” when I was doing a course on a cruise ship about 4 years ago. And I asked everybody who had come  from all over the world, there was 120 of us, “Are you willing to have the best week of your life?”  Do you know when we went deep about 90% of them were not.

Alissa Kriteman: Really?

Debbie Ford: Yup. They weren’t because either somebody they loved wasn’t there.  Or, women felt guilty because their husband wasn’t there, their child wasn’t there. “How can we have the best week without them?”  Or I just lost my mother or father, I should be grieving. People have a lot of reasons why they can’t have the best year of their life.

Alissa Kriteman:  And probably in the unconscious somewhere they just don’t think they can.

Debbie Ford: They don’t think they can or they were told don’t be too happy or don’t be to great. If you are at the top you’ll be all alone. Remember that old lonely at the top?

Alissa Kriteman: Yes. Sure. People equate the best year of their life with success. And I can see for women we are supposed to be, conditioned to be the nurturers and put the children first or put our husband first.  So I can really see as women we need to address this on a deeper level maybe.

Debbie Ford: WE really need to bring into our awareness the unconscious beliefs and programming. We are programmed. That is the most important thing I can get any woman to realize. You have been programmed since birth.  You are not only programmed with what your mothers and father’s told you but what our society as a whole tells us. What it should be like, how we should feel, what our roles are. And yes there are some inherent roles. But most people never get to those because we’re so busy following the roles, the roles that were set a long time ago. They are just made up.  They are human made.

Alissa Kriteman: MMMhmm

Debbie Ford: We have these beliefs. We better keep ourselves down. Or my husband is having a bad year so I better keep myself down or he’ll be jealous. One of my children’s suffering  so if I am just fabulously excited there’s got to be something wrong with me. 

Alissa Kriteman: MMMhmm

Debbie Ford: Starting to break it open to see that and to realize the paradigm that the best year of your life is when I am living my greatest expression, my highest truth, in every area of my life, whether it be in my health and my beauty or my finances, or my success or my creatively or as a mother, or a wife or just single woman for God’s sake .  That I am being the greatest contribution to the whole.

Alissa Kriteman: MMMhmm

Debbie Ford: And when you’re standing there , any time you are squashing yourself. Any time you are limiting yourself. Any time you are listening to an internal negative dialog that is not even your dialog. Those dialogs exist in the collective unconscious. We inherit them. Today we wake up. We think, “Oh, I’m just waking up, I have the power over my own life.”  We don’t understand that. The gravitational pull of the collective unconscious for all the women that are alive today, for all the women that ever lived is there as well.

Alissa Kriteman:  Wow.So we think we are waking up into a day where I’m going to live my highest truth think we will live our highest truth but when in reality we’re actually having to do the work to understand  what are these paradigms that were given to us that aren’t even ours?

Debbie Ford:  That aren’t even ours. What are we paying complete tribute to every day? WE are surrendering our life over to something that’s been programmed.  Women are like this, they look like this. I see it because A lot of the women in my seminars are their late 40s and in their 50s and most of them look terrible.

Alissa Kriteman: MMMhmm

Debbie Ford:  They let themselves go. They say they don’t have the desire. Yes, you don’t have the desire because you’re programmed not to have the desire. If you were programmed you get  younger hotter sexier more alive that your life get more exciting that you get move creative that  more opportunities open up for you every single day after the age 40 by the time you were 60 you would know it was just beginning.

Alissa Kriteman:  It’s really interesting that someone in their 20s, the programming would be, you can’t be too bright. Even if you have a PHD when you are 30 nobody is  really going to listen to you because you don’t  have the years of experience say someone who is older has. So every decade you could look at some reason why you shouldn’t be the most fabulous person you can be. And I’m starting to see exactly what you are saying here.

Debbie Ford: Yes, you’re screwed, really. If we would start off on that premise that if we are carry what all the women in the world are carrying, not just, not even the lucky women of America that have some freedoms, and some choice and are able to be women, but all the women, the suppressed women, even the women that don’t know they have any rights. That we have as women been just trained to give our power away.  I’m somebody that’ has written 6 books, had all the success that most people could dream about,  in many area of my life, but yet even today I struggle with seeing, that , wow, when I’m not with a man, I have to feel like I have. to explain myself.

Alissa Kriteman: MMMhmm

Debbie Ford:  If I just want to go to an event by myself. It’s just like, “No Debbie, you’ve got to bring someone…”

Alissa Kriteman: MMMhmm

Debbie Ford: The shame of just wanting to bring my mother to a black tie charity event.  NO you are supposed to bring some man with you.

Alissa Kriteman:  So what are some of the warning signs, pitfalls, obstacles, that we need to look out for that are getting in our way from us. I mean, b esides all this programming, yes, starting to check in with ourselves, and maybe ask a question like,” is that true?  Is what I just said really accurate for me? Is the way I’m living my life really the way I want to live it? So what are some of the things we need to look out for?

Debbie Ford: Well, I love questions, that question is a very powerful question. Really, that’s why I wrote, “ The Best Year of Your Life.” First of all the most important question is ,“Right now are you living in a fantasy, called one day my life will be better? One day I’ll get what I want? One day I’ll find true peace or happiness.” See, that’s a fantasy. We can’t get into reality and make change until we deal with the fantasy.

I remember walking into a producer’s office when I was on book tour, for, “The Best Year” and she was like, “I don’t get it?  What kind of fantasy am I living in? You know, I’m in reality.” And I said, “ Do you think one day your desk is gonna clear off? And you’re gonna have more time? “ She said, “Yes.” And I said, “How long have you been living in that?” She said, “Three years that I’ve been at this job.” I said, “That’s a fantasy.” The fantasy is anything that is one day. WE need to look in any area of our life where we’re limited; where we don’t have full self expression, where we are not turned on and lit up, that’s where we need to ask, “What fantasy am I living in?” Many women live in the fantasy one day when their partner changes, or they find the right partner, or they get divorced and get rid of their partndf everything is going to be great.

Alissa Kriteman: I can see where single women in particular live in that kind of fantasy.  They are not living their best life as a hot, turned on, single woman, that when they meet this man then everything will come together which puts a lot of pressure on the guy.

Debbie Ford:  It’s just so untrue. It’s still giving the power away due to the program. Yes, that’s the fantasy. That’s the fantasy.  That’s an easy way to see it with single women. You see them just waiting for their lives.  When  I lose the 20 pounds I’ll finally feel worthy of love.

How about none of that is ever coming.  I like to be very reality based. In reality, we take back our power and we can make changes. In fantasy you cannot make change.  Not real change,  that’s what so great for people to do seminars or programs like I offer,  and so many teachers offer , because it’ wakes you up into the  reality that you have been denying. That you are in denial of.

Alissa Kriteman: MMMhmm

Debbie Ford:   Denial can rob you of your entire life. In your entire life. “One day I’ll get my money handeled……”  If you’ve been saying that for 2 years and your money isn’t handled, you need help.  Get in reality. Find a group. Find somebody. Get a coach. That’s why I train coaches. People need to get into reality.

Alissa Kriteman:  Got it. And one way you’re saying to do that is to locate those one day conversations.  Get it handled, look around your room, look around your lives, noticing that it’s not happening, and getting the support that we need. I guess we would have to be willing to admit, “You know what? I need  help.”

Debbie Ford: And that for women, we’re the helpers.  God forbid, we can’t ask for help. We can’t really get support. We are not great receivers.

Alissa Kriteman:  Ya.

Debbie Ford: And I think for women that is a pitfall. If you are a giver, and you’re comfortable that your comfort zone is giving, in a sense, you are telling the universe don’t give me what I need because I can’t receive this.  So for women, practice this. Find a place you are uncomfortable in asking for support or asking someone to do something for you.  And just start to do it. Or if you are just like myself, I am very comfortable picking up the check. So for me to not pick up the check with somebody that I know has less money than me is so horrible. People, who I’ve been buying dinner for for twelve years want to take me to dinner. That is a gift for them.

Alissa Kriteman:  Right.

Debbie Ford:  They that want to buy me lunch. They want to pay for a movie.

Alissa Kriteman:  Ya.

Debbie Ford:  For some reason its programming. So to have the best year of my life I have to be giving and receiving. I have to be giving and I have to be receiving. They have given so much. They don’t know how to create healthy boundaries. Boundaries are something we need.  A pitfall would be not having any boundaries. So we go to the other side. We just flip over and become completely self absorbed. And then we don’t have to worry about somebody stepping over our boundaries.

Alissa Kriteman:   I love it. Practicing the receiving muscle. We are going to take a short brake to support our sponsors.  I’m your host Alicia Kriteman, your host of Just for Women, dating, relationships and sex.  I’m with best selling author and relationship expert Debbie Ford. We’ll be right back.


Alissa Kriteman: We’re back; I’m your host Alissa Kriteman. You’re listening to “Just for Women, dating, relationships and sex.” We’re speaking with  the internationally acclaimed, best selling author, Debbie Ford , the New York Times bestselling author.  Debbie, before the break, we were talking about, living the best year of our lives.  How to do it. What are some of the pitfalls and obstacles of doing that? Namely, getting out of fantasy into reality, being able to receive, because we give so much; we  have to work on receiving. Now I want to talk about some really deep keys you talk about in your book, “The Best Year of Your Life.”  You talk about integrity and you talk about excellence. Tell us why these are so important to have in our lives. 

Debbie Ford:  Well, integrity has got to be the foundation for every woman every day. And when I say it, the word integrity, what does that mean? It means,  being true to the highest  self. Not being true to your lowest self. Really being able to live your addictions, your dark thoughts, to really be in integrity is to live who you are at your highest.  And if that’s our number one driving commitment, most people have to insert into their awareness each and every day until it’s so deeply ingrained that it wipes out all other programming.  It’s got to wipe out our fears, doubt, wipe out what we’ve been what is right or wrong, or our greed, or our insecurity. Because if you are in integrity, then you do have to set boundaries sometimes, you do have to say no sometimes,  You do have to ask for people to do things,  or maybe it’s telling your child…, I have very bad boundaries with my son. Because I wasn’t able to do anything as a child, so I’m one of those parents that now,tries to do everything for my son. So I have to work on that each and every day to be in integrity. Be in balance.   Because I can’t look at what’s easiest for me or him at this moment to be in integrity.  You have to look at the whole picture.  And that’s what integrity is. Without it, we live in denial and deceit. My new book has 35 pages on denial.  Denial is the number 1 killer of your dreams and your life potential.

Alissa Kriteman:  You are saying denial  is something that we have not honored as going on in our lives? Talk to me a little bit more about what denial actually is.

Debbie Ford:  Denial is a defense mechanism of our ego. So I’d like to separate denial into the human self and the higher self or the spiritual self. We are always resisting the eternal war between the human and the divine. And that’s what’s going on inside of us. Being in integrity is being in integrity with the highest self. The divine self internal war human and diving being in integrity not wiping out human self that is there darkness.  So denial says “I don’t have to deal with this now, I’ll take care of it later.  One day, when I get this, I’ll be happy.  I’ll pay my taxes then. I won’t let my husband talk to me like that.  Next time he does it, I’ll say something, but right now I don’t want to cause a rift.” These kinds of things eat away at our self esteem.  They eat away at our ability to listen to and trust the highest voice inside. That’s why it’s imperitive that women understand every choice they make, each and every day matters.  It must be a choice of the highest expression of ourselves. And when we can do it one choice at a time, it’s overwhelming, whether it’s the food I’m going to put in my body right now. What’s in integrity with my highest desire for my health, whether it’s  who I’m going to talk to, or what’s going to come out fo my mouth, or the excellence that I’m going to bring to my work, or the excellence I’m going to bring to my listening when I’m  listening to my child. That is what I mean.  Denial keeps us part of human, it’s part of what keeps us in psychological laziness.

Alissa Kriteman:  How do we, in our lives, how do we know something coming up…. Say our boss, says something to us and hurts us at a deep level, and yet the next thing we think is, “I can’t say anything it’s my boss.” And we let go and we learn in those little moments of time that we erode our own self confidence and our own self worth by not speaking up in the moment. What are some things or practices for women when they come up against that fear, “Should I say it to my boss or my boyfriend?”

Debbie Ford:  Well, the first thing I would really invite women to do is to get a support group. I always am looking for new language for that (support group),

Alissa Kriteman:  [Laughter] A women’s circle!

Debbie Ford: Get an empowering group. Whatever words inspire you. Three women you can talk to.  I would have people write it down. (Hurtful things boss or boyfriend said if it feels like a violation, write it down.)Somebody in your life, maybe it’s your boss, that’s treating you in a way, that feels like a violation.  It’s not our own issue. I would write it down and keep track because again, denial, we need to see if we are in an abusive relationship.  Which, I would go on record saying 30-40 % of women have an abusive relationship in their life.

Alissa Kriteman: MMMhmm

Debbie Ford: And that’s a lot of women. We don’t understand the

Alissa Kriteman: And they’re just denying it like someday it’s gonna go away.

Debbie Ford: Like one day I’m gonna change them or one day I’m going to deal with it or one day I’m going to get a new job and it erodes, we don’t understand the significance of stepping over our integrity each and every day.  If the boss is really bad, you need to get out. So if you go to your group you don’t have to remember what they said, you have it written down. 

If you see that somebody for the last 28 days, and it’s ongoing,  and it’s not somebody you can have a conversation with,  you need to get some coaching. That’s the next step for you. I get people 5 years later when they’ve lived inside that toxic environment, and all that happens is that it takes an extra couple of years to get out of it.

Alissa Kriteman:  Right

Debbie Ford:  You are going to deal with it. The question is, after getting out of denial, am I going to this year or next? Maybe I should go back to school and get some other skills so I can get a better job.Maybe I can do a seminar so I can work on my self esteem, so I know I’m worthy of a better job. There are different things. Women need to protect themselves. This is the line I wrote in the “Secret of the Shadow”,   It’s called no one’s coming to save you.

Alissa Kriteman:  Exactly.

Debbie Ford:  If we really get that no one’s coming to save us. That we’ve got to save ourselves, we can start to make changes.

Alissa Kriteman: I interviewed Barbara Stanny who wrote “Prince Charming Isn’t’ Coming .” This book is all about knowing knowing is coming to save us with regard to our finances.  It discusses the importance of knowing and understanding how to generate wealth.  You’re saying the same thing so, I love that women, such as yourself, accomplished in the field, committed to helping people live their most amazing life. And I just want women to hear this because I need to hear it myself.  No one is coming to save us on any level.  It’s emotional sobriety.

Debbie Ford: Daddy’s not coming.

Alissa Kriteman: Yes, which is a scary thing. And that is a big thing. We are definitely programmed about that. We are definitely in denial about that.  That’s part of why I have this show. You echo it, Barbara Stanning echos it. When women start to hear the same theme from different people maybe it will jar something awake and women will start to empower themselves. They will take those actions they have not been conscious of or afraid to address in their lives.

Debbie Ford: We are so glad you are doing this show. Even if you had a bad father; or a father that wasn’t there.   Even if you had a father that was there all the time. It makes a difference. It’s part of our culture. We believe the collective unconscious should be that there should be a Daddy and there should be a good Daddy, and Daddy should take care of you. If you are a women that you are Daddy’s little girl.  And most women are just living that up, day after day, even though the well is empty over and over in some area of their emotional life. And they don’t deal with it. So this is living in denial, not dealing in integrity or telling the truth. You can grieve it for 28 days, do a little grieving process. Make yourself a little memorial. Write down every day, I’m sad Daddy’s not going to take care of me, so I’m going to have to take care of myself. And in 28 days, bury all those papers, and say, “O.K., now I’m a grown up woman. I’m emotionally grown up and I’m going to take care of myself.”

Alissa Kriteman:  I love it. Practice receiving, doing the grieving process, instead of ignoring, somebody’s not coming. Getting ourselves emotionally sound, what else? 

Debbie Ford:  It’s imperative, getting out of denial. Writing it down, writing down all the things you’ve  been saying, the one days, some days, .  See, if you say, you see, people come to me all the time because I’m a writer, they say, I’m going to write a book or I’m writing a book. I say, “Really, when’s your book going to be done?” Well, I don’t know.  “Really, how many pages a week do you write?” Oh, I write whenever I feel like it. “Well the book isn’t going to happen.”

Alissa Kriteman: You know I heard once someone say to me actions reflect what you are committed to not the words.

Debbie Ford: Exactly. Look and see what you are doing.  That’s why the first part of my book, “The best year of your life” is dream it and the second part is plan it. We must have a plan. If we don’t have a plan it’s because we’re not seriously committed. But that’s o.k. too. I want to bring up a point. I think about it a lot. It’s called underlying  commitment . Because there’s a whole rage, a secret, make yourself a vision board and you’ll think this good thoughts. This is a problem with that. That is only part of the secret. That is true if you are clear and  it’s a heart and soul desire. You can put a vision board up and create but I’m going to call underlying commitment. Things that are more important to the evolution of our soul and if we don’t learn from them and uncover them  and get the lessons of them and it will manifest.  important to the evolution of our soul then it’s like putting ice-cream on top of poop. Many women want success or they want love.

Alissa Kriteman:  Right

Debbie Ford:  We’ve got to look and see what’s underneath. (Sigh) Many women come to me wanting relationships. And if I look and really talk with them they want success or they want to feel loved or they want to live their highest potential or deliver their gifts. That’s their underlying commitment.

Alissa Kriteman:  And how do you access that? Somebody’s coming to you with what sounds like a superficial desire, how do you get into the underlying commitment?

Debbie Ford: This is one of the techniques to do it. You can write down the area of your life you keep saying you want to have the breakthrough. For instance, “I want to have a relationship.” You can keep writing down the commitment. Then look at anything that has not manifested that desire. Oh, I keep getting men that are not committed, or I can’t meet anybody, or I don’t make enough money, I can’t get a better job, I try. Look at the results that are inconsistent with that desire. I can’t get a better job, I try. Then imagine that those results are in complete alignment with to what you are truly committed too. They commited to someone at 17, at 22. But now they’re real commitment is to not get hurt.

A lot of women don’t want to be hurt again. And so of course they are going to keep attracting people that will never end up in a relationship with them because they don’t really want that. Now their bigger commitment is to not get hurt.  So they really need to deal with what they need to do to heal that hurt.

A lot of people have a belief that women shouldn’t make more money than men. They shouldn’t outdo their fathers. All kinds of money stuff. So we need to write down all the things that keep happening that we think we are not responsible for.  I didn’t want that, I wanted something else. And start to see, “What are my underlying commitments?” Not to say these are wrong but that these are places where I need a healing, where my soul evolves.

Alissa Kriteman: It really is about being responsible. I loved this deeper work where we go around talking all day long about these things that we want not realizing there is an unconscious fear about having that peace in place so we really can live the best year of our lives.

So  that’s what I really love about your book. It’s really chock full of practices and exercises and tools. So that women can start owning the disowned parts of themselves. They can stop doing things that are out of alignment with the unconscious patterning of their lives.

We are out of time. Thank you for this amazing book and the amazing work you are doing. To find you, your books, workshops, coaching,  I want listeners to know they can find you at DebbieFord.com. Is there anything else you want women to know?

Debbie Ford: Yes! I have tons of on coaches on my site. Prayers, affirmations, there’s an eternal flame  meditation download to listen to and that my work is about doing work from head to heart. Get to know my workshops. If they really want to make some changes I just invite them to come to one of my work shops. Get to know my work or one of my coaches.

Alissa Kriteman:  Thank you so much for the fabulous work you are doing for women in the world. I feel we are aligned in that front. I feel women are emerging and waking up into their innate power. So your work has always been instrumental in my life. I hope we can continue to have you back more and more.  I wanted to let our listeners know that you can e-mai l me too at [email protected].  Please give me your comments.  Let me know what topics you want on the show. And for text and transcripts of this and other shows please visit our website at Personallifemedia.com.

Debbie Ford, always a pleasure to have you on this show. Thank you so much for your time. This is your host of “Just for Women, dating, relationships, and sex”.

Announcer: Find more great shows like this on personallifemedia.com.