What's Holding You Back?

Valorie Burton is a bestselling author, speaker, and life coach dedicated
to helping you:

  • Be happier and have more fun, even when life seems routine.
  • Navigate setbacks or disappointments that make you better, not bitter.
  • Make a major life change that's exciting and scary at the same time.

3 Ways Successful Women Never Stop Learning

There’s something in me that gets all giddy at the thought of learning new and fascinating information. It may explain why there are three open books on my nightstand as I type these words, each in the process of being read. It may explain why, in advance of a visit to Italy, my husband’s gift of an Italian language course excited me so much I had butterflies as I started listening to it. It also explains why, along with my team, I am developing a new online series of courses specifically designed for inspiring and successful women.  On the VIA Character Strengths Survey, “love of learning” is one of my signature strengths.

Since you’re on my email list or read my blog, my guess is that you love learning, too.  The most successful women never stop learning. But there are some key ways to direct your love of learning that can boost your ability to reach your goals and achieve the vision you have for your life. Are you doing these three?


  1. They study their failures.

It is easy to become discouraged by your failures. But the wisest thing you can do is learn from them. What didn’t work? What will you do differently in the future? Was there any aspect of the situation that was positive – that worked well? It is important to do more of what works and improve what doesn’t. Think of an area where you are lacking the success you desire. What lesson(s) is life offering you about your failures right now?


  1. They don’t see challenges as a threat, but as an opportunity.

Those who have a growth mindset see challenges as an opportunity to learn. Consider your biggest challenge right now. What would you do differently if you approached your challenge as an opportunity? What would shift? How could you become better and wiser as a result?


  1. They invest in their own personal development.

The most successful women read a lot.  Be curious about the world around you. Use books as a tool. Take informal classes. Be open to learning. Even though you know a lot because you’ve experienced a lot, there is so much yet to be discovered. In what way(s) do you want to develop yourself personally? Do you want to learn more about how to handle your money? Become better at building strong friendships and meeting likeminded people? Learn how to control your eating and exercise habits? Grow spiritually and learn to trust God more? Figure out how to excel in your profession?  Bullet point your own personal development plan and start growing intentionally.


My challenge to you:

Never stop learning. Identify something you want to learn in this season of your life.


Journaling assignment:

What lesson is a recent failure offering you?  What would you do differently if you approached your current challenge as an opportunity rather than a threat? What skill or knowledge do you want to develop personally over the next year? Jot down a personal development bullet point list of things you want to learn.


Stay tuned for the launch of the Successful Women’s Academy. Join our mailing list to be the first to get special rewards and discounts at www.vbsuccessacademy.com.

For more about what successful women do differently, check out our Successful Women Think Differently 7-CD course and the book Successful Women Think Differently.

6 Signs That This is Not “the One”


Whether pondering a new job or a new relationship, knowing whether a long-term commitment is right for you can mean the difference between misery or “happily ever after.” No situation comes without challenges, of course, but when the situation is right, it will not feel like a burden. You’ll have the grace to get through the challenges, and those challenges actually make you stronger. When you find yourself in a situation or relationship that works in the short-term, but it’s not a forever match, it’s important to know the difference.

Fear is what tempts us to make something work that was never meant to be. You’ll always regret making a permanent decision out of something that was meant to be temporary.  So if you’re contemplating a commitment to someone or something that’s long-term, you’ve got to dig deep and be brutally honest with yourself. Making decisions from a place of love and not fear will always point you in the right direction.

These are six signs that the opportunity in front of you is not “The One.”

  1. You have to change who you are to make it work.

When something or someone is meant for you, you can be yourself.  You will feel inspired to the best version of yourself, but who you are at your core will be an asset, not a liability. If you’re trying to like things you don’t like, or feel like your behavior or personality is constantly being criticized, this is not “The One.”


  1. You have to convince the other person of your own worth.

When it’s the right situation, the other person will always see the value of what you bring to the table. In fact, they may be excited about elements of you that even you take for granted. You’ll feel appreciated and valued.  If you have to beg for appreciation or have to convince someone of your worth, think twice about moving forward.


  1. In your heart, you know you are settling.

If fear has you making excuses for why this situation could work even though it does not line up with the vision in your heart, slow down. Be honest with yourself. Why are you settling? Is it because your expectations really are unrealistic or inauthentic? Or is it because you’re afraid that you can’t have what you really want?


  1. If another opportunity came along, you’d take it.

When you find “the one,” you’re not holding out hope for something better. What you have brings such contentment that your entire focus is on savoring and making the most of the opportunity right in front of you. If that’s not how you feel, you should definitely question whether this is the one.


  1. You don’t share the same values.

There’s no getting around it. When your values aren’t aligned, there’s bound to eventually be conflict – unresolvable conflict.  Simply put, “values” are the things you think really matter in life. What you value is what you put first. Your values guide your decisions, how you treat people, and the vision that you have for what you want your life to look like. If you don’t share similar values, eventually you will have to compromise too much of yourself to make it work in the long term.


  1. You are not at peace about it.

Perhaps the most reliable indicator that you’re on the right path is your peace. Do a gut check. Do you feel at peace about moving forward, or does something simply feel “off”? It can be easy to second guess that divine inner compass, but don’t. If you’re not at peace, it’s either not right or not the right time. Be patient. Have the courage and faith to believe that if you show up in life healthy and ready for love and opportunity, it will make its way to you. And in retrospect, the timing will be just right.


My challenge to you:

Pay attention to the signs before making a commitment.


Journaling assignment;
Where does this message apply in your life? What message is the situation sending you about how or whether to move forward?

If this message doesn’t apply to you right now, is there someone in your life who needs this message?  If so, share it with them.



Coaching on Demand: Make That Decision with Confidence

Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable (book)