To Bethany, With Love: Coping with a Child’s Death

“I need to excuse myself to make a quick phone call to the hotel. I’ll be right back” I excitedly told the group. I was in paradise, aka Sicily, leading my most recent Transformational Journey to Italy. We were in the middle of one of the best days we had had yet: an extraordinary cooking class with a Countess in her majestic Palazzo when I suddenly remembered I had to call my hotel and make some arrangements. Alone in one of the rooms, I picked up my phone and saw a Facebook notification pop-up; my husband had just updated his Facebook status and it read, “The Heavens opened-up today and took back one of its sweetest Angels. Took her way too early. Did not get enough time to play with her, to see her run, or to call me uncle. I hope to one day get that chance, LOVE YOU Bethany.” My heart immediately sank; I threw the phone on the bed. I could not believe it. My baby niece, Bethany, had passed away at only 9 months old from a rare disease called “Biliary Atresia” just two days shy from her liver transplant. I went into the room where the cooking class was being held and called my colleague, Dr. Sarah Larsen. “She’s gone!” I told her and I threw myself in her arms, tears streaming down my face. For the next several hours, I cried, screamed, or simply sat in silence. My heart was broken.
Having grown up in Sicily, Italy, I learned that family was everything. I watched as all of my cousins marry their childhood sweethearts, have exquisite weddings, buy gorgeous homes and start beautiful families. Their entire lives revolved around good food and family. Every weekend, we would hang out with our close and extended families. I knew that when I grew up, I wanted the exact thing. So I attracted just that: a man with an amazing family (The Gomez) and with the same set of values I have. The Gomez family is very tight. All of our kids are growing up together and we love to hang out almost every weekend. The death of one of our own was something that none of us expected, or knew how to deal with.
This led me to ask deeper questions about death. These days I’ve been reading Alan Cohen, Leo Buscaglia and talking a lot to Dr. Sarah Larsen. As a Spiritual person, I know that our soul never dies. Alan Cohen says, “There is no death. What was never born can never die. That which is truly alive lives eternally.” Our physical bodies are simply vessels, but that is not the essence of who we truly are. We have a beautiful spirit that lives on for eternity. Cohen continues, “Death has no power over the spirit. Nothing has power over the spirit. We are spiritual beings, and no matter what seems to be happening in the physical world, who we truly are is always very much alive, whole, and in love.” The sacred book, A Course in Miracles, states “Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem. Is it not madness to think of life as being born, aging, losing vitality, and dying in the end?…it is one fixed, unchangeable belief of the world, that all things in it are born only to die…and no one asks if a benign Creator could will this.”
Bethany lit up every room she was in. Even in her discomfort due to the disease, she was constantly laughing at everything. Her smile made everyone’s heart melt. Her energy and essence were beautiful.
And the best part of all: she is STILL all of that and more! She is now happier and healthier than ever, and we are blessed that she is now watching over all of us. We are fortunate to have the extraordinary medium, Dr. Sarah Larsen, in our life who was able to have Bethany communicate with her parents. They talked for close to two hours, and in those two hours, Bethany’s parents truly got that their child was alive more than ever. This brought them an enormous amount of peace and happiness. Recently at a wedding, I overheard a mother complain that her daughter was crying too much. I immediately thought of my sister-in-law, and how she would give anything to hear Bethany cry again. If anything, death should teach us to not take each other for granted. Any of us can go at anytime. Think of all the petty arguments we get into with our loved ones. At whom are you currently mad and not on speaking terms? What if you knew it was that person’s last day on this earth? What if this was your last day on earth? We often ignore this fact, thinking it won’t happen to us but guess what? It happens to all of us. It’s just not worth it. If anything, this experience teaches me to be kinder toward those I love. How many times are we too hard on our own kids? Yelling, screaming, belittling, judging them and loving them only conditionally (if they do what we say). What if today was the day we stopped all of that? What if today we accepted everyone as they are, truly forgave, and learned to love everyone unconditionally? American author, Leo Buscaglia, puts it beautifully, “Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time… It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.”
Are you ready to love – today?
Sending you lots of love & positive energy,
Connie Costa


How to Become Successful

“Rich and famous, I AM success!” is a verse from one of my favorite songs called We Run LA by Doc Hollywood. What does it mean to be successful? Does being rich or wealthy automatically make you successful? How does one become successful?

When I first started my coaching practice, I was hardly making any money. It would have been easy to blame all of my financial woes on the economy, destiny, or bad luck (afterall, I was working really hard), but could I have been the culprit  of my own misfortune? I became obsessed with reading books, going to seminars and learning from teachers topics on wealth, money, success, abundance and prosperity. The more I learned and applied the information to my life, the more my life began to change dramatically. Want to know some of the secrets to success?

There is a clear distinction between how successful people behave and think versus those who aren’t. Successful people are positive. No, they are not positive because they are successful; they are successful because they are positive. They do not go around saying things such as “I am just being realistic” since they believe that they create their own reality. The glass is always half full. They draw positive opportunities to them.

Do not talk to negative people about your goals and dreams. How many times do we have a cherished dream and tell our negative friends and family? Quickly, they deflate our dream right before our eyes. But we must take responsibility and realize that we allowed that in the first place. If we know they are going to be negative, there is no need to tell them about our dreams and goals until after we have accomplished them. There is a beautiful quote from the movie, In the Pursuit of Happiness, where Will Smith’s character tells his son “Don’t ever let someone tell you, you can’t do something. Not even me. You got a dream, you got to protect it. People can’t do something themselves, they want to tell you you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.”

If you have dreams and goals you want to talk about, talk about it with mentors and other successful people. They have already accomplished great things, so they will be able to give you great advice and cheer you on. I don’t care if it’s your own mother. If she’s negative, God bless her, but don’t talk to her about your dreams.

Act in spite of fear – One of my favorite books of all time is Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker. Eker says, “Rich people act in spite of fear. Poor people let fear stop them.”

Have positive friends – Do not hang out with the negative nellies. There is a saying in Spanish that says, “dime con quién andas y te diré quién eres” which loosley translates to “Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are!” Want to be successful? Hang out with other successful people. Eker says “Rich people associate with positive, successful people. Poor people associate with negative and unsuccessful people.”

Be great at what you do right now- Are you currently at a job you dislike? Well, start liking it! Yes, you heard me. Find everything that you do like about your current job situation and be grateful that you have a job. Give 110% of yourself to your work and do it with pride. I am not suggesting you stay there forever. Eventually you will leave and start living your true life’s purpose but in the meantime, give it all you got and with a smile.

Giving and receiving– Are you good at receiving compliments? How are you at receiving gifts? Are you a generous person? Life is about finding a perfect balance of giving and receiving. In order to receive, we must give. Eker states, “Rich people are excellent receivers. Poor people are poor receivers.” One of my favorite books on wealth is called Spiritual Economics by Eric Butterworth and in the book Butterworth says “if ever there is a lack of any kind, whether it is a need for employment or for money or for guidance or even for healing, something is blocking the flow. And the most effective remedy: Give!”


Eat Healthy Food & Exercise– What does eating healthy have to do with success? Everything. I have never met a truly successful person that eats fast food everyday. Eating healthy is important for your mind, energy, mood and overall health. Buy organic, eat lots of fruits and veggies, drink tons of water, stop drinking sodas, and learn to read labels. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you should not be eating it!

Exercising doesn’t have to be some difficult workout. Walking 20 minutes a day will make a huge difference in your life. There are tons of fun exercises you can discover: yoga, zumba, dance class. Get off the couch and start moving!

Be Organized and Clean – In the extraordinary book Money & Women, Financial Guru Suze Orman says “you might be reading this and thinking that cleanliness is nice but not essential to your financial well-being. I am here to tell you that if this quality is not up front and center and if you do not adhere to it, there is no way you will ever own the power to control your destiny. Wealth will elude you, and you will be left with the mess you created.” 

Commit To Your Priorities– Most of us are running around like chicken with our heads cut off, but have we ever stopped and really evaluated what we do on a day-to-day basis? How much of it is really necessary? What can we permanently cut out of our schedule in order to allow time for things that will get us closer to our goals and dreams? Because truth be told, if we keep doing what we’ve always done, we will always get what we’ve always gotten.

Be In Control of Your Life– Eker also says “Rich people believe ‘I create my life’ poor people believe ‘life happens to me’”.

Be Grateful and Be Happy- The more you are grateful for the things you have in life, the more wonderful things will continue to come your way. Make a list of what you are grateful for and add to it daily. Choose to be happy now. Stop waiting to be happy. If you think that money will bring you happiness, I’ve got news for you; it won’t. If you are an unhappy and ungrateful person, with lots of money you will just become a very rich unhappy and ungrateful person.

Love Yourself and Love Others– The meaning of life is simple: we are here to love. In her class book A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson says “Love is the essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.” Forgive everyone and move on. Get rid of resentment and anger. BE love.

Have Faith- You must cultivate faith in yourself and in God. Start believing more in yourself and in your abilities. Never give-up and know that it’s not that successful people never fail, it’s that they never quit. Act as if your dreams have already come true.

Are you ready to be rich and famous?

Sending you lots of love and positive energy,


Connie Costa is a Writer, Inspirational Speaker & Life-Coach

She leads transformational events and retreats in Beverly Hills, Ojai & Italy

The Secret to an Extraordinary Life

“Women who stay in physically abusive relationships like to get hit, otherwise they would leave! Isn’t that right?” Believe it or not, I have been told this several times. When I first was asked this question, I never really knew what to answer, although I knew it did not make sense that women would stay because they “enjoyed” getting hit. The domestic abuse professor in my clinical psychology program didn’t help answer this question either. “We psychologists don’t really know why women take physical abuse. There is no common thread between these ladies. They can be poor, rich, lawyers, waitresses, educated, non-educated. There is no correlation between these ladies”.

Well, my professor and all the other “professionals” who believe this are dead-wrong! There is most definitely a common denominator: lack of self-love. These women (and men, they can get abused as well) lack self-esteem and self-worth, thus believe they deserve to get hit. They also believe that they do not deserve a better relationship and that this is as good as it gets. Plus, abusers are really good at convincing their victims it will never happen again and are great at giving them nice gifts, affection, and know exactly what to say to convince them to stay with them. The victim prefers to remember the “good times” and convinces herself that when it’s good, it’s really good and that she should be “happy.” In her mind, she’s surprised she gets attention so she is grateful to him. Thus, the vicious cycle continues.

Abusers can smell their prey from miles away. They can walk into a room and detect the women that can be controlled. You see, when you love yourself you talk different. You walk different. You look at people differently. You dress differently. You sound confident. You stand-up tall. You look at people in the eye. When people say “I’m shy” the translation is “I’m not confident.” Note: if your child is shy, please keep this in mind and explore this with them.

So what to do? The answer is simple: learn to love thyself. Somewhere in childhood, you learned that you were not worthy, and you loved yourself less and less. Perhaps you suffered abuse, or one of your parents left you, or didn’t pay enough attention to you, or perhaps they would make you feel stupid. Your self-esteem went down and you convinced yourself that you are not a lovable person.

Want to find out how much you love yourself? There are several things you can do. One exercise I do with my clients is I have them write ten things they love about themselves in less than one minute. Sounds simple? Well then, try it. Unfortunately, most of my clients write less than five things. Think about that for one moment. In one minute, most cannot write only TEN things they love about themselves. However, if I would tell them to write ten things they love about their child, best friend, or DOG I am sure they would easily come up with ten things (and then some!). I dream of a world where in our schools we have a mandatory class on self-love, just like math or English. Yes, it is that crucial. You see, when you love yourself, truly love yourself, you will never settle for less because you know you DESERVE better. You will have an amazing career, you will not put harmful substances in your body, you will eat healthy, you will surround yourself with positive people, have meaningful relationships, and you will definitely never put up with abuse. You know you are worthy to have an extraordinary life. So that’s another way you can gauge how much you love yourself. I don’t believe loving yourself is black and white, that you either love yourself or you don’t. Rather, I believe that there is a spectrum, and we will all fall somewhere along this spectrum. From “I’m madly in-love with myself” to the other side of the spectrum, “I despise myself”. I don’t know anyone who is completely on one side or the other; most of us fall somewhere within the spectrum. Question is, are you closer to the “I’m madly in-love with myself” or closer to the “I despise myself” end of the spectrum?

To find out, besides the fun exercise I just had you do, you can also answer these questions:

-Where do I work?

-How does my boss treat me?

-How do my peers treat me?

-Do I eat healthy food? Or do I mostly eat junk/fast food?

-Do I respect my body? Or do I disrespect it by using drugs or drinking alcohol?

-Do I have a constant exercise routine?

-What do I do to nourish my soul?

-Does my spouse respect me?

-Do my kids respect me?

-How are the relationships I surround myself with?

-Am I living my life’s purpose?

-Do I participate in any illegal activity?

-Do I always attract drama?

-How do I treat others?

-How do I spend my free time? TV all day? Surfing the Internet all day? Or do I do Yoga,

meditate, hike, and spend quality time with my friends and family?

-Am I happy?

In the book, You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay puts it very simply “the more you love yourself, the better your life works.” Makes sense to me. As cheesy as it sounds, it’s the most important thing you can work on. So, how do you love yourself more? You can start by answering the questions above and start taking baby steps on changing the answers you did not like. Stop participating in the activities that make you love yourself less and start doing what makes you feel better about yourself. Keep a journal. On one side of the page, write everything you are grateful for and on the other side, all your awesome qualities. Pay attention to compliments and add them to your list. Ask your friends and family what it is that they love about you. Add to both lists on a daily basis and read them every morning and every night. This takes discipline! If you are truly going to commit to a better life, then you must commit to this.

Are you ready to have an extraordinary life?

Sending you lots of love and positive energy,


Connie Costa is a Writer, Inspirational Speaker & Life-Coach

She leads transformational events and retreats in Beverly Hills, Ojai & Italy

Forgiving: The Key to Break Free

“I never give people second chances,” I proudly used to say. “Once they cross me, they are dead to me!” I thought I was so cool by stating this. Now I realize there was absolutely nothing cool about such foolishness. I grew up believing that to forgive was to be weak. I thought I was strong by giving people the silent treatment and ignoring them. When I felt hurt by anyone, I made sure they knew. It wasn’t until I started to work on myself and studied with amazing mentors that I realized the only person I was hurting for so many years, was myself. The people who had “hurt” me had probably long forgotten, while I was still ruminating on the experience.

All of us have been deeply hurt at one point or another in our lives. I am sure there are a few people we can think of right away who we are unable to forgive. Perhaps they lied to us, or abused our trust. Or perhaps it was something even more serious such as physical, sexual or emotional abuse. We can justify our anger and give several reasons why this person is “unforgivable.” We believe we can get back at them by “hating” them for life.  They shall never receive our forgiveness. But who is really suffering? In her transformational book, You Can Heal Your Life, author Louise Hay says “being unwilling to forgive is a terrible thing to do to ourselves. Bitterness is like swallowing a teaspoon of poison every day. It accumulates and harms us. It’s impossible to be healthy and free when we keep ourselves bound to the past.”  I know several people very close to me who have the mentality of “I shall never forgive” and constantly bring up all the stories of how they were betrayed or hurt. As they speak of their story, they either get really angry or start crying. They are re-living the situation time and time again. They are stuck in the past and refuse to move on.

Most of us feel that if we forgive people, we are excusing their behavior. This is not the case. What we are really doing is freeing ourselves from the prison we created. It never feels good to be bitter, resentful, angry or vengeful. Best-selling author Marianne Williamson says “holding on to judgment, blame, attack, defense, victimization, and so forth are absolutely attacks on yourself.” We are truly not hurting anyone but ourselves by holding on to our grudges. We believe we are being powerful and strong, but we are actually being very weak. Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. We do it for ourselves to get well and move on. In his amazing book, Love is Letting Go of Fear, Dr. Gerald Jampolsky says “forgiveness does not mean assuming a position of superiority and putting up with or tolerating behavior in another person that we do not like. Forgiveness means correcting our misperception that the other person harmed us.”  Many people do not like to hear this, but nothing anyone ever does to us matters; what matters is how we choose to react to it.  When we are wronged by someone, we have choices. We can decide to learn a powerful lesson, forgive and move on, or we can decide to never forgive and in turn hurt ourselves and drink the poison. The choice is ours. Marianne Williamson continues by saying that “nothing anyone has ever done to you has permanent effects unless you hold on to it permanently.” Rather than upset us, this should makes us feel good. We can break free and let it go. We can start feeling good again and bless those that wronged us.

One of my favorite quotes from Louise Hay is “one of our biggest spiritual lessons is to understand that ‘everyone’ is doing the best they can at any given moment. People can only do so much with the understanding, awareness, and knowledge that they have.” Something that really helps me on a day to day basis is that when someone mistreats me, I realize that only someone who is in a great deal of pain could possibly want to hurt another human being. So if someone is rude to me, rather than take it personally, I realize that person is hurting inside. The greater level of violence, the more they are hurting and the more they are in deep pain. Famous Buddhist monk Thích Nhất Hạnh said “whenever another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help.” I know many people in my life who are perceived as not very nice and have all had very tough childhoods. I am not excusing their behavior; I am simply understanding their behavior for my own personal growth.

I am not suggesting this is easy. I have personally battled with “forgiveness” issues all my life. But I do know that I am a much happier person than I was a few years ago. This is because I now (more often than not) choose love over fear.  I am “for-giving” love, not hate. Issues still come up, and I am still challenged, but I know the choice is mine. I am not a victim of circumstances; I create my own reality.

I also want to make it very clear that forgiving someone does not have to be in person, holding hands and singing Kumbaiah. You can write them a letter you never send or you can practice a forgiveness meditation in the comfort of your own home. They never have to know. Remember, this is mainly for you. You will know you have forgiven when you can think of them with no ill feelings and wish them well.

Never underestimate the power of forgiveness. There is an extraordinary story about a man named Dr. Hew Len, who healed a ward of mentally ill criminals. Dr. Len was assigned to one of the most intense mental hospitals in Hawaii; most of the patients were serious criminals who had committed crimes such as murder or rape. The staff was frightened of the patients since there were constant attacks among the patients and toward the staff. Turnover was very high. Once Dr. Len came on board, he requested the files for each patient and would close himself in his office. He would hardly request to see the patients; he was more interested in seeing their files. Eventually, a few patients became less aggressive. Other patients stopped attacking the staff. Staff started to stick around since the environment was becoming progressively better. Ultimately, most of the patients were cured and discharged. The hospital closed a few years later. So what was Dr. Len’s secret? He would grab each file one at a time, place his hand on the file and say a simple Hawaiian prayer called Ho’oponopono that goes “I love You, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank You.”

Yup, that’s it. That’s all it took. I am going to say it again, never underestimate the power of prayer or the power of forgiveness.

Are you ready to forgive and set yourself free?

Sending you lots of love and positive energy,


Connie Costa is a Writer, Inspirational Speaker & Life-Coach

She leads transformational events and retreats in Beverly Hills, Ojai & Italy

Your Soul Mate is Waiting

With tears in my eyes, I watched how my fiancé rode away in the Greyhound bus with a one-way ticket destined to Florida. I never saw him again. We had been together for several years and I was positive that he was “the one.” Sadly, a few years earlier, he became addicted to a harmful substance.

I was very young and naïve. I noticed Greg was behaving differently, but I had no idea what was going on with him. Greg’s behavior worsened. He became extremely jealous, paranoid, angry, depressed, and irresponsible. One day, I caught him having a conversation with his television. That’s when I decided that I was no longer going to put myself through that. Many times when a loved one is going through a hard time we desperately want to “save them”. For months, I tried to “save Greg”, but all in vain. I then realized that I could not save Greg; Greg had to save himself. Today I know the most important reason why I did not stay in the relationship: I love and respect myself. I did not want to stay in a toxic relationship, and I knew I deserved better.

How many times do we stay in a relationship that no longer serves us (or our partners)? We either stay because we hope they will change, feel bad for them, prefer feeling comfortable, or are afraid we will not find a better relationship. We fear the unknown and prefer to be miserable because at least we know what to expect. My Sicilian cousin, Gianni, was in a relationship for over 12 years, and for most of those years it had been an extremely toxic and unhealthy relationship. When I asked why he did not end it, he would always say he felt bad for her. I explained to Gianni that precisely for that reason it wasn’t fair to her, and that the best thing he could do was to end the relationship so she could move on and find someone who truly wanted to be with her. We are doing a disservice by staying in relationships we know are going nowhere. Gianni was standing in the way of his own happiness. Subconsciously, he believed he did not deserve a healthy relationship and that it was too good to be true. It wasn’t until he opened up to the possibility that perhaps his true soul mate was out there waiting for him and understood that relationships are not meant to be a struggle and full of pain. By the grace of God, I convinced him, and he is now in a healthy, loving relationship and recently got engaged. Gianni cannot thank me enough. His ex-girlfriend is now free to find her soul mate as well, rather than staying with someone who simply pitied her.

Too many people live in what I like to call a “life coma.” It seems as if they are living, but they really aren’t. They are just going through the motions. They are in loveless relationships, but make excuses as to why they should stay. “I am doing it for the kids” is a very popular excuse. Quite frankly, I think the best example we can give to our children is to be in loving, positive relationships even if it’s not mommy with daddy. Our children can sense when we are unhappy, so we are setting the example of sacrifice to our children. In essence, we are saying that you must stay in a relationship even if you are miserable for the sake of the kids.

I expected Greg to eventually return healed, so that we could finally get married. However, life had other plans. Months later, I started dating a lovely man named George, fell in love, and for over 12 years we have been going strong. Had you told me at that train station that Greg was not the one I was meant to marry and that someone else was my soul mate, I would have thought you were insane. I believed it with my heart and soul that he was the one. Now I know the true meaning of love, and I could not have chosen a better partner.

Most people go from one relationship to the next. Their deepest fear is to be alone. They act like monkeys; hanging on to the next branch before they let go of the first branch. I do not recommend this. I believe it is essential to take some time off and reflect on the last relationship. We cannot simply blame our ex-partners for what went wrong. We must see what part we played in the relationship as well. Only then, will we truly grow. Chew on this for a bit: are you always attracting partners that cheat, or lie, or criticize you, or___? Then is it safe to say that you have strong beliefs around these issues. If you are always saying things such as “men are all cheaters” please realize that that is exactly what you are going to attract in your life. Our egos want to prove us right, so we keep attracting the same type of people. This all happens on a subconscious level.  The only way to break the pattern and avoid this from happening is to do the inner work. Stop looking for your other half, you are not broken! And stop saying you need someone to “complete” you. The more you work on yourself the more you will attract an amazing partner. Alan Cohen says, “When you fall in love with yourself, you will be irresistible to everyone else.”

Please do not settle for less. We are all meant to have blissful, loving, and respectful relationships. Here are some fun exercises that will assist you in attracting your soul mate.

  1. First you must believe that your soul mate is out there.
  2. Write a list of your perfect mate’s characteristics, leave nothing out. Write physical and emotional traits. Do you want a partner that supports you in your career? That respects you? That is loyal? Write it all down. Make sure your list is positive and in the present tense, for example, write “my partner is loyal” as opposed to “my partner will never cheat”. This is really important.
  3. Write a list of the type of person you need to be in order to attract such a wonderful partner in your life. If you want a positive partner, then you cannot be a negative person. Like attracts like. Or if you want a partner that leads a healthy lifestyle you cannot be the type of person that eats chips and watches TV all day. Take steps towards becoming a better version of yourself.
  4. Know that you DESERVE to have this partner. Write a list of all your wonderful attributes.
  5. Be happy NOW. Schedule fun things to do such as dinner dates with friends, join a yoga class, read an inspiring book or go on a Spiritual retreat. Do things that nourish your soul. Be grateful for what you have now.

Your soul mate is waiting for you. Are you ready to let them in your life?

Sending you lots of love and positive energy,


Connie Costa is a Writer, Inspirational Speaker & Life-Coach

She leads transformational events and retreats in Beverly Hills, Ojai & Italy






FEAR: False Evidence Appearing to be Real

“I need some drugs!” I nervously told my Doctor, “strong drugs for anxiety!” “For what?” she curiously replied, “I was chosen to be the commencement speaker and represent the Master’s in Clinical Psychology class. That means I will be speaking in front of thousands! HELP ME!” “Sure. I will prescribe something for you.”

The day came and I was skipping along, totally relaxed and laughing “aren’t you super nervous?” my classmates asked, “nope. I’m on drugs!” I happily replied. They gave me a disturbed look and walked away.

When I walked on stage, I delivered an impeccable speech (if I may say so myself) and when I got off stage several people walked up to me, embraced me, and told me they were deeply inspired. Little did I know that was the seed that was planted for a future of inspirational speaking.

Since then, I have spoken in front of thousands, minus the drugs. Today, I am against medication and prefer a holistic approach. The times I spoke after that I wanted to make sure I could do it without medication and yet I was very fearful. After all, did you know the #1 fear in America is public speaking followed by the #2 fear which is death. That means that more people would rather be in the coffin that giving the eulogy. No joke. But I kept at it, and even though I was super nervous I just forced myself to do it and eventually, I became less and less fearful. Today, I can speak in front of a large crowd with no issues (and again, no drugs).

Have you ever noticed just how much our life is ruled by fear? I have and it’s not cute. We are really good at asking “what if?” and creating a billion scenarios of all the things that could go wrong. Hence, we stay in our comfort zone and do not move forward because we are fearful of what “might happen”. Sounds pretty silly, right? In her amazing book, Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway, Susan Jeffers says that “it is reported that 90% of what we worry about never happens. That means that our negative worries have less than a 10% chance of being correct. If this is so, isn’t being positive more realistic than being negative?” Jeffers continues by saying that when she teaches the importance of being positive, most of her students tell her that it is not realistic to be positive. Then Jeffers asks a powerful question “what makes negative thinking more realistic?” Sure enough, they do not have an answer.

Truth be told, our mind is there to protect us. It finds a billion different “scary” outcomes because it thinks it’s helping us. Once you hear all the negative chatter in your mind, the best way to handle it is by talking to your head (make sure you don’t do this out loud unless you want people to think you have lost it) and say, “thank you, but I got this!”  My mentor Alan Cohen says, “Do you know what FEAR is the acronym for? False Evidence Appearing to be Real”.

I wish I could tell you there is a way to magically make fear disappear, but there isn’t. As long as there is growth, there will be some level of fear. If there is no fear in your life, that means you are stagnant and not growing. The good news is that the best way to ease fear is by simply “feeling the fear, and doing it anyway!” like Jeffers suggests. You will see how what you were afraid “might happen” will actually not happen and you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner, whether it was to start your own business, start a certain relationship, or leave that job you dread.

But what if you truly don’t succeed? Anthony Robbins tells us, “there is no such thing as failure, only results” which means that you take the results, study them, and learn what to NOT do next time. The great Michael Jordan puts it a different way, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Jordan goes on to say, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

So go ahead, what are you waiting for?

Sending you lots of love and positive energy,


Connie Costa is a Writer, Inspirational Speaker & Life-Coach

She leads transformational events and retreats in Beverly Hills, Ojai & Italy