And there goes my fear of snakes…

I could tell you all about my fear of snakes, the dreams, the childhood memories, the pictures in my head. Of course, many people are afraid of snakes, spiders, heights, tight places, water, and the list goes on and on.

There is very little training in the world on how to use our brains. Isn’t it amazing…the thoughts that get into our head that become a little obsessive, running over and over and over again like a movie reel. For years, I never even saw a snake, but in my mind, every curved stick was ready to slither and large snakes hid in tall grass. I even had a “strategy” if I encountered a snake on on the bike trail. I would use my bike as a shield between myself and the snake so it could not attack me.

Last week, I had the remarkable experience of spending 7 days in London getting my NLP Certification with NLP masters, Richard Bandler, , John and Kathleen LaValle and the famous British hypnotist, Paul McKenna.

The Fast Phobia Cure is really fast. Within an hour I was perfectly willing to touch a large snake ( it felt like a smooth snakeskin purse) and hold it in my arms, stroking it’s head. This is because the pictures, or the movie I was running in my head got altered. Look at the photo, my life long phobia has disappeared,  and now what I see, hear, and feel is this beautiful creature.

This particular NLP exercise takes us into an imaginary movie theater where we watch our greatest fear, and with a series of visualizations, white out the movie screen. I can only tell you that it worked on every person there. By the way, there were also tarantulas, and a box for those who were claustrophobic. The exercise uses NLP language patterns, especially linkage.

Would you like to get over a phobia or fear? How about a little fear, like fear of prospecting? Prospecting  by the way is not a phobia, it’s just a small fear.


As a Licensed Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, I seek to help people work with their own brains. This is NOT therapy and it does not take months or years. If you are interested, please contact me at



What Politics Can Teach Us About Our Clients

Whether you are a fan of politics or not, now is a great time to observe the workings of the human mind.
With NLP, we can be aware of unconscious metaprograms, which are filters that direct the human brain in processing the billion bits of information entering through our senses.  Of course it is always easier to look at other people’s metaprograms than look, see, and tell the truth about our own. An election is a great opportunity to study our own thought patterns.

One metaprogram (filter) we use all the time is called Sameness/Difference. It is natural for our brains to do this and natural for our clients to look for Sameness or Difference in an agent ( just as it is natural to look for Sameness or Difference in a political figure).

Sameness  or Difference is a sorting mechanism that  is primal to our nature. Through it we filter for safety and danger. Sameness is something that makes clients feel more protected and comfortable.

It’s obvious why we work to find commonality with clients and look for Sameness. Because with sameness, we also feel more comfortable. “You like ice cream?”  “Me too!”. However, you may also be working with a client who wants a different or new experience.

Clients have a preference for Sameness, Sameness with Exception, Difference, or Sameness with Exception and Difference. You can study this at a deeper level through coaching. I will highlight some of the words that give clues or can be used once you know a preference.


Question: How does this house compare to your last house?

Sameness: “It is exactly the same as my other counter.The kitchen has the identical granite.”
Sameness with Exception: “It is the same but it has more space in the kitchen and less closet space. ”
Difference: “It is totally different. Everything about it is brand new.”
Sameness with Exception and Difference: “The kitchen layout is the same but there are more cabinets and I’ve never seen a counter like this before.

As you work with a client you will begin to notice their pattern. I have a friend whom I bike with and she will not want to ride on the same trail again, always seeking out new places to ride. She is looking for Difference. If you have been working with a client who is looking at more and more houses, it’s useful to find out whether they are searching for the experience of Sameness or Difference so that you can help them narrow the search. If you are working on a listing, it is CRITICAL to find out whether they are looking for Sameness or Difference in an agent.

Check out my most recent blog on The Mindset of Freedom:

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Personal NLP Coaching for Success: Email

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What does Freedom Mean to You?


What is freedom in our business and our life?

Freedom means many things to many people. Today we will focus on the mindset of freedom in our business and how it can empower you.

Many times we are motivated by the search for freedom and the relief that we perceive freedom to be, whether it’s a day off or a vacation in the woods.

What are some of the ways that we search for freedom in our business?


To be debt free?

To work toward retirement
To have a day off

To turn off the phone for an hour, a day or even longer

To have less to take care of

To have more time

To be less scheduled

To have less responsibility

To have more play time

To spend more time with family and friends

To have a large bank account.

To take a vacation

Being in “control” of your life and what you want to do

Which side of the coin do you want? 

There is a difference between what it means for us to be free from something and to be free to do or be something. Freedom from and freedom to are two sides of the freedom coin. Know this and you will understand how you are motivated! In NLP we know that people are usually motivated by moving toward a goal, or away from that which makes us uncomfortable.


Freedom From-Turning the phone off gives me freedom from interruptions and stress

Freedom To-Staying on schedule gives me freedom to have more play time.


One of the greatest insights we can have is to observe for ourselves what we mean by freedom and what we are searching for. 

Many times we think that Freedom will solve a problem for us. If we are deep in financial debt and start working our way out of it, we envision a freedom day where we will jump for joy and cut up all of our credit cards.



Freedom is often not in our physical space…after all, none of us is tethered to a desk. Freedom lies in our imagination, a horizon that we long for, a dream, or as we say in coaching “visionary reality.”


Sometimes Freedom IS in our physical space. I long to have fewer possessions and more clarity in my household. I love this definition of minimalism. “ A tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor or focusing on what’s important-so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.”


Clarity is Freedom

There is true freedom in being able to see what is right in front of us with clarity. As I was mulling over freedom this weekend, I came across a blog on living with less. One of the things it proposed was to go in each room of your house and count how many things are in each room. I realize that I spend to much time looking for things, and buying extras of what I already have. (Have you ever mapped out where everything is at in your office? That’s on my freedom list this week)


Our numbers tracker tool is a great tool for clarity. When you know your personal formula for what it takes to get a listing or a sale, there is no fuzziness around why business is not proceeding the way you hoped. There is freedom in that and relief from worry. Actions=results.


Clarity would be planning days off in advance. Freedom does not often come from simply being a boat adrift. Many of you have experienced this as your work days run together with no vacations or days off.


Make a list of where you long for more freedom. Create a freedom plan. If you need time to drift without a plan, plan for that!


Freedom comes from multiple points of view

Our limits are only in our mind. When we think external events are causing us problems, it is our thoughts about these events that cause us problems, not the circumstances themselves. We use conditional dialogue like, “when I get my taxes done, then I can be happy.” when it’s really our thoughts about our taxes, not the physical act of doing them. We program our brains/thoughts every day.  Seeing things in new ways from new perspectives is the freedom to choose your attitude. In the words of Owen Fitzpatrick, “One of the most important freedoms we have is to see one situation from multiple points of view.” How often do we take the time to practice this?”


(Hint: an election season is the perfect time to practice this)


Creativity leads to Freedom

The co-founder of NLP, Richard Bandler says, “ To me, freedom is the single most important experience that human beings can have. It is the act of creation itself-not just creating great things like art and music, but creating the great moments of your life.”


Stress and worry stifle creativity. When you can reinvent your business on a regular basis, there is such a freedom in that. What other job allows for this?  Moving away from the norm, having clarity, questioning what works and what doesn’t, stepping out of our comfort zone…these are all freedoms that he have in Real Estate. So you can make the mental choice…will you be free today or live in some imagined servitude.


If you want to be more free..

Owen Fitzpatrick says, “ If you want to be free or if you want to bring more joy into your life, you must choose to change in certain ways. You must choose to learn about freedom. You must choose to learn about change. You must choose to learn about how you experience your problems. You must choose how you experience your relationships. You must choose how you understand the universe. You must choose how you act, you think, and live.”


Make your freedom list. What freedom do you dream of? Freedom is a great motivator.


Are you preoccupied with your limitations? Your limits are only in your mind…and your mind belongs to you. Play with life. Be like a child on the playground. It’s what we think about our business and circumstances that causes us problems…not the circumstances themselves. Having the mindset of freedom gives us a vast ability to grow


Increase your Confidence with this NLP Exercise

Brinley Platts, co-author of Building Self Confidence for Dummies defines confidence this way, “ At it’s heart, confidence is the ability to take appropriate and effective action in any situation, however challenging it appears to you or others.”

As Real Estate agents, a lost listing, a crazy making client, or a slow month can cause our confidence to wilt. The strategy is often to get ourselves to a convention, or listen to a podcast, where the energetic speaker inspires with a rags to riches story or a new technique or skill.
We are now pumped up and FULL of confidence. This lasts for a while and then something derails us and we slide back down the scale. Seeing a fantastic speaker is a great experience, but it’s not long lasting and it’s not intrinsic. It’s a veneer that can wear away over time.


Here is just ONE of MANY NLP techniques you can use on a regular basis to increase your confidence on an internal level. Once you have the process down, it will only take you a few minutes a day.

1. Write down where your confidence is right now on a scale of 1-100 with 1 being the lowest and 100 being the highest.
2. Imagine that you are about to be interviewed by your local news  reporter about everything you have accomplished in your life from grade school to the present moment. To prepare for this interview you go into a room and put down a pad of paper, get a pen and start to writing down all your accomplishments, all the way to back when you were a child.The things you write down may be the AMAZING art work your parents proudly put on the refrigerator, a graduation, a marathon, work projects, weight loss…all the things you are proud of. Look at grade school, summer jobs, all the things you are proud of. Imagine yourself writing at the table.
3. See yourself in a chair at a table in a room divided in two  with a glass wall. On the other side of the glass wall, there is an identical chair and table. Now see your essence/spirit float through the glass and see yourself sitting in the chair, at the table, on the other side of the glass. You can see yourself on the other side of the wall, writing down your accomplishments.
4. Also, on the other side of the glass, as you do that, someone from your life is standing right beside you. Someone who loves you or someone who values you highly. It could be a person, or your favorite pet. On the other side of the glass you step into their body and observe how they see you, hear what they think about you, and feel the depth of their love thoughts and feelings for you. When you have all three….
5. Imagine yourself stepping out of their body, now float back through the wall and your spirit steps back into your body. When you step back into your body it changes things. You can now see how they see you, hear what they think about you, and feel the depth of their love, thoughts and feelings for you internally. Anchor this experience by pressing on your knuckle.
6. Quickly write down where your confidence level is right now on a scale of 1-100.

When you look at where your confidence was at the beginning of the exercise, did it increase? This is self esteem and confidence that is authentic and will give you a great life.


The application of NLP to anyone in business is extraordinary, especially those of us in sales.

1. NLP is like a “users” manual for the mind. 

What we see and hear is what we think about, and what we think about is what we feel, and what we feel influences our reactions, and our reactions influence our habits which influence our destiny.sales

2. NLP is the study of excellence. It’s an attitude of learning, curiosity, and ways of being in the
world. With NLP strategies, we can have excellence at our fingertips whenever we choose.

3. NLP is the conscious and unconscious modeling of patterns of others. 

4. NLP is not a thing. It is the study of of what works, especially what works well. 

In this short video from Richard Bandler,  he talks about NLP in business and how precise communication and predicates will win over “sloppy” communication.  One of the things you will learn in April’s NLP series is how to be more conscious of what you say and how you say it…which will automatically change the response you get. Some of the patterns you will learn are: Conversation Shifts, Double and Single Binds, Cause and Effect Language, and more. These patterns help close people faster and with ease.

Sign up for the free webinar on April 8th at NOON EDT where I will talk more about what is included in the class series I have developed SPECIFICALLY FOR REAL ESTATE AGENTS.

Here are the dates and sign up for the actual classes:

Remember, what you put your attention on expands…

Write a Letter to the Future


Subtitle: love who you have become a year from now

Why take the time to write a letter to your future? There are many good reasons to do this, and agents who have done it have reported amazement  when they see their letter in a year and realize that they have set in motion a path to their future.

The letter to the future is a way to create a marker in time where you will shine and have developed into the person that you desire to be. You may be asking “how” you can possibly know what will have happened a year from now. Well the good news is, you don’t have to know. This is a dreaming exercise, similar to the one we do at the Disney workshop at our Your Coaching Matters events. You don’t need to know how, or all the things that could be pitfalls along the way…you only know that you have a desire that you would deeply love to fulfill.

The letter creates a movie that lives in your unconscious mind- and the more you practice the part you want to play, the more you will begin to simply believe.

Here are some steps you get you started!

  1.  Write the letter in first person, second person or third person.
    1st person would begin something like: As I stand here December 2016
    2nd person would begin something like: Donna, you did so well last year at growing
    3rd person would begin something like: She became a hero to herself in 2016.
    (Most people who do this exercise seem to prefer 2nd person)
    * Fun Exercise: Try writing in all three voices and see how it changes.Look back or look forward, your choice. You may prefer to write the letter as if you are looking forward at coming attractions or have traveled into the future and are looking back. “Susan wants you to know that in Dec 2016, she have exercised over 200 times and tracked it.
    “As Susan looks back she remembers the day in December 2015 when she started     consistently using numbers tracker and now a year later, she is celebrating with her staff at their favorite restaurant.”

2.   In NLP ( Neuro-Linguistic Programming) we look at timelines as a powerful way to create an exciting future as well as overcome limitations from the past. You can physically use this exercise to to take a tour of your timeline and help solidify your letter. Take several pieces of paper and put them on the floor as if you were rolling out a magic carpet. Write Dec 2016 on one of the pieces of paper. Depending on whether you are looking forward or looking back from December 2016, the piece of dated paper will be closest to you or the last piece of paper. Step onto the 1st piece of paper and shut your eyes and allow yourself to see your timeline as a river. You are floating above it and looking down on the place you will be a year from now. What do you see?

3. Get out your Standards of Integrity. Here is your opportunity to be all of the qualities of being that are near and dear to your heart. Look at your list. If you were being those qualities, what would you be doing? Who would you be with? Where would you go?

4. Review your Life Intentions. What was an important goal to you last year may have shifted. Discern 2 or 3 of your top Life Intentions or have your coach guide you. If one of your top Life Intentions for instance is to be Financially Successful, dream about what that could look like a year from now. Who would you be with, what would you be doing, where would you go?

5. Who are the most important people in your life? Name 4 or 5 people, family members, mentors, friends, coaches and put them in your movie. Imagine them supporting you and cheering you on.

6. What are you excited about? What has excited you in the past? Be wildly ambitious, and take a no holds barred approach to who you would want to be.

7. Make it an action movie. a romance or a comedy. The letter will tell a lot about you. Whatever theme you choose, make sure there is plenty of action to keep the audience ( you) interested.

8. Give yourself some loving. If you were starring in a movie, you would build up the main character. Acknowledge yourself for you will will be in the next 12 months. Be proud and appreciate. And don’t forget to be grateful for a life well live.

9. What would you like to let go of or release? This is a process that Donna Stott will go over in more depth at the end of the year call.

10. Sign your letter and date it. Share it with your coach and celebrate together. Email it to yourself for future delivery at If you would like to have your letter stored and mailed to you a year from now, you can use a service called

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The Beginning of a Bullet Journal

Notes, napkins, computers apps, spreadsheets…I have tried it all in my quest for the perfect system to keep my life centralized and organized.

Any Real Estate agent who has ever written down a phone number on a scrap of paper and found it months later under the car seat, realizes the importance of collecting information in a meaningful way.

And then this year, I made a HUGE discovery called The Bullet Journal. Don’t ask me how I found out about it, I have not a clue. In the avalanche of things that grasp for attention, this was one system that intrigued me. And it wasn’t just a system, it was a movement, a virtual cult. A slow down to speed up way of putting my brain on paper.

I’ve always known, I’m an analog girl in a digital world. While I embrace technology, device reading is not as enjoyable as have a physical book in my hands. The same seems to hold true for staying organized. I’m excited about a blank book, a pen, and an old school system that is also a new way of mind mapping.

Check back because over the next few months, I will be sharing the Bullet Journal as it evolves.

The Bullet Journal is a flexible process and you can get started with a blank Moleskin or other notebook you might have around.  I got geeky and read a bunch of blogs and then I could accept nothing less than the gold standard of journals, the German made LEUCHTTURM1917 dotted. They come in a beautiful array of colors, but don’t expect to get one delivered quickly because they quickly sell out due to demand.

Get started with the basic Bullet Journal process by watching this video.

The appeal of the bullet journal is slowing down to speed up. Stay tuned.



Soft Eyes

Soft Eyes

A State as defined in NLP is ” your actual condition ( emotional, physical and mental), appropriate or otherwise, at any particular moment.”

One of the greatest challenges we face in sales is managing our internal ability to be in a powerful, receptive and energetic state when we are talking to or meeting with clients.

Peripheral Awareness is a process through which you can notice everything that is going on around you and inside you in a way that will relax you and relax your client.

Soft eyes is one of the techniques that you can practice that will enhance your ability to expand your attention and help in difficult circumstances. In most sales situations we are self focused or have tunnel awareness which closes down our ability to view the sales call more resourcefully.

  1. First you will want to simply practice your peripheral vision by being aware of what is above you and beside you. You’ll want to do this by looking straight ahead without moving your eyes left or right or up. Once you master this you will be able to sense more about your clients without ever breaking eye contact.
  2. Most of our day is spent using foveal vision which is that part of the eye which can focus on small things such as threading a needle or looking at a computer screen ( tunnel awareness).
  3. Soft eyes combines foveal and peripheral vision by allowing us to see detail as well as what is happening in the wider perspective. We can still focus on the color of someone’s eyes and see our interaction as if we were observing it in a large picture. Using the soft eyes technique you become more relaxed and it becomes easier to have a meaningful connection.
  4. Practice looking at someone and being aware of a point about three feet behind them and then look at their face. This will alternate between peripheral and foveal vision and start you down the right path. We do this naturally when we drive as we focus on the road and also are aware of the landscape and cars beside us in a defocused way.
  5. Clients will naturally relax when you relax with the soft eyes method. As you practice it, one of the benefits will be that internal dialogue will become less negative. Soft eyes can inhibit stress, procrastination, and anxiety. Would that help you connect and close better?


Where’s Waldo? The Neuroscience of Finding Leads

Where's Waldo? How to use neuroscience to filter what's important

Where’s Waldo? How to use neuroscience to filter what’s important. Source:

Are you familiar with the popular series of children’s books “Where’s Waldo?” Each colorful book invites us to look at pictures crowded with people and we are challenged to find Waldo by looking for his distinctive red and white striped shirt. in the exercise of looking, we become totally focused, filtering out other colors and images until we find Waldo.

“Where’s Waldo” is a great metaphor for how we handle leads and  filter information.  Regular prospecting creates a large database of potential buyers and sellers for lead follow up.  As agents, we try to discern which one is Waldo, the brightest prospect who will pop out and gain our focus and attention. Our Waldo is a viable lead who will take action in a reasonably short period of time…if we can find him.

As an example, let’s look at an agent who is skilled and diligent at setting a daily lead generation goal and starts hitting big numbers in terms of contacts. This creates increased demands on the agent’s brain and scatters his or her attention, as the agent tries to focus on multiple leads at once. Which lead deserves focus and attention? Often agents will start to follow up randomly and haphazardly instead of taking the time to pay attention to ONE CLIENT.

In the book, The Organized Mind, the author says, “To pay attention to one thing means we don’t pay attention to something else. Attention is a limited capacity resource.” In other words, we cannot possibly give the attention to everything at once. We need an attention and intention filter.

On a recent coaching call, I worked with an agent who is successfully using an auto dialer to make prospecting calls and has an opportunity filled database for follow up. And yet, how does he get to them all?

It’s important to put attention on the  leads within your database based on WHEN they will make a decision to list or sell. Push the long range leads back and have an assistant sent them a handwritten card. When you can use your attentional filter to focus on your brightest and most motivated leads, your Waldo’s come to the forefront.

Find the leads, Filter the leads, Focus.


The Victim Role in the DramaTriangle

Superman as victim of Kryptonite

Superman as victim of Kryptonite

In the victim role, whether it is us or our client, there is a sense of ” Poor Me”. An internal voice may say ” Why is this always happening to me?” If  we have transactions falling apart it can send us spiraling into victim hood. The experience of this is a sense of being powerless, hopeless, helpless and a victim of circumstances beyond our control.

A client may be searching for the perfect house as other choices are sold out from under them. They may express that this is always happening to them and they feel frustrated and powerless to find the house that will be a perfect fit.

The victim searches for a “Rescuer” in the drama triangle. Often the agent works harder and harder to become that “Rescuer” that will find the solution to the victim’s dilemma.

When we choose to stay in victim mode, decision making becomes more difficult, life gets harder, and and our vision becomes clouded. All of these support the role of acting out the victim role as we look for confirmation that this is the way things are.