No Matter What!

9 Steps to Living the Life You Love

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around April 13, 2009. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

From bestselling author and motivational speaker Lisa Nichols comes a unique and powerful inspirational program that will both move you and empower you to realize your dreams. Millions are trying to live by The Secret’s Law of Attraction, but the truth is it won’t work unless you flex your all-important “bounce-back” muscles, which give you the ability to successfully navigate life’s speed bumps.

By developing and toning her own bounce-back muscles at critical points in her life, Lisa found the power to become her authentic self and achieve everything she dared to hope for. Now, in No Matter What, she offers a groundbreaking program that outlines these 9 Steps or “muscles”, which include among others your Confidence, Faith-in-Myself, Honesty Out Loud and Forgiveness muscles, and explains how anyone can use them to achieve happiness and off-the-charts success. In this powerful guide Lisa Nichols introduces her dynamic plan, shares her own remarkable story, and prescribes specific exercises and action steps to inspire readers to learn from their past and move toward a courageous future.

“I’ve watched Lisa Nichols light up rooms and inspire thousands for years. As a featured teacher in The Secret, she explained the Law of Attraction, but now, for the first time, she reveals her own secret to happiness: the Law of No Matter What. Read this book, and learn to create the things in life you believed were out of reach.” –Marci Shimoff, bestselling author of Happy for No Reason and featured teacher in The Secret

“Lisa is a living example of what it takes to overcome the inevitable obstacles in your path…with the help of this book, you’ll be able to soar to success–no matter what!” –Jack Canfield, Co-Author of the New York Times Bestselling Chicken Soup for the Soul Series

“Lisa Nichols is a rock star of personal growth! Gutsy and authentic, in No Matter What, Lisa uses her charismatic and influential style to teach resilience. Whether you are a seasoned student of character and enlightenment or just starting, this book is a must read, advanced course for possibility.” –Stephen M. R. Covey, author of The New York Times bestseller The Speed of Trust


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Table of Contents

Copyright Page


Putting Some Skin In

Peeling Back the Layers of Self in Order to Grow

Be the change you want to see in the world.

—Mahatma Gandhi


Thank You for Using This Imperfect Child

Ask for what you want—even at the risk of getting it.


IT WAS EVERY MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER'S DREAM. I'D BEEN INVITED to appear on a wildly popular, nationally televised talk show and had accepted eagerly.

In my first phone conference with one of the show's producers, she asked me, "Can you tell me more about your life? How has it changed now that you've had a measure of success in your career?"

I replied, "In order for me to tell you how good my life is now, I have to tell you how much of a mess it was before. It's the only way you could adequately understand the miracle of my journey."

The two of us clicked; she seemed genuinely interested as I revealed the raw truth of my past. She ended the call by asking, "Would you be willing to share these kinds of details about yourself on the show if we asked you to?"

"Yes" jumped out of my mouth before I really thought it through.

Immediately, my mind screamed, Lisa, what have you done? Although my spirit was all for it, the rest of me had to catch up. This really hit home when the producer asked me to package up the vision board I'd described to her, a collection of images that spoke to my most personal dreams and goals, and send it to her for the show. Talk about feeling exposed!

For the next two weeks, I wrestled with myself and my qualms. I had enough esteem to tell my story—breakdowns, imperfections, and all—to five thousand other people, ten thousand other people, even fifty thousand other people, as I routinely did in my seminars. But was I ready to let millions of people whose faces I would never see know the most intimate details of my life?

The morning of the show, I woke up at 3:00, overcome with anxiety. I wasn't ready for this. I didn't have the formal training to be an "expert." All I knew came from experience. How could I possibly go in front of all those people and let them know how often and how badly I'd screwed up in my life? Eventually, I called my friend and prayer partner, Fluke. He was the only one I knew who wouldn't mind a call at such an hour, and I asked him to help me get through this fear-storm. I was going to do the show, but I wanted to be at peace about it. He heard me out and began to pray with me.

As I sat listening to his voice, still shaking inside, one line of his prayer hit me like a thunderbolt. "God," he said, "thank you for using this imperfect child of yours to help your other imperfect children."

Yes! That was it! I wasn't perfect, but I was being used to help other people like me—people who had gone through hard times, who wanted to be good but who had made mistakes and wanted to bounce back.

Suddenly, I could breathe again; I felt a cloak of calm descend. I'd finally given myself permission to just be me.

Are you ready to just be you? Ready to accept that even though you may not be perfect, you have an important place in the world to fill?

Know, right now, that there are things you are here on earth to do, people's lives you are here to touch, and everything—and I mean everything—that's happened to you from the moment you were born has been preparing you for that purpose.

Once you accept this truth, all that's left to do is to walk forward with arms open to embrace that purpose, knowing that you can handle whatever lies ahead.

All that's left to do is to develop your bounce-back muscles.


A Confession and a Promise


Though I'm featured in the hit film and book The Secret and travel around the world speaking about the Law of Attraction, for most of my life, I've been guided by a different law, the one I call the Law of No Matter What. No matter what happened to me, no matter what people said to discourage me, no matter what I looked like or what I weighed, a small voice inside kept reminding me that I had the right to live the life of my dreams. Over and over I told myself, Keep going for what you want—no matter what! I was determined to set free my "inner champion," and I stayed focused on that goal.

Today, I've come to see that using the Law of No Matter What is an integral part of the process of having what you want in life—in fact, if you don't use it, you can't expect the Law of Attraction, which simply states that like attracts like, to really work for you. That's because the Law of No Matter What is a commitment to action. You can ask for what you want, you can think about it, focus on it, but when you say "no matter what," you add acceleration to your desires with your unwavering intention. Without it, you remain stuck in "I hope," "I wish," and "maybe."

Apply the Law of No Matter What by making the declaration, "I'll do what I need to do. I'll go where I need to go. I'll build the parts of my character I need to build so that I can get it done!" The Law of No Matter What moves your goals out of the realm of optional. Instead of waiting and hoping they'll happen, you're creating them—on every single level of your being. You increase your success exponentially when you use both of these powerful laws.

Unfortunately, there have been times when I simply haven't had the strength or the courage to apply the Law of No Matter What. Negative thoughts and feelings about myself and my situation would take over completely, and as a result I made some very poor choices.

Still, even that had a bright side. Every single setback I faced strengthened what I call my bounce-back muscles—my Understanding Muscle, my Faith-in-Myself Muscle, my Forgiveness Muscle, and so on. These struggles made me stronger and more capable of moving ahead to create a better life. Today, my well-developed bounce-back muscles help me quickly turn my setbacks into setups for success, and when something feels challenging or bigger than I am, those same muscles give me the ability and the confidence to "bounce forward" in life!

The book you hold in your hands is my way of sharing that experience with you wherever you are in the world—to inspire you to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you can create the life you so deeply desire. In these pages, I take you with me on my journey, showing you what I was attracting to myself, the chaos my choices were creating, the lessons I learned from them, and the tools I used to turn my breakdowns into breakthroughs. When you see what I've made it through, you'll know for sure you can do it, too! And the advice and steps that I've outlined throughout the book will show you how.

I believe that the power of this book is that I tell the truth first. I take a risk by climbing off the podium and leaving the safety of the stage to uncover my truth and share the unvarnished me with you. As my grandmother would say, I put some skin in. And because I put some skin in, I can ask you to put some skin in, too. I'd like to start this process by asking you the following question: How would you benefit from opening up to your own truth? And another: Are you ready to let those benefits into your life?

There are some tough, scary scenes in this book, but the sweetness of love and truth is there, too, as it always is in life. This book is your journey as well as mine. May you embrace it and enjoy it!

What You'll Find in This Book

What you won't find in this book are a lot of dry, intellectual concepts or complex theories. The strength of No Matter What! is that its message is grounded in real-life situations and experiences. Using the events of my past, I show you how I developed my bounce-back muscles so that you can do the same thing. The program I've created describes each muscle and then outlines the four processes you can use to build that muscle in your own life.

Very often what we need to learn is hidden in situations that are painful or frightening. Many times we ask, "Why? Why? Why?" But there's no power in asking that question; it just keeps us in victim mode. Nobody will ever show up on our doorstep or drop from the sky and say, in booming tones of authority, "Let me tell you why this happened, my child." It's not gonna happen!

Once you read this book, you can stop asking "Why?" when faced with problems and ask instead, "What can I learn from this? What bounce-back muscle am I being asked to build here?" Asking those questions will help you find the lessons in your own stories. And believe me, when that happens, your growth and your happiness will both skyrocket.

To facilitate this process, each chapter includes Inspired Action Steps and I'm Not Alone boxes to check, along with the stories from my life.

Inspired Action Steps

At the end of each chapter, you'll find what I call Inspired Action Steps: actions you can take in your life to put your new understanding to work.

One of the main mistakes I see people make is forgetting to put their thoughts and desires into action. They believe that thinking about something really hard or talking about it a lot will make it happen. Sadly, those things are not enough. Desire, thought, and action all have to be present for transformation to occur. Without action, it's just a great "aha!" Action is the most pivotal step—it's the catalyst for change and movement.

The Inspired Action Steps are a vital part of developing your bounce-back muscles. They include:

• journaling

• practicing mirror work

• doing exercises, affirmations, and dialogues

• sharing experiences and breakthroughs with an accountability buddy

• completing self-work assignments to help you push through old limitations

I share with you many of the techniques I give in my workshops and coaching programs—techniques that have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

I suggest that you start keeping a No Matter What journal as soon as you can. Use it to record all of your written action-step items, as well as your insights, ideas, and the emotional responses that come up for you as you go through this book. It's a wonderful way to track your progress and to become aware of the deeper levels of your mind and heart.

I'm Not Alone

You'll also notice framed sections titled "I'm Not Alone" interspersed throughout the chapters. These provide an opportunity to see that you're not alone in the experiences you've gone through in your life.

Millions of people in our country today—including those we label as successful—feel increasingly disconnected and alone. Unfortunately, though we crave connection, with the widespread use of cell phones, iPods, and laptops, we've become accustomed to being "around" one another but not necessarily "with" each other. We're not talking to each other, hearing each other's stories, and saying to one another, "You know what? That's my truth as well."

To facilitate this essential connection in my seminars, I ask people to raise their hands while I'm talking to signal how much they can relate to what I'm saying.

Their choices are: one hand up if you can relate to what I'm saying, two hands up if you've experienced something similar in your life, or two hands up and stand up if you feel, "Hey, that's really me! I've been there. I've come through that," or, "I'm working on the same thing right now!" I do this to let everyone in the room see how much we all have in common.

In No Matter What!, the I'm Not Alone boxes serve the same purpose. They are placed throughout the book, and as you come upon them, check one box if you can relate to what's happening in the story, two boxes if you've experienced something similar in your life, and three boxes if you feel, "Hey, that's really me! I've been there. I've come through that," or, "I'm working on the same thing right now!" My goal is to let you know that you're not alone but in great company with amazing people who are also on this journey called life.

A Promise: What This Book Can Do for You

Though I can't promise that reading this book will solve all your problems, I can promise that if you read the stories, reflect on the lessons in them, do the action steps, and realize you aren't alone, the quality of your life will definitely improve. Strengthening the nine major bounce-back muscles is the key to moving toward the life you want and deserve.

All of us are looking for something wonderful to hold on to in life, but what many people don't realize is that before we can hold on to something new, we have to be willing to let go of something old.

In these pages, you'll learn how to recognize when you're living in the country called "Sad" in the town called "Victimville" on the street called "Hurt Lane" so you don't stay there longer than you need to. You'll get the tools and techniques to see past the problem, whatever it is, and into possibility—sooner-quicker-faster. Reading No Matter What! will allow you to avoid getting stuck and give you the tools to make sure that the speed bumps that come up in your life don't become stop signs.

Remember, success, joy, and personal peace don't come as a result of magic fairy dust, and by the same token, hurt, shame, and pain aren't simply imposed on us by others; they all come as a result of our thoughts and our choices. It's easy to think clearly and choose wisely when our lives are running smoothly, but I've noticed that people often forget everything they've learned when they run into trouble. It's when things are going wrong, wrong, wrong that you need to apply the Law of No Matter What. It'll help you get back on track and keep you moving toward happiness, success, and the life you truly deserve.

I don't live a perfect life. Things have happened and will continue to happen to me. But I'm not concerned so much about what's coming next because, whatever it is, I believe with all my heart and soul that I've built up my bounce-back muscles enough to get through it.

When you focus on your goals instead of your worries, you can begin to live more in possibility and peace and less in fear of deprivation, scarcity, and lack. Bad things may happen, but they won't determine the outcome and the quality of your life.

I've written this book for the millions of men and women who've questioned their greatness. For those who struggle with weight or self-image issues, who feel they aren't attractive enough or smart enough. For those who love others more than they love themselves and look for validation outside, instead of knowing the magnificence they have within.

This book is for the millions of people who are ready to dance their dance, sing their song, tell their story, and set their own inner champion free. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to be successful. You can choose to learn from your past and love your life. I offer my story to encourage and empower you to make the choice to build your bounce-back muscles and experience happiness in your life today and every day, no matter what!


Building Your Bounce-Back Muscles

Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.



Developing Your Understanding Muscle

Some Gifts Come Wrapped in Sandpaper

ONE HUNDRED NINETY-EIGHT… ONE HUNDRED NINETY-NINE… TWO hundred! Once again, my daddy and I completed the wonderful hair-brushing ritual that bonded us through my childhood years. Twice a week, I'd grab the softest brush I could find, a jar of Royal Crown hair dressing, and one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books. Stacking the pillows in front of the couch where my father sat, I'd climb onto the pile, where I fit comfortably between his knees. For the next forty-five minutes, I'd read Green Eggs and Ham or The Cat in the Hat out loud, working hard to bring the characters to life for him, as section by section, he parted my hair, dipped the brush into a cup of water to help him with the detangling, and then worked the Royal Crown in with his fingers, transforming my short, coarse, unruly curls into a beautiful, shiny mane. With each stroke of the brush, I could feel my daddy's love.

My mother showed her love for my brother and me in a different way. As a child, I was sure that if you looked in Webster's Dictionary, you'd find Mom's name listed under fun, exciting, and loving. She'd have easily won the neighborhood "Mom of Choice Award," routinely fixing enough chili dogs and French fries for all of our friends on the block, as well as our visiting cousins. And on hot summer days, she was the mother who carted all of us off to the beach, to tae kwon do lessons, or even to Disneyland; Mom was the true Pied Piper of fun. Each year on my birthday, fifteen giggling girls slept over at my house, transforming our home into a weekend circus of adventure. My mom was the ringleader, I was the birthday girl, and together we created memories to last a lifetime.

But my parents' love for my brother and me went beyond tender rituals and fun-filled moments. They taught us to stand up for what we believed, to be good people, and most of all to appreciate and love our family. It was a wonderful way to grow up.

So what went wrong? How did I become such an unhappy teenager and young adult? Why for so many years did I believe I had so little value?

Because I hadn't developed my bounce-back muscles yet and was unprepared for the challenges I encountered. Let's take a closer look at exactly what these bounce-back muscles are.

The Scoop on Bounce-Back Muscles

If I asked you to think of muscles that when fully developed could help you live the life you want, you'd probably think of the physical muscles in your body—your triceps, biceps, six-pack, hamstrings, and so on. But did you know you also have another set of "muscles" that significantly add to the quality of your life as they become strengthened? I'm talking about the muscles of your character, the ones I call your bounce-back muscles.

These muscles are not developed at the gym, while running, or by drinking protein shakes. Your bounce-back muscles are shaped and formed by life experiences—by overcoming challenges and rising to the occasion. The main ones are

1. your Understanding Muscle

2. your Faith-in-Myself Muscle

3. your Take-Action Muscle

4. your I-Know-Like-I-Know Muscle

5. your Honesty Muscle

6. your Say-Yes Muscle

7. your Determination Muscle

8. your Forgiveness Muscle

9. your Highest Choice Muscle

You build these muscles the same way you build your physical muscles: by using them! For example, if you're angry at someone for an injustice they've committed against you, the moment that you choose to release your anger and forgive, you strengthen your Forgiveness Muscle. Or if you reach for the stars by going for a new career, trusting love, or relocating—even if you're unsure what the outcome will be—you develop multiple muscles simultaneously: your Faith-in-Myself Muscle, your Say-Yes Muscle, and your Highest Choice Muscle. Choosing to build one or more of these nine bounce-back muscles is the best way to successfully get through a life-threatening or painful situation and to begin experiencing the peace of mind and joy that you deserve.

In this book, I'm going to share the difficult times and defining moments in my life that required me to build the muscles of my character in order to show you that developing these muscles is the catalyst for living your dreams. Strong bounce-back muscles make you a magnet for all that is great in life and enable you to step into your power and stand in your greatness. As you read the chapters outlining each of the nine muscles, look for yourself in the pages and identify the muscles you've already built, along with the ones that are still weak and require your attention. Use the Inspired Action Steps to help you strengthen your muscles and improve your life.

In this chapter, we'll focus on the first muscle, one of the most important bounce-back muscles of all: your Understanding Muscle. This is the muscle that allows you to see beyond the present moment and your immediate situation. A strong Understanding Muscle enables you to recognize the greater good that will come out of a given set of circumstances—even while you're in the midst of it. When this muscle is weak, you constantly feel like a victim, as though life is out to get you. You experience a lot of sadness, hopelessness, and anger.

The School of Hard Knocks

Looking at my own life, I can see that for many years, my Understanding Muscle was almost nonexistent. Like most people, I took my experiences, both good and bad, at face value. I was on a roller coaster, feeling happy when things were going my way and feeling discouraged and sorry for myself when they weren't. I didn't have a clue how all the events in my life fit into the bigger picture.

On top of that, I hadn't learned to truly believe in my own self-worth or to know who I was—especially at those times when everything around me contradicted the image I had of myself. My parents loved me and told me so repeatedly, but they couldn't build my bounce-back muscles for me. I had to do it myself—in my case, through my own trials, breakdowns, and breakthroughs. And there were many of those to come.

One of the biggest jolts to the feelings of unconditional love I'd grown up with came in elementary school. It was the mid-seventies, and I was one of the first African American students to be a part of the integration process in Los Angeles. I can still remember my mother and father sitting my brother and me down one summer day and explaining the Educational Integration Program that was to be instituted in the fall. The program was designed to take inner-city kids like us and bus us over 40 miles to schools in the traditionally white suburban communities, providing us the opportunity for a better education—something my mother and father told me they'd never had.

On the first day of fifth grade, anxious and hopeful, I boarded the bus, expecting that I would be met at my new school with a warm "Welcome to the Valley." Instead, we were greeted by a group of angry parents, yelling, throwing tomatoes and eggs at our bus, and telling us to go back home. I was overwhelmed by fear and confusion.

I had watched scenes like this on television, water hoses being turned on people marching for equality and Dr. King saying, "one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers… free at last, free at last." Now I realized that I was that little black girl he was talking about! Could staying in this scary school be my way of contributing to what Dr. King had died for? I wanted to run back to safety, but if I did, then we weren't "free at last." That night I convinced my parents to let me stay in spite of the initial challenges.

The days that followed were dark even though I lived in sunny California. At school, I seemed to forget that I was my father's beautiful girl and my mother's darling. Every day I was told in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that I was different, that I didn't belong, and that I wasn't good enough. No one recognized Lisa, the girl inside.

One of my classmates, a boy named Brian, made it a point to remind me each and every morning of my value, as he saw it. "Lisa, you know what's wrong with you? God accidentally dropped you in the tar pit," or "He left you in the oven too long, and you burned." My skin was dark because God had made a mistake?

Still others taunted me by calling me Kizzy, one of the main characters in Roots


On Sale
Apr 13, 2009
Page Count
288 pages