Welcome to the Newsletter for ChangeWorks Life Coaching 

September 2006

There is the pain of changing or the pain of not changing...It's up to you

Written by: Maureen Fannin, LCSW

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A Note from Maureen

Hello Everyone:

I hope everyone is having a great September. Life has a way of
getting a little chaotic this time of year. Kids are going back
to school and traffic tends to get worse again since summer
vacation time is over.

If fear is something that is holding you back from achieving your
goals this fall then this newsletter is for you. Fear is a great
barrier to positive change and is probably the number one reason
we stay stuck in the status quo.

I've talked about fear in previous newsletters but felt it was
worth another go around. I hope you enjoy this issue. I will see
you next time.


What's new- GirlWorks! Group Therapy for school age and
adolescent girls

WHAT'S NEW: Check out the new resources I've added on my website
for girls and their parents.

GirlWorks groups are now forming for the fall. We have a group
runing on saturday mornings from 11:00 to 12:15 for the
elementary school age girls.

I am now forming a group for middle school age girls. This group
will focus on self esteem, coping with peers and relational
aggression. This is often a very difficult time for girls and a
group is a great way to receive emotional support and a safe
place to work through these issues.

For more information call:

Maureen Fannin, LCSW
(703) 626-0381

The mission of GirlWorks is to offer girls a place where they can
explore their feelings, thoughts, actions, values and choices in
a safe and nurturing environment. At GirlWorks, we support
independent thinking, creative expression of feelings, and work
toward promoting a sense of empowerment in the lives of girls.

For more information on GirlWorks, please contact me at contact
me at 703-626-0381 or e-mail me at I am in
the process of getting this information on my website at Most insurance will be accepted.

Click here to find out more about GirlWorks:


GirlWorks- Positive Friendships

    School is a place where your daughter begins to make strong
    and lasting friendships. Social groups develop and cliques
    are formed among different groups. For many girls, this is a
    positive experience but for many others the social
    environment in school is painful and isolating. Parents often
    parents become concerned about their daughter's choice of
    friends. She comes home from school drained by her
    friendships rather then feeling exalted and energized.

     It is important to help girls understand that positive
     friendships leave you feeling energized and happy. They do
     not drain all your energy and leave you wondering from day
     to day who are your friends and who are not. Peer groups or
     cliques create a sense of belonging which we all need. It is
     important to be a member of a group that is positive and
     reflects your daughter's values and personality. I think a
     great way of communicating this idea to your daughter is
     using the analogy of the tribe.

     Tribes are harmonious because they have similar values, and
     life styles, which is what also makes for a positive
     friendship. You know that you found someone from your tribe
     because you do not have to try so hard in getting them to
     like you. The friendship flows naturally and easily. You
     feel energized when you are around them. There is a great
     deal of mutual respect and genuine caring about one another.
     The goal is not to climb the social hierarchy but to enjoy
     each other and have fun. Destructive cliques make a person
     feel insecure and unsafe. This is the main characteristic of
     toxic relationships.

Action Item:

1.  If your daughter is struggling with her social connections,
    ask her to explore her own values. For example, what does she
    value in friendship? What does she have in common with her
    current group of friends? Can she trust her current group of
    friends? Does she feel comfortable and relaxed when she is
    with her friends? Depending on her answers, she may need to
    find a different tribe.


Shattering The Glass Ceiling Within- The focus of this section is
to assist women in shattering their self imposed limitations in
order to create a life that fulfills their ultimate potential.

The Barriers within- Fear of Rejection

    The fear of rejection is one of the biggest barriers to
    making positive changes in a woman's life. Many of us would
    rather live unfulfilling lives rather than risk rejection. We
    stay secure in our comfort zone, which is that safe place
    where life goes on as expected. It is not that being
    comfortable is wrong but sometimes being too comfortable
    keeps you from growing both emotionally and spiritually.

    The fear of rejection can stem from many things. Perhaps you
    have suffered a previous rejection in your life that was
    unbearable. This can make you unwilling to take another
    chance. Fear of rejection can also have its roots in feeling
    unworthy or unlovable. We often take rejection as proof of
    our inadequacies. There is the fear that people will find out
    who we really are inside and reject us. The fear of rejection
    becomes more intense when it taps into our own sense of

    The sad truth is that rejection is part of life and that
    trying to avoid it is futile. Rejection gets easier when we
    start to work on our own core issues of feeling unworthy.
    Most of the time rejection has nothing to do with us. I have
    found that when something does not work out it is usually for
    the best. Overcoming your own sense of unworthiness might
    help improve how you handle and react to rejection.

Action Item:

1.Acknowledge and focus on your strengths. Focusing on your
  weaknesses only perpetuates feelings of unworthiness. This may
  seem obvious but we spend a great deal of time thinking about
  what is not working as opposed to what is working.

2.Allow for other possibilities when faced with the possibility
  of rejection rather then your own unworthiness. For example,
  the timing may not be right or the situation may not be
  suitable to your needs.

3.Do some reality testing which is a great tool to cope with
  rejection. For example, ask yourself "just because this person
  or job does not want to engage with me does that mean no one
  else will?" Or "just because this company doesn't think I have
  enough skills does that mean every company will feel like I
  don't have enough skills." It really is a numbers game. Just
  because one person says no does not mean another person will
  not say yes. You just have to keep trying.

4.Remember 90% of life is just showing up! You just have to
  keep trying.

5.It is also important to remember that rejection might be
  a message from the universe that we are trying for the
  wrong things.

Quote of the Month

“A rejection is nothing more than a necessary step in the pursuit
of success.” Bo Bennett


Coaching topic of The Month- A New Definition of FEAR

  I recently heard a great definition of FEAR from Jack
  Canfield's motivational CD the Aladdin Factor. He described
  FEAR as Fantasies Imagined As Real. The brain has the amazing
  capacity to create some frightening scenarios. For example, you
  find yourself embarking on a long road trip across county. You
  and your traveling partners are excited about this great
  adventure and then your brain starts to ask those fear inducing
  questions. What if the car breaks down in the middle of the
  desert and there are no gas stations for miles? What if you and
  your traveling companions start to get on each other's nerves
  and by the end of the trip you are no longer friends? What if
  the project at work falls apart because you are not there?

    Those "What If" questions help perpetuate fear and anxiety.
    In effect, we can "what if" ourselves to death. The truth
    is that most of what we fear is not likely to occur. Most
    fears are based on fantasy rather then reality. The best
    defense against fearful thoughts is countering them with
    empowering positive thoughts. Instead of imagining the
    worst possible case scenario why not imagine the best
    possible scenario. Instead of thinking that you will end up
    out of gas and in some dusty desert in New Mexico imagine
    yourself expanding your horizons meeting new and exciting
    people and growing closer in friendship with your traveling
    companions. If you focus on disaster then disaster is most
    likely what you will find.

    Changing your thinking is a powerful tool in conquering fear.
    What you want is waiting on the other side of fear. Instead
    of asking, "what if I…" ask "What if I don't?" What will you
    be giving up if you do not take that trip, do not ask for
    raise, or do not let that person know how you feel? Fear has
    a way of controlling our future by preventing us from making
    the chances necessary to take our lives to the next level.

Action Item.

1.Spend some time thinking about how "what if" thinking effects
  your life. What are you avoiding doing because of fear?

2.Make a list of what you are giving up by giving in to these
  fears. For example, are you forgoing earning extra money
  because you fear asking for raise?


Additional Quotes

“Fear is something to be moved through, not something to be
turned from.” Peter McWilliams

I provide individual, couples and family therapy in my psychotherapy practice.  I am currently accepting clients in my Manassas office.  Please contact me at 703-626-0381.

I also provide individual and group coaching and conduct seminars and workshops.  Please contact me at or visit my website at  I am also accepting referrals for coaching.

Good Luck and have a great month!  See you next time!

Maureen Fannin, LCSW

ChangeWorks Psychotherapy & Life Coaching Services 9315 Center Street Suite 204 Manassas, VA. 20110 Phone: (703)626-0381 E-Mail