Are YOU Ready to Break Through? March 28 is the Day!

Deer gathering in the outdoor adventure area.

Megan King of Making Travel Happen and I are teaming up again for the March 28 “Power Breakthrough Day

Why Should You Attend?

Join this full-day retreat to connect with your inner courage, align your goals, and release from the imbalance of this fast-paced world.

At this event, we’ll lead you through exercises geared to help you break through blocks that might be holding you back from success in a fun, supportive environment. We will combine indoor training and exercises with outdoor activities in a serene wooded area (weather depending). A few examples of the training & activities include bold goal journaling, zen exploration and a fire fear release circle. Consider this your Spring Awakening to recalibrate your life.

  • Learn techniques to break through any barriers holding you back
  • Connect with nature & revive your senses
  • Get inspired by likeminded people who are living their ideal life
  • Master your power to handle all the twist and turns of life

CLICK HERE to Embrace your inner adventurer & become a part of this active, engaging retreat!


Discounted tix are available (Regular price is $197)


March 28, 2015

For more info contact: or

VB 2To view pics from last retreat visit Vision Quest Reteats on Facebook

Thanks to all who attended the “Create Your Ideal Life Workshop” Feb. 8! If you missed it check out this next one being held March 28 in Potomac, MD.

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Welcome to the Vision Quest Chronicles from Nicole Cutts

If you are a woman pursuing your Vision on the Heroine’s Quest join our tribe at the Vision Quest Retreats face book page

If you are a Woman Business Owner come play with us every Wed. at Women Owned Business Wednesdays; a 24 Hr Happy Hour where you meet cool people and win cool stuff!

I hope you enjoy the blog and vlog posts below and leave some comments.

Much Continued Success & Well Being, xxoo Nicole

Nicole Cutts, Ph.D., CEO Cutts Consulting, LLC & Founder Vision Quest Retreats


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A letter from a recent workshop participant

It feels really good when I know that the work I do has helped someone to realize aspects of their vision of success. I recently received the following email from a woman who attended the “Create Your Ideal Life” workshop that I co-facilitated with Megan Tyson King of Making Travel Happen on Feb. 8 and I wanted to share it because  there is a lot of hope in it and it makes me feel very grateful.

“Good  afternoon Nicole. I wanted to thank you so much for inviting me to the create your ideal life workshop. It really helped me to put together my plan of action and implement my goals. As I mentioned at the workshop, I had been wanting to organize my life and specifically my house for a long time. It has been my New Year’s resolution for the past few years but I was stuck and could not find a clear path forward. After going to your workshop, I put things into action to tackle my mental block. Creating my vision board and the other exercises released something in me.

Als VB

R. Hunter’s vision board

allisons junk

The junk they hauled away!

Als room bed

my new bedroom


my daughters new room

my daughters new room












I implemented the techniques I learned, which included asking for help when I needed it. I was able to turn my clutter into organization. I faced my fears of failure and being overwhelmed and I came up with a plan to bring about my vision. I hired a company to help me haul away junk and I stayed focused on the desires I wrote on my vision board. I  knew I had wanted to make changes for years. Your workshop helped me to find the way to a better me. I am loving my home and so happy now. I am looking forward to the next workshop where I learn other useful techniques to continue to turn my vision into a reality. Thank you again.

See pics attached of my vision board, the junk they hauled away, and our newly pained and cleared bedrooms!”  –R. Hunter

Thanks for letting me share,


P.S. If you want info about our next event; an one-day retreat on March 28 click “Power Breakthrough Day” (Early Bird Pricing Ends March 9)


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The Success Doc on Air “How to Conquer Fear: Stories of Three Amazing Women”

Dr. Nicole Cutts Host/Producer of Inside Out on WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington, DC and guests Raychelle Leblanc co-author of “How the Fierce Handle Fear” comedian/producer Elizabeth Croydon & Dr. Mary Brittain, survivor and healer share their success stories; overcoming fear to live fabulous lives. For more tips on how to live your visions of success please visit my You Tube channel at TheSuccessDoc

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Overcoming the Fear of Success


REGISTER TODAY for the “Power Breakthrough Day” March 28th (Early Bird Pricing Ends March 9) 

Success Doc ON AIR Tues. Feb. 24 2-3 est. on Inside Out 89.3 fm Washington, DC and ONLINE at (This Week’s Topic: Conquering Fear)

Why would anyone fear success?
No one wants to feel like a failure right? We all want to feel competent and successful right? Yes and no. It turns out people do want to feel competent and they strive for the feelings of happiness they associate with success but they often fear success itself. This fear is sabotaging and keeps many people from achieving the exact goals and successes that they want.

It’s a strange thing but many people are in fact ambivalent about success. Underlying beliefs and self-defeating thoughts conspire to repel people from succeeding. They strive and work hard yet fear continues to hold many back. In fact your fear may even get stronger the closer you get to achieving your goals and vision of success. (Those, like me, who are on the hero/heroine’s quest may liken this to dark forces attempting to stop you from achieving your mission.)facing_her_greatest_fear_by_domaicreations-d53awuq

Fear of success, or fear of getting what you want may also be fear of happiness. Ultimately fear of success is the fear of your own Power.

To create and sustain success it is essential to find and release any fear of success you may have. I will talk about how to do this further on. But first let’s look at why people fear success.

Reasons why people fear success:
Reason #1- Holding On to Negative Stories. One reason why people fear success is because they hold onto negative stories and beliefs about success and successful people.

Popular negative story titles include…
“It’s Lonely at the Top”
Chapters in this story include a) my success will make others feel less than, b) friends will be jealous of me, c) envy will make others revile me, d) I will be rejected, alone and lonely. This last belief may especially be a problem for women who are typically more relational and who in a patriarchal society are taught to be less powerful. We are often taught to be small and demure and supportive of others, not to lead or take the spot light. Through this lens success may be seen as unfeminine.

The woman holding these messages or beliefs fears that no man will want her if she is not the proverbial “damsel in distress.” By definition damsels are NOT successful and Prince Charming will not show up if you don’t need saving. This belief leads to another story entitled; “Some Day my Prince will NOT Come” so women who have this belief may stay small in order to be loved.

“Nice Guys Finish Last a.k.a. Mean Girls Finish First”
Chapter titles in this story include a) you have to be ruthless and selfish to succeed, b) it’s egotistical to want success, c) successful people are so full of themselves and d) to stay humble I must stay small.

Reason #2- Low Self Esteem is a Killer! The second reason people fear success is because they don’t believe they are good enough to deserve it or the happiness they believe will come with it. To succeed would be too much of a challenge to their deeply held view of themselves that they aren’t capable or good enough. Marianne Williamson sums this up best in her often quoted poem when she says “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?”

Reason #3- Dreams are more fun than reality. The third reason why some people fear success is because it may be more fun to dream about it than to do it. In our dreams the attainment of our goals resembles a fairy tale in which we live happily ever after. We think success and reaching our goals will make us happy, but perhaps real life has shown us that sometimes what we dream of is not all it is cracked up to be. We may have expected happiness from goal attainment in the past and found that after a short while the glow wears off, so rather than achieve our dream and find it imperfect or mundane we would rather keep it as a fantasy and thus perfect.

Reason #4- Mediocrity is comfortable. This fourth reason is also a tricky one. Being mediocre is comfortable. It’s familiar. We resist the change of growth because it puts us closer to the unknown. The human brain resists change because we are wired to move toward certainty and to fear and move away from uncertainty. Also, sorry to say it but humans are lazy and we instinctually know that change requires more energy than to stay the same. To learn more about this check out neuroscientist David Rock’s explanation of the SCARF model of Influencing.

An addendum to the above reason is also related to laziness and fear of responsibility. Not succeeding means we don’t have to be responsible for what may come with success. Maybe we fear pressure in the future to sustain this success and not fail. By staying small/mediocre we avoid that responsibility and stress. In a convoluted way this aspect of fear of success is tied to fear of failure.

Reason #5- Your Ego is Not Your Amigo. Friedrich Nietzsche said “Whenever I climb I am followed by a dog called ‘Ego’” In many ways our ego and self-centeredness is at the root of the fear of success. One can see in the above reasons our desire for our own happiness, or our fear of being seen or fear of not being great or not deserving greatness. All of this is about ME, ME, and ME! It has nothing to do with others or being of service to others. This ties into our belief that success will bring happiness to us. Perhaps this shouldn’t even be our aim, but more on that in the discussion of the solution for fear of success below.

Tips to Overcome Fear of Success
Unseating the fear of success is not a quick and easy process but it is achievable and there are many paths you can take. I’ve listed a few below.jumping off cliff

1) Identify and let go of self-defeating stories and beliefs. As a success coach and therapist I often suggest clients do some self-exploration through journaling. You can use the questions below to start you off.
a) What stories and beliefs do you hold regarding success and successful people?
b) Where did you get the above stories?
c) What do you find frightening about success? What or whom might you lose by being successful?
d) Consider this: what would happen if you were to achieve the success you dream of? What if the job changed dramatically, the income surged, the relationships were vastly improved? Look beyond the obvious (“I’d be richer/happier/better off”) and ask yourself, “What demands would there be on me if…? What would I have to do or be differently?”
e) Write out your best and then worse-case scenario around your success? Can you live with either outcome?
f) Free form it! Just get quiet and think about it, reread the above reasons for fear of success. Write down whatever comes to mind.
g) Do I deserve to be successful? Why or why not?
After journaling you should be able to identify the form your fear takes. Write these down on a separate piece of paper. Say a prayer or some words you like to ask for help in releasing these things. Burn or bury this list of fears (any ritual that is environmentally friendly will do).

2) Practice courage. You can build up your courage muscles in areas unrelated to the area in which your goals lay. You can get brave by taking risks and challenging yourself in facing fearother areas. Some suggestions include a) do one thing each day that you are afraid to do, b) learn something new, like a sport or skill, c) get physical with it, like rock climbing, SCUBA diving or even doing head stands or warrior pose in yoga! Being brave will get in your emotional and muscle memory with practice. Find and root out self-defeating beliefs, stories and thoughts. i.e. “no one will love me.”

3) Get your self-esteem up! If low self-esteem is your problem start out by making a list of your assets. Everyday write down three good things you do in each day and five things for which you are grateful. Do things you are good at. Focus on your good qualities and STOP being hard on yourself. If you expect success to cure low self-esteem be prepared to be disappointed. You have to work on the self-esteem first. This one is a tough one and many people benefit from therapy and coaching around this. If you want to learn how I help clients with this check out my coaching and therapy services.

4) Smash Your Ego. Since ego is at the root of this fear it must be dealt with. Ask yourself why you want to be successful. If it’s because you want to be great, rich, admired, powerful (somehow protected from human suffering) then this is a clue that your ego is driving the boat. (Now if you want to be of service to others or bring joy or something good to them you are moving in the right direction so keep going). You have to shift your focus away from self and toward service and others. Now this doesn’t mean you have to suffer. Doing work you love is important and will help you to stay motivated. You can find joy in your work, but do not hinge your happiness on a single outcome.

5) Surround yourself with positive people. Give support and be supported by others who are on a similar path, successful happy people who want to see you succeed. Stay away from naysayers and haters and those who reinforce self-defeating and negative beliefs and stories (they are poison)!

6) Create your ideal life (free of fear). I hope you didn’t put that journal away. Now I want you to write the ideal scenario of your success with only positive feelings. Write this in the present tense and only write about positive things. After you write it, read it to yourself out loud. See it as possible. Feel the good feelings. After this or instead of this you may want to make a vision board.

7) Do all of the above. Join the Power Breakthrough Day March 28 where we will be focusing on the above and much more.breakthrough

I hope you found this article helpful. Leave a comment or visit me on Facebook at Vision Quest Retreats with Dr. Nicole Cutts

REGISTER TODAY “Power Breakthrough Day” March 28th (Early Bird Pricing Ends March 9) 

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Ft. Lauderdale/Everglades Safari 2015

I hope you enjoy these images from our weekend retreat to Ft. Lauderdale Florida over President’s Weekend.

View more images on my FB page at Vision Quest Retreats with Dr. Nicole Cutts


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Create Your Ideal Life Workshop Feb. 8, 2015

manifest destiny

Vision Quest Retreats is teaming up with Megan Tyson King  of Making Travel Happen to bring you this mini-escape/workshop to help you clarify and achieve the goals that bring you joy, and learn how to infuse more courage, adventure and fun into your life. Consider it your success reboot for the new year

Megan King and meDuring our time together, we will focus on a series of interactive training activities that center on these core goals:

• unleash your creativity (even if you don’t think of yourself as that creative) 

• hone in on the vision you have for your life and create a roadmap to get you there

• learn key steps to add more fun and joy to your regular routine

• feel more courageous and adventurous about owning the life you want, ready to push past all blocks

Make a commitment to yourself to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday, or the humdrum of this winter season, and take the time to focus on you.

You’ll come away with your own portable vision board, a colorful decoration (a surprise on what this is), and knowledge of various exercises to rev up your “fun engine” (a.k.a. your ability to add a little zest to any situation).

Plus, you’ll get to meet and work with great people who are also seeking more vibrance in their lives. Everyone will get involved in the collaborative environment.

Location: Silver Spring, Maryland area. Specific address TBD soon.

Day/Time: Sunday February 8. 1-4 pm est.

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION  ($47.00 until Feb. 1)


Making Travel Happen — Welcome to Adventure from Megan Tyson King on Vimeo.

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The Success Doc on the Steve Harvey Morning Show “Keeping New Year’s Resolutions”

Dr. Cutts On Air Jan. 5 on Bobby Gailes “Taking it to the Streets” segment on the Steve Harvey Morning Show on WHUR 96.3 Howard University Radio discussing how to KEEP those New Year’s resolutions. In case you missed it click Video Image below  LISTEN

bobby gailes
With Bobby Gails, Producer Steve Harvey Morning Show on WHUR 96.3 FM


3 Reasons People BREAK New Year’s Resolutions:

1) Unrealistic Goals

2) Not having a plan with milestones

3) Lack of accountability

How to KEEP New Year’s Resolutions:

1) Set REALISTIC goals-pace yourself, look at what you already have on your plate.

2) Make a CLEAR plan with milestones-reward yourself when milestones achieved.

3) Get an accountability partner or goal buddy who is also working on goals and check in with each other on a regular basis. Having a Success Coach for at least 3 months is also a great way to be accountable and to have someone help you work through blocks and to define the plan. If you want support check out my Success Coaching Services.

Wishing you all a healthy and successful 2015!

Nicole Cutts, CEO Cutts Consulting, LLC, Founder Vision Quest Retreats & Women Owned Business Wednesday on Facebook



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Top 10 Tips to Beat the Winter/Holiday Blues

Dr. Cutts On Air: Click here if you missed my appearance on radio station WPFW 89.3 FM Dec. 12 “Beating the Holiday Blues” with Sheila Alexander-Reid on “Inside Out

Winter months can bring on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and for some this may be exacerbated by holiday blues. Symptoms of winter SAD usually begin in October or November and subside in March or April. Some folks begin to slump as early as August, while others remain well until January. Depressions are usually mild to moderate, but they can also be severe. Even if you don’t suffer from SAD gloomy winter months may bring you down and for many people the holiday season can be a tough time. Below are my top 10 tips for beating the winter/holiday blues.

#1: Exercise. Exercise is crucial in combating depression, staving off Alzheimer’s and keeping off unwanted pounds. Do some kind of physical activity you enjoy at least three times a week for 30 mins each time. Exercise can release endorphins and reduce stress. Vary your routine and have fun with it. I keep it simple with walks in the woods and my yoga practice.

#2: Get Light. Get outside when you can in the sunshine even if it’s cold the sun’s rays can lift your mood. Being in nature lifts the spirits of many.  I’m lucky enough to get out during the days but some people get relief from using light boxes. These devices range from about $30-$150. Not all light boxes are affective for treating SAD. Before buying one you may want to read this article from About Health.

#3: Laugh and Have Fun. Do me a favor. Smile. Just smile right now for no reason and see if you don’t feel better. When we laugh and smile this action sends a message to our brains that we are happy. Laughing can release endorphins. Watch funny movies, listen to comedy (I have many comedians plugged into my Pandora station) get together with friends, play games. Just do stuff you enjoy with people who make you laugh. When down you may feel like isolating…DON’T!

#4: Be of Service. Nothing lifts the spirit like getting outside of yourself and doing something for someone else. There are so many ways to bring joy to others. Think of things you can do and do them. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or just do some favors for friends and family. The opportunities are endless. If you can’t come up with anything check out Simple Ways to Give Back…

#5: Lower Your Expectations. Holidays are often stressful because so many people are striving for a Norman Rockwell type of holiday. Stop it! Don Miguel Ruiz has the right idea with his fourth of his Four Agreements; Always do Your Best. But this isn’t an invitation to perfectionism. It means do your best then leave the rest. Stop trying to control, to be perfect. There is no such thing as the perfect family, party or anything. Don’t compare your experience to anyone else’s. High expectations lead to stress, disappointment, and often resentment. Lower your expectations and watch your serenity and happiness rise.

#6: Practice Gratitude. Holidays are also a great time for people to compare their lives to others and feel lacking. Single people may feel lonely because they don’t have anyone to kiss under the misletoe. Divorced parents may stress about splitting holidays. Kids with divorced parents may be unsure of who to spend time with. Holiday time may also remind you of loved ones who have passed away. All of these situations can lead us to feel a sense of lack. The antidote for this is GRATITUDE. Focus on what you do have and give thanks for it. Accept and bless YOUR circumstances. When I feel down I write a gratitude  list of at least 10 things for which I’m grateful. A roof over your head? A job? Food? Friends?These things are pretty awesome!

#7: Get in the Holiday Spirit. Instead of being a Grinch or old Ebeneezer and trying to xmas treehide from the season, get into it. Much of our suffering comes from resistance and peace comes with acceptance so do something that’s connected to the season. Decorate the house, go see decorations, have a holiday gathering. I personally like to go visit my favorite Christmas tree every year. I skip the national xmas tree in favor of the one set up in front of the US Capitol. It’s gorgeous and one of my holiday traditions to visit it.

#8: Exercise Your Spiritual Muscle. Many people draw strength and happiness from a spiritual or religious life. If you have a spiritual or religious practice increase it at this time. Consider increasing attendance at spiritual and religious meetings. If you pray and or meditate up it. If you are a member of a 12-step program be sure to up your meeting attendance and stay in touch with others in your program. The holiday season is NOT the time to slack off or isolate.

A special note to food and substance addicts: Holidays can be tougher because of the increased use of food and alcohol by those around you. Surround yourself with people who don’t overdo it and better yet with others in your program who practice sobriety and abstinence. If you think you have a problem with alcohol and want to check out a 12-step program visit Alcoholics Anonymous and if food is an issue check out Overeaters Anonymous.

#9: Self Care is Key. This may seem like common sense, but it’s important to take care of yourself to combat depression and the blues. Don’t overdo it, get rest and eat properly. People tend to crave carbs in the winter and when down because eating carbs can boost your serotonin levels. This can lead to winter weight gain. It’s okay to indulge in a bit of comfort food, like pasta and noodle soup but just don’t over do it and remember to exercise too. If you take medication for depression stick to your regimen and be sure to consult your psychiatrist or general practitioner before making any changes.

#10: Be Creative. This tip is kind of a free for all. If you have a creative outlet like painting or cooking or making jewelry (like I do) then get into it. Doing things you enjoy will lift your spirits. If your creative talent means you make things then share these things as gifts. This tip also means come up with your own creative ways to spend the holidays. If you don’t like traditional holiday happenings then do something you enjoy. This may mean getting out of town. Do whatever makes you feel good as long as it’s healthy.

I hope you found something you can use here. Maybe you have your own tips. Share them here or feel free to leave a comment. Wishing you a joyful and peaceful season.


You may also enjoy my post  F.U.N. The 5-Point Plan.

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Iemenja Jewelry Collection

The Story: 17 shell wampum and deer tooth necklaceAfter not painting for some time I had been itching for a creative outlet for my hands. Writing is great but doesn’t fill the same tactile creative space. I have always loved the sea and been an avid shell collector.  On my recent retreats to Martha’s Vineyard I have fallen in love with wampum which comes from the quahog shell (the one’s you see with the purple lips). Starting with the wampum I have been having a creative blast making jewelry. Slowly adding other shells collected in the Caribbean and other materials, I have been varying the designs.  Below are some images of the creations. 

If you are interested in purchasing something please drop me a line at and I can send pics of the current inventory and/or we can design something together.  For more info and pics of my recent trunk show visit Vision Quest Retreat on FB.

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Inventory as of 11/15/14

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Inventory 11/15/14









Wampum and Sea Glass Necklace


Wampum and Turquoise Pendant



Wampum, Turquoise and Gold Earrings eBay

Wampum, Turquoise and Gold Earrings

Wampum & Glass Bead Earrings eBay

Wampum & Glass Bead Earrings










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Channeled Whelk Shell Pendant

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Oyster Shell Pendant














pendant medium
Wampum Pendant with Gold Accents




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Fossilized Wampum Pendant


















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Display at Iemenja Jewelry Trunk Show Nov. 9th







silver choker small

Pendant on Silver Choker

For commissioned pieces contact Nicole Cutts @


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Iemenja Jewlery Trunk Show Nov. 9, 2014

17 shell wampum and deer tooth necklaceYou are cordially invited to a jewelry trunk show and brunch Nov. 9. It’s a great time to nosh, network and pick up some unique wearable art in time for the holidays. I hope you can make it. I picked up some choice wampum and other cool shells during my latest adventure to Martha’s Vineyard and am looking forward to sharing my finds with you. I hope you can join us. Below are some pics of the work. To read about my shell collecting adventure click here.

spreadpendant 2

For further details visit Vision Quest Retreats with Dr. Nicole Cutts on Facebook  or email

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