This could be your story...
Imagine coming home tomorrow evening, and as you pull into the driveway, you stop and turn off the radio.
You feel a strange sensation coming over you — calm, peaceful, and content.
As you take a slow deep breath, you realize how you feel. It's different than the regular tense, anxious and drained feeling you usually come home with. Even though there are things to do and more going on tonight, you aren't rushing to get into the house,
You feel that time can stand still, just for a moment. Literally, for one minute, you lean back in your seat and enjoy the feeling.
Replaying your day...
Your mind plays back the events of the day. Nothing dramatic. But as you watch yourself going through the motions of the day, you notice something has changed for you in the last few months and that is evident by so much that happened today.
The list of your "good things"
💙There was that conversation that, although it was tough, you are proud of the way you handled.
💜You remember that meeting that you felt sure of yourself. Your confidence wasn't just in your imagination. Others noticed your confidence, too, and the comment you received from a colleague confirmed that after the meeting: You sure know your stuff. I love how you managed to explain it in a way that everyone understood and got on board. That memory brings a smile to your face.
🧡You think about all you accomplished today and noticed how much the little walk at lunch lifted your energy and gave you an increased focus to get through the document you were working on after lunch.
💚And then, you chuckle as you see the three people you made smile on your team when you came out of your office with a spring in your step because you were so pleased with yourself. You couldn't help the mood rubbing off onto those around you.
💖As you head into the house, you realize that you've got the energy to ask your partner about their day, take the dog for a quick walk and make something decent for supper. It feels a bit surreal, and you wonder if you are in a dream.
Nope. No dream!
This is what made this change for you:
⭐️Feeling confident and composed throughout your workday
can lead to feeling content at the end of the day.⭐️
What you think you want
My guess is, that sure, you'd like to be rich, have all the time in the world to yourself and travel around the world. But honestly, that's not true. Not really.
What you really want
What you really want is inner peace and contentment 💯
We aren't looking for a lot.
So why is it so elusive?
The list of your "not so good things"
✖️Because your alarm went off and you fell back asleep. Or maybe you spilled coffee on your blouse. Or both. And you gave yourself shit for being such a klutz.
✖️Then you read that email before you left the house that pissed you off, and you let it fester.
✖️You started thinking about all of the things you knew you'd never get done today, but really need to get done. Your shoulders got tense, and your head started to thump. You mumbled once again: I just wish I had a manageable workload! God, I need an assistant! And your body stayed in stress mode all day
✖️Driving into the office, you reflect on yesterday's conversation with your boss, who once again highlighted everything you've missed without a word about all you've done. And that hurt. You turned that hurt to anger.
✖️You cross paths with the employee that you continue to have a personality conflict with and before you even open your mouth, you know it's not going to end well, so you put up your guard.
✖️And that meeting? You thought about how much everyone else in the room knows, and you felt stupid. So you held back. When someone did ask you a question, you felt tongue-tied and couldn't say anything coherently.
✖️The entire day you were on high alert, fearful about what would blow up next -- feeling foolish and flawed.
You experienced a constant state of inner turmoil😏
What happens is that your thoughts get in your way.
And the outcome isn't pretty!
👎️Instead of confidently addressing the topic at the meeting, you fumble over your words.
👎️Instead of sitting down and getting at that project and feeling very productive, you doubt your skills and waste your time rechecking emails.
👎️Instead of finding a place of alignment with that employee, you highlight the separation and drive the wedge in deeper.
But you can have that dream above! --> Inner Contentment!
To learn how to make that shift from feeling incompetent, incapable and insecure to feeling confident, competent and composed isn't rocket science. No, it's more like brain science.
That transformation can happen for you. Just like it did for Tammy⬇️
You have to do the inner work of learning to manage your thoughts and feelings ⬇️
Tammy's Transformation can be yours too!
Here's what Tammy said after committing to making consistent small changes as she did the "inner work."
I was a mess! I couldn't stop crying, and I couldn't face going to work. I was miserable at home, and it was affecting everyone in the house.
I felt like I was at the end of my rope. I was drowning and didn't know how to get back to the surface. It was a scary time for me because I did not know which way to turn or what to do. I felt sad, mad, defeated, disappointed and humiliated all at the same time. It was horrible.
I was disappointed that I hadn't been able to resolve the issues on my own. I didn't want to ask for help, but in my heart, I knew that I needed to if I wanted to get back in the game. Quitting wouldn't have taken care of the real issues.
Through my work with the lessons in The Training Library and my coaching sessions, I became more aware of the part I was playing in my negativity.
Having to explain my feelings and what led to them really made me see that I am the only one who can control me - I control my thoughts and my actions. I cannot control the behaviour of others. I can only control the way I respond and react.
I now have more energy and experience a few laughs throughout my day. I even got back on track with my eating and have been making it to the gym more frequently. What I am most proud of is finding my flow at work. Work certainly isn't perfect, but I feel more authentic and in integrity.
Find contentment by doing the inner work
If you want that shift for you, commit to doing the inner work.
That will help you be in control of your emotions and end the day, feeling confident, composed and content.
Do the inner work - it's worth it!
If you need a system to help you learn to do the inner work, you'll find that in The Training Library
Do you know how you've been dreading that conversation that is coming up?
It's not because of the agenda or the other person that you'd rather avoid.
That's what Sonya thought when she called me for her coaching call
My clients are often dreading an upcoming conversation
Sonya was NOT looking forward to an upcoming meeting with her boss!
Sonya thought the reason she was dreading it was because
I heard a deeper message
As she reiterated the events leading up to today, and I read between the lines, I heard Sonya's unconscious thoughts:
The insights often surprise my clients
As a result, Sonya felt that every day was a struggle. She was tired and tired of being tired. Part of her just wanted out.
I help my ladies (that's what I call my clients) access that deeper message
As I coached Sonya through the Inner Guidance Cycle (IGC) of pause, ponder pivot and proceed, she accessed her inner wisdom. She realized how often her unconscious thoughts were sabotaging her efforts as much as, if not more so, than the day to day work.
My ladies learn to manage their mind chatter so they feel composed
Over time, I taught Sonya to use the IGC consistently to learn to manage her mind chatter. In doing so, she learned to manage her emotions. And you know what that does; It gave her increased emotional intelligence and composure!
It's time for you to learn this too!
Over the next few weeks, I'm going to dive deeper into the IGC so you can use it to manage your thoughts. For now, let me give you a few pointers about mind chatter.
M I N D 🤔C H A T T E R
3 things you need to know for more success
Thoughts. A voice in your head. Monkey brain.
We call it many things, but it's all the same. Mind chatter is the conversation or monologue we are having with ourselves inside our heads.
What you need to know about that mind chatter is this:
1) MIND CHATTER is there:
We all have thoughts; the majority of them are unconscious. It is the thoughts we are oblivious to, which often leads to experiencing our lives in ways we don't want.
If you stopped and paid attention to your thoughts, you might hear your mind repeating similar phrases like a broken record:
The thoughts we have been automatically thinking have been inducing the sense we have of pressure, strain, and anxiety.
What's more, the self-sabotaging remarks we think, wreak havoc on our confidence. The constant onslaught of judgments that reel through our mind does more to challenge our confidence than what other people actually utter.
2) MIND CHATTER rules your life:
What you think about creates your experience of life. Or…what you expect, you get.
In the example above, your unconscious thoughts of overwhelm gave you the experience of feeling incompetent in handling your day.
That draws your attention to notice everything that goes wrong, every second "stolen" from you and each extra task added to your list.
3) You can manage your MIND CHATTER:
When you become more aware of your thoughts, you can choose what you are thinking. Those different thoughts shift your experience.
Once more, using the example above, you could begin to manage your thoughts about your day. Instead of the catastrophic thoughts that you have about your overwhelming day, you can catch yourself going down that path and turn a different way.
By choosing instead to think about your ability to handle things and to be alert for opportunities, you change your experience.
When you become more conscious of your inner thoughts and then shift them, you also find you experience your day differently.
You didn't necessarily change anything going on outside of you. Instead, you shifted your thought about what was going on outside of you.
Shifting your mind chatter leaves you feeling more in control and on top of the priority projects, not everything, but you know that it's the real priorities that matter at the end of the day.
The tools for managing your thoughts:
Watch this video to learn to change your mind chatter
Developing an awareness of your mind chatter helps you to manage it
When you manage your thoughts, you manage your life. It is by handling your inner world that you create the experience in the outer world that you desire.
Make sure to come back next week to learn how to use the Inner Guidance Cycle to manage your thoughts and thus manage your emotions. Doing so will make you feel more competent and in control. Therefore, you'll be leading with composure and confidence!
You've got this, my dear! One step at a time!
Remember, what you need to know about that mind chatter is this: it's there, it rules your life, and you can manage it.
How women in nonprofits can lead with courage
My student Marva has her annual fundraiser coming up. It’s a ton of work for her organization but is a crucial contributor to their yearly budget. It takes all hands on deck to pull it off, including the Program Coordinator Natalie’s. And Natalie has a mind of her own.
Marva is dealing with a strong personality!
Natalie is, shall we say, strong-willed! She is pushy, bossy, and controlling. Even though Marva is the Director of the organization, Marva always feels intimidated when Natalie walks into a meeting. Perhaps that’s because in the past when she’s questioned Natalie or pushed back, Natalie came back harder than ever.
Marva is a pleaser
️The impact of Natalie's strong personality is that Marva tends to hold back or goes along with Natalie’s ideas because it’s easier than asserting herself.
Marva's trying to be more courageous
When Marva asked her boss for help to deal with Natalie this year, her boss said: Just do it! Walk into the meeting and take charge! Don’t let her boss you around.
Marva hasn't got great advice!
That kind of advice sounds like Marva should head to the bathroom and quickly change into her superhero outfit?♀️
But the truth is, if she didn’t have the confidence to deal with Natalie before, how could useless inspiration like, Just do it, help? It won’t.
When Marva complained to her friend about Natalie's domineering personality, the advice she got was no better. Marva’s friend suggested Marva was afraid of Natalie. You have to feel the fear and do it anyway, Marva's friend told her.
Yeah - sooooooo helpful! NOT!
The fear has always been there. How do you suddenly push it aside?
Inspirational quotes can't help Marva!
Inspirational quotes dominate your newsfeed, call you from the isles in every store and sit in the corner of your daytimer.
Let’s go back to Marva’s problem. She’s dealing with a difficult person.
️️Do you think Marva feels afraid?
What does fear feel like for you and Marva?
Think about someone you have to deal with that you don’t like or have trouble working with. When you go into a conversation or meeting with that person, do you feel the classic signs of fear?
My guess is no.
Or worse, your never thought about it before ?♀️
Tuning into your body is the first step
What Marva realized as she worked through the Body Sensations worksheet in the course material, was that she never really tuned into her body before. When she mentally put herself back in the meeting, she realized, what Marva felt was more like a knot in her stomach.
Marva also realized she tensed up and felt almost a paralyzing feeling. Like she could only nod her head in agreement, but not get any words out. In fact, Marva realized in this situation that it was more like anxiety than all-out fear.
We don't always feel the classic fear signs at work
Fear shows up differently for each of us. It also depends on the situation. If a bear is chasing Marva, her heart might be racing, and she might be hyperventilating. But in a meeting, with a co-worker who has a strong personality, fear can often be misunderstood, overlooked or dismissed.
⭐️Feel the fear and do it anyway is a powerful inspirational message when you do it.
By do it, I mean do the first half of the sentence:
Feel the fear ⭐️
Access your Inner Wisdom to gain control of your emotions
If you don’t slow down and PAUSE and then PONDER about your thoughts, feelings and body sensations, you’ll never get to the point where you can PIVOT from realizing you are experiencing fear and staying quiet to feeling the fear and asserting your voice.
You will never have the courage to PROCEED into that meeting just as your boss told you to do and take control of the meeting. If you don’t slow down and access your inner wisdom, you won’t get to the second half of the sentence. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
When you and Marva access your inner wisdom,
you become courageous women leaders!
Courageous women leaders still get afraid.
The difference is that courageous women leaders FEEL THE FEAR.
They tune into their bodies and sense what fear feels like viscerally.
Can you do what Marva did?
That’s what Marva did. Once she realized what fear felt like, she was able to manage her fear and anxiety. Managing her fear put her back in control of her emotions, rather than that fear controlling her behaviours.
Learn to calm your mental chatter
Did Marva march into the next planning meeting and put Natalie in her place? No. But she did roll her shoulders back, hold her head up and paid attention to that tightening in her belly. Then Marva calmed her mental chatter, reminded herself: One step at a time. I’ve got this (10 Mantras to Strengthen Your Leadership)
And she was able to voice her opinions and ideas more strongly.
You sure can!
Marva walked out of that meeting, feeling stronger and more courageous. All because she tuned into her body sensations. As Marva increases her emotional intelligence, she continues to grow her courage and confidence. Rather than being hijacked by emotions or having specific experiences shut her down, she’ll be more conscientious of what’s going on.
To turn the useless inspirational quote into useful leadership help, YOU need to dig a bit deeper. You need to understand what the inspirational message means and then how to apply it.
Get used to flowing through the steps of the Inner Guidance Cycle to access your inner wisdom.
For more help:
If you want to join Marva in growing your Emotional Intelligence, you may also be interested in the Emotional Control by Increasing your Emotional Vocabulary course that is inside of The Training Library.
Try the Emotional Control course with this free lesson
Tuning into your body will make you a stronger and more courageous leader!
Don't forget to check out the free lesson to help you tune into your body sensations inside of The Training Library here: Emotions Through the Day
Leadership Success = Managing Emotions
How Practice Builds Leadership Confidence
What are you trying to get better at or improve in your leadership? I know you are just trying to survive today or this week. But think beyond that for a moment.
Where do you want to feel more confident as a leader?
What would you like to get better at dealing with, tackling or taking on?
Let me tell you a secret: Confidence starts with competence
Do you want to feel confident managing your workload?
Maybe you feel utterly incapable of managing your workload. You doubt you can handle getting to some of the critical tasks and fear you'll forget something important. What you desire is to feel confident to manage what you are tasked with promptly.
️So you practice. But what are you practicing?
My guess is here is where you get it ❌wrong.
You keep practicing
✖️Putting out fires
✖️Dealing with emergencies
✖️Being too available to too many people.
✖️Using your most productive times to answer emails.
✖️Pushing through when your mind is mush, and your body is weary, a state that will never produce high-quality work.
Practice builds confidence,
but only if you are practicing the right things.
✅Practice this instead:
To learn to manage your workload, you need to practice building your willpower to set boundaries, focus on what's really important and resist the urge to head over to your email again because you don't want to deal with the tough conversation down the hall.
Do you want to feel confident in managing your emotions?
You may also want to feel more confident at managing your emotions during tough meetings. You want to learn how to manage them and be in control of your emotions instead of your emotions being in control of you.
️Then, you need to practice managing your emotions.
You are practicing the ❌wrong thing
Here is where you get it wrong. Instead of practicing managing your emotions, you practice shutting them off.
When you pray to be able to leave your emotions at the door, that's what you keep practicing. Instead of praciting to manage your emotions, you are trying to perfect the art of shutting your emotions off` That's never going to work!?♀️
You will keep failing miserably at managing your emotions
because you aren't practicing that skill!
✅Practice this instead
You need to practice managing your emotions outside of the arena, court or playing field. Don't wait until the "big day" to learn how to do it. Success doesn't work that way. You need to find a more relaxed and safer place to practice managing your emotions.
I use the Inner Guidance Cycle to manage my emotions
Sometimes I'll feel something bubbling up. Instead of trying to push it away, I find a safe time and place to explore what's there.
A mindfulness practice has built my confidence to manage my emotions
The REPEATED practice of learning to be mindful of my emotions has helped me feel more confident in managing my emotions during tough meetings or tense conversations
Practice builds confidence,
but only if you are practicing the right things.
✅Practicing the right things with the 3 steps:
✔️Set a goal Have a clear target of what you want to build confidence in or with.
✔️Identify the skill you need to learn Know the skill you need to practice to reach that goal?
✔️Then create a habit to practise it often!!!! The courage to practice will give you the competence, thus grow your confidence.
You've got this my dear! I'm on your team cheering you on! Practice, practice, practice ? the right thing!
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.