Was your yesterday crazy? In fact, have the last few weeks been a bit insane? If you are like most women leaders, you were:
Your job is never done. Even when you are away from the office or at home in the evening, it’s hard to shut off, tune it out, or let go.
So, the workload feels heavy, unmanageable and, at times, impossible.
You are left feeling bitter, exhausted and resenting your job!
That sucks, doesn’t it?
But imagine if your job wasn't draining you
Imagine if you felt your workload was more manageable, and you had more than fleeting moments of contentment, peace or joy
If that were the case, your resentment would disappear and you would be leading your impact.
That would be amazing, wouldn’t it?
My bet is that you don’t believe that’s really possible.
Oh, but my dear, it is!
Mother Theresa found joy in Calcutta, serving the poor and destitute with limited resources and long hours.
Anne Frank found joy while she was hiding from the Nazis in a secret apartment for 25 months!!!
Meghan Markel is making her world more joyful despite the restraints of the Monarchy!
You aren’t in Calcutta, hidden away in an apartment cut off from the world or under the thumb of the Queen. Although, it may feel like all of those some days!
BUT, you too can ditch the resentment and find peace, joy and contentment in your days!
Here at the two steps you need to take:
Are you ready? Here is how...
The secret is to PLAN the next 2-3 months!
Your 90-day plan does not have to be a perfect 90 days. It doesn't need to match your company’s first-quarter goals. It could be 45 days or 110 days. The point is that you need to plan in smaller, more manageable segments.
** You stop resenting your job when you start intentionally dealing with the workload and leading your impact! You do that by mindfully setting aside time to plan the next 90ish days.
How planning time for personal development made a difference for these ladies!
Listen to how planning worked for some of my students. These comments come from some of the ladies in the Willpower Essentials study group.
They each made a plan for 8 weeks to carve out time to work through the course and apply it in their leadership. They knew that professional development isn’t a luxury; it’s a must for leaders!
As you read the comments, listen to the role goal setting and planning had in success for the ladies that did the Willpower Essentials course.
Their plans to readjust their schedules allowed them to complete the Willpower Essential course, and as you’ll see, feel more in control, increased energy and focus.
Take notice of how:
They indicate what goals they want to accomplish.
They use the word commit. That is being intentional.
They mention habits they are installing
They note how awareness allows them to get back on track when they slip.
They put appointments into their daytimer to work on personal development!
Notice the successes they found!
These ladies found they were better able to resist distractions, focus and stay composed as they followed through with their plan of completing Willpower Essentials:
Back to you!
It's your turn to plan the next 30-90 days.
1) Decide what you want to accomplish
It could be a course, better work-life balance, more engagement with your team, to finish a project or to develop the courage to address a lingering conflict
2) Sit down and make a plan for how you will work on that in the coming weeks.
Commit to planning the next few weeks, and you'll find the resentment fades and will be replaced with more peace, joy and contentment.
You can find more help with planning here
Have you set work-related goals yet?
Are you starting the new year with new goals and renewed energy and optimism?
How long will that last? Not very long, according to most statistics. Let's see if we can change that for you and keep the momentum going through the entire year!
Have you set work-related goals yet
What are you planning differently at work for 2020?
Leadership goals usually fit into getting better in one or more of these areas:
Sooooooooo, how do you plan to get better at managing it?
"Plan" being the keyword.
The road is paved with good intentions!
Saying it is not enough. Remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. It is a plan and then courageous action that will make the change.
Intention and action make the difference
By Jan 2021, you want to see significant changes. But meaningful changes don't happen all at once, and they don't happen overnight.
Change that you can vividly see and feel, happens in tiny, almost unnoticeable, moments. Bit by bit. Step by step. Decision by daily, momentary decision
It is the choices you make today, at this moment,
that will impact what you will be experiencing
in January 2021.
Conscious choices and decisions are instrumental for your success
Today's microscopic, and what may seem inconsequential decisions, sets in motion a series of events. Those events lead to more choices, all of which change how you manage yourself, your role, your people and your impact.
Here are three choices you probably make:
✧ CHOICE POINT: Knowing whether it's better to say yes, you will take on a task or choosing to delegate it,
✧ CHOICE POINT: Choosing when to keep working on your project and when to get up and go touch base with your employee.
✧ CHOICE POINT: Deciding to stay late today or going home on time.
If you have goals around managing your time better, managing your team better, and managing your energy better, having a clear plan will help you make your choices.
Aligned decisions happen when you plan first
You will make decisions more effectively, efficiently, and with increased alignment with your values, more in tune with the person you really are, and what goals you are trying to achieve when you plan first!
See how planning changes how you choose:
Let's look at those three areas again, with a clear plan in place:
✧ PLANNED CHOICE: Scheduling time to identify your team's strengths and their goals for growth this year will help you to be more precise about what you delegate, to whom, and when. Planning how you manage your team's assets will have you make decisive, effective decisions.
Instead of reactionary overwhelm or guilt that you should be doing something, you will be making an informed decision with conscious clarity about what is best for the team and the program.
✧ PLANNED CHOICE: Planning how often you will touch base 1-1 with your staff and then setting up the habit of scheduling the next session with them before this one ends, will ensure that you are managing your team member's development and growth, ensuring they feel valued, respected and cared about!
✧ PLANNED CHOICE: Consciously planning how many evenings each week you are willing to stay late and then setting up a system to track that now, will ensure that each choice you make from now till December 2020 is helping you manage your energy, your workload and the desire to achieve increased work-life balance.
Are you doing these 3 planning steps?
Here's the problem. Without conscious planning with all three of the following components, you will fail.
Did you bring your 2019 bad habits with you?
Without planning, you'll have the same habits of saying yes when you wanted to say no. You'll habitually leave your door open all the time because you want to have an open-door policy. But that will never let you find the time to focus on more significant projects until everyone goes home and therefore you will have the habit of staying late too often!
Did you bring your 2019 unhelpful mindset with you?
Without planning, you will continue to believe that a board member is out to get you. You will always think you will never get ahead. Without a plan, you'll never ditch the attitude of overwhelm, the perspective of doom and gloom or the belief that "this is just the way it is."
Books to help you be successful with your goals this year!
If you grabbed the recommended book list for how to be successful this year, you would have noticed that many of the books relate to habits. In them, you learn about both action habits as well as habits of thinking.
You need to work on both for successful change this year.
Do this: Take time to plan
★ Review what worked and what didn't work last year.
This review will give you clarity for setting goals this year.
★ Set goals for this year
Set clear goals around what you want to achieve, what kind of person you want to be and the impact you want to have.
★ Identify the action habits you need to install to achieve those goals
★ Identify the mindset shift you need to make to become consistent with those habits, be that kind of person and make that impact
Character GOAL: I am growing my leadership capacity this year.
Action GOAL: I will read 5 books on leadership this year.
Action HABIT: I will read 10 minutes each morning before leaving for work.
Mindset HABIT: When I think I don't have enough time, I will remind myself that it is only 10 minutes, and I could do that instead of checking social media or my email.
Do 90-day planning cycles
One more thing, don't do this now as a plan for the entire year.
Try it out for a couple or three months. Create mini-plans throughout the year. We work much better in 60 or 90-day cycles.
That gives us time to plan, practice, review and revise. Shorter periods are more effective, allowing for celebrating successes and course correction where needed.
If you need help to plan your goals, and develop your habits of action and habits of thought join me for this month's webinar: Quarterly Goal Setting & Planning. In this session you will create your 90-day plan to develop your leadership capacity.
It is really not too late to review 2019! I have started, but have not completed mine. I often don't get my completed review done until mid January.
Reviewing last year shouldn't be a rush job. Intentionally reviewing last year will set you firmly on your path for this year
Make reading a part of your 2020 leadership plan!
Ongoing growth and development is a critical component of leadership! You should be reading! Maybe you think you don't have time. Make time! Seriously. Create tiny pockets of time that you can read or listen to a book. It will change both your leadership and your life!
YOUR TURN: What made your list of 2019 books?
Comment below and tell me what books I should put on my 2020 reading list!
Recently, someone asked me: Kathy, don't you ever get down? You are always so positive and full of energy. You show up consistently wherever you go, and you always bring such good vibes. Don't you ever have bad days?
I absolutely do have bad days. Let me rephrase that I have moments that are not very pretty! I have times in my days that are rough. In fact, I have some downright ugly moments!
I have moments where I'm sad.
I have moments where I'm embarrassed, horrified, angry, hurt, revengeful and times when I am raging.
In those moments, I fall apart.
I cry, I sob. I yell. I scream. I growl. I weep.
My heart breaks. It cracks open. And the tears wash over my soul.
Then, I pick myself up, and I begin to heal that wound.
You don't see that, because I don't put it out there!!!
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor says: Take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space. I take her quote to heart!
I'm very aware of the energy I bring to every space,
every moment and every relationship.
It's not that there isn't anyone who doesn't see me at my worst. It's just that I reserved those moments for those few safe people.
My dear husband ❤️ is the one who gets the brunt of it
Sometimes he'll ask me what's wrong, and I'll push him away because I'm not ready to go to that ugly place.
At other times, he doesn't ask. He just opens his arms and pulls me in tight. And I sob, and I sob, and I sob.
Other times, it's my daughter I call.
My friend allows me to share my failures, challenges and frustrations.
Often though, I don't need someone else to help me through it.
Instead, I need to go inside and heal. So I write✏️
Writing allows me to explore what's going on inside of me.
Jotting down what's going on helps me to see what triggered me and why it triggered me. When I scribble thoughts down on paper:
Writing brings sense to the mess.
I find clarity and peace.
And of course, I pray.
I talk with God pretty much all day every day. My faith is my biggest source of strength. Faith is one of my top values. And spirituality is one of my top character strengths.
Without my faith, I struggle.
I know because I did that for many years.
It wasn't until I came back to my faith 🙏that I started to find my way again.
It's not all sunshine and roses!
Life is a hard journey. Add leadership to it, and you've got an incredible weight on your shoulders. If you're not careful, your job and your career will suck your soul right out of you.
But it doesn't have to be that way.
Here's the deal:
You can't shut your soul off. You can't close yourself off and only get done things that you need to get done.
You can't stop yourself from feeling, from crying, from raging, or from loving, caring and connecting.
The way through this crazy mess is
to feel your way through it.
Allow your soul to speak and connect with your heart.
Awaken your spirit.
You do that by experiencing all of the emotions. The good. The bad and the ugly.
Please be careful!
But remember, you are also responsible for the energy you bring.
You don't have a right to dump
your negative energy on others 🙅♀️
Just because something is going on for you doesn't give you the right to spray that crap all over your world like 💩nasty smelling glitter!
You are responsible for what you bring
When you're having a bad day, you are responsible for the energy you bring. But, and this is the part that so many of us miss, you are also responsible for finding time and space to work through whatever is going on for you in a safe way!
Set it aside...but only for now
That means, if you are in a staff meeting, talking to a co-worker or replying to an email, you will need to put whatever is going on inside of you to the side for a moment.
If you are raging inside, you may need to turn down the volume on it until you figure out a way to manage it appropriately.
Don't spread negativity it breeds like a bad germ!
That nasty stuff that is going on inside of you:
But there is a place for it.
And, if you want to be the best damn leader you can be, then make no mistake about it, my dear, you MUST find a time to deal with all of that ugliness inside of you.
You must make space to go to that place that is ugly!
You must go there!
If you want to find happiness in your day and return to loving your leadership role, engaging in your life and feeling alive again, you have to explore the messy stuff. Sorry, but it's just the way it is!
🆘The steps: 1, 2, and 3
To grow, to heal and to be your best self, you must deal with the ugly crap.
I'm here to offer some guidance
This isn’t easy work. It’s taken me years to get here. I’ve also had a ton of help along the way. As I’ve read books, taken training, engaged in coaching, became a coach, listened to a billion podcasts, Ted Talks and YouTube videos, and wrote my way through literally hundreds of journals, I’ve discovered tools, tips and strategies.
🔹For example, you’ve heard me reference The Inner Guidance Cycle that I teach inside of Mastering Confidence. The process of going through that is my primary go-to tool.
🔹Doing the work to truly uncover how to operationalize my values is what I inside of Values Verification.
🔹Growing my understanding of emotional intelligence and expanding my emotional literacy has helped me to maintain my composure. That is what I teach you inside of Emotional Control and many of the webinars that are available to you inside of The Training Library.
🔹To be able to stay with the nasty feelings and explore them even when I’d rather numb out on Netflix takes a thing called willpower. I share with you how to increase yours inside of Willpower Essentials.
Leadership is a lifelong journey of growth and development
But it’s not the sector training that is truly going to grow you to be your best self and lead most powerfully. Conferences, workshops and seminars all have a place in your training budget and your calendar. But they will not replace the time you need to create to be alone and explore the feelings you are experiencing.
Inside of The Training Library, I provide you with a framework along with the guidance and coaching to explore what’s going on inside of you. This framework helps you to find clarity. With that clarity, you discover control, composure and confidence.
But you have to do the heavy lifting.
You must do the inner work.
TIME SENSITIVE: Don't miss out on this!
If you are up for it, now would be an excellent time to join The Training Library and lock in your rate of $19.97/month for 2020.
So to answer the question, yes, I have “bad” days
But I don’t see them as bad. I see them as growth opportunities. It’s not always fun to go there. However, it is with the pain of exploration that I gain the feeling of confidence and the energy that allows me to inspire, motivate and encourage you to be your best self!
Next week I will be releasing the fourth course of 2019 inside of The Training Library. I’ll walk you through an analysis of your growth and development for 2019 and point you in the right direction for 2020.
Mark Dec. 20th on your calendar and make sure you have enrolled in The Training Library so you can end this century knowing how far you’ve come and ready to grow even more in 2020!
p.s. You should not be experiencing Leadership alone feeling lost and isolated! Reach out and find a support network, coach or mentor. It will make a world of difference for you
Think about that problem that you've had that you keep coming back to again and again. Maybe it's a person on your team that is driving you crazy. It could be a project you're working on that keeps haunting you.
How many times have you've tried to fix it, solve,
or make that problem go away.
But it's still there, isn't it?
Einstein is quoted as saying we can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. Yet, we try to do that all the time!
Let me tell you about Marilyn👩🏻💼and Iva 🙋♀️
Marilyn brought up her problem staff Iva in her latest coaching call with me. As Marilyn told me the challenge with Iva's late paperwork, I was sure this wasn't the first time Marilyn had to address the issue with Iva.
No, it's been an ongoing challenge since I hired her three years ago, Marilyn confirmed. Every time I talk to her, she gets better for a few months, then we are back to the same way before long. I get comments from the funder about late reports, and suddenly, I'm annoyed again. So, I call Iva in and address it once more!
Do you do what Marilyn did?
Here is the thing, my dear, women like us often supervise our staff with the same approach that we parent our children. We remind them, coax them and reprimand them.
We think correction should fix them, right?
That method has already been tried!
Let's be honest. If Iva's parents, teachers and university instructors hadn't yet cured her with scolding, lecturing and chewing her out, what makes us think our version of reprimanding her will?
We need to try something different!
No, as Einstein said, we need a new way of thinking. In fact, we need to pivot our thinking and come up with a whole new perspective.
The problem is our brains don't easily
let us think creatively at work.
Your workspace may be stifling
When you are sitting in the office, at your desk, with the next meeting almost about to start and awareness that someone will be popping their head in the door any second with a new crisis, it's hard to think outside the box
You need to find a way to access the part of your brain
that will let you be innovative.
Here is what Marilyn did:
I gave Marilyn a bit of homework to help her find creative ways to deal with this staffing problem.
Two weeks later, Marilyn was so excited to update me
on how things were going with Iva.
Marilyn's Creative Insights
It wasn't about paperwork being on time, Marylyn had realized. It was an issue of respect. Marilyn knew the expectations of the funder were unrealistic and often a pain in the butt. The other staff had conformed to paperwork deadlines because it was the "right" thing to do.
The problem was Iva's values clash
Iva would always push back on paperwork if it interfered with direct client work. But there was another value that Iva held firmly. Respect.
Identifying the values clash "fixed" the problem
It was when Marylin had a conversation with Iva about how to balance both values in her work, respecting the funder's need for paperwork and valuing her clients, that Iva began to make some subtle shifts in the way she prioritized her work. It was nothing dramatic, but slight enough to appease everyone!
Answering the questions on paper allowed Marilyn to be creative
What Marilyn did, with the homework I gave her, was access her subconscious and her inner wisdom.
👉Marilyn got out of logical thinking for a few minutes and found new insights, ideas and perspectives.
What did Marilyn do?
It wasn't the "Dear Diary" kind of journaling, but free writing, with prompts.
In many ways, it was a memo to herself...
Memo to self:
✏️This is the problem I have:
✏️ Here's what I need to do to fix it:
You can use journaling to find creative solutions too!!!
To solve your most difficult issues, you need to tune into your inner wisdom, intuition and creative thinking.
1) Create 5 minutes of solitude.
2) Pull out a piece of paper and write down the challenge you are faced with and ask yourself how you might fix it.
3) Then, write down new ideas that come to mind quickly.
Need help? Join me for this month's Webinar ⬇️
WEBINAR: Quick Journaling for Effective Leadership! ⭐️
The webinar is now over, but available as a replay inside of The Training Library
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!
My coaching client Lyssa called me last week in a tissy. She'd just come out of a staff meeting that hadn't gone well. I'll never be good at running meetings; she moaned! I hate them, and they hate me.
Who hates you? I teased. Your staff or just meetings in general?
Lyssa sighed; Both!
Lyssa when on: Every time I go into a staff meeting, I feel tense. I know the meeting is going to be strained. Someone is going to get worked up, and it's most often me. I wait for someone to put me on the spot with a pointed question. I just know I'll get defensive. Too often, I've lost my cool and said things I shouldn't have. I then feel stupid and leave the meeting feeling lousy.
I psych myself up before meetings and just pray I will get through them.
Lyssa was stuck in survival mode.
Lyssa set the bar low. I just want to survive this staff meeting.
But my job as a coach is to help Lyssa (and you) set the bar much higher.
Let me tell you how I helped Lyssa move in that direction. I started by asking her: What does your agenda for staff meetings look like?
Lyssa shrugged; Probably like any other leader's agenda. First, I go over all of the issues and concerns that I've got to cover. Then we review policy updates from senior management. Finally, I ask if they have anything they want to cover.
🤷♀️So you beat them then you bore them and then, after all, that, you bother to ask for their input - Do I have that about right?
Um, laughs Lyssa - Well, I don't think it's quite that bad but yeah, I guess so. So what should I be doing instead?
Lyssa had moved into her leadership role from a front-line position. She'd taken some management training since, but never received a "course" on how to run a staff meeting. It's just assumed, she knows how to do it.
I bet you have a similar backstory
But that's probably not true for most of us. We didn't just wake up one day knowing the SKILLS of how to run a staff meeting. Very few people have the innate ability to know HOW to run a meeting. Those that do have learned how to do that.
Lyssa learns some skills to run an effective staff meeting
It was time for Lyssa to begin to learn more about the skills necessary for running a staff meeting. We spent a few minutes talking about how to structure a routine staff meeting.
After a few minutes, Lyssa asked me: Why hasn't anyone ever taught me this stuff before? I said; When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
That saying: When the student is ready, the teacher will appear hints that the information has always been there. You just weren't looking for it or prepared to hear it. Ask yourself: Have I ever actually looked for information about how to run a staff meeting effectively? Most of us would say, probably not.
Here is the thing, running a staff meeting with confidence means you need to develop skills to run an effective meeting. But you have to look for those skills!
A growth mindset keeps you looking for your teachers
If you want to know how to run an effective staff meeting, start looking for teachings on that. Where do you learn those skills from? Textbooks, YouTube searches, and watching a mentor are all good places to start.
But you have to look at it from a student mindset. You have to be willing to learn. These are some things to query:
⭐️Why this matters SO much!⭐️
The #1 fear in women leaders is the fear of not being competent, not measuring up, looking like an idiot, stumbling over your words, failing or making a big mistake! They are afraid of looking incompetent. This fear is an indication of imposter syndrome.
You can be a CONFIDENT woman leader!
Competence, though, having the skill or ability to do something, is sometimes confused with having the courage to use that skill and feeling confident when you learn to use it well. All three of those "C" words go together.
✔️Competence is having the skills or ability
✔️Courage is being willing to use those skills even if you are not very good at it and feel afraid.
✔️Confidence is what comes AFTER you've had some experience putting the new skills to use.
3 steps to develop the confidence, competence and courage to run effective staff meetings
To become more effective, competent and confident to run staff meetings, take a look at where you are struggling with a feeling of incompetence. Then do the following three steps
Your ongoing commitment to developing you
is your secret to success and happiness!
Competence + Courage = Confidence
Competence is knowing how.
Courage is doing it even when it feels scary.
Confidence is experiencing it and realizing you lived through it.
The next time you find yourself worrying about feeling incompetent, take a deep breath and remind yourself, I'll figure it out. Then, figure it out by learning what skills you need to learn and have the courage to practice them thus, becoming a competent and confident leader!
Remember, ongoing personal & professional development is your path to confidence. Keep learning my dear and you'll feel better!
Tired of Survival Mode?
Here are the 3 steps to ditching survival mode:
Available on Amazon
Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.