behavior

How food can lead to leadership - seriously?

A new episode of the Womanly Art of Leadership Sessions podcast has been released and this week, I'm speaking with Dana Dinnawi, a health and well-being coach who discusses the importance of food to leadership.

What? Really?

She describes how taking charge of your food, eating 'clean' and being more mindful about it leads to better habits in other areas of your life too.

More focus.

Better clarity.

You can't give the best of yourself if you're running on empty - Dana Dinnawi.

Listen in and if you haven't already subscribed, do it here

Naww...When Harry Met Meghan

Everyone loves a good fairytale romance.

We can't help ourselves. Whether you're a royalist or not, there is something that captures the hearts and imaginations of women the world over when a handsome young prince plucks his beautiful princess-to-be from amongst the 'commoners'.

It gives us hope that one day it might happen to us (or is that just me!)

It is true fairytale stuff.

And it annoys me that a Prince-Harry-engages-actress-Meghan-Markle story evokes this response in me. It tells me that, despite everything - despite the fact that I have created all I have in my life, despite the fact that I have been quietly determined to achieve a life and career I love - deep down, I am conditioned to desire to be scooped up and rescued.

It is conditioning.

Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist and writer of the 20th century, studied the stories of all the cultures in the world and identified there was a common theme - a story of a restless young person, called to a purpose, who faces struggle, and personal demons, and ultimately conquers. The theme appears in Bambi, Luke Skywalker, Greek mythology - it's the basic premise of just about every story ever written, spoken or shot on film...and none of these heroes are women.

You see, women wait.

In this scenario, women feature as mothers, wives, or daughters, waiting for the hero to return victorious. Women have waited for centuries - waiting for husbands and sons to return from war; waiting to be rescued by a prince or a knight in shining armour, waiting for Dad to 'fix' things...

And we're still waiting...

We have made great advances so that we can choose, to a large extent, how we desire to live and work, and yet:

  • We wait for our good work to be recognised, rather than actively being more visible, or asking for a promotion.
  • We wait for the company to pay for our personal and career development, rather than proactively making learning and growing a lifelong mission. (Really? Your own personal development is someone else's responsibility?)
  • We wait for a raise to be offered before actively asking for one.
  • Sometimes, we'll even stay in an unhappy or dysfunctional relationship or job because we're waiting for something (the kids to grow up, the mortgage to be paid off, etc).

So I urge you to STOP WAITING.

Write your own story and be your own hero and inspiration.

How are you waiting in your life and career? What are you waiting for? What obstacles are you putting up that are really just excuses in disguise?

If you'd like help to break down the barriers you've created to living and working as you desire, book a call and let's discuss where you are now, where you want to be in the future, and how to get you there. 

How often do you say ‘Yes’ when you really mean ‘No?’

Does this happen to you?

  • You are invited to a dinner that you really don’t want to go to, but you find yourself saying ‘Yes’, then you make some convoluted excuse later to say you can’t make it ( - white lies are OK, right?)

  • Your boss consistently asks you to stay late. If it was just for the period of the project, you’d be OK with it, but now it’s happening all the time. You find yourself agreeing to it, then resenting the decision - and worse, it doesn’t feel like there is any way out.

Hey, I’ve always had problems with setting and standing by boundaries. In avoiding conflict, and trying to keep others happy (‘people-pleasing’ and being “the Good Girl”), I have put my own needs and - yes, even safety - in the back seat. I have made some poor decisions in the past, both personally and professionally, thinking that saying ‘Yes’ was the path of least resistance, avoiding conflict, and ultimately keeping others happy, but not me. I haven’t allowed MY truth to live and breath.

  • Like the time a friend came to stay for a month, and ended up staying a year. Even when I talked to him about moving out, that I needed my space back, it fell on deaf ears, and I got on with making the best of a bad situation.
  • Like the times I accepted a measly $1,000 raise, or - worse, no raise at all despite being a top performer. Instead of confronting it head on, I resentfully accepted the situation, walking away feeling undervalued and unrecognised for my contribution.
  • Like the times I allowed my thoroughly-prepared, practiced, and strategically important presentation to my colleagues in the leadership team to be bumped from the agenda during our 3 day offsite.
  • Like the times I allowed myself in my personal life to tolerate the type of treatment that if a friend told me she was tolerating, I’d have said, “Get. Out. Now,” with the compassion and love she deserved.

Well, I’m getting lots of universal lessons showing up to test the strength of my boundaries right now - courtesy online dating!!

Holy…

It’s a whole new ball game. I’ve created a very clear vision of what I am looking for in a relationship (and in particular how I desire to feel), and what is acceptable and what is not. I find that at every moment, I need to be very aware of these ‘mini-challenges’ being sent my way so I can respond differently - saying ‘No’ when, actually, that’s EXACTLY what I want to say. Do I want to see you again? “You know what? I had a nice time, but no - no, I do not want to see you again. Thank you. “ It also requires me tuning into how I FEEL in this person’s company, instead of letting my rational mind take over with, “Well, perhaps he’s having a bad day,” or “Perhaps, it’ll be different next time.”

It’s a muscle I’m flexing, getting stronger, being clear about what I want to create, and what feels good to me, instead of worrying so much about how others might respond or being the “Good Girl.”

Having that clarity about what I desire has led to a surprisingly enjoyable date with an utter gentleman who I would not normally have been interested in. I said ‘Yes’ to how I want to feel; ‘No’ to the crumbs or sloppy treatment others are offering me.

Is saying ‘Yes’ when you mean to say ‘No’ something you find yourself doing repeatedly?

Here is my mini-challenge to you: next time you feel like this, do things differently, and...Just. Say. No. One small step at a time.

I’d love to hear if this all sounds familiar or about the mini-successes you experience putting your needs and desires first. Hit reply, or go over to my private FB group - join up and share there.

Wish me bon courage in the online world! :D

Big love x

What Are You Resisting?

"Your resistance to playing the game means you're out of the game"

I read this in a relationship coach's blog - it was with reference to the dating game. If you're resisting putting yourself out there, you're taking yourself out of the game of ever meeting someone; but it got me thinking...

What else could this be a reference to?

For a lot of people, including myself, being visible is an area where there is resistance - resistance to taking centre stage (preferring to lurk in the shadows or being the best damn 2IC but never stepping into the spotlight of leadership); not putting yourself out there in so many ways  - creating an extraordinary life and work, marketing yourself (or 'self-promotion' which is considered negatively), dating and relationships.

For me, I am conflicted. While I enjoy being centre stage at some level (I love public speaking and I used to do amateur dramatics), putting myself out there in my capacity as a coach challenges me. It makes me uncomfortable. Good God - what if people judge me?! (The horror!)

And being uncomfortable is exactly what we must strive for in order to effect change and to get different results.

"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" Commonly attributed to Albert Einstein.

So what resistance do you feel?

What makes you uncomfortable?

How would it benefit you to feel uncomfortable more frequently?

What does the phrase bring up for you?

"I Don't Know" - What it Really Means

"I don't know"...Harmless enough response to a question, isn't it? Perhaps you use it quite frequently.

This is just a quick post to highlight what I am finding in working with my clients.

I find that the ways the response "I don't know" is most often used is not in the circumstance where somebody truly does not know the answer to the question, but in one of several other situations, such as:

  • Facing Fear: "I feel resistance to thinking about this - it may identify a fear I have that I'm not willing to face;"
  • Time versus Priority: "This is not really a priority for me to think about so let's move on;"
  • Solve My Problems: "This feels like it will take a lot of energy to think about - I want you to do it for me;"
  • Processing: "I need to digest this - it's a big idea and I don't know what to do with it right now."

On rare occasions in my business, it means "I genuinely do not know the answer to that question, but I am going to find out."

Language helps to create our reality - what you say is what you ultimately do and how you show up. "I don't know" can be seen as avoidant behaviour, procrastination, lack of creativity or desire to solve a problem - and in some cases, just plain lazy! I believe that this 'no response' response creates our reality, too - it's the thoughts behind the non-committal and ambiguous words that matter.

Before you answer "I don't know", try digging deeper - if "I don't know" wasn't a phrase, what would your response be?

Get to the real answer behind those words so you can gain greater understanding of the problem and greater self-awareness.

Want to create a different reality? Get on a call and let's see if we're a fit!

Why You Should Look In the Mirror More

Photo credit: Mark Solarski

Photo credit: Mark Solarski

Self-Awareness is the path to greatness

This has probably been said in one form or other by thousands of philosophers, self-proclaimed self-help gurus, and motivational speakers. It came to me as I lay in bed this morning contemplating...well, a lot.

I am trialling a new process that helps us to understand repeating behaviours and change these long-held beliefs and behavioural patterns. It's based on the premise that we get what we focus on, and if we focus on our 'story' - the thing we want to move away from, we simply perpetuate it and make it stronger.

I am not ready to endorse it or share it until I have truly seen the benefits, although I feel sure I will be shouting it from the rooftops shortly - I had a mind-blowing experience with it yesterday. It enriches my ability to offer exceptional coaching, by knowing myself more and having the same experience as a client, so I can be empathetic to others' needs and use the techniques with my clients.

This is what I'm finding, and perhaps it resonates with you.

The more I understand my thoughts, beliefs and behavioural patterns, the more I am able to take control and stand in my power so I can achieve all I desire. Self-awareness creates peace - a stronger place from which to work towards desires and goals than fear.

"So what?" I hear you say

"What has this to do with me and my life?"

It pains me when I see people who have never held the mirror up to see and know themselves better. It's not because I feel I know better; it is because I see their capacity for greatness they often don't see. Seeing our reflection allows us to reduce fear, increase our confidence, and create change in our lives to pursue and achieve business and career goals, improve personal relationships, find 'the one', become kinder, calmer, more 'together' people - whatever we desire as our greatness. Ultimately, we come to know, love and accept ourselves better.

This type of self-awareness and self-knowledge allow us to see our 'triggers' - the pain points that create fear and fury that prevent us from living as we truly desire - to be able to manage our way through them. They are seldom eliminated but they can be minimised to the point where the response is not acted upon or it is replaced with another more positive action.

Even more amazing is that by working with our triggers in this way, we can positively impact our physical health too. Imagine being free of the pain in that dodgy hip, shoulder, neck, back you've been harbouring for years! Frankly, that's enough to keep me going back for more! Physical pain has been said to most often be the physical manifestation of emotional pain and fear.

"Again,...what has this to do with me?"

The point of which is to say, this is the sort of stuff that comes out in coaching - challenging our existing beliefs and behavioural patterns that prevent us from achieving all we desire (whatever that may be.) It is powerful stuff and can create lasting, positive change in our lives - mental, physical, emotional - IF we choose it.

The only pre-requisite: It requires a desire and a conscious decision to honour yourself enough to want more for yourself (and your loved ones.)

Want to know yourself more?

Want to step into your own greatness?

Want to create lasting, positive change?