Did you ever see images like this one and say, “but I really do want that promotion (new job, better relationships with my team, love in my life, connection with my family, etc.)”
“…it isn’t your door” doesn’t only mean that the door isn’t right. It also means that maybe you’re not in the right space to open that particular door. Maybe you’re more positioned to open doors that are congruous with the energy you put out in the world - doubt doors, undervalued doors, not good enough doors.
Those doors typically lead to more of the same - frustration, self-sabotage, perfectionism, disappointment, frayed relationships.
Achievers believe that if they just work harder things will get better because that strategy always served them. The truth is that plan, while a tenet of good character, isn’t a differentiator at the executive level. Everyone works hard there. And sometimes people who aren’t even...
Have you ever really wanted something and yet allowed roadblock excuses to stand in the way? “I won’t have time?” “It’ll put too much pressure on me.” “It won’t work out so I don’t even want to try because I’ll be disappointed.”
Then the defeat we expect in remaining “safe” becomes a self fulfilling prophecy because we just put out negative energy surrounding the very thing we want, attracting the excuse we lay in the path of our desire.
This cycle is dreadfully repetitive and becomes a habit. We think intention is action yet it in this case it’s denial. And the more time we spend in this cycle the more we begin to feel like there’s something wrong with us, that it’s never going to change and it starts to effect other areas of our lives like eating habits, exercise, relationships and sleep.
The one thing that I’ve seen missing in clients when we start working together is...
The shift to focusing on the lesson, not the hurt, is crucial for executive presence. It comes by way of building your self-awareness such that you notice your thoughts before you become them. How do we notice thoughts from a third party perspective instead of getting swept up in the emotions that follow? By training the mind to observe itself when not in a crisis.
Mindful daily practices train the mind to stay in the moment and not react with regret.
So build the discipline of mindful practices into your daily routine: read an inspirational passage, do a craft, meditate, take a mindful walk where you notice everything around you and not think about anything else, prayer.
Then watch what how saying or thinking things you used to later regret dissipates. Notice how the people you used to hate become subjects of study. Observe how your words are more productive with people you care about. Others will notice how much more you smile.
For more executive presence tips...
When we experience shame, we live in constant fear of being rejected. Often we don’t even realize that shame is driving our feelings of not being good enough. And we become trapped in avoidance strategies we create to escape the pain. This leaves us in a perpetual state of unrest and denial of the truth of our power over our thoughts.
At work this shows up as edginess, control, lack of connectedness, and withdrawal. Thus robs you of executive presence and effectiveness. In relationships it shows up the same way.
It took me a long time to realize shame was behind my executive exterior. I was successful yet not connecting with colleagues, friends and family in a way I’d have liked. It took a lot of soul searching and humility to admit I felt unloved, unliked and unworthy after my divorce. When I could finally admit that, I could then be kinder and gentler with myself. It was a sigh of relief to not have to pretend I was anything more than I was - not perfect....
If I learned anything this week it’s that we must cease our need to be right and then listen more than we speak. People want to be happy more than they need to be right. Though often they don’t know it. Be the “rent-an-adult.”
Be the leader who can set ego aside and view the situation from a third party perspective. Winning is not the goal if it’s at the expense of your or another person’s self-esteem. Being right is not sustainable if someone else has to be wrong.
That doesn’t mean to suggest that trying to reason with the unreasonable will build alignment - that arguing with fools will get you anywhere. Sometimes we need to walk away and let the masses isolate them. The pain of staying the same must be worse than the pain of change. The biggest fools end up in a diminishing group and ultimately alone. That’s pain enough.
Ask yourself this question before you speak: “Does what I’m about to say advance collaboration or...
We work hard all year then put pressure on ourselves for the perfect vacation. The concept of vacation is out of balance with an integrated life. This image exemplifies how I live my life. It’s always served me well. I don’t have a bucket list. I do what I want now. I make time, space and energy for what resonates with me and the people I care about. It requires focus and commitment. It requires setting priorities. It requires saying no to things that don’t resonate with my priorities and yes to things that scare me or that I don’t yet know how to do. But perfection is not my goal because I’m certainly not perfect at anything I do or even good at some of the things I try. But I have fun, keep an open mind, laugh at myself, and that’s good enough. And I fiercely love the people around me.
Because if life isn’t vacation then the other 51 weeks a year are what we are trying to get away from.
If you are not sure where you will be in a year...
How often we feel negative emotions - despair, sadness, frustration, fear - and we don’t ask for help. It might be because we don’t know what we need or we think nobody will care. Yet we turn away from the discomfort instead of being curious about it.
At work this shows up often as feeling overwhelmed and afraid. What if the next time you felt overwhelmed you asked yourself, “What do I need right now?”
Then instead of feeling alone and let down by others you said to those close to you, “I’m feeling (insert feeling.) Right now it would really help if I could count on you for (insert what you need from them.) It would make all the difference to me.”
They may not deliver. But you’ve just moved closer to knowing what you need and that you deserve it.
For more executive presence tips here's a link to my new FREE eBook - 31 Executive Presence Practices for Leaders in the High Stakes Corporate World click...
No one can make you feel the way you won't allow yourself to feel.
I can’t stress enough how this concept is where change begins. Fulfillment is not external. Yes, work on skillset and strategy. But you won’t see yourself at your full potential until you are ready to release your old mindsets that are only assumptions, name what you deserve, and fully accept it. Behave as if it is already happening.
Yes, you deserve the promotion, relationship, love and new job. Discard the trap your thoughts have set to keep you safe and free from pain. They are an illusion that keep you from calculated risks. Be vulnerable because that is innocent and fresh. It draws people to you. It also draws opportunity.
Let go of perfectionism and expectations that only leave you with disappointment. You will grow from the experience either way. Goals are not expectations. They are metrics. Expectations put your worth on the line if the goal is not met. Never helpful.
If you've been out of the workforce a while and are trying to re-enter it here are a few strategies to keep in mind.
Organizations today are seeking professionals who are committed to excellence, mastery and are a good cultural fit. If you are a candidate who has been out of the workforce for any reason, here are a few recommendations to consider:
1. Don't bias yourself against yourself. If you are focused on how you are irrelevant because of not being in an active career role so will others. How have you kept your product/service knowledge up to date? What meetings have you or are you now attending? What groups or organizations are you active in? What news sources/professional association posts do you read regularly? What volunteer activities keep you current? List these things in your cover letter and resume.
2. How has your hiatus from full time employment been an opportunity for you? Have you been able to level set how to build healthy work/life integration? What mindset are you...
Our culture imposes a sense of urgency that isn’t helpful to well-being. The internet is the worst culprit. Social media defines what we “should” look like. What we “should” feel like. What we “should” be doing. And what we “should” have.
A sense of urgency is good in a crisis. Our lives are not a crisis. You already have everything you need to look, feel, do and have what you want. Your perspective is the key. Your looks are gorgeous when you feel they are. Your soul is fulfilled when your values are aligned with your actions. Your career is rewarding when you are leading in a way that resonates with your core. And the stuff you have will make sense when it is purposeful to your personal mission.
May this year be the year you are ready to sail your boat out of the harbor and into a sea of opportunity, creativity and contentment.
If you don't know where you'll be by the end of the year you are already there. Don't...