Our capacities are at an all-time low.
Between the pandemic and politics and injustice–not to mention our already overflowing lives and schedules–we have access to far fewer resources for staying calm, beating back anxiety, or holding space for others.
It’s in times like these that leaders like you need to know what trips you up--so you can take better care of yourself and continue to lead those who depend on you.
Knowing what trips you up requires a lot of curiosity and deep respect for feeling out of sorts, but so often, the message to keep cool and never let others see you struggle shuts down any curiosity about what is at the root of inner struggle.
Staying calm and showing up with care is exhausting--especially when the world is on fire. You don’t want to stop… but it’s tough!
Now, I know everyone is used to hearing about “triggers,” but I like to use a different term-- trailhead.
Trailheads, according to the founder...
Too often, we exile the parts of us that hold complex emotions and difficult parts of our story at the expense of our wholeness. And not respecting our own wholeness in favor of living a compartmentalized life is perpetuated in the spaces we live and lead.
So, we hide away the things that we’ve been taught to believe are not acceptable—and what we hide is often rooted in the soul of what makes us unique and feel most alive.
Making space to lead complexity means signing up to navigate emotions, beliefs, and perspectives that do not fit into a tidy box.
This is the call right now. To dig into nuance and hang out in this place of complexity requires awareness that cannot be put back into the proverbial toothpaste tube.
This is super vulnerable.
But remember, respecting the whole person still requires boundaries, honoring core values, and developing systems that move you and your business forward. The fear of chaos is more about the fear of change–and what that change...
Never underestimate the power of your decisions.
Especially the little decisions you make each day.
How you go about making decisions offers so much data about you and what you believe about yourself and the world around you.
Many of us second-guess our decisions because we're unsure of ourselves in the first place. Maybe you underestimate your ability to do hard things or give added weight to the judgment others might pass when they learn about your decision.
Most often, I suspect you second-guess your ability to do hard things and feel hard things. Or maybe you question how those around you will respond to your decisions.
If you are too protected from feeling vulnerable or your worthiness is wrapped up in metrics or the opinions of others, then you will be disconnected from your purpose and your courage
More importantly, you will be disconnected from making the decisions that support the life you are building and those you are leading.
My guest today never underestimates herself...
Caring about those you lead means caring about the harm you may unknowingly be doing.
Many of us who fit western standards of beauty and live in conventionally abled bodies don't understand how our choices can cause pain. We've internalized ableism and fat-phobia to the point where we can't even grasp how our words & deeds cause harm.
In particular, in the last year, and perhaps for a while longer, many of you have come to terms with the way you operate in the world and cause pain or harm in a way you have no idea.
Talking about beliefs around body, health, size, and beauty can feel like a tenuous social quagmire. Perfectionism and shame love to hang out and have a party with both mindset and mental health when tackling nuanced and vulnerable topics like this one.
We breathe in the many conflicting messages on what it means to be enough, to be strong, to be worthy. Our bodies carry the burdens of these messages and beliefs.
Recognizing how collusion with systems and toxic...
There is nothing safe about catalyzing the much-needed changes we need in our world today.
Speaking your truth feels loaded right now. I’m not talking about speaking your truth as a way to say whatever you feel whenever and wherever.
I’m talking about the deep knowing inside of you that is you without the armor, the spin. The you that doesn’t absorb the projections onto you from the world.
The pull to dim what you know to be true as a protective response is real.
Sitting on the fence is a protective response. It also keeps you small and led by the burdens of fear.
I have been rumbling with this truth in my own writing and speaking, noticing the years of protecting internally that push me to placate and keep things vague when there is a lot to lose or a chance to get hurt.
The more I unburden the hurts I have held for so long, the more my capacity to move through the vulnerability of leading from my truth and speaking my truth increases.
Sure, leading from your...
The quickest way to crash and burn your business and life is to place your worthiness and safety with the opinions of others.
This may sound like a captain-obvious statement but the pull to care what others think is something fierce. And it is sneaky.
The competitive drive is no stranger to many of you. In fact, it is often the norm.
Honoring your boundaries around healthy competition is hard in a world that constantly tells us we’re not enough. It does not help that our own self-talk attacks our sense of enough, too.
When not checked, healthy competition and ambition lead to the protectors of scarcity and comparison overwhelming you. This happens quickly when you are not clear on your values, when you are not clear on your definition of success, and when you are not clear on your boundaries.
Without these anchors in place, the powerful drive to win and achieve can quickly warp to a singular focus on another person or another business. Success is then based on comparison and...
We might want change now—but change is almost always met with resistance.
And resistance to change is, at its core, protective.
Yet, this well-intentioned approach can end up hurting instead of helping especially when the desire to protect is at the expense of the well-being of others.
When we look at the industries that focus around our image, it gets even messier.
I am late to the fashion, make-up, skincare party—and I have loved playing around with style and products that make me feel good. It has been fun to support some incredible companies caring more about just the bottom line and support causes that serve the greater good.
Still, the messaging around beauty and health can be disorienting… and sometimes downright demoralizing to the point where we confuse the truth on our worth and value.
This is where leaders transform their care into activism in order to cultivate spaces that are brave and safe for all.
This is work.
Community over competition is indeed a well-worn hashtag. The cynical can dismiss it. Those beat up by year after year of injustice understandably call BS.
But in practice, leading with the lens of community over competition is subversive and culture-shifting.
Community over competition requires deep life-long work to unburden the load we carry of scarcity and comparison.
In a highly connected, dopamine infused world, where billions of dollars are spent to cultivate 'not enoughness', we buy, vote, and believe, leading with community over competition is an antidote to the noise.
Leading with community over competition is an antidote to the noise and keeps us anchored in our values and integrity.
But leading this way comes at a cost.
It comes at the cost of the quick and easy.
It is not efficient (at least it feels that way in the short term).
It is super uncomfortable and forces you to face the parts of you that are not Instagram friendly.
And... I know you are here for this. (I...
Our workplaces need more laughter.
Our homes need more laughter.
The world needs more laughter.
And I don’t know about you, but I too need more laughter.
There have been times of late when the smallest thing sets my family into a laugh-fest - usually triggered by something we were watching on TV or something one of us said that just tickled the proverbial funny bone.
This communal laughter always feels like a welcomed exhale when I didn't even know I was holding my breath. Every time, I feel lighter and clearer after I wipe the tears of joy away from my face.
Growing up, I got the message that humor and comedy were for those who were not serious. I was always equal parts annoyed and envious of the class-clowns and those that seemed at ease using humor as they lead. I wanted to focus on work but I also appreciated their ability to lighten the mood and not take themselves too seriously while building a sense of connection.
Comedy and humor can...
Avoiding controversy for the sake of comfort is not an option for you as you lead, do life, and rumble with all the big and little decisions before you.
Sure, you do not want to contribute to the noise.
You are not looking for a fight (or, like me, you try not to get scrappy just to offload some stress), or to be right just for the sake of being right.
No. You value the big picture. You value the mission. You value the greater impact.
These days, people try to shock us just so they can manipulate our feelings. They use hyperbole to exercise power over us. The polarization we are living with internally and in our culture leads to many having serious controversy fatigue.
Unburdened leaders get the nuance of standing up. They also understand the sacrifices. They would rather step up for what is true than play it safe.
We all need to do a better job of respecting this kind of leadership by supporting those who are willing to and able to take the heat...