One of the most challenging aspects of leadership is facing bullies.
…the bullies from our past.
...the bullies in our present.
...and the bullies between our ears.
We live in a culture that normalizes—and even elevates—bullies in the name of entertainment. Our culture encourages us to enjoy the suffering of others instead of empathizing with the personal pain of the bullied. Our culture increasingly urges us to see bullying as a sign of strength.
When in truth, the culture of bullying is fueled by shame, fear, and violence. It perpetuates a right to retribution that dehumanizes. It ruins lives and lacks accountability, compassion, and empathy.
That’s why it’s more important than ever these days to take a stand. To face the bully, the oppressor, the abuser, the betrayer and say: enough. No more. Not now. Not ever again.
Gemma Went is my guest today. She’s here to share about when she decided to push back on...
Most leaders go through a period where they take stock of the trappings of the life they believe they are “supposed” to live. They examine the assumptions they’ve made, the choices they’ve fallen into, and the circumstances that have shaped their stories.
And they realize—however painfully—that it all needs to be torn down. I’ve been there, too. Brick by brick, they dismantle the details of their lives so that they can carefully and intentionally rebuild.
It takes real courage to lead yourself through a season of dismantling.
And, no, not the Mel Gibson Braveheart courage. But the quiet courage that keeps you putting one foot in front of the other. The unseen courage that chooses a life of uncertainty versus maintaining the status quo of tolerating, doubt, and shame.
It’s not easy to reassess the choices that have gotten you to where you’re at. But without paying close attention to how you’ve ended up merely...
We push ourselves until we crash.
We people please until we lose ourselves.
We hide our truth until we’re crushed from loneliness and disconnection.
Instead of dealing with the stress of our present, the anxiety of our future, or the trauma of our past, we numb out.
We drink the wine or take the pills or binge on the ice cream—and, oftentimes, we cross the threshold from numbing out to addiction.
Not surprisingly, alcohol is one of the first things many reach for to numb the ache. It’s socially acceptable and it’s easily accessible. It takes the edge off. It makes us feel a little less. It helps us find more calm and clarity.
Similarly, some people shop to soothe their pain. Some eat. Some exercise until they drop to the ground. The things that start off as comfort often lead to addiction.
And it works—until it doesn’t.
Leaders are especially good at hiding from love and the vulnerability it brings in ways that look deceptively bold. This can be a dangerous contagion, I’ve found, encouraging others to also hide behind the protectors of Hubris. Individualism. Perfectionism. Hustle.
I’ve seen how spending so much time hiding behind who you think you should be makes you forget who you are, what you value, and what you believe.
And, honestly, it can crush your spirit.
That’s why being able to receive love is foundational to being able to love and lead others well. This means moving through discomfort by feeling through it instead of letting the protectors – fueled by fear – hide your humanity.
My guest today is a force of love—towards herself and others—in both words and actions.
The past often acts itself out in the present and this can be super frustrating for established leaders—especially when it feels like you’ve already done the work to move past those struggles.
I know it has for me and so many of you, too.
We’ve read the books, gone to therapy, hired a coach, and went to the workshops.
We’ve committed to the deep work so that we can lead, thrive, and create well.
Sometimes, those struggles and challenges still impact the ability to navigate present challenges and growth edges… echoes of that pain linger within the body and nervous system.
But I know that you’re committed to life-long growth—and, of course, growth comes with some semblance of discomfort. When the nervous system is still carrying the burdens of previous pain, then resistance spikes to try and protect us.
It shows up as doubt, comparison, imposter experience, perfectionism, and so many more. And as much as I’d love to say it only...
Leadership is hard and it is not for the weary.
Scratch that. It is for the weary and for those who commit to keep showing up, and fighting for a different world so power and status quo does not have the last say.
Leading myself and others in the face of injustice while also staying aligned to my integrity and values has required an immense amount of courage, clarity, confidence—and a lot of deep breaths.
In times of conflict, my ability to stay aligned with my integrity and core values has often been a reflection of the inner work I have done to tolerate criticism, backlash, conflict, being misunderstood, and losing support/business/followers.
Words like ‘integrity’ and ‘values’ can become nebulous and lose meaning when not backed up by consistent—though imperfect—action.
Leading, living, and being human continues to be an ongoing and imperfect process. My desire to seek accountability and justice in the world has required me to swim in the...
Somewhere early in my life, I got the message that acknowledging my pain was not okay. Being vulnerable opened me up for attack. It was dangerous. Messages like “never let them see your sweat” often got mixed up with “no pain, no gain.” So there’s a mixture of: don’t show your pain getting the best of you yet show yourself conquering it all.
And it’s not working.
Just look at the stats of those suffering from clinical depression, clinical anxiety, substance use and abuse, suicide attempts and completion, marital and relational distress, and the effects of trauma and post-traumatic stress.
Hiding our pain—avoiding it, even demonizing it—is taking us out because it’s not sustainable.
But when you acknowledge your pain as an inspiration instead of an identity, this is where the gold lies that fuels your meaning and purpose.
On today’s episode, I’m excited to talk with a cultural expert, speaker, educator,...
My body was telling me to take a step back and reevaluate.
Five years ago I had pneumonia and I couldn’t really do anything other than prop myself up on the couch and breathe...
...breathe and think about how I ended up in this mess.
I’d run myself into the ground. My schedule was full-to-overflowing. My life was packed and stretched to the edges. I had no margin for error, no space to breathe, no time to connect to who and what mattered to me.
What was I really chasing? Why had I packed my life so full? What was really driving me to try to be all the things to all the people?
The trauma of betrayal, abuse, shame, and the constant search to prove myself worthy–it was humbling and frustrating to see these recurring struggles and how they were hijacking my drive.
I needed to do more work to lift those burdens, so I could move forward in a way where my drive was aligned to what matters most to me instead of taking me further away.
In the last episode, Jonathan...
Leaders often struggle to make time for healing until their body sends out an SOS.
They postpone and avoid the need for deeper healing and then get slammed by illness, exhaustion, or burnout.
And at the heart it? There is usually the burden of unaddressed trauma.
Insomnia, chronic pain, hair and skin issues, digestive distress, mood swings, and illness after illness–if you’re experiencing these symptoms without relief, you might be one of these leaders. The cost of avoiding or bypassing the deep work and healing ends up costing you time, opportunity, and your physical and emotional well-being.
We need more leaders to show up and model what it means to prioritize healing by doing the deeper work to change.
That's why I'm excited to share today’s conversation with Jonathan Merrit.
Jonathan knows a thing or two about the deep work of healing because he has lived this truth in action.
He is a model of tenacity and commitment toward the long-game work...
I remember reading through this book underlining paragraphs and writing personal thoughts in the margins all the while talking about with everyone I knew.
Parts of me led life through the lens of perfection believing this was the best way to live and do life. As destructive as all or nothing thinking is – it also provides a container of control and purpose to protect – giving the illusion this approach to life is sustainable. Until it isn’t.
I now know perfection is a fierce protector. Hustle. Numb out. Focus on the results. Or do not try at all. Perfection thinks it is the ultimate safety armor. And yet it also ends up wreaking havoc on faith, health, confidence, courage and creativity because the anxiety of perfection fuels both overfunctioning and under...