What is Conscious Leadership? Leading with Purpose!

What is Conscious Leadership? Leading with Purpose!

Conscious leaders recognize the importance of having a purpose in both their personal life and professional lives. Any good leader coming into a new company culture focuses very quickly—not just on hard work and profit margin, but on determining “What is the purpose of this company?” In fact, they should know that purpose long before they even come through the front door because they’re going to have to come in and hit the ground running.

Why is knowing a company’s purpose important? Well, once you know what the purpose is, you know how to prioritize. You understand what kinds of goals to set. You grasp the conscious culture that needs to be supported and the decision-making process to get there. And once a leader knows these things it means they can begin to see who is a good fit for which roles and how to play to the strengths of team members and employees.

Beyond the status quo

When nobody knows where they’re going or what they’re doing or how they’re doing it, it’s a little bit like the Headless Horseman charging around creating confusion, constantly reacting to external factors. But once you have a clear purpose and understand an organization’s structure, you can lead in a way that creates enough weight to start pulling people out of lethargy and confusion and onto a defined path. You can inspire people to develop greater emotional intelligence and get them excited about personal growth within the company culture. And don’t you know people love nothing more than clarity and a good game to play with others!

So, a really good leader creates a good game around purpose, finds out what’s in it for every single member of their team, and points out a new and different way beyond the status quo of “business as usual.” This is good systemic leading or leadership 101.

Creation not reaction

Those who assume a leadership position are expected to be more responsible, more insightful, cleverer, and more inspirational than most people. Ideally, they are a self-aware leader with a high level of emotional intelligence and a sense of social responsibility beyond traditional leadership models.

Unfortunately, without knowing about the need for purpose and how purpose drives the organization of an organization, many new leaders quite often end up floundering at the starting point. And this is often an unconscious extension of how they were raised as young people in their own homes and educational settings.

Most people navigate life pretty unconsciously in their personal lives, reacting to people and situations, playing out self-limiting beliefs rather than coming from their true self and a more grounded, purposeful, creative position. This habit of unconscious reaction versus creation has far-reaching consequences, bleeding over into many areas of their lives including their professional lives.

A good leader doesn’t just “happen.” Conscious leadership arises when we begin to mindfully consider every aspect and element of our lives on a day-to-day basis. It happens when we’re ready to take radical responsibility for personal growth and start acting out of our true self.

At that point, our grounded creative, purposeful way of interacting with others and making choices naturally draws us into opportunities where our leadership qualities can shine and our hard work and good example help build a better world for all.

Start your mindful leadership adventure

Conscious leadership is a deliberate decision. It is a commitment to developing ourselves at work and in our personal relationships in our daily lives. In the business world, it is a commitment to developing a money-follows-value mindset, thereby inspiring those around us.

It asks a lot of us—nothing less than a full awareness of the self—which includes being present, engaging a conscious decision-making process, validating the positions and thoughts of others while inspiring greater emotional intelligence, movement and growth.

Mindful leadership happens when we deliberately turn to the highest form of who we are—our true self. And it doesn’t always have to take the form of actively promoting effective leadership approaches focused on things like leadership development and social responsibility in one’s team members. It can be something as simple as a kind act, an invitation, a smile, or a helping hand.

The far-reaching consequences of kindness and compassion—especially if you bear an important professional title—cannot be overstated. Sometimes giving a genuine smile is the single most beneficial thing you can do for someone. It’s a powerful tool. Which means you don’t have to hire a leadership coach to develop potent leadership skills. It’s actually the little things that form the core elements of conscious leadership. And those things—the encouraging nod, the casual offer of assistance, the genuine compliment—you can practice and build upon, day by day on your own.

This conscious awareness and attention to sometimes the smallest things can be developed in anybody—which is why you’ll often hear me say, “Everybody is a leader, whether they know it or not.” In those moments when we reach out in compassion and empathy, we take a position of mindful leadership. When we come from our hearts and from our highest level of intent—to put it bluntly, we are purposefully making powerful magic. Coming from the space of genuine concern and consideration for others, our thoughts, feelings, words and actions have an incredibly positive impact and go a long way towards helping develop the better world we all long to live in.

Starting point

Leaders become leaders when they arrive at the starting point, which is: An awareness that there is more to life than just whatever is there in front of them. When they gain that awareness and make the conscious decision to explore that “something more,” they begin to move out of the status quo of reactionary thinking and unconscious action. As their level of self-awareness increases, they develop the belief that they can do and become even more.  Thus encouraged, they then set out to make personal growth happen. When they make that conscious choice, self-limiting beliefs begin to drop away.

At that point, growth momentum and awareness of the self increases and just keeps on increasing. They may not have consciously set out to become a leader, let alone a mindful one, but they end up embodying all the natural traits of a more conscious leader all the same. Then their good example begins to attract leadership opportunities. And as they step into those opportunities, life experiences reveal to them their expanded capacities for mindful leadership and their personal growth expands even more. It’s really a fluid, self-fulfilling, highly-rewarding upward cycle once the starting point is reached!

So, remember: When you decide to stop sitting there wondering when the right opportunity is going to magically arrive on your doorstep and change life your life for the better, and you start taking personal responsibility for creating and directing your own adventure, you’re going to find there is more to life than whatever is currently in front of you. When that happens and your level of self-awareness begins to increase, you will find your purpose. At the very least you will find the starting point for your purpose.

That’s when magic actually does happen! The self-leadership light will spark and ignite your passion. And that’s the beginning of the awakening leader in you. Where self-leadership will take you doesn’t matter. It might take you into completely different circumstances. You may find yourself at the helm of a thriving business. You may find your personal life becoming more fulfilling. Perhaps the single most beneficial thing that happens is you become a happier, healthier human being. You may find yourself speaking at conscious leadership conferences.

It doesn’t matter. What matters is the true you is showing up and leading the show at last!

Be the leader you were born to be

If you want a better world, you are where it begins. And if the idea of stepping into a leadership role in your life scares you, stop and think: Who else in your family is (or was) a conscious leader? Or are you the first? Did your family members struggle with asserting themselves? Were they suppressed? Were your parents unavailable (emotionally and/or physically.) Were they reactive rather than creative in tough situations? Please know that when we are not available it is often because we are in fear and then we become emotionally triggered and reactive. Perhaps they were too fearful to be conscious leaders.

Can you break that cycle? It takes just one person to choose to do it differently. Here are some things you can do to begin building your conscious leadership:

  • Who did you inspire today, including yourself? Keep written track daily!
  • When last did you congratulate yourself for doing something good?
  • Did you take a moment today to notice all the good things that happened? Did you give others and yourself credit?
  • Notice when you are unnerved or unsettled how best you can self-sooth and remain calm.
  • Note each time you do something kind for yourself.
  • Write down the number of times in a day you make someone smile. (Other than yourself!)

These are all things that those big inspirational leaders do—making a difference just by making a little magic. Keep doing these things and watch the compounding effect as the inspirational leader becomes you.

To find out more about how to grow your leadership, attend one of our events this year! For more information about my 2024 events click here.

How Do You Describe Your Leadership Style? 11 Examples

how do you describe your leadership style

How Do You Describe Your Leadership Style? 11 Examples

Leadership is an important piece of who we are, and yet many of us don’t even know we have it. We deny, ignore or flat out don’t know that part of ourselves. We all display our leadership one way or another in different situations. So, how do you describe your leadership style and what different leadership styles are there?

Perhaps your leadership qualities show up as a mother or father, as a sibling, mentor, teacher, friend, or elder. If you lead in the business arena perhaps you help create a positive work environment as a line manager or as a C suite executive or motivated associate leading team members.

Surprisingly, the shape of your leadership has its roots in your family system, but its wings rely upon your inner spark and your core values. Leadership is often coupled to your purpose in life. It’s about the positive impact that naturally tends to show up in various ways, flowing from the space beyond limiting family cycles and the small thoughts you have about yourself.

The shape of your leadership doesn’t have to be big, fancy, dramatic or over the top—you don’t have to run for president or anything. But stepping up expands your full potential and affects others by opening them up to the bigger picture as well as common goals and shared vision. This realisation creates true leaders.

Plenty of ways

Leadership lives with one foot in the world of possibility. In other words, your personal leadership position is part of the chapter that only you can write.

Just like any other aspect of your life, the shape and expression of your leadership or lack of it begins at home. The starting point begins with where and how you show up in your family system. For example, some of us had to take on a leadership role early in life if a parent was missing or struggling, or if dire circumstances led to us having to step in and step up.

Some of us learned the exact opposite—to melt into the shadows in various ways when situations caused us fear or maybe even hide to survive. Perhaps a sibling needed more attention, and we became the good kid and stepped back so that they could get what they needed and so we became invisible. And yet that “stepping up” spark is still there, waiting to be seen and chosen. Waiting for us to overcome our fears and reluctance and step forward rather than vanish.

Your decisions about what happens to you in your life, your thoughts feelings and actions, or inactions all shape your leadership qualities and leadership strengths—your leadership DNA. They shape the leader you choose to be. As well, they shape the leader you abandon at your and others’ cost.

Good example

There is a coach in the NFL who came from dire circumstances. By all rights, this man should have become a violent gangster and yet he chose to rise at every point and build strong relationships and create a positive impact instead. He didn’t fault the parents who raised him.

He reasoned that they had done the best that they could, and it was his job to take the next step to rise to his fullest potential. He also used his upbringing to connect to kids from troubled areas and teach them problem-solving skills. He taught them that they were not victims and that they had a choice to break limiting cycles and rise up within their own communities.

First step

At some point in our lives we have to ask ourselves if we are going to bury the leader within or let it shine through whatever leadership roles seem natural. And when we decide to let it shine, that’s where we start to take charge of our own lives.

When you awaken the leader within, you begin to focus more on what’s possible and having a shared vision. You find you have more of an appetite for life embracing a bigger picture.

What’s actually happening is that you are finally creating an adventure that’s bigger than where you may be stuck.

If you aren’t sure what your style of leadership is or what kind of leader you could be, contemplate your heart’s desire. That is the inner leader waiting to be unleashed by you and what makes a great leader. And remember, you don’t have to lead the world or a basketball team either. Leading, for you, may be setting an example to others by taking a step in the direction of actualizing your dreams, thus motivating others to do the same. This is how to discover your best leadership style.

Help with the decision-making process

If you find yourself lost, stuck, or struggling. If you really can’t see the leader within, or see the type of leadership style that resonates with you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • “Do I know that I have this inner leadership?”
  • “When did I make a decision that I was/was not a leader?”
  • “What thoughts, feelings and actions do I take to make that true?”
  • “What does that decision cost/give me?”
  • “Where would I like to shine?”
  • “Where am I too afraid to shine?”
  • “What am I really good at?” Pro tip – kindness, generosity and inspiration are strong leadership qualities.

Deep inside, everybody is a leader but many of us suppress that desire to get out there and be the biggest version of ourselves possible. We watch movies and then we wish we were the superhero, all the while ignoring the inner prompt to be exactly that in our own lives.

How good does it feel when you accomplish a task or a dream? Once you start doing and it becomes a habit, your leadership comes out to play. Your “can do” kicks in and so does your life adventure.

Some of us may feel that we have never had the leadership skills, or that the term “good leader” doesn’t even vaguely apply to us. And yet in those quiet moments when we wish we could be a good leader … or do something bigger with our lives … the leader is sitting right there along with all the necessary resources waiting for you to take the first step forward.

Just one new thought “I can.” Or “I am going to do _____” begins the shift. One new feeling locks it in, and one new action begins the journey.

Real-life examples

The question really isn’t if you are a leader, it’s what kind of a leader are you? Are you a hidden leader? A reluctant leader, an absent leader? A dramatic leader, a fearful leader? Do you have an autocratic leadership style or an authoritative leadership style? Or is transformational leadership or coaching leadership style more your thing?

How do you describe your leadership style? Below are several of the most common styles of leadership to help you get started. Look and see which one most closely fits you.

Atlas leader – Carries the load for everybody. (Thought: How many mothers or fathers out there would qualify for this?) Do you carry too much for those around you? Are you aware that in doing so you limit the discovery of the potential of those whom you carry?

Team leader – Shares the load and empowers others to find their own way in the world. Shares the ups and the downs and everybody grows.

Crisis leader – Really good during emergencies. (Thought: Are you the person who is super good during a crisis, or do you inadvertently create them?) Is there constant drama in your life? Are you always rescuing or needing to be rescued or pointing out flaws or inflating situations? Do you realize that this may create neediness or unnecessary drama and stress?

Centered leader – Also really good during emergencies. Relaxes or becomes focused and centered. Brings a state of peace and capability to the situation. Always creates a positive work environment and helps others develop problem-solving skills.

Whirlwind leader – Goes in several directions at once but doesn’t complete a project. (Thought: Such leaders often want to be perceived as saviors but instead create chaos and exhaustion.) Are you someone who starts well but doesn’t finish well? Are you aware that nobody gets a win this way? Not even you?

Calm leader – The opposite of a crisis or whirlwind leader, these leaders can project a sense of calm no matter what. (Thought: Calm leaders don’t shoot from the hip. They consider all aspects thoughtfully and make a deliberate decision.) Are you or have you been in the presence of a calm leader? How did it affect you/others?

Driving leader – Pushes associates constantly for more, better, different. (Thought: These leaders expect a lot of their associates but often lose them to burnout.) Are you someone who pushes others to their limits “for their own good?” How do you know what their own good is?

Invitational leader – The opposite of a driving leader, these leaders invite others to step up into their fullest potential. (Thought: Such leaders encourage creativity and failing up. They tend to be glass-half-full leaders.) Have you ever noticed how invitation offers those around you a chance to open up and step up?

Hands-on leader – This leader is very involved with day-to-day operations. They feel that they should roll up their sleeves like anyone else, but sometimes too much. (Thought: Such a leader is often “in the weeds” concerned that the sky may fall if they’re not there.) Are you aware that a hands-on leader may stunt the growth of others if they take over too much? 

Delegating leader – They are hands on but only when needed. Knows when to step in and when to step out and empowers others to find their own solutions.

Hands-off leader – This leader believes that everyone is their own boss and leaves them to get on with things. (Thought: These leaders tend to issue a blanket project and assume everyone knows how to tackle it. Then they are confused when everybody seems to flounder.) Have you ever wondered why those around you are confused, do the wrong things, or feel they are unable to ask for clarification? This may be why.

Available-as-needed leader – This leadership approach is not in the weeds but is available to consult or even go there as needed. They inspire confidence in others and foster a sense of pride.

Parent leader – The big papa or mama bear leader. (Thought: In companies where everyone is treated like a family member, it is very clear who the parent is and who the children are.) Did you have to step up at an early age and take over for one or both parents? Have you never stepped down? Are you aware that you are treating those around you like children—which means they can never grow up? Are you absolutely exhausted by the weight you carry yet unable to set it all down for fear something bad might happen?

Empowering leader – These leaders acknowledge the strengths of others and do not need to be the mother or father figure. They don’t make others small, encouraging them instead to rise to the occasion in different situations and grow their own wings.

Inspirational and visionary leader – This leader does a lot of their own self-development resulting in heightened creativity and followership. (Thought: These leaders are determined, purpose driven, goal oriented, and inclusive. They build strong relationships. They don’t want to do the whole adventure themselves but are inspiring enough for others to take the journey with them.)

What will it take for you to invest in yourself as a leader who inspires and motivates? What difference could that make?

There are many levels of leadership which we will discuss in more depth at another time.  Looking through this list you may find that more than one applies to your leadership style. Each has its pros and cons, and each has the potential for growth.

How you lead matters – not just to those around you but to you. You might ask yourself where your leadership style originated and how you can evolve it. This is the best approach to helping your discover your leadership style and thrive.

At the crux of it all is this. You have the leader within. You have always had it. If you haven’t activated it yet, now is a good time to start. Sometimes when we won’t self-activate it may take a crisis to press the on button which is a whole lot less fun.

Take the time to listen to the part inside you that longs to be…and then start moving in that direction. Not only for yourself but for those around you and those who come after you. Leadership is a door to the life you dream about…open the door!

I look forward to showing you how to unleash your fullest potential and discover your leadership abilities.  For more information about my 2024 events click here.

Why Does Leadership Matter? Being an Effective Leader

Arrows pointing up on a navy blue background

Why Does Leadership Matter? Being an Effective Leader

Why does leadership matter? Well, showing up and being fully YOU (which is the mainstay of leadership) not only serves your family, your community, and your work environment, but it also is the best way to keep vibrantly alive, creative, optimistic, and totally involved in your own life adventure long term.

Leadership Matters

Whether you are aware of it or not, anytime you take responsibility for evolving an aspect of your life you are taking a new course and being a leader.

At its simplest, leadership is how the world expands and goes to a higher level. And it does so through you and every other person who, through much effort and a willingness to uncover the deepest self, takes that self to the next higher level over and over again.

Being a leader involves dealing with your emotional responses to a variety of situations, getting intimate with the right questions and identifying your wants and needs—then figuring out how to make them happen. By leading yourself, taking the next step, finding creative solutions to complex problems over and over, you end up making a substantial difference, not just in your own life but in the world around you.

Clear vision

Leadership brings opportunities, adventures, and learnings. It gifts you a competitive advantage.

When you are passive and do not take responsibility for your own growth and develop self-leadership skills, you are more likely to blame others for your lack of opportunity, unsatisfying work environment, and overall absence of hope. But if you step up when you see a gap, a lack, or an opportunity, not only will you fill that gap and address that opportunity, but you will begin shaping the world around you into the way you would like it to be.

Every single human being has the spark of leadership potential within them and can become a true leader. The question is whether they activate that inner spark or not. The external circumstances—the family and social and work environment—do not matter. You don’t need to research leadership development programs or take a transformational leadership course. Great accomplishment and solid leadership can be developed anywhere, anytime. Here’s an example.

A most significant impact

I was raised in South Africa. I have seen how difficult it is in developing nations for students graduating from high school to find jobs and growth opportunities. Often, in many situations like this, it’s easy for young people to develop their leadership potential by taking on negative leadership roles, running guns or smuggling drugs.

I remember one group of about 30 students with nothing but time on their hands and an absence of hope who ended up choosing to turn all the obstacles they faced into opportunity. Determined to do something good for the public sector with their time, they decided to fill all the potholes in the streets around where they lived until the area that was once derelict and unsafe became cleaner and drivable.

Pretty soon family members and the senior leaders in the community started to follow their lead. This led to a string of other community projects unfolding. Word got around and suddenly the group found themselves in the spotlight being interviewed by different people, including international media networks. This resulted in scholarships for each of the 30 young people and the promise of a job offer to each one upon graduation from college.

Talk about creating something from nothing! Talk about a great accomplishment of solid leadership! Somehow these young people realized that they had what they needed to begin a journey of great social value. They found common goals that tapped their inner leadership and leaned on their sense of altruism and servant leadership that ended up inspiring millions. They threw their whole selves into making a difference.

Next Step

What you tell yourself about who you are and what you can do makes a substantial difference. It’s part of being a leader. Leaders talk themselves and their communities into bigger possibilities. They are not victims. Instead they see opportunities where none seem to exist.

Look around. Do you like what you see in your family? In your school or business? In your community. Your country? And if you don’t like what you see, what can you do to change it?

Here are a few things to get you thinking:

  • Write down a time when you were a leader of some sort.
  • Describe the event. It can be as simple as playing “Follow the Leader” as a kid. Were you always a follower, or did you always try to lead? Or was there a balance?
  • How did it feel when you led? Leadership is often ignited by a decision about an event. Have you always been that way? If not, when did that start for you and what was happening for you at the time?
  • How did it feel when you followed?
  • Now that you are an adult, where and how do you play follow-the-leader? Or do you lead? Under what circumstances?
  • Do you wait for opportunity to come to you? Or do you identify opportunities and “go for it,” showing others the way?
  • Write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions around these questions.

Next, write down something you would like to have happen that will require you to lead the way—if only lead yourself!

  • How will doing this affect you?
  • How will it affect those around you?
  • What new skillset do you need to develop to make this thing happen?
  • What one new thought, feeling, and/or action can you take to start actualizing what you’d like to have happen?

Leadership matters. Own yours!

I look forward to showing you how to unleash your fullest potential and discover your leadership abilities.  For more information about my 2024 events click here.

Using the Power of Higher Emotions to Accelerate Your Success

Higher Emotions

Using the Power of Higher Emotions to Accelerate Your Success

We all experience what I call lower-level emotions, low frequency emotions that seriously run us, and not in a good way. You know what I’m talking about. Those low vibrational emotions we have that twist our stomachs into knots and keep our thoughts buzzing in our heads like angry bees. 

They’ve been with us since we were small. In fact, both high and low emotions have been with us long before we were even aware of them. Some originated in our ancestral family members generations before us.

It’s the lower-level emotions that keep us sad and stuck, frustrated, afraid, and driven by stress hormones. And then, there are other times when life feels good. Everything flows smoothly. The trees look greener, the flowers look prettier, and we experience a general sense of wellbeing. We are living in the higher emotional states of joy and possibility. 

What causes high and low emotions?

What triggers one or the other? We quite often see that our stress hormones are activated when we are stuck in low vibrational emotions related to an old pattern. Our survival emotions kick in and we become reactive—and not in a good way.

Conversely, when we tap into our higher emotions, like joy, happiness, excitement, love and passion, the opposite happens, and we become creative. Interestingly, our positive inspirations quite often have their origins in the future. 

Visualization for success

We’re not only able to have memories of the past, but we are also quite able to create memories of the future. We call this imagining or visualizing. When we allow ourselves to really go there, visualizing a future self or doing a visualization for success, we unconsciously end up experiencing higher emotions because the imagined future creates emotional excitement inside us. And when we’re experiencing higher emotions, the elevated frequencies enable us to potently impact the quantum field. These are the times when we accomplish the incredible.

The magic of elevated emotions is that they tell the body a story it can believe that is stronger than the current limiting story that you’ve quite possibly inherited from your ancestors.

Elevated emotions provide the juice that takes you past excuses all the way to the finish line. 

Visualize your future self

When we repeatedly and vividly visualize a bright future utilizing higher emotions, we move beyond limiting ancestral patterns and voices that keep us stuck in low vibrational emotions. For example, family sayings like “You have to be practical” and “You have to be sensible” and “Don’t get on your high horse” or get “too big for your britches.”

These are all limiting ways of teaching  to switch our creative brain off and stay small within the confines of dysfunctional family patterns, which in turn allows us to belong to the family and repeat the same old dynamics. So often, when we grow up under disadvantaged circumstances, we are led to believe that this is all there is—that this is our lot in life (and usually somebody else’s fault).

Yet, if we continue to positively use imagination, visualization and higher emotions, our goals get bigger. And with each small or large success, we get bigger as we rewire our brains from limitation to possibility.

Watch talent programs

I’m always struck by those contestants on talent shows who come from harsh circumstances and how they use passion, commitment, and elevated emotions to overcome those obstacles.  Sometimes, when the contestant is asked to talk about their past, many of them crumble and go back into the sadness and struggle that has defined their origins. You can see it in their eyes and body language. The loyalty to the old system and way of being is still there. 

But then watch. It’s when they acknowledge their difficult origins without letting go of the future that the magic happens. They hold onto the positive vision of themselves, and the power of their higher emotions carries these people all the way to the winner’s circle. You can clearly see both old and new patterns at play. 

So, next time you’re tempted to stay stuck, remember that this is a choice. You can put positive emotions in play any time you want. It may take a few steps. It may even take many. But the price of staying stuck is so much harder than the work it takes to elevate yourself.   

Yes, identifying, using, and hard-wiring higher emotions takes practice. But when you make this an integral part of your own evolution, it gets easier and easier. And then it gets to be fun as you see the new changes happening!

Join me at one of my events to learn how to identify, experience and integrate your own higher emotions. To find out more, click here.

How to Develop a Winning Mindset by Celebrating Success

How to develop a winning mindset

How to Develop a Winning Mindset by Celebrating Success

Have you noticed how few people know how to develop a winning mindset? How difficult it is for many people to even accept a compliment?

There’s a really good reason for being unable to accept compliments or acknowledge our success. Typically, this refusal to shine is tied into dysfunctional family patterns that teach us to be self-effacing and to project an odd sort of “humble” demeanor, all the while bursting inside to share all that we are.

A dysfunctional meta pattern

We’re taught growing up that above all, we’re supposed to succeed. And most of us struggle to do just that. Yet as soon as we get there, many of us attempt to hide our success. Why?

Somewhere along the line, humanity decided that being humble meant we should hide ANY signs of success. Either that or at the very least hide any sense of personal pride in our accomplishments. Instead of exuding positive money beliefs, acknowledging success, and developing a winning mindset, we focus instead on how we need to fix things and how wrong we are about this and that. We focus on how to not seem greedy or happy about having money. If that is our day-to-day perceptual lens, success is virtually impossible.

Not only does this do us a disservice, but we also effectively cover up the clues for others to follow. We stop others from learning how to be successful and happy in life through following our example.

All this is the result of a meta pattern in society that basically says, “Don’t brag.” The problem is, this mindset is what is holding you back from achieving your goals because “Don’t brag” is often misinterpreted as “Don’t celebrate success.” But If I can’t feel good about my success. If I feel ashamed of my success and good fortune, why bother trying to succeed in the first place?

Dysfunctional family patterns

Inability to acknowledge your success may feel as though it ensures you belong in your family. Playing small may be familiar and comfortable because your family system prides itself on modesty. Playing down your abilities may make you feel safe because everybody else refuses to shine. But it also equals inability for both you and your system to thrive.

When Natalie came to see me, she was conflicted. Her family stressed the importance of being nice, polite, and humble. Rich people were not to be admired or associated with. But Natalie was a successful CFO who had taken her company all the way through a successful merger, resulting in millions of dollars in her pocket. And yet nobody—even her family—knew she was a multi-millionaire because she never talked about her accomplishments. She was still driving the same old beater car and bargain hunting for clothes like she always had. 

Breaking family patterns

She was actually at the point of deciding whether to give all her money away. When I asked her why she would do this, she said belonging in her family was more important than any financial success. When I asked her whose example she was following—who she was being loyal to—she thought about it and her eyes flew wide.

“Oh my gosh, my father! He came from a family who struggled financially and had negative money beliefs—they thought it was evil. And yet he actually managed to make a fortune. But he never acknowledged his success and ended up carelessly losing it all. He retired broke!”

Natalie was carrying the same pattern of inner thoughts. By not acknowledging her success, she was staying well inside the family pattern and sowing her own seeds of destruction. Breaking the family’s pattern and showing her family how to succeed at work and how to think big hadn’t even occurred to her.   

It was only when she could see the havoc the pattern was wreaking that she could acknowledge her own success and break that family pattern and allow success to belong alongside kindness and politeness. 

Acknowledging success

So, why is the inability to acknowledge success so prevalent?  Well, some of this may originally stem from a need to stay safe.  Back in the bad old days, being super successful also meant you were at risk of being conquered by the next invader and losing everything, including your life.

But now it’s time to learn the importance of celebrating success. Acknowledging success and helping others know how to have a winning mindset and create success creates bigger opportunities for more and more people. More people breaking generational patterns of smallness, means less jealousy and envy, and more collaboration resulting in bigger resource pools and a happier world.

Acknowledging our successes, big or small, is the first step to moving our lives forward—and everyone else’s! When we can imagine the possibilities of celebrating success, teaching ourselves to acknowledge our successes and helping others do the same, we are changing the world. This is how humans grow.

 

Investing in achieving ever-greater goals and expansion, we could set centuries of old patterns of envy and greed aside and be victims no more, but masters instead, setting in motion new patterns of prosperity and possibility.

To unleash your own possibilities and discover the power of acknowledgement and expansion, grab your copy of ‘Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint’. To learn more, click here. 

How to Achieve your Dreams and Goals in Life: Visions of What’s Possible

how to achieve your dreams and goals in life

How to Achieve Your Dreams and Goals in Life: Visions of What's Possible

 In my last blog I mentioned “ghosts” of the past showing up in our lives and discussed how to overcome limiting beliefs. And one of those ghosts I mentioned is the tendency most of us have to only see what’s wrong with us. Growing up, we’re so carefully taught to look for faults and weaknesses to correct and heal that we often don’t acknowledge and appreciate our strengths!

On top of this, we’re raised with  a limited mindset and not taught to daydream. In fact, we’re taught the exact opposite. How many of you were told to “Get your feet on the ground and your head out of the clouds” when you were young? Talk about shutting the door on any visions of what’s possible! Can you see how this could be what is holding you back from achieving your goals?

Between these two dynamics—looking for faults and not being accustomed to daydreaming—when some inspirational speaker comes along and tells us “You can do anything! Anything is possible!” we become our own worst enemies and start looking for all the reasons why everything is impossible and why they are wrong instead.

How to achieve your dreams and goals in life

Shifting your mindset for success means that you must learn to say “Yes!” to life. The difference between most people and the great successes in the world is that people who have created BIG things in the world said “Yes!” “Yes” to their ideas and dreams. “Yes” to their potential. When everybody else was shying away from taking a risk, they allowed themselves to dream large enough and passionately enough to motivate themselves to go all the way.

Their success may not have been a cakewalk, but the desire to achieve their dream was stronger than their fears and doubts. In other words, the draw to adventure (which is what a “Yes!” is), was stronger than the need to play safe and small in a limited mindset.

The thing to realize, is that many times, our excuses, limitations, and blockages are not just ours, they’re inherited patterns from our family—emotional DNA patterns passed down through the generations. Grandpa lost the family fortune speculating, and nobody has dared to risk a dime since. Mom didn’t get to fulfill her dream, so how dare I?  Playing out unconscious family patterns, it’s so easy to miss the adventure of life!

Attain the best mindset for success and dream BIG

One of the first things to do to start building your capacity to say “Yes!” is to identify any limiting thoughts, language and beliefs holding you back. Is “Caution!” a kind of family motto? Is “playing small” a dynamic you can see in other family members? Is always “Blending in and not standing out” encouraged? Be aware of these patterns and realize this might well be what is holding you back from achieving your goals

Breaking limiting beliefs is about realizing that a pattern is just a pattern. It’s not YOU. But you are the one who makes meaning of it.

How to set goals and accomplish them

So, how to get beyond the pattern? Well, the trick is to find a dream or goal inside you—a dream that is large enough to excite you, but not so large that you give up before you begin—and let that dream pull you out of old patterns and into a future that’s uniquely yours.

STEP ONE:

  • Identify a goal that is enough of a stretch that it really excites you. Write it down on a piece of paper and place it at the far end of the room facing inward. Now write down “Where I am now” on a piece of paper and place that at the other end of the room just opposite.
  • Find the place between the two pieces of paper that feels right for you and stand there.
  • Does it feel more comfortable keeping your distance from your dream/goal?
  • Notice your thoughts about your dream/goal.
  • Notice your feelings about your goal.
  • Notice which way you are pulled – closer to the dream or closer to the safety of the pattern of “I can’t” and “Where I am now.”

All the thoughts, feelings, and actions that come up will either stop you from reaching your goal or start you moving in that direction.  With each thought and feeling, notice which way it moves you. The thoughts and feelings that keep you close to “Where I am now” may be tied to inherited behaviors. In Systemic Work & Constellations, we call these the patterns that need to stop. 

The thoughts and feelings that pull you toward your goal will have you moving beyond those patterns, excited to write your own chapter in life. We call this the new pattern that is trying to start through you. The more you feed the thoughts and feelings pulling you towards your dream/goal, the closer you will get. 

STEP TWO:

  • As you’re walking between one and the other, it helps to identify resources and steps to take that will help you to accomplish your dream/goal.
  • As ideas pop into your head, like “Create a website!” or “Check out classes I can take to learn ____,” write each idea on a separate sheet of paper and place those on the floor and use them as steppingstones to your dream/goal.

As you begin to take these action steps, it is super important to celebrate when you have accomplished a steppingstone goal. That gives you a big dopamine hit to the pleasure centers of your brain that helps wire the “winner effect” into place. And it allows your body to have that delicious sense of accomplishment and happiness.

Visions of the future are only possibilities until you agree to them and say Yes!” Then, taking action, they can become your new reality. 

If you are reading this blog, you know that more is possible for you, then please join me at one of my events. To find out more, click here.

How to Overcome Failure & Achieve Success: Releasing the Ghosts of the Past

how to overcome failure and achieve success

How to Overcome Failure and Achieve Success: Releasing the Ghosts of the Past

Many of us we have a repeating failure in some area of our life that seems to haunt us. Generational trauma patterns of failed relationships, failed businesses, failed creative endeavors, failed self-improvement. We drop the ball in one particular arena so many times, it feels almost fated. It ends up looming so much bigger than everything else in our lives.

How to break generational cycles?

One of the first things to do is realize that most of us have been raised to focus on what’s wrong. We focus on the “bad stuff” so much that even though we might be doing dozens of other things really well, we still focus on what we aren’t getting right. 

The next thing to do is notice the details. If you have such a situation going on, really pay attention to what you’re telling yourself about love and relationship, money, your body etc.  Particularly notice the language you use to describe what’s happening. Here are some negative beliefs examples: “Love is an absent bedfellow. Money doesn’t grow on trees. Fatty fatty two by four, can’t get through the bathroom door!” And quickest and sharpest of all: “Loser!”

How to release negative thoughts

You know the words circulating endlessly through your head. Write them down exactly the way you are thinking about your issue. Don’t censor yourself. Once you have that down on paper, take a highlighter and begin to mark the trigger words and sentences. And be sure to notice your feelings as you do so. What emotions come up? What do you feel in your body when these phrases are spoken? Where are those sensations? 

This is how we start the search for the ghosts from your past and start breaking generational patterns. Your systemic ghosts – those lovely little specters that make you jump and twitch and feel awful about yourself. I call them ghosts from the past because all these patterns, and the words and phrases and feelings that accompany them, might well have been picked up somewhere in your youth or even from the lives of your ancestors.

Systemic Language

Let’s look at words for a moment. In Systemic Work & Constellations, we call repeating phrases that haunt us “systemic language.Sayings can become so ingrained in the speech patterns of family members, they often generate unconscious family belief systems. As such they often end up running the show.

For example, “Love is an absent bedfellow.” Who in your family lineage tragically lost a beloved partner? A loss they never got over, so much so that the sense of absence and loss became synonymous with love? And then that ancestor spoke those particular words so many times, over and over, they turned into a family saying, passed down generation to generation.

A haunting event

But it’s not just language patterns that haunt us. Dramatic events that occurred in our family’s past can turn into generational patterns that show up in us as well. For example, Mary was an obsessive numbers counter. If there was any sharp noise around her—a book falling from a shelf, a glass shattering on the floor—she would find herself counting. The more numbers she could count, the safer she felt. And she just couldn’t shake the habit. 

When I asked what might happen if she didn’t count after she heard a noise, she firmly replied, “Then we will all die.”  Not “Something bad will happen” or “Somebody might die.” But “We will all die.” 

Such extreme language and behavior suggested she might be ‘haunted’ by a systemic ghost of some sort. As we explored, it became apparent that it had all started with a thunderstorm. Mary remembered that from the age of 10 at the first roll of thunder in the distance, she would find herself under a table.

Her family loved to go walking just after storms had passed. It drove Mary crazy, especially if lightning could still be seen in the distance. She would find herself counting to see how far away the lightning was. The further she could count, the safer they were. If she couldn’t get to at least five, she would plead with her family to stay indoors, fearing that everybody would die. 

What was even more intriguing was that she remembered the first time she reacted this way that she was choosing to be afraid, and that somehow being afraid and counting felt “right.” When I asked about her parents and grandparents, Mary remembered that her grandmother also refused to go outside during a storm because her brother had been hit and killed by lightning. She’d told Mary this story when she was about 10 years old. She also mentioned that they did not speak about the brother who had been killed.

Now, the source of Mary’s generational beliefs and counting habit was clear and it was also pointing out an ancestor who had been excluded from the family system by ignoring his life and subsequent death. When I asked Mary what her career was, she started to laugh. “I’m a health and safety inspector,” she replied. 

Shifting generational beliefs

Mary’s fearful actions, her language, even her job, were ALL trying to point out the pattern and the exclusion—the missing member in the family. Once she recognized where the pattern that had run so much of her life had come from, she could retire the fear. Over time, she recognized she was safe when sharp noises occurred. That she could simply go indoors if there were a storm. She no longer needed to count. The generational trauma patterns that had haunted her family system could be seen, given a place, and allowed to retire. She also asked her family for a picture of the great uncle who had died early so she could remember and include him.

What are the ghosts that haunt you?  Pay attention because they contain valuable clues to what needs to stop and start in your own life. 

Want to retire the ghost of financial lack? To unleash your own possibilities and discover the power of acknowledgement and expansion, grab your copy of ‘Decoding Your Emotional Blueprint’ now. To learn more, click here

How to Improve your Money Mindset: Elevating Your Money Mindset

Change Your Mindset

How to Improve your Money Mindset: Elevating Your Money Mindset

As I’ve already pointed out, one of the first things that you need to do to improve and change your money mindset is to start breaking family patterns and quit demonizing money or fearing it.  We are so accustomed to fearing lack or living in a state of survival that we seldom stop to invest in the joy of money and the sense of accomplishment that its presence can bring. 

Elevating your money mindset means that you cannot come from survival emotions inherited from your family system. You want to create new emotional DNA—new Money DNA—and to do that you must stop repeating ancient history. Imagine this: What new thoughts, feelings, and actions might occur for you if you were to begin thanking money and blessing it? 

How to Develop a Wealthy Mindset

One of the fastest ways to change our thoughts about money and have it become a blessing in our lives, is to start thinking about what’s possible when our scarcity money mindset has been set aside. We have to start seeing money as playing a larger role in our lives. Once we begin to realize that money is not just for survival, it becomes a little more intriguing and exciting.

Exploring our dreams and desires is a great way to get the ball rolling. Money usually plays a large role in our dreams. Right? And in the past we’ve all too often set our dreams aside because of  … yep! Lack of m-o-n-e-y. Right? So, to be able to fulfill our dreams, we must do something different. We need to be able to build positive money beliefs by imagining our dreams and setting goals to achieve them without giving in to old sabotaging thoughts and negative emotions.

You want to teach your brain to learn to play … to see your dreams without any financial blocks in the way. You want to give money a goal. You want to entice money with an adventure! That way you give money direction and somewhere to flow.

The more you show money where to flow,
the more it can grow.

Money Mindset Shift

As you imagine fulfilling your dreams, allow feelings like gratitude, excitement, commitment, and determination to flow. These are elevated emotions that support your dreams and invite change because studies show that the brain rewires more easily when thoughts are supported by strong emotions.  

And how fun is letting your imagination go play? If you invest in doing this, instead of killing your dreams with old emotional DNA patterns of lack, you start to draw money and opportunities to you in order to fulfill those dreams instead. You’re rewiring your money brain one new thought and one new feeling at a time.

The next step is to take one new action that supports your dream. It doesn’t matter how big or small the action. The point is positive action! And when you achieve that action or goal, celebrate it. That builds the winner effect in your brain. The more you do this, the more it becomes a habit. Now you are creating new money DNA!

Money Mindset Tips

There is such a thing as a millionaire mindset. And it isn’t just for the chosen few. It’s for those who choose it. It also has nothing to do with your present circumstances. It begins with imagining what’s possible here and now. 

At the same time, however, it helps to be practical. Give yourself just one stretch goal so that you can teach yourself to direct money properly. For example, open an savings account dedicated exclusively to making one dream happen. It doesn’t matter if your first deposit is $5 or $5000. The point is you acted positively on your dream and inspired money to flow.

  • Don’t ever borrow from this account. Designate it as untouchable. 
  • Notice your thoughts, feelings, and actions with every deposit that you make.
  • Notice how your mindset changes as you get closer to your goal.

It may not happen overnight, but if you start taking positive action, change will happen. New thoughts, feelings, and actions around money change everything. When the heart opens to the possibility, the brain can then go looking for opportunities, and the gut is able to kick into excitement and determination mode. 

Chances are that once this becomes a habit for you, not only will you feel more capable and secure, but a little joy and excitement are going to start creeping in. You may even find yourself opening a second account to start funding another dream!

Congratulations! You are now changing  your Money DNA future.

How to Change Your Money Mindset & Money DNA

how to change your money mindset

How to Change Your Money Mindset & Money DNA

Why do some people have a lot of money and others do not? Why is it so effortless for some people to build wealth while others struggle from one money obstacle to the next? The simple answer is Money DNA. Your Money DNA determines whether you will or won’t, can or can’t have money.

“But it can’t be that simple!” people say incredulously. And yet it really is.

Money Mindset Blocks

You inherit patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions around money, just like you inherit patterns of thoughts, feelings, and actions around other emotional DNA issues. Events involving money—financial losses, bankruptcies, sudden loss of a home or other possessions, poverty cycles, and the inability to earn more money for some reason—these events occur and trigger powerful emotional reactions to these events.

Despair, worry, guilt, remorse, depression, anxiety around money, etc. turn into language, thoughts, feelings, and actions around money that can then be passed down to future generations. This epigenetic inheritance, in turn, becomes your truth about money. This is the exact opposite effect to what happens when you build positive money beliefs.

In family systems, I often see multiple generations struggling with money issues until someone comes along who sees what they don’t like and then becomes determined to do things differently. The trick is to do this consciously. I see so many people who unconsciously break out of an inherited poverty cycle and make a lot of money, only to lose it inexplicably along the way. Stories are legion about poor people who win the lottery who are back even deeper in debt only a few years later. They briefly break out of negative money beliefs yet are pulled back into the pattern because they are unaware of them.

How to Overcome Money Blocks

Exploring money mindsets and patterns requires a willingness to look at and put down all the excuses we have about why we don’t or can’t have money.

The first part of this exploration lies in examining your limiting beliefs about money which can clearly show up in your thoughts and language about money. For example, do people in your family say things like the following: “Only people who have money make money.” Or, “Love of money is the root of all evil.” Or “You can have love or money, but not both.” Or “Money can’t buy happiness.” Or “Rich people are greedy.”

How on earth do you think you can possibly attract money with thoughts like these in your subconscious mind, running the show? How can you see and embrace wealth opportunities when they come knocking at your door?

Here’s a story from my own life that’s a perfect example.

One night, I went to a casino with a friend. She hit several jackpots playing slots. (She had a great relationship with money going!) For some reason, at one point, I found myself holding both her and my cup of coins—and on my next play I hit the jackpot! And then I realized on that particular play I’d taken three coins from her cup instead of mine by mistake.

Instead of simply replacing her coins with three coins from my cup and collecting my winnings, all my family codes and patterns about money kicked in—especially the one about being impeccably honest to a fault. I reasoned that having used coins from her cup, the jackpot, therefore, belonged to her. Despite having already won several jackpots that evening, she willingly accepted my jackpot winnings when I offered them.

Was she being greedy? Most people would think so. But in reality, she was simply totally open and willing to receive! She obviously had a good relationship with money! I, on the other hand, had so many money mindset blocks acting as a barrier that money couldn’t break through to get to me.

A Needed Money Mindset Shift

In my family, money was deeply desired yet regarded with suspicion. You also had to slog for money and really work for it. That was the mindset. Above all else, you had to be impeccably honest to a fault with it. Really unhelpful, negative money beliefs, right? 

Breaking Family Patterns

It took taking a long hard look at my relationship with money to change those family patterns. I had to realize that money was not evil and that it wasn’t hard to get and I didn’t have to slog for it. One of the biggest ahas! I had was that money isn’t really a commodity. It’s a relationship!

Money can be a friend and can, indeed, be deeply spiritual. It was only when my heart opened to money and I started treating it as a friend that I started breaking family patterns around money and money started to want to get close to me in return. Once I realized money was a relationship I could cultivate, my brain could start spotting the opportunities, and my gut could finally get excited about money and act as a strong inner compass guiding me to it!

When you show up for money and think of it kindly and treat it well, it shows up for you. Once you start to change your relationship with money you begin to change your relationship with yourself and your earning capabilities. People attending my Money DNA events find themselves with fuller pockets, happier hearts, and a sense of adventure. 

In my next blog this month, discover how to elevate your money mindset!

To unleash your own possibilities and discover the power of acknowledgement and expansion, please join me at one of my events. To find out more click here.

How to Stop Imposter Syndrome & Become a Great Leader

How to stop imposter syndrome

How to Stop Imposter Syndrome & Become a Great Leader

As a coach dealing in executive leadership skills, I have the privilege of working with many top executives across many sectors on how to succeed as a leader. I’ve discovered that, quite frequently, executives stop short of being as great as they can be. The reasons for this differ: “I’m comfortable where I am. It’s too much responsibility to get bigger. I don’t know if I’m capable.” One of the more interesting excuses is: “If I take on a higher position, someone is going to find out I’m a fraud.” 

Imposter syndrome is real—at least in people’s minds until they finally realize the Imposter Syndrome is itself an imposter! The fear of not being enough, not being good enough, or being a fraud—despite having amazing gifts, talents and experience—plagues a surprising number of people. And this is partly because as much as entrepreneurial leadership is admired, we come from a global society that tends to frown upon standing out. Which means that even highly qualified, intelligent people run away from opportunities to excel.

And yet the very people who are paralyzed believing they’re imposters are actually pioneers!

How to be an inspiring leader

Those who dare to be big have one clear differentiator. They embody what I call Pioneer Syndrome. They may not have the answers, but are willing to find them or create them. All are willing to forge ahead where others fear to tread. They’re people with amazing gifts, talents and experience who often mistakenly believe they’re imposters because they’ve been taught to doubt themselves and believe that thinking well of themselves and having self-confidence is egocentric!

Some of the best leaders in the world started very small. Many have gotten where they’ve gotten in large part based on the soft skills they’ve been willing to build. Skills like patience, persistence, the ability to listen, good communication, empathy and imagination. Skills they’ve been able to leverage to good effect.

They moved upwards, one step at a time, even in the face of feeling uncertain and, yes, unworthy. They went for it despite their fears—just like all good pioneers do.

Interestingly, great leaders use these skills to their advantage all the time. And the wonderful thing about that is, most soft skills don’t cost anything to learn. They simply require that you pay attention and be the best version of yourself that you can be. Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, is a great example. He started out way low on the totem pole. But he was willing to pitch in wherever he was needed and always treated people with kindness. Something he is known for to this day. 

We often call such people visionaries and self-starters. Some, less kindly, refer to them as takers and overly ambitious. And yet the world cannot advance without somebody being willing to be big. One of the advantages of visionary leadership is the ability to inspire many people to their best “Yes!” That is the way great teams and great companies are formed. Inspired by examples of visionary leadership, people unite in a dream bigger than themselves, yet still fulfill their own dreams within the bigger goal.

How to combat imposter syndrome

Being great doesn’t mean that every person must be a CEO. But, stop and think. Given how much time you spend at work, the bigger you can be, the more passionate you feel about what you’re doing, the better you will feel about yourself. And one of the advantages of visionary leadership is you’ll also have a much greater positive impact upon the world while having nicer adventures along the way!

Here’s quick exercise. Ask yourself: “What personality trait do I have that could be turned into a superpower?” It could be your smile, your willingness to put in extra time, your resilience, or your kindness. These are not things we are generally taught to believe are important. But they are no small things! You can actually begin to build a personal brand around kindness, imagination, and persistence and other such soft skills.

Become a great leader

Stop and notice how the one person in the office that everybody goes to for assistance tends to advance. Watch how far they go. It’s not about hard skills. “Heart eats hard for breakfast.”

There are people who seem to have the humblest careers and yet somehow seem to have a lot of impact on people. They also tend to make a lot of money. I’ve watched some waitresses and waiters do this. And taxi drivers. Why do they make more than others in the same profession? They use their people skills. They’re not afraid to be big. To put themselves “out there.” To be seen. To be noticed. They’re not afraid to be themselves. They’re not afraid to care.

You want to know how to become a great leader? How to combat imposter syndrome? Leverage your heart. Your interests. Your passions. Your truest self. Being big isn’t egotistical. It grows the world and creates abundance, one courageous person at a time. 

“How big are you willing to be?” It’s up to you to find out!

To find out more about your emotional DNA and how to move from limited to being big,  join me at one of my live events.