Convert your Inner Critic to your Inner Cheerleader

sunshine after rain

The idea that we live our lives with the devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other has been around since time immemorial – I certainly remember my mom talking about the devil sitting on my shoulder. Chances are that you too are familiar with these ‘gremlins’, as I call them. Left to their own devices, they are more likely to give a negative message like ‘stupid twit, Denise’ rather than applaud you with a “way to go Denise”, as we encounter life’s challenges.   Taking the idea outside our heads and into our lived experiences of the world, and extrapolating this to being the recipient, or perpetrator of messages to self or others, let’s reflect on the impact of our voiced expectations.
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1st October 2014

Leadership Nuggets of Gold

If you’ve successfully been in a leadership position for some time, there’s a good chance that you’ve hit upon some of the secrets of this space. Although everyone does it differently, there are certain nuggets of wisdom I’ve learnt along the way that may hold true for most of us:

If you have passion and determination, anything is possible.
A clear goal that inspires you to get out of bed every morning is one of the essential ingredients of great leadership. Of course that requires some initial clarification of exactly what that goal is. Sometimes what we really want is different from what we think we should want. As the saying goes though, “There’s no point in climbing to the top of the ladder only to find it’s leaning against the wrong wall.” Passion and crystal clarity on where we’re headed also goes a long way towards inspiring our team to pitch in and help us get there.

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16th September 2014

Go with the Flow or Be the Change You Want to See?

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As leadership styles have changed over the years, perhaps one of the biggest shifts has been towards the idea of ‘going with the flow’. This approach would have been considered a bit too soft for the dynamic leader of a decade or two ago, when the main focus was on ‘making it happen’. Recently, however, the value of the concept is becoming clearer.   Let’s start out by defining these apparently opposing approaches:

Be the change you want to see

This suggests deciding what we want, and then putting into place structures and action plans to achieve our goal. We could also choose to behave as if what we are aiming for has already occurred, thus setting an example for others. This is an approach that can take us far. However the downside is that when things don’t go according to plan, it can be very stressful and frustrating.

Going with the flow

This implies a greater acceptance of change and making use of the circumstances we find ourselves in, rather than trying to actively control them. A certain amount of letting go is required as we learn to roll with the punches, rather than getting upset by them. It can be far less stressful and allows us to take advantage of new opportunities. However the danger is that we may end up getting side-tracked from our goals.

So which is better?

Perhaps true mastery lies in a combination of both of these equally powerful approaches, each of them used appropriately. So we might start out with a good idea of what we want to achieve and perhaps even how we’d like to get there. We would then put into motion as much of that plan as we can conceive of at that point.   Then as circumstances change, rather than feeling the world is conspiring against us and getting angry about it, we could try to step back to see the bigger picture and a different perspective: perhaps the world is conspiring for us as it presents new and possibly even better possibilities. With that in mind and given the new set of circumstances, how could we adapt our plans to make the new opportunities work for us?   As we practise this skill and in the process learn to not only catch the waves of change but also harness their power, we may even find ourselves beginning to enjoy life more – in all its perfection and all its chaos.

If you’d like to learn how to ride the waves of life on the way to your goal, contact me on for a free Discovery session.

3rd September 2014