If women leaders want to embrace their power, we must first reject baby elephant thinking. We have to throw off the shackles of learned behavior that no longer serves us.
It’s said that when a baby elephant is being trained, she is tied to a post almost immediately after birth. During the first few weeks of life she attempts to break free of her restraints, but she’s not strong enough. So she comes to believe she can’t get away from what is holding her back.
Hence, even after she has grown large and plenty powerful to uproot the post entirely. As a consequence she remains tied to the post even as an adult. Unfortunately this is due to an internally motivated behavior that is no longer rooted in external reality.
Most of us at some point in our lives, have repeated patterns of behavior that have only limited us. Maybe you became aware of your patterns and did something to change it. Or perhaps your lack of awareness has kept you stuck playing victim to life’s circumstances.
How many times have you remained stuck in your thinking?
When I was in my early 30’s, I moved to the lower 48 after spending nearly a decade living in Alaska. The remote region where I lived was physically separated from any source of civilization by the enormous ice field. I became used to the fact that I couldn’t easily leave my surroundings. The only way in and out was via float plane or boat on a really good weather day.
I then moved to a small yet highly populated island. I could drive the length and circumference of the island in under an hour. Although my years of living in Alaska were breathtakingly beautiful my ability to easily break away from living a remote lifestyle was limited and I was stuck thinking and living small.
With that said, when I moved to Colorado, I was stuck in thinking that I was confined by the boundaries of the town I was living in. I didn’t even consider taking a road trip to the next county over!
While living in Alaska, I also got used to being nestled between the mountains and the ocean. In Southeast Alaska the mountains rise right out of the ocean. So when I would hike in the mountains along the front range of Colorado and look out over the plains, I would see water or perhaps what used to be underwater.
This is an example of how my limited thinking became very conditioned by the external environment in which I lived. I was living in Colorado, far away from any ice fields or islands. Although some would argue that Boulder, CO is 10 square miles surrounded by reality.
Even though I was no longer living in remote Alaska, I still felt a sense of confinement and limitation towards embracing my power to expand my thinking and way of being.
Today, when I recollect that experience, I can see how much I struggled. During the 8 years that I lived in Boulder, I was on a journey of self-discovery. Unfortunately, I was still stuck in baby elephant thinking and living a life with limits.
Fortunately, I was able to gain enough self-awareness and the inner strength to throw off my self-imposed shackles. As a result, I reclaimed my power and decided to relocate to Denver, where I now teach women in business personal leadership development so they can embrace their power and drive business to earn their worth.
The risk you face, if you want to continue to think like an elephant will be a life where you always see your limitations. They will begin to define you and you will feel powerless to change.
The very first step to release the shackles that are holding you back is awareness. You have to become aware of the learned behaviors that are no longer serving you. Commit yourself to develop your own personal leadership. This will help you to become authentically confident, powerful and free to make a greater impact in the world.
Whether you are training a baby elephant, or going through your own training called life. I encourage you to pay attention to your self-imposed limitations. The limitations that are no longer rooted in external reality.
Please don’t think like an elephant. Unleash your power by rejecting what no longer serves you. Learn to embrace what will lead you to live a life without limits and stop thinking like a baby elephant.
First, let’s take a closer look at what it means to be feminine. Most of us have a particular image that comes to mind when we think of a feminine woman. Maybe it’s a woman with long flowing hair with a slender figure with just the right curves. She wears a sleeveless floral print dress with open toe shoes. She’s perceived to be soft spoken, kind and giving.
Then we think of the word powerful and a very different image comes to mind. This same woman might have her hair pulled up and back. She’s wearing a full sleeve dress that’s a dark solid print with closed toe shoes. She’s perceived to be outspoken, affirmative and driven.
Here’s the truth, being feminine and powerful doesn’t really have anything to do with the way we dress or the style of our hair or shoes. It has much more to do with our physical and energetic presence.
The more a woman is able to be grounded in her hips and pelvis the greater her presence will be. She’ll naturally be more influential in her interactions. This is true whether she is speaking to others one-on-one or in front of a large group. All without pushing or trying too hard to make an impact.
In a nutshell, being feminine and powerful is about how we show up as women both physically and energetically. We can show up disconnected from our power center, which puts us up into our heads. This is when we can come across as either intimidating and demanding on or shy and submissive.
However, when we learn to embody our feminine and drop into our power center we can hold an authentic confidence. We can lead with more ease, and have a greater impact. All with just the magnetic power of our presence.
The first big issue I see women struggling with in leadership positions is they’re trying really hard to gain or maintain authority and superiority as women leaders by operating from a place of pushing and over-efforting to make things happen. Unfortunately, this often comes across as demanding and abrasive. It often negatively impacts other areas of their life. Such as ones health and intimate partner relationships.
The second big issue is that this more aggressive style of leadership often stems from one being addicted to being right, which puts one on the defensive stirring up more conflict than a powerful impact. This is not only exhausting to maintain, but it has a tendency to turn people away. Particularly those who don’t want to feel confronted or intimidated by others, which is most people that I know.
The third big issue is the opposite of this, where women with big personalities become submissive and soft spoken. To avoid confrontation, they over accommodate to ensure that they’re liked. They actually draw attention away from themselves by not ever rocking the boat. Unfortunately when we play small like this our presence is weak and our influence is not very powerful or impactful.
In summary, women with BIG personalities who are in leadership positions can fall into two different camps. Camp one is when you’re stuck in a pattern of playing small and struggle with communicating what your really want. Camp two is where you’re stuck in a pattern of constantly pushing hard to get what you think you want.
The truth is, both camps cause women to feel frustrated, confused, depressed and even anxious. They struggle to get what they want in their career, life and love and feel satisfied and successful.
The one thing woman can do is invest in learning a different approach to leadership. To commit to shifting our focus from being purely results and strategy driven to presence and power driven. I teach the art of feminine presence practices and leadership skills to women to help them drop out of their heads and into their bodies.
This is where they can hold an authentic confidence. From here they don’t have to push so hard to be seen and heard. It’s amazing the shift that can happen, just by learning how to show up differently both physically and energetically.
Personal leadership develop is key for effective leaders. Strategy, tactics and concepts are actually secondary. Presence must always precede strategy. Particularly if you want to have less conflict and a more powerful impact at work and at home.
Are you doing things that make you feel bad?
One of the things that we certainly need in order to be a successful female entrepreneur is courage and confidence!
1. If you agree to do something just do it. You’re only taken seriously when you actually follow through on your commitments.
2. Be consistent. Build schedules and routines so that you aren’t constantly over or under doing things.
3. Never place the blame. Take full accountability for the actions you have made, and never claim that it is anyone else’s fault except your own.
4. Don’t be a complainer. Talking negatively about every interaction in your life won’t get you far because if you are blaming the world, at the end of the day your life will feel worse not better.
5. Be upfront and admit when you have made a mistake. By accepting responsibility when you screw up, it makes the most of a bad situation – because you’ve learned from it, and you prevent yourself from making the same mistake again in the future.
6. Recognize there will be things you cannot control. Put your focus into being responsible for things you can control, and avoid the stress of those you cannot.
7. Take care of yourself. Try not to always rely on others to remind you of the simple things you could either discover yourself, or you should simply know. Take responsibility and be in control of your life.
You sometimes feel lost in the direction your life is going. You’re caught in a negative pattern that has kept you from moving forward, perhaps for a really long time.
The pattern goes something like this…
You’re so busy doing things to try and improve your life. Maybe it’s something with your work/career or maybe it’s with your spouse/significant other or perhaps both. Regardless of the specific area of your life you’re trying to improve, there’s this feeling that no matter what you do to try to change it for the better it never feels like enough.
No matter how hard you try and push to improve things, it doesn’t move you ahead far enough to where you can just relax and feel satisfied.
As a result, you’re exhausted. Your confidence is shrinking. You’re losing trust in yourself and you feel uncertain and really worried about your ability to succeed.
You know you need to get out of this negative pattern. You want clarity about how to finally change this, you want your power and energy back, more confidence and trust in yourself and your ability to succeed.
You know you need to find a new path forward, but you realize that you need help figuring out what steps to take and a clear plan that will support your desires. You need to learn practical skills to ensure you have the right tools to stay your course and not get derailed along the way.
You’re not willing to give up on your dreams. You’re no longer willing to tolerate feeling lost, caught in a pattern of struggle and not seeing improvement in key areas of your life so you can have the clarity and confidence to feel relaxed and satisfied with your progress.
I get it. I totally get it.
I have the same challenges and desires that you do. I’ve been caught in a pattern of over efforting and pushing hard to make things happen, yet still falling short of my goals. Over time this pattern wore me down to the point where my self confidence was shrinking and I started to lose hope in my ability be successful with both with my life’s work and in my relationships. My life felt like it was spiraling out of control and I knew I needed professional help to turn it around.
We all get caught in negative patterns, which can cause us to feel lost, alone and isolated. Believe it or not this is part of our wisdom path, it’s how we go from sabotage to success. The key is realizing that you can’t go it alone. You need professional support and guidance to change what you can not see.
You know you’re not really changing when you oscillate between pushing hard to resolve an issue or withdrawing to keep the peace, or some resemblance of it. This exact pattern is what keeps you stuck and unable to move forward.
Here’s the truth, you must learn how to work and live smarter, not harder and this takes clarity. Clarity is key because it brings power and confidence to your actions. The secret to shift from over efforting to more ease is not about learning more strategies. To replace your self-doubt with belief and your worry with inspiration and fun, you must first gain clarity about what you need to confront that’s causing resistance and stopping you from moving forward. When you confront your resistance with clarity and confidence you finally stop making excuses that sabotage your success. Only then will you have a greater capacity to allow more of what you want to flow into your life.
If this resonates with you and you’d like an opportunity to chat with me, please click this link to set up a time for us to connect with each other.
With love and appreciation,
The life we lead is an accumulation of the choices we make. Our choices can be our best friend or our worst enemy. They can deliver us to our goals or send us trailblazing down the wrong path.
Think about it. Everything in your life exists because you first made a choice about something. Choices are at the root of everyone of your results and outcomes. Each choice starts a behavior that overtime becomes a habit. Choose poorly and you might just find yourself back at the drawing board forced to make new and often much harder choices. If you don’t choose at all, well you just made the choice to be the passive receiver of whatever comes your way.
In essence you make your choices, and then your choices make you. Every decision, no matter how slight alters the trajectory of your life. Whether or not you go to college, who you marry, have that last drink and drive, indulge in gossip or stay silent, say I love you or not. Every choice has an impact and directly affects how you claim or don’t claim the lead in your life.
You must become aware of how you make choices that support the expansion of your life. It’s really not that complicated; however you have to be willing to not make 99% of your choices unconsciously. You have to say to yourself, “No more are my daily routines and traditions going to come as a reaction to my programing”. You have to be willing to ask yourself and be able to answer, “How many of my behaviors have I not voted on?” What am I doing that I didn’t consciously choose to do, yet continue to do, everyday?”
Your biggest challenge is not that you have been intentionally making bad choices. Your biggest challenge is that you’ve been sleepwalking through your choices. Half the time you’re not even aware that you’re making them. Our choices are often shaped by our culture and upbringing. They can be so entwined in our routine behaviors and habits that they seem beyond our control!
For instance, have you ever been going about your business, enjoying your life when all of a sudden you made a stupid choice or a series of small choices that ultimately sabotaged your hard work and momentum all for no apparent reason? You didn’t intend to sabotage yourself, but by not thinking about your decisions and weighing the risks and potential outcomes you found yourself facing unintended consequences.
Nobody intends to become obese, go through bankruptcy, or get a divorce, but often, if not always those consequences are a result of a series of small poor choices.
It’s time to wake up and make empowering choices.
It’s easy to point fingers at others, isn’t it?
For instance, “I’m not getting ahead because of my backstabbing co-worker.”
“I would have gotten that promotion if my boss wasn’t so self-absorbed.”
“I’m always in a bad mood because my family is driving me crazy.”
And we are particularly gifted in the finger pointing arena when it comes to our romantic relationships. You know, where the other person is the one who needs to change, right?!
What percentage of shared responsibility do you have in making a relationship work?
Most will say 50/50, because they believe that people must be willing to share the responsibility evenly or someone is going to get ripped off. Others say it’s more like 51/49, because they believe you have to be willing to do a little bit more than the other person to make it work. Many more think it’s closer to 80/20, because they believe relationships are built on self sacrifice and generosity.
The correct answer is 100/100, because you have to be willing to give 100% with zero expectation of receiving anything in return. Only when you are willing to take 100% responsibility for making the relationship work, will it work. Otherwise, a relationship left to chance, will always be vulnerable to disaster.
Now, this might not be what you were expecting to hear; however, this concept can actually transform every area of your life. If you always take 100% responsibility for everything you experienced, completely owning all of your choices and all the ways in which you responded to whatever happened to you – then you hold the power.
Everything is up to you. You are responsible for everything you did, didn’t do, or how you responded to what was done to you.
I know you think you take responsibility for your life. I have yet to ask anyone who doesn’t say, “Of course I take responsibility for my life,” but when you look at how most people operate in the world, there’s a lot of finger pointing, victimhood, blaming, and expecting someone else to solve their problems.
If you’ve ever blamed the traffic because you’re late or decided that you were in a bad mood because of something your kid, spouse, or co-worker did, you’re not taking 100% responsibility.
You arrived late because your lunch wasn’t ready? Maybe you shouldn’t have waited until the last minute to eat. Your co-worker messed up the powerpoint? Shouldn’t you have checked it before delivering it? Not able to manage your unreasonable puppy? There are countless books and classes to help you learn how to deal. You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do, and how you respond to what is done to you. This empowering mindset will revolutionize your life.
Luck, circumstances or the right situation isn’t what matters. No matter who is elected president, how badly the economy tanked, or what anybody said, did or didn’t do, you are still 100% in control of you.
Through choosing to be officially liberated from the past, present and future victimhood, you’re hitting the jackpot! You have the unlimited power to control your destiny by taking 100% responsibility for your life and claiming the lead.
If this resonates with you and you’d like to chat with me, you can schedule a time to connect with me by clicking here. I look forward to it!
With love and appreciation,