So, this past weekend I was supposed to be in magical Zion National Park with my Board Group, an amazing group of 6 driven leaders, all committed to supporting each other to create their biggest dream this year as well as receiving support to create theirs. Since we couldn’t be in Zion due to shelter-in-place, I hosted a virtual retreat, working together in depth for 6 hours split up in two sessions. When I say worked, we went deep, we stretched ourselves, & we felt all the feels along the way.
Prior to the virtual retreat, I noticed my own thoughts around visibility. It’s hard to admit this because I think there’s so much judgment wrapped around discussing visibility. Those thoughts sound like:
“Who am I to want more visibility?” And, “Shouldn’t I be grateful for the life I have; the love around me?”
“Wanting more visibility is rooted in shallowness, & I don’t want to be known as shallow!”
“Visibility isn’t that hard if you’re willing to sell your soul to social media & miss the life in front of you…”
“I’m an only child, & so this sense of being alone is deeply-rooted; even when I experience visibility it’s never enough!”
“I actually have a lot of visibility as a driven person, so what am I complaining about?”
“If only I was more visible in my marriage, my community, the world…”
I could go on & on, but what I noticed through my conversations within the SG community & my clients, is that I’m not alone! Phew.
Almost every driven person I know — even if they have a huge social media presence, any level of fame, etc.) — is craving more visibility.
What the heck does visibility mean anyway?
To me, it means feeling the presence of all me in every area of my life. That presence includes the intelligence, the humor, the sensitivity, the generosity, the curiosity, the directness; all of it. It feels like courage and not being afraid to just own who I am – take it or leave it.
For some, I hear they want more visibility in their marriage. For some, it’s within their friend group, or work, or even with themselves. I’ve found specificity works wonders and claiming what area you want more visibility in your life will really serve you.
We can talk all day along about what’s getting your way, and more often than not, it’s some version of your fear. Knowing WHY you want to experience visibility and being clear about the pay off will act as a magnet, pulling you through the muck & driving the conscious choice to change your visibility.
As a driven person, once you decide you want something, you go after it. It doesn’t mean you won’t be met with some resistance, which can show up in the form of overwhelm, confusion, frustration, martyrdom, and withdrawal, but here’s a place to start.
Claim what quality you will stand in, so that you can take the action needed to be more visible? Some ideas: commitment. Courage. Vulnerability. Expressiveness.
Start with the end result in sight for the specific area in which you want to be more visible. In other words, what would you see if you were MORE visible?
Work backwards, creating the key milestones you’re committed to in order to BE more visible. The key here is to write them down on a timeline, so you’re transparent & honest with yourself.
Write down your 1st baby step towards the first milestone, letting that step inform the next & the next.
If visibility is what you’re after, then don’t wait. I believe that the world wants all of us in our wonder, & it’s actually quite selfish if we hold back our gifts in any part of our lives; it deprives others from getting to experience our awesomeness, our gifts, our magic, & our uniqueness. I can’t think of anything worse than getting to the end of our life, looking back & knowing we didn’t share ALL of ourselves with the world.
No. More. Waiting.
I want to see you. We want to see you. If you want support. Hollar. I got you. We got you.
Last week I shared how there is gold in this experience for ALL of us if we’re open to slowing down just long enough to see it. For those of you who took a few minutes to post on social or email me directly about the Gold you’re finding, thank you! I love hearing from our SG community of driven leaders.
I was on a video call this week with one of my clients, who’s typically going 100 miles an hour as the President of a Fortune 500 company, and she shared that the biggest gift for her during this pandemic has been slowing down enough (while keeping all the plates at work spinning!) to catch some of her children’s milestones. She experienced her son riding his bike for the first time. As someone who’s working long hours and on a plane weekly, that was a huge gift for her. In fact, it was the insight behind that gift that really rocked her. She gave me permission to share this with you in hopes of helping others use their gold for growth and learning.
She had always imagined being an impactful leader AND being a present Mom who would never miss her children’s milestones. Over time, that desire faded and was replaced with her reality that had her on planes more often than she ever expected and working 15 hour days.
When had she become someone who had settled for a different kind of motherhood experience than she had imagined?
The short answer is: life got busy, responsibilities started piling up, society alway says “you can’t have it all etc”, and BOOM! She became agreeable, and the rest is history.
Fast forward to this week, and she can’t stop thinking about her powerful insight. She had two choices: She could note the insight and then continue to play the game of life the same way she’s been playing it for the past 20 years, which includes pointing fingers at Corporate America, her partner, and anyone else for that matter who’s standing in the way of the experience she’s really desiring.
OR, she could do something about it.
Now, the latter is the harder choice. Not because it’s work — driven people aren’t afraid of doing work — but because it’s uncomfortable to look at why experiences aren’t really happening the way you’d like them to.
Here’s what I want to impart on you: It’s not that she started doing something differently such as ignoring all her corporate responsibilities, so she could catch a milestone moment. It’s that she took a look at her leadership. In other words, the qualities in which she had been standing in that was perpetuating her to be absent. The quality that stood out the most to her was being agreeable. Compliant behavior led to her to not use her voice, to not establish clear boundaries that would empower her to be both a visible leader AND an engaged, present Mom.
I gave her an assignment: She made a list of all the areas in her life where she’s being agreeable. You guys, the list was so long. It’s no wonder that many of her deepest desires weren’t coming to fruition. Just by making this list, she felt empowered to shift her leadership. It was a major eye opener!
We left that video call with her commitment to stand in honesty, specifically with her teams.
The result? She got on a call the next day with her teams and was honest about how her leadership was impacting her relationships with her children and set a new boundary around when she is and isn’t available for calls. While the action seems obvious, it’s the shift in her leadership, her way of being, that has had the biggest impact.
As a driven person, my hunch is you’re hungry for more. It’s not enough to just harvest your gold; you want more. You want different results.
Before you go down the path of trying to figure out the solution. Look at your leadership. Who you’re being and start there. Shift your being, shift your results. No need to overcomplicate it.
If you’re like me and generally want MORE and want support around this, I’d love to hear from you. Email me or drop me a line on social.
How are you feeling? Not an easy question to answer, but I care about you and want to know! I’ve been a bit quiet since the whole pandemic landed in my life. When I start to experience a lot of change, my pattern is to turn inward. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I’m an observer at times. When I was a little girl & wanted to try something new, I would watch. Study it. Then, I would dive in with intention & do whatever the thing was on my terms.
I’ve taken a lot of time to reflect on this pandemic. Sat with questions like, “If this were happening for us, then what’s the gold?” Surely there’s gold, right?
I keep coming back to this idea that we, as a society, have been asking for more time, more connection, &, whadayaknow?!, the Universe delivered an expected pause.
Starting in March, I found myself scratching my head, having what felt like an out of body experience, stuck in one of those 80’s sci-fi movies about the end of life as we know it. I had moments where I felt like a space cadet, moving through the days silently, introspectively in isolation, & then experiencing immediate existential bursts of energy & excitement over my realization that there is now space in my day to breathe. Imagine the impact that has had on my family, not knowing who they were going to get from day to day!
Can you relate?
I was fantasizing about Q1 2020, the days when (I felt like) I had control over my life. I had loads of travel for work & fun, experienced my biggest professional growth for SG&Co in 8 years, was present for 3 basketball games every Saturday, had tennis lessons twice a week, & standing weekly date nights. We hosted lots of house guests, hiked when we wanted to & went to the grocery store multiple times a week. Short days. Feelings of joy, exhilaration, exhaustion, overwhelm, gratitude, momentum, possibility. Control.
Fastforward, & Q2 is underway with certainty running off like a bride with cold feet. The sense of control I thought I had was an illusion. Now that the running to & from, & the sense of freedom that I had — defined by being able to DO what I wanted when I wanted — has faded, I have space to notice all the feels.
Anxiousness & curiosity are co-existing. My sheer feeling of horror towards noise. My boys are in the house so much more; you guys, it’s LOUD. I’m refereeing so much, & screens are at an all time high. I’m super uncomfortable with it.
Did I mention I’m married to a Texan?! Pandemic or not, he just has a loud voice. God love that loudmouth.
But, without all the running to & from, it’s like I’m wearing a fresh pair of polarized sunglasses that have yet to be scratched. I feel like I’m actually noticing shades of things in a way that I never had before.
Is anyone else having this experience?
Here’s what I’ve noticed:
Now, more than ever, I get the saying, “The only thing you have control over is how you show up & relate to your life.” I’m recognizing now, more than ever, it’s imperative I live from my values, as that’s what informs my way of being.
I need to protect my energy & manage my boundaries. My intuition is loud, & it’s up to me to choose to listen to her.
It’s really, really uncomfortable when all the obvious distractions disappear, & I’m forced to BE in the present a hell of a lot more than ever before; still getting used to this.
I’m noticing beauty around me so much more. Last week, I heard a woodpecker & went running back to get one of my boys & my phone to video this guy just pecking away.
My children are sharing a lot more. Or, maybe it’s that I’m listening & paying attention.
My husband is incredibly talented at building things & enrolling our 3 boys in the process. I knew he was handy, but not like this. It’s really sexy seeing him build.
I love to cook & actually prefer to make up my own dishes vs. following a recipe. I’ll share more about my concoctions soon.
My clients are scared, anxious, &, yet, they keep showing up. They’re opening, instead of closing, in the face of fear. They’re having really hard conversations at work, &, yet, they’re growing more than ever vs. falling prey to the tempting & easy route of shutting down.
I love puzzles. I used to think I didn’t have the concentration, but I do.
I love riding bikes. I like to pretend I’m in a bike gang when all 5 of us are out riding. It feels like we can conquer anything together.
I feel more like myself when my priorities align with my values instead of my expectations. I see possibility everywhere.
I’ve always prided myself as being a feeler (John, my husband, says my feelings have feelings). You guys, I feel like I can feel again in ways that I never knew were possible.
This, my people, my community, I believe is what it feels like to experience connection on the inside. To be ever-so-present that you notice the details. You feel the details. You live the details. It’s less about the big broad strokes & more in the details.
I want to hear about the GOLD you’re discovering. It’s this gold that will support us in living our legacy each day. In the spirit of Maya Angelou, “Your legacy is every life you touch. It’s your way of being.”
Make no mistake about it: You have 100% control over who you BE throughout the day. Minute to minute. That’s called leadership. Our leadership is tested more than ever in the breakdown. So, buckle up you guys. Harvest your gold & use everything you’re feeling, noticing, & learning to stand in leadership & live your legacy.
That is how we’re going to turn this horrific pandemic into a blessing.