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Women Taking the Lead with Jodi Flynn

Women Taking the Lead is a podcast containing interviews with women who have achieved success and men who help women develop their leadership; topical episodes giving insights and how-to's in the areas of leadership and personal and professional development, as well as "on-air" coaching episodes. The aim of Women Taking the Lead is to inspire you to overcome self-doubt so you can follow your true calling, earn the money you deserve, create more time for fun on your journey, develop relationships that support you, and to silence your inner critic, and make working on your mindset for success a top priority.
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Now displaying: April, 2020
Apr 27, 2020

In September of 2017 I did a few episodes on the Cycle of Change. Given what we are going through currently I think this is a good time for a review.

I was first introduced to the concept of the cycle of change when I was getting certified as a coach through iPEC Coaching. They had a nice analogy of the cycle of change as a card game.

The Cycle of Change

Change occurs in a cycle and we’re always in some part of the cycle of change in every area of our lives. Each part of your life is likely in different parts of the cycle.

Because we tend to interpret different stage of the change cycle as good or bad, we commonly have the experience of feeling like there are always some areas of our life in which we are winning and other areas that feel like we are struggling.

In this episode I’m going to give a brief overview of The Cycle of Change and discuss the overarching phase we are currently going through during the COVID-19 pandemic.

phases

Using the card game analogy for The Cycle of Change there are several phases.

Before you play a card game you have to decide what game you’re going to play. This usually happens as you’ve started to shuffle the cards so this phase is called The Shuffle Phase.

The game is chosen and cards are dealt. During The Deal Phase your mind is considering your resources, the other players, a strategy is chosen and you are formulating a plan.

Then you move into the phase called Play the Game. Obviously, this is the phase of movement and action.

Then the game comes to a close and you are now in The Toss in Phase. During this phase you are absorbing what just happened and either celebrating a victory or considering how you feel about defeat.

Phase 4: Toss In

All things come to an end and typically people are rarely ready for the cycle to end because when you’re in the Playing the Game phase there’s a lot of energy and excitement. At the end, the Toss In, there is loss, grief, confusion or a lack of clarity for what’s next. Whether it is the end of a job role or a relationship, people in this part of the cycle are usually unhappy and cannot see how they will be able to go through it all again.

In this part of The Cycle of Change you will take little action on your own and resist change because of fear and uncertainty, and depending on how the last phase ended, there may be a lack of hope.

In this phase you may also feel victimized and like you don’t have control over your circumstances. You may find yourself being grumpier, ill at ease, and even experiencing pain more.

At the end of the Toss In, there can be an intense state of “hibernation” or “cocooning”. If you’ve read my book, Accomplished, you’ll be very familiar with. This state eventually passes, and if you let yourself just be during this phase you will naturally find yourself getting renewed and re-energized, ready for the next phase.

Does this all sound familiar to what we’ve been going through lately?

When our events were cancelled, when the schools and business establishments were closed, when the Stay at Home orders were issued, we all found ourselves unexpectedly in The Toss In phase. This is why so many of us have been experiencing feelings of grief. We are grieving a way of life that will either take a long time to get back to or may never be the same again.

Here is some guidance for you that may help to ease the discomfort of being in this phase.

Allow yourself to experience all the thoughts and feelings created by loss and uncertainty.

Don’t try to rush through it, or numb the experience, because you feel uncomfortable. It is normal for this phase to feel uncomfortable and unnatural, especially if you are living in a culture that celebrates achievement, productivity, and getting things done.

It’s okay to give in to the need to withdraw for a while because the reflection and contemplation you will do while you are feeling low energy is critical to gaining clarity to go into the next phase.

I also want to underscore that numbing this experience by overindulging in sugar, alcohol, tobacco, Netflix, exercise, etc. will prevent you from doing the deep work that strengthens you and provides clarity for the next stage. I’m not judging having anything in small doses and moderation. It’s using these things to distract yourself from uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that will cause suffering in the long run.

If you’ve ever found yourself stuck in indecision because you just had no clue what you wanted or didn’t want, it was probably because you skipped past the Toss In phase and so never got the information you needed to do the next phase well.

In this stage of grieving you are doing an analysis of what went right and what went wrong while you were in the last Cycle of Change. You are considering your thoughts, feelings, actions and the results you got during that cycle.

Many of us have been looking at the lifestyle we were living in the last few years and questioning if that’s how we want to move forward.

All of this is important information that you need to synthesize, and then integrate, to strengthen you to move forward.

Do the work. And the work looks like being with yourself even if it feels yucky.

It’s okay to vent to release the emotion.

Fear, anxiety, doubt, loss and anger are all normal during this phase. Find people you trust implicitly and make it clear to them you don’t need them to fix you or make you feel better, you just need them to hear you and validate where you are.

Let them know you’ll tell them when you are ready to take some action but until then you need them to respect where you are in the process. It may help to explain to them that this is a grieving process.

Look for the positives.

What is going well? What can you count on? This will give you some foundation to stand on while other things feel like they are coming undone.

Lastly, be good to yourself.

Give yourself some guilt-free space to just be for a while without the need to do, accomplish or achieve anything.

Remember, this too shall pass but don’t force it. Otherwise, you’ll just find your back here again without having made any progress.

If this was helpful to you, I’m going to ask a favor. Please share this episode with a friend or colleague whom you know could benefit from this information. It’s sharing resources that helps us all get through tough times.

I hope this was of value to you and here’s to your success!

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

Zebralove Web SolutionsYour website tells a story about your business! At Zebralove Web Solutions, Milly and her team are going to make sure your website tells the story you want your customers to hear. Connect with Milly at zebralovewebsolutions.com to create the impression you want to make!

Resources

Private Facebook Community: Chat, share and collaborate with other women listening to the podcast!

Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to DoingA simple, step by step system that gives you the foundation and structure to take your goals and make them happen.

Create Goals that are Worthy of you: If you are done with either pursuing vanilla goals, suffering through the struggle of goals that are not aligned with your strengths, or dealing with heartbreak of an unattainable goal this course is for you!

Apr 13, 2020

If any of you have ever met Amy, you know she is passionate about three things.  Family, Finances, and WINE!  This comes through in all that she does and all that she is.  When asked to describe herself she first and foremost states, “I am a wife, a daughter, and hopefully a good friend, who happens to also be a financial planner.” 

Amy holds a Master’s Degree in financial planning and is a Certified Financial PlannerTM, Enrolled Agent, Certified College Financial Consultant, and a Financial Wellness Coach with over 25 years of financial planning and industry experience.  She is the Founder and owner of Rooted Planning Group, Amy is definitely “doing it her way” and has been recognized by her financial planning colleagues as being a “disrupter,” a title she holds close to her heart and is proud of.

On her website it states, “I love what I do, but I also very much enjoy warmth, good conversation, wine tastings, and volunteering.

In this episode Amy and I discuss...

  • The measures she is taking in the financial upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • The steps you can take to get your healthcare initiatives in order
  • Highlights of the CARES act and what you'll want to pay attention to
  • How Amy is working with her clients to alleviate their fears and plan for the road ahead

Links

Website: www.rootedpg.com

Email: amy@rootedpg.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rootedpg/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/rooted-planning-group/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rootedpg/

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Zebralove Web Solutions: Close your online marketing skills gap, learn how to remain relevant in a quickly changing marketplace, and get ongoing support in promoting your businesses online. Stay ahead of the game by signing up for these Digital Marketing Forum. Go to womentakingthelead.com/zebraworkshops to register.

Resources

Create Goals that are Worthy of you: If you are done with either pursuing vanilla goals, suffering through the struggle of goals that are not aligned with your strengths, or dealing with heartbreak of an unattainable goal this course is for you!

Private Facebook CommunityChat, share and collaborate with other women listening to the podcast!

Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to DoingA simple, step by step system that gives you the foundation and structure to take your goals and make them happen.

Apr 7, 2020

March started off a celebration of Women’s History Month and ended with episodes on how to identify and support leaders who are struggling, especially now that we are in the midst of a pandemic.

Ironically, the focus in March changed the week of the 5-year anniversary episode where I offered some perspectives that will help you to look at things differently so you could release some of the stress that you are likely experiencing.

Changing your perspective, depending on the perspective you choose, can be like releasing a pressure valve.

The next episode, which was the episode before this one, talked about the effects stress has on your system and why you may be finding it hard to function at your very best.

I listed out some symptoms of a leader who is struggling and the mindset of a leader who, while being challenged in a crisis, can continue to function and grow in the face of those challenges.

I know it has not been easy to talk about hard things but the way to the other side is through. We need to acknowledge what we are dealing with before we can get through it.

Common Responses to Stress

Under stress, we typically go into a Fight, Flight or Freeze response. Flight looks like avoiding or running away from a problem. Fight looks like getting defensive or combative. Freeze looks like going still as you take in information and formulate your next move – are you going to Fight or take Flight?

New research is also showing a female response to stress will also include Tend and Befriend. Some of us under stress will have increased nurturing behaviors and seek out social connections.

How many of us in the current crisis have gone on a baking frenzy?

My hand is way up in the air.

How many of us have increased the amount of reach outs to friends, family, and colleagues to reassure them and ourselves that they are thought of and the connection is still there?

Again, my hand is way up in the air.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it is not business as usual. While you can’t expect that you’ll have the same performance that you had before this crisis there are some gentle things you can do to increase your focus and productivity.

First, you must find calm.

Perhaps not feeling calm all day every day, but injecting calm throughout the day.

When we are stressed, we tend to be very active but not always productive. When we feel stressed, we often also feel time-pressured. We start moving so fast we can get stuck in the weeds, losing sight of the big picture and important details. We start giving unimportant details too much time and attention which results in lots and lots of wasted time. We are also more likely to make mistakes when we are moving too fast and under too much pressure.

The goal is to avoid or, if you are already there, to get out of this frenetic state so you are functioning optimally.

Start with a practice in the morning that helps you calm your racing mind and get clear on what the priority of the day is.

Set timers or put on your daily calendar time blocks to unplug and engage in activities such as meditation, prayer, reading, walking, stretching, yoga, breathing exercises, fun and play. You choose what works best for you.

Those activities will help to take you from feeling energetically stretched and scattered to bringing that energy back in your body and feeling centered.

This level of calm has several benefits. It quiets the chattering, distracting, monkey mind thoughts so you can give whatever you are currently doing your full attention. A state of calm comes with a heightened level of awareness so you are able to see things more clearly.

Additionally, this level of awareness helps you to realize everything will get done in due time. It all gets done one step at a time.

This practice of finding calm will help with the next practice to help you continue to increase your focus and productivity.

Practice being aware of your thoughts and emotions.

Your thoughts and emotions are your signals to your state of being. If you find yourself anything but calm, joyful, or enlivened, you are likely feeling threatened by something and it’s creating fear, however subtle. You may not even recognize the fear.

The emotion of fear gets a bad reputation in our culture because we see it as a weak emotion only felt by those who lack courage. When in reality, courage is the ability to do something that frightens you. An act is not courageous unless the person taking the action is feeling fear but does not let the fear paralyze them.

By definition, fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.

Guess what? The current crisis is threatening to you and to people and things important to you. If you can become aware of your experience and name it you have some power over it.

You can then look more closely at what the fear is and challenge the belief that is causing it. 

I’ll use myself as an example. When I find myself getting wiped out, I notice it’s after spending too much time reading the news online. The numbers and the stories overwhelm me because I feel powerless to stop it or make a difference.

The belief is I am powerless in this situation and am a victim of the circumstances. To challenge this belief so it no longer has power over me, I ask myself, “Is it true that there is nothing I can do that will make a difference?”

The quick realization is that there are many things I can do to make a difference:

  • I can social-distance to prevent myself from getting sick
  • I can produce a podcast to help others get through this crisis
  • I can email, text, or call someone to check in on them
  • I can work on projects I wouldn’t I have time to complete if I was traveling more
  • I can get prepared for when the restrictions are lifted
  • I can donate money to any of the organizations on the frontlines of the pandemic

Name your fear and the belief that is causing it, and then challenge that believe so that you can see that you do have some power and there are some things you can do to control your destiny, however small.

Find a trusted person to talk about your feelings with. It is so powerful to have someone you can go to admit that you are sad, angry, joyful or “meh” without your emotion being judged.

Now, all that being said, this exercise isn’t to push you through the emotion so you can move on as quickly as possible. Do this exercise gently and know it’s okay to sit with the emotion for a while before you take a closer look at it.

The next practice I recommend to increase your focus and productivity is to…

Accept help if it is offered.

For some (or many) of you, this is really hard to do because you’re accustomed to being the person who is on top of things and gives off the impression of having it all handled. Some leaders even feel threatened by this.

But if you want to have more focus and be more productive, you’re going to have to make this a team effort.

Let’s face it, during a crisis it must be a team effort so let your team shine.

Be open to new ideas and ways of doing things. You show you’re open by listening, asking questions, showing appreciation for an idea (even if the idea isn’t going to work acknowledge the person for speaking up and bringing the idea to you).

I started with accepting help if it’s offered because the next one can be even more challenging for over achievers.

Reach out for help

Lay your cards out on the table. Make and a list of what needs to get done and ask your team and your colleagues for help. If you have a team, make them a part of the process of identifying everything that needs to get done and ask if they are willing and able to take on some tasks.

I’m hearing stories of teams shuffling tasks around so the tasks are being done by the person it makes sense to be doing it.

For some of you, you need to step away from daily operations for chunks of time to attend webinars on the changes in your industry. You need to rely on your teams even more right now.

You may be quarantined or sick. You’re going to need to rely on your friends, family and local community to get groceries, medications and other supplies.

Now is not the time to let the identity of being the superhero get in the way of the greater good, and your own good.

Believe it or not, there are people right now who are dying to be more helpful.

Helping others gives us a sense of meaning and purpose. If you don’t give others a chance to be helpful you are blocking an opportunity for them to find meaning in this crisis and to also show how capable and caring they really are.

If you struggle with any of these recommendations to help you increase your focus and productivity (finding calm, self-awareness, accepting help and asking for help) I’m going to invite you to take the Energy Leadership Assessment as the solution to that problem.

Forbes magazine listed the Energy Leadership Assessment as One of the Top 11 Assessments Every Executive Should Take.

The reason for that is, quoting right from the article, “The Energy Leadership Index Assessment provides a unique lens on self-awareness and emotional intelligence, two key ingredients for any leader. Situational awareness of yourself and others is critical for a leader to respond appropriately to the people in their charge. Understanding where you are at any moment and how you respond to stress can make all the difference.”

The knowledge you gain from taking the assessment allows you to continue to grow and develop as a strong, compassionate, effective leader.

If you would like to explore the Energy Leadership Assessment you can go to womentakingthelead.com/assessment to find out more and purchase it if that feels right for you at this time.

I would love to work with you.

Again, for those of you in leadership, I thank you for your contribution. We need self-aware, skilled leaders more than ever.

I hope this was of value to you and here’s to your success!

Resources

Create Goals that are Worthy of you: If you are done with either pursuing vanilla goals, suffering through the struggle of goals that are not aligned with your strengths, or dealing with heartbreak of an unattainable goal this course is for you!

Private Facebook CommunityChat, share and collaborate with other women listening to the podcast!

Accomplished: How to Go from Dreaming to DoingA simple, step by step system that gives you the foundation and structure to take your goals and make them happen.

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