Monthly Archives: September 2017

How to Connect With Your Authentic Self, Personally and Professionally with Jenn Lederer

How to Connect With Your Authentic Self, Personally and Professionally

On today’s podcast, we are joined by motivational speaker and leadership coach Jenn Lederer about how to be your authentic self in your personal and professional life. She runs the Weekly Alignment podcast, which is described as ‘your source of accidental inspiration’.

Jenn says that people often only live from their neck up and don’t connect with anything below that. They become obsessed with how people observe them but don’t observe themselves. If you learn to connect with yourself, you are able to run a business which doesn’t overwhelm you.

When you are your authentic self, you no longer have to struggle. Jenn shares her top five tips for connecting with your authentic self, with actionable steps you can take in your life right now.

On today’s podcast:

  • Don’t apologize for existing
  • Professional leadership and gender bias
  • ‘But’ vs. ‘and’
  • Stop deferring your pleasure
  • How does it get better than this?
  • Communicate your boundaries



Don’t apologize for existing

When you bump into someone, do you say ‘sorry’ or ‘excuse me’? By saying sorry, you are subconsciously apologizing for being in that space to another person.

Allowing yourself to take up space in your personal life is key if you want to go into the world and make a difference. If you don’t believe you’re worthy, you won’t go out into the world and take up more space. There is a ripple effect on how you lead yourself and others in your personal life by using ‘excuse me’ rather than ‘sorry’.

Teams do best when everyone feels like they’re allowed and have permission to be seen and heard. If you start by saying ‘excuse me’ rather than ‘sorry’ in your professional life, it stops other people from being expected to apologize, even if an idea isn’t a great one.

Professional leadership and gender bias

If you think about male and female professionals in the workforce, it seems like there may not be an equality there for women to be able to say ‘my opinion matters’, and this is something which Jenn is very passionate about.

To overcome the gender bias in professional leadership, women need to not agree with any preconceived notion that they are less than or not worthy. If you don’t agree with it, you won’t act like it.

People around you can have as many beliefs as they want, but if you’re in a room and you know you’re worthy and add value, you will speak that way. You can’t control preconceived notions, but you can control how you react to it.

‘But’ vs. ‘and’

By using ‘but’ rather than ‘and’ when sharing an idea, you cut yourself off at the starting line and are met with ideas of why it can’t or won’t happen.

This tip is based on the improvisation rule of ‘yes and’, where if someone gives you a reality you have to build on it with ‘and’ rather than ‘but’. Using ‘but’ makes the energy and possibilities of an idea drop, so if you get into a habit of saying ‘and’ you can discern what is workable from this idea and how you build on it, rather than shutting yourself down.

By using this tip in your personal life, you will begin to notice how often your critical voice takes the lead. The path to an authentic self-begins with permission. Give yourself permission to take some space to explore who you are and how you want to show up in the world by using ‘and’.

‘And’ has a benefit in your professional life as teams work better when there’s a sense of freedom to explore. By using ‘and’, there is no right or wrong answer and all ideas are built upon. This creates a mindset of everyone working together, rather than being placed against each other in competition.

Stop deferring your pleasure

If you are a type A person, you reside in the all or nothing zone of life. If you’re on, you’re all the way on, and if you’re off the world won’t hear from you. If you get into the habit of checking in and asking what you want and desire in this moment, you can look for how you can create it in your life.

Pleasure is a birthright, yet society teaches us it’s no pain no gain, and that you have to spend 40-50 years proving yourself in order to enjoy the last part of your life. This mindset isn’t productive. Tap into what you want and be willing to go after it unapologetically.

In your personal life, shutting down desires subconsciously tells your body what you want doesn’t matter and that they aren’t as valid as your to-do list or money. This makes you diminish your own value. You need to be seen for who you are, and if you see yourself as not valued you won’t be able to put yourself out there.

Cultivating a professional environment of self-care is crucial for growth, so have conversations with your team on how they are taking care of themselves and working towards their goals outside of work. Not prioritizing self-care will generate resentment towards the rest of your team, yet it is your job to do this for yourself. Asking yourself what you want helps to deliver better results and prevents burnout.

How does it get better than this?

Throughout your day and in all situations, ask yourself “how does it get better than this?”. If things are challenging, this question strengthens the muscles to start looking for something more. The universe hears the message and answers the question by sending ideas, inspiration, thoughts, people, and opportunities.

If you’re having a good day, you can still ask the question. We are infinite beings who can’t reach full maxed out pleasure.

Asking this question in your personal life creates the practice of remembering you’re always supported. If you’re scared of something, ask the question as there is always a source behind you ready to answer. When you feel supported, it leads to you being able to take bigger risks, and getting used to asking is when we give ourselves permission to do so.

When a professional team is stuck and think they have uncovered everything they can, asking the question makes creative problem-solving. It will get your team used to look where you think you don’t need to look.

Communicate your boundaries

Our favorite excuse for not taking care of ourselves is that we are needed by other people. We think we have to spread ourselves thin because we’re needed, and if we set boundaries the world will collapse.

People aren’t counting on you to save them, but to remind them to save themselves. When you set a boundary, you’re not there all the time as no person can be, and it gives someone else the opportunity to step up.

A type A person finds value in being needed, and it’s how they convince themselves they are worthy. This practice in your personal life reminds you that with or without being needed, you are always valued. If you engage in self-care, you are refueled so that you can fully show up when you step back into your job. Setting boundaries shows other people around you that they can do it too.

If you have clear boundaries with your team, you create a sense of safety and understanding. When everyone has set their boundaries within a working environment, it encourages respect and the ability to find a middle ground to focus on a productive space and what is important.

Identifying Mindset Blocks and Preventing Burnout

Identifying Mindset Blocks and Preventing Burnout with Christine Springer

On today’s show, we talk to Christine Springer about burnout and mindset blocks. Burnout happens in every occupation as we are increasingly more busy, stressed and disconnected, so how do we keep ourselves from burnout and stay productive?

Christine has a medical background, which gives her the foundation of how she sees stress. Coaching others to avoid burnout started with a personal experience, as she thought her problem was due to needing a new productivity tool or to reassess her time management skills.

Instead, she realized that she had to change her expectations of herself and how she was engaging with her team in order to be more productive, present and happier at her job.

She now helps other people to change their mindset on how they relate to themselves and the people around them, to help them to keep doing the things they love. Burnout robs you of the desire and ability to do your job well, and Christine says she is “giving people their passion back”.

On today’s podcast:

  • What is a mindset block?
  • The most common mindset blocks which lead to burnout
  • Do personality traits make a person more susceptible to burnout?
  • How to identify a mindset block
  • Strategies to let go of mindset blocks and reduce burnout


What is a mindset block?

Your mindset is your thoughts and beliefs on rules of how the world works and how you operate, and a block is any thought you have which limits what you think is possible for yourself. Thoughts influence actions and lead to the results you get in life.

The biggest problem with a mindset block is that you don’t know you have one, as it typically hides as something you just think is the way it is.

Christine says the benefit of having a coach is that it’s hard to read your own label, and an outside perspective is needed to challenge the beliefs that are limiting you, to help you develop your leadership ability, and to avoid the spiral down to burnout.

The most common mindset blocks which lead to burnout

Christine says she sees regular mindset blocks which lead to burnout. The first is the belief of “if I can’t handle my workload, it means I’m weak or I suck at my job”, which is common amongst high achievers who are comfortable with working hard. They often feel guilty about resting or judge themselves for needing a break.

Needing a break is nothing to be ashamed of, and if you deny burnout is happening it will negatively impact your creativity. If you acknowledge it, it will improve your productivity and leadership.

The second mindset block which is seen often is the idea of “if I don’t do it myself, it won’t be done right”. This shows a person has fear of giving up control and can’t trust others, and also that they feel like they don’t have enough time to train anyone to do it as well as they can which leads to being worn out and overwhelmed.

Do personality traits make a person more susceptible to burnout?

There are three personality traits which increase the likelihood of someone experiencing a burnout:

Being a hyper-achiever: Self-worth is tied to the things you do and you feel lazy and worthless if you’re not doing anything, even if you recognize you’re tired and need a break.

  • Being a people pleaser: You have a fear of being viewed as lazy or not a team player if you say no and have trouble setting boundaries of what’s expected of you.
  • The imposter syndrome: Feeling like you don’t deserve the position you have, so you work harder to prove yourself.

How to identify a mindset block

The first way to identify a mindset block is by the language you use. If you use disempowered phrases like ‘I should’ or ‘I have to’ when you’re at work, it is a sign that you feel like you have to do something you don’t want to do.

If there is a persistent gap between what you say you want to do, such as taking a break, and what actually happens, as you end up working still, this is the second signal of a potential mindset block. We do the things we think are important, so if you don’t believe you’re worthy of a break, you won’t do it.

The third way to spot a mindset block is if you make excuses for why you have to be the person who is always taking on another task, even when you’re already overloaded.

Strategies to get go of mindset blocks and reduce burnout

You have to be responsible for your own energy, as when it drops so does your leadership ability, creativity, and decision-making. Christine recommends developing a mindfulness practice and mentions a PDF of mindfulness strategies at work which you can sign up for through her website.

Look at rest as a tool for performance and productivity rather than as a barrier, and get accountability through a coach, leadership team, or buddy. No one is ever objective about themselves, so accountability is good for connectivity and perspective.

How to Have Realistic Expectations for Your Time

How to Have Realistic Expectations for Your Time with Elizabeth Grace Saunders

Our resident expert on time management, Elizabeth Grace Saunders, joins us again on The Ultimate Leadership Podcast to talk about time investment and having realistic expectations with your time.

Last time we spoke to Elizabeth, she gave us some practical tips and tools we could use to effectively manage our time better. This time, we discuss how to approach organizing your time and how to stop feeling so overwhelmed and overloaded, to leave behind the guilt and to make you able to relax.

Elizabeth had her own struggles with time investment, as she didn’t have realistic expectations on how much she could fit into a day or a week, or on how to balance work with the company she was running with life. She overcame her time investment problems and has been helping other people overcome theirs for eight and a half years.

On today’s podcast:

  • The importance of have realistic expectations for your time
  • How to recognize whether or not you have realistic expectations
  • Tips on how to stop feeling overwhelmed and overloaded.
  • Be more organized with your time
  • Why do some people not want a sense of realistic time expectations?
  • Managing unrealistic expectations of others


The importance of having realistic expectations for your time

If you don’t have realistic expectations for your time, you will set yourself up for constantly feeling like a failure.

Elizabeth uses the example of how you feel when working on a project which you believe will take eight hours. If it ends up taking ten hours, you are left feeling frustrated. If the project takes the eight hours you expected, you feel good. But if it takes fewer hours, you end the project feeling amazing. These feelings aren’t associated with how long the project took, but with your expectation of how long it would take.

When you expect something to take a short amount of time and it takes longer, you beat yourself up unnecessarily, but if you are realistic with how long something will take you set yourself up for being and feeling like a success.

How to recognize whether or not you have realistic expectations

It’s likely that you have realistic expectations for your time if you are consistently able to meet the deadlines you set for yourself and if you are always feeling good about what you are achieving.

If you always feel like you’re behind, you’re not translating your work into your calendar to see if it fits, and you’re always saying yes to everything, Elizabeth says that you probably don’t have realistic expectations about how much you can fit into a day or a week.

Tips on how to stop feeling overwhelmed and overloaded

When you feel overwhelmed and overloaded by how much you’ve got going on, start out by identifying your time debt. If you are always running your schedule in time debt and committing to things which you don’t have time for, it will lead to stress.

In Elizabeth’s book How to Invest Your Time Like Money, she explains that you must list out all different parts of your life and put down how much time is invested in each thing. Once you have listed and tallied up every part of your life, you can compare it to the time budget available to you in the day or week.

Once you have figured out that some things don’t fit and have recognized you’re in time debt, you can start to take action from a place of empowerment rather than guilt. Make cuts from areas you consider to be lower priority, get to a balanced time budget and start to feel good about what you are doing.

Elizabeth recommends starting to say no at least once a week, either to others or to yourself, to begin to get towards a more realistic place with your time.

Be more organized with your time

One of the things which is essential for people who are typically late or disorganized with their time is to come to terms with the fact that organization takes time to learn.

It is important to remember that getting from one place to another takes time, as some people don’t think about the journey and how long it takes. Figure out what your step point is. If you’re often ten minutes late, tell yourself to be ten minutes early and aim for that. That way, you’re likely to be on time.

Get into the habit of setting aside time for rituals, like cleaning the house or taking time in your schedule to file some paper. Once you recognize that being organized takes time, you’re able to put yourself in a place of feeling on top of things.

Why do some people not want a sense of realistic time expectations?

A lot of people who are disorganized with their time think time has no limit, and so they get confused when reality wins and they end up being disappointed and overwhelmed.

People who don’t want a sense of realistic time expectations are often angry and can’t understand why they aren’t able to do the 500 things in their head. Once the feelings of anger have been acknowledged, then they can be worked on to reach a place of acceptance.

Managing unrealistic expectations of others

If you don’t tell someone they’re overloading you, they won’t know about it, so communication is essential. Take ownership of your time rather than putting yourself in a victim stance when you have too much on.

You need to say no nicely, as it’s part of setting expectations of what is and isn’t reasonable. Saying no doesn’t have to be abrasive or offensive, it’s about being clear and knowing your schedule. Elizabeth has tips on how to say no and how to let people know what is realistic with her ‘Learn How to Say No’ resource.

How to overcome fear to achieve your professional goals with Tricia Brouk

How to overcome fear of public speaking to achieve your professional goals with Tricia Brouk

How do you overcome a fear of the unknown in order to reach your goals?

After moving to New York city at the age of 20 to pursue a dance career, Tricia Brouk was faced with many obstacles while she was following her dream. She talks to us about embracing fear, rather than dwelling on it, and how using this technique has helped her success.

Tricia tells us about starting her second company, The Big Talk, and shares tips with us on how to put a plan together to reach your goals and how to manage fear within your career growth.

On today’s podcast:

  • Overcoming fear and achieving success
  • How to put a plan together to reach your goals
  • Discovering the power of social media
  • Tricia’s company – The Big Talk
  • Tips for embracing the fear of public speaking
  • How to manage fear and grow your success


Overcoming fear and achieving success

Tricia has rephrased ‘overcoming fear’ to ‘embracing fear’. She tells us that if you embrace the fear you feel about achieving your goals, it will make your ability to believe you can do it stronger.

When Tricia started her first company, her trick to succeeding was by not having fear of failing. She didn’t feel fear and dwell on it, she just did it. Tricia had the mindset of “If I failed, I would try again”.

How to put a plan together to reach your goals

When you have a goal that you want to reach, the first thing to consider is whether or not you are prepared for it. Have you done your homework? Have you researched? Are you really ready to take it to the next level?

Tricia says that once you have considered this, and if you feel that you are ready, then you need to just do it.

If you make a mistake along the way, ask for help. If you don’t know how to do something, ask someone who does. There are things within Tricia’s business which she doesn’t know how to do, such as embedding code, so has made sure she’s hired the right people to help her reach her business goals.

Discovering the power of social media

In the last year, Tricia has discovered the power of social media in promoting her business The Big Talk. Tricia only uses social media for business but was shocked at how people many people are driven to these platforms to promote and to connect.

If you’re scared of using social media for your business, let go of the fear. The power of social media exists, and you need to take advantage of it to market your business.

On social media, you won’t please everyone all of the time. But if your message is consistent and you use it in a positive way for your business, it will serve you well. You don’t have to use all of the social media platforms for success. Use a few which you love, and use them well to see amazing results.

Tricia’s company – The Big Talk

Tricia started directing Tedx talks and realised there was a need to help public speakers to identify their craft and deliver signature talks.

From this, she created The Big Talk to help clients to become more comfortable with writing and speaking. She then applied for her own TEDx licence, and TedxLincolnSquare was born.

When asked about leadership, Tricia tells us that she always felt like she wanted to help people, and believes she can lead people to see the best of who they can be as she is a natural leader herself.

Tips for embracing the fear of public speaking

The first step to overcoming the fear of public speaking is to acknowledge that you have fear. Know that it’s there and allow it to be there, but try not to get attached to it.

Tricia says that you have to rehearse your speech so that when the fear comes you don’t fall apart. Knowing that it’s there, and recognising it when it comes means that you can let it go.

If you make it about you and you make fear control you, your message won’t be heard by the audience. Your message is a gift to the audience, so it’s important to be well-rehearsed and ready to recognise and let go of the fear when it comes.

How to manage fear and grow your success

Tricia’s big tip for managing fear and continuing your success is to show up every day. Connecting to everyone you’re working with will help you to maintain and manage success.

You don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so put yourself out there and pick yourself back up if you do fail. Every day has to be about being truthful, authentic, making a difference, and being who you are, not who other people want you to be.