How to Start the New Year Off Right

January is a natural time for new beginnings are fresh starts. Although we can make changes any time of year, we may feel more compelled and motivated in January.

Wondering how to start the new year off right? January is a great time to take the necessary steps to get the life you want. Let’s make this new year great!

 


 

When January begins, many of us start thinking of ways we want to improve, things we want to change, and resolutions we want to explore. If you want to start the new year off right, there are three ways to help you create the year (and the life you want).

Let’s explore how to make this our best year ever! And how will we do that? We can all take three steps to move toward what we want.

1. Let Your Yearnings Guide You Forward

Several years ago, I had a rough January 1st. I struggled with how to start the new year off right with a positive, can-do attitude. Frankly, I was burnt out. The previous year had been financially challenging, and the setback was hanging over me like a dark cloud.

At the same time, I sat looking at a list of ambitious initiatives, goals, and opportunities that I wanted to tackle in the upcoming year ahead. As I started to prioritize my steps, I felt overwhelmed. Each task seemed like the most important, and I was definitely trying to eat an elephant. We’ve all heard that “it’s easy if you take one bite at a time,” but it’s quite daunting when that immense carcass is looming. I kept telling myself to focus on each bite, taking responsibility to preserve the rest so it would still be fresh for later, but in my mind, I kept wondering how to avoid missing opportunities.

It was this mindset that began my first day of the year. I was challenged, overwhelmed, even despairing. I was haunted by my thoughts and lingering disturbing dreams from the night before. But I got up, ate breakfast, read the paper, and decided to start reviewing our latest book at the time, Transformed! I was preparing for media appearances and a book launch. I was set to go on the nationally syndicated late-night radio show Coast to Coast for three hours on January 10 and 11, so I wanted to be ready.

As I cracked the book and started to review, I hit the section about recognizing deeper yearnings—talk about being bowled over! Right there in front of me, written in black and white, was the answer to my current struggle. I realized that I forgot to walk the walk and follow my own advice.


In the book, we had said that the key to setting ourselves up for change was first to list our goals. Then we should examine each goal and ask ourselves why we want it and what we hope it will do for us. To figure this out, we use the “so that” approach. We say to ourselves, “I want this goal SO THAT____.” Then, we keep digging in until we discover the deeper yearning underneath our goal.


This was the exact answer I was looking for! I quickly called out to Judith and told her the irony of how much I needed those words right then in my life. We talked about how I needed to practice what we preach by focusing on my immediate yearnings as I went into the new year.

As Judith often wisely does, she asked me a few revealing questions. I discovered that I clearly feared pain and problems in the future rather than choosing to be fully alive in the moment. With Judith’s guidance, I also cleared up some stinking thinking that was knocking around in my head. I realized that my desire for greater financial stability and student flow stemmed from my yearning for fulfilling contact and joy.


In the moment of my despair, I was missing out on the contact and joy that I longed for. But once I recognized the yearnings under my wants, I became unstuck and could start to move forward.


The takeaway lesson in this point is that if you want to make the new year great, remember that under every surface want lies a deeper yearning. When we explore our wants and apply the “so that” exercise, we can discover that essential underlying yearning, and our path becomes clearer and focused. We can then re-orient ourselves to move toward what we are really yearning for.

2. Embrace Aliveness to Have a Great New Year

Embracing aliveness always sounds a bit strange at first. After all, we’re all alive, aren’t we? But in this context, aliveness refers to our essence—the foundational principle of play, truth, joy, love, and life. When we hold back and repress ourselves, we’re stifling our sense of aliveness. We’re missing that bubbly force that we exude when we laugh, giggle, cry, or yell. Our expressiveness is linked to our aliveness.

There’s also aliveness when our senses are heightened and our vision is clear and focused. We fix our attention, and the bubbling builds anticipation and excitement into a fountain of possibility and potential. We may discover a sense of aliveness in anticipation of a lover, as a child awaiting the return of a parent, a student eagerly expecting the results of a test. Each moment of our lives is pregnant with possibilities. We often find feelings of loss aversion in these moments—an immobilizing fear of failure or loss that shifts us into autopilot. Our fear may be almost undetectable, but it can hold us back from fulfilling our yearnings.


Aliveness is the opposite of fear. It’s the principle that unleashes those deeper yearnings and puts us in touch with our emotions in the here and now.


Our sense of aliveness brings our hunger to the surface. We may feel a hunger for experience, for contact, to see and be seen, to make a difference, or to discover something new. Aliveness brings out our longing for adventure, meaning, fulfillment, and satisfaction.

Now, engaging and moving toward our yearnings can come at a cost. We will inevitably feel hurt when we open ourselves to new possibilities and uncertainties. But in this hurt, we have a greater opportunity to learn and grow. Our awareness of our feelings expands, but so does our capacity for joy.

As you look back at the last twelve months and forward to the future, you may realize there were times you were going through the motions or weren’t really living life as fully as possible. So make the new year great by committing to seek out new experiences, adventures, and opportunities. Push through the fear and approach the world like a child—with curiosity and wonder!

3. Make this Your Year to Grow and Evolve

If you want to have the greatest year ever, make this your year of growth! Many of us have been disappointed in the past with seminars, courses, books, lectures, and events that promise us a fresh start. Then, after a month or two, we look back and think, “Well, that was an interesting experience,” and go back to our comfortable habits and patterns.

The thing about growth is that it isn’t a one-time goal. We don’t check it off the list and stop growing. We have to embrace it as a lifelong endeavor. To transform ourselves into who we want to be, we need to awaken to an assignment or task each day. We have to stretch and push ourselves toward continued growth and more mindfulness.


Each day and in each new situation we face, we can extract a lesson and discover a learning opportunity—even in our mistakes. Sometimes the most powerful lessons come from our missteps, setbacks, and challenges. We call this approach the “assignment way of living.”


Now imagine if we could go on this journey together, working with a community of like-minded individuals across the country. Imagine everyone supporting each other, connecting, and sharing their experiences as they work on assignments that help them bring out the best in themselves and in all those they meet.

At the Wright Foundation, this is exactly what we offer in our courses. We bring people together, help them connect, and empower them to discover ways to live their best life. Those who participate in our programs push themselves through new challenges based on a principle, concept, or lesson to help them focus their personal development in concert with others in the community.

We’ve built a community of students that encourage each other, inspire each other to have more effective relationships, bring more satisfaction and meaning to each moment, and offer more service to the world. In this community, we’ve maximized the potential for love, enjoyment, satisfaction, and leadership!

If you’re seeking an accessible way to challenge yourself this year and stay connected with others doing the same, take time to explore our courses and community. Follow our blog posts, read our books, or investigate our courses through Wright Now. Make this year the year you begin your journey of self-discovery and start to live your best life!

 


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

 

How To Find and Be Your Authentic Self

Wondering how to discover and be your authentic self? What does it mean to be authentic and true to yourself?


Be Your Authentic Self


Wondering how to be your authentic self? For most of us, it seems like either a tall order or a confusing question. Aren’t we already who we are? Are there certain situations where you shouldn’t be your authentic self? And what does it really mean? How can we truly BE our real, genuine, authentic selves each and every day?

Let’s start with a straightforward question: What is authenticity? How can you be your authentic self?

How to Be Authentic

So how do we define authenticity? Is it the dictionary definition of genuineness; undisputed credibility; one who is worthy of belief; real, honest, sincere?

Or do we define authenticity as existential philosophers did? Is authenticity when we develop a true sense of self rather than conforming to social norms and accepted practices? Does it mean being true to our values, spirit, personality, and character even in the face of external pressures? This existential view suggests that authenticity is something we should seek inwardly. It’s more important to be faithful to ourselves internally than confirming to external ideas or norms.


Being authentic doesn’t mean being a unique individual for the sake of being unique. Instead, true authenticity involves rising above societal norms, trends, and pressures.


Authenticity isn’t taking the easy route or going with the flow—it’s holding fast to our true selves. True authenticity requires us to be honest and forthright about who we really are, both to ourselves and others.

As we journey through the process of self-exploration, growth, and discovery, we can often discover that it’s hard to define our authentic selves. Finding our authentic self is an evolutionary process; it’s not static. It’s not something we do once and move on. We aren’t static beings! We can’t pin down authenticity or put it in a box.


To really explore our authenticity and find our authentic selves, we must address the question, “Am I true to who I am every single day?”


If we aren’t sure about the answer, it’s time to explore the heart of what drives us. What motivates us and spurs us to action? What do we yearn for? It’s important to understand that yearning goes deeper than simply desiring or wanting something. Yearning for something is a longing of the heart—something we need to feel whole. For example, we might yearn for respect or love. We may yearn to be seen for who we really are, to be understood, to be secure. These yearnings drive us forward and move us toward almost everything we do.

We must also define our values and the essence of what’s truly important to us. We may identify one specific value or several things that we hold dear. These may change and shift over time as our relationships, careers, circumstances, and focus change.

Through all of our different experiences, authenticity is our personal truth.

Discovering the Power of Authenticity

So why do we care about authenticity? Why is it important? In short, because authenticity gives us power and guidance. When we’re true to ourselves, we have a guiding star that helps us through all experiences.

Finding our authentic self may mean different things to different people. We’re all unique, with different influences, experiences, and needs. Authenticity may mean something different to each of us based on endless aspects of our lives—whether we’re married or single, young or old, Muslim or Atheist, American or Jamaican, and the list goes on. Our environment, influences, and social structures are part of us and shape us.

Our upbringing and the way we were raised also play a significant role in our values, traditions, and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. We can’t examine and interpret our authentic selves without examining our inner makeup and experiences that have shaped us.

The beauty of authenticity is that by its very definition, it allows us to interpret and become our own authentic selves. We define who we are, and we have the control and ability to harness, define, and structure precisely who we want to be. As author and behavioral scientist Steve Maraboli says, “There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a person being themselves. Imagine going through your day being unapologetically you.”

Finding the Authenticity Within

So how do we find that sense of authenticity that’s within us?

The answer is right inside of us, and there’s nothing more exciting than making this discovery! But that’s not to say that it’s a challenge. Finding fulfillment and satisfaction—a sense of purpose—is a lifelong undertaking that requires work. It can be uncomfortable at times and even difficult, but the payoff and reward are worth the effort.

Why is it so hard to find our authentic selves? Because our societal structures don’t support and encourage us to make these discoveries. Most approaches to personal growth and fulfillment focus on the intellectual and educational aspects of “discovery.” These structures are based on the assumption that self-discovery and authenticity are a one-time, lofty goal and something that we have to find. This misconception holds us back because we’re daunted by the journey, level of education, and work. But fulfillment and satisfaction come along with us on the journey—the discovery is along the way. It’s not a matter of acquiring remote skills or hitting an achievement. These discoveries come as a function of developing our natural capacities.


The answers to how to be authentic are right inside each of us. As we explore ourselves and get to know ourselves better, we’ll start to see glimpses and signs of who we really are. We’ll make discoveries that ring true to us and help us gain that sense of personal connection, insight, and satisfaction.


The idea that self-discovery is a journey is part of our core approach at the Wright Foundation. The theme of authenticity permeates our coaching and classes. We offer empowering, challenging, and uplifting educational environments that encourage engagement and growth. We know that there’s nothing more empowering and exciting than discovering who we truly are, defining our personal authenticity, and learning how to embrace it, apply it, and LIVE it.

Our curriculum helps people from all backgrounds and experiences live a life story that’s worth sharing. We want to help everyone live a life that’s true to their selves—a life of authenticity.

People often become burned out and discouraged in education, professional development, and similar intellectual pursuits. Most educational systems operate on the assumption that we should acquire and master external skills. So we check them off the list and move on.

True education is the opposite of that. True education is holistic. It takes in the entire mind, body, and spirit. It’s also differentiated—taking into account the different ways people learn and the differences in approaches to new experiences a discovery. Standard education models are about training, memorization, getting good grades, and working toward external markers of success. But this kind of learning doesn’t really ensure that people “get it.” So how do we know we’re really learning anything, especially profound inner discoveries about our true selves?

Authenticity in education and growth looks at the question of, “How will this benefit us?” Authentic learning looks at the individual and their entire journey. Growing, learning, and living in accordance with one’s authentic self, bring feelings of enjoyment, intense meaning, and a strong sense of direction in life. An authentic person is constantly evolving and moving forward. They are working with their environment’s changing nature and impermanence, social circumstances, intellect, and more. Rather than operating under the idea that we’re static beings that are defined and put away, authentic education helps us become.


Becoming is the healthy psychological growth of human existence. When we’re becoming, we’re striving, reaching, and learning.


In life, we each have a choice. We can decide we want to discover and move toward our authentic, best lives and that we’re willing to evolve and grow. Or we can become victims of our own circumstances. We can give up control to our environment, allowing things to happen to us, or we can take action and make things happen for us. We can choose and define our values and our authentic selves, living in accordance with who we want to be, or we can follow values that others choose for us.

So which one do you choose? Do you choose to be your authentic self? To live an authentic life?

For more on discovering your true self, explore our courses at Wright Now. We have many different resources to help you learn more about yourself, your career, and your relationships. If you want to live a life of MORE, make a choice to start today!

 


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Tips for Professional Networking Events You’ll Actually Enjoy

Professional networking events—we’ve all been there. Here are some new ways to think about making business connections.

 

Looking for tips for your next professional networking events? Here are some new ways to think about making business connections.


Professional networking events—we’ve all been there. Usually, we mull around the room awkwardly, a glass in our hands, trying to munch on a few crackers and talk to strangers between bites.

We’ve all read the tips for professional networking events, too, like “practice your elevator pitch” or “remember to ask for a business card.” Perhaps we follow a mnemonic device like picking out a color on someone’s tie to associate them with what they do or repeating their name three times during the conversation.

But do networking tips ever really work? Does anyone actually enjoy networking events, and do they even pay off? Are we just wasting our time?

The Secret to Better Networking

If we really want to be better at networking, we can throw most of the standard tips for professional networking events out the window. The goal of networking isn’t about how many contacts we can make or how many business cards we can collect. The real goal is to build a real, quality connection.

If we walk out of the room with one great, authentic connection, it’s far more valuable than ten business cards that we’ll toss in a drawer and forget. The truth is, we can build that great connection with almost anyone. Will it always be a relationship that will pay off professionally? Perhaps. But if we’re only looking for new customers and clients, we’re approaching professional networking with the wrong mindset.

We should look at events as though we’re the host. What does that mean? It means we assess the needs of others in the room. We may welcome them; we might ask if we can get something for them. Most importantly, we show a genuine personal interest in them—not because we want to “sell” them something or because we want to get their card, but because we actually see them for the person they are. We sincerely want to get to know them.


In many ways, professional networking events are akin to speed dating. It’s a quick snapshot of another person.


Most people try to “work the room” looking for someone who will be useful to them as a customer or who will be the next person who can give them something. But we’ve found that it’s far more engaging (and authentic) when we flip that idea on its head.

When we hold events at the Wright Foundation, we help attendees take a different angle. Even if our events are career-focused, we know that authentic engagement doesn’t simply come from reporting what we do or talking about the nuances of our day-to-day tasks. If we want to really network with people, we need to find better ways to connect with them on a deeper human level. We need to focus on human networking, not just professional networking. That means looking at who the person is. It means listening and engaging, not on a superficial level, but in a genuine way.


What if we look at networking as a chance to find out what the other person needs and how we can deliver it to them? What if we gave ourselves the challenge, not to see how many people we could meet, but how deeply we could engage with just one person at the event?


What if we went beyond the elevator pitch to discuss the real struggles our peers are facing in their careers? We might find out far more if we asked about the biggest challenge they have at their office or the largest roadblock they’re facing right now. Will we be able to help them with that problem? It’s hard to say, but chances are that when we start to really engage with each other, we’ll find ways to help each other now or in the future.

Engagement by Authenticity

When we begin many of our events at the Wright Foundation, we start by discussing and filling out the C.A.R.E. personality profile. The profile isn’t simply about what people do and their career goals, but who they are in any situation. It helps people understand how they interact with each other—are they Cooperators? Do they tend to be Analyzers? Are they Regulator types who want to be in charge? Or are they Energizers who lead the crowd with enthusiasm?

When people start to reach deeper into their personality type, they begin to talk about those bigger-picture concepts—who they are, what they value, where they struggle. It gets to the core of their emotional intelligence, their values, and their vision. In other words, things get real. Instead of putting forth a polished, professional, generic answer to questions, they start to really open up and talk about their approach and perspective on business and, more importantly, on life.

We may think that our business life and personal life are entirely separate and never cross over, but the truth is that most of us display very similar personality traits, whether we’re at home or the office. We don’t turn into a different person when we lock our office door and drive home. Many times, our relationships at work are similar to our relationships with our family and friends. We may have similar challenges, communication styles, and reactions. We may even find that certain work connections mirror certain relationships in our family life. Our boss might be very similar to our mother, or a coworker may remind us of the relationship we have with our brother. We often see these dynamics repeat in different areas of our life.


So it stands to reason that the personality we bring to the networking event should be the same personality we have all the time. Rather than presenting a curated “professional” persona, what if we were simply our true, authentic selves? What if we actually answered questions honestly and truthfully?


Like professional networking, when we go on dates, we often have this idea of putting our polished selves out there. We might dress a certain way, answer questions with what we think our date wants to hear, or we may try to order something from the menu that seems “appropriate.” But what if we were open and honest about who we were and what we really wanted? What if we weren’t trying to seduce someone with a concept of who we might be, but instead, we made it a goal to engage with them as our true selves?

It seems funny at first to think of walking into a date wearing sweatpants and saying, “I have $20,000 of student loan debt, four cats, and I would like to order the lobster, please.” But what if we did just that (assuming it’s reflective of who we really are)? After all, after a few dates, chances are our love interest is going to discover the cats and see us in sweats. Presumably, at some point, they will also discover our student loan debt, and we will eat something expensive and messy in front of them. What if we cut the crap and got to the truth right away?

Becoming radically honest in our interactions may seem challenging. Or we may even think, “Okay, maybe that’s fine for our social lives, but not in professional settings.” But if we’re living our best lives and reaching our fullest potential, why not embrace our authentic selves in our interactions?

Make Your Next Professional Networking Event Fun

So how do we apply these tips and ideas to our next professional networking event? In the past, many of us may have gone in with a goal like “get the most business cards” or “get x number leads.”

This time we can make it a game to see if we can instead push ourselves to have better engagement. Instead of thinking of a business networking event as a serious event when you need to generate leads, take the pressure off. Instead, focus on better human engagement and building stronger connections. Make it an event that’s actually fun and exciting—treat it as an experiment and a new adventure!

What will this mean when we’re working the room? Instead of rushing through conversations, really listen. Instead of asking superficial questions about the weather, what the person does, or general topics, really go for the deeper discussions right away. What if we asked people, “What is your biggest problem? What do you need right now? How are you REALLY doing?”

From there, we can listen with intention. Ask ourselves how we will see the other person for who they truly are? How will we hold space for them as they engage with us? More critical than practicing “active listening tips,” where we’re trying to retain information (and waiting for the next break in conversation so we can share), simply listen. Focus on what the other person is saying. Get to know them and when asked for information, communicate with the same openness and candor.


When we start to really see people not as business cards or potential leads but as beautiful human beings who are waiting to engage with us, we’ll experience a paradigm shift. The way we communicate will change.


If we want deeper engagement with others, we don’t need to wait for a special “networking event” either. We can find opportunities to engage with others throughout our day. Build your network of social connections by finding ways to engage with the barista at the coffee shop. Talk to the person next to you on the train. Strike up a conversation in the elevator that goes beyond, “nice weather we’re having.”

Our network builds our net worth. The more social ties we can cultivate and grow, the stronger our engagement skills become. Our circle of influence will broaden, and we’ll enjoy all the benefits of the networking event called life.

For more personal development ideas and opportunities to boost your career, explore our courses at Wright Now. We offer an array of class selections to help you discover a life of MORE.


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The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

How to Be a Better Ally

At one time or another, most of us have asked ourselves how to be a better friend.

Wondering how you can be a better ally? Being an ally is more than just being a good friend. It’s being honest, supportive and purpose-driven.


Perhaps we’ve noticed a friend who’s struggling, feeling down, or having a tough time achieving their goals. We may wonder how to help them and show them how much we care. While friendship is important, the real question is how to be a better ally.

What does it mean to be a better ally, exactly? Is it the same as being a friend? Well, look at your own circle. Chances are you have many coworkers, buddies, and social connections. You may have a collection of hundreds of “friends” on Facebook and social media…but how many of those people truly have your back? How many of them are allies for helping you become your best?

What it Means to Be a Better Ally

Allies are different than friends. Friends are often tossed together by circumstance or similar interests. Think of your friends from growing up. Chances are most of your pals lived in your neighborhood, attended your school, and enjoyed the same activities.

As we grow up, our connections branch out further. We may have friends and acquaintances all around the world. We may have coworkers we consider friends, former roommates from college, and our buddies from the golf club or tennis court.


But how many of these people are truly our allies? What does it even mean to be an ally, and what can we do to be a better ally to those around us?


Well, first of all, allies often share deeper qualities. While they may share a common interest or share a common demographic, they don’t necessarily always fit the mold. Where allies are truly connected to us is the way we share similar values and a common purpose. Our allies want the same things in life that we want: fulfillment of our greatest potential.

Ideally all our friends would be allies, but of course, it’s not always the case. It’s important that we recognize the allies in our lives and hold them dear.

Here’s the deal: allies aren’t the ones who tell you what you want to hear all the time. In fact, a true ally will encourage you to grow as a person by kicking you in the butt when you need it! They’re honest with you and you trust them to tell you the truth. They don’t sugar coat (but of course, they aren’t mean about it either). Allies may give you tough love but it’s still coming from the heart. A true ally wants what’s best for you. They hold a vision for you. They see your potential and push you to become the hero they know you are.


Think about the allies in the historic and contemporary myths— Odysseus had Athena, and Luke Skywalker had Obi- Wan (Ben) Kenobi. They didn’t go on their quests alone. Engage and find allies. At the same time, recognize and reject those people who disempower you or join you in blame and self- pity. True allies not only support you when things are tough, but they also inspire and challenge you when all is going well.
Your partner can be your strongest ally. Whether you are fighting, playing, doing chores, or making love, every interaction can be an opportunity to grow and transform. Your relationship can provide the support for you to achieve your dreams. Allies bring out the best in each other. Support your partner in the pursuit of her vision, not your vision of her but her vision of her best self.
Called the Michelangelo phenomenon (Rusbult, Finkel, and Kumashiro 2009), you help sculpt your partner’s ideal self. Couples who affirm each other’s ideal selves not only bring out the best in their own lives, but have much more satisfying relationships as they grow toward their ideal. Every time you interact, you can be “sculpting” one another. Allies hold a vision for one another— you appreciate your partner for who she is, but also for who she can become. You mirror the vision your partner inspires in you that is consistent with your own goals for yourself. That doesn’t mean that you don’t contribute to your partner’s vision— you may see aspects of your partner’s gifts and potential that she doesn’t.
It’s not about changing your partner to your standards, but believing in her potential and supporting her as she moves in the direction of big dreams. We often need our loved ones and others to activate our yearning— it’s hard to yearn for something if you don’t even know it exists or if you have already ruled it out for yourself because of your limiting beliefs!
The Heart of the Fight

Your partner isn’t your only ally either, so there’s no reason to feel ally-less if you’re not in a relationship. In fact, many of our most powerful allies are those friends we truly trust and align with.

A key difference between a regular “friend” and an ally is that friends often observe us and think, “Oh, I don’t want to tell her that. She’ll feel upset (or hurt or angry…).” But an ally understands by holding back honest feedback and truth, you’re also holding back the other person. You’re not being genuine, honest, or engaging. You’re not moving the person toward the direction of their dreams.

To be an ally for another person, you must really align yourself with what matters to him or her. What are their ideals? Do you understand who they really want to become? Not who you’d like them to become for you, but who you hope they become for themselves.

Allies are compassionate, empathetic, and understanding. It’s about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes.

What to Do When a Friend is Struggling

We’ve all had a friend who has been struggling or going through a tough time. When this happens, it’s tempting to swoop in and rescue them or to further enable them to keep them on their path. We may even fear if we don’t rescue or enable them, they won’t like us as much or they won’t be our friends.

Allies know enabling and rescuing isn’t the behavior of a true friend. Allies support and empower the other person to get themselves out of the mess.


It’s not that allies see themselves as superior, know-it-all types or revered advisors. An allied relationship is simply a healthy, engaging connection filled with understanding and give-and-take.


To be an ally for someone who’s struggling, we should look at what they really care about. What’s important to them? What is their ideal for themselves and who do they want to become? Aligning with that concept and supporting them to move toward their ideal is so much more powerful than simply commiserating with someone.

The trouble with commiserating is it leaves the other person stuck in the same negative place. It doesn’t help them move out of the current phase. It doesn’t mean, of course, that we shouldn’t act with compassion and caring. We should have empathy and support. We should put ourselves in the other person’s shoes and have understanding; at the same time, avoid enabling them. Help them tend to whatever it is in their life they need to attend to.

The Power of Seeing Others for Who They Truly Are

In relationship research, we learn many lessons, not only for couples but for friends as well. There’s a concept called the “Michelangelo effect” where you craft someone through your interactions with him or her. Now, this doesn’t mean controlling them or bossing them around. It actually goes back to the way Michelangelo saw the statue within the block of marble. He would carefully craft around the statue to help it emerge from the block.

When we hold our relationships in such a way that it allows them to bring out their very best, we’re both strengthened. It’s not about sculpting them or forcing them into the shape we imagine they should be in, but simply holding space for them to evolve and grow into the shape they can become.

Self-Expansion Theory tells us the more you can help someone else by sharing your own perspective, introducing new possibilities and activities, the more you’re adding to their lives. Their lives are better as they discover new ways of being and new ideas. This is the same reason new relationships feel so fun and exciting—because we see the other person as new and different. The studies show the more you help another person expand and grow, the happier you both are within the relationship; this concept goes for friendships and relationships with allies as well. This gives us both a sense of purpose.


You can’t dedicate in a vacuum. Transformers immerse themselves in cultures of allies, whether fellow Transformers, talented coaches, teachers, inspiring role models, truth-sharing friends, or high-performing teammates. They hang out with people who share their values, who speak truth, who are living large in their own lives.
Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

If we’re committed to the idea that we want to live our best lives and bring out the best in those around us, we should both be a better ally and seek allies in our relationships. It doesn’t mean we need to push aside relationships we view as less fulfilling. We can commit to operating with honesty to strengthen and grow those relationships as well.

For more on transforming your life and growing your circle of influence, please visit us at the Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming networking event where you’ll experience opportunities to empower and work with others along their journey.


About the Author

Judith Wright receives the Visionary Leader Award from Chicago NAWBO.

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach.
She is a co-founder of The Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

What Does it Mean to Be Authentic?

Research has proven that authenticity is one of the most critical traits for good leaders.

Want to be a better leader? In order to be effective, you must answer the question: what does it mean to be authentic?

 


Displaying authenticity and integrity leads to better, more effective direction and management. But before we delve into the importance of authenticity, we must define it. What does it mean to be authentic?

On a similar note, what are the qualities of an authentic person and how can we implement those qualities in our lives every day in order to be more engaged and connected to those around us?

Honesty and Authenticity

Several years back, I worked with a guy named Ray, who attended one of our men’s basic training sessions. He worked with the top Fortune 500 companies. After attending our weekend retreat, he found himself facing a major client who was having some operating issues in his company.

Now, during our training, we tell hard truths. We get extremely honest with each other—very real and straightforward. We urge our attendees to start delivering honest criticism with vision and to stop holding back out of fear of rejection. The shocking discovery is that consistently, people trust those who are honest, even if they’re critical, more than those who tell them what they want to hear. Ray was so inspired by what he’d seen during his weekend coursework that he decided to apply it in his meeting with this big-wig client.

Rather than glossing over some of the harsher truths about how the client was operating, he went in straight-forward and laid it out on the table. He told the client exactly what his observations were about the business—what was working and what wasn’t.

He later related to us that he was absolutely terrified while he was doing it. Like many top dogs, this client was used to hearing people kiss up and tell him what he wanted to hear. He wasn’t as used to the harsh truths and honesty that Ray was handing to him. But lo and behold, the client absolutely appreciated the honesty. In fact, he thanked Ray right there on the spot.

Years later, their professional relationship was still going strong. In fact, this client trusted Ray more than any other consultants that he worked with and their work relationship formed into a friendship. The client often contacts Ray for personal advice and more—why? Because he trusts Ray to be an authentic, integrous person.

Dr. Tony Simons of Cornell University discussed the need for integrity in leadership in the hospitality industry. In his research, he discovered that integrity is one of, if not the most critical leadership skill that can lead to an actual bottom-line business return; he refers to as the “integrity dividend.” What’s more, the value of integrity is actually very high. Honest leaders that display integrity and authenticity in their interactions are rare, and thus highly prized.

Leaders who actually do what they say they’re going to do and who follow through with their plans are trusted by their employees, coworkers, and clients. As a result, their companies perform better financially. There is truly a payout for operating with integrity, honesty, and authenticity.

The Qualities of Transformational Leaders

Authenticity is one of the most important variables in leadership. When researchers Bass and Riggio did their study of transformational leadership, they discovered that there were universal characteristics of transformational leaders.

Transformational leaders have a vision. They are able to articulate and share their vision with those they work with. They have a clear idea of where they’re headed and how they plan to get there. In each situation, they’re working toward a larger vision.


Transformational leaders want people around them to be engaged. When they come into a meeting (even if they aren’t the one’s hosting the meeting), they engage with others. They rally the team and get everyone involved. They’re interested in others and approach them with understanding.


Transformational leaders care about each individual they lead, and those individuals feel that care and know it exists. It’s easy to say, “I care about my coworkers,” but how many of our team members really feel that care? How many of them know how much you truly care about them?

Most importantly, transformational leaders walk their talk. This means they’re genuine. They understand what it means to be authentic and to act with integrity. They’re honest and truthful. They face up to their mistakes, admit them and learn from them. They’re accepting of themselves and of others. They really live and practice what they preach.

Those who work with and under transformational leaders are less likely to suffer from stress. Transformational leaders have excellent team-building skills and this sense of comradery and unity benefits the entire group. The group is able to build off strengths and easily overcome challenges. Best of all, both the transformational leaders and those who worked with them experienced greater job satisfaction and happiness.

The good news about transformational leadership is that each of us can display these traits. We don’t need to be in a c-level position to be authentic. We can engage, connect with others, and lead from any position and in any role.

What Does It Mean to Be Authentic in Our Daily Lives?

Whether we’re displaying authenticity at work or at home, the concept is the same—we must be true to ourselves and our vision. We must be honest with ourselves and honest with those around us.

Authenticity becomes the primary variable in transformational leadership and one of the most important qualities of a leader, but this isn’t limited to our work lives. Yes, work is often where we think of leadership qualities and skills as being important, but we are still the same person at the end of the day. We don’t change when we go out the door to our 9-5.


Learning how to be authentic means being honest with ourselves in our social lives and in our interactions with our friends and family as well.


Many people may believe they have a separate “work personality” or that their work personality is separate from their home life, but the truth is we’re the same person at work and at home.

One of the biggest illusions that people operate under is “that’s not really me.”  The “me” people like to deny at work is the me that has authority issues. At home, we tend not to feel or identify the same authority issues, so we think that we’re different. This perception is really an illusion.

If you’re not integrous at work, you’re probably not integrous at home. At home, you get to go on “autopilot” but are you really up-to-date and present with your spouse? Are you operating with honesty? Are you holding back out of fear or a desire not to rock the boat?

It’s similar to our feelings of holding back at work. We’re afraid of rocking the boat or being honest because we don’t want to lose our job. We go through the motions-working to make money—but failing to fully engage and embrace our role with honesty and authenticity.

In all situations, authenticity and honesty will lead to stronger connections and leadership. While we may not think of transformational leadership as something we can display outside of the office, it’s a universal skill in all aspects of our lives—work, home, socially, and beyond.

Living honest, authentic lives where we’re true to ourselves and others will result in bigger dividends across the board. If you want to live a richer, fuller, more powerful life, commit to operating with authenticity and genuineness.

For more ways to find fulfillment and joy in your life, please visit us at the Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming networking event where you’ll connect with others on their transformational journey. Go forth and ignite your world by living up to your fullest potential.


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


Like this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

The Secret to Setting Successful Resolutions This Year

This year most people will try setting successful resolutions as they go into the new year. Nine out of ten people will fail.

It's New Year's Eve, a time for celebrations and resolutions. If you have trouble keeping those promises you make to yourself, learn the secret to setting successful resolutions.


Now, this isn’t to make you feel discouraged. It’s very common to set up resolutions and it’s a positive exercise to help us achieve goals. January 1st is a natural time to begin. As the new year approaches, we start to think of ways we can make a fresh start. We examine aspects of our lives and ourselves we’d like to change.

It’s not that new year’s resolutions aren’t full of good intentions. A desire to grow and move toward the life you want is powerful and positive. Most resolutions don’t fail because they weren’t “good” or they weren’t the “right” resolution.

No, there’s one major reason why most new years resolutions fail and understanding this reason will help you set successful resolutions instead.

Why It’s So Hard to Set Successful Resolutions

If resolutions are so difficult and failure-prone, why do we bother? Why do we have powerful motivation each December to start thinking about our goals for the upcoming year?

At the end of each year, we often feel kind of sick of things. The days are grey, we’re in the throes of the holiday hustle and bustle. We see January coming up and we’re ready to turn the calendar page. It gives us an opportunity for a fresh start. We see that marker on the horizon and we tell ourselves, “That’s it! I just need to make it to that mark and I’ll change!”

Now, there are a variety of possible changes we may choose to make, and which resolution we choose says something about us. Oftentimes, the resolution we choose isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not the best fit for our lives. We don’t choose all that well. That’s why 9/10 resolutions fail. Only about 8% of resolution-makers will actually set successful resolutions that will stick for the year. In fact, a third of the resolution-setters won’t even make it through the first week and another third will fail by the end of the month (and it goes on from there).


Part of the reason we fail to set successful resolutions is that we’re not setting resolutions made for us. We’re looking for great new year’s resolution ideas or we’re trying to come up with what we believe a resolution or goal is supposed to be.


Some people set goals that are way too big. We may set a goal to change something overnight—you want to lose 50 lbs. You want to run a marathon. You want to make partner at your firm. You want to find the “one.”

While there’s nothing wrong with any of these goals—and many of them certainly can happen over the course of a year—simply setting a big goal is too vague. There’s no clear path to achievement or plan to forge ahead. Instead of working in increments, we’re simply throwing a big goal out there and hoping to wake up January 1st a whole new person.

On the flipside, many resolutions also fail because they’re too small. They aren’t based on a deeper reason. We may set a somewhat reasonable goal, “cut out caffeine” for example, but without exploring the reasons behind the goal, it falls flat.

If we want to set successful resolutions, the secret is to explore the bigger reason behind our goals: what does this mean to you? Why do you want this? Why does it matter to you and your life? What do you hope that goal will do for you?

In fact, exploring the deeper rationale behind the goal is even more important than the goal itself. The deeper meaning has more value than the resolution. It’s based on far more than the arbitrary marker of a change in the calendar.

Yearning for Successful Resolutions

We all want to be happier—to live lives of more joy, greater fulfillment, and deeper happiness. That desire for happiness is the impetus for each resolution we set. The problem comes from not exploring what will actually bring us that happiness we desire.

Many people experience what positive psychologists refer to as “miswanting.” We want something, mistakenly believing that it will bring us happiness. These items might be under your Christmas tree, in fact. We may believe we want an engagement ring; we want a nicer car; we want a bigger house; we want the corner office; we want to fit into our skinny jeans.

But underneath each one of these wants, we won’t discover fulfillment. Underneath these wants are simply more wants. We get a new laptop or a fancy watch, and we’re happy for a moment, but it passes. We eat celery for weeks and go to the gym every day in January but fitting in our skinny jeans doesn’t make us feel complete.


Underneath each successful resolution is a yearning. That yearning drives us toward our goal. Yearnings are powerful. They’re deeper than simple wants or desires.


How do you discover the yearning behind your resolution? Apply what we call the “so that” test. For example:

I want to fit in my skinny jeans so that I can be attractive.

I want to be attractive so that I can find a partner.

I want to find a partner so that I can love and be loved.

My yearning is to love and be loved. The underlying desire isn’t simply to “look hot,” but to find the fulfillment and joy that being loved brings.

This same test can be applied to any resolution. If you want a promotion at work, it may be so that you can gain the respect of your colleagues. Your yearning is to be respected. If you want to manage your calendar better, it may be so that you can find time to engage in volunteer activities. You may want to volunteer so that you’re contributing to the world around you. Your yearning is to contribute.

Yearnings are universal—we all have them. They often drive us toward or away from different decisions as we go throughout our lives. These yearnings are deeper than just wants. They are the fuel that moves us toward personal change and growth–the personal change we’re hoping will come through successful resolutions.

Get Your Resolutions to Stick This Year

It’s not achieving a goal or getting something we want that brings us long-lasting fulfillment. When we get something, we feel temporary happiness, but it’s fleeting. True, long-lasting fulfillment and satisfaction comes from engaging in your life fully. It’s about discovering that sense of meaning.

If your goals or resolutions have a deeper meaning, achieving them has an intrinsic value. The things that truly make people happy are personal growth, deepening their relationships, contributing to society—not just losing 10 pounds.

Now, maybe you yearn to contribute to society or spend more time with your family. You may realize, if you were healthier, lost some weight, or quit smoking, you would have more energy to do the activities you want to do. Suddenly, the “why” behind the resolution becomes more compelling. We’re not just giving up something to torture ourselves. We’re setting a goal with a deeper reason behind it.


Before writing down your resolutions, take some time for introspection. We often make resolutions rashly. We want to solve a problem immediately. We don’t look at why it’s bothering us, what we actually want and how it fits into our vision for our life in the upcoming year.


Working on the deeper vision and exploration is an important step toward setting successful resolutions. Once you’ve determined what you yearn for, creating your vision will come easily. What does your yearning look like in your life? What would bring this into your life now?

Your vision shouldn’t be a fantasy (your brain sees your fantasy as already achieved—it doesn’t process it as a planning tool). How will you change your life to bring in more fulfillment? Outline the steps and consider anticipated setbacks. What roadblocks will come up and how will you deal with them?

Explore your underlying yearnings and use them to create your vision. This will help you become motivated to take the steps you need to take. With a clear plan, you’re ready to forge ahead into a life of more fulfillment and joy in the new year.

Successful resolutions don’t need to wait for midnight on January 1st. You can start your resolution now, today. Identify your yearnings and move toward the life you want to achieve.

For more on living your best life in the new year, please visit us the Wright Foundation. Join us for an upcoming networking event to help you make this your best year yet!


About the Author

Judith Wright receives the Visionary Leader Award from Chicago NAWBO.

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach.
She is a co-founder of The Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

How to Get Out Your Feelings & Stop Holding Back

Do you ever feel like you’re holding it all in?

Do you wonder how to get out your feelings? If you’re holding back your emotions, it’s time to look at where your feelings come from and why they’re important!


Your jaw clenches, your stomach gets butterflies, you feel tears well up in your eyes…but you try to check yourself. After all, feelings are unprofessional, right? Adults shouldn’t cry or get upset.

Many of us have grown up with the idea that certain feelings are “bad” or “wrong.” If you aren’t sure how to get out your feelings, you may be holding them inside. These feelings can later come out at inopportune times or directed toward the wrong person. It’s important we learn how to responsibly express our feelings. Feelings can be a surprisingly powerful tool when we wield them correctly.

Where Our Feelings Come From

Where does this idea that certain feelings aren’t okay, originate?

In our society, we don’t have a great relationship with emotions. Many of us have learned from a young age that expressing emotions wasn’t really okay. In fact, we may believe it indicated we were “out of control,” “weak,” or “too emotional”?

Perhaps you were made fun of when you were younger for crying. Or you may have grown up in a household where you were taught to suppress your emotions—that you weren’t supposed to upset people.


Between our family and society, we’re taught a lot of “rules” about expressing our emotions.


As we grow up, we can realize that it’s actually our job as adults to look at our emotions and realize the truth: there are not bad feelings. There are no wrong feelings. Even though we were perhaps trained in some way with our family or socially, that anger was bad, or fear was a weakness.

If we look at anger, for example, we realize that anger is really a very powerful emotion, but it’s not necessarily bad. Of course, it’s not to be misused or built up. It’s not meant to turn into rage or to be misdirected. Anger is a powerful emotion, but it’s not a mistake. In fact, none of our emotions are a mistake—there is wisdom in each of them. Each emotion has encoded within it exactly what we need to draw on to deal with a situation. So, in many ways anger is helpful.

All of our feelings are meant to push us away from pain and drive us toward pleasure. When we examine our feelings, we see that our emotions are powerful tools. Yes, you need to be adept. You need emotional intelligence and sensitivity toward others, but anger, for example, can be channeled to move you away from unnecessary pain. If we look at the purpose behind our feelings, we can recalibrate our emotions.

One of our students related to us all the ways she was constantly trying to please those around her, especially at work. She wanted everyone to like her. She would hide her anger and frustration because growing up her dad was often angry. He didn’t deal with it in a healthy way and she was fearful of becoming like him. So instead she avoided her anger, hid, and suppressed it.

When she brought up these feelings, she realized that when she avoided her anger and held it in, she ended up taking on extra work. Rather than telling her team she didn’t want to take on an unfair share of the workload, she would simply shoulder it and tell herself that she shouldn’t be angry. Once she got in touch with her anger, she was able to let the employees on her team know it wasn’t okay. She told them she wasn’t satisfied with the situation, it wasn’t making her happy, and it wasn’t working. And once her feelings were expressed, she started getting must better results. Everyone on her team improved because she harnessed her anger toward a result.

Our Early Programming and Emotions

These beliefs about emotions are part of our early programming, but just because it’s what we were taught doesn’t necessarily mean it’s what’s best for us. In fact, it doesn’t even mean that it’s true.

When we talk about our early programming, we’re often discussing the network of experiences, feelings, thoughts, and perceptions encoded in our unconscious. We refer to this makeup as our “matrix.”

Our matrix is a constellation of belief system. This belief system is set during our early programming as young children. In our first six years of our life, we’re particularly malleable. Our brains are set for imagination, discovery, and possibility. This is why young children see every item as a toy. We’re in what’s called a hypnogogic state during those years, we’re easily formed and impressionable. During that time, we’re learning what’s okay and what’s not okay.

During our early childhood, within our brains, our neural pathways are being laid down. Think of it as a computer’s operating system. Life filters through and our matrix, shaping the way we see and experience different things. This matrix defines how we view the world, how we view ourselves, and what beliefs we adhere to.

As we become aware this matrix exists, we may realize there are certain aspects of our matrix that don’t serve us. Some pieces hold us back. (Like that voice telling you, “You’re too much,” or, “you’re too emotional.”) There are pieces of our matrix that protected us from hurt as a child. Maybe we were taught to fear certain situations or to believe the world was unsafe. While these beliefs kept us safe when we were younger, they no longer apply to us as adults and we can let them go.

As we grow and evolve into the person we hope to become, it becomes necessary to explore our internal makeup. Eventually, we may realize our beliefs aren’t necessarily truths. Our beliefs don’t dictate reality.  What we believe may even limit our reality, preventing us from realizing our full, vast potential.

We may think, “This is simply how it is,” or “this is how I am,” rather than realizing the ways to grow and overcome behaviors and beliefs holding us back.

How many times have you been faced with a situation, like speaking out in a meeting or standing up to someone who upset you and thought, “Oh I could never do that! I’m a nice person!” or “I’m too shy to do that,” or “I shouldn’t feel angry.”

When we hold back our feelings because we believe we should or because it counters who we think we are, we’re limiting ourselves. We may miss opportunities and let successes pass us by.

Recognition Helps Get Out Your Feelings

For many people, even acknowledging the underlying feelings they feel is tough. Admitting them aloud, or even to themselves, is even harder. Yet, sometimes exploring our feelings, uncovering ourselves, and expressing ourselves empowers us helps us get a better sense of what’s really going on.

We may think we’re beyond unconscious thought. Many people think they have full control over what goes through their mind…yet psychologists, neuroscientists, and behaviorists have explored the way our unconscious drives our behaviors, whether we like it or not.


Have you ever eaten food when you weren’t hungry? Put off a task for no reason? Have you ever claimed you couldn’t do a job because you believed it wasn’t in you? Have you turned an opportunity down because the “timing didn’t feel right”? Do you gravitate toward routine?


These are all examples of our matrix overriding our logic. We may know the action we’re taking (or not taking) isn’t serving us or moving us forward, but we rely on our default reaction because it feels safe and familiar.

Once you recognize this, it becomes easier to get out your feelings and work through the beliefs about yourself holding you back. When faced with a situation, ask yourself: what am I really feeling? We often encourage our students to simply “call out” the emotion they’re experiencing. Such as “Fear!” or “Frustration!” It seems a little funny at first, but soon an awareness takes hold. Calling their feelings aloud to their classmates and friends helps this awareness occur even faster.

If you’re trying to identify your emotions, look at your body—butterflies, hands sweaty, jaw clenched-these are all clues to your emotions. Did your behavior change in response to a comment or a situation? Did you go home and eat a giant piece of cake? Did you feel antsy or apprehensive? These indicators clue you into what you’re feeling. Now put the words onto those feelings:

“I’m angry.”

“I’m feeling sad.”

“In this moment I feel joyful.”

When we acknowledge our feelings, almost like magic, it calms our limbic system and brings us back online. By expressing it, we’re able to channel the energy behind the emotions, name them, and express them fully. If we’re sad, we can cry. If we’re angry, we can truly feel that anger. Once we feel the emotions, we’re able to complete them. The experience is integrated, and we can then move onto the next activity. We don’t need to hang onto the emotions forever. Think of a baby—they cry, they express their feeling, and then they move on. We don’t need to hold onto our feelings.

When we acknowledge how we’re feeling, we start to explore the why behind our emotions. For example, when you’re about to talk to a coworker about a comment that upset you. You may explore your thoughts and feelings. Why did the comment upset you? What other feelings does it bring up? Are you feeling hurt? Anger? Fear at the prospect of discussing it with them directly?

Once you get out your feelings, they become less obtuse. We gain clarity. Why are you feeling hurt? Maybe because you felt unseen when your coworker took the credit or diminished your idea. You felt overshadowed. Perhaps you even felt threatened. Your desire (your yearning) to be seen, heard, and respected wasn’t being met.


When our needs (what we often refer to as yearnings) aren’t being met, we often feel fear. We may feel sadness, hurt, even anger over our yearnings that are unfulfilled.


When you realize this is how you feel, you may decide to express this to your coworker. The prospect of expressing your feelings may fill you with another feeling—fear. We may tell ourselves, “I’m not a confrontational person,” or “I prefer to avoid conflict at any cost.” Once you’ve addressed the fear, you can look at these statements about who you think you are: are you really someone who avoids confrontation at any cost? Or is this simply part of your matrix? Is this something you believe about yourself that’s not really true?

Exploring the reasons behind your emotions and reactions is the first step to expressing yourself. If you want to get out your feelings, take a deeper look at where they’re stemming from.

For more ways you can get to know yourself, please visit us at the Wright Foundation. We have many of our courses available for download on our website. Don’t miss out on our special introductory price on these great courses!


 About the Author

Judith Wright receives the Visionary Leader Award from Chicago NAWBO.

Dr. Judith Wright is a media favorite, sought-after inspirational speaker, respected leader, peerless educator, bestselling author, & world-class coach.
She is a co-founder of The Wright Foundation and the Wright Graduate University.


Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Liked this post and want more? Sign up for updates – free!

The Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential is a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

 

What is the
MORE Life Training
Weekend?

Think about what it might mean to have “limitless potential.” If you could have or be anything you wanted right now, today, what would it be?


Would you want to be the greatest husband or wife? Would you want to be the top salesperson in your department—or better yet, CEO of your own company? Would you want to help the world, heal the world, and/or help others around you find their own potential and path for growth?

No matter what your dreams are, they have one thing in common: YOU. To reach your aspirations, you’ll need a solid foundation built by developing core social intelligence and emotional intelligence skills. This foundation allows you to explore who you can become, unlock and map out your ideal self, and envision the path to get there.

Living Life to the Fullest

We often get asked about our MORE Life Training—what it is, what it means, and what it can do for you. It’s not simply a seminar, professional development, or a “leadership class.” It’s more than that. It’s a unique transformational weekend, where you will learn more about yourself than ever before.

At the Wright Foundation, we’re always offering new ways to help you bring out your best and live life to the fullest—whether it’s through personal and career coaching, seminars, group work, or helping you earn your graduate degree so you can go out into the world and help others.

MORE Life Training is the first step. If you’ve read our website or checked out one of our books or courses, chances are you have some questions about how you can start to apply the principals of transformational leadership and growth to your own life.

During MORE Life Training, you’ll have the opportunity to roll up your sleeves and do some real hands-on work to discover your purpose and bring to light some of the hidden dynamics behind WHY you do what you do…and perhaps why you haven’t yet tapped into who you could become. This is the first step in starting to work on your social and emotional intelligence and growth, and the path to unlocking your full potential. It’s all about discovering the core beliefs underneath who you are so you can envision and move toward who you can become.

“I want MORE out of life!”

Sound familiar? Time and time again, we talk to people who aren’t quite satisfied. Their life is basically good, but they’re feeling less-than-fulfilled. They’re working hard, they’re successful—even to the point of running their own company or organization—and yet, they still have an itch they just can’t scratch. Their relationships are lacking a connection and they feel like they’re “going through the motions” rather than fully engaging in life.

Look at MORE Life Training as a launchpad. You’ll develop the foundation and background you need to start a life of unlimited potential, meaning, and satisfaction. This in-depth weekend experience can help you figure out how to reach further, grow stronger, and stretch yourself as a person.


Want more? If you’re ready to take the steps to get more out of life, to become more fulfilled, to find a greater purpose, then MORE Life Training will help you start that process.


You’ll work with an amazing group of people who all want MORE—just like you. As you work on unlocking your own potential, you’ll meet people who are asking the same questions and working on the same goals. You’ll form friendships and partnerships, but more importantly, you’ll discover how to partner with yourself to push your own boundaries and be your own ally.

Our methodologies are based on the latest neuroscience and leadership theory. We explore the connection of psychology, leadership and entrepreneurship, and the neuroscience of engagement. We use social-emotional growth strategies to help you learn how to stand out from the crowd and lead wherever you are. You’ll learn how to be more dynamic, more engaging, and more transformative with every person you meet.

How Hard is MORE Life Training?

This weekend of training is intensive. It’s not a simple “weekend class on goal setting” that you might take or a
professional development course. This is about changing your life for the better. MORE Life Training will give you the tools to strengthen your relationships, to get more out of your work, and to bring more of yourself to your spouse, your children, and your friends.

You’ll explore your personality, and rather than taking a class to learn a skill, you’ll be working internally to unlock the deeper aspects of who YOU are. You’ll discover your social and emotional core and the things that drive you.

Once you start to reveal these inner workings of your personal psychology, you’ll learn how to understand your yearnings and create your personal vision. You’ll create concrete steps to work toward that vision and explore your own limiting beliefs and the things holding you back from grabbing the life you want to live.

Click to learn more with life training.

Join us for our next MORE Life Weekend to learn how you can apply the principles of transformation to your life. Learn how you can unlock your true potential, live the life you want, and achieve your goals.


About the Author

Barbara Burgess

Barbara Burgess is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Vision Realization Officer (CVRO) at the Wright Foundation. As the CVRO, Barbara is responsible for designing and leading the strategic vision for the Foundation. Barbara is a corporate consultant, coach, trainer, and specialist in the areas of transformational leadership, transformative education, marketing, and employee empowerment. 


Learn more about Wright Living’s Career & Leadership Coaching in Chicago & Career Coaching Courses in Chicago.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Inspire and Ignite :
How to Be a Better Leader

 

When you talk, do the people you’re working with perk up and listen…or do your words fall on deaf ears? Do you feel like you’re constantly yelling or frustrated by the “attitude of apathy” your coworkers or subordinates direct your way?


Maybe it’s time to reconsider your approach and learn how to be a better leader.

Many so-called “leaders” talk and give lip service; they drive through fear and threats of scarcity. They bully, they pout—essentially, they act like big babies, whining until they get their way. Or they act like big toddlers, bossing around their peers and threatening to take things away and punish if they don’t get the results they want.

Don’t believe me? Look at our current political climate (or take a step back and look at the climate in your own office). Are all the people in charge inspiring confidence or are they fearmongering? This climate of fear and stress is an epidemic in many workplaces throughout our country and it’s taking a toll on both workers and leaders alike. People in positions of authority are making themselves miserable and they don’t know how to fix it.

This mismanagement and bossy leadership is particularly rampant in middle management. It’s indicative of people in positions of supervision, but without the autonomy to really affect the change and inspire the kind of work they need to extract from their team. It’s a sign of someone losing his or her grip on control—control they often didn’t need to grasp onto to begin with.

Bully management and demeaning bossiness isn’t real leadership. You might get your team to perform, but inside you know they aren’t fulfilled and they won’t embrace the work as their own. They’ll perform on a mediocre level, phoning it in and doing what you demand, but never taking any steps to go above and beyond.

You’ve got to put the heart and soul back into your team. It’s likely they don’t understand their purpose or share your vision, which are the keys to great performance. Unlocking our purpose inspires us to greatness.

As leaders we will either instill confidence, or we will instill fear and doubt.

Which kind of leader do you want to be?

Taking the Steps to Be a Better Leader

If you’re wondering how to be a better leader, the first step is realizing leadership requires more than simply a loud mouth and cockiness or making a list of demands. You don’t have to be bossy to be a boss.

Leaders don’t have to know it all (or even half). I know many great leaders, CEOs and directors who don’t know half of the technical stuff their staff knows. Yet, they inspire them to perform at a high level, and they get results. They understand the importance of a team. They hire people who know what they’re doing and take pride in their work. They don’t micromanage or nitpick, but they step back and give employees the chance to rise to greatness.

The secret of how to be a better leader is to have a solid grasp on what makes people tick. If we look at great leaders like Martin Luther King Jr., Vince Lombardi and John F. Kennedy, we can see they were great because they understood their audience. They had a great deal of social and emotional intelligence.

They lead by inspiration, not by force.

Does inspiring leadership come naturally? No, of course not! Leadership is a skill that’s learned and built upon. It comes from learning how to help people evolve and transform; leadership grows from helping people find their own greatness within and discovering ways to extract that greatness and apply it.

Unless you directly report to the CEO (or are the CEO), chances are you report to someone, and they report to someone above them. In this chain of reporting and accountability, we all strive to make ourselves appear important. We’re longing for the acknowledgment, praise, and reception of our work indicating we’re special, unique and indispensable.

The real secret to great leadership isn’t in letting go of this longing or yearning to be special and important. The real secret in how to be a great leader is the realization that if your team looks great, YOU look great. If your team succeeds, you all succeed! So rather than focusing on climbing up the ladder by stepping on those below you, you must focus on how to lift up everyone—how to elevate the entire office.

Raising Your E.Q.

Where does the ability to engage with others, transform and elevate those around you come from? It’s a direct result of your social and emotional intelligence. You might have a PhD from MIT or an MBA from Harvard, but if you don’t have the emotional intelligence you need, you’ll never be an effective leader.

Transformational leaders understand this and they work to evoke their empathy in all their interactions. They share their vision with the team—not the vision they want for themselves or the way they want the company to grow for their own personal gain—but the vision they have for everyone involved. They find ways to bring out the success in every single member of their office, from the intern and the entry-level clerk to the CFO and the Chairman of the Board. They listen and they learn. It’s not about the money, the power or the fame—it’s about making a difference in the lives they touch.

No matter what you do in your business—whether you’re a teacher, an artist, a software developer or a lawyer, you can lead others by exploring what makes them tick. You can find success by figuring out where the overlap happens in the Venn diagram of your success and vision, and the vision of your customers, clients, and coworkers. How does the widget you make or the service you perform make the world a better place?

Understanding things on an intellectual level isn’t enough. You have to connect with the emotions, the empowerment—the heart of what you’re doing. You have to engage with others.


“Many people, including some very smart people, have a lot going on in their minds but are unable to translate all this mental activity into action. Or they take action, but only within the confines of their regular routines, rarely doing or saying anything that varies from what they’ve always done or said. In these situations, it’s very difficult to take action in ways that are congruent with their yearning, to experience emotional involvement in their words and deeds and to learn and grow.

If you need further evidence that real engaging is worth the effort, consider that prominent scientists offer highly motivating evidence that you have to engage in two distinct areas—feeling and doing. They make it clear that intellectual engagement is insufficient. You have to recognize and honor your emotions and get off your kiester and act!” from Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


In other words, you can’t lead, inspire or bring forth your vision by reasoning it to death. You have to bring others on board and explore things with them on an emotional level. You have to ignite, excite, impassion and get them involved to take things to knock your entire team up a notch (or several)!

For more on how you can bring out your best leadership skills and become a stronger leader wherever you are, please visit www.wrightliving.com. Go forth and make the world a better place! Join us for our next More Life Training to jumpstart your social and emotional intelligence.

 


About the Author

Dr. Bob Wright

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

Passive Aggressive Silent
Treatment: How To Break
the Cycle & Free
Your Relationship

Ever been so pissed off at your partner you put up a wall and enforce “the silent treatment”? (…who hasn’t?!) Or, are you sick of being on the receiving end of the cold shoulder?



Or maybe the two of you are BOTH guilty of this type of passive aggressive behavior. It’s time to break the cycle.

You know the drill. Your partner does something that annoys you, so you think to yourself, “I’m so irritated right now. I’ll show him! I’m not going to speak to him until he notices just how wrong he is—and how frustrated I am.” Then you skulk around, huffing and making just enough noise so he notices you’re there and hopefully realizes you’re ticked off.

Or maybe you’ve been on the receiving end of the silent treatment. Half the time, do you even know what you did wrong? Nope! You can usually sense your partner is mad. While they say they don’t want to talk about it, you’re definitely aware they’re upset. So you tiptoe around passive aggressively and wait until one of you finally snaps and says what’s bothering you.

When this type of silent treatment standoff happens, it goes nowhere. The two of you sit there battling it out, unsatisfied and unproductive. The silent treatment is useless. It satisfies neither of you, and it doesn’t result in any positive outcomes.

The silent treatment is like creating a field of landmines. You’re not waging a war. You’re tiptoeing around trying not to trigger any major explosions. It’s like walking on eggshells—and it can really take a toll on your relationship. In fact, it can be even more damaging than cleaning up the aftermath of a healthy fight and productive confrontation.

Navigating on a silent battlefield leads to paranoia, indifference and frustration. It creates greater distance and pushes the two of you further and further apart. You’re never quite sure how to step or where to go, and so eventually you either become anxious or you just stop caring. Neither one is a great outcome. While no relationship is perfect, the silent treatment can damage even the best relationships beyond repair.

Why We Give Each Other the Silent Treatment

So if it’s so bad, why do we do it?! Even more, why have we done it since we were in grade school and why did we see our mothers and fathers give each other the silent middle finger so many times growing up?

Many of us are raised to believe that passive aggressive silent treatment behavior is just part of being a couple.

The root of our propensity toward the passive aggressive silent treatment begins in childhood during the terrible twos. We’re just learning how to exercise our own will and to establish boundaries. We want things and we’re demanding. When we demanded something from our parents, our siblings or a friend, chances are we were probably shot down. We didn’t always get what we wanted. As children, when we don’t get what we want, we establish the belief that people don’t want to please us—a belief that lasts into adulthood.


Looking for more tips and tools for ending passive-aggresive cycles in your relationship?

Get a FREE 15-minute Relationship Coaching Consultation!


What did we do when we didn’t get what we wanted as a two-year-old? We threw a raging temper tantrum, of course! We probably yelled and cried and stomped our feet. Maybe it worked and maybe it didn’t, but we definitely got someone’s attention. We learned that we could stomp our feet to clue someone in to our displeasure. They might not give in, but in a way, we could punish them. It gave us a sense of control.

So with this belief that people didn’t want to give us our way, we learned to give and accept punishment. Flash forward to adulthood and we’re still engaged in the same self-fulfilling prophecy. When our partner doesn’t give us our way, we’re going to punish them by being silent. Then, our partner gets mad that we’re silent, so they punish us—and round and round we go.

It’s an endless cycle:

  1. My partner doesn’t want to please me,
  2. So I act in a displeasing way,
  3. Which causes my partner to believe I’m a jerk,
  4. So my partner acts in a way that doesn’t please me,
  5. Which confirms my belief that my partner doesn’t want to please me.

Sound familiar?

Recognizing the Limiting Beliefs Behind the Silent Punishment

Unfortunately, none of us were blessed with psychic abilities (and if we were, we’d all be lottery winners). Our partners aren’t mind readers, but yet, we hold out and wait for them to do the things we want them to do. We’re afraid to tell them what we want. Then when they don’t do what we want, we punish them for not reading our minds.

Why? It goes back to our limiting beliefs established well before we were even aware. People that come from mind-reading families tend to believe: If you really love me, you would do X. If I have to ask for X, X becomes less worthwhile. It sounds so adolescent and outlandish, but think back to the last time you or your partner gave each other the cold shoulder. It felt pretty juvenile, didn’t it?

Giving your significant other the silent treatment is really a reflection of your own limiting belief that you’re not strong enough to just ask for what you really want without fear of rejection. When you punish your partner, you’re really diminishing yourself. You’re saying you aren’t equal, you’re weak, and you have to resort to passive aggression over confrontation and conflict. Instead of engaging, you’re disengaging and your relationship is paying the price.


Stuck in a passive-aggressive silent-treatment cycle?
Break the silence and rebuild your relationship.

Reach out to our experienced relationship coaches to learn how to bring out the best in your relationship.


Coming to a Win-Win Outcome: Overcoming the Silent Treatment

So how do we fix this silent minefield we’re battling on? Is it about just letting go of your frustration and irritation?

NO! It’s about embracing what you want, not diminishing it! You need to be able to ask for what you want freely so your partner knows what you want, and then you can make decisions together that make BOTH sides happy! Get to the heart of the fight and embrace the conflict.

When you bristle at something your partner does, like leaving dirty dishes in the sink, teasing you at a party, or not holding your hand in public, get down to the real heart of the issue. What is it you want from your partner? It’s not clean dishes, a better sense of humor, or even a warm hand. It’s respect! It’s appreciation! It’s affection! Those deeper yearnings that counter those limiting beliefs and say, “Yes, I am worthy of respect and I deserve it!”

Articulate your feelings to your partner and let them know what you really want! It takes skills and time to learn how to fully listen to each other and to have productive fights with win-win outcomes, but it can definitely happen! Rather than shutting down, speak up and put it out there on the table. Talk about the situations rather than glossing over them.

Stop Giving Each Other the Silent Treatment – Go For What You Want!

Judith still remembers a moment early on in our relationship when I told her, “I want you to go for everything you want in this relationship—but that doesn’t mean there won’t be times when I’ll want to stop you. So I’m not promising to meet all your wants and needs, but I am saying that, as a ground rule of this relationship, both of us should seek out the fullest satisfaction from each other.”

Many people are more aware of what they don’t want, rather than what they do want. Stop giving each other the silent treatment, and start pleasing each other and going for what you really want in your relationship. Soon, you’ll be battling toward bliss, rather than walking on eggshells.

Learn more by visiting Wright Living. Discover how you can engage, strengthen your relationships, and get more out of your interactions today and every day. You can also join us for our next More Life Training, where you’ll jumpstart your social and emotional intelligence skills and learn how to be your best self!

About the Author

Bob-300x250-1

Dr. Bob Wright is an internationally recognized visionary, educator, program developer, leadership and sales executive, best-selling author and speaker. He is a co-founder of Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.