Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: How to Get Past a Fear of Success

Most of us have experienced imposter syndrome at one point or another. We might have success in our career or receive accolades from our boss, and in creeps the sneaking suspicion that we really don’t “deserve this.”



Overcoming imposter syndrome isn’t easy. It’s based on self-doubt, untruths that we tell ourselves, and feelings of inadequacy that we may have been building for years. So how do we do it? How do we kick imposter syndrome once and for all and accept the kudos and compliments that we’ve earned without feeling like a phony?

What is Imposter Syndrome Anyway?

Many of us get the feeling that we’re about to be “found out.” We might feel like our success is a mistake. When we do something right, we assume we’ve managed to “trick” others into believing that we’re actually good at what we’re doing. We’ve deceived everyone into believing that we’re great salespeople, an incredible CEO, fantastic artists, or talented writers. We think, “if they only knew the truth,” or we dread the day we’re found out.

When we experience these thoughts and self-doubts, they’re symptoms of what’s known as imposter syndrome. What is imposter syndrome, and where does it come from?

The term “imposter phenomenon” was coined by clinical psychologists Dr. Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes in 1978. For many, the term resonated with feelings that they’d long held. It was used to describe the feeling that many successful individuals get. Despite plenty of contrary evidence, many successful people feel like “frauds,” or as though they don’t deserve the success they experience in their chosen profession. Even when these individuals were shown proof of their success, they dismissed it as good fortune or suggested they deceived others into believing they were competent. What’s more, they often feared being discovered or found out.

This may sound familiar to many of us. Why do we feel this way? Why do we experience imposter syndrome?


The reality is that many of us have some type of underlying anxiety and fear. We all feel worried from time to time. Sometimes our worries are reasonable given the circumstances. Sometimes they aren’t.


Many of us may experience worries about our health, finances, social lives, loved ones, and more. We may wonder if other people like us; we may feel lonely and disconnected; we may worry about how we can take care of others in our lives.

A little bit of fear, worry, or even anxiety is a natural part of being human. Most successful people are driven in one way or another by their sense of discontent and uneasiness. They’re driven by a need to do well and may have anxiety about success.

However, a healthy amount of worry can spiral out of control when we encounter foundational ideas in our heads known as limiting beliefs. Some of these beliefs are good. They keep us safe. They may keep us from quitting our job and running off to join the circus. They may prevent us from hurting ourselves or from hurting those around us.

But our limiting beliefs can also prevent us from trusting ourselves. Many of these beliefs aren’t accurate. They keep us from reaching our potential and fully developing ourselves. We may find that we’re holding back because we want to stay nice and cozy in our perceived “safe zone,” even if we aren’t reaching our maximum satisfaction. Our limiting beliefs can keep us from fully living our best lives.

Understanding the Origins of Our Limiting Beliefs to Beat Imposter Syndrome

We might not be able to beat our imposter syndrome right away. It’s not something that can be wished or reasoned away with the snap of our fingers. Instead, we have to examine where our limiting beliefs originate. They’re part of our very core, and the first step to overcoming imposter syndrome is to dig down and look at them. These beliefs were typically formed very early in our childhood, and while some of them may have applied to our world at the time, they’re often untrue, especially in adulthood. If we don’t pinpoint them and work through them, they can hold us back from reaching our fullest potential.

We may hear limiting beliefs in our head, and they make us have thoughts like:

  • “I’m not good enough.”
  • “I am too much. I overwhelm people.”
  • “I’m too sensitive. I’m too needy.”
  • “I’m not intellectual.”
  • “I’m a follower, not a leader.”

When we say these beliefs aloud, we may even think they sound a little unreasonable, but they tend to follow us around. These beliefs can haunt us. Sometimes we don’t realize our limiting beliefs because they’ve been buried and intertwined so deeply within our subconscious. We might be blind to them, but they shape many of our choices and our confidence. These limiting beliefs may steer our decisions toward or away from things we may otherwise want.


So how deep are these beliefs? Most of our limiting beliefs were formed before we were even aware of them. They may have originated from our interactions with our parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, caretakers, or even friends.


Much of our social and emotional makeup is formed by the time we reach age six or seven. We carry that with us for the rest of our lives, using it to form the basis of the way we see ourselves and our world. We tap into it when we make choices.

Why One Person Felt Like an Imposter

I was coaching a very successful young man. He had references and accolades from many respected people within his industry. He had recently received a promotion to a higher position where he earned more money and had a chance to manage a global network of team members. By all accounts, he was doing extremely well.

But despite his evident success, he was still haunted by the fact that he didn’t have a college degree. He flunked out of his program. Not because he couldn’t keep up, but because (at the time) he didn’t care. He was more interested in sports in his younger years. He went out and partied. He’d since turned his life around and found great success, but in the back of his mind, he felt like he was just waiting to be found out.

He believed that he was an imposter. Now, he’d been very upfront with his bosses and let them know that he didn’t hold a degree. Yet, he still was promoted and did very well in his position. He relied on his life experience and personality to drive him to success. He built a strong rapport with his clientele and coworkers. He had innate leadership skills. But the idea that he wasn’t good enough still kept coming up until it was tainting the joy of his success.

As we worked together, we learned that it all went back to his relationship with his parents when he was a child. He was living out a self-fulfilling prophecy that he would never be good enough. His mom was a higher performer, while his dad was less so. This experience led him to believe that as a man, he was inherently lazy. He didn’t even live up to his father’s standard—especially after his grades went downhill in college.

In his head, he was still hearing all these doubts. He had a desire to rebel against others’ performance standards and had a hard time with authority. Despite the money, promotions, and success, he was still holding onto those early childhood limitations.

How to Let Go of those Limiting Beliefs and Ditch Your Inner Imposter

To become really successful and take our lives to the next level, we have to shake up those limiting beliefs. Discovering them is the first step, but we also have to realize that we need to let them go at a certain point, or they will always hold us back.


So how do we let go of imposter syndrome? We have to challenge what we think about ourselves. If we feel like we don’t deserve our success, we can examine why we have that belief. Where does it come from? How can we challenge it? Test the waters to see what happens when we choose not to believe it anymore. Challenge it!


Every step we take away from our limiting beliefs is huge. It builds momentum, and with each new success, we start to rebuild our confidence and acknowledge that these beliefs don’t apply to us anymore. We can tell ourselves that we’re embracing our best lives and deserve what we have. When we are working toward living up to our fullest potential, we can and will make it happen.

Educational Theorist Lev Vygotsky taught Social Development Theory. It is the idea that kids develop by playing and through social interactions. It’s how they learn about the world. Kids first pretend something, and throughout their cognitive development, the play turns into real-life social interactions. Anyone who’s watched kids play house has probably observed some very elaborate social interactions planned and then carried out. Kids imagine different scenarios and then play out their reactions to the scenarios. They become what they first pretend.

Like kids, we can try to “fake it, ‘til we make it.” We can acknowledge that our limiting beliefs are there and hold us back, but we’re going to move forward anyway. We can know that we can achieve whatever we want by working on our skills and continuously challenging ourselves.

If we’re in a constant state of growth, challenging ourselves and being honest, authentic, and intentional, we can become what we want to be. It doesn’t matter our age or our situation. There is very little that is out of our reach. It’s not about deserving success or fitting a certain mold. It’s not even about being lucky. It’s about having integrity, dedication, and intention. If we work to create the best and bring out the best for those around us, they will reciprocate because they will also want the best for us.

So the next time that doubt creeps in, let go of the idea that you don’t really deserve your success. Instead, savor the way it feels good and embrace it!

For more ideas about living your best life, don’t miss the resources we offer at Wright Now. We have many courses and materials available for download. Check it out today so you can start to get the life you want!

 


About the Author

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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.

 

 

5 Inspiring Traits of Successful People

There are a few universal traits of successful people — and you may be surprised to learn they aren’t all that mysterious.


Wondering what makes successful people tick? Don’t miss these 5 inspiring traits of successful people, including tips to emulate these qualities.


What makes a successful person, well, successful? We all know someone magnetic. They’re good at what they do, firing on all cylinders, passionate, and engaged. But what are the traits of successful people (and how can we get some of what they’re having)?

When we meet a successful person, they’ve “got it.” But sometimes, we might also see familiar flickers in these qualities. The truth is, we all have the capacity to become successful and to fully live the life we want to pursue. Yes, there may be logistical hurdles, but everyone has infinite potential.

So, how do we tap into our potential? How do we emulate the traits of successful people so we can enjoy the same high-quality results?

Defining Our Idea of Success

We all know when we meet someone who’s successful. Sometimes it’s hard to put our finger on the quality, but when we connect with inspiring, dynamic, successful people, we’ll likely notice that they all share some commonalities.

  • Successful people are magnanimous.
  • Successful people know how to “work the room.”
  • Successful folks know how to draw people in.
  • Successful people own it.
  • Somehow, the most successful people make every person they meet feel essential and vital to their mission, project, or task.

These universal traits of successful people aren’t all that mysterious. The question is how they acquired these qualities, and is it possible for us to tap into the same dynamic?

Before we examine the traits of successful people, it helps first to define what it means to be successful. Does a successful person make a lot of money? Are they at the pinnacle of their career? Are they attractive? Popular? There are a lot of different definitions of success, and most of us can probably agree that the markers of success may vary.


But in the most significant sense, all successful people are fulfilled. The most successful people are vision-driven. They’re leaders. Successful people have a sense of purpose.


Are these bastions of success happy all the time? Of course not! (Who is?) However, they’re generally positive and enjoying their life. They’re engaged and extracting the most out of every moment. Successful people might feel satisfied and confident in what they have and what they’ve achieved, but they also drive themselves forward to keep reaching the next milestone. Successful people don’t rest on their laurels; they strive for the next peak and the chance to tackle their next goal.

What Makes a Person Successful in Life? 5 Traits of Successful People

1. Successful People Know Their “Why”

Successful people understand their raison d’être: their reason for being. They know why they get up every day and why they want more. Successful people have a larger mission. They have a vision of where they want to end up.

One of the universal traits of successful people is that a higher purpose generally drives them both in their professional life and personal goals. Now, “higher-purpose” doesn’t mean they’re always religious or even spiritual. It means that they understand their true calling and impact on the world. They’re heeding the call, and it propels them forward. They’re not focused on the simple, temporal rewards that will only get them ahead in the here and now.

Successful people are mission-driven with their eyes on the prize. They stay laser-focused on their larger mission, even if it’s broad, lofty, or nearly unattainable.

2. They’re Willing to Fight

When we say that successful people are willing to fight, it might seem to contradict what we mentioned above. After all, didn’t we just say that successful people were magnanimous and driven by a higher purpose? That doesn’t sound like a person who’s argumentative or angry.

But there’s a distinction between being willing to fight FOR someone or something we believe in and being a petty, angry, or argumentative contrarian. Fighting for something means that we aren’t afraid of conflict because we recognize that conflict is sometimes a necessary step toward reaching a larger goal.

For example, it’s healthier for both parties when we fight for the betterment of a relationship (rather than zoning out or resorting to passive-aggressiveness). Similarly, it can be healthy and productive when we’re fighting for a cause or idea that we feel passionate about at work. We might even be the one who saves the company from a disaster rather than silently watching the ship sink.

Successful people aren’t doormats. They don’t ignore problems; they stand up and get their point across. They also handle their frustration responsibly—they don’t demean others or engage in collusion, bullying, or gossip. Instead, they rally and inspire others to their cause. They share the vision and engage in conflict because they believe in their cause and are willing to fight for it.

3. They’re Present in the Moment

Our lives are full of distractions, but successful people don’t let their distractions get in the way of fulfilling their yearnings. Successful people are mindful, present, and work to stay in the moment. Mindfulness roots us in the here and now rather than replaying the past or fearing the future. Mindfulness connects us with what we want—our deeper yearnings.

“If you’re not in touch with your yearnings…you may waste time and energy complaining to friends about how your company is being run by shortsighted leaders. Or you might miss that moment to love and to matter in your child’s life when you’re tucking her into bed, and she wants to talk, but your mind is jumping to all the “to do’s” left at work. Or maybe you dash off a hurried peck on the cheek to your mate on your way out the door and miss the opportunity to really see and appreciate each other for a moment while nourishing your yearning to love and be loved. When you are truly in harmony with what you yearn for, you experience every moment in a deeper and more fulfilling way.”
Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living

Successful people don’t allow themselves to veer off course and waste time. They’re productive and focused. They don’t while away the hours with soft addictions like television, social media, and other methods people use to distract and numb themselves from reality. Instead, successful people stay fully engaged. They go for it! They’re in the moment because they know each moment gives them a chance to grow, explore, and get more out of life.

4. Successful People Practice “Know Thyself”

Now, depending on how we define success, we know that not all “successful people” are self-aware or self-actualized. Take a look at the current political climate or the latest corporate scandal! But people who are the most successful and get the most satisfaction out of their lives practice a growth mindset.


A growth mindset means learning from our mistakes and constantly exploring ways to be better. We’re figuring out our drivers, yearnings, and what our heart truly wants and needs to feel a sense of purpose.


Successful people identify ways to get what they want—what will bring them a sense of satisfaction. They aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeve and do the work to get to where they want to be.

When we learn new things, we form new neuropathways. These new experiences reshape and grow our brains. Without learning and growth, we become dull and stagnant. We may show signs of aging and cognitive decline. We start to disengage and checkout. We find ourselves on autopilot. When we stop growing, we experience the antithesis of success.

On the other hand, successful people explore their inner workings because they want to understand themselves. They aren’t afraid to do personal growth work. They work with coaches, mentors, allies, and peers to understand who they really are. Successful people know that unlocking the secrets of our personality, motivations, and yearnings helps us build up our emotional intelligence—our superpower!

5. They Listen and Lead

When we’re around successful people, we often feel more successful ourselves. It’s almost like osmosis. Transformational leaders become powerful because they share their vision of success with others. They don’t dictate their goals and tasks, but they lead people to realize their own visions. Then, they explore how those visions align and overlap to bring success to the entire team.

Successful leaders don’t bark orders at people. They don’t talk over others or treat them down. They’re assertive to be sure—they say what they want, but they also listen. They work to hear and understand their peers. They want to learn what drives others and what makes them tick. Successful people know that they’re only as good as their team, spouse, and social circle. Their bosses love them because they make their boss look great!

Listening is a powerful tool for success. Often, we want to power through our discussions with others and drag them toward our point. Yet, listening, suggesting, and guiding would get us better results and allow others to share in the success. We can learn to listen by practicing with others—stay in the moment, engage, and really hear what they’re trying to express. We can share our vision and figure out a path together to get what we both want.

Success isn’t a trait we’re born with or inherent talent. To become successful, we have to work and focus. We must be willing to grow, change, listen, and lead. The traits of successful people aren’t mysterious or secretive. The path to success is clear and attainable for anyone willing to do the work.

If you’re ready to find success, don’t miss our resources at Wright Now! We have courses and materials to help you bring out your best in your career, relationship, and personal life. Get more of what you want today!

 


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 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 Foundation performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.

How to Be a Leader Wherever You Are

Many of us want to be a leader—at work, at home, amongst our social group. But we may assume that we’re not in a position to lead.


Be the boss outside of work too. The Wright Foundation can teach you how to be a leader wherever you are.


Maybe we’re new to the group. Maybe we’re around people whose personalities are more assertive and more dominant. Perhaps we’re just starting a job at the entry level.

The truth is that we can be a leader wherever we are. So what does it take to be a leader? The capabilities are inside all of us. It’s a matter of unlocking our inner-leader and learning how to build rapport with the group.

Today we’ll explore what it takes to be a leader and how to be a leader from any position. If you’re ready to take the reins, here’s what you need to know.

Identifying Leadership Opportunities

When should we step up to lead? Is it appropriate to lead in any situation, or do we need a signal, title, or training to be a leader?


Leadership opportunities present themselves all the time—both in our careers and in our personal lives. We may not realize it, but we can embrace an opportunity to lead in almost any situation.


I’ve talked to people struggling to discover their inner leader—people wrestling with leadership conundrums in their lives, even if they aren’t the highest-paid person on the payroll.

Leadership is within each of us, and there are chances to lead in any situation. Any time we’re in a group, we’re presented with an opportunity to be a leader. Will the group always respond positively to our leadership? Not always, but as we learn how to build transformational leadership skills, we’ll start to lead in a way that inspires at motivates. When we lead with emotional intelligence, we help each group member bring out their vision and their best—including our own.

So the big question is: what is a transformational leader? What does it take to lead with vision, inspiration, and emotional intelligence?

Transformational leaders display certain universal qualities. To be a leader, we don’t need to be the funniest person in the room, the loudest, the smartest, or even the most inventive. Transformational leaders can motivate others because they engage with them. They see each person on the team and help them bring out their best.

A transformational leader:

  1. Walks the talk—they do what they say, keep their commitments, and lead with integrity.
  2. Has a sense of vision, and they share that vision with those around them.
  3. Are interested in the well-being of each individual in the group. They keep everyone engaged.

When we see a transformational leader at work, we might notice they don’t walk in the room and demand attention. Instead, they command attention. There’s a subtle but significant difference. Commanding attention means listening and engaging with others. It doesn’t mean getting their ideas out first or with the most confidence and bravado. The best leaders are good at getting things done because they are open to all possibilities. They allow everyone in the group to bring their very best to the table.

Leaders Understand Culture on Multiple Levels

We hear a lot about culture these days—whether it’s a discussion on a person’s background and culture of origin, the company culture, or the zeitgeist of the moment. If we want to discover what it takes to be a leader, we need to understand culture from all aspects. There’s a lot of reward for those who understand culture—not only in terms of their teams. Many consultants are highly paid to help business leaders understand company culture and shore up gaps for their employees.


Transformational leaders understand the culture of the country where they’re working. They know the city’s culture, the company culture, and the culture of every individual in their purview.


Successful businesses get that way because their leadership understands the importance of culture to their organization. Culture is an unspoken society, rules, and atmosphere of an organization. It’s the personality.

In any group where we want to lead, we need to connect with the culture of each member. Culture is different than understanding their race or religion. It’s about engaging in a deeper understanding of what makes them tick. When we connect with someone on that level, we can truly bring out their best. We start to understand their motivations, their fears, their concerns, and their needs. We prioritize their well-being and see them for who they are.

The company’s rules, roles, and expectations must be clearly outlined for all of those operating within those parameters. As the organization’s culture builds and grows, employees should start to identify and understand the culture. When I hear complaints about employee behavior, it’s often because the employees are operating with no idea what the rules and expectations of management really are. The parameters haven’t been defined, and the culture is nebulous and unclear. If the expectations aren’t clearly outlined, we aren’t setting up our group for success.

How to Be a Leader and Motivate a Team

We’ve all been part of a team where everyone is pissing and moaning about the way things are done. They complain about the expectations of management. Nothing productive happens. It’s incredibly frustrating.

When a transformational leader is stationed with a group of whiners, they don’t fuel the fire. They acknowledge the feelings of the group and listen, but they don’t contribute to the frustration. Instead, they focus on the future. When we’re faced with a situation where everyone is feeling demotivated, we can say something like, “I know no one is happy about the situation. We can either figure out a way to get it done professionally and productively, or we can piss and moan and spin our wheels. So what are our next steps?”

Whether we’re faced with a room of two-year-olds or forty-two-year-olds, offering a choice is always motivating. No one (at any age) likes to be told what they must do. People don’t respond well to orders and barked directions. Instead, we can articulate the dilemma, understand and acknowledge the feelings of the group, and then help them choose to move forward and stay productive.

If we opt to relate by joining in on the whining and collusion, we keep it going. We continue to perpetuate the cycle of unproductive behavior. It’s far better (and more efficient) to acknowledge and validate feelings and move forward with the plan. The project may indeed be daunting and even unpleasant. Team members may validly be upset at the situation. All feelings are valid (there are no bad or wrong feelings), but when we must move forward, it doesn’t help to dwell in the negative space.

Instead, we can appeal to the group’s hearts and minds. Alfred Adler theorized that by giving people a choice, we help create motivation. A choice invites people to feel self-respect and gives them a chance to jump in and offer new solutions to the problem.

Be a Leader by Understanding & Connecting

When people feel unmotivated, it can indicate that they’re out of touch with their emotional intelligence. In many cases, they may be holding back out of fear. Either they fear failure or fear that they aren’t being heard and their needs aren’t being met.


Every person yearns for certain things. They may yearn to be seen and heard, yearn for respect, love, security. Transformational leaders understand those yearnings and acknowledge them. They understand people’s fears and concerns and reassure them that they’re being heard.


We can still take a leadership role when we’re part of a group where we aren’t the designated leader. For example, when our manager or boss is faced with a naysayer or an adversary, we can support them in what they’re saying. We can show that we’re behind them and rooting for the success of the entire team. I’ve been in many situations where a whole room will start to hear someone out simply because they see me supporting the speaker and siding with them.

There will always be people who will balk at leadership and management. In any given situation, there will likely be pushback. Sometimes it’s for a good reason—for example, someone isn’t leading with values or integrity. Other times it’s because the team member is negative and difficult. Rather than allowing those negative people to dominate the conversation, we can co-lead by helping the group support and align with the leader’s vision.

When management sees how we support them and share their vision, they’ll listen with respect and hold us in the same regard. When we use our leadership skills to bring out our best and the best of those around us, we can succeed in any situation.

If you’re ready to discover more about yourself and unlock your leadership skills, don’t miss our courses at Wright Now. We have many different resources and online classes to help you discover more about your career, relationships, and yourself. Start getting more out of life today!

 

Find Your Strengths to Get Ahead at Work

 

We all have skills, right? I bet you can probably list them right off your resume.


You might think I mean typing or data entry or understanding HTML—and sure, those certainly are skills, but they’re not what really makes you shine.

I’m not even talking about the things you studied in school or even what you went to college for—although, I’m sure what you’ve learned has helped you on your career path as well. Whether you’re a nurse or a teacher, or if you have an MBA, you’ve probably acquired some very job-specific skills.

While these skills are useful and will serve you well, they’re not what will really make you stand out from all the other nurses or teachers or managers. Those skills are important, but they won’t help you get ahead.

I’m not talking about those “resume skills”…I’m talking about strengths. To be successful, we each have to identify our own unique strengths.

Our strengths come from our personality profile.

You might be a great sales guy or gal and maybe you know how to close a deal like no other.

Maybe they call you in when they need to pull a team together and rally the troops. Perhaps you have the ability to create harmony in any situation.

Or maybe you’re a cheerleader who can bring energy to every project and get the whole team excited about performing.

Perhaps you’re the type who can assess a problem, target a solution and organize technical data without becoming overwhelmed…and maybe you even like it?

These strengths are inherent to YOU. They’re the things that make you special and differentiate you from the rest of the crowd at your office. They’re your social intelligence skills. They help you communicate with others and they shape the way you engage and interact with those around you. These strengths are the “energy” you bring to your team.

There are four core personality types—Cooperator, Analyzer, Regulator, and Energizer (what we call the C.A.R.E. profile). For some of us, we may be surprised to learn our strengths aren’t where we thought.

The sooner you find your strengths, the sooner you’ll be on your way to advocating for yourself, building on your strengths, and overcoming areas that are not-so-strong. The sooner you identify your strengths, the sooner you’ll find your inner leader. Once you know your personality type, you’re taking your first steps toward emerging into your next, most radiant self.

Discover Your Leadership

Are you a leader?

Maybe you don’t think of yourself as someone who stands out. You might be an introvert. You might dread dealing with crowds or public speaking. Maybe the thought of talking in a meeting is enough to turn your stomach (or at least make you sweat).

Guess what? We can ALL be leaders. Each and every person has leadership within them. That’s right! Every person has the ability to bring a team together and inspire others to greatness. YOU can engage, you can listen, and you can inspire! You can lead from wherever you are.

Not everyone has to be the person who rallies the troops (the Energizer), or the one that goes in to make a hard sale (the Regulator)—but whether you’re leading your fellow IT members through a successful data mapping or you’re leading the nurses on your wing to more efficient procedures, there’s leadership within every person.

Learning to work within your personality type to play up your strengths and compensate for areas that might be less comfortable for you is part of increasing your social and emotional intelligence. The foundation and ability to achieve greatness is within each and every one of us.

We are all gifts. We bring our experiences, our knowledge, our strengths and our personality into each situation. We have a blend of experiences that’s uniquely our own. We can draw on those pieces in each new interaction and situation.

To discover your inner leader, you need to unlock your communication abilities and keep working on your social intelligence. Build on your personality strengths and use them as a launch pad for growth. Social intelligence helps you read and interact effectively with different personalities. It helps you “get along” with others…and it also helps you stand out from the crowd.


“We are all designed to live great lives. It is through being socialized that we limit our capacity. The good news is that we can reignite this natural capacity. We have no doubt that you’re capable of greatness. This is not starry-eyed optimism but pragmatic certainty. We’ve coached and trained many people who’ve achieved spectacular results in every area of their lives. They have learned to transform—that is, to consciously reignite their capacity to live ever-greatening lives.

If you think you want…to discover your next most radiant self, then get ready to have more fun, but also to get hurt more. There is no safety from pain—just a commitment to learning and growing from it. Radiance can take the form of laughter…Your next most radiant self will also be more open and less defensive and resistant, so you’ll experience more flow and aliveness. You’ll become increasingly real, sharing your pain and your joy, your anger and your fear, your gifts and your foibles. By continually developing emotional and social intelligence, you negotiate life’s inevitable knocks and problems with greater ease and benefits.”

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


Is unlocking our personal strengths an easy task? Is it simple to discover our own personal power?

Yes and no. Transformation isn’t a switch you turn on and off, but a lifelong journey. Once you become your next most radiant self, you might realize there’s a NEXT even MORE radiant you beyond that, and beyond that…

Fortunately, as humans we have unlimited potential for greatness. We have the gift of neuroplasticity—the ability to grow and adapt our brains over time. When we reach adulthood, we don’t stop growing or learning, and in fact, the more we grow and learn the greater our capacity!

If you feel like you’ve stifled your inner leader, or you have the skills for the job but aren’t quite able to extract the leadership from your personality, examine where you fall on the profile, and use it as a guide to help you strengthen your social and emotional intelligence.

Within each person is a great leader. Find your strengths and challenge yourself to embrace them and you’re on your way to unlocking your next most radiant self!

For more on building your leadership, visit www.wrightliving.com. Go forth and ignite your world for a better tomorrow.


About the Author

Judith

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 Wright and the Wright Graduate University.


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

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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.

What Motivates You?
Here’s How To Find Your Spark!

Finding out what motivates you is an interesting process, especially seeing as we’re all driven for different reasons. It’s about finding that deep down stirring that pushes you.

It’s what makes you get up in the morning, put your pants on, and get out the door.

Maybe you’re motivated by a desire to nurture and care for those around you. Some of us want power or control. Some of us are motivated by praise from our colleagues or boss. Some of us are motivated by cold hard cash (or think we are). Deep inside of each of us, though, something drives us.

We’ve all had days when we just aren’t feeling it. We phone it in, trudge off to the office, and give less than our best. We ALL have days like that. Maybe you didn’t sleep well, maybe you’re coming down with something, or perhaps there’s a personal concern weighing on your mind. Whatever it is, you know your heart just isn’t in your work. Your mind is off, and you just don’t feel like being there.

Having one or two days of feeling unmotivated isn’t such a concern. It’s normal, and it happens to all of us. However, weeks of feeling unmotivated and lackluster can indicate a deeper problem—a loss of desire, a loss of drive, and a falling out of touch with our yearnings.

We’re designed to be driven—but we must find our authentic selves. Maslow saw our drive as the desire for self-actualization and the realization of our full potential.

So how do you find what motivates you? What would “make” us be our best and give it our all every day? Psychologists have determined it’s about finding the meaning in our lives and embarking on a path where we’re constantly improving and growing as people. So how can you get there?

 
Designed to Transform

Our brains are pretty amazing. Deep within our neural circuitry, we’ve developed neuroplasticity: the ability to build new circuits and form new neural pathways, allowing us to learn, adapt, engage and constantly grow—and love the process! We’re not simply creatures of habit, or driven only by our biological imperatives and instincts. We are constantly learning and growing from each experience. We’re adapting and changing.

We can literally change our brains and our minds, and what we believe, who we are, and how we live. We can transform.

The very fact that we have neuroplasticity lets us know that we possess these amazing capabilities. Our transformation circuits are only activated, however, with our conscious choice and intent, through the stimulation of novelty and focused attention, as well as through our yearnings and emotions, which signal to our brains, “Pay attention, this matters!” Such attention not only rewires the circuitry of our brains, but it also affects the expression of our genes.

We are designed to seek, to be curious, to discover. When we are thrilled about the world of ideas and divining meaning, our seeking circuits are firing, activating one of the pleasure centers in our brains. We are in a state of eagerness and directed purpose—a state we human beings love to be in. This thrill of anticipating reward motivates us to act…


…We are designed to be explorers, and when we explore, our brains light up with pleasure. It is the novelty, not the outcome, that most delights our brain and activates our neuroplasticity. Our brains are never “happier” than when we are learning new things, stretching just beyond our current capacities. This is where we build new circuitry and develop mastery.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


That transformational spirit and desire to explore, grow, engage and deepen our understanding keeps us moving. When we’re connecting with those around us, listening to what others want, and finding ways to work toward our goals and vision together, we’re going to feel that spark!

You know those moments when it happens. Say you’re in a meeting and you totally nail it. The words that come out of your mouth are confident and thought out. You have a clear picture of what you want. You’re listening to those around you and sharing in their vision as well as your own—there’s a dynamic atmosphere, a synchronicity that just can’t be denied.

Understand Your Yearnings, Find What Motivates You

So if you feel like you’ve lost your mojo, and you’re feeling down and just not reaching like you once did, it’s time to figure out how you can connect, grow and push yourself!

What does that mean for you? It means you need to get back in the game. Volunteer for a project you’re holding back on, sign up for professional development courses, or take classes and training to get you to the next level in your job. Even learning a new task or how to use new technology or software will give you a little bounce and boost.

As our brains learn and discover new things, we find out what we really want, and we become happier. Those neuropathways are formed and we start to feel more alert, more alive, and more motivated to achieve our goals.

Explore a deeper understanding of your yearnings. Our yearnings are more than simple wants or desires. They’re the very fabric of our motivation and they propel us forward toward our goals. Understanding the yearnings within our hearts can help us unlock the path to our goals. We can see what drives us and what accomplishments will give us the most pleasure and satisfaction.

To feel more motivated, we have to connect with those around us. We have to listen, hear them out, and gain an appreciation for their humanity. Does that mean you’re going to like everyone you work with? No, of course not, but you should be open to hearing everyone’s ideas around the table. When people know you’re listening, they’re more likely to share and find ways to reach a common consensus and goal.

Lastly, to stay motivated, we have to stay healthy. We can’t zone out in front of the television, check out by scanning social media, or get caught up in comparing ourselves to those around us. We have to care for ourselves by getting rest, exercise, and spending time doing the things that make us feel healthy, strong and ready to go.

Keeping up your motivation isn’t as difficult as it can feel on a Monday morning when your alarm goes off. Work to discover new things about yourself, make an effort to grow, and explore the inner workings of your heart—and you’ll find what motivates you, and get that spark back in your life.

For more on unlocking your motivation and discovering what you really want, visit us for an upcoming Foundations Training Weekend. Learn more at www.wrightliving.com.


About the Author

Judith

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 Wright and the Wright Graduate University.
Loving the content and want more? Follow Judith on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!


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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.

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.

How to Handle a
Hostile Work Environment

So you’ve decided to embrace the power of positive thinking. You’ve learned of the paradigm shift a positive outlook can bring about, and you’re ready to bring the change into your life. 

Unfortunately, your coworkers seem to have missed the memo.

Whether your office is experiencing a “case of the Mondays” or worse, it can be deflating and defeating to work in an environment where you’re constantly battling the negative vibes of others.

Now, it is true that people complain and vent at work. It creates a sense of camaraderie and a shared experience. Sometimes it can be an attempt by your coworkers to make small talk or simply connect.

Even if those around you seem to feel very strongly about their negative complaints, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re terrible people or even bad employees. When we’re invested in what we’re doing, we’re going to feel strongly about things. Emotions go into our work and when we’ve poured in our blood, sweat and tears, we can be easily wounded, frustrated or upset simply because it’s so important to us. Our work and our careers can be a big part of our identity and how we see ourselves. This doesn’t make for light emotions.

However, some people just bitch to bitch. It has nothing to do with them feeling strongly about their job or caring too deeply. It’s just that they feel like “harshing your mellow” and raining on your parade. Your positivity might rub them the wrong way or they may simply be someone who hasn’t realized their negative words and thoughts lead to more frustration and sorrow.

The first step in how to handle a hostile work environment is to separate the naysayers and Negative Neds and Nancys from the truly hostile, toxic people. There will always be complainers, and while they might be frustrating and annoying to deal with, they generally aren’t out to make your work environment intolerable.

Dealing with Complainers

When you’re faced with a Dan or Debbie Downer, try to shift the conversation. Focus on having more meaningful interactions with them. Offer to grab a cup of coffee and lend them an ear. Remember conversation is about give and take.

Ask your coworker, “What did you do this weekend? Why was it so great?” Conversely, if they say, “Thank God it’s Friday—this week can’t be over soon enough,” ask them, “What’s been so bad about your week?” Sometimes, when they start to articulate all of their complaints, they’ll have a change of heart. You might hear, “Well, actually it wasn’t so bad, I’m just looking forward to something exciting this weekend.”

Suddenly the conversation has gone from a litany of complaints to a meaningful connection focused on positive activities and excitement about the future.

Try to see the truth in who your co-worker is, and realize they’re a person who wants to be heard and understood. Maybe they just don’t know how to express things in a positive way or they see co-conspiring as a way to build a connection. Find a way to connect beyond the collusion by looking at them a little closer, and listening to what they’re really hoping to say.

Embracing Your Own Positivity

Lead by your example. One of the easiest ways to keep focused on the positive is to BE positive. When someone begins the transformational growth process, they often start with initial bravado and enthusiasm.

Even in a hostile work environment, you don’t have to be “fake” or pretend everything’s great to work on your positive mindset. It’s still okay and even healthy to acknowledge you feel fear, sadness or frustration. Those emotions, while negative, need to be expressed as well.


“When fear is allowed to operate beneath the surface, however, it does the most damage. When people quit things it is often because they fail to acknowledge and deal with their fears so they rationalize instead. Typically, they approach new activities brimming with confidence and even cockiness—generally a sign of someone not listening to their fear. They communicate that they’re ready for anything, be it a new job, new school, or even a marriage—that they have no anxiety about what the process requires of them. As much as their gung-ho attitude provides them with initial positive energy, this energy can easily turn negative. It begins to sound an alarm in their unconscious mind, warning them about taking risks, about trying new activities, about pushing themselves into areas where they aren’t skilled or comfortable.”

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


Acknowledge your truth and the spectrum of emotions you might be feeling, but approach experiences as growth and learning opportunities. View each situation as a chance to learn more about yourself and to get closer to your goals and vision. See your fear and harness it rather than avoiding it. Rather than setbacks, look at obstacles as opportunities to reroute and discover even more about yourself.

Dealing with Toxic Coworkers

Even those of us with the most positive intentions will now and again run into people who are just downright toxic. These people, try as you might, just refuse to connect with you, engage or move forward. What’s worse, they might even be thwarting your attempts to grow or do your work. They can make your job downright miserable, and certainly contribute to a hostile work environment.

When you’re dealing with someone who’s truly toxic, don’t be afraid to confront the issue. Surprisingly, sometimes bringing it out on the table and saying, “Look, I feel like you’re angry with me or I’m rubbing you the wrong way. This is what I want to get done and where I’m trying to lead us. Explain what you’re trying to get done and let’s see if we can find a way to get on the same page.”

If they balk at the confrontation or continue to try to sabotage you and throw you under the bus, don’t let your negative coworker throw you off course. Keep your communication with your boss and leadership strong and open. It doesn’t mean you need to “tattle” to your boss, but if a toxic coworker has become more than just an annoyance, there may be formal complaints and other management interventions needed.

In most cases, however, confronting the person and letting them know you’re feeling upset, picked on, bullied or otherwise annoyed with them can help you get things out in the open so they can be addressed. Sometimes they might not even be aware of how bowled over they’re making you feel or how their hostile attitude is affecting you and the team. Bringing it out into the light is the first step to resolving the issue.

Keep your interactions at work focused on the “big picture.” If you steer off course, always bring it back to your personal vision and how it aligns with the vision of the leadership in your organization. Look at the good you’re doing within your workplace and how you’re helping others and making the world a better place. If you can find the good and positive in your job, it will be the silver lining to make each day (even Mondays) better.

For more on how you can move forward in your life with positive intentions, please visit Wright Living. Find out how you can transform yourself and those around you by bringing more light and goodness into the world. Be your best self!


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.

Teamwork Skills:
How Leaders Cultivate
Unselfish Teamwork

Whether you’re a team leader or a team player, you know full well nothing happens without teamwork.


 

CEOs, business psychologists, and career coaching professionals are constantly studying group dynamics and “group think,” attempting to understand what makes a group cohesive, which personality strengths and traits best ensure a group will click, and how they can apply these ideas to the workforce.

Whether we’re talking business teams or sports teams, what really holds teams together is unselfish teamwork.

We’ve all heard the old cliché, “There’s no ‘I’ in team”—but it’s true. When you walk into a room, you can either decide you want to succeed or you can decide you want the room to succeed. If you’re out for your own success and glory, then yeah, maybe you’ll get there. Maybe you’re gregarious, charming and fascinating enough to get people to like you.

However, while you might have the best ideas, if you’re only out for your own success you’ll eventually fall behind, never reaching your full potential.

In leadership, it’s about getting your team to share a vision. It’s about really engaging with each team member and understanding each other on a deeper level. It’s about taking the gloves off and getting into productive discussions—and yes, even engaging in conflict at work—to get to where you want to go.

I can’t tell you how many times in my own life I’ve been going along thinking I had all the right ideas about something, then someone engaged with me and opened my eyes to something completely different. I like to think I’m a pretty smart guy, but I’m only as smart as the room I’m in and those I’m around. I’m only as good as the team I’m playing for.

Lead From Wherever You Are with Visioning

Every single employee at your organization has a vision for your company, from the CEO to the janitor. When we go to work, we all have an idea of how we want our day to go. We have hopes and yearnings about what we want. We envision our boss praising our work. We picture ourselves scoring the winning goal, upselling the top account, or sealing the deal with a new client.

While there are some who simply want to come in to work, do what they need to do and go home, most of us who are engaged, active and growth-focused in our lives and careers hope we can come in to work, do something great and enact positive change. We hope we can be the best we can be, every day.

Yet, what happens when we step back and realize we’re in a room where everyone wants to be the top seller, the best closer, or the boss’ favorite? Wouldn’t it be stronger for the company as a whole if we endeavored to be the best organization we could be?

Instead of asking how we can do our job more effectively, shouldn’t we be asking how we can enable and support the effectiveness of the entire team?

To elevate your team, organization, or group and cultivate real teamwork skills, you need to listen and share in on every member’s vision. Does that mean everyone will agree on an outcome, join hands and sing Kumbaya around the conference table? Of course not!

It simply means we can lead from any position by sharing and listening, then getting the team excited about a shared organizational vision. “A good team doesn’t just know the company vision; a good team shares in the visioning and each team member embraces it as their own.”

Boost Teamwork Skills by Bringing out Everyone’s Best

Not everyone can be the star quarterback, the homerun hitter, or even the head referee. We can’t all play the same role and the ball doesn’t always come our way. If we each only seek the desire for personal glory, we’ll be knocking down the other players and our team will falter.

The same idea applies to our teamwork skills at work. We’ve talked about the importance of treating every meeting as though you’re the host. You know what the best hosts do? They let others shine. They listen. They serve those around them, and help them bring out their best.

The quarterback doesn’t always get the glory or get to score the winning point, and neither does the meeting host. It’s more important to ensure everyone is winning and working toward shared company goals.

I’ve been around some great people in my life and one thing I’ve learned is to recognize the way truly great, charismatic, and strong leaders have a way of making those around them feel like they’re just as important and fascinating. They engage. They listen and they take note. They ask questions to gain a deeper understanding. They’re not thinking of how they can prove to you how smart and fantastic they are. Instead, you walk away feeling like YOU are smart and fantastic. They help bring out the best in everyone they meet.

To continue the conversation, unlock your leadership potential, and discover ways to bring out your best self, click here to join us for our next More Life Training.
Want to boost your career? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Want to improve your sales? The Wright Sales Program is a hands-on, experiential program that provides sales professionals with an opportunity to boost their sales performance through the application of social and emotional intelligence to their selling techniques. [Learn more!]


About the Author

Bob-300x250

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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Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

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.

How To Love
What You Do
(What If Your Job
Was More Than
Just a Paycheck?)

Do you slog off to work every day just to bring home a paycheck? Instead, what if you were to make just enough to cover your bills and take your partner out to dinner once in a while, but love what you do every single day?


Which option sounds better? Truth is, if your job only serves as a way to bring home a paycheck, no matter how much money you make, it will never be enough. You’ll always be unhappy at work. On the flipside, if you truly love what you do, you’ll feel alive and fulfilled, so you’ll be focused on much more than just your next paycheck.

Oftentimes, we feel like we might as well throw up our hands and go through the motions in our careers and in our lives. It’s easy to go to work every day, do what you’re supposed to do, and come home. You can punch a timecard and bring home a paycheck, but are you really working toward a higher purpose?

When you reach the end of your life, will you look back and say, “I’m proud of all I did for humanity”…or will you feel regret?

Finding Your Purpose: Going WAY Beyond the Hollow “Mission Statement”

Before you reach “success,” you have to define what success means to you. We talk a lot about learning to lead from wherever you are. What we mean by that statement is that we’re ALL capable of leadership, whether we’re new to the job or a well-seasoned CEO.

Becoming a visionary leader requires you to unlock the depth of your personality and drive. You must understand and articulate your purpose—“the why” of what you’re trying to do. Not only do you need to have a clear understanding of your purpose, mission and vision, values and goals, but you must also be able to share it with your employees and/or fellow team members.

The majority of personal mission statements are hollow. They lack intent. They don’t take into account the full scope of human experience or our spectrum of strengths and weaknesses. Too many mission writing exercises insist we only examine one side of our personality—our wants and desires. We’re imagining what we think we “should be,” rather than assessing our abilities and aptitudes and exploring areas we may need to develop.

I can have a mission to change the world through theoretical astrophysics, but I need to be realistic about my abilities, experiences, and in this case, my intellectual capacity and education.

When it comes to finding and defining your purpose, THINK BIG. Is your purpose to create stronger families in your community? Is your purpose to bring more authenticity and honesty to journalism? Is your purpose to help more women escape domestic abuse?


Your purpose is your own. Find it, focus on it, and live it. Every day.


Escape the Trap: Love What You Do AND Earn a Living

Time and time again, I see people trapped with golden handcuffs. They make money, they look good, and they’re “successful” on paper, but on a very basic level they’re lacking satisfaction and happiness. They feel they can’t move on because they can’t let go of the money. We all love having abundance and feeling like our needs are well met, but if it’s only about the money, it will never feel like enough. You’ll keep spending more to try to keep up.

Like King Midas, you’ll end up locked in a prison of your own success: mortgages, bills, even vacations—but without purpose and devoid of joy.

I see others who have the vision, the drive, and the heart, but they forget they also need to find a way to make their company turn a profit. If you have a plan with no vision, you’ll soon find yourself left spinning your wheels. Or, you can have a great big vision and want to change the world, but if you can’t feed yourself and meet the needs of your family, you might need to reassess.

Fulfillment lies in your ability to unlock your higher purpose and balance it with your grand plans. It’s all about finding that sweet spot: the point where you tap into your full potential—when you become an asset to those around you AND fulfill your needs.

Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “I am a part of all I have met.” When it comes to unlocking your purpose and truth, you have to understand and factor in all of your experiential pieces. This isn’t always pleasant. It means growth, hard work, and self-examination…all things most of us don’t like to do.

Purpose is the Roadmap to Fulfillment

Purpose can be difficult to define for many people, but it’s so worthwhile—finding your purpose can allow you to achieve a whole new understanding of how you approach life.

I hear from people over and over who tell me they are successful. They say they’re doing well in their careers. For all intents and purposes they should feel excited to go to work every day, but instead they feel empty. They blame those in their life for shortchanging them. They blame their education for falling short and not providing the direction they needed.

It’s like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz: the answer was inside us all along. The roadmap to get to where you’re going, to understand the joy of intentionality, and to become a true blessing to your customers, clients, coworkers, bosses, and employees is to discover your purpose.

From newbie employee to CEO, those who are driven by purpose are excited to come to work. They’re eager to make each meeting their own—not to be the center of attention, but to own the room and help everyone around them discover their vision. They’re positive. They understand their limitations and challenges, and they’re actively working to overcome them. They are growth-focused.  They serve those around them and make the world a better place by bringing out the best in others every day.

To continue the conversation, unlock your leadership potential, and discover ways to bring out your best self, click here to join us for our next More Life Training.
Want to boost your career? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Want to improve your sales? The Wright Sales Program is a hands-on, experiential program that provides sales professionals with an opportunity to boost their sales performance through the application of social and emotional intelligence to their selling techniques. [Learn more!]


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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Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user 125303894@N06.

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.

How to Be Awesome
at Networking

Think back to your last networking opportunity. You’re probably imagining an after-work event or party (maybe a cocktail hour), where you exchanged business cards and awkward conversation.


Maybe you felt like you were “working the room” because you handed out so many business cards or recited your elevator pitch to so many people.

I’m betting you received very few calls, if any. You probably thought, “These events are such a waste of time.”

Guess what? If you approached the room as your stage and you gave a canned elevator pitch (certainly peppered with wit) to everyone you met—then you probably missed the opportunity to really network.


To continue the conversation on engaging with others, and to discover ways to bring out your best self, join us for our next More Life Training.


The One Secret to the Real Power of Networking

Your network power is your source of personal power. It’s your squad—your personal Rolodex of numbers, names, and talents you can connect and tap into to change the world (or at the very least, to boost your business). It’s impossible to tap into your network if you haven’t really engaged with people. It’s all about the way you know them, NOT the way they know you.

What does this mean? For starters, it means going into every interaction with a host mentality. When you run into someone at the store, when you talk to someone walking his or her dog on the street, when you’re in a business meeting—embrace a host mentality. If someone comes over to your home, you ask how he or she has been, what’s new, and if can you get them anything—a glass of water, a bite to eat.

How can you meet their needs and make sure they’re having a great time?

It’s no different with any opportunity to connect with someone new. When you start conversation at an event or even just on the street, ask and listen. Approach the situation with the intention to really engage and learn about the other person. Find commonalities and values. What are your fundamental principals you have in common?

You may find you aren’t talking about yourself at all. You’re listening. A great approach is to say, “What do you hope to get out of this (meeting, event, party)?” and then simply listen. Follow up with, “Tell me more.”

Positive and Intentional Networking

In our new book, The Heart of the Fight, we discuss the rules of engagement. These don’t simply apply to your romantic relationships but to every engagement. One of the rules is “assume goodwill.”

Even if you find out the person you’re talking to happens to be your biggest competitor or diametrically opposed to your faith, politics, or the things you stand for, assume the person is approaching the situation with goodwill towards you as a fellow human being. Use that positive mentality to fuel the conversation. Yes, conflict may arise, but if it’s discussed in an honest way with respect for both the other person’s right to a different opinion and their humanity, you’ll still be able to extract something from the interaction.

In a best-case scenario, you might find someone who reframes your thinking, stretches your empathy, or gives you a chance to build a connection you previously thought was impossible. Make it your goal to learn what makes the other person tick. If you don’t understand, ask them to help you, and listen. You never know where it may lead.

I’ve had interactions with people everywhere from inside coffee shops to out on the street that have led to some of my best outcomes or have helped me lead my clients to great outcomes. It might simply lead to a great haircut or a referral to a new dentist, but those things have value as well. It’s about moving the conversation forward and hearing what the other person has to share.

What Goes Around…

Not every conversation is going to lead to an immediate outcome, but I’ve been through this rodeo enough times to tell you: every connection has value. I’m amazed at how many connections I’ve made that result in a success much further down the road.

We live in an instant gratification society. When we meet someone, we instantly try to figure out how they can help us—how we can make a sale or how we can create a new client. Instead, try to find out who they are as a person and what makes them tick. As you get to know a new person, you may find the opportunity for a deeper success and a greater outcome than a simple sale or business boost.

Your connection with someone—when they know you care about them and you see them for who they are—will create loyalty, friendship, and ultimately will lead to greater success down the road.

Many times, I’ve walked away from a first interaction where I’ve learned all about the other person and they’ve only learned my name, perhaps where I’m from, or a sentence or two about my career. The more I’ve learned about another person from an interaction, the stronger my connection to them will be. From the first moment, I’m already synthesizing their information and thinking on how this person can connect with others across my network, with my values, and within my life.

Without fail, the more I learn about another person, the greater the opportunities arise later. I could have given out my business card and droned on about myself for two minutes, and maybe they would be interested in investing their time and energy in me.

By networking with intentionality, both of us are investing our time and energy in the other person—and by doing so, we invest in ourselves long-term.

 

Listen to this episode here on BlogTalkRadio or here on iTunes.
Check Out Lifestyle Podcasts at BlogTalkRadio with Wright Living on BlogTalkRadio.

Want to boost your career? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Want to improve your sales? The Wright Sales Program is a hands-on, experiential program that provides sales professionals with an opportunity to boost their sales performance through the application of social and emotional intelligence to their selling techniques. [Learn more!]


About the Author

Bob-300x250

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.


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

Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user 124786284@N04.

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.