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

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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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.

What is Life Coaching?
Do I Need a Life Coach?

Maybe you’ve reached a crossroads in your life. Perhaps you’re at a stuck point in your career or relationship. Maybe you’re not sure what you want to do next. You find yourself asking, “Do I need a life coach?”


Before you decide to engage with a life coach, it’s important to understand what life coaches do (and what they don’t). Life coaches can be instrumental at certain points in life, especially when you’re in the right place to fully use their services.

So what is life coaching? What should you expect out of coaching?

What is Life Coaching?

What is life coaching? If you’re asking yourself, “do I need a life coach,” you may be looking in the wrong direction. Life coaching isn’t something that emerges from a need. You don’t NEED life coaching. It comes from desire—a desire to get MORE out of life and be your best.


If you think you need life coaching to fix your problems, chances are you may actually need a therapist or counselor.


Just like an athlete needs a physical therapist to work an injured area of their body, a therapist helps you work on the areas of your mind and emotions you need help with.

A coach, whether sports coach or life coach, helps you bring out your best, so you can perform at your optimum level. Coaches help you improve your life by focusing your efforts on what’s already working. Coaches help you get to what you want to accomplish and achieve. A career coach coaches you on your professional goals; a relationship coach or marital coach coaches you on your relationships, just like a basketball coach helps your team reach the championship.

As with any sport, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to coach yourself to the top. We’d laugh if a professional team showed up and said, “We’re just going to coach ourselves this year.” Yeah right!

If fans heard that, they’d sell their season tickets and expect the team to fall apart. Similarly, we can look at Olympic athletes. If they have an athletic talent or skill that they want to refine to make their way to a gold medal, they need a coach. In fact, when it comes to Olympic dreams, athletes need the very best coach that they can find.

If we want Olympic-level lives, we need the same level of coaching. Succeeding and getting the most out of life requires the mastery of many skills—social, emotional, and physical. For an Olympic quality life, we need a coach in our corner. Even the most talented athlete can’t coach themselves to a championship, so why would we expect to coach ourselves to a championship life? A good life coach will help us discover what we need to do to unlock the door to a win.

What Does a Life Coach Do?

So how does a life coach help us unlock those big wins? Is it accountability or something else? If we have strong relationships with our friends, do we still need an outside life coach too?


A professional life coach helps in many ways beyond simple goal setting, accountability, and achievement. Life coaching isn’t only about checking in regularly or receiving advice. A good life coach doesn’t give advice at all.


An excellent life coach helps clients explore how they feel about their world and how they feel about themselves. More importantly, a great life coach won’t simply tell clients the answer or solve their problems—instead, they help clients evolve and work through their problems, empowering them to find their own solutions. In life coaching, we understand that the best answer is one someone discovers for themselves.

A professional life coach will help clients build on their strengths and identify their paths. A life coach won’t lay out the path for their clients and hand them a map, but instead, they help them find their own road along their journey. A life coach isn’t someone who gives advice or tells people what to do. Instead, they help people examine what they want and where they want to go with their life. A great coach will help their clients engage and fully live their life.

Who Does Life Coaching Help?

While life coaching doesn’t replace therapy or counseling, life coaching is for everyone. Yes, it can be most effective at discovering and playing up strengths, but coaching can work at any time. Often when we try a new endeavor like taking a class or reading a book, we apply a few of the ideas for a while. Then, when we don’t get lasting transformation and change, we think to ourselves, “Well, I tried, and it didn’t work.”

Instead, it can be helpful for us to reframe the thought pattern of “it didn’t work” to look at what we can learn and take away from the experience. We can examine the results that the experience did bring about, and those results can help us extract more from our other life experiences. Everything we read, try, and work on gives us more knowledge and ultimately brings about a result. It may not always be the result we want, but we always get a result.

Perhaps we’ve been through some life changes or reached a make-or-break point in our career. Or maybe we need to resuscitate our social lives because we’ve become “all work and no play.” Perhaps we’re entering back into the dating game after a divorce or a breakup. Or maybe we want to work on our relationship with our spouse because we feel it’s become strained or lost the “spark.” A life coach can help us navigate through all these struggles.

A relationship coach guides us through conflict and helps us figure out the real heart of the fight. (Hint: conflict isn’t always a negative sign—it can actually mean engagement and growth!) A relationship coach can help us discover more intimacy and a greater connection with our partner to regain that magic and take it to the next level.

We might be the most successful person in our workplace. We might be at the top of our game. We might have a great marriage, a wonderful connection with our kids, and fulfilling social life, but we might still be nagged by the feeling that there could be MORE.

Life coaching can help us discover how to extract even MORE goodness out of the good things in our lives. It can help us level up and get even better.

How Does Life Coaching Work?

So, how does life coaching work? What should we expect when we engage with a life coach? Do we look up coaching online and go with it?

If we feel like we’re going through the motions—wondering if this really is all there is—it may be time to investigate work with a life coach. A coach helps us get more out of life. They can help us focus on our vision and work toward a path of greater meaning and purpose.


Getting started with a coach means finding someone who is professional, experienced, and who understands us. At the Wright Foundation, our students work with our Chicago-based life coaches one-on-one.


They also do peer-to-peer work in small groups. Our approach to life coaching is based on neuroscience. We explore how our brains process and experience different interactions and use that exploration to reframe and change our mindset. Through mindfulness—not just awareness, but deep, intentional engagement—we can all live life more fully. We can start engaging at the speed of life.

Our approach also offers a way for our students to engage with others at the top of their careers, trying to take it to the next level. Like a professional sports team plays together, relying on their individual strengths to help each other move towards a goal, our Chicago life coaches and peers help each other maximize their potential. Our students discover untapped resources and social and emotional strengths that help them find success in their career, sales, marriage, and life in general.

Working with a life coach can help us bring out the best in all areas of our lives. A great coach helps us reflect on past experiences and look beyond our current circumstances to find the next mountain to climb and the next beyond that. Working with a life coach helps us get better and better. Whether we work in sales, we’re an entrepreneur, work in tech, accounting, or education—anyone can benefit from transformational thinking. It’s all about learning to think beyond ourselves, transform ourselves, and reach out to transform and bring out the best in others.

If you’re ready to take the next steps toward living your best life, explore our coaching resources. You can learn about our Chicago-based life coaches and discover more about our workshops and educational offerings. We offer courses for download at Wright Now, so don’t miss the opportunity to get ahead in your career, relationships, and life.


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.

 

4 Reasons You’re Miserable at Work…and What to Do About It

Do you hate your job? Are you miserable at work? Do you get the “Sunday scaries” and dread the office on Monday? Are you wondering if it’s time to throw in the towel?

Miserable at work? Don't give up hope! Here are four reasons why your job makes you miserable and what you can do to turn it around.

 


 

Many of us are looking at our job satisfaction and wondering if we shouldn’t be getting more out of our work. We may think of moving on but feel afraid of the career and financial consequences. So we trudge in each day, accepting that we’re doomed to feel miserable at work.

If you’re unhappy at work, there are a few points to examine. Here’s why you might be so dissatisfied with your job.

Is It Me or Is it the Job?

As a coach, I often hear people complain about their job situation. Many people have told me that they’re miserable at work. But what does that really mean?


Underneath that misery could often be feelings of frustration, anger, hurt, and even boredom. It turns out we feel more satisfied when we’re challenged.


When we’re just going through the motions, trying to make it through the day, it might be time for a step back.

The first question is—does work have to be miserable? After all, it’s called work, not fun, right? Absolutely not! I’ve worked with hundreds of people who were satisfied, stimulated, and purpose-driven in their work. They had fulfilling job experiences, whether they were a CEO, an entry-level intern, or serving up coffee behind a counter.

4 Reasons Why We’re Miserable at Work

When we look at our mindset, we can often turn those feelings of being miserable at work into feelings of fulfillment, growth, and betterment. Are we getting in the way of our career satisfaction? Here are a few reasons we might feel miserable at work.

1. You’re Not Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Own Happiness

We are all responsible for our own actions. But what does personal responsibility at work mean?

Taking personal responsibility is the act of declaring: “I determine how I react to the world. I am responsible for my own self-care. I don’t expect others to take care of me, AND I take responsibility for my emotional responses.” In our work life, we could also add, “I’m personally responsible for giving work my all, every day.”


When we feel miserable at work, we should ask ourselves if we’re really pushing ourselves. Have we become stagnant in our work? Are we learning and growing with new challenges? If not, how can we take personal responsibility to ask for more challenging, engaging tasks?


When we don’t take personal responsibility, we enter a state of victimhood. We get stuck in a drama triangle, where we’re the helpless victim. We stop analyzing our situation and making choices to become more effective and happier. Instead, we are disempowered, in a hole of our own unhappiness. We’re blaming others for our problems without doing our part to improve our situation.

It turns out that people who are unhappy at work are often the same people with the least to do. Boredom is anger turned inward. When people take that attitude to work, they aren’t set up for success. They’re spinning their tires on the ice rather than moving forward and accomplishing tasks. When we face challenges and complete a task for the day, we feel accomplished and excited. These achievements lead to pride, joy, and job satisfaction.

Personal responsibility is about understanding that we each own our emotions and reactions at all times. We can make work a fun game or see it as drudgery. For example, I once hired an acquaintance and two temps to help with an envelope-stuffing project. The work was monotonous, but the acquaintance would stuff 300 envelopes at a time. When he finished his goal, he’d reward himself with a quick walk outside or a snack. Then he’d come back a get right back to work.

On the other hand, the temps viewed the task as dull and frustrating. My acquaintance ended up stuffing more envelopes than the two temps combined. He was much happier too. He didn’t complain or blame the task. Instead, he got to work and turned it into a game.

If we want more satisfaction at work, we must start to shift our perspective about what’s “fun.” How can we set a goal and work towards it? Setting a timer, creating a milestone, or seeing how efficiently we can complete a task can make the time pass quickly and leave us feeling satisfied.

2. You Have Authority Issues

When we were kids, we may have heard that we had a problem with authority. It happens to many people, me included. Like many of our childhood memories and ideas, our pushback and rebellious streak can continue to manifest in adulthood.


But just because our boss is bossy (or even a jerk—and they are out there), it doesn’t mean we need to be unhappy. We need to look at how we’re reacting and get honest with ourselves.


If we have issues with authority (if we’ve had similar feelings whenever someone else is in charge), we’ll probably react to any boss, supervisor, or manager in a volatile way. Whether that means we shut down and withdraw or resist and defend, we’re likely to face continuous conflict unless we explore our feelings.

There are two steps we can take to get a handle on our authority issues:

First Step: We can deal with our unfinished business. All of us carry unfinished business with us. These issues are often unresolved from our childhood (even if we had happy childhoods), and they can come up when we experience feelings of powerlessness or frustration.

Yes, our “jerk boss” might be overly aggressive or even a bully because he’s unhappy with himself. But we don’t have control over that. We can only control our actions and reactions. Some folks can really struggle with this area, and it’s essential to get to the root of the problem. It could stem from residual childhood issues with authority. Perhaps our boss brings up negative feelings we had about someone in our past (an older sibling, a teacher). Becoming aware of these emotions and projections helps us get on the right path to control our reactions and make confrontations constructive.

Second Step: Deal with it. It may sound harsh, but sometimes we face people who are just jerks. If we’ve done work to become conscious of our projections and emotional reaction, but our boss is still a problematic bully, then the real question is—is it worth it? Can we deal with it? Can we put aside the feelings and work with this person productively?


When we focus on effectively doing our job rather than the emotional ups and downs of the day, we might find a greater sense of empowerment and control.


We can ask about our performance and spark a conversation with our boss down the road. This presents a less-heated opportunity to confront our boss about their attitude honestly and openly.

How will the boss react? They may respond positively or negatively, but when we’ve honestly expressed our feelings in a responsible manner, we own them. Our boss may not listen, and they may not change, but these opportunities can teach us powerful lessons about our inner strength, skillset, and even how to do a better job. If the situation is genuinely unworkable, then it may be time to liberate ourselves from the job and find something that’s a better fit.

3. You Aren’t Recognizing and Honoring Emotions

Sometimes our misery at work doesn’t stem from our boss or the drudgery of the job. Sometimes we feel miserable at work because we aren’t connecting with others—customers, vendors, and coworkers. We’re letting our emotions take over without examining their origins.

Take, for example, if we feel really angry at a coworker. When we engage our emotional intelligence, we own, examine, and understand our emotions. We explore where our anger comes from, and we own our part in it. As a result, we can engage in productive, honest conflict with the other person and find a proactive way to resolve the situation. We can learn and grow from every interaction, thus nourishing our emotional and social intelligence.

Where do these emotions and projections come from? Childhood lessons and values can project onto our adult selves and influence our interactions with others. People often become their childhood selves while interacting with those who remind them of certain family members or friends. One person may stir feelings of comfort and happiness—like a favorite aunt. Another person may evoke feelings of inadequacy, like our demanding dad.

When we examine everyone we have issues with at work, we might discover some distinct familiarities with our relatives and friends from the past. Examine these issues to determine what we might be projecting onto others, whether good or bad. Recognizing our emotions can help those emotional intelligence skills grow.

4. You Don’t Have Social Intelligence Skills

Social and emotional intelligence skills help us understand people’s emotions and reactions. Social intelligence is the ability to understand what other people are feeling, then learning to influence them positively and productively.

If we want to explore our social intelligence skills, we can ask ourselves questions like:

  • Am I a contributing team member?
  • Do I ensure my colleagues are working effectively?
  • Do I support the team?
  • Am I helping everyone win by contributing?
  • Am I open and honest in communications with everyone at the company?
  • Do I try to better both my work and myself?

Some people lack social intelligence skills because they lack emotional intelligence too. They don’t understand their emotions and reactions. One leads to the other, and both skills are essential for happiness and satisfaction in work and life.

For example, if we feel like we’re on a team that drags us down, we can turn it around and ask, “What have I done to lift my team today?” That’s part of that social and emotional intelligence in practice. If we take responsibility for ourselves, even when others are not, we can be socially aware and carefully, responsibly, and clearly communicate our feelings. We can start to understand our colleagues and how they might react and then engage with them accordingly.

How to Stop Being Miserable at Work

All these reasons go hand-in-hand with why we might feel miserable at work. I’m not interested in just helping people be “happier” at work. I’m interested in helping them have a wildly successful career of fulfillment and satisfaction. Most of us won’t be happy every day with every task, but we can shift our mindset to find purpose in every task.

The 4 reasons for being miserable at work are in a very specific order for a reason. The first step is taking responsibility for ourselves. Then we must deal with our authority issues, increase our emotional awareness, and build our social and emotional intelligence.

Learning these social and emotional intelligence skills allows us to create joyous work, practice gratitude, learn and grow in an adventuresome way. We will discover more about ourselves, others, and our world every day.

To build up your career satisfaction, don’t miss the courses available at Wright Now. We have insightful resources to help you increase your satisfaction in your relationships, career, and with yourself. Don’t miss the opportunity to live a life of more!


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.


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.

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.

Discovering Your Purpose: How to Find More Meaning Each Day

We’ve all gone through times when we’ve felt aimless, unfocused, or maybe a little empty. We might wonder what is the meaning of it all? Or feel like is this all there is?


 

Find more meaning in your life every day by discovering your purpose.


When life becomes challenging, it’s easy to become disheartened and untethered. You might feel empty or bored and wonder if you’ve somehow lost your sense of purpose. Are you doomed to wander through your days as the years speed up and pass you by? Is there a way you can get back some sense of meaning?

These feelings can spur you to take drastic measures—quit your job, end a relationship, or move to a different house. You might believe that if you only made some change or had some new “thing,” you could find fulfillment and happiness. But as most people quickly discover, none of those are effective ways to discover your purpose.

 

What is Purpose Anyway?

It’s a big question. Purpose is the “why” behind what you do. Purpose is the answer to questions like, “What is this all for?” and “Is this all there is?”

At first, when you find yourself asking those questions, you might find yourself looking in strange places for the answers. Some folks buy a motorcycle, take a sabbatical, or quit their day job. Others might try to drown out dissatisfaction by turning to soft addictions—binging on television, zoning out on social media, overeating, and shopping too much.

But until you discover your purpose, you won’t find satisfaction in your activities, no matter how fun, delicious, or exciting. The moment they’re over, you’re returned to the nagging sense of emptiness. It’s like an itch you can’t scratch. You’re longing for more but can’t quite ever find it.

 

The Power of Discovering Your Purpose

To be successful in life, we must find our own purpose. It looks different for everyone, and no two paths are alike.


Without a sense of purpose, we’re just floating around…lost. We’re going through the motions; we’re checked out and zoned out. We’re filling our lives with pacifiers. We’re disengaged and disconnected. Maybe we’re finding little successes and joys along the way, but without a true sense of purpose, we get the sense we aren’t quite there.


When we feel lost or unfocused (or simply “blah”), we should check our sense of purpose. Maybe we’re pretty fulfilled at work and love our job, but our marriage has lost the fire. Perhaps our marriage is okay, but we think our social life is lacking and dread going to work. Maybe all areas of our life could use some work, or perhaps there’s a specific part that doesn’t seem to be hitting the mark.

Purpose is something that’s got to exist in all areas of our life. It’s a 360-degree goal. Purpose transcends our entire being. It’s one of those things: we’ve either got it, and it spills over into all facets of our lives, or we’ve lost it, and it starts to suck the meaning and fulfillment out of all our activities. Yes, it’s true–if we notice a lack of fulfillment in one area, we can be sure that, like dominoes, other areas will soon follow.

Purpose matters.

Discovering Your Life Purpose: The Big Picture

You might be wondering, “what is the purpose of my life, then? How do I discover this great sense of purpose?”

A clear life purpose gives meaning to all activities. When we have purpose, we’re fully engaged and all-in in everything we do. We’re firing on all cylinders. When we find purpose, even mundane activities become opportunities to mindfully learn and explore. Our days become an adventure, and our world becomes anew.


Life purpose is the container into which we fit our goals. It’s our vision—the whole picture. Our purpose is the summation of what we’re working toward.


Maybe you’re fulfilled at work, but your marriage has lost its fire. Perhaps your marriage is okay, but you dread going to work. Maybe all areas of your life are ok, but none of them are fantastic.

Purpose is something that needs to exist in ALL areas of your life. It must transcend your entire being. When you discover your purpose, you’ll experience it spilling into all facets of your life. But when you lose it, it sucks the meaning and joy out of all your activities.

That’s how much purpose matters.

When you have purpose, you’re fully engaged in everything you do. You’re firing on all cylinders. Even mundane activities become opportunities to learn and explore mindfully. Your days become an adventure, and your world becomes new.

For some, discovering purpose means connecting with God or religion or a higher power. For others, it’s about making a difference, and feeling secure that you’re working from a place where you help all those you touch. It can mean engaging in challenging and stimulating relationships, connecting with others, and pushing yourself in work and play. The truth is, it’s all those and more.

If you think of a projector shining concentrated light through film onto a screen, purpose is the lens through which life flows to project your highest vision.

Purpose is also about elevating those around you and helping them to bring out their best—which in turn, brings out your best.

True transformational leaders have vision, but their goal isn’t to simply achieve that vision. It’s to embrace and share their vision with those around them. To listen, connect and engage with those they encounter to help them realize their vision.


Transformers live purposefully and with intent. They don’t meander through their days; they are on purpose—to follow and fulfill their yearning to learn, grow, love, and be loved, to matter, to make a difference. Transformers care so deeply about living with intent and pursuing their purpose that they can preserve through extreme hardship. Their yearning is so powerful that they feel compelled to engage…To develop the sense of mission and purpose, dedicate yourself to follow your deeper yearning—substantial, real, here-and-now yearning—and your purpose will emerge. Purpose is not an escape, and rarely is it a charity or cause alone—it’s a way of living. It is something that is a unique expression of you.

Transformed! The Science of Spectacular Living


Getting Fulfillment Now

Most of us wait, not feeling fulfilled until we accomplish certain goals or hit milestones—rather than experiencing fulfillment in every moment and every situation. When you discover your purpose and orient to it, you can see greater possibilities in every situation. You can stop waiting to live because you ARE living. You are honoring life in all its manifestations.

Now you’re probably thinking, “Well, that sounds all well and wonderful, but okay, how do I DO it? How do I unlock MY purpose?”

To find your purpose, you must truly understand yourself. It requires you to explore your yearnings—your heart’s deepest longings—to love and be loved, to touch and be touched, to be seen and heard, to make a difference, to connect and create.

The first step of the journey is to WANT to change—to have a desire for more. By simply wanting to discover your purpose, you’re already opening yourself to the possibility that there’s a greater answer and more to unlock than meets the eye.

So start today! Roll up your sleeves. Engage in the world around you! It’s never too late to discover your purpose, unlock your hidden yearnings, and lead your best life.

To learn more about purpose, please explore our courses on Wright Now. We offer an array of interactive resources to help you learn more about your relationships, your career, and yourself. If you’re ready to start living a life of MORE, there’s no better time than now!

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

Relationship Dynamics: Why We Click with Certain People

Have you ever wondered why some relationships just click and others drive us nuts?

A group of friends link arms as they look at the ocean. Significant others, acquaintances, coworkers, friends--our relationship dynamics are different with each person we meet.

 


 

Does your partner ever get under your skin for reasons you can’t quite understand? Do your friends tick you off without meaning to? Do certain people’s comments hurt you (even though you’re sure they didn’t mean it)? You chalk it up to just how it is or how different relationship dynamics play out, but relationships among people are more complicated than that.

When you find yourself really bothered by something someone says or does, it’s a great opportunity to explore the deeper reasons why—to see what’s going on under the surface.

As it turns out, your partner pissing you off by being on the phone, failing to replace the toilet paper roll, or making a joke at your expense isn’t about them being a “jerk.” It’s about the whole history of interactions that came long before they were even in the picture.

This realization may feel scary at first. We all want to believe we’re always in control of our feelings and emotions, no matter the situation, but we’re fooling ourselves. The reality is a significant portion of our personality—our likes, dislikes, beliefs, feelings, and reactions—are set long before we’re even aware of it. Much of this makeup, or our “matrix,” is formed when we’re very young.

So how does our matrix affect our relationship dynamics? How does it play into our romantic relationships and friendships? Does it really all come back to our relationship with our parents? Most importantly, can we change relationship dynamics?

 

How Our Early Experiences Affect Our Relationship Dynamics

Our past experiences have a direct and complex effect on our present relationships. When we’re babies, our interactions with our parents shape and “wire” our brains. We depend on our parents for our very survival; when we’re infants, our mother is our entire world. This shapes us in many profound ways and lays the foundation of our matrix early on. This includes our beliefs about ourselves and our place within the world.

If we don’t decide to examine, explore, and change these beliefs, they will dictate our lives and behavior, including our relationship dynamics. If you’ve ever noticed your partner’s behavior ticks you off because it reminds you of your mother or father, this is an example of your matrix influencing your perception.

So, why can’t we just shut this off? None of us likes to believe that our feelings and beliefs might be beyond our control, right? Well, sometimes, the memories and pieces of our makeup are unconscious. They’re so deeply buried in our core we don’t even realize they’re happening.

Has someone ever just bothered you for seemingly no reason? Maybe you look back later and think, “what was that all about?” or “I don’t know why, but she just bugs me.”

Interactions with others may trigger a series of feelings and emotions for reasons we can’t even understand. We may get hurt, angry, or sad because of the behavior of our partner or friends, but we do not completely understand why these feelings come up. Why do they piss us off so much? This is especially puzzling when little actions of others bother us but don’t seem to bother anyone else.


These early-instilled beliefs, conscious and unconscious, affect our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and actions. They even affect who we choose to pursue a relationship with.


You may find yourself inexplicably drawn to the “bad boy” or “good girl-next-door” for reasons that aren’t so clear. Or you may find yourself in an echo chamber of friends with similar beliefs, backgrounds, and tastes. Occasionally you meet a stranger that you just hit it off with—you click with certain people for reasons you can’t even explain.

These relationships among people are examples of how your matrix plays a part in how you interact with others, how close you allow them to get, how comfortable you are expressing your feelings, and how you feel about intimacy.

So, does this mean we’re all doomed to feel irritated with our partners for unconscious reasons? Or we’re only going to get along with people who remind us (or don’t) of our parents? No! Of course not.

We can’t do anything to change our past, but we certainly have control over the here and now. Not a single person had a perfect childhood (and if you think you did, you’re fooling yourself!) But how exciting is it that, as adults, we can continue to fill in those gaps, grow, and evolve into our fullest potential? By identifying these lessons from our past, we can use them to form better, more dynamic relationships and deeper connections.


This early matrix encoded in our neural circuitry works almost entirely within our implicit memory, which means it is outside of our conscious awareness. Implicit memories are stored sensations and feelings, which aren’t attached to an explicit event or memory in time. Early memories are formed before we have language, logical thought, or explicit recall (Siegel 2012a). Chances are you don’t remember exact incidents when your parent picked you up in your crib and reassured you as you cried or how often your diapers were changed, what you wore, how your mother smelled, the color of your bedroom, or what lullaby your father sang to you. It is only within the middle of our second year that we start to develop explicit memory where we remember specific incidents and details.

Why does all this matter? Because while implicit memories from the past are stored outside of our awareness, they arise in the present moment, and are masked by what we think we are experiencing in the current moment. Our matrix shapes our present experiences from the implicit foundation. When we are angry, panicking, or feeling deeply hurt, our present feelings often stem from our implicit memories, and we assume the present situation is causing our reaction.

When strong implicit memories are triggered, unbeknownst to us, childhood pain and fear comes raging to the surface. This may happen when you sense your partner isn’t there for you, for instance, and you don’t have a clue that you just activated a pain pocket from your matrix through an implicit memory. You think your charged emotional reaction is all due to your partner’s insensitivity, and while that is a trigger, the bulk of the charge is coming from the past.
The Heart of the Fight


To identify and examine the root of our feelings, in this case, our frustration or anger, we must look closer to figure out what’s triggered our reaction. Our partner may have done something insensitive or just plain crummy. Our feelings are validly hurt by their actions, but it’s important to recognize the hurt is often stemming from several places (not one insensitive misstep).

 

Express What You REALLY Want

We all know we want certain qualities in a relationship, but we may not understand why we want our partner or friends to act a certain way (and why it frustrates us so much when they don’t.) For example, many of us feel frustrated when we can’t seem to get our partner’s attention when they “phub” us in favor of their smartphones. Granted, there’s a lot to be said for putting down your phone and truly engaging, but do you ever ponder why it bothers you so much when someone brings out their phone at the dinner table?


When we’re interacting with someone else, we’re asking for their attention. We’re basically saying, “hey see me!” We want them to see us honestly, in the here and now. It’s a universal yearning many people share—to be seen, to connect, and to engage.


When our partner instead opts for their phone screen, our yearning isn’t being met. Consequently, we feel hurt. Now, it’s not up to them to meet all our yearnings. We are responsible for our own emotions and feelings. But we can certainly explore where our frustrations are coming from so we can speak up and say, “Hey, I feel ignored, and it’s hurting me. Put the phone down!”

As infants, we have a powerful desire to see and be seen. From those early moments, our survival depended on getting attention (in this case, from our mothers.) When we didn’t get attention, we were triggered to cry and make our presence known. After all, we relied on our mother for food, safety, and existence.

Studies show that babies read emotion by looking at their mothers’ faces. When a mother is non-reactive, the baby cries even if the mother is there. We want acknowledgment, not simply a presence on the other side of the dinner table. We want to be seen! We want our existence known! We want our partner to look up from the screen and into our eyes!

No wonder it gets under our skin when our partner scrolls through social media instead of engaging with us over the dinner table. By examining how these feelings started, we can better express our likes and dislikes. We can express our frustrations and ask that our partner acknowledge us and tell us they’re seeing us. We can ask that they listen to us and meet our yearning to be seen and heard. Often, a simple realization and request are all it takes.

When we examine the origin of our feelings, beliefs, and make up—our matrix—we start to understand ourselves more completely. We can engage in all our relationships among people more clearly and improve our dynamics with all those we interact with.

For more on improving your relationship dynamics, visit the Wright Foundation website. Join us for a weekend where we’ll explore these topics in-depth and help you build connections with others seeking to strengthen their relationships and maximize their potential. We also want to announce the availability of many of our courses for download. Don’t miss out on the special introductory price for many of our courses and lectures.

 

 

 

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. Follow him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

Life Coaching?
Career Coaching?
What Is Coaching?

 

When we reach a crossroads in life, we often have a lot of questions we need help working through, so we can find solutions and move forward.


Is this you?

  • My life feels unfulfilling and blah.
  • I’m overwhelmed at home and/or at work.
  • I’ve considered hiring a life coach, but I don’t know if it’s the right time or if I need one.
  • I’ve heard about coaching, but I’d like to know: What is coaching, anyway?

Maybe you’re hoping to change careers or pursue a new field. Perhaps you’ve recently been through a major relationship change, such as marriage or divorce. Or possibly you’re experiencing another big life event, like a move, a child leaving the nest for college, or the career change of a spouse. All of these big life moments can leave us feeling a little lost or uncertain how to proceed.

On the other hand…

As anyone who’s experienced a milestone birthday (30, 40, 50…) can attest, sometimes life’s critical junctures occur not because something big and obvious happens, but simply due to the passage of time.

Maybe you aren’t getting the same satisfaction from your life and career that you used to. Maybe your relationship isn’t quite where you want it to be. Perhaps your job, while it’s going “just fine,” doesn’t give you the thrill it used to.

You’re left wondering, “Is this it? Is this all there is?” All of these points in life can leave us wondering where to seek guidance.

What is Coaching & Do I Need a Coach?

Whether you’re totally overwhelmed or feeling unfulfilled with life, you’re probably asking a lot of questions.

“Do I need career coaching?” Possibly, if you’d like to take your job further, but you aren’t sure of your next steps. Or maybe you’re an executive or entrepreneur perching dangerously close to burnout. Is a mentor enough?

“Do we need couples coaching?” Maybe, even when things are going “okay.” Are you feeling like you’re not quite as connected as you used to be? If you’re wondering if that’s a natural feeling that happens with time…you may be surprised to learn it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you’re playing a basketball game, you wouldn’t want a swim coach to talk you through it, right? Although there are the Lombardis, Bryants and Landrys of the world who could probably inspire any team or player to reach their full potential, in most cases, to bring out your best in a specialized area, you need the right coach for the task at hand. You need a coach experienced with your particular area of need. Someone who can ask the right questions and help you discover the answers you need.


A great coach will guide you and help you find the answers within yourself. They aren’t a Magic 8 ball or a psychic. They can’t tell you what to do, what career path to choose, or how to make a million dollars next year—but they can help you learn to bring out your best.


There are many different types of coaches—relationship coaches, career coaches, and life coaches. There are coaches for executives and coaches for singles. There are coaches for parents and coaches to help you overcome soft addictions and personal challenges. If you aren’t quite sure what area you want to work on, you may decide a life coach can help you determine your path and direction. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to achieve specific goals in your career or relationships, you may want to seek out a more specialized coach.

The right coach can help identify and enhance your strengths. They can guide you through life’s questions as a sounding board, an unbiased and objective voice, and as someone who will hold you accountable for your goals. A great sales coach can help you figure out what’s holding you back from making your sales goals. A great life coach can work with you to discover why your life isn’t feeling as fulfilling as it once did. A great leadership coach can help you articulate your vision and work toward it.

Is Coaching Effective? Why?

How much of a difference does a great coach make? A study of Fortune 100 Executives by the Manchester Consulting Group found coaching had an “ROI of six times the program cost, as well as a 77% improvement in relationships, 67% improvement in teamwork, 61% percent improvement in job satisfaction and 48% improvement in quality.”

Unlike a therapist, a coach isn’t necessarily there to fix (or help you fix) a problem. They can help you discover the answers to the questions that might arise in your life, but they aren’t necessarily there to address mental health concerns and personality disorders. Instead, a great coach is there to aid you through your journey of personal discovery and potential.

A coach will help you identify things about yourself you didn’t realize. These realizations can lead to “aha” moments and transformation. If you feel you’re stagnant in your career or looking for ways to grow as a person, a life coach can help you identify those areas and help you set up a path to get to where you want to be.

The wonderful part about coaching is that, although they of course want you to succeed, they aren’t personally affected by your relationships and career. They’re able to remain objective and they’re invested only in helping you succeed in attaining the life you want.

This isn’t your boss or superior at work, who might help you set goals and give you guidance, but definitely has a strong monetary interest in your professional success (whether you find satisfaction with it or not). This isn’t your spouse or partner, who wants you to succeed but also has his or her own hopes and yearnings within your relationship. This isn’t your parents or siblings, who can offer guidance but also come with the weight of your past and relationships. It’s not even a friend, who can enhance your life but who, of course, is also looking for reciprocity in friendship.

A coach is an objective party who can simply guide you and help you achieve and unlock your full potential. You are their only agenda. A great coach encourages you to dream big. They help you focus on your vision, beyond your apprehensions, fears and even hopes. A coach provides a supportive role, guidance and accountability. A coach helps to train you, and push you to reach further, so you can live your best, most fulfilling life!

If you have questions about coaching and how to get a coach, START HERE.
To learn more about coaching and bringing out your best, join us for our upcoming Foundations Training Weekend to get a jumpstart and really discover what life coaching can do for you.

 


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.


 

 

Parenting & Fulfillment: Embracing the “Being” of Parenthood

What does it really mean to be a mother or a father? What is the true definition of these roles? Can we still nurture and give life, even if we aren’t parents in the traditional sense?

Embracing parenthood as our children grow.


 

Do we need to put our own personal growth on hold while we’re nurturing our children?

It’s no secret parenting is an emotional and in-depth experience. It’s a rollercoaster—a series of ups and downs. Often parents look back on the first years of their child’s life as a blur. We wonder if we did everything wrong. We may even feel like our own needs were put on hold or overlooked during those first years raising kids.

To understand why this is, we must explore the roles of mother and father.

When we hear words like “mother” and “feminine,” we think of emotional, nurturing qualities, especially as they pertain to our roles as parents. Motherhood is the very being of the parental role. “Father” and “masculine” might bring up opposite images—someone who DOES, rather than is. Father goes out, he obtains things to fulfill the needs of his family. He provides.

Now obviously in today’s world these normative gender roles no longer apply as rigidly as they once did, but there’s still a masculine and feminine component. Fathers today can be very nurturing, emotional and caring. Mother might be a high-powered executive and the sole breadwinner for the family, but at the core, parenting requires both the “being” AND the “doing” sides of the coin.

Male and female personality types aren’t cut and dry along gender lines either. Co-parenting and raising children as a family unit, rather than just “being” in the mother role is becoming the norm as we move into a more evolved and modern viewpoint.

Still, there are certain qualities that are assigned to parenting by the very nature of the role—nurturing, growing, connecting and evolving right alongside our children (or our projects, whatever “creation” we give birth to), whether we fall into the traditional roles of father and mother or something else.


Being a parent to the fullest extent is about BEING. It is through being that we can use parenting as a platform for our own personal growth as well as the growth of our children. We cannot simply “do” parenting; we have to BE a parent.


Emotion and the “Doing” of Parenting

Every parent knows there’s a lot of “doing” as a parent, particularly at first—there’s tossing dirty diapers in the trash, warming up bottles, feeding, sleeping, washing, and so much more. While these things involve some nurture and care, they’re definitely process-involved.

Sometimes within the processes of doing parenting, we can forget we also need to embrace the being. The “being” is vital to our own social emotional growth.

As parents, and particularly as mothers, we might forgo our own desires and yearnings to meet the desires of our children. Years pass, and when our kids are grown or have moved beyond the stage where they need constant attention, we might find ourselves less fulfilled, even empty. We might wonder why we spent so much time ignoring our own needs while we focused on the needs of those around us.

During my graduate study work (and in my own journey as a parent), I closely explored this role of motherhood and the dichotomy of being constantly “needs focused” and yet forgoing one’s own needs.

On the purely practical level, there are the basic functions of the job of mothering—feeding, dressing, changing diapers, maintaining nap and sleeping schedules, etc.—that require a significant amount of time for the woman engaged in mothering, especially in the early years. One might assume a woman’s facility with her emotions is not significant in these day-to-day happenings, but that would be a limiting assumption. –Excerpt from my dissertation, Expanding Mothering: Raising a Woman’s Awareness of the Opportunities for Personal and Psychosocial Growth and Development in Mothering (pg. 21)

At the core of motherhood and through these practical actions, there’s a great deal of emotion, but these emotions are often undervalued by society, and even by the parents who are experiencing them.

Even from the first moments of being a parent,

she is confronted by her fear and scarcity/survival about being strong enough, or capable enough to birth and feed her baby. She will need to be in a relationship with herself, allowing past fears and beliefs that she is “not enough” to come to the surface for healing, acknowledge that she actually is capable and move to trust—in both herself and those supporting her. Not only will she achieve the desired outcome more effectively she will have experienced it as a fulfilling here and now moment. –Excerpt from my dissertation, Expanding Mothering: Raising a Woman’s Awareness of the Opportunities for Personal and Psychosocial Growth and Development in Mothering (pg. 18)

Experiencing Growth Together

Parenting can be both frightening and fulfilling. It can dredge up much of our past and our beliefs about ourselves—the doubts, the feelings of, “I have no idea what I’m doing,” and the fears can become almost palpable as we try to raise our children.

At the core of becoming a fulfilled parent is embracing our own personal growth alongside the growth of our children. The amazing thing about children is that they can become our model for how we can go forth and view the world. Children are always open to new experiences. They approach each day as a new adventure. They experience wonder and awe every day.

How wonderful for each of us, if we could learn to apply the same approach! By working through our fears and limiting beliefs, we not only discover and engage, but also thrive and evolve, not only as parents but also as individuals.

Parenting Workshops

The Wright Foundation offers several parenting workshops, including our popular weekend family adventure retreats where parents can spend time with their children and apply the skills they’re learning to their parenting.

By expanding our own social and emotional intelligence and doing our personal growth work, we parents can look back on the years of raising our children as years of fulfillment and joy. We can fully engage and live with intentionality and purpose. Rather than simply “doing what it takes” to parent, we can BE what it takes to parent.

At the very core of parenting is a need to embrace, rather than shirk your emotional side. You must feel your emotions fully and understand your yearnings and innermost desires. Fulfillment isn’t something parents must forgo, it can be found within the act of parenting itself.

For more information on our weekend workshops or opportunities for personal growth at Wright, please visit the Wright Foundation website.


About the Author

Gertrude Lyons

Gertrude Lyons is a human emergence coach and adjunct faculty member at Wright Graduate University. Her academic career spans from a bachelor’s degree in Finance and Accounting, a master’s in psychology from Antioch University, and a newly completed doctoral degree from WGU. Gertrude is a wife and mother of two and resides in Chicago, IL where she continues to learn, grow, and develop her skills as a human emergence coach with the Wright team.


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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.

Portions of this post are taken from Gertrude’s doctoral dissertation, Expanding Mothering: Raising a Woman’s Awareness of the Opportunities for Personal and Psychosocial Growth and Development in Mothering—A Curriculum Evaluation Study.

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.


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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.