Tag Archives: Diane Bolden

Clearing the Way for Success

a woman in nature with her hands up and clearing the way for success

What is it that you are longing to create in the coming year? And what do you need to let go of in order to allow it to fully take root? Are you willing to entertain the thought that it may come in a form that is unfamiliar to you? Are you clearing the way for success?

Every year, we are encouraged to set New Year’s resolutions.  We are a goal driven society that is conditioned to seek more.  Our egos desire more money, more fame and prestige, and more stuff.  A deeper part of ourselves longs for more peace, more meaning, and more purpose in our lives.  We want to move beyond our previous realizations of what we’ve already accomplished to master newer, better ways of doing things – whether that be what we create in our lives or in our organizations – and as leaders what we are able to inspire others to do as well.

Though it is tempting to occupy ourselves with thoughts of how we can go about achieving all of this and what we need to do more of, perhaps what we really need to start with is what we need to do less of – what we need to let go of in order to create the space for something new to come in.  We are constantly evolving as human beings – and as communities of human beings.  It is so easy to look to the past to define who we are through the things we’ve already done – goals we’ve achieved, titles we’ve acquired, creations we have built.  Our previous experiences coagulate to form an identity that is easy to confuse with our true nature.

The fact of the matter is, you are not your accomplishments, your creations, or the sum total of the various roles you play in your life – manager, director, vice president, mother, father, friend, son, daughter, etc.  You are much, much more than that.  Your potential is limitless.

And yet, we limit ourselves by these definitions.  They filter the experiences we allow ourselves to have and compel us to define the form that our deepest longings should take.  In order to be happy, we reason – we must get that promotion, achieve this or that particular goal, hit that target.  So we continue to go through the motions, doing the kinds of things we’ve always done – on a sort of auto pilot.  Some of this may bring satisfaction, and some may bring a growing source of discontentment.  We need to attune ourselves to that which brings us the most of what we truly desire and open ourselves to the possibility that what we really want may need to come in a form that has previously been undefined for us.  In short, we must allow ourselves to surrender what we think we know to open up to the mystery that is unfolding in each of our lives.

Easier said than done, right?  How exactly do you go about letting go of the known when it is all you know? 

We can take our cues from nature.  Snakes and other reptiles shed their skin, trees drop their leaves, and caterpillars create cocoons in which their forms entirely dissolve before recreating themselves in the form of butterflies.  Even a fish in a bowl cannot stay in water that contains its excrement – the waste must either be emptied and replaced with new water, or absorbed by something else that will remove it from the fish’s environment.  Without engaging in these renewing processes, these creatures will die.  And so it is of us.  Many of us are already walking around encased in layers of old, dead stuff that needs to be released.

What are you holding onto in your life that has run its course?  What are the old outmoded ways of doing things that no longer bring you energy?  What are the things you’ve acquired that you no longer need?  What beliefs are you holding onto that are no longer true for you? 

Pay attention to the times that you feel constricted, anxious, or tired and in those moments ask what you can let go of.  Don’t be afraid of the answer.  Though it may frighten you because it introduces an element of the unknown, following these insights will always lead to freedom and liberation. 

Your computer can only handle so much data.  If you do not delete old emails and get rid of files that have been accumulating over the years, and if you continue to add new programs without deleting old ones, you will find that it becomes sluggish and unresponsive.  Just as freeing up space allows your computer to process things more quickly, so too will clearing your own personal space (whether of things or thoughts) allow you to access new levels of clarity and creativity.  You will breathe easier, be more present in every action and interaction you partake of, and bring more of who you really are to what you do.  And you will open up the space of possibility that will allow something to come in that may surprise and delight you.  Rather than being something you slave away for, it will simply emerge and reveal itself to you.

And of course, any work you do on yourself will serve as a form of leadership for others who, like you, seek their own answers and could benefit from your example of unearthing what is possible and allowing it to take form in new and unexpected ways.

The above article is an excerpt from my book, The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming a Real LeaderThe Pinocchio Principle is a roadmap to help you integrate your head with your heart, utilize your intuition, challenge your limits and move out of your comfort zone to unearth your greatest work while inspiring others to do the same. 

 

Implications for Real Leaders

The Real Leader Revolution is bringing to a head the need for businesses to better tap the power and potential that exists within the people who are the lifeblood of their organizations. This energy, when properly catalyzed and harnessed, will create the kind of value that earns loyal customers, increased market share and strong, sustainable profitability.

To find out more about how you can unleash this talent, energy and potential in your own organization (starting with yourself), sign up below to receive your copy of The Real Leader Revolution Manifesto as soon as it is released.


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My Most Embarrassing Moment

 

This week’s blog post, My Most Embarrassing Moment,  features a video about one of those experiences I’d rather not repeat and why the most powerful lesson from it didn’t come to me until years later.  Below I’ve expanded a bit on the key messages.

gym treadmillOne of my most embarrassing moments happened while running on a treadmill at a gym.  When I went to fix my hair, my foot hit the part of the treadmill that wasn’t moving and I lost my balance.  I hit the belt, which was still moving and was catapulted into the middle of the room where other people were working out.  Whether it actually happened or not, it felt as though the room went silent and all eyes were on me.

I’m pretty sure I was bleeding.  Though I was bruised and in a lot of pain, it didn’t come close to the humiliation and embarrassment I was experiencing.   I smiled and nodded as people asked me if I was okay, pulled myself up and somehow hobbled out of there.  To this day, I really don’t like to run on treadmills and tend to avoid them.

The lesson I took from that experience is that treadmills would hurt me.  But there was a far more powerful lesson that I initially missed.   When I fell, I wasn’t in the moment.  My head was somewhere else.  I wasn’t conscious or balanced and as a result, bad things happened.  My belief that treadmills will hurt me and I need to stay away from them is an assumption.  A faulty assumption.

PinocchioPrincipleIn my new book, The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming the Leader You Were Born to Be, I drew an analogy of assumptions like these to the strings that keep Pinocchio from realizing his dream of becoming real and doing what he really wanted to do.   My assumption that I need to stay away from treadmills is keeping me from what could otherwise be a very enjoyable experience, particularly if I don’t have the luxury of running outside.  I’ve written a whole chapter about how our assumptions keep us from doing the things we really want to do in our lives and how we can dismantle these strings so that we can live and lead in new, powerful ways.

What’s your treadmill story?  Maybe it is something you tried that didn’t go very well and led you to  rule out the whole experience and figure you were no good at it.  Maybe your story is about a person that reminds you of someone from your past with whom you didn’t have a good experience.  In either case, chances are you’re believing things that are not necessarily true and keeping you from something that could be really great.

What would you need to do to be free of that?

Click here if you’d like to order a copy of The Pinocchio Principle, or go to www.PinocchioPrinciple.com for more information.

Become a subscriber at  www.DianeBolden.com and receive my free report:  Ten Traps Leaders Unwittingly Set for Themselves…and How to Avoid Them.

Though comments are currently closed, please feel free to email me at Diane@DianeBolden.com with your feedback, questions and thoughts.  Have a specific challenge you’d like to see a post written about?  Let me know.  I’d love to hear from you!

Why I Wrote “The Pinocchio Principle”

This video is about what led me to write The Pinocchio Principle:  Becoming the Leader You Were Born to Be.  If you cannot see it on the page, click here to view it.  Below I have expanded on the key messages.  I hope you enjoy it!

What I really love about coaching is that it is not about telling people what to do or giving them answers.  The beauty and the magic that happens with coaching is that the client gets connected with something inside of them that has all the answers they need.  It is their inner wisdom – their creativity, ingenuity and resilience.  It is also the seed that contains within it their unique talent, style, energy and passion.  And it is amazing to see it come out.

I seek to do this for myself.  I want to instill it in my kids.  If I could give anything to the world, it would be to show people how to connect to the core of their true selves and to have the courage to bring that to whatever they are doing.  I spend a lot of time reflecting on what I can do to get clearer on the process – and what I might be able to write about that could tell the story.  One day when I was journaling, Pinocchio popped into my writing.

Pinocchio is a universal story – he is an archetype that mirrors so much of what is happening in our lives right now.  Most people think of him as the guy whose nose grew when he lied.  But Pinocchio is a story of a puppet that longed to be real.  He wanted to transcend that stiff, hollow wooden frame and do things in the world that he couldn’t do as a puppet.

So many of us are at a place where we are ready to go beyond the boundaries we have previously set for ourselves – to dig deeper, dream bigger, and fly higher.  We long to shed the strings that keep us tied to illusions that are simply not true – about what we need to do or be to enjoy success, and the limits that we think will keep us from achieving it.  Like Pinocchio, so many of us long to be REAL – who we really are beyond the constraints that keep us bound.

What I love about Pinocchio is that he messed up.  He told lies and then he recognized the consequences.  He landed himself in a cage.  He succumbed to temptation.  He had misstep after misstep.  And yet what the Blue Fairy told him was that to become REAL, he would need to prove himself brave, truthful and unselfish.  And I think the same thing is true for all of us.  Our journeys will be full of obstacles as well – and there will be times of frustration, anxiety and stress.  The experiences we have will activate the courage we have within to be true to ourselves and others and of service in the world, just as Pinocchio’s experiences did for him.

That’s why I wrote The Pinocchio Principle:  Becoming the Leader You Were Born to Be.  It’s really a road map to help each of us take whatever experience we are having right now and utilize it as a window into ourselves that allows us to tap into whatever we need to rise above any situation that we find ourselves in.  My hope is that it will help you navigate the perils and possibilities of your own personal odyssey so that you can unearth your greatness and bring it into the world in such a way that it blesses your own life as well as that of others.  As you do this for yourself, you will inspire others to do the same – which I believe is the mark of a true leader – regardless of your vocation, title or role.

The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming the Leader You Were Born to Be will be released on 1/11/11 and is now available for preorder at www.PinocchioPrinciple.com.  I will also be working with a small group of eight people to lead them through this process (based on the book) as well.  A few spots still remain.  We’ll meet at my office in Phoenix every other Thursday from 11:30am to 1:00pm from 1/13/11 through 6/16/11.  For more information or to register, go to www.DianeBolden.com/AIAL.html.   The cost is $900 ($75 a session) and payment plans are available.

Become a subscriber at  www.DianeBolden.com and receive my free report:  Ten Traps Leaders Unwittingly Set for Themselves…and How to Avoid Them.

Though comments are currently closed, please feel free to email me at Diane@DianeBolden.com with your feedback, questions and thoughts.  Have a specific challenge you’d like to see a post written about?  Let me know.  I’d love to hear from you!