All posts by Diane
A Simple Little Secret for Overcoming Inertia
Is there something you’ve been wanting to do that you just can’t get yourself to take action on? You may dream and scheme and even have a plan for moving forward. But for whatever reason you just haven’t been able to execute it. Overcoming inertia is a common challenge, and it can keep you from living your dreams. But it doesn’t have to.
You’re probably familiar with the law of inertia. According to Merriam Webster, inertia is “…the inherent property of a body that makes it oppose a force that would cause a change in its motion. A body at rest and a body in motion both oppose forces that might cause acceleration.”
So, anytime you aspire to do something different, whether changing a habit or behavior, beginning a new endeavor, or creating anything – overcoming inertia is going to be a necessary and unavoidable part of the process.
It’s a powerful force. Because it’ll lead you to believe that whatever you are about to do is going to be hard. And you may end up telling yourself stories that’ll keep you stuck. You might convince yourself that whatever you are about to do is too complicated. Or that it’ll require too much work. Or that you don’t have the talent, energy, or wherewithal to endure it.
But what if the secret to overcoming inertia is to actually use the principle of inertia itself?
What if all you had to do to launch your new endeavor, habit, behavior, creation – or whatever you aspire to do – is just take some small action?
What if you don’t need to have it all figured out? …all your ducks in a row? …a multi-phase plan that maps every requirement, every step, and every contingency?
What if all you need to do is just START something?
Open a word doc and start writing. Pick up the phone and make a call. Go for a walk. Just get into action – and create new momentum – that is in alignment with whatever you ultimately want to accomplish.
If inertia is a force that leads us to continue doing what we’ve done before, by definition even the tiniest change in trajectory will begin to create a new force in a different direction.
Perhaps in this way, the smallest of actions can ultimately lead to the biggest of changes.
I experienced the power of this myself a few weeks ago, on a cold February day. And on a whim, I filmed a little video to capture my epiphany…
Hi, Diane Bolden, executive coach and author of “The Pinocchio Principle: Becoming a Real Leader.” And I just finished my morning ride. The thought hit me to shoot a video.
It’s cold here in Phoenix, which is crazy. I know. Wa, wa. But it was 35 degrees this morning, which is cold in Phoenix in February. And I did not want to get out of bed. And I did not want to ride the exercise bike. But I did it.
And I had an insight while I was riding that I wanted to share with you. What I realized is that it was hard to get on the bike because I was cold and I had to push through that resistance.
But now I’m warm. I’m actually kind of hot.
And I was thinking about how this is kind of like a metaphor for life… because whenever you start something new, you feel kind of cold. And you don’t want to. And there’s a lot of resistance.
[NOTE: Starting something new requires overcoming inertia – the momentum of whatever you were doing before that may be keeping you from doing what you’d like to do next. But… you can use the force of inertial to overcome inertia.]
And the more you give yourself to it – the more you allow yourself to kind of be in the game and push, (and I don’t mean push in a negative way, I just mean to get warm, to get your feet wet, to start something somewhere), what’s interesting is the environment doesn’t change…
It’s still very cold outside, and in here, but my body’s warmer and I have the ability to do things that I couldn’t do when I first woke up. And isn’t that just the same thing with life?
We start off and we’re cold. The environment doesn’t change, the circumstances don’t change. But if you allow yourself to get in the game and to get a little warm, and to move a little bit, you might find that you change.
And when you do, you’re capable of doing things you maybe didn’t think you could.
There Are No Missed Opportunities
Do you believe in “once in a lifetime opportunities”?
A lot of people will try to convince you to move on something because you’ll never have another chance…
Maybe you’ve even tried to convince yourself of that.
It creates a lot of pressure. And when you decide to pass something up, you may worry or regret what feels like missed opportunities. That can suck up a lot of wasted energy.
This week’s video will give you a different perspective – one that will save you a lot of frustration and help you to recognize that you may know more than you think you do.
Hi. Diane Bolden, Executive Coach and author of The Pinocchio Principle Unleashed – Becoming a Real Leader: How to Unleash Genius in Yourself and Those You Lead.
Have you ever regretted not taking action on something? Maybe it was something you’ve been wanting to do, but you just didn’t feel ready. Maybe the timing just wasn’t right. Maybe you just couldn’t get yourself to do it.
And then you might have beat yourself up or wondered, “Did I make the right decision?” Because there’s so much pressure put on us for not passing up that “once in a lifetime opportunity”.
But I don’t buy that. I don’t see life that way. Experiences in my own life, as well as that of many clients I’ve worked with bear a different truth – life doesn’t give up on us. And there are no missed opportunities.
Ancient philosopher/poet Rumi – “What you seek is seeking you.” So, if you’re meant to do something, you’ll have numerous opportunities to say yes. Like the waves in an ocean, one right behind the other.
Life prepares us for the grand things we do by giving us the not so grand little opportunities for growth. And when you’re not ready for something, you’ll have chances to prepare yourself.
And ultimately, many grand opportunities.
So, if something you really want hasn’t happened, or if you’ve passed up an opportunity to engage with it, don’t despair. You’re that much closer to the next one…
And it WILL come.
In the spirit of there being no missed opportunities… though the spring session of The Pinocchio Principle Unleashed is now full, you can get on the waiting list for fall. And if you’re interested in bringing the program in house, inquire at Support@DianeBolden.com.
Ever Feel Like Work is a Chore?
A third of your time on the planet is spent at work. Why would you do something that makes you feel… dead before your time?
So many of us feel like work is a chore, which Merriam Webster defines as “an unpleasant but necessary task”. It gets lumped in there with all the other things we dread but make ourselves do anyway – washing dishes, picking up the dog (or cat) poop, taking out the trash.
It’s interesting that Webster’s definition of the word “work’ has a similar connotation: “a task or tasks to be undertaken; something a person has to do”.
So, you could argue that the words “work” and “chore” go hand in hand. And if your previous experiences validate a belief that work is a chore the association will be even stronger. So strong that it leads to a common expectation that work is a necessary evil, a thing to be endured, something laborious and heavy.
Neuroscientific research has shown us that it is often our expectations themselves that shape our experience of reality. And that can keep you stuck in a perpetual loop of believing that work is a chore and a resulting experience that proves it to be true.
Over time, perpetual loops feel a lot like hamster wheels – you’ll expend a ton of energy, feel a lot of frustration, and not really get anywhere.
(And if you are a leader, you may be unintentionally setting that tone for your whole organization.)
But you can turn that all around and change your world for the better. It doesn’t require a lobotomy. And it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to quit your job. This video will give you a glimpse of just how easy that simple shift could be.
If you want more on revitalizing your work from the inside out, consider enrolling in the spring session of The Pinocchio Principle Unleashed: The Real Leader’s Guide to Accessing the Freedom & Flow of Your Authentic Genius. This exclusive 12-week leadership development program is now in its 7th year, with over a hundred happy alumni.
Participants for this video-based, small group coaching program are carefully selected and capped at no more than ten. Registration will open on February 15th, and priority will be given to those on the waiting list. For more information or to be considered for enrollment, go to www.UnleashtheExtraordinary.com.
Feeling stuck? Refocus on your GOAL…
Research indicates that 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the beginning of February. And if you’re thinking to yourself, “That’s why I don’t ever SET them,” you are not alone.
BUT… we all have goals and dreams and visions that are important to us. And achieving them isn’t always easy. If you’re feeling stuck or stymied, you may begin to get discouraged. You might judge yourself or beat yourself up – which certainly doesn’t help the situation.
But the solution for getting back in the game and on the path to achievement may not be as difficult as you think. Perhaps all you need do is refocus on your goal, or better yet shift your focus to something even more compelling…
This video is about getting back in the game after you’ve lost some of your steam – or when your best laid plans have gone awry. I’ve shared from my own personal experience (one that seems quite common) what I’ve found to be the biggest derailer – and how to avoid and/or overcome it.
Why refocus on your goal? Because your dreams, visions, and heartfelt intentions are too important to let feeling stuck get in the way. Watch the video to learn a powerful approach for getting out of the mire and back on the road to success.
And if you’d like more guidance on how to follow through on your most important intentions, visions and dreams – download my special report: Why Real Leaders Don’t Set Goals… (and what they do instead).
1.) why goals in and of themselves are insufficient
2.) a simple, compelling, and far more effective approach to achievement
3.) how to minimize the chance that your plans will be derailed
4.) how to master your mindset to achieve your dreams.
Here’s to your success!
This caught me off guard…
Quite ironically, right after I launched my newest on demand course on navigating change, challenge and uncertainty, I was hit by a sudden (and quite undesired) curve ball.
I filmed a little video before the holidays to capture some insights that came to me through the experience.
No matter how aspirational and planful you are as you usher in the new Year, life will inevitably bring unexpected twists and turns. My hope is that this video can help you bounce back from the kind of change you would never actually wish for yourself.
Eckharte Tolle once said, “Some changes look negative on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.”
Here’s to EMERGING in 2023!
P.S. You can find my latest on-demand course here: Navigating Change, Challenge & Uncertainty: How to Unleash Unprecedented Performance in Unchartered Territory
3 Things I Learned in My Garage About Navigating Change
Sometimes the greatest insights come to you in the strangest places.
In the midst of inevitable twists and turns, I found myself in my garage…
…surrounded by relics of the past and inklings about the future.
And I realized a few things about the nature of change – and how best to endure it.
So I filmed a little video to capture these thoughts for you…
The Way We’ve Been Working Isn’t Working Any More
Are you familiar with what’s being called The Great Resignation? With resignations and job openings at an all time high, companies are competing to hire and retain top talent. But much of that talent is feeling overwhelmed, overextended and burned out.
Because THE WAY WE’VE BEEN WORKING ISN’T WORKING ANY MORE.
We are at an unprecedented time with regard to work/life integration challenges. Telecommuting allowed us more time at home, but for many it blurred the lines between our work and personal lives, skewing it toward work and leaving many feeling chewed up and spit out.
While it’s becoming clear we cannot go back to the way things were, we must find a way to chart a path that’ll get us where we really want to go – and redesign the way we work from the inside out.
There has never been a better opportunity for leaders to rise up and blaze a new trail. But before they can lead others, they must first do it for themselves. This video was created for those who feel compelled to answer that call.
Are you one of them?
Watch the video to find out, then visit www.UnleashtheExtraordinary.com for more details.
How to Leverage Your Past to Supercharge Your Future
Well, the dust is finally settling, and the holiday decorations are (almost) packed up and put away for next year. For many, the holidays are a frenzied time – a rush to the finish line that has adrenaline spiking for days on end. Between running around trying to find the perfect gifts to sending out cards, preparing meals, entertaining family and friends and spending a lot of time around people we don’t often get to see, it can be exhausting.
Some of us were lucky enough to have a bit of down time before jumping back in to the excitement that the New Year brings. And others of us have simply been riding that wave that takes us from one activity to the next, with little time for transition. Though New Year’s Day has come and gone, it is never too late to take advantage of the demarcation that the end of one year and the beginning of another brings.
The turning of each year lends itself well to waxing reflective, calling to mind both the experiences in the past that have led us to the present moment, as well as what the future might hold – what magnificent things are bubbling up within us, just waiting to take form.
It’s curious that we often associate moments of reflection with major milestones (like a New Year), rather than as a continual process in our lives. Yet it’s easy to let the frenetic pace of business, the holidays, and personal affairs prevent us from enjoying the clarity of being alone with our thoughts, and even going beyond them into the silence of our own experience.
We get swept up in a kind of auto pilot mode, where we just do what is in front of us and go from one thing to the next, without a lot of thought.
But it is in the evaluation and reflection of our experiences that we receive insight – a vital gift that can become meaningful and empowering force in our lives.
Pressing on from one thing to the next without pausing long enough to integrate what we have learned deprives us of the gifts these experiences bring. It’s like finding a few wrapped presents with your name on them that were left behind in the festivities – and absentmindedly throwing them into a box instead of opening them up to see what’s inside.
Our experiences are uniquely designed to allow us to learn – about ourselves, others, and life itself. We learn about what works, what feels good, what doesn’t, who we are, what we are capable of, what we want more of (and less of too).
But only if we pause long enough to entertain the questions that allow us to unpack these gifts that are waiting to be opened.
If you have not yet afforded yourself the indulgence of conscious and intentional reflection, I encourage you to carve out some time to do so. Because the best goals, the best visions to move toward in the coming year will be those that align with the whispers of your heart – those that tap the infinite potential and wisdom that is already inside you. And you’ll never really know what those are until you take the time to go within and ask.
Below are some questions that can help you in this process. Some of these questions might seem more powerful to you than others – let yourself go where you are drawn with them. You may even want to take a quick look at them and then put them away and see what comes to you when your mind is empty of thoughts.
Or, you may scrap these questions and come up with different ones of your own. The important thing is to allow yourself the time to go within and listen with curiosity and earnestness.
QUESTIONS FOR YEAR-END REFLECTION
- As you reflect on this past year, what were your three or four most significant accomplishments, breakthroughs, and/or achievements?
- Looking back over the year, what (if anything) blocked or held you back as you moved toward your goals/objectives? How will you overcome those obstacles in the future?
- What were your biggest insights or realizations over the past year that you gained through your experiences?
- How will you apply what you learned this past year to what you want to create in the upcoming year?
- What are the top two or three things about your job/practice that you most want to be different this year?
- What two or three changes do you most want to see in your personal life?
- What significant challenges will face you this year? Personally? Professionally?
- What strengths will you rely on most to face the challenges that lie ahead?
- What qualities, skills, etc. could you develop within yourself to better arm you for the upcoming year?
- Picture yourself a year from now, looking back over the past year. What three or four accomplishments would you like to have achieved?
- What actions are you prepared to take to achieve your desired results for the upcoming year?
If you really want to supercharge your coming year, consider joining me and an intimate group of fellow leaders in the spring session of The Pinocchio Principle Unleashed: The Real Leader’s Guide to Accessing the Freedom & Flow of Your Authentic Genius, kicking off in April. This exclusive 13-week leadership development experience goes beneath the surface of what most programs deliver, to help you learn to unleash genius in yourself and those you lead.
Enrollment will be limited to eight participants. Join the waiting list to have access to registration before it opens to the public.
I look forward to another year ahead of navigating a path of discovery – one that will lead us all closer to our most precious goals, and allow us to make the most out of every experience we have – leaving everything we touch a little better off for the interaction – our teams, our customers, our colleagues, friends, family, and of course, ourselves.
Wishing you a wonderful and prosperous New Year ahead!
How to Keep Life’s Obstacles from Stopping You
Imagine that you’re cruising along in your car headed smoothly toward your destination. And then traffic slows to a stop.
Is there an accident ahead? Construction? Some other impediment?
No worries. Your GPS has an alternate route that’ll get you exactly where you need to go.
What if you could find your way around life’s roadblocks with the same ease and efficiency as your GPS system?
The video below will show you how.
It’s an excerpt from The Pinocchio Principle Unleashed: The Real Leaders Guide to Accessing the Freedom and Flow of Your Authentic Genius, an exclusive 13 week leadership development program kicking off next week, on 9/22/21. If you’re thinking about attending there are still a couple of spots available. Click here for more information or to reserve your seat.
GPS image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay.
Are You Running Out of Gas?
Very few of us would drive for long without a seatbelt, especially with the loud blaring noises most cars make to alert us of the fact that we’ve forgotten to take such an important precaution. But if you ask people how long they’ve driven accompanied by a warning light that tells them they are due for an oil change or a tire rotation or are low on fuel, you’d likely hear a different story.
The same tends to be true in the way we approach our work and personal lives. We readily give our attention, time and energy to the issues that demand our attention – urgent requests, ringing phones, things that are in our faces. But we are all too likely to ignore those subtle little warning signs that indicate we need general maintenance to stay healthy and vibrant enough to make it to our ultimate destinations.
Think about your own life for a moment. Chances are you’re very busy, with a lot on your plate and many things in the pipeline. You are likely juggling many balls – and not just at work. With telecommuting becoming more of the norm, separating your personal and professional life has likely become a bit more challenging, as the line has become more blurred than ever. You may not be spending as much time in your car, but your compulsion to jump on the computer to knock a few things out when you’d otherwise be having personal time has likely taken a huge leap – even more so if your work expands across different time zones. And when you do that, the minutes all too easily stretch into hours.
The tendency of most high achievers who find themselves shouldering an increased load is to double down on their efforts – to work harder, longer, faster. If that is a familiar pattern for you, you know that when you get locked and loaded on a target, you are very likely to dismiss (or completely overlook) the subtle indicators that you are overextending your capacity and putting yourself at risk.
Occasionally though, the stress and overwhelm come to a head and you can’t help but notice them. Just as a car whose oil has become very dirty or whose gas tank is running on fumes doesn’t quite operate as effectively, you too will begin to notice more and more visible signs that something has got to be done to get your system back in optimal working condition.
How does that show up for you?
Do your shoulders gradually creep closer to your ears? Does your breathing get more and more shallow? Do you find yourself clenching your fists? Gritting your teeth? Losing your temper more often than you’d like?
Perhaps it’s more of a gnawing awareness that something’s got to give. You might feel as though you’re not sure you can continue at this pace. You may have a feeling that something is missing, or out of kilter. You could find that the things that used to satisfy you just don’t move the needle anymore like everything is just blending together in a kind of gray mush that you are continually trudging through.
The good news is that this is a state you can definitely do something about.
It’s more a product of LACK of consciousness than anything. This means that when you intentionally make a conscious, deliberate decision that you are ready to do something different, you can – and you will.
This week, I want to share with you some tips that can help you regain your sanity and tend to those little warning signs that you may have been overlooking for a little too long.
Today, we’ll explore a common “success formula” that tends to get people into trouble. This success formula is one that is so ingrained into the fabric of our existence that you may not even be aware of it. It is the conditioning that leads us to believe that the harder we work, the more we do, the busier we are, the more successful/valuable/worthy we will be (pick the adjective that resonates most for you).
It is not without some merit. After all, it is true that most things worth working for do require some degree of effort, and that obstacles often require diligence and increased commitment and grit to overcome.
But this approach, when overdone, can lead to the very burnout that keeps you from operating at all.
While it is true that you need to practice the kind of resilience that will keep you in the game rather than forfeiting the race, the best race car drivers know that you have to make occasional pit stops to make it through the long haul. The best athletes know that their bodies need to rest in order to perform at their best. And the best leaders and executives understand that sometimes you need to slow down in order to speed up.
The assumption that underlies the “success formula” that turns against us is one that leads you to believe you don’t have time to slow down, to be intentional, to gain clarity on where it is you are going and what you need to do along the way. That assumption leads you to overlook the importance of reflecting on where you’ve been and how the journey is going, what’s working and what needs to change, and how you can shift your action in a way that aligns with your desired result. It leads you to keep driving even when your tank is empty, your oil is dirty and your tires are bald. It’ll drive you into a ditch (or worse).
The first step to keeping that kind of programming from derailing you is to become aware that it is in fact operating and to realize what the impact of that programming has been.
Human beings don’t change until the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain or discomfort of doing things differently. But we often don’t recognize that this pain is self-imposed – as a result of the kind of thinking that compels us to keep pushing when we need to take our foot off the gas. Instead, we attribute our exhaustion, frustration, disillusionment, overwhelm, etc. to our circumstances.
But what if it were overuse of the “success formula” itself that leads you to deal with stress in a way that actually makes things more stressful?
Do you believe you can’t afford to slow down?
Is it really true? If you were to insert an hour into your schedule to do something that tends to your well-being, or allows you to gain some clarity or to replenish your energy, would you really be worse off? Do you know others who somehow find a way to do slow down and take breaks every once in a while, or do the things they love – and still manage to perform well (maybe even better?)
When you believe you can’t slow down, you’ll take in information that confirms it and screen everything else out. So if all that comes to mind is what you’d have to lose, see what happens when you get curious about what you’d have to gain.
Just for a moment, think about who you could be if you no longer let that thought dictate your response. Would you be willing to entertain the idea that there may be some things you can do to interrupt that crazy compulsion that has a way of keeping you on a hamster wheel, running faster than ever but not really getting anywhere? Or pushing a big rock up a hill only to have it come rolling back down again and again?
All you need at this point is the curiosity to entertain the thought that perhaps that old “success formula” has some holes in it – and that if you are open and willing to find a better way, the path will reveal itself to you.
In the coming days, I’ll give you some more tips and tools that will help you find it.
If you’d like to more fully explore what your life and work could be like beyond the conditioning that may be holding you back, consider enrolling in the fall session of The Pinocchio Principle Unleashed: The Real Leader’s Guide to Accessing the Freedom & Flow of Your Unique Genius. This thirteen-week leadership development program is ideal for leaders and professionals experiencing high levels of stress, pressure and overwhelm who long to experience more passion, meaning and joy in their work and their lives and especially fitting for those who tend to take a lot on and want to minimize stress, pressure and overwhelm without sacrificing performance.
Public registration will open on September 1. Subscribers to DianeBolden.com are eligible to pre-register – email support@DianeBolden.com for more information.