Girl biting limp and thinking, wondering how she can stay curious

I may not always learn new things, but when I do, it’s because I stay curious.

My blatant rip-off of the most interesting man, may not be a quote that makes me famous, but it does provide the foundation for the growth needed in life.

Curiosity is a habit and a mindset that keeps leaders humble and gives them the ability to assess a situation, appreciate perspective, and continue towards growth.

Stay Curious

“I know how to do it!”

I’ve heard that phrase more than a few times from my kids, only to watch them struggle with tying their shoes, washing the dishes, folding their laundry, or any other number of tasks.

It’s a common problem, right?

As much as I’ve seen it in my kids, I’ve also noticed that problem in myself.

In my almost ten years of professional coaching, I’ve come across similar problems in people. I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve coached who were unhappy in their jobs and looking to make a career change. Girl biting limp and thinking, wondering how she can stay curious

And when I assume I know what the answer is, I’ve always been wrong. When I’ve remained curious and allowed the client to dictate the direction of the conversation, not only do they come to a better conclusion, but I learn something new in the process as well.

My ability to stay curious benefits both me and my clients.

As leaders, staying curious benefits us, and those we lead.

Leadership Curiosity

Leadership curiosity manifests anytime we set aside our preconceived notions and explore possibilties with our teams.

In short, we stay curious when we ask questions.

  • What would that look like?
  • Who do we know that can help?
  • How can I serve you?
  • Where can we find the answers?
  • What makes this important?
  • Are we willing to fight for this?

The more questions we ask, the more curious we are, the better the end result will be.

Leadership curiosity includes our team members, equips them for the journey ahead, inspires action, and leverages critical thinking skills.

How will you stay curious this week?

Years ago, I read Eugene’ Peterson’s A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. To be honest, I don’t remember much of the book, but the title has long stuck with me.

It’s become a continual mantra for the daily habits, beliefs, thought patterns, and actions that I use to guide my life.

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

It’s fairly typical for me to have a panic attack on Monday morning. I suffer from anxiety; from the fear of what could be.

At times, it’s overwhelming. couple hiking remote mountains with overlay text a long obedience in the same direction, blog post cover art

Debilitating.

Paralyzing.

In those moments of lost despair, I’ve trained myself to recall the phrase and title of the book, a long obedience in the same direction.

The fear comes from my desire to do it all.

To break free of that fear, I have to remind myself that I don’t have to do it all right now.

My destination is not complete today, instead, I am on the journey.

So what would obedience look like today?

That’s a much simpler proposition:

  • Network
  • Respond to emails
  • Call clients
  • Spend time with my family
  • Eat well
  • Exercise
  • Encourage someone
  • Get to bed on time
  • Repeat

While the specific formula to each day may look different, I guide my life by answering the question: what do I need to do today that could get me one step closer to my goal?

Once I have that figured out, I create the plan for obedience.

Create The Plan – Then Execute

One of the phrases we use throughout coaching is, to begin with the end in mind.

Where do you want to end up in life?

What do you want to accomplish?

Who do you want to be?

Then we can look at your current situation.

If you continue to make the same choices, will you end up where you want to be?

If so, great! Continue to amplify those decisions and live more purposefully.

However, if you won’t end up where you want to be by making similar choices, then it’s time to make a change.

Chart a new path.

Choose a new direction.

Create momentum that will propel you to your ideal life.

Then, practice obedience and begin a long obedience in the same direction.

Frustrated woman with glasses pushed up her forehead asking what do I do when I'm feeling stuck?

One of the most popular questions I get is, “What do I do when I’m feeling stuck?”

It’s a question based on motivation. The question really being asked is, “How do I overcome my lack of motivation?”

I get it.

I struggle with motivation too.

Honestly, if I worked out when I was motivated, I’d work out maybe twice a week. More than likely, once. (Or none at all!)

Motivation, outside of the beginning thrust on a new and exciting project, is largely useless in personal development.

Instead, we need to rely on discipline. Building a life of discipline is simple (not necessarily easy), but it is rewarding.

Here are three ways to build a life of discipline:

1.) Create clear and compelling goals

As I’ve written about before, clear and compelling goals are the greatest asset you have to overcome the lack of motivation.

Good goals are SMARTER

Specific Frustrated woman with glasses pushed up her forehead asking what do I do when I'm feeling stuck?

Measurable

Achievable

Relevant

Timely

Energizing

Rewarding

A lack of motivation could mean that our goals aren’t clear enough. A bigger problem is that we don’t reward ourselves for a job well done. As Shawn Achor highlights in his TEDTalk (and amazing book), by failing to reward ourselves for achieving our goals, we subtly teach our brains that our work doesn’t matter. In other words, by failing to reward our progress we learn that progress doesn’t matter.

Our brain says, “What’s the point?” and gives up.

If you’re struggling with the question “What do I do when I’m feeling stuck?” create clear, simple, and compelling goals.

2.) Be a Part of a Community

It’s hard to go it alone. Whether you’re an entrepreneur growing a business, a spouse improving a marriage, or a coach in athletics, you can’t do the journey of life alone.

Find a supportive community to help.

A community provides support, encouragement, perspective, and wisdom. It gives us strength when we are weak and positivity in a world filled with the negative.

A community of like-minded voices gives us the endurance and accountability to press on when we feel like giving up.

If you’re struggling with the question “What do I do when I’m feeling stuck?” find others to walk the journey with you.

3.) Hire a Coach

A lot of coaching is accountability. More than the community, a good coach asks reflective questions, highlights understanding, deepens insight, and inspires action.

Great coaches help you see through your own bias, false beliefs, internal narratives, and weak spots. They equip you with the tools to overcome those rough edges. They leave you accountable to your action plan.

Just last week I was working with a client who didn’t complete all of his growth homework for the week. After talking about it, we discovered that it was an important goal, but not the most important.

Instead, before hiring another employee (his task he gave himself for the week) he needed to free up time in his calendar (his new task). With more free time, he would be able to get new business, get caught up on billing, and have space to mentor and onboard effectively. Completing these tasks would ultimately do much more than “hire an employee” and instead give him the capacity to build his business.

That’s a much more effective use of time!

Coaches can shorten the time it takes to learn tasks, complete projects, and accelerate to succes.

Looking for any of those? I’d love to walk with you on that journey.

If you’re struggling with the question “What do I do when I’m feeling stuck?” hire a coach!

My new PPP loan program can revolutionize your life. 
Well, by loan I mean I’m not referring to money, but knowledge. And you don’t have to pay it back, just pay it forward …
So, let me show you how to get the most out of your relationships in life and business.
There’s an old saying that says, “Management would be great if it weren’t for all the people.”
As leaders, we realize that people are our biggest problems … well .. they are technically all of the problems.
(But not you. You’re perfect. It’s everyone else. Don’t worry. 😉)

So, what do you do with all the problem people in your life? 

Use my new PPP formula to help you. 
 

Problem

The first “P” is the problem. Everyone has them.

  • Grumpy attitudes
  • Bad service
  • Poor sleep
  • Bed bugs

Whatever it is, realize that people have problems. As a leader, you are called to help serve them.
 

Potential

The second “P” is potential. This is where you come in.

You have the potential to help them: to solve their problem, be the hero, save the day. Whatever ‘it’ is, your potential influence in the world is the greatest force for good all those problem people have.

  • You can give them a smile
  • Provide excellence service
  • Sell them a better mattress
  • Kill the bed bugs

Whatever it is.  Use those gifts, skills, and abilities. Whatever you have at your disposal. However you are called, whatever you are called to do, utilize it for good. Whether you are a business owner or just a passionate leader, utilize your potential influence for good.
 

Profit

The final “P” is profit. In a business sense, this is about making money. As far as I know, that is the goal of any business.

But profit has many other spheres as well.

  • Stronger customer relationships
  • More chance to give back
  • A new friend
  • Greater intimacy

Whatever is, you profit by being a problem solver.

This week, use the new PPP loan information and identify three people with problems in your sphere of influence. See what the potential is and offer to help. Then, profit from the work of a job well done.

 
Stay in touch!
Blog post cover photo abundant generosity text over a coin jar with a plant

The capstone of great leadership is a life capable of resisting burnout, and that happens through a life of abundant generosity.

You cannot have that, without financial health.

Ultimately, you will never be able to fully resist the pitfall of burnout if your financial life is in order.

Getting Started

In the early days of my coaching practice, this is exactly where I found myself. I wanted to be there fully for my clients, but often wondered how quickly they were going to pay. If it wasn’t soon, I wasn’t going to be able to pay my bills. That sort of internal struggle makes it hard to be fully present.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe you’ve woken up with a knot in your stomach wondering how you were going to make it through the growing pile of bills.

If you’ve ever lived at a point of having more month than money, you know the stress of too little money.

But a life free of burnout goes one step farther. It’s never just about having enough money, it’s about giving back. To be free from burnout as a leader, you give of your time, your resources, your skills, and your expertise. The final commitment is to give your money.

Great leaders not only get their financial life in order, but they also practice living a life of Abundant Generosity.

Abundant Generosity

Abundant generosity is about giving extravagantly. It’s charitable giving, yes, but it’s so much more. It is the openness and willingness to propel others to their own successes.

Abundant generosity is a joyful state of abundance.

It calls for greatness out of yourself and others. Blog post cover photo abundant generosity text over a coin jar with a plant

Abundant generosity opens up the well deep within your soul to provide monetary donations, wisdom, and acts of service to better the causes, communities, and people you care about most.

A number of years ago, I changed part of my pricing package to include a “generosity” option. In short, when people purchase a certain coaching contract with me, I move part of that money into a separate fund that provides scholarships for people that can’t afford full coaching services.

The individual receiving coaching wins by receiving free or discounted coaching services.

I win because I get to help more people.

The person who made the donation wins because they get to practice abundant generosity.

But as I’ve said, finances are only a part of the picture. Sometimes, they know the person who receives coaching. They nominate someone in their organization who then gets the added benefit of a promotion because of their growth through the coaching process.

The end result is a recurring cycle of growth in individuals and organizations where all are giving and receiving. Abundant generosity, in this case, is about bettering the community.

As we wrap up this eleven-part series, I want to encourage you to practice abundant generosity where you have the chance. Give freely and deeply. Bless others. With your money, your time, your gifts, your resources, your network, your business, and your passion.

Start by freeing yourself from the burden of debt. Then, accumulate as much knowledge as you can and give it all away.


The Wrap Up

If you or someone you know is facing burnout, please get help. Email me to set up your first appointment.

Looking for more ways to fight against burnout? Here are 50 self-care tips.

 Want the entire series as a Kindle book? Go here.