Empowering Integrity

Use Your Emotional Courage

Emotional Courage

I heard a new term yesterday, “Emotional Courage”, which I found intriguing.  “Emotional Courage” is defined as having the courage to stand out from the crowd, accepting criticism and opposition with grace and openness, and being willing to stand in the midst of other’s disapproval without defensiveness.  The trick to emotional courage is in using it without harming your relationship with opposing parties or alienating yourself from others.  Being “different” is useful, interesting and productive.  Opposing views are powerful when offered in the spirit of adding to the solution; as opposed to disregarding the opinions of others and replacing them with your own.

Many people don’t know how to disagree without conflict, confrontation and the belief that there is a winner and a loser.  People who possess emotional courage, acknowledge and validate other viewpoints and then offer their own thoughts and ideas.  Because both party’s viewpoints are being considered and validated; often a compromise can be reached.  There is never a simple right or wrong answer to any question or issue, only opposing viewpoints developed through life experiences, lessons learned and role models who have shaped us.

It is amazing how much you can broaden your knowledge and feed your soul, when you feel free to express yourself boldly along with the sincere hope that others will do the same.  Once you start using your emotional courage regularly, it begins to ebb away because you come to realize that you no longer need courage to operate this way.  Then you begin to experience “Emotional Freedom”.


The Loss of Integrity

Magnolia business card imageHow often do you miss or need to reschedule your business and personal appointments? Have you found yourself apologizing more frequently for being late or for forgetting something you promised to do? People today live in a whirlwind of information and activity; and the result is often the loss of integrity. By “integrity”, I ‘m not talking about losing your honor or your truthfulness but rather talking about losing your reliability. If you are secretly admitting to this phenomenon, you are not alone.
We count on our phones, our computers, and our tablets to tell us where we are supposed to be and when; setting alarms, calendar items, and appointment reminders.  Is it no wonder that we have stopped taking personal responsibility for being on time, calling when we say we are going to call and/or holding ourselves accountable for our own reliability?
Consider how your lack of reliability might appear to a prospect, an employer, a spouse or a friend. Is that the message that you want to send? Put down the device and look at the clock, stay mentally aware of where you are within your day, what you have committed to doing and show up on time ready to go. It really isn’t that difficult, we’ve just gotten out of practice.


Choosing Acceptance

Mac with a stick!Most people exist with a fair amount of fear, doubt and worry impacting their day to day lives.  Waves of fear of failing, fear of what “might” happen, fear of being judged disapprovingly by others and fear of making the wrong decision consistently runs through our heads. This is normal, however, it is not the only option.

Allowing fear and worry to permeate your every day is a personal choice   Coaching theory teaches us that each person has the ability to choose anticipation, curiosity and acceptance as alternatives to fear, apprehension or disappointment.  Consider how your day might unfold differently if you simply started each day with the thought “I look forward to seeing what this day will bring.”  How would it feel to approach each new day with a sense of anticipation and the attitude that you will watch for the positive moments which are ahead of you?  And, wouldn’t it feel better to allow yourself to move forward after a challenging day without judging the day or how you handled it as “good” or “bad”?

While this practice may not be natural to you, it can be achieved with time and determination, just like breaking any other habit.  From my own experience in consciously choosing anticipation and acceptance, I have felt a great deal more comfort, enjoyment and grace coming from myself and from those around me.  I choose acceptance.  What do you choose?


How Do You Define Success?

Family at the beach - us!Society tells us that the greatest leaders and those deemed a success got there by having the most knowledge, educational degrees and real life experience in their area of expertise.   For most of my formative years I too believed that many years of experience, exposure to the best teachers and mentors, and an overabundance of degrees and certifications were all necessary factors to my “success”.  Over time, it became clear that none of these were benchmarks that I consider important when measuring success.

My change in perspective began with the realization that lots of money and a top position did not even factor in to my personal definition of “success”.   For me, success is understanding  my own unique gifts and talents, finding ways to utilize these talents to help myself and others, and, most importantly, embracing my own strengths and weaknesses publicly and without apology.  When you are able to show up each day completely as yourself, warts and all, it is then that you will find yourself doing your best work, naturally and without fear.  When you are unafraid, understood, and able to do the things that you do best, positive rewards will begin to come your way. This payback will  include people who honor and respect you for you, jobs and responsibilities which empower you to hum on all cylinders and the mental, physical and spiritual well-being that goes along with authenticity.  None of this has to do with years of experience, fancy schools or access  to the best mentors.

The most amazing aspect to the reality of showing up as your self and focusing on your gifts is that monetary success, greater than you might have ever imagined, will likely follow as a result of your actions.  For it is when you are doing what you are meant to do and doing it with authenticity that you will realize the most success in all aspects of your life.


Overcome Your Inner Critic, Get Started

Me, at two

I would like to start by congratulating myself on this my very first blog post.  I congratulate myself not because I have done something unique or admirable but because for me writing this first blog post was extremely hard.   I write this despite my inner critic telling me that it “won’t be of interest to anyone” and  “no one will read it anyway.”  I write it despite my paranoia that I will say something which will make me look unprofessional or unintelligent.  And, I write it under the assumption that I am not experienced enough, wise enough or educated enough to create something of true worth.

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