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Feeling Drained? How Can YOU Do Power Different?

“In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, and positions.” ~ Margaret Wheatley

Do you feel powerful? If your answer is, “Some days, YES! Some days, NOT AT ALL!” We understand how one day you can feel full of energy and clarity; and then the next day you feel drained, deflated and uncertain.

We’re living in interesting times. We find that many women we talk to have been inspired this crazy year of 2020 to do something more meaningful with their lives. For these women, it’s been a wake up call! They have a spark, an inspiration, a message they need to share with others. Do you feel it too? Perhaps, in the moment, this idea fills you up and makes you feel powerful. But the reality is we live in a world that can easily drain your power away, if you let it.

That’s why it’s important to us to help YOU achieve your big dream, by supporting you from start to finish. Perhaps you want to write a book or find a new career path, or incubate a new project, but you keep losing your way and running out of steam.

We want you to be able to greet every day with renewed Power. After all, it is our mission to help YOU do Power Different.

At Newave Leaders, doing Power Different is…

  • going against the grain, trusting it’s the right thing to do, 
  • not following the masses, creating something new even if it’s not popular yet, 
  • listening to your audience and creating content that is relatable, changing your rhythm to include the rhythm of the people that you embrace, 
  • trying new things, not knowing that they’re going to work and being able to shift.

Power grows through experience. But how do you gain experience in doing something you haven’t got a clue about? The key is to make self-leadership a daily priority and take productive baby steps toward your dream.  With repeated practice, you’ll develop self-confidence and grow your reputation for being someone who reliably makes beneficial decisions, has good communication skills, and works well with and can effectively influence others. You become a Newave Leader!

The most powerful leaders model the behavior, attitudes and speech they expect from others. They also possess these seven basic psychological traits, which of them are your strengths and which could use some work?

The 7 Psychological Strengths of EmPOWERed Leaders

1. Know how to maximize opportunities. Prepare now so you can take advantage of any opportunity that comes your way.

2. Listen to your intuition. A practice of mindfulness will help you cultivate and “listen to” your intuitive powers.

3. Expect good things. Look for the good, since that’s what you want to attract into your life.

4. See the bright side of any situation. Resilience transforms every negative into a positive.

5. Make intentional commitments. Recognize how your emotions are forming your decisions then mindfully pause, step back, then, if it’s aligned with your purpose, fully commit to it rationally. 

6. Build a diverse community. Seek out those with whom you don’t feel a personal affinity and learn from them.

7. Communicate by listening more than speaking. You’ll form meaningful connections when you make eye contact and give your full attention until you feel what they are feeling.

You’ll make the fastest advancement when you actively look for ways to daily practice self-leadership skills at home and in your community. We encourage you to pick something from this list and make it your focus for the rest of the month. 

Would you like to build your Power on a strengths-based model that values creativity, positivity and looks beyond the present to create a best possible future… but you don’t know how? Then begin your journey at The Great Circle Community and let us give you a supportive foundation from which you can grow your greatness. There’s no charge to join, we’ve made this opportunity available to women because we believe with every fiber of our being that together we are stronger.

And if you want to follow that up with attending our upcoming retreat, Bring Forth the Leader Within, we’d be thrilled. (The window of opportunity for locking in the Super Early Bird Pricing is drawing to a close. Now is the time to invest in your future!)

4 Steps to Value-Driven Leadership and Crisis Management

Maria here… I recently experienced a crisis, when I had to quickly evacuate my home, as a terrible wildfire swept through my community in southern Oregon. Thankfully, I’ve since been able to return home. Across the nation, crisis upon crisis is occurring — wildfires on the west coast, hurricanes in the east, and we still have COVID-19. Both the best and the worst qualities tend to surface in these intense moments. Are you always happy with the way you react?

To deal successfully with a crisis, you really must find a way to empower the leader within you. Not every crisis we face is life-threatening. They take different forms in our personal and professional lives. For many of us, the ingrained reactions seem to fall within Fight, Flight or Freeze.

These responses can hardly be called value-driven! Under stress, your amygdala triggers the release of neurotransmitters and hormones – like adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol — preparing you to survive an immediate danger. And when you’re dealing with chronic stressors, your body remembers and responds emotionally and physically in a default manner; your amygdala becomes trigger-happy, causing you to react impulsively, in a way you may regret.

To counteract this, retrain your brain to PAUSE.

Pausing gives your prefrontal cortex a moment to integrate the information from your amygdala with other information. Your brain can connect with your purpose and goals, giving you clarity of what action needs to be taken next. It puts you back in power. You get to choose how you’ll react.

Case in point is the story of how one of my neighbors handled herself during the evacuation. As soon as she smelled smoke from the nearby wildfire, she quickly visited all the neighbors to make sure everyone escaped. Without emotionally reacting and trying to save her own house and possessions, she chose to act in harmony with her values. Later, when I spoke with her, she was happy that she had been able to hold to her values under pressure. 

How would you answer this question: 

When confronted with a crisis, I tend to_________(Freeze? Run for cover? Come out swinging with anger?) 

We all have embodied responses that we’ve adopted over the years. It’s important to be honest in your self-assessment. Only then can you change your response by choosing a new and updated one, which you will need to practice deliberately until it becomes second nature for you. 

This process starts with changing your perception of the situation. Observe your reactions with compassion, curiosity and mindfulness. In what ways could you bring more positive states of mind, like curiosity or humor, to a stressful situation? This simple mindset shift is a powerful tool to help calm you down physiologically. 

Another powerful tool is called “Flow” or “getting into the zone.” Flow comes from a total engagement in a task that fully challenges the skills you know you have.

Here are four steps to move into Flow, which is a much healthier and productive response:

  1. Become aware of what response you have embodied early on.
  2. Observe when and how it gets activated.
  3. Bring mindfulness and compassion and acknowledge how that response protected you in the past.
  4. Practice your new response.

A practice of mindfulness will help you develop a deep self-awareness enabling you to notice, identify and accept your feelings and thoughts, as you experience them. This puts you in charge, not your emotions, which are neither good or bad. They are sources of information. 

Make a practice of asking yourself questions like these, with curiosity and without judgment…

  • How does this situation make me feel? (Happy; anxious; etc.)
  • How are these feelings showing in my body? (Light and expansive; tight and drawn inward; etc)
  • Why is this happening? (The tone of voice and words hurt your feelings.)
  • What past situation is my mind recalling to make this connection? (This reminds me of the time I was made fun of in school and felt powerless.)
  • Is this old story still serving me? (No. I am no longer that girl; I’m a capable woman.)
  • How can I integrate the past with the present? (Thank you amygdala for trying to keep me safe, but I’ve got this!)
  • What can I do to remain in harmony with my intentions, values, purpose? (Breathe; Stay calm; Let it go; Correct a misunderstanding; etc.)

The precious PAUSE between stimulus and response gives you the opportunity to reconnect with your power. In times of crisis, you’ll hold true to your values and will be able to lead others to safer ground. You’ll avert arguments in the family; keep the team working together through a huge mistake; and find solutions to problems. Master self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management and you’ll be able to handle any crisis with less stress and emotional reactivity, as well as fewer unintended consequences.

We’ll be exploring our leadership and how to ensure that it always reflects our values at our 2022 Women’s Retreat, Bring Forth the Leader Within held on January 15-22, 2022, at Blue Spirit Costa Rica. Don’t you owe it to yourself to become an empowered leader who can handle whatever the future brings? Are you hesitant to even consider a retreat with everything going on? Understandable! Learn about our stress-free cancellation policy and the advantages of planning a retreat right NOW, even if it seems like a dream under current conditions.

Future Pacing — Go Beyond the Pandemic to the Future YOU Envision

Has the pandemic had an impact on your motivation? Has it caused you to rethink your possibilities? Put your life on hold? Give up on some dreams? Do you feel like you can’t plan for the future? You’re just waiting…waiting for life to begin again…waiting for something good to finally happen. You don’t have to wait any longer! During these uncertain times, it’s really helpful to practice future pacing — this is where you direct your mind to go into the future, visualizing something tangible and positive.

What exactly is future pacing and why does it work?

Future pacing is a neuro-linguistic programming technique that you use to create positive expectations, which gives you the experience of enjoying the desired results right now!

When you anticipate something it activates the well-being and reward part in your brain. Many of us get just as much fun from planning our vacation as experiencing it! And think about the last time you heard an inspiring speaker who made you want to get up and get going! While you sat and listened, had those words made you healthier or made you more money, or done anything tangible for you yet? In a way…yes. They triggered a state of high motivation in your brain, because you saw and heard in your mind’s eye how your achievement would be received by the world. You actually felt how it would feel then. You were there!

Olympic and high-performing athletes tap into the power of future pacing all the time. They see themselves on the platform, receiving the gold medal, as the crowds go wild. They see and feel their muscles straining as their bicycle streaks past the Finish Line at the Tour de France. They hear the basketball swoosh through the hoop to score the winning point.

When you experience the anticipated result by seeing, hearing and feeling the rewards, you drive positive expectations deeper into your mind and body. It grounds you. Your expectation begins to work for you, not against you.

How you can make future pacing a daily practice.

Visualize the future you desire. Rather than dwelling on how bad the world has become, form an idea of your positive future, and bring it to mind multiple times during the day.

Keep your focus on where you’re headed. People realize their greatest potential when they focus on one thing at a time. Work hard at creating routines and systems that will get you to where you want to go. Master your craft — one aspect of it at a time. Meditate, journal, and talk with others about it.

Spend your energy wisely. Understand that every thought, word and action is taking your energy. Ensure your energy is going toward the realization of your dream. When you awaken every day, eat with your vision in mind; move with it in mind; speak with it in mind; live with your dream always in mind. Start manifesting your vision now in your personal and professional life. And you will begin to feel the rewards, right now.

Attract others into your community.  As you work at mastering your chosen course, you will naturally draw others into your community and they’ll be thrilled to help you fulfill your vision. Your passion as a leader will spark the greatness in others, which will keep your flame alive.

Plan something spectacular for when our current reality is over and a new normal is present. We are taking our own advice! We are actively planning our 2022 Women’s Retreat, Bring Forth the Leader Within. It will be held on January 15-22, 2022, at Blue Spirit Costa Rica, a world-class yoga and meditation retreat center. (And it’s 100% refundable if for some reason travel is still not an option.) 

By planning to join us, you’ll instantly benefit from future pacing a transformational experience in a beautiful and tranquil location! Learn more about what you can look forward to at our 3rd Annual Retreat and how to take advantage of Super Early Bird Pricing!

How Virtual Communities of Practice Engage Leaders to Work Together

A year ago, could you have imagined that you’d be doing so much business virtually? Even very camera shy women are learning how to use online platforms for communicating with clients, business associates, friends and family. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. After all, if you’ve been reluctant to use video in your business, the pandemic is forcing you out of your comfort zone.

During your virtual meetings do you notice others getting distracted, or worse, disappearing into the background? How can you keep Zoom meetings on point instead of drifting aimlessly? How do you keep your team motivated virtually? That’s where bringing virtual Communities of Practice can enhance engagement and thereby your possibilities for success! 

What are Virtual Communities of Practice?

Here at Newave Leaders, we are on a mission to build a better life, business and world through community. Did you realize there’s actually a term that embodies the ability to lead a committed group toward a common goal, by fully utilizing the inherent talents, skills and strengths of each individual member of the team? It’s known as building a Community of Practice (CoP).

Louise in particular has experience with various Communities of Practice, and she’s seen how they can tap into the tremendous energy, the synergy, where the sum of the group accomplishes more together than one person alone could ever do. The good news is CoPs aren’t limited to in-person interactions. The principles of Communities of Practice are proving to be very useful in the virtual space to help all attendees learn the most, be stretched the most and become the best versions of themselves.  

7 Reasons Why Virtual Communities of Practice Work So Well.

When you’re in a Community of Practice…

  • You’re with a group of like-minded individuals who are committed to learning to grow as leaders. This fosters trust in each other and space to hold each other accountable. 
  • Your group works together to co-construct a beneficial set of norms for the Community of Practice. By keeping a continual dialogue going about these norms, you ensure each voice is heard in the shared behaviors for the group.
  • You’re reminded that you need each other in order to grow, develop, achieve, and solve the complex problems you’re facing.
  • It erases fear and the need to “pretend.” Vulnerability is welcomed and honored. Honest and open communication within your community greatly increases your ability to accomplish what you set out to accomplish. 
  • It sparks greater creativity. People are not constrained by defined roles or titles; they can freely explore ideas to generate the best possible solutions and innovations. Conversations tend to be nonlinear, as you give each other permission to explore out-of-the-box solutions.
  • You’re helped to grow as an embodied leader. You can safely observe, without judgment, your context to make sense of your story — understanding where you come from, what you believe, and how your emotions are showing up in your body
  • The environment enables you to “be” together, not just “do” together. In an increasingly disconnected world, you’ll explore thoroughly what it means to be connected and interdependent.

To help your virtual Communities of Practice succeed, here are 3 principles to keep in mind… 

1. Engage the emotions. Curb wandering attention and distractions by helping everyone “feel” the problem or opportunity. Personalize it with statistics, anecdotes, or analogies that illustrate the situation.

2. Engender responsibility. Counter passively hiding in the background with breakout groups and assignments with deadlines. Then regroup for further discussion based on the progress made.

3. Involve everyone. Make sure everyone knows the agenda and how to prepare to make meaningful contributions in each discussion. Lead by giving everyone ample opportunities to speak — perhaps switching out speakers every 5 minutes or so.

We find that we’re more genuine, more passionate, and more understanding of the viewpoints of others’ when we’re part of a Community of Practice. If you would like to get a feel of how this works and learn skills you can bring to your virtual communities, we invite you to join our community of like-minded women who are determined to be the best and lead the best, through these chaotic times. The Great Circle Community is held regularly and we’re enjoying a deep discussion of what’s holding us back and discovering powerful solutions to move us forward. 

Please join us for our next call. Together we can do more.

What’s Stopping You? How to Get Past 12 Common Roadblocks to Success

“Your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.” ~ Michelle Obama

All day long, we face roadblocks that stop us, and we automatically refocus and figure out the next step. We’re not even aware that we’re doing it. For example, someone interrupts us, there’s a traffic jam, or a client calls with an unexpected question. We handle it and move on.

But when you’re taking a huge step, one that requires faith in yourself and the stakes are high, a small roadblock may seem insurmountable. It’s natural to get stuck when you have a big dream or something new you want to do. It’s easy to feel something pull you back. It’s predictable that at a certain point, something stops you, mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Take notice of the discomfort you feel and let that be a signal that there is something you need to work out there..

Now you have two choices.

  1. Back down and live with regrets, wondering, “If I had only…”
  2. Grab the opportunity, take the leap, and feel free, exhilarated and proud of yourself.

So the question is — which way do you want to feel?

What’s stopping you?

When you think about what you want to do at home, at work, in the world, in your community, what’s stopping you? Where are you feeling stuck?

Please take the time to honestly write a physical list of your internal and/or external roadblock(s). To get you started, here are some common roadblocks you might be experiencing: not enough self-confidence, not slender/pretty enough, not fluent enough, not skilled enough, not enough support from spouse/friends/community, not enough funds, not enough time, and not enough knowledge.

Being able to identify your roadblock(s) will put you back on the road to getting around them, working through them, and moving forward.

How to get past what’s stopping you

Please remember that grand gestures aren’t sustainable. Little things every day, your daily rituals, build up and gradually condition your body and mind to make things happen. Your life is a result of your rituals. Ask yourself: How are my rituals for sleeping, eating, exercising, working, cleaning, organizing, shopping, spending, measuring & tracking, and so forth, affecting my ability to achieve my big dream?

Look out for these roadblock rituals that will keep you stuck!

Wishing without acting. Wishing by itself goes nowhere. Be intentional and focus on one small change today. This approach will ease you out of your present habits, as you slowly build sustainable, life-long, supportive rituals.

Procrastination. There will never be the perfect time to get started. Acknowledge your feelings of uncertainty and plunge in!

Disorganization. Time management and clutter control takes work and self-discipline. Try this: At night, write a short list of exactly what you want to do the next day and the steps that will get it done. Review the list when you wake up. At a set time, begin doing them. If you find yourself lured away by something else, bring yourself back and focus. In your journal, note your feelings at the end of the day. Rinse and repeat.

Self-dismissive thinking. All too often we let past rejections dictate our present choices. Letting the opinions of others define you, rather than being true to who you’re capable of being, leaves your power in their hands. Take back your power! Take the next baby step toward the best version of yourself.

Denying responsibility. Everything in your life is NOT your fault, but it is your responsibility. You get to choose how you react to and act upon each event. In the most positive light, assess how you can make the most of the present. (If you’re in a dangerous circumstance, this may mean fleeing.)

Perfectionism. Perfect is not possible. The only “perfect” action is the next one you take. Where it takes you is where you need to be, to learn lessons you need to learn.

Faking it. To be at peace, you must show up as wholly, authentically YOU. Trying to pretend to be someone you’re not, living someone else’s life won’t work. That doesn’t mean settling for where you’re at or not pushing past your discomfort; it means having enough self-knowledge to see your potential and living up to it fully.

Losing your childlike curiosity. Over time, we can get really good at editing and discarding what’s hurtful or not useful. If we’re not careful, our open-mindedness and sense of wonder can go out the window, too. Always being right isn’t the goal in life. Let go of the assumption that you have all the answers. Invite diversity back into your life by listening to and learning from others.

Unrealistic expectations. If you expect life to be easy or that everyone will like and agree with you, you will be disappointed. Struggle brings growth. It’s empowering to find your inner source of strength and rise above. Those wins fuel you for life!

Avoiding all risks.  You can’t control everything and you don’t need to. Learn to embrace feelings of uncertainty as your personal challenge. Will you make mistakes? Yes! There’s nothing wrong with that! How will you feel if you don’t take a risk? That could be your biggest mistake of all.

It’s all about you. Humanity is an interdependent network. To be totally self-centered is to tear a hole in that net. You are part of someone else’s safety net, just as someone is part of yours. Keep your connection with others strong. Be there to help someone past their roadblocks, and there will be someone there to help you past yours. 

Doing nothing is safer. Lack of motivation, laziness, having no direction, fear of failure, biting off more than you can chew, all these things will keep you in the eddies of life. Build a bridge to the life you want, by mindfully assessing where you are and where you want to be. Then make one baby step at a time.

Here’s an exercise to help you free up your energy and move forward.

  • Feel where you feel stuck — where does that stuck place manifest in your body?
  • Place your hands on that area and pull the stuck energy away from you, as though it were a physical thing attached to you.
  • Shake that stuck energy off of your hands. Like a sticky substance that won’t let go, stuck or negative energy can cling to us. The motion of physically sweeping it away helps us to acknowledge it and then shift it. This clears the way for new, renewed, and invigorated energy to settle in its place.

We’re inviting women from around the globe to explore big ideas and out-of-the-box creative solutions. If that appeals to you, please join The Great Circle Community. There is no cost to participate and this article is a sample of the things we’re discussing. We’ll be looking for you inside!

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The Great Circle Community — A safe space where your inner voice is welcomed and heard. Tired of all the rhetoric and noise? Become part of the solution and join Louise and Maria for meaningful conversations. Membership is free. Learn more today

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