Caution; shifting paradigms…

The new me…

Some of you in other parts of the country [or the world for that matter], who have school-aged children, may be shocked to know that this is the first day of school in Algoma, Wisconsin. To be honest, I don’t know if the first day of school is more difficult on parents or children. For me, the start of school means an end to my flexible summer routine and I must now live on a ‘school schedule’ for the foreseeable future so for me, I think it’s harder on me than the kids…

This is a period of shifting paradigms in my life; I am taking on new responsibilities and deciding which old ones that should hold onto. For example, next week I will teach my first class as an adjunct professor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. It will be the first time since graduate school that I have taught a class of predominantly college-aged students and I’m willing to bet that some things have changed about teaching at that level in a generation. Even though I have taught on and off over the past 30 years and have been teaching at NWTC at the continuing education level I am looking forward to entering this new phase of my career. I think the dirty little secret about teaching is that if done correctly, the teacher is the one who learns the most. I look forward to teaching at this level; may I mindful. May I be at peace. May I be the best version of my Self so that I can give my students the things they need to draw from my class…

I came across a quote a few weeks ago reading Eckhart Tolle‘s book “The Power of Now”. He says:

“Instead of quoting the Buddha, be the Buddha, be “the awakened one,” which is what the word Buddha means.” 1

This quote will not let me alone! I think about it often throughout the day. Why do I settle for quoting other people’s thoughts on the Internet when I really should be sharing my own? Over the weekend I had a lovely exchange with a lovely blogger named Melanie about how she needed to write her own book and yet for the past two years, I have been threatening to write a book of my own. Why is it that I encourage other people to do what I do not have the courage or discipline to do myself? Is it the imposter syndrome? Perhaps, but most likely it is a failure to discipline myself to do the work that real writing requires…

The great philosopher Wally of the Dilbert cartoon strip shares this perspective:

I’m going to start by not being a ‘social media Wally’, transporting huge quantities of quotes from my RSS reader to my blog and social media. Instead, I need to document the things I am thinking and use the tools I have to get a share of voice, which may get me a share of mind and may result in a share of market. Henceforth, I’ll be focusing on what thought leader Nilofer Merchant calls my ‘onlyness‘ and work on documenting the insights the Uni-verse has shared with me before the Uni-verse decides to share them with someone more worthy.

I almost forgot to share this; I have a friend named Tim who sends me witty things via email. In the past, many of them ended up posted to my blog and I thank him for making the contribution. Last week I told him ‘you need a blog’. His response? “Blogs are for something you write not regurgitated other people materials.” Out of the mouths of babes! The Uni-verse can stop now with the not so subtle hints. I GET IT ALREADY!!!

I’m asking you to hold me accountable as I attempt to ‘be the Buddha’. I won’t be curating as much content as I have in the past that everything I share online will end up here and I encourage you to subscribe to my updates if you would like. In the meantime however I’ll be focusing on finishing my book “Zen and the Art of Thought Leadership” which is due by the end of September…

1 Tolle, Eckhart (2010-10-06). The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (Kindle Locations 695-696). New World Library. Kindle Edition.

Step into Your Starring Role

Earlier this year I ‘discovered’ the ‘imposter complex’ thanks to my yogi Jackie Dumaine. The more I learned about it the more I understood why I haven’t finished my epic book on ‘Becoming Known’. I believe, you see, that if you can name it you can ‘fix it’. If something has a name, that means you can google it and find tools to help. There are a few reasons why my book remains 70% completed — one of them is that as soon as you put your thoughts into words and declare your expertise in an area, someone smarter can come along and prove that you’re a moron…

tg-noireA few days ago, Tanya Geisler [the author of the following quote] was kind enough to track me down in Twitter and share her TEDx Women talk on the same subject — how I missed this, I’ll never know but as the Buddha said ‘when the student is ready the teacher comes along‘. She says:

Ever since November 2012, I knew that there would be a moment that my TEDxWomen talk would be available for all to see. And that I’d need to find a way to share it with my corner of the world. That is, YOU. I’d love to say that I was excited, but the reality is, I’ve been a little, well…nervous.

I mean, I KNEW I’d be proud of it…I spent weeks (and weeks) preparing, researching, training, practicing, finessing and getting it under the requisite 18 minutes. And I KNEW the content would be good…I know the Impostor Complex like the back of my hand.

But asking everyone, YOU, to go check out my TEDxWomen talk is just…so…selfish, right?

Me, me, me, me, me.

I’ve started and stopped this very post about 15 times. Each time I approached with this question:: “what huge, massive, COLOSSAL value can I bring to my readers AND STILL let them know that my talk is available for viewing?”…as though the two were mutually exclusive.

So I’m about to take a leap of faith. The huge value of this post IS my talk.

Whoa. Whoa. Whooooooooa.

That seriously just kind of took my breath away. The sheer audacity.

But there it is.

My friends, I know A LOT about the Impostor Complex. So much so, that I am indeed becoming an Authority on the topic.

I’m claiming that.

In my perfectly imperfect talk, I’ve outlined a process that moves us from feeling like an Impostor to feeling like an Authority. I use it with my coaching clients, and in my own life. It’s also the backbone of my Step into Your Starring Role program.

If you ever, EVER struggle with the Impostor Complex, then you WILL get value from watching this talk…because I wrote the talk for you.

And now, I leave it in your loving hands, and will go and celebrate (an ever-important step in the process, you’ll see) by busting my Kid out of after-school care early for an ice cream cone.


I did it. I really, really did it.

And if you want to do it too, you can and will too. ”How do you begin? The answer is simple: you decide to.”  – Anne Lamott

And maybe, just maybe this will guide you::

Source: Quite Simply…my TEDxWomen Talk | Tanya Geisler – Step into Your Starring Role

Can I recommend you take the time to watch her talk? I just did…

I believe that the danger and the opportunity of social media and transformational thought leadership is walking the fine line and finding the ‘golden mean’ between imposter syndrome and narcissism. This is such an important impediment to transformational thought leadership that I’m going to start a resource page here. I’ll keep adding to it so come back often…