When Do You Graduate? Oprah Wants to Know ;)

By now, you’ve probably heard about or watched Oprah’s rousing speech at the Golden Globes award ceremony. Oprah made a rallying cry for women and girls, men and boys everywhere to prepare for a new era of empowerment, respect and equality.

There is a huge shift in human consciousness taking place right now. A shift that’s inviting more women to share their gifts and speak their truth.

I’m sure you know this in your heart, and feel it in your bones: your leadership is needed by the world.

Often though, women worry about stepping fully into their leadership, whether it’s at home, in their communities, at work or in their businesses.

They worry about what others might think.

They worry about being seen (and judged).

They worry how to get all their ducks in a row.

They worry about not having the right qualifications or skills.

They worry they will feel isolated and alone as they move up the ladder of success.

Truth is, one never feels fully ready. I’ve coached hundreds of women – from CEOs and million dollar businesswomen, to aspiring entrepreneurs, and THEY ALL worry – it never fully goes away.

But it can be diminished. With daily habits and mindset changes. Here are my top 4 recommendations:

  1. Just take the next step
    In time management circles we have a famous saying ‘Eat the elephant, one bite at a time’. It’s not about eating elephants of course but breaking down big, daunting tasks into small, do-able chunks. Perfection can paralyze us into inaction. What you need to focus on is just the next step. Take that one and the next will be revealed to you. Make that call, do that research. Just take the next step.
  2. Get an accountability partner or coach
    I can personally tell the difference in my ability to overcome challenges when I don’t have accountability. I’m always surprised when my coach is able to identify a blind spot that keeps me from feeling clear, focused and productive. I can’t stress the importance of a trusted guide who can see your full potential and guide you to own it 100%.
  3. Step into the feeling place of where you want to go
    In my years’ coaching, I’ve realized that women aren’t always motivated by dry numbers and destinations. They need to have their feelings connected to their goals and dreams. This is something that experts on manifestation talk about too: you have to know what it would feel like and use that feeling to drive your actions. What does it feel like to step more fully into your leadership? Do you feel empowered? Inspired? Badass? Relief? Confident? Find a few feelings words and plaster them around you (bathroom mirror, post-it notes on your laptop etc.) to keep you connected at all times.
  4. Make meditation a daily practice
    I know, I know. I always insist on meditation. There’s a very good reason: we live in a world where wisdom is being replaced by knowledge and knowledge is being replaced by data. We’ve become so left-brain focused that we believe it’s the only way to look at the world. Meditation allows both sides of the brain flow: it combines the narrow with the expansive, the focused with the open. It gives our brain the capability to take a series of disparate thoughts and put them into an integrated whole. That’s where great decisions and true innovation comes from.  And that’s why I always stress the importance of meditation for leaders!

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Puja Madan
Puja Madan is a Stevie-award winning leadership coach supporting entrepreneurs build their business with intentional productivity and mindfulness.

Puja’s qualifications include an MBA, 14+ years in tech startups and business strategy, meditation and spiritual development from India. She
contributes regularly to publications like the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen and ElephantJournal.

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