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July 22, 2020 - No Comments!

Meet our future selves

Today at our 5th A-list session for our A-mazing leaders, entitled Aspiration, our Wisdom Queen, Tatiana, led us on a powerful visualization journey. We were transported to meet our future selves who told us what is the most important thing to pay attention to, in the next 20 years. Seeing and feeling the energy, the space and the place of where and who we subconsciously aspire to be in 20 years’ time. And learn to be NOW, who we aspire to be in 20 years' time.

It was truly A-mazing to really "SEE" us as us.

Most of our future selves, turned up to be our present selves, maybe just hidden away. It was fascinating and empowering to see that some of our A-mazing leaders are already living happily in their futures, whilst others are looking forward to the next 20 years’ journeys and what they will become. 

I wanted to capture the energy and the emotional journey that some so powerfully experienced. And some journeys were a lot more emotional than others. Travelling 20 years in 20 minutes. Discovering the nick names of our future selves given to us by the communities we will be living in. 

And writing our own stories:  Johnny being happy and content already, the Fighter celebrating all the massive achievements accomplished already, Boule d'Energie knowing she has all the energy to do what it takes, the Queen knowing she has the power to make it all happen, Living in the Present realizing the power of being present to what is and not worrying so much about the future, Sunny being a shiny positive force already, Saviour being on a mission to find and spread balance, Powerful Smile committing to not lose that smile as she gets older, Approachable committing to play this game with his wife and find a joint name for their life together, Yoga Lady finding the serenity and calmness she has been looking for, Wise Healer welcoming guests in her mountain retreat, Beautiful Soul writing her book that will touch other souls, Brave Kora seeing herself aging beautifully and never stop believing that the journey will be a great one 😉 and of course Wisdom Queen who will enchant all of us with her magic wisdom!

Tatiana taught us that our Thoughts are energy…as proven by recent science experiments.  So when we work on creating an image aligned with our values, aligning our thoughts with that image and feeling those thoughts and emotions in our body, we manifest the actions which are aligned to getting to that dream…and as if by magic, the Universe returns and reflects that energy back to us. The energy of Action and Re-action. 

Our present is very much influenced by our past. And in an equal measure, our present is also very much influenced by our ability to imagine the future. Imagining the future that we want to create and go about creating it already. 

Begin to look at yourself through the lens of your future self.  Asking myself “What would Beautiful Soul do?” She will write a book that will touch the souls of many more people. “What would Powerful Smile do?” She will keep her smile on, even when life gets difficult.  How would your future self see an opportunity in an adversity? And the truth is, she or he is already in you. Like Michelangelo said: “It is not carving the figure from the stone, it is freeing a figure from the stone.”

I recently came across a quote that really resonated with me and which fitted Tatiana’s session's theme today: "I don't have to change, I only have to remember who I really am!" Thank you for reminding us, our Wisdom Queen!

ADA, 18 July 2020

July 15, 2020 - No Comments!

Audacity – Dare to care and not care

During July 2020, here at Adaptaa, we have been exploring what it means to feel Confident. And what it means to feel Audacious, which is one step beyond confidence. It means taking risks, it means Dare TO Care, and knowing when to Dare AND Care and when to Dare and NOT care.  

Caring is a fundamental human skill, but if you don’t care enough about yourself, you cannot care about others. That’s the paradox of life. 

Confidence is NOT “They will like me.” Confidence is “I’ll be fine if they don’t.”

Humans are wired for social approval. We all like approval from others.  It’s OK to want approval, it’s called being human.  What’s NOT OK is NEEDING approval.  When you care so much about what other people think of you, what you're really saying is that “what you think of me, is more important than what I think of me”.

When you tell yourself that because others don't like you, it means there's something wrong with you, you give that person a lot more power than they deserve.  You need to learn that another person's opinion is just that - their opinion and that's all it is.  You must never give anybody that kind of power and control over you, because they will always have it. This is what I try to teach my kids, which is not an easy task, in the era of social approval and social acceptance measured by the number of likes on social media. 

There's a big difference between wanting approval and needing approval. When you need approval, it means you become powerless and ineffective when you don't get it.  You make other people's opinions more important thank yours.

As a coach to high achieving leaders, what I have noticed is that people who get the most approval in life are the ones who care the least about it.  They care most about staying congruent with their own values. And the ones who get the least external approval, are the ones who are always going after it. 

So if you want approval, you need to understand the paradox of life – when you stop needing the approval of others,  when you stop concerning yourself with what others think of you and start living in accordance with your own values and advance confidently in the direction of your own dreams,  you will meet success.

And what that means is that success is not something that you can get in life. Success is an inner process. Success is something that you bring to everything you do in your life. It isn't something you get out of what you do or what others think of you. And when you get that, and you learn how to make sense of your inner signals, then success will begin to chase you.  Simple and not easy. 

One of my favourite quotes is: “Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.”

Some call synchronicity.  When you are aligned with your deepest values and have the audacity to live your life in full accordance with those values, some unexplainable coincidences happen and success will come into your life in amounts that you never dreamt of before. 

I am finishing off with the title of one my favourite Brene Brown’s books – live “Daring greatly! Have the courage to be vulnerable and transform the way you live, love, parent and lead.”

ADA, 14 July 2020

July 6, 2020 - No Comments!

A-list Community Audacity

During our last A-mazing leaders’ session, we talked about Audacity. The willingness to take risks to fulfil your dreams and your potential. 

And I did an audacious thing and leaned into my edge by showing up "unprepared" and not using my usual perfect slides.  Ready to listen and follow the energy in the room.  For those who don’t know me, preparation and planning are my superpowers, so not using them felt edgy.  And sharing my edginess with the group created some magic. 

Inessa, one of our audacious leaders, reminded me of Churchill ‘s quote "If you want me to speak for 2 hours, I'm ready now, if you want me to speak for 2 min, give me 2 weeks to prepare!"  I was ready for the challenge.  And ready to challenge our leaders to speak up and share audaciously, by stating I was going to be silent for 5 min. After what felt like an eternity to me, a wonderful collection of stories emerged as a result....Stories of courage, of vulnerability and necessity. Of dreams to make the world a better place. Starting with us.

We agreed to put courage over comfort and play big and "dream without limits".  Everyone virtually chose one of the 4 questions from my jar with magical questions:

  1. What would you do with your life if you had all the money you needed?
  2. What would you do if you had all the skills and knowledge you needed?
  3. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
  4. What would you do if you had all the time you needed?

You see, we sometimes blame the lack of resources for our lack of resourcefulness. Or our unwillingness to take risks. You need to find the resourcefulness inside yourself to deal with the fear of or perceived lack of the resources you think you need (money, time, skills/knowledge and failure)!  If you have the resourcefulness, you will find the resources. 

Taking risks is not about being fearless or having no fear. It’s about acknowledging the fear and doing it anyway. It’s about knowing what you know and what you don’t know.  It’s about being open to people, open to ideas, and the chances you take to make your vision and dreams a reality.   

My biggest insight from the session? All of us found it easier to be courageous in our youth, as audacious Kora reminded us! When we had much less to lose. We had no fear of losing the money, the status or the recognition we didn’t yet have! Anything that you are not willing to lose, it has power over you.  The only real freedom is freedom from fear.

What is your fear? And what would you do if you could own that fear? As Tatiana told us “Fear is a gift. It’s telling us when we need to act or which way we need to go”.  

To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did.  Let yourself be seen and be audacious. As Carmen told us, “let yourself go and flow with the river of life”.

ADA, 4 July 2020

June 24, 2020 - No Comments!

A-LIST Community Manifesto

On Saturday 20 June 2020, our ADAPTAA team embarked on a journey of co-creating a community of A-mazing leaders.  A-mazing human beings with open minds, big hearts, and an infinite mindset. A mindset of learning and sharing.  A mindset of curiosity, commitment, and courage.

Meet our A-list team who will be taking the A-list community on that journey:

Alina CFO - Chief Founding Officer - she will make things happen for you.

Tatiana CEO - Chief Expression Officer - she will speak her truth, even when you don't want to hear it.

CArmen CHO - Chief Happiness Officer - she will make you happy, by connecting you with your heart.

KorA CMO - Chief Media Officer - promoting our A-list community to create a massive ROI (Ripple of Impact).

Leaderships starts from within. As a leader, the first person you need to lead is you. And as a leader, the person you should try to change first is also you.

Inspired by Sigmund Freud and our own deep work with Rich Litvin, the master coach of community creation, we created the A-list Community. Rich told us that Freud’s Wednesday Night Club was a group of fellow psychoanalysts that gathered together every week. At the end of his life, the members credited Freud’s group with the best professional development they’d ever received. We will credit Rich, for our inspiration.

Our inaugural A-list programme which started on Saturday 20 June 2020 gathered together a diverse group of highly Accomplished professionals and entrepreneurs who will be shaping the leadership of tomorrow through their Actions today. People we called A-list leaders. People sharing, giving and taking and inspiring each other during a 9 week journey and beyond. Exploring all the A-list themes of: Acknowledgement, Acceptance, Attention, Authenticity, Awareness, Audacity, Attachment, Aspiration and Action.

Our vision is to co-create a 222 Leadership Movement, bringing together 222 of these A-mazing human beings by 2022.  Leaders hand picked by us and our A-list community of co-creators.

Our purpose is to start leading differently, deeply connected with our mind, listening to our heart and trusting our gut.  We want to role model this to everyone we come in contact with and maximize our ROI - Ripple of Impact. Just like the pebble drops into the water and creates ripples, our actions will be reaching far.  Our biggest competitor will only ever be our own fear of change.

As executive coaches, we are measured by our ability to see something that everyone else is seeing and notice something different. And our ultimate success is spending time with our clients and making positive changes to their future.

Stephen Curry, the highly acclaimed professional basketball player has been credited with saying: “Amateurs compete. Professionals create”.

We are standing for co-creating a future that does not yet exist. A future we may not yet be prepared for, but for which we are ready! And today we have thrown the first pebble into the water and started this journey with 20 A-mazing leaders, with courage, excitement and joy!

What are you ready for, yet not feeling prepared for?

ADA, 20 June 2020

April 30, 2020 - No Comments!

Emotional Mastery

According to Daniel Pink in his book “Drive”, there are three rules of mastery: 1) it is a mindset; 2) it is a pain; and 3) it is something that is never attained.  It is a journey, rather than a destination.

I embarked on a journey of achieving Emotional Mastery 7 years ago, when my son was diagnosed with autism. A journey of developing a growth mindset, a journey of pain and joy. I have learnt that the best way for my son to learn how to manage his negative emotions is to spend time with a living, breathing model of effective behaviour.  My raison d'etre for becoming a Master of emotions!

And today I delivered the first of 11 monthly webinars to the everywoman network, uncovering the art and the science of Emotional Intelligence.  Talking passionately about the one skill that differentiates a leader from a boss and a struggling parent from one who enjoys a satisfying family life. The one skill that enables you to have relationships with even the most difficult people.    

As Daniel Goleman taught us 25 years ago, it’s about being smart with feelings. And feelings are just data. The art lies in learning to interpret that data accurately. That’s not easy, when only c.30% of us can accurately identify or “label” the emotions, as they occur.

Why is labelling your emotions so important? Because your emotional brain is infinitely more powerful than your rational brain.  And your emotional brain instructs the body to produce chemicals, which you experience as emotions. The first step in mastering your emotions, is to understand the signals that those emotions are sending you. Being unable to identify your own emotions is like making decisions based on the wrong data. This can lead to irrational choices and counterproductive actions, which are more common than not.

All negative emotions are just a signal, a message to the brain that what you are doing right now is not working and you need to change it.  If you ignore the message or emotional signal, that signal does not go away. It intensifies.  You feel even more stressed, even more angry.  It intensifies until you realize you need to change something. Your expectations, the way you look at things, the way you communicate or the way you behave.

Appreciate that message. Respect that emotion. Don’t deny it.

I have learnt to appreciate this again and again, as my son is currently struggling with the stress and pressure of the imminent GCSEs exams. His neuro-diverse brain finds it much more difficult to control the chemical signals, which he experiences as a full cocktail of negative emotions.  Frustration, fear, anger, dis-engagement and the reactions and over-reactions that accompany them.

But he has learnt to label his emotions, as they occur and try to distance himself from them, by finding practical solutions, such as breathing and counting.  It gives him the power to take charge of his emotional brain and drive the very thoughts, feelings and actions that determine results. Learning to go from bad thinking to good thinking and from bad habits to good habits. From knowledge, to experience, to mastery. And that’s not easy. As my dad would say “if it were easy, everybody would do it!”. And that’s why mastery remains a journey and not a destination.

And for that I am very grateful.

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” —Zig Ziglar

ADA, February 2020

April 30, 2020 - No Comments!

How confident are you?

At our everywomanNetwork EQ webinar in February 2020, we posed a question – Which one of the EQ competencies do you think has the lowest score for you?  The highest proportion of the 150 women in attendance, believed Self-Confidence was their lowest EQ muscle

The results are consistent with my findings from having analysed and interpreted hundreds of EQ ECR reports in the last few years. Confidence is still a strong force holding women back at the beginning of the new decade and as we approach International Women’s Day.

In their 2014 article entitled “The Confidence Gap”, Katty Kay and Claire Shipman argued that in order to succeed, confidence mattered as much as competence. Since then, thousands of articles have been written on the topic. So why do women continue to suffer from an acute lack of confidence?

The elusive nature of confidence has intrigued many.  In RocheMartin’s Emotional Capital Report (ECR) psychometric that I chose to use with all my clients, Self-Confidence is one the 10 x EQ competencies that differentiate a great leader from an average one. And self-competence is one of the 3 emotional components of Confidence. The other 2 are self-liking and self-assurance. And all these 3 components can be flexed up to help you gain confidence.

Confidence is essentially the ability to accept and respect yourself and like the person you are. Most people think confidence is a prerequisite of success. The truth is, confidence is a consequence of success.  It is the consequence of having the courage to try and fail and try again, until you succeed.  

How many times are you willing to fail?  In Project Kairos, my community of extraordinary coaches, we celebrate the power of the “1000s Nos”, as defined by Byron Katie in her books (one of which is “A thousand names for joy”).  Becoming fearless in the face of failure and rejection.  If you are willing to hear 1000s Nos, you will get an extraordinary Yes at the end of it.

And so I ask my clients to substitute Confidence with Courage.  Do you have the courage to step outside of your comfort zone?  To stay in the stretching zone where you learn and grow? That’s how you gain confidence along the way.

You will usually act on the outside consistently with the picture you have of yourself on the inside. And the more you like yourself, the higher the standards you set for yourself. The higher the standards, the longer you will persist in achieving them.

It usually starts with recognizing and accepting your feelings. Feelings are the most important way of understanding your emotional experience. Managing your negative self-talk. Do you find yourself saying things like: “People like me can't do that”, “I’ve never been good at...”, “I don’t deserve it”? You need to learn to suspend judgement of yourself. Let go of the idea you need the approval of others to be accepted. And finally, you must develop an attitude of gratitude towards yourself and your unique qualities.

Today is my daughter’s 13th birthday. When I asked her how confident she feels she is, she replied 7/10.  Higher than average. I was proud and curious to find out what’s missing.

If you are curious about your actual score in each of the 10 EQ muscles, including Self-Confidence please get in touch with us at: office@adaptaa.co.uk. Our Self-Confidence webinar is on 7 July 20.

And if you want to build courage, join us at our Courageous Leaders Retreat on 1-4 October 2020: https://www.extramileretreats.com/

ADA, 5 March 2020