I sat down for laughter and entertainment. I walked away with a refreshed perspective and a completely new direction for my business. 

Three weeks ago, I embarked on Schitt’s Creek based on resounding recommendations from a few friends. Immediately I found myself completely immersed in the characters; engulfed with their lives, their story lines, their humanity. I know I’m joined by millions when I say the show is so much more than humor, it’s a transformation story about self-discovery, love, inclusion, and connection. I also know that I’m joined by millions of others when I say, I’m a profoundly impacted human having experienced it. 

I was so overcome with emotion following the last episode I couldn’t handle what was running through my mind and heart. My soul was deeply touched by how well the human condition and spirit were represented, I had to journal about it just to get my emotions up and out. In full transparency, I even questioned my own sanity, “ummm this is a TV show. What is going on?” But I couldn’t shake such strong emotions so I journaled about it.

This is what came out. 

What story line pulled me in the most?

David and Patrick

Why?

Because of their journeys to self discovery. David couldn’t see how wonderful he was because he wasn’t fully accepting himself. His parents were distant in his formative years, likely creating voids when it came to love and security, which reflected in his inability to trust and let go. Patrick wasn’t living his truth; though it’s likely he didn’t fully know his truth until he met David. David brought it out in him; made him feel comfortable for who and what he was so that he could shine. David wasn’t yet ready to fully accept himself, but he created a space for Patrick to do so, and thus they flourished together.

What was my biggest takeaway?

It was a beautiful story of transformation and self discovery. The message of inclusion and [self] acceptance struck me immediately. We are who we are, and we all deserve to be loved and appreciated for the gifts, talents, and identities we bring to this world. I was inspired by the story of the show’s creation and development as it gained legs; to show that when we put our minds to something and we have a message to share with the world, that there is NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING, that can or should stop us from sharing it. 

In the hour long special following the series, Daniel Levy explained how he brought it all together. For 6 years he stuck to his mission of sharing the message of inclusion and acceptance without beating it over our heads. He created a world where both were given; there were no questions as to whether someone had a space. He presented it in such a humane and dignified way that it’s impossible to not absolutely adore every character for who and what they are regardless of race, sex, religion, sexual orientation/identity. He chose to create awareness around these issues through constructive energy (vs. destructive). And as a result, told one of the most relatable stories ever (regardless of your personal sexual orientation) through television.

What did I learn about myself?

In the simplest terms, I’m driven by transformation.

I want to support others

  • Uncover their personal truths. The power that comes with living out loud, comfortable in our own skin is unmatched and is available to everyone!
  • Believe they are 100% capable of achieving whatever it is they want in this world. To support them in uncovering and flourishing in their absolute and authentic selves in whatever that means to them. 
  • Through major breakthroughs and shifts so that they can accomplish amazing things. 
  • To see themselves for who they truly are and to accept themselves for all that they are. 
  • In releasing themselves from the dead weight they’ve created and to know they are in complete control of creating whatever world they want. One in which inclusion and acceptance for themselves is a given – it’s unquestioned – and thus, extended to others naturally.

I want to build a more inclusive world through the lens of strengthened self awareness and self acceptance.

What does this all mean?

“What did you learn about yourself?” is one of the most powerful questions on this planet. It forces you to take a step back and root through what just came out for you. In that instance, I realized I haven’t been living my truth when it comes to coaching. I started my coaching practice dedicated to supporting the development and growth of leaders. While I believe in the power of effective leadership in the workplace and want to see it grow and flourish to create better work environments, the power and emotion I felt following my Schitt’s Creek experience was too much to ignore. In short, I’m a transformation junkie. My heart and soul soar when I can support someone who, for years has struggled to get out of their own way, and finally realizes they want to break free. They want to change course and realign their life and mission to their new heightened awareness. 

So now I’m in the midst of my own transformation. My coaching practice will shift from leadership to focus on supporting high performers who want to break free from the their own shackles and create a life of their dreams on their terms based on passion and drive. I support those tired of living small and feeling as if they can’t get out of their own way. Those who know they’re capable of so much more, but can’t find the courage or resources to forge a new path. 

The name, Unlimited Leader, still resonates because in our truest forms we are completely unlimited. And it’s when we step into that limitless power, potential, and personal peace that our deepest and most genuine leadership shines through. 

This [new] mission starts now

If you watched any of the Emmy’s last night, then you know Schitt’s Creek took home the first 7 awards of the night. It swept the ENTIRE comedy award line up. There’s no denying the show has reach and speaks to so many things that resonate with millions of us. We all seek transformation in some way. It’s an innate human desire because at some point we all convince ourselves we’re not worthy of living our truths and being accepted for it. And so, let me share this message with you:

Quite simply, you’re the best. You are undeniably worthy of whatever it is you want in this world. Your soul and specific talents are on this earth for a reason. Let your light shine for the world to see. 

Live your truth. Unabashedly you. 

I’d like to petition for a permanent shift in perspective among the human race. So often as a coach I hear, “I just don’t like change.” Makes total sense! You were humming along doing really well at something. Then BAM! Some catalyst rocked your whole world. Now you’re standing in some abyss of unknown and you’re not a fan. Of course you don’t like it. You’re in a position to learn something new, which often brings with it self-consciousness, resistance, and a myriad of other thoughts and emotions that can be challenging to manage.

Here’s my petition for the shift. It’s not the catalyst or change that’s the challenge. It’s where you ended up that’s eliciting feelings of discomfort, uneasiness, maybe even some shame mixed with anger and resentment.

When’s the last time you experienced a major change?

Think hard. (Too soon?)

The last 10 weeks have been a complete and utter cluster. Only a certain few privileged individuals saw it coming, (again, too soon?) so of course when it hit the general public we were understandably thinking and even saying, (in the presence of our children) “What in the literal *%#!?” But here’s the thing. Change surrounds us at every minute of the day. We can’t escape it. In addition to death and taxes, it’s the other major constant. Unless you’re a weatherman named Phil, your days are never remotely the same.

So it wasn’t the catalyst of our respective government officials saying kids won’t go to school, business need to close, and you need to stay home. It was the environment that was created as a result that we weren’t prepared to handle. And it makes TOTAL SENSE we all lost our respective minds and hearts in the immediate aftermath of those announcements. And then again when the reality of our new normals really settled in. Every working parent across the globe screamed a collective, “I”m sorry, I’m supposed to sustain what now? You want me to work full time and teach my children whatever the hell they were learning in school? Yeah, ok.”

So where do we go from here?

If change isn’t the issue, how do we effectively manage new normals? By training our adaptability and resiliency muscles. They’re a combo pack. You can’t have one without the other. Adaptability is the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions, and resiliency is the capacity to recover quickly. To most effectively manage the catalysts of change, both are required.

For years, I’ve talked about the importance of adaptability and resilience as top priorities for personal development – no matter your role, title, or any other demographic. And they often come up in every coaching session. They’re the essence of life, no? No matter what you want – be it more love, compassion, joy, wealth, health – adaptability and resilience are #1 and #2 for getting there.

So how can you build adaptability and resiliency muscles?

  • Hit the mental and emotional gym: Since change is constant, the opportunities to train for adaptability and resilience are limitless. And like the actual gym, repeated effective movements build muscle the quickest. Since the Covid catalyst changed so much of our normal lives, think back to an adjustment you handled well. What mental or emotional exercises did you employ to respond to the new normal? Now shift to an adjustment you didn’t handle well. What was the difference? What was the resistance to that specific new normal? How can you apply what you did from what went well to what didn’t?
  • Recognize the importance of easy or rest days: Every [effective] exercise routine requires light or off days. They allows muscles to recover, which make them stronger in the long run. The same goes for mindset shifts. Take a break. Give yourself some grace. Either don’t actively work on it or consciously experience a setback in your progress. Have you ever gone to the actual gym and not been able to lift what you did 2 days ago? Yes! It happens. So what do you do? You pick up lighter weights to do some movement, and you come back a few days later being able to lift way more than you thought you could.
  • Track your progress: Keep a journal or scribble notes in your phone or tablet. What went well today? What didn’t? What are your thoughts? Emotions? What are they telling you? Consciously reflecting on what goes through your heart and mind are pretty damn powerful. Clients often tell me what they write during reflection exercises actually surprises them! They often tell me their “true” consciousness comes out when they write something completely out of the blue and it makes complete sense! They just let it flow without fear of judgment or ridicule (since no one will ever see it) and the most profound realizations surface.

You’re more powerful than you know. You were born innately super with everything you could possibly need in order to achieve what you want in this world. Expand your human consciousness to see your inner super hero. You’ve made it this far … clearly you’ve mastered some level of adaptability and resiliency.

Yesterday afternoon one of my best friends lost his father to early onset Alzheimer’s.

John was a tremendous man who touched the lives of so many people.

He epitomized the kind of person you wanted to be. Always smiling, unbelievably generous and personable, the understated life of the party. The one who stood back watching everyone else have a great time, but without his energy none of it would have been possible to begin with. He was never boastful or flashy, simply the calming life force you couldn’t help but be drawn to.

Losing him physically is a great loss; though because of his impact and legacy we haven’t lost him at all, nor will we ever lose him.

Physical death always brings with it a moment of reflection for those of us still in our human form. As I thought about all of the years I’ve known his being and laughed at the great memories we shared in between my tears, I started to inventory the foundation I’ve laid for my legacy:

  • How do I describe the imprint my physical being is leaving on this world?
  • How do I want to be remembered?
  • How often am I living in alignment with what I want?
  • How could I shift my thoughts and behaviors to more consistently live in such a way that reflects my desired legacy?

At the end of the day, none of us can control how others perceive us – now or at the time of our physical death. But if we set an intention, much like my friend’s dad, to live in a way that allows us to share in this human experience with love, compassion, empathy, and inclusion, we will have left this earth with an immeasurable impact that will never die.

John McCarthy, CEO of The Purpose Promise, talks about finding empathy to connect with displaced employees in the Covid-19 world. The “new normal” labor market will be even more competitive than it was before it all started, so how HR and business leaders treat employees now will hugely affect recruitment, lasting engagement, and ultimately company culture and retention in the new normal.

Key takeaway from today’s discussion:

  • Employees, especially those displaced, want to be seen and heard. Employers who reach out will make a positive impact. The displaced employees will feel seen and heard letting them know the employer truly cares for them.
  • Approach employees with empathy vs. sympathy. By channeling authenticity and vulnerability, HR and business leaders demonstrate that each employees’ safety and well-being are at the center of their concern.
  • It’s not too late to start reaching out for any companies that haven’t been. It sends the message that you’re in this with them. You may not have all the answers or a defined plan, but you’re there for them and willing to support them in whatever way you can.
  • The post-Covid market will look very different than the pre-Covid market. The gig economy is on the rise and it’s imperative for HR and business leaders to know and articulate where they stand to attract top talent.

Learn more about John and the rest of the Purpose Promise team at: https://www.purposepromise.org/covid19 and listen to the Purpose Promise Podcast.