I have found myself repeating a few words of advice to clients over the years. These are critical points of awareness that unlock new thinking and perspectives in my clients - as if a lot of people share similar blocks or mental patterns and need one little statement to have them seeing the word, their world, differently.
I began to wonder if it was a type of demographic belief system that would make these 10 statements of advice applicable to so many of my clients. Many of which share somewhat of a similar demographic: in their 40s and 50s, professional, VPs and CEOS, all in major US cities. Or if these are statements that are simply universal, soul-truth statements that get out of our heads and into our wise hearts.
What I know for sure is you'll get what you need when reading through the words of advice I gathered here for you. As if you choice to open this blog post was the first step to receive the medicine you need, and perhaps it's right below. One or maybe a few of these statements will hit home, pop out off the page, or give you a huge sense of relief. That's your clue, take those words of advice and run with them.
Here we go with the "top 10 best words of advice I most often share with clients":
When you know the truth, act. There are moments in life when you'll reach full clarity. Clarity so absolute that you can feel it in your bones. You must act when you have this clarity - that is your only job in life, really. To act when you know the truth. As if our whole lives are a quest to know the truth about anything and everything. So when you find it, even if just for a moment, act! Save yourself years or a lifetime of being out of sync and get aligned.
Easy decisions, hard life. Hard decisions, easy life. - Jerzy Gregorek The idea nothing new, but said well: investing in yourself now pays off later. Whether this be with exercise, education, self inquiry, investments, etc. If you can cultivate the discipline now to do what you know is needed you'll enjoy the fruits of that investment for years to come, enjoying a much happier life. In contrast, if we allow ourselves to take the road of avoidance we trade in earned bliss for continual conflict (with ourselves and with life).
Replace "but" with "and". This one is a simple reframing tool to support a positive mindset and get you into inspired action - which is where all good advances in our life start. In example: I want to reach my goals but I don't have time => defeated, excuse. I want to reach my goals AND I don't have time => problem to solve, opportunity.
Your answer lies in what feels most expansive. Someone recently asked me how to know when it's time to leave a job or role. The simple answer is if you're asking that question the answer is probably yes. But if you want a tool, you can use a somatic coaching approach. Tune into how you feel when you think about your job or role. Do you feel expansive, open, lighter? Or do you feel closed off, trapped, boxed in, hunched over? The right answer lies in what feels most expansive.
Witness more, direct less. Sometimes in life we can get caught up in the emotions of it all - emotions are not a bad thing but they do shrink our perspective and heighten our sensitivity. There is wisdom in watching the game being played. This is especially true at work, when we are triggered or otherwise unclear. Zoom out of your own place in the scene and be the witness. You'll see things much clearer and have an easier time accessing your inner wisdom.
You must touch all 4 corners of the room to find the middle. This statement is shared when clients are afraid to step out of their comfort zone and explore something new, especially when they aren't 100% sure it's what they want to pursue. I explain, using this statement, that exploration outside of who we know ourselves to be is how we understand who we truly are. You can experiment and step outside of your normal way of going in life in a safe and healthy way that create opportunities for contrast and resonance. This is how we find our way.
What you say about yourself is what you tell others to say about you. I've had clients who are superstar performers but underneath it all carry around self doubt or a belief that they must be overly humble to be liked and accepted - that their genius talent would ostracize them or keep people from liking them. So they say, out loud and publicly in meetings, things that are mildly self deprecating. Things like, "Well, I'm a bit crazy and nuts" or "There I go again being the nay-sayer. I'm such a downer!" or "Ah, I made a mistake. I'm not good at _______ ". All these statements literally give other people words and phrases to use when they refer to you to other people. Even if there is some semblance of truth, you don't need to give them the words to say - it's almost like you're giving them permission to spread the narrative you've set.
Letting someone learn is rescuing them. Doing the work for them is prolonging the pain. A hard lesson for the most empathetic leaders. This is a myth of servant leadership. Often I have clients feel that to be a strong, well-liked and respected leader, they need to do the work WITH their team. They need to get down in the trenches, roll up their sleeves and help when their team is struggling, and be, in other words, the rescuer. When, in fact, this is more damaging. This "by your side" leadership style instead tells your team that they can't do it on their own, that they need you, and it keeps them from finding out just how resourceful and capable they are. Your job as a leader is to remove blocks, yes, to get involved to clear the pathway, yes,.... and then to provide insight/advice and encouragement to your team to keep going, that you believe in their ability to figure it out (not do the work with or for them). Plus it is in this stretching you find out the real talent and abilities of those on your team and can be proactive about arranging training or coaching where there are gaps.
Sometimes your best management tool is saying: "This is a great first draft, I can't wait to see what you can do on your second." This when used appropriately is my favorite management saying - it's encouraging to people as it shows them you can see their genius and you're helping them excavate it for themselves. How empowering! How motivating! It opens the mind to what else someone can do and gives them permission to take more time and space to expand on where they started. What a gift and a break from the often experienced tone of corporate culture that is more, now, faster.... are you done yet... energy.
Success doesn't require struggle, success requires joy. Ah, to end with the best reminder of them all. If you want to be successful, like really successful, where you become a magnet for luck and opportunities, you must be in joy. As I said to one client who was very good at the hustle but then would burn out every few years, there is nothing wrong with hustle IF there is joy involved. Hustle because you believe that's where success lies will only get you so far and, guaranteed, you will burn out and not be able to sustain growth using the hustle method. So instead, find the joy, lean into that work, and hustle your way to success WITH joy being the driver.
I hope you've learned something new and, better yet, life-changing! It's such a gift to coach people and I hope by spending the time sharing these top 10 best words of advice with you that in some small way I am paying it forward.
Coaching is an absolute positive investment in your life that pays off for a lifetime. If you're interested in exploring coaching, check out our no-risk trial Coaching Membership.
Oh! And we made this fun and FREE mini wall poster. Post it in the office, next to your bed, in your notebook... where ever you need reminders of these words of inspiration!
Lizzie is the CEO and Founder of Collective Gain. She is also an executive leadership coach and a designer for modern work learning and development
programs. Lizzie found her passion for coaching after years as a marketing executive at dot coms. You can follow her on Instagram @lizziealberga or learn more about her services on her personal website: https://www.lizziealberga.com/