Where is Your Focus?

In the past year I have really given myself some space and time to think about what I want for myself. Who do I want to be? What do I want to stand for? Why do I want to lead? What do I want my legacy to be? I know today at 52 (yeah I know I don’t look it – come on say it…?) that life is going pass so quickly. What do I want for 2024 and where is my focus? How about you?

*excerpt below from my book JUST ROCK IT – to keep you rocking it

You’ve had a dream or come up with an idea—something that excites you, that really makes you think long and hard about why you’re slogging away at your day job, or your night job, or whatever unsatisfying venture you’ve currently got going on.

You think you might quit everything else and tackle your idea, head on.

But you don’t.

If this sounds familiar, know that I wrote this article (and the book) for you.

However, if you’ve already run, whooping, from your office, whilst ripping off your tie and leaving a trail of papers in your wake, all the while shouting, “Sayonara, suckers!” (and most definitely burning all your bridges in the process), keep reading—you need my article even more. There are lots of great nuggets of wisdom in these pages for you, too.

As I travel the world, I meet so many people who are not living or creating the lives of their dreams. They doubt themselves; they’re scared; they don’t want to fail, put their hand up, take the risk; or they don’t want to put themselves out there.

It breaks my heart. It leaves me asking, “Why?”

You’re destined for more. I know you are. If you actually go for what you want, what is the worst that could happen?

I wrote this book because I’m so freaking over hearing people claim a lack of self-confidence, watching people sabotage themselves, and seeing others put people down. I am truly over the fact that we live in a culture and society today where it’s frowned upon if we advocate for and believe in ourselves. I mean, really?

Again, why?

On my 46th birthday, I stood in a room with a group of people who were all part of a conference I was attending to help teenagers build their confidence and leadership skills. Most importantly, I was there with my beautiful 15-year-old daughter, who had been struggling with her sense of self-worth and self-belief. I was there to learn how to be a better leader and mother.

Frankly, it was the last thing I wanted to do on my birthday. Even though I live and breathe this stuff and can inspire, empower and grow leadership and leaders all over the world, I was dreading doing it with the most important person in my world.

I thought she would find it confronting, and agonising, and thought that her sullenness might make the entire experience most definitely not a walk in the park.

What I experienced and learned was unexpected. It brought back a rush of memories for me and seemed to transport me back to my pre-teen years. I began to remember the times when I didn’t feel good enough, smart enough, and when I felt I had flat-out failed.

Here I was, turning 46, and I felt like my 12-year-old self all over again. Believe me, it was a humbling feeling, especially with my young daughter right next to me, experiencing the very same thing.

At the end of the seminar, though, I had come full circle. I reminded myself that I’m a smart, successful and amazing leader and mother who is good enough. And the best part? My daughter was grinning by the end of it, saying, “Wow, Mum. You really do this stuff all the time? That was great!”

I decided to write this article (and book for those people who can’t seem to grasp their potential, their greatness; for those who want a life where they can be the best version of themselves. These people (you!) simply need a little nudge, a little bit of support, confidence or motivation to rock it.

One Friday afternoon, I was walking around our local Westfield shopping centre with my daughter and a social media post on my phone caught my eye. I stopped, mid-step. (Have you ever had a feeling of unbelievable dismay wash over you? That’s what happened to me.)

Someone I knew well had posted that he was tired of seeing people advocate on social media that they are the leaders of “this and that” and seem to only care about shameless self-promotion.

I couldn’t believe it. I had a pretty good hunch he was referring to me because I do advocate (and rightly so!) that my company and I are the “Leaders of Leadership.”

I took a deep breath and kept shopping. I decided to reflect over the weekend and talk to the person directly. By the end of the weekend, I acknowledged the fact that I had made an assumption (and to be honest, I’m not really a fan of making assumptions).

I called this person on Monday and asked about the post. He confirmed it was about me as well as a few others.

Again, deep breath. (It’s important to breathe in instances like this so you can calm down the chemicals in your brain. I could tell at the time that mine were about to freaking explode.)

I replied, “That’s interesting,” which didn’t even come close to conveying the depth of emotion I was feeling. The conversation continued for a little while with forced pleasantries on either end, and by the end of the conversation I said, “If I don’t believe in myself, my work and my purpose, then who else will?”

The thing is, I see way too much of this. I work, coach, teach and meet many other people who don’t believe in themselves, don’t want to stand out or don’t want to speak up. They say to me, “What happens if someone finds out I am an imposter? What happens if I fail? What happens if someone pulls me down?”

Stop caring about what other people think and stop the self-sabotage. You only live once! Who cares what others think of you? Guess what? What others think of you is none of your business.

You are unique. Go for it. Stand tall and shine. You are YOU.

Nominate here today – it’s free!


Focus on What Makes You Rock

(Every freakin’ minute, every day.)

I have a quick quiz for you. Now, I don’t want you to take much time to complete it. Jot down your immediate thoughts (I’m talking one-word answers, here!) within the next minute or so:

What are your talents? ________________________________________

What are your strengths? __________________________________

What are your passions? _____________________________________

What are your goals? _________________________________________

What are your dreams? _______________________________________

Post your insights below!

If you groaned your way through my mini-quiz, or hemmed and hawed, or even if you knew each answer and scribbled down all of them in a jiffy, know this: Life is way too short not to focus on you. Focus on your skill set, have confidence, and work on you—every day. Then, before you know it, you’ll be rocking every aspect of your life.

Simple, huh?

Maybe not.

When I ask my leaders at events or conferences, and my coaching or leadership programs, to write down what makes them different and unique, most people struggle. (I bet they wouldn’t if I asked them to write down their weaknesses, which can be so frustrating to me.)

So, how do you find out what makes you unique? Why are you special? (Be assured, we all are!)

It really is simple to figure out your strengths, but it does take some work and time set aside for self-discovery.

Here are a few well-known strengths assessment tools available to you. Please note that it is important to have an expert debrief them for you if you complete them:

•    360 assessments—we have some brilliant ones!

•    DISC (www.discpersonalitytesting.com)

•    Myers Briggs (www.mbtionline.com)

•    LSI (www.man-synergistics.com.au)

•    Talent Dynamics (www.talent-dynamics.com/profile-test)

•    Gallup Strengths Finder (www.gallupstrengthscenter.com)

Ask your peers, family, friends and work associates to tell you your strengths and talents as they see them.

Discover your values. What’s important to you and why?

Write down a list of achievements, successes, what you love doing, what you’re doing when you are at your best. What are you doing when you’re in the “zone”?

And finally, surround yourself with people who have different strengths than you. They rock, too! The more aware you are of what makes you rock, the more you’ll be able to help those around you rock right alongside you.

Finally –

Who do I want to be?

What do I want to stand for?

Why do I want to lead?

What do I want my legacy to be?

Stay tuned for more! Follow me and grab your FREE Resources here.

By Sonia McDonald – CEO of LeadershipHQ and the Outstanding Leadership Awards, Leadership Coach, Global Keynote Speaker, Entrepreneur, Mum And Award Winning Author.