Be Your Superhero

Hi there,

Back in the day, I watched Sailor Moon everyday after school at 4PM btw.  She was a Japanese anime character with two identities. One identity was her regular life as a teenager in high school and the other as Sailor Moon, the superhero. When danger reared its ugly head, she used her inner leader to save the world. I wanted her magic pen that allowed her to change into any outfit she desired. Enough of that though..

What if I told you that the only person standing in your way of your dreams is you? What if I said that the only reason you aren’t making more money is you? What if I told you the only reason you are not experiencing your dream relationship is you?

How do you feel now? Hopeless, frustrated, disappointed, uneasy with the decisions you’ve made along the way. At some point did you stop and look at your life and say to yourself, who’s life am I living anyway? Is the life I’ve created for myself the life I want to be living or one that’s expected of me?

Some may argue that in order to get ahead; you need to have certain things in place before you can do that. You need money, education (possibly a Masters Degree these days), access to people who can connect you with the right people to gain access to incredible opportunities, work very hard to get the corner office on the 21st floor with a fantastic view. To experience the relationship of your dreams, you need to be skinnier, smarter, prettier, wealthier; otherwise, that person you are seeking might not consider you at all. There are A TON of preconceived notions of what you need to live life a certain way because let’s face it; the world is “unfair.”

Want to know a secret? How many of the things you think you want, can honestly say you want that for yourself? I could bet you if you took a look at the things you want to experience in this life, it might look different than what your life “should” be.

Here are some of the things I thought I had wanted before I hit 30:
1. A marriage with children
2. A four bedroom house
3. A leadership role in a large organization
4. The perfect body
5. A stable substantial income each month
6. A summer home
7. Tons of friends who come to my four bedroom home for dinner parties with their partners/husbands

Honestly, the list could go on, but I digress. As you can see, I am not 30 (in a few weeks!), and I am not on my way to marriage anytime soon, owning a four bedroom home, having a second home, or even friends who are married! Does it make me feel sad, frustrated, and disappointed? It sure does. The “should haves” I’ve pointed out are all the expectations I’ve put on myself. These are expectations I thought I should be experiencing at my age and they are a terrible way to look at my life.

It’s an awful feeling to feel like you are not at a certain level of what’s expected of you. And you feel as if you are kind of behind the eight ball. But everyone else is doing it you might say! So there must be something wrong with me if I don’t have any of those things, right?

I knew people in my earlier high school years who married in their early to mid-twenties and had made or on the way to make families. Bought a home, had a 9-5 job and took the vacation with their families once or twice a year. Every time I go to a cousin’s bridal shower or wedding (and I have plenty of relatives), I always get asked where my Mr. Right is, and if I don’t hurry up, it will be too late to live out my happy ending because single does not = happiness. I’ve also had “friends,” say to me, “Ugh I am so glad I’m not single anymore, it’s brutal out there.” What gives people?

What I am learning is that the environment in which I was surrounded by as a child was a tiny population of how the rest of the world lives their lives. We bought into the idea that life comes with a lot of shoulds and if you didn’t have them, you are a failure, so you better hurry up and marry the next guy that approaches you. You also better save all of your money and buy a house at 25 because then what else are you going to do? It’s all rigged by fear.

I had a beautiful young lady ask me the other day if I regret not finding “The One” earlier on in my years as she too is struggling to find a partner in her early twenties. My honest answer was No. I explained to her that if I choose to settle down with any of the men I’ve met along the way, my life would be completely different. I also shared that I always knew I wanted more of a relationship and the prospects around at each stage of my life were not candidates who could give that to me. There was still a lot of internal work to do. Only in my late twenties have I focused on myself and my self-discovery and uncovered what I want to experience in this life. The pressures we feel comes from our family, friends, and what we see on media as “acceptable.” These ideas we buy into are the only way to true happiness as it may seem from an external view.

It takes the time to feel your way through the pain you’ve experienced as a child, to heal and to let go. It also takes, even more time to find out who you are and not what you think you are based on someone else’s beliefs.

You see the thing is, sometimes my Superhero emerges in conversation with people. However, my inner child has me feeling small, hopeless, frustrated, disappointed by any means. It’s an internal conflict, and I am breaking it down.

My Inner Superhero Goes Like This: ( I love Sailor Moon btw)

Sonia, you are a force of nature, fun, flirty, magical, intuitive, authentic, connected and SEXY. You are so sure of what you are looking for, and because of that, you never settled for the first, second, third or even fourth opportunity that came your way. You have a fantastic mindset and understanding of the world in that it is abundant and there are plenty of choices and opportunities available for you. When one door closes, another door opens directing you to your hearts desires. You are mastering your intuition and taking a step back before saying yes to anything that feels less than spectacular. You’ve become conscious of what drains you and what excites you. You know deep down in your heart that you don’t have to settle for anything based on your friends, families, or co-workers opinions. On a larger scale, you are closer to being free of expectations with the gift of flexibility in your life. You are free. You will work on a beach because you’ve always wanted to and it will be even better than you had imagined. You will meet amazing souls all over the world who are kind, warm, loving, safe, intelligent and whom live their lives as if today is the best day of their entire lives. You will be welcomed and invited to something bigger than yourself. You want to transform the lives of others and free them from their expectations of themselves. You can inspire the rest of the world to stand up for themselves and choose things like love, joy, freedom, happiness, connection. It is possible for you to instill confidence and courage back into the world that seems to be forgotten. You just need to be patient. The Universe will test you with shiny things and distract you along the way, and it is your job to know when to say No. Ask, and it shall be received. Your problems will be bigger and harder, and with your resilience, you will overcome each one.

At the end of it all, I want someone to say about me, “She overcame all her limitations she imposed on herself and with that, showed others the way to their true hearts desires.”

You always have a choice. Are you going to continue with the story of being a victim of circumstances or are you going to tell your superhero story? You decide.

Let me know what your story is and send me an email at sgrossi.consulting@gmail.com. I’d love to hear from you and how the shoulds have been running your life.

– Sonia

Be Inspiring & Dateable Again

So many people say that they want to be stimulated, inspired, do something different, and my all time favourite, impact change. What does that really mean to you though? I’ve spent a lot of time and energy saying this over and over again and not really doing anything about it. That was my life…BORING!

There are people I’ve met along the way who I KNOW deep in my heart have HUGE potential, and they spend most of their days worrying and wondering what their life should look like – which is very different to the one they are living now btw. No offence or judgement to how you choose to live your life as everyone has a different definition of success and happiness,  it just sounds pretty boring to me. There is no such thing as perfection, but there is a way to live the life you’ve always wanted and that isn’t by doing what you’ve been doing for the past 20+ years which is made up of excuses and playing this waiting game. You know what I mean here, “oh when I have enough money, when I find the right person, when I go on that vacation” (which you never seem to book)

I took a course last weekend and I discovered how our past impacts our present. Easy right? Well, not really. Most of the individuals that got up to talk about their pasts were really hurting inside which was impacting their lives today. I saw through them that they didn’t feel good enough to have everything they wanted, which is why they either settled for less than they deserve, or didn’t even try at all. I’m more of the latter by the way, I don’t settle, but I often stop myself from going after the larger picture. Still a big problem. I am not that person anymore.

There’s a few things that separate us from those who get what they want and deserve. Those who get what they want never stopped moving forward even when they heard the word “no”. They never stopped even when people judged them and said, “you’re ridiculous!” They never stopped because their purpose was on point and they saw the other side even though it wasn’t yet in their reality, this is called uncertainty and don’t we all LOVE uncertainty. When we reach the border which separates our current reality vs. the one we want to have in our hearts, our brains get freaked out. See image below.

Border

Freaking out happens to everyone once we get close to this border. I still do it with myself from time to time once I get close to something I want in my business or life, I literally freak out. Just ask my coach – she knows. What I want to say here is that it’s so easy to take yourself out of the game, fall back into old patterns & ways of thinking, reach out to that person who isn’t right for you just because you’re lonely, find another job because you think it might be better. That’s not being authentic to yourself and you owe yourself so much more than that. You owe your soul so much more. When I’m on a date with someone and I feel their energy is low as if the world has sucked everything they got out of them and they choose to do NOTHING about it, call me judgemental, but I most likely won’t want a second date. Not because I think they aren’t good enough or that I’m better, it’s because I want to be around people who are alive, energized, and owning up to their full potentials. That’s what makes you fun, inspiring and dateable. Pause and let that sit for a moment. Where are you not showing up in your life that way?

So, where are you holding back and what do you really want that you don’t already have? I’ve left my calendar available on March 16th from 4-9PM to talk to you and have 1:1 conversations to see what’s holding you back and how I can help in anyway. Talking about it can really give you some clarity if nothing else.

Click here to book a call with me on March 16th and we’ll tackle it one step at a time.

With love,

Sonia

Manager vs. Employee

Let’s talk Manager versus Employee.

There are always three sides to a story. The side the Manager perceives what happened. The side the employee perceives what happened. Then what actually happened without anyone’s perceptions, judgements or beliefs around it.  I’ve been lucky enough to experience multiple employers, projects, teams, team members, industries, leadership styles, roles and now the wonderful world of freelance and entrepreneurship. I say I am lucky because with all the hoops I’ve jumped through, I’ve been learning, practicing and upgrading my skills all at the same time to be the person I am today – which is awesome by the way!

Today’s topic is on encouraging team members to have honest conversations with their managers. This is so important if you plan to have long term employees and decrease turnover efforts within your company. Let’s face it, the working world is changing rapidly and with all this talk about leadership best practices, intergeneration’s working together,  employee engagement, and free food during your lunch hour, it’s really hard to keep up and know what really works.

Leaders in any organization, not-for-profit, public or private sectors, sports teams even need to understand how their members are thinking and feeling. If there is open communication and it’s honest and direct without blame or judgements, we can create long lasting relationships in the workplace. Relationship building is a skill and it takes time to develop. Especially even longer for the younger generations who think building relationships through text messaging and social media is how its done. (We have so far to go)  I’ve been in multiple situations now where both parties (including myself) were not direct in their messaging and upon leaving these meetings, feeling as if the whole thing was pointless in the first place. It causes frustrations and beliefs that aren’t even real. In the end, you have to book another meeting just to get the right message across because the tension is still there.

I’ll give you an example.

Say you have a 1 on 1 touch point with your Manager and he or she says, they feel that your performance is not up to their expectations and it’s causing a lot of problems for them and making them look bad with our departments stakeholders, partners and VP. Oh and, your role doesn’t look like it’s going to stay in the same place because your skill set doesn’t match the role anymore so we have to take a look at where we can move you if that is still an option but will have to take it up with the VP of HR. One more thing..don’t go to the VP of HR because he won’t really listen to you anyways, your position title doesn’t make you important enough.

What are some immediate thoughts?

  1. They are going to fire you.
  2. You’re not good enough for the role.
  3. Your Manager is NOT on your side.
  4. Your Manager does NOT believe in you nor do they want to support you.
  5. This is unfair.
  6. I do not agree on performance …it’s my 6th week into the role and I need time to learn. Thanks but no thanks.

Yeah it happened. That isn’t the whole conversation, however, it’s my perception of how the conversation went. When they say people don’t leave companies, they leave their bosses, I’d say this is most definitely a huge factor in the decision making process among many other things.

So how do we fix this? There is no one solution so here are my top three.

First, we can help by equipping managers with the right tools, skills and language to have difficult conversations with team members. This can be done multiple ways through training, social learning, coaching, experience and HR Business Partners as some examples. Check out our program on Leadership Essentials or email me to find out how we can use this program in your company.

Second, we need to encourage team members to let their managers know what’s going on through honest open communication and feedback. Let your team members know you are there to support them with their career goals and you want to help get them there. If there is an area an employee wishes to go and you feel like it’s definitely not their strongest suit, then offer opportunities for training, job shadowing, or research so they can get better at it. Communicate to them that you are dedicated to helping them grow through the resources you have and know of and they will appreciate this very much.

Third, do the work to help them reach their end goal. For example, an employee expresses their interest in workshop design and facilitation as an area they wish to pursue or upgrade their skills. Connect the individual with internal teams and projects to expose them to use this skill and give opportunities to practice. Always coach through the process and offer feedback either by a Manager, external coaching firm, or internal team members who have experience in these areas.

Creating leaders in teams regardless of position title is how we can help make the workplace more productive and enjoyable. Taking responsibility for what happens within our worlds can make a huge impact as well. If we stop blaming everyone else for what happened, we might actually get creative and solve our problems too. Managers have a big responsibility managing people and I help leaders develop a working roadmap to create the team of their dreams.

Side note: I worked in a company where an entire team dreaded going into meetings with their VP. The team had a ritual prior to the meeting (which I will not repeat) to help prepare them for her meetings. Don’t be that VP and definitely don’t be those teams who poke fun at their boss behind closed doors. This isn’t high school anymore…

If you want to learn more about solving problems in the workplace, join my “Moment of Truth” Meetup group and every month we talk about various issues in the workplace delivered in a mini workshop style. February is on encouraging team members to speak up and why it’s important. March is on getting clarity and taking action.

Click here to join

What kinds of conversations are happening at your work? Comment below and share your experiences positive or negative or forward to someone you know who may need to read this. You can also send me an email so we can chat on what problems you’re facing and how I can help.

-Sonia

Bossy Pants/#BOSSGIRL

I used to be THAT girl… “bossy”, and then I wasn’t, and then I was again. Confusing? YES.

In my earlier years, (not that it was THAT long ago) I was often referred to as bossy according to my “friends”. Most times when I heard these derogatory comments, I never really understood what they meant by it or why they felt that way. I think the problem was because I never followed up with the simple question, “Why do you say that?” or “What is it that I do that’s bossy”. “Please explain”. Looking for answers would have helped me connect the dots. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the confidence to speak up and I was generally told to stop talking, listen, and let someone else lead and make important decisions even if I disagreed with it. I mean, the only thing I remember as a child now that I’m a bit older are the comments shared by peers and how others made me feel. REMEMBER: People will always remember how you made them feel, not necessarily what you did or said. It’s all a distant blur at this point, however, the feelings are still there. Often, when kids on the playground said these types of things, it always made me question it because I thought, “Well NO, that’s how YOU are” or maybe that’s what I wanted to say to them.  We are mirrors of ourselves and at times when someone calls you dramatic or bossy as an example, it’s simply because they are themselves. It’s interesting because we tend to project ourselves onto others while thinking we don’t at all have that problem… Just take a moment and think about that…

I could get all into that but THAT is definitely not the purpose of this post. It’s funny to me now to recall how embarrassed and ashamed I used to feel when someone called me bossy. It was seen as a negative thing and not an amazing trait to have when you’re a kid. But then you grow up, figure out the world, and have to make tough decisions in order to survive.

Sheryl Sandberg is an advocate of women as leaders and says that little girls who are told they are “bossy” should be told instead they have “leadership potential.”  I recently checked out a YouTube video of her Ban Bossy campaign where someone asked a small group of girls in an elementary school around the age of 10 if it’s more important to be a leader or to be liked. Every single girl said it is better to be liked than to be a leader. In their responses as to why, “because no one will like you if you tell them what to do.” Unfortunately this is the reality for young girls because of all the consequences that come with stepping up as a leader to your peers. It’s not seen as a good thing AT ALL. I can speak from my experience and confidently say leadership qualities were often translated into negative characteristics such as aggressive, dominating, overbearing, abrasive etc. It is true that not a lot of people liked me at that time (limited social circles composed out of convenience and location). I never went to French immersion, preschool or day care centres. I didn’t have the social skills to interact with strangers before I entered kindergarten. Be quiet, don’t make a lot of noise, and let the grown ups talk. THANKS! This is just how it was at THAT time.  I was raised by my Italian parents and a lot by my grandparents who lived basically across the street. Boy did they ever make THE BEST home cooked meals.

So what are the results of something like this? It affects levels of confidence, self-esteem, self-love and respect for yourself. Doubting your potential and capabilities and not setting boundaries are the results of feeling this way. These things affect all areas of your life; family, friends, relationships, work, etc. This is not to say that you will not recover, you just have to do the work.

The little girl in me was never bossy in my eyes, yet had natural leadership skills. Since I was conditioned to suppress this side of me for so long after highschool, I often felt misunderstood and unsatisfied in my career choices or circle of friends because I simply wasn’t allowing myself to lead anymore. There was always a sense of shame to be myself. Constant trigger moments later on in life that NEEDED to be removed. When that #BOSSGIRL came out sporadically, I found people didn’t react positively and it was because I had changed the game on them. It’s all a learning process, and you won’t get it right the first time. So I had to tweak my leadership approach in a way that worked for me and this comes with PRACTICE.

So what did I learn?

  • I realized I was born to be a leader, entrepreneur, and work for myself which is why I started my own training and coaching business this year and it’s growing!
  • I am not afraid to connect and meet new people who also have their own businesses and come with their own set of skills, knowledge and experiences. Partnerships are so fun and a great place to be. No delegation necessary!
  • I work SMART not HARD which means stepping up to the plate to set professional boundaries so that I am fulfilled in my work and allows me to work in a way that makes sense.
  • I am not afraid to let people know how I am thinking or feeling which creates meaningful relationships and friendships and helps with who I choose to let into my life in the future.
  • Be who you are no matter what people think. WHY? Because they don’t matter anyways 🙂

On November 21st I am speaking in front of 200 minority 6th-12th grade girls in Detroit on confidence and leadership along with 5 wonderful entrepreneur women sharing their own stories. I’m so excited I just can’t wait to meet everyone!

Share, like, or comment below 🙂 I’d love to hear from you and discover your turning points or what I can do to help with clarity and confidence in my Clarity Breakthrough program.

-Sonia