"Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are."
1. Where were you in your profession and life before our coaching work together?
The general themes that I felt in my life before coaching included feeling happy with my family and personal life (generally) but overwhelmed at work and particularly unable to express to those around me my needs, for fear of it not being well-received. I did not often reach out for help and had dismissed my employer as [not] caring about my welfare.
2. Where are you now? What's different? How do you feel about it?
With a renewed focus and awareness of the importance of authenticity, and a reduction of the fear of rejection associated with being authentic, I have been fortunate to be able to have incredibly honest and fulfilling interactions with co-workers and family members. Openness and vulnerability on my part have evoked honesty and appreciation and just good things from those around me. I find that I am more grateful on a daily basis for all that I have and more confident that my authentic self is valuable, so I’m going to be okay! I recently received a promotion at work, was able to have a one-on-one face-to-face meeting with the CEO of our company, and am involved in many high-profile strategically important projects.
3. What internal barriers did you face in making these tremendous changes?
I have always struggled with self-confidence -- some kind of imposter syndrome-- which I think stems from a life-long fear of not knowing the answer; I place a lot of importance on that. In addition, I have had a difficult time seeing my own gifts and talents, and in actually acknowledging them as being gifts and talents. The voice in my head telling me that I was not good enough and telling me to be fearful was loud and difficult to confront.
4. In making these changes, what did you find most supportive about the Coaching work with Prashant?
Since my father died eleven years ago, I have struggled with finding a mentor to help guide me, and instead almost went the other way and shunned the idea of thinking that I could have big bold goals and talk about them. Talking to Prashant helped me to address this block. Without being intrusive, our conversations were safe places to talk and offered opportunities -- through a variety of exercises, imparting of knowledge, and meditation types -- to explore difficult topics in an accessible and non-scary way.
5. What about your story do you feel might be most meaningful for others?
When you have tiny kids and aging parents and are working full time, it might seem like the worst time to work on personal reflection and growth. But I think that it’s the best time and the most important time to do so.
6. What encouragement do you offer to people who are currently living "successfully" without satisfaction?
Taking a couple of hours a week on personal growth offers a great return --- I now feel that I’m on a path to be a good example to my young children; I now feel that I can have big goals and talk about them; I now feel that I have gifts and talents that are valuable and that my voice is important at work and in the world. I now know that even when there is no time in the day, there is always time for increased self-awareness, which leads to better, kinder, more authentic interactions with those around us, which leads to unknowable opportunities for connection!
7. Anything else?
For me, for a long time I had a nagging feeling that I was being held back by something in my head. I knew I needed to address these nagging feelings of dis-satisfaction and to take the leap. Prashant is brilliant but never condescending, he is optimistic but realistic, he is warm and authentic and easy to talk to. You will feel refreshed, renewed and like a weight has been lifted as you begin to learn about yourself through his sessions. I now feel like I have the tools and daily habits that are leading me to incrementally live a little truer every day.
My Commentary on Lyndsey's Case
Symptoms of an "alt Leadership Development" challenge may include:
- Look great on paper but you have a feeling of "imposter syndrome" (feeling fradulent somehow, like you are being inauthentic);
- Feeling the need to regularly defend and protect reputation, that it's almost a second job;
- Readiness to expand further in the direction of potential;
- Bogged down in political and power games;
- It seems other people are the problem;
- Interpersonal challenges with colleagues;
- Difficulty with decision-making and/or delegation;
- Negative repetitions/recurring patterns with others or circumstances;
- Poor balance;
- Strong inner critic;
- Not able to be self at work;
- Fear holds you back from what you really want to say or do;
- Wanting more meaning in your life;
- You compromise on what you believe in;
- Feel bored.