Developing a leadership mindset begins with action.
“I’m not actually fear-LESS but I am taking action in spite of fear. I’m telling myself I’m fearless, even though I’m shaking inside,” Kathleen Ries-Jubenville told me on the Happiness in Progress.
Kathleen Ries-Jubenville is a Certified High-Performance Coach who educates her clients on proven, successful business strategies. She helps them implement the systems they need to create a thriving business that supports the lifestyle of their dreams!
Google Search: How to Get off the Treadmill of Life
Kathleen was living a high paced life as an accountant when one day she found herself googling “How to get off the treadmill of life.”
A lot of us have been there – following the steps we’ve been shown and told to follow. Yet, one day we wake up with a college degree, a full-time job, a family – but we don’t have the fulfillment we would get.
That’s what happened to Kathleen.
She had a 30-year career in accounting – and the grind just kept going.
When she was pregnant with her son she thought “I really have it in me to have my own business.” She started her own accounting business and worked from home for 12 years.
A couple years after moving on from that – she realized she needed to get off the treadmill of life.
“Leadership is not – leadership starts with yourself. It starts with leading yourself and when you are leading yourself other people are naturally attracted to you and it gives you the opportunity to influence others and have leadership roles,” Kathleen told me.
When Kathleen first got into accounting she applied for a job she didn’t really have the experience for. Although that was the case, she led herself to believe she could do it. Though that faith and confidence in her own ability, she led her soon-to-be-boss to hire her.
Kathleen talks about leading yourself by being strategic. As she worked through companies to get to the top – she would make a conscious decision to move to a different company if she felt she was up against a ceiling.
She exerted “this is what I am going to do” and then she would do it.
Developing a Leadership Mindset Regardless of Your Past
It can feel impossible to be someone developing a leadership mindset when our past doesn’t have strong examples affirming that we can.
But Kathleen experienced a turning point that helped her disconnect from her past while reading the book Hinds Feet on High Places. She explains the book takes someone who saw their flaws and saw their disfigurement. In the book, God leads her up the mountain and a transformation occurs. Finally she can see how God sees her.
“It didn’t matter all the things that had happened in her past, it didn’t matter all of the mistakes that she had made,” Kathleen said.
She says it’s important to understand this is a stumbling block for everybody in the world.
While there have been mistakes in our past, at our own hands and others’ hands – we need to recognize “those things happened, but what can we do today.”
Kathleen says this is the moment where we can take that “one courageous step in the right direction.”
Your Leadership Mindset at Home & in the Community
“At home your kids are always watching. People you are interacting with – whether that’s at your church or in your community – they are watching you. People are always watching you. You have the opportunity to show them that whatever they need in that moment – you’re showing them some way to think, some way to behave, some way to act,” Kathleen shares as we talk about leading by example.
She says she used to be very nervous when she spoke to large groups.
Now, she says a prayer before she goes on stage asking God to help her touch one person. When she channels her nerves into impacting one person it makes all the difference.
When we channel our energy into making an impact for the people around us – the leadership mindset and our confidence starts to grow stronger.
The mindset change for a mom, or someone on the PTO/PTA or volunteering at church starts with asking yourself what you want your legacy to look like.
Kathleen says if you’re in mid-life and you’re feeling anxiety it may be because you are not acting on a desire you have. She says, “I think of anxiety as a desire to make a difference and you’re not including action. You have energy that is not combing out in action. It’s being bottled up.”
To start moving toward making a difference, Kathleen suggests considering what you want to do and the baby action steps that will move you closer to your goal.
Moving Forward as a Leader in Spite of Fear
Kathleen describes fear as the opposite of courage. She says fear can completely stop you from doing anything.
In fact, she told me on the Happiness in Progress podcast, that fear can turn into anxiety. It doesn’t stop there either. That anxiety then turns into judgement. We then get into a vicious cycle where we’re afraid to act and judging ourselves for not acting.
Kathleen shares it is totally normal to feel fear.
“I’m not actually fear-less, but I am taking action in spite of fear. So I’m telling myself I’m fearless – even though I’m shaking inside. It doesn’t stop me from taking action.”
When we’re presented with a decision we can handle it in one of two ways. 1) Let what’s happening happen or 2) make a decision on whether to take action.
She says being decisive about our life is key to developing a leadership mindset.
“When we’re intentional – then we’re taking action and that starts the cycle of success. When we passively let opportunities go by… or if we ignore those calling within us – that’s when we’re going to cave into that fear and cave into that anxiety and usurp our success.”
‘Your thoughts create your emotions AND your motions’
Kathleen writes in her book, ‘Grow a Pair of Antlers’, that our thoughts create our emotions and motions.
She says we need to be careful about what we put into our minds – particularly in this season of negativity through a pandemic, a contentious handling of said pandemic and a high tension election.
But she points out that “the more time we spend absorbing that – the more time we’re feeding the negative emotions. The reactiveness to every little word we read – whether we think it’s the truth or not the truth – we are constantly reacting to things.”
Instead of spending her time reading things that add negativity to her life – she tries to focus on reading the Bible, self-help books, fun books – anything that adds hope and options to her life.
“When you start having hope that’s when you can take action. If you don’t have any hope you’re not going to be in motion,” Kathleen said on Happiness in Progress.
More in the Episode:
- Press play on the podcast player above to hear how to develop resilience as a leader (around 21 minutes)
- What to do when you make a mistake as a leader
- Why taking responsibility as a leader is so important
- Check out this episode with a woman who changed her mindset, goals and life in Reinventing Yourself
- Learn how to ease anxiety with mindset tricks here
- Buy the HIP Habits workbook to practice habits including mindset