Leadership Inside Out

Issue 16

A breakthrough recipe

February 26, 2024

After a deep inhale and exhale… let’s jump in.

REFLECTION TIME: (seriously, take a pause and journal)

What is keeping you from taking action towards creating the change you know you want?

(Nothing? Awesome. Read on for tips for when you find yourself stuck.)

Maybe you don’t know what you want.

Maybe you don’t know what action to take.

I can help with these questions because they aren’t always apparent.

You may feel like you want something different in your organization, the effectiveness of your leadership, or work/life integration but are not sure what or how to go about it. A discovery call is a perfect place to begin to unpack these questions.

For now, let’s dive into how to get unstuck when you DO KNOW what to do (or at least have an idea) but just can’t seem to get yourself doing the thing you say you really want to.

It’s super frustrating. I’ve been there.

You may find yourself scrolling on social media, listening to another podcast or reading another book about the topic, considering taking action but cannot get yourself to actually do the damn thing.

This is totally normal AND totally fixable.

Here’s how:

We like to think that we are rational beings, making decisions based on reason, logic and a set strategy.

The truth is we are emotional beings with a complex nervous system and brain makeup that directs us in far more powerful ways than our conscious thoughts. Our bodies and brains’ job is to keep us safe and avoid unpleasant experiences.

So when you find yourself buffering, not doing the thing, ask yourself, “How is my brain trying to keep me safe?”

What is the emotional threat in taking action?

More often than not, when I look deeper, I find that my inaction prevents me from the threat of feeling disappointed and uncomfortable. It ignores the current level of disappointment because it is already familiar with it.


From the very first semester of my masters program at Northwestern when I started learning about human centered organizations, leadership coaching, and more regenerative ways of supporting adult learning, I KNEW I wanted to start my own practice to support nonprofit and social impact professionals with a better way of leading change.

Over a decade passed between that conviction and actually registering my LLC. I was coaching on the side, learning a LOT, consuming valuable resources and coaching modalities but I wasn’t sharing it with the world.

Why did I struggle to take the action to really launch my business, start sharing online, and talking loudly about the things I had learned and how I could help?

In my entrepreneur journey I have uncovered OVER and OVER a fear of disappointment.

What if I spend all this time, effort, and nothing happens or I can’t make it happen?

What if I apply to speak at a conference and am not selected?

What if I post online and it doesn’t resonate with others?

I will be disappointed. And scarier thoughts, “what if I’m a disappointment?”

My growth and movement came when I could say, “So what.” It might not happen and feeling disappointed will not kill me.

Would I rather stay stuck or be willing to look at this emotion straight on?

It’s ok to feel disappointed. AND with one additional reframing I came to see that the fear of disappointment is no longer an emotion I want to hold.

I would rather be fueled by the love of possibility and potential for me and my clients.

I replaced fear with love.

Love compels me toward the courageous action necessary to improve and grow.

What hidden emotions might be keeping you stuck? Don’t let them postpone your dream of becoming the person and leader you want to be.

You are full of potential and I’ve got a ton of resources and insights to help you take action that feels energizing, empowered, and authentic.

Book Recommendation:

This week I’m listening to Adam Grant’s newest book, Hidden Potential and it has not disappointed.

My son now wants to move to Finland to access their innovative school system. And I’m happy to say that many of the approaches I use are reinforced by the latest research.

Con Amor, Sonya

Adam also notes that the loudest, most normative choices for leaders do not result in the best outcomes. I see you wanting to lead differently but not feeling seen for your potential or the freedom to be authentic. I’ve got ya.😉 Let’s go change the face (and quality) of leaders and in doing so change the world.