Leadership Inside Out

Issue 23

Why knowing is not enough

April 18, 2024

Hi Reader, How you doing?!

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, Do better”. – Maya Angelou

This quote has served as a guiding force in my personal and professional life. You may relate to that constant desire that I feel inside to know better.

To me, Maya Angelou’s quote highlights the role of ignorance in poor behavior and performance with a certain amount of grace.

Knowledge is power. And the process of learning and knowing continues to evolve collectively and at an individual level.

For much of my adult life nonfiction and informational articles were my go to. I wanted to be better and I wanted the knowledge behind getting there.

This desire to “be better” played a large role in my pursuit of a graduate degree, despite swearing “I was DONE” after undergrad.

But when I discovered that there was knowledge out there on how to make organizational change smoother and team functioning more effective, I had to know. I wanted to be better and to help organizations be better for their people.

Know better, do better … that was the point of it all.

But as I dove into human behavior change, personal growth and development, and even the effectiveness of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, I found that knowing does not always translate into doing.

Even when the desire to change was strong – old habits and thought patterns hung on stronger than the newly acquired head knowledge.

Why?! What was missing in the transformation equation?

Moments like these –Deniz Hotamisligil Photography C-Type on paper

It was actually in my parenting journey and personal somatics coaching that I began to see how meeting the body’s needs and understanding the felt physical sensations unlocks the desired transformation.

I dug into the neuroscience behind change and began to see new layers of what keeps people (and the organizations they create) from “Doing Better”.

It is an issue of not only knowing, but actually feeling better in which we can create sustainable change.

Knowledge + Awareness + Practice = Super Change Capacity

As a change agent committed to contributing to a more justice, beautiful, and loving world, I quickly incorporated an embodied approach to leadership development. I wanted to use this tool on myself and empower others in their own leadership journey.

I call my holistic (whole human) approach to Leadership Development, Leadership Atlas™ 




The Leadership Atlas, approach creates change by addressing your MIND ( mindset, mental models, conscious awareness), your EMOTIONS (automatic responses, feelings, triggers) and your BODY (embodied sensations, physical needs and feedback that impacts how you show up as a change agent and leader).

If you feel stuck, unable to “do better” despite having all the head knowledge, I feel you. You are not alone. And there are ways to breakthrough creating the radical change you deeply desire.

Reflection Questions:

  • What’s your relationship with your body?
  • Are you aware of how your mental and emotional state impacts you physically?
  • What micro act can you do to re-engage your body in your leadership development?

Upcoming Event:

Join me and Manuela Contreras for the Con Fuerza Wisdom Wednesday | April 24. I’ll share more about the power of Embodied Leadership and how it is connected with our success and wellness.

It will be a lovely time of centering wellness and meaningful conversation.

Book Recommendation:

When the Body Says No: Exploring Stress Disease Connection (US Title) by Gabor Mate.

The science is emerging and it’s time to double click on how our health outcomes are directly connected with our emotional and mental wellness. It’s all connected and we can no longer ignore the major damage done by chronic stress.

Get a taste of my approach:
Mini Coaching Sessions

Are you considering a job transition or wondering how to stop the burnt out?

This single 30 min. call will help you STOP spinning and instead reflect, find clarity, and map a way forward.

I am happy to offer these sessions at a “Tip Jar” Rate. No cash in hand, don’t worry someone’s got you covered.

Mini Session Feedback: <<Giant exhale>>
“Thank you so much!! I just couldn’t see a good way forward with my current challenging circumstance weighing me down! I feel so much better.”

Con Amor, Sonya​

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Curious how coaching could support your unique leadership journey? Book a discovery call.

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