00:08 Hi, I am Denise Simpson, a master life and leadership coach who helps women step into their authentic and feminine power so they can lead like visionaries, influence with grace, and create a legacy of contribution and service. You'll hear about real leadership clients with real problems navigating their success in life, business and career. If you're ready to become a masterful leader, then this podcast was made for you. So let's get started.
00:46 Hey there. Welcome. Hi everybody. Welcome, my goodness. It's one 30 right now here in Austin, and we are live. I'm so excited to be coming to you with this latest episode, episode 1 55. We're going to talk about reflecting, rejoicing and renewing before we enter the new year. This is how leaders prepare. We're going to take a moment to reflect, to rejoice, and to renew ourselves in preparation for 2024. So if you are here for some inspiration, you're in the right place, my friends. You are in the right place because every single week I want to bring you an episode that resonates with you as a human, as a leader who's leading others, someone who has raised their hand and said, I can do this leadership thing. I can be a great leader. And there's times where I don't know what I'm doing. I'm afraid to do it messy, but I'm here and I'm going to practice courage over confidence.
02:03 So if you are that kind of leader, then I'm your kind of guide. I'm the person that can guide you through this journey because I've been there. I've done that. I am, for those of you who don't know, I'm Dr. Denise Simpson. I'm a public academic. I spent a great deal of time doing research with my small research company, and our obsession is women in leadership. This is what we obsess over. This is what we want. This is what we want more women representing in corporate America, of course, in all sectors, in all industries. So whether you're a nonprofit leader or a for-profit leader in corporate America, this is where you belong. This is where we belong together. And so know that I have been there, done that, still doing that as a CEO and as a founder of my company, multiple companies. And so the research company is one of many things that I get to do because a lot of passion.
03:00 There's a lot of purpose and I'm obsessed over a lot of topics. And so that's just one of many. But this episode, let's talk about this episode. This episode was created because as we're wrapping up the year, as we're looking back, a lot of us are living in the past. Let's be very clear about that. A lot of us are living in the past. Why? Because the past, the hold that our past has over us. A lot of us have suffered this year. A lot of us have gone through personal turmoil. A lot of us are still currently hurting for those around the world in conflict around the world. There's so many of us still focused on the past, and that's natural. Our brain is looking in the past because that's where we've lived. That's what we've gone through. This is where we're at. We're focused on the past, and then our brain says, I don't know about the future.
04:03 It's uncertain. It's unclear. I'm fearful of the future, so I might as well just stay in the past where I've already lived through it. I can focus on that instead of taking action forward because of the fear. And so a lot of us right now are looking in our past, and that's natural. So know that that is okay to do, and I actually want you to do that to today with me. I want for us to look in the past, and this is that first part of our time together today is to reflect on that past and then we're going to rejoice on the findings, the learnings of our past. And when we rejoice today, we're rejoicing on those learnings. We're looking back and saying, whoa, that was hard. And I lived through that and I went through that, and I want to take those learnings with me today.
05:01 I want to use them today and then into the future. That's the second part of what we're going to do today. That's the rejoice part of what we're going to do today. Because even if you took an L, like a big L, and a lot of us took a lot of losses this year. A lot of us took personal losses, a lot of us took financial losses. There's a lot going on in our nervous system in our businesses and our families. There's so much impacting and influencing us. So even if you took an L, we're going to rejoice on the L, right? We're going to rejoice on the wins and the lss. And so that's what we're going to do today on that second part of our time together. And then we're going to end with renewal. What does that even look like? What does it mean to be renewed?
05:48 What does it mean to look into the future with a new lens of renewal, with a new energy, with new energetic body moving into 2024? What does that look like for you as a leader? So this topic is important for US leaders, and I did this exercise with my team and I did this exercise with my clients. We did it earlier this week, and I have a client tomorrow. I'm going to do this with her as well. This is so exciting because this gives us an opportunity to slow our brain down and slow our bodies slow our nervous systems. This is a time to reflect, and I know it's hard to say that with leaders or to tell leaders, slow down leader, relaxed leader. Let's take a moment. Leader, I understand that my clients are some of the most high performing, highly energetic humans on this planet who are doing amazing things not only in their organizations, but in their families and their communities and their nonprofit work.
06:52 There's so much that they have on their plate. So I understand if you're rolling your eyes at me and saying, you want me to take a moment to reflect? Let me tell you something later. Self-awareness is the number one skill that determines a leader's success. There is plenty of research that tells us when a leader is highly self-aware, their leadership impact is high. So high self-awareness equals high impact in their leadership practice. So as we raise our self-awareness, and that's a skill that we get to develop. So that's good news, that's good news because I didn't have any self-awareness before I got into this line of work. I was clueless about self-awareness. I just knew I reacted to my emotions. I just knew I was at the effect of life. I just knew that this was the truth and the world was against me. That's all I knew until I took the opportunity to develop the skill of self-awareness.
08:00 And it's a muscle. It sucks at first. It hurts at first to practice self-awareness. But as leaders, we're responsible for managing our minds. This is self-mastery. This is self-leadership. So if you're leading souls, if you're leading humans, you're going to want to learn how to lead yourself. This is why self-awareness is very important, and this is the work that we're doing today as we are looking back and reflecting on those past circumstances. And so if you're ready to work with me today, let's do it. If you're driving, don't do this yet. Wait till you get to the office or wait till you get home. But if you are in a position to take pen and paper, please do so because this is some work we're going to do together. So again, self-awareness is your job, dear leader. This is an obligation that you must do.
08:59 And plus, this is the work that it's not always simple. It's not always clean. It's messy work that we have to do. And a lot of this we do behind the scenes. As leaders, we do the hard work. We do the mindset work. We do the training work behind the scenes so that we can show up for our employees. They not even knowing our struggles. They not even knowing our pain points. They have no idea what we've sacrificed because that's none of their business. We do this work behind the scenes so that we can show up confident, resourceful, courageous, transparent leaders. That's the work we're going to do right now so we can prepare you to be an effective leader. So let's get ready. So I talked about reflection. So what I did with my team earlier this week, we did this not only for the business, but we did this for our individual lives, our personal lives.
10:08 And so it was a fun exercise where we took the reflections of everything that happened in their role in the business. Also, it was so nice to see their perspective on the circumstances that took place this past year overall in the business. It was so nice to see what they saw through their eyes that I didn't see as the owner. And so that was so much fun. But here's where we get to reflect. So if you're doing this for yourself, and I suggest you do this for yourself first, do this work first before you take this to the team. I hope you are preparing for end of year team building exercises. This is an opportunity. The momentum is there, the energy is there. People are reflecting on their past already. So if you want to prepare a team building activity for them, you're going to do this work first before you take this into your organization.
11:08 So I'm speaking to you, leader. So here's where I want for you to take pen and paper and jot down some of the most critical events that have taken place this year that your mind, that's at the forefront of your mind right now, right? Some of you went through divorce or separation. Some of you have gone through some challenging financial times right now. Some of you may have lost your job, some of you may have been demoted, some of you may have lost loved ones. Some of you may have been diagnosed with illness or disease. Some of you can recall because it's at the top of your mind, these circumstances that you experienced this year. So list those out first because I want for that just to come out of your mind on paper so that now you can see it. Now you can see these events because what I want for you to do is have separation from those events.
12:11 Hindsight is 2020 because we get to look in the past, and then we get to have perspective on it. We don't necessarily do that in the moment of the crisis or in the moment of the circumstance. So we need time to separate ourselves emotionally from those events. And so this is why this work is so important because we're going all the way back to January and we're looking at what has happened not only in our personal lives, but also in our business lives, maybe in the workplace, if it impacted you, impacted your brain, your heart, your nervous system, your mind, it belongs on that list. So here's where you're going to complete this list. It's not a comprehensive list. It doesn't have to be. You just have to list the things that are the forefront of your mind. And trust me, in a few days, as your unconscious mind is ruminating over these events, you may be adding some things to the list.
13:12 So if you can't recall everything at once in this session, that's okay. Give your unconscious mind time to regurgitate it back up to find a way into your conscious mind. And then you're going to list those events. And you don't have to write the details of the event. It could be a very simple phrase. It could be a one sentence circumstance. You don't have to go into the weeds of those events, especially if they were activating. We don't want for you to reactivate that in your nervous system. We just want for you to recall, oh, yeah, yeah, I had a passing in July, and yes, I had COD earlier this year. Oh, yes, I lost a few clients during that quarter, or I was demoted, or I was let go, or I lost five people this past year, lost them in the organization, or they quit on me.
14:19 So here you are listing them in short phrases or short sentences. So then this way, as we're reflecting on these events, so these are the critical events. Your brain is going to recall the events that have been activating in you. These are the events that have heightened emotional intensity to them. So I want for your brain to give equal attention to the circumstances that brought great joy, that brought great, great happiness. Maybe it was a win. Maybe you got promoted. Maybe you started your business. Maybe you did get that divorce. Yay, you, right? So you've got a list of the critical events, but then also the events that cause great happiness and joy. These are your successes. These are your wins. And so here you have a list, two columns of things that you want your brain to go back to looking at. And again, short phrases, one sentence for one sentence descriptors.
15:27 And that's it. Because this is the important part of the reflection that we're doing today. We want to look at those learnings that we're taking away from the critical list, the events that cause discrete pain and harm, maybe even suffering. We want to take those learnings. We want to deeply understand, well, what did I learn from those events? Because they hurt. And I don't want this pain to be for nothing. I want to make sure that I take learnings from these events. And so you get to determine what those learnings are because these are the learnings that we're going to take with us into the new year. So start looking at this information that you've written down. Don't dive deep into the weeds of these events. You've already lived through them. Your body already has the score. It knows exactly what you lived through. So this exercise is only for the purpose of taking those learnings.
16:29 And so that may take some time. It may take a few days to really process and synthesize, well, what can I take from that divorce? What can I take from that scandal? What can I take from that demotion? What can I take from that failure? Failure in the organization? What learnings can I take? And when you identify the learnings, I want for you to word the learnings in a way where it benefits you, where you're the victor, not the victim, where you're the person that's on top that has looking back and saying, well, okay, but I'm on top now because of what just happened. I want for you to reframe those circumstances with a positive learning that you are going to take with you into the future. We don't want to feel all that pain for nothing. We don't want to just not for it not to be useful.
17:27 We want to take learnings from those circumstances. That's why this work is important. So again, that list that you have of those critical milestones and events that took place this year, you're going to ask yourself, what can I take from that event? How am I benefiting because of what happened to me? What is it that I learned? What were some of the critical things that happened in this circumstance that I can now use in the future? That's the work that I want for you to do. And then you go on the other side of the column and you pull all of those wins. And then I want for you to also ruminate over those wins because I want for those wins to stay in your unconscious programming. I want for your body, your nervous system, and your mind to feel those wins because these are the wins that we want to remind ourselves of.
18:21 This is the adversity you went through and this is the win that you accomplish. Here's the determination that you had because you kept going in that business or because you kept at it. So I want for you to also jot down the wins that you're getting from each of those circumstances. Some of you got your terminal degrees, some of you have graduated with PhDs or finish a master's degree program. Some of you finished local chamber certifications or whatever. I want for you to jot the winds down and then ask yourself, what am I taking from this circumstance? How am I a better person because of it? How is my community going to benefit from this win? Right? Because one thing to keep accomplishing things, right? I mean, there's so much you can do with degrees and accomplishments and the medals and the trophies, but now what are you going to do with that information?
19:21 How is it going to impact somebody else other than you in your life or your pocketbook? How is it going to impact your community? That's why this other list is so important, because the wins, the successes, your accomplishments, they all have a purpose. Yes, to enrich your life. Of course, that's why you do these things. But also, how is it going to enrich your community? How is it going to enrich your employees? How are you going to make sure we all benefit from these gifts and these blessings? So the reflection part, dear leader, is such a critical part in what we're talking about today because we have to reflect on these two lists before we can rejoice both of our outcomes. This is the second part we're moving into is the rejoice part. Now we get to rejoice. We rejoice on the critical list, that circumstances that almost took us down, and then we're going to rejoice on those wins, those successes, those accomplishments.
20:28 So both of these lists are so powerful, and this is where you take a moment to rejoice. Now, what does rejoice look like for you? So with my client that we went through this reflection piece with her rejoicing was have a week off before the new year. She said, I had not considered some time off for myself. I have been going at it. We're at the end of the fiscal year in my company, but I really, I'm looking at the reflection of the year. I'm looking at the critical events, and of course those big wins, but now I want to rejoice in this and I want to take some time to really ruminate over rejoicing these two lists, and I want to do that while I'm renewing myself for the new year, and I just want to take some time off, and I'm not going on vacation.
21:25 I'm not doing anything spectacular. I just want to disconnect from my phone, from my emails, from my employees, from my staff. I just want to have time to really soak in on these learnings from both sides of this list. That was her way of rejoicing, which in turn is helping her renew, which is the third part. But again, we're still on the second part of rejoicing. So how about for you? What would rejoicing look like? Does it look like self-care? Does it look like time off? Does it look like a sweet present for yourself? Something that you've been holding off on, something that you've been putting on the side because everyone else has come first before you, something that you have been delaying. What is that for you? It could be as simple as just telling yourself, we did it. We went through 2023 and we're about to go into 2024 with new insight, with new perspective because of what we just did in this reflection exercise.
22:33 And because I have rejoiced these learnings, the good and the bad, the painful and the wonderful, the critical events that happened and the wins that I'm taking, both these lists have given me great perspective. And maybe that's all you need is to acknowledge, find self-awareness around these learnings, and that's how you're going to rejoice. What if you go and speak at a nonprofit? What if you go and volunteer somewhere? What if you go and use these learnings to write a blog about it, to go share this with your friends or with your community members? Maybe it's donating to a cause, maybe it's giving to charity. What would rejoicing look like for you? That's the work we're doing today, my friends. And you don't have to come up with that answer right now. You can think about it as you're creating the reflection list. And then you pull those learnings from both sides of that list, and then you get to determine what rejoicing looks like for you.
23:37 And then we move into the third part of our topic today. That's the renewal part. This is where we've taken these learnings from these two sides of this list. We've taken the moment to rejoice in whatever feels right to our bodies and to our minds and our hearts, and then now we use that energy. It's this energetic field. It's an energetic perspective. We're looking now into the future and we're now asking ourselves, okay, we've got some great work to do in 24. So much to be had so much to do here. So here's where your energy is renewed. Some of us need the physical renewal. Some of us do need that physical moment, that time to maybe separate ourselves just like my client has where she's now taking a week, which she had not considered doing because of how busy the end of the fiscal year is for her and her company.
24:36 But she said, no, I matter now. I matter now. And I put myself last this past year, and I'm going to renew my physical body so that I can enter 2024 with this new energy, with a new perspective, with new passion, with renewed purpose. So what does renewal look like for you? For me, it's this new attitude. It's this. I've been through a lot. For those of you who know me personally, there's been some really hard circumstances for me this year. So when I did this work, my goodness, it was therapeutic for me. It was eyeopening for me. I was realizing I had put myself last on the list. And so for me, it's moving into 2024 with a renewal of attitude. Listen, if you didn't think I had an attitude before, oh, I've got one now. Watch out 2024, because it's on. Because now I will be at the forefront of my movement.
25:41 I'm going to be at the forefront of my purpose. I'm going to be at the forefront of my business, of my community, of my family. I'm now leading where before in 2023, I was lagging. I was behind the pack because I was too fearful. There were so many hurtful, painful circumstances that I put myself in the back of the pack, but 20, 24 is renewed from me, and now there's a new perspective. So what does that look like for you in regards to renewal? Again, this is all relative to what your needs are to what you need at this moment, right? So look back in reflection so that we can rejoice today so that we have this renewed perspective moving into the new year. And remember, to your leader, this is the work that we have to do. This is the mindset work. This is the self-awareness work.
26:40 Listen, there's too many leaders out here doing more to our people because they're full of trauma and they're full of pain, and they haven't taken this opportunity to pull from these learnings. But it requires you to take a moment to be still with yourself and your mind and your body so that you could do this work. And listen, it's not glorious work. A lot of us go into leadership because we want the accomplishments. We want to be recognized. We want the rewards, we want the status, we want the position. But listen, a lot of us neglect to do the real work, which is the work that we do behind the scenes when nobody is watching. And so this is the work that we must do. So, dear leader, reflect this day. Take the next few days to do this. Rejoice in those learnings, and then find a way to renew yourself and your perspective and your energy and your physical body so that you can move into 2024, taking all of these learnings from 2023 so that you can make a bigger, greater impact on yourself, your family, and your employees or your community members.
28:01 Alright, dear leaders, thank you so much for joining me. If you're watching the replay, let me know that you are here because I always appreciate comments or insights or questions. Here's where I want for you to go next. You're going to want to stay close to my email list so that when I'm going live, I don't have a consistent schedule because my clients come first. So I work my podcast live episodes around them and their schedules. And so you're going to want to get on my email list to get weekly leadership coaching trainings, tips, and of course to also know when I'm going live again. So that is at dr denise simpson.com/leadership. You're seeing that on your screen. If you're listening to this, you're going to want to go to dr denise simpson.com/leadership. All right, dear leaders, I'm wishing you a fantastic holiday season and a great big loving 2024 that's ahead of us. All right, stay close. I'm here to support you and be sure to get on my email list. Again, that's dr denise simpson.com/leadership. We'll see you all soon. Take care.
29:23 Hey, leader, do you want weekly leadership tips, coaching and training straight to your email inbox? Yeah, I thought so. Head over to dr denise simpson.com/leadership. Again, that's dr denise simpson.com/leadership. Just submit your name and your email address and we'll get started right away. I look forward to serving you inside your email inbox. See you soon.