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The path to personal development and growth is no joke.

As you start to wake up inside, you begin to take more personal responsibility. You reverse-engineer the results you’ve gotten out of life back to your thoughts and behaviors, and then the work begins.

You try to learn exercises, techniques and strategies to fix the brokenness you’re discovering. You try to feel complete, worthy and healed. But at some point, you end up feeling overwhelmed with everything you feel you must do to fix that brokenness.

I used to be just like that. And I’ve talked to hundreds of people who have been in that same place, too. Becoming self-aware and more personally responsible doesn’t come with an instruction manual on how to fix the little holes in your self you start to notice. It’s up to us to get clear, do the work and figure out our own leader recipe for success.

Over the years the “inner work” that has helped me unleash the leader inside me consistently has boiled down to three main focuses every day. I found that when it felt like I needed to journal for 6 hours on a bad day, but felt repelled to do so, re-directing myself back to these three intentions centered me, brought immense clarity, and provided me the space for creativity, productivity and innovation that the hungry leader in me constantly craves.

Don’t get me wrong, I do journal, meditate, breath, yoga, the list goes on. The key is setting the intentions below every day, and then doing “the work” that feels good to you: journaling, meditating, etc.

1) Challenge Yourself

What would life, business, relationships, spirituality, and/or your body look like if you made a commitment to incorporate just one new challenge per day in any of those areas or a combination thereof? I bet you would notice changes, milestones and a sense of progress everyday, wouldn’t you?

The leader in you needs to be set free. You do that by challenging yourself to constantly step outside your comfort zone, Do something new, something bigger, something that leaps you forward. The more you ignore your leader voice, the more incomplete you feel in life. But the more you listen to it, take action and repeat, the more you that sense of accomplishment will grow into massive confidence and a new reality for you in every way.

Daily Suggested Prompts: How will I challenge myself today? How will I make a conscious effort to step out of one or more of my comfort zones? What area(s) of my life/business/relationships do I have comfort zones that need to be crushed in?

2) Embrace Your Emotions

When we make a conscious effort to understand the root cause of a feeling, take responsibility for it, and release it, we can see clearer than ever. Stuffing down your feelings, pretending like they don’t exist and never confronting their root cause is a recipe of pain and suffering. To unleash the leader in you, you need to understand that no feelings are wrong, but they are all messengers.

The fact is that no amount of stuffing your feels down and ignoring them is going to work. You can try anything and everything, but you are not paying attention to your emotions, they are running the show. Ignoring what you feel is counter-productive to unleashing the leader in you. That leader needs to be whole, and the only way to feel whole is to be at peace inside. Cry if you need to, punch a wall if it helps you get over it. But then release it.

Daily Suggested Prompts: What feelings am I sensing are in control today? Why am I really feeling like that? What can this feeling teach me (force yourself to find something good about it)?

3) Don’t Take Yourself So Serious

As the leader in your life, you owe it to yourself to stay reminded of just why you are facing the hard feelings, changing old thoughts and taking action towards a new. You want to make more money and have more freedom, so you can enjoy life, not so you can be so bogged down by the challenges of life and business that you never have a second to yourself or time with your family.

Remember that the path to personal growth is not about pain, punishment and perfectionism; it’s about love, grace and compassion — for yourself. Make it a point to enjoy your life every day.

Daily Suggested Prompts: What can I do today that is fun, exciting and/or adventurous? What can I do today to feel really good about the way I look or feel? What can I do that would make me crack up and laugh until I cry?

Never stop reminding yourself that your life is meant to be lived the way you intend to. After all, isn’t that the whole point of becoming the best version of ourselves? To live your life, your way.

Maybe you just started you journey to personal growth, or maybe you’ve been on it for a while. Either way, don’t feel overwhelmed. You are not a broken car to be fixed. You are a masterpiece at every stage of that journey.

And at any time, when you feel you can and should do better, when you feel prepared to take an even bigger lead on your future, for your own sake, not anyone or anything else’s, it all boils down to this: challenging yourself everyday to step outside your comfort zones, allowing yourself to feel and release what may come of your growth, and finding the joy in every moment of the journey.