Christina Kunkle’s six steps to
e are blessed to live at a time and in a country where our choices are virtually limitless. Each of us has been given the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Yet many women tell me that they feel trapped in circumstances where it seems their choices are very limited, or their voices are going unheard. My mentors teach that “Courage + Self-Discipline = Freedom,” and rather than a final destination, it’s an ongoing journey of spurts, dips and spirals. As my resilience-coaching practice
crosses in to its eighth year, I’m both humbled and honored to experience the transformative freedom of doing what fulfills me every day. Here are six steps to self-leadership that I take time and time again and that have had a major impact on my own sense of personal freedom:
Everything that happens to us starts with a choice. With freedom comes responsibility to lead yourself and create a life by design, not by default. Choose to be the CEO of YOU and create balanced (not toxic) success. What
core values will you choose to guide your thoughts, feelings and actions?
Set a clear intention based on what having more freedom means to you. Perhaps it’s being released from selfcriticism, shadow comforts — like alcohol, food or drug addiction — work that doesn’t fulfill you, financial struggle, fear of criticism, chronic pain or dysfunctional family dynamics. Maybe you declare “enough is enough” and start speaking to be heard, even if you’re the only one listening.
Give your goal the attention it deserves, and put inspired action behind what you say you want. First, grab your journal and write down everything that holds you back or ties you down. Your path will become clear. Armed with a plan, you can confidently schedule that tough conversation, ask for support from trusted friends and family, chop up that credit card, find your tribe of likeminded women or sign up for the See STEPS, Page 11
“You don’t have to spend one more day feeling stuck or unheard.” Steps
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class that your new direction requires.
Yes, this is where self-discipline comes in. If you’re anything like me, you just cringed a little. It still comes fully equipped with a paddle and feels a lot like punishment. So, look at discipline this way: Consistent, small steps create amazing breakthroughs over time. It means staying committed to taking actions based on your definition of freedom, even when you don’t feel like it. It’s so easy to take action based on our emotional reaction in the moment, but discipline means that we are creating our life instead of just reacting to it.
Setbacks are an expected part of breakthroughs and comebacks. There will be times you go numb and selfsabotage or veer off course due to circumstances you can’t control; instead of beating yourself up or giving up altogether, love yourself right back on track.
Start Over! (It’s a spiral, remember?)
I encourage you to think more about what freedom means to you. At the heart of my “Synergy Success Mani-
festo” are the core values I help my clients cultivate as they move away from burnout and toward their potential for balanced success.
How about writing your own manifesto, or “Personal Declaration of Independence?” ■ man*i*fes*to — a public declaration of intentions, opinions, or purposes. ■ dec*la*ra*tion — a statement that is emphatic and explicit, either spoken or written.
You don’t have to spend one more day feeling stuck or unheard. You’re the one you’ve been waiting for. Be your own hero. As Benjamin Franklin said “The U.S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.”
Christina Kunkle, R.N. and CTA Certified Life and Wellness Coach, is founder of Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching, LLC, creator of the “Synergy Success Circle” and “SOAR” a Heart-Centered Leadership Development Program. She helps busy women prevent burnout by promoting bounce-back resilience to stay focused, positive and excited about the challenges of work and life. To learn more please visit her website www.synergylifeandwellnesscoaching.com or call (540) 7465206.
SYNERGY SUCCESS MANIFESTO Core values intentionally cultivated by heartcentered, purpose-driven women who strive to create balanced success without burning out.
SUCCESSFUL — purposeful, intentional, collaborative, team player YOU-NIQUE — out-of-the-box, authentic, dares to be different, creative NURTURING — heart-centered, compassionate, generous, expanded EXCEPTIONAL — high-achieving, extraordinary, dedicated, accountable RESILIENT — courageous, victorious, fierce, focused, no-excuses approach GRATEFUL — appreciative, looking for gift hidden within struggles YOUTHFUL — spirited, fun-loving, passionate, inspirational SYNERGY = SUCCESS
STRONG IN FAITH — daily spiritual practice, foundation of inner peace UNUSUALLY OPTIMISTIC — past does not define worth nor dictate future CONFIDENT — perfect in imperfection, quick to celebrate progress COMPETENT — committed to excellence, skilled, single-minded EMPOWERED — energetic, healthy and happy in mind, body, spirit SENSE OF OWNERSHIP — CEO of own life, takes full responsibility for self SYSTEM-ORIENTED —designs & implements blueprint to get desired results