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Anese Cavanaugh

April 4, 2017

Honoring Your Inner Wisdom

You have an awesome couple of weeks. Things are humming along. You make a couple (maybe many) big decisions. Buzz buzz, humm humm, you and your team are jamming.

One of the decisions (a really big one), is trickier, you have a strong reaction to it, but it's way easier to go for it, and you want to assume good, and others are a "yes", so you do...

You go against your gut (big time). You override. And in that very moment, you whack yourself out of alignment with your personal integrity. (You likely feel this, though subtle, until your brain and reasoning kicks in, making it A-Okay.)

And then oddly... maybe not even right away... things start to go down the tubes. One thing after another falls apart. Gets "hard". Muddy. Sludge. Ugh.

You make more bad decisions.It feels as if you've stepped into some kind of energetic portal of "ick" and no matter how hard you try to fix things, you feel like you're playing whack-a-mole... You fix one, and another pops up. Nothing is sustainable. Sludge sludge ick.

I'm guessing you're exhausted just by reading this, I know I am just writing it.

Have you been here?

(I'm guessing you have, but in case you haven't, I'll use myself.)

This was me, last week. I came back from 2 weeks of business in Asia, had a great trip, and tuned back in to all sorts of chaos and sludge on every front (business, life, team, kids, self-care, even my dog was off). It was a major bummer.

I felt as though I'd stepped into that portal of "ick".

And no matter how hard I tried to communicate, collaborate, make it work, find another way, assume good, or do my "tricks" (I have many)... nothing worked.


In fact it just seemed to get worse.

I'd love to tell you I whipped out some magical leadership skill or did something absolutely brilliant. But I didn't.

There's no magic solution here. I knew exactly where I'd gone wrong.

A while back, I'd ignored my intuition, muffled my truth, said "yes" when I meant "no". And tried to "collaborate" my way through a business situation.

Intentions were good, but bottom line, I went against myself.

When you do this, you carry the energy of incongruency with you. You emit.

Incongruent energy is a magnet for drama and for attracting more of what you really don't want into your life.

People feel it...and here's the rub... low vibration people, and situations, are delighted and attracted to it, while high vibration people and situations tend to be repelled by it. Ultimately this just creates more negative stuff.

Incongruent energy is glue for the "ick".

You create incongruent energy by not honoring your wisdom, your truth, and your knowing as a leader.

Intuition is always right, interpretation is often wrong. And when we ignore our intuition, we tend to make bad business and people decisions.

The great news is that this highly fixable. And every time it happens, you're wiser for it.

If you have a place right now where you feel a little out of whack or things are a bit harder than they need to be, try exploring the following:

  • Where do you feel the ick, what feels off to you?
  • Why are you choosing this? What is the real reason?
  • Who are you trying to please, or trying NOT to disappoint?
  • What's it costing you?
  • What if you changed your mind? Shut it all down? Said, "I'm sorry, NO"? What if?

Somewhere in there you will find the source of your misalignment as well as the solution, or at least the next step, to make it right.

The happy end of the story I shared above? Not 2 hours from when I set things right in my company, honored my truth, made some hard decisions, and had the difficult conversations that needed to be had with said decisions--we got some of the coolest news ever as a team; news, that ironically, would not have been possible, if I'd not cleaned the ick up.

And as a bonus... And this is where it gets really fun (because remember, we're all contagious, this stuff is contagious), somehow all the other issues, literally every single one, that had riddled me previously, began to right themselves. Imagine that.

So, where do you go against yourself?

How does that impact your own well-being and energetic presence? (I promise you your people/team feels it.)

What's the cost on your company's bottom line? (I promise you, it's more expensive than you realize.)

And the cost on your spirit? (Each betrayal of self is a chink in your energetic armor. Armor up.)

Happy exploring on this one, and even happier getting things back on track.

Deep bow. Go get'em.

Want to learn more about being contagious? Check out my book here.

This article first appeared on on August 10, 2015.

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About Anese Cavanaugh

Anese Cavanaugh is devoted to helping people show up and bring their best selves to the table in order to create significant positive impact in their lives. She is the creator of the IEP Method® (Intentional Energetic Presence®), an advisor and thinking partner to leaders and organizations around the world, and author of CONTAGIOUS CULTURE: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives (McGraw Hill, 11/15). As a leading voice on intention, energy, and presence in leadership and culture, she helps people unlock greater leadership potential, collaborate more inspiringly, create more openly, intuit more bravely, and lead more joyfully and effectively. Top innovators and executives in companies like IDEO, Zingerman’s, Cooper, GM Financial, Vistaprint, 15Five, Fitbit, Nike, Vivayic, Kaiser Permanente, and others have engaged with Anese to strengthen team health, maximize leadership impact, and optimize company culture. In addition to appearing in publications like Harvard Business Review, The Huffington Post,, and the NY Times, Anese writes for in her column “Showing Up”. She has just published her most recent book THE LEADER YOU WILL BE: An Invitation (a leadership storybook), and is currently working on her next book, CONTAGIOUS YOU: Unlock Your Incredible Power to Influence, Lead, and Create the Impact You Want (McGraw-Hill, Fall 2019).