Balance & Beyond Podcast
#13 Beyond Intellect: Decoding the Power of Intuition in Leadership
What if the key to unlocking your true potential was not rooted in logic or intellect but in something deeper, more intuitive?
Brace yourself for a captivating discussion with Jaclyn, our insightful mindset coach who beautifully articulates this unconventional but powerful truth.
We traverse the well-trodden path of intellect and logic, exposing its limitations, especially its failure to guarantee fulfilment, leaving many women feeling resentful and lacking.
Venturing into uncharted territory, we explore intuition's mysterious yet potent power and the importance of setting healthy boundaries.
Jaclyn prompts us to examine the paradoxical nature of relying on our brains to navigate our lives, the draining effects of settling for a 'reasonable' life and how alignment could be the secret to unlocking our inner superpower.
This superpower is increasingly being accessed by a select few at the upper reaches of leadership, and it’s catapulting them to success.
In the process, we redefine success, confront our fears, and invite you to embrace the goodness within, thereby unlocking the doors to becoming a woman of influence.
Prepare for an enriching journey into the heart of your true self.
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INTRO: Welcome to Balance and Beyond, the podcast for ambitious women who refuse to accept burnout as the price of success. Here, we’re committed to empowering you with the tools and strategies you need to achieve true balance, where your career, relationships and health all thrive, and where you have the power to define success on your own terms. I honour the space you’ve created for yourself today, so take a breath, and let's dive right in…
Welcome to today's episode, where I'm joined by Jacqueline again, our wonderful mindset coach here at the Balance Institute, and we're going to talk about a hidden superpower that we have as women, that many of you are not using and it's a little bit different than you think. Welcome, Jaclyn.
Thank you, I love what you just said. It's a little bit different than you think. I think that points us in the direction of where we're headed.
It does. So, talking of thinking, or thinking of thinking. One of the things that we talk a lot about here at the Balance Institute is our heads, and how we spend a lot of time in them. So, Jaclyn, now share with us, what do you see about the women, particularly those who start early on in their journey with us? Where are they primarily operating in their life from?
Right, from their heads. Which is another way of saying that it is from their intellect, or their logical brain. So pretty much everything in life is solution oriented or trying to figure things out. This is a big thing like, “Just trying to figure it all out”, a kind of muscle that's being used, and it's definitely something that we, as a society, are over functioning in.
And, unfortunately, as women, the beautiful thing is that we've become so powerful in the professional workforce, and the tragic thing about being so powerful in the workforce is that we've lost a muscle that we don't tend to use as much in the professional realm. Because in the professional realm we do thrive with using our mind, our intellect, our figuring out brain, our seeking solutions brain. I mean that's why we are functioning in the professional realm, because usually that's what's required.
But, there is another muscle that we've lost along the way, that used to be our superpower as women. Before we really joined the workforce and became professionals really full time, and so that's the segue, but I just wanted to set us up for that.
Well, generally, they're going to feel resentful about their life, and the reason why is because they can't figure out how to make their life work, and because we're going to get to the punchline here.
Everyone, don't worry, there is another way, another muscle that you need to access, to have a life that works, or feels good to you. And it's not found in the intellect. Getting your life to work, or feel good, is not something that you can figure out or find via logic.
In fact, and I know that might stump so many of us, because so much of that does work, and is critical in the professional world. And that's why it's kind of maddening, because it's like “Well, it works here.” “Why isn’t it working in my life, like with my marriage, or why isn’t it working with parenting?” And, and you know I'll say that in some capacities, it does work. Sometimes, we do need our logic for sure, and solution-based deduction. We need that for sure in our marriages, and in our parenting, but there's a limit to that, and that's what we're pointing to in this episode.
Yeah, and I also think, what's important to point out is that there is a limit to how much fulfilment we find in a life that makes sense. So, we might have all the markers of success. We've got the title, the salary, the house, the cars, the kids, we've got the partner. We've done all that, and yet we find ourselves looking at life going, “Hmm, I've done everything I was meant to do.” “I thought it was going to feel good.” “I thought I'd feel better.” And, as you said, “I'm resentful, and I'm grumpy, and I'm tired.” And we can't figure it out, because we've done everything we were meant to do, and everything that logic said, and we followed the path, and it's not working.
Yeah, that's a scary place to be, right? It's like, “I did everything I was supposed to do.” “Then, why am I not happy?” And yeah. And so we can't figure this out, which is what brings many women to work with us Jo, right? They’ve been trying to figure this out, and they're stumped and resentful, and burnt out, and for a good reason. Because well, actually, I love that I use that word right now, because their life has become too reasonable and mean.
Yeah, and that's a funny way to say it, but what I mean is that they don't allow for their imagination, or they don't allow for other possibilities that might seem unreasonable, or they don't allow for possibilities that might shake the status quo or interrupt their perfectly painted picture of you know, this is what a good life should look like.
Because somewhere along the line, they lost the thread of what actually genuinely brings them joy, and I'm not saying that their job or their husband, or their kids don't bring them joy, but it's something in the relating to their work, they're relating to their partner, they're relating to their kids and, probably most importantly, they're relating to themselves, that gets lost along the way.
Work doesn't ask us the question, “Hey, how are you in a relationship with yourself?” “Does this feel true for you?” “Is this actually nourishing?” No, we're actually asked to not investigate that, and just perform and succeed and function, and deliver deliverables, and punch out at the end of the day, or maybe not even then. So yeah, let's not leave them in suspense any longer.
What then, is this hidden superpower? If it's not our heads? What then, is this gift, this ability, that we all have that we've numbed?
What then, is this hidden superpower? If it's not our heads? What then, is this gift, this ability, that we all have that we've numbed?
Yeah, oftentimes, we call it our heart, intelligence, or some people call it intuition, and we mean that in a really grounded way. Some people even call it instinct. I like calling it this deeper, inner knowing. It's the kind of knowing that when you slow down, and when you're really honest with yourself. If you admit that what you really want is this, you know that spot you want to go. You know that spot. It just depends on if you give yourself permission to go there.
Yeah, and what's interesting is usually as parents, particularly mothers, there is a level of mother's intuition that we can access. So, I don't know about you but, you can look at a child, and nothing about them says they've been naughty. But there's something in you that goes, “You're up to something.” Or you look at them and go, “Hmm, something bad is about to happen.” Or I look at my daughter and I'd say, “She needs to pee.” They look at me and go, “How do you know that? She's fine.” Like, I know she needs to pee.
There's an intuition we have. There's an instinct. There's an inner knowing that we, after a little while, stop questioning. So, we have access to it. But it can be so much richer if we allow it to penetrate more areas of our lives, and particularly if we can access that at work and put this making sense down for a little bit, and build this muscle. So Jaclyn, what happens? I guess, where does this intuition lie? If it's not in our head and it doesn't make sense, where do we find it?
Well, I mean, we talk about it being located in the heart, and that can be kind of a nebulous concept. But, when you check in with your intuition, you'll usually feel a sensation in your body that often is located somewhere around your heart space. Right, like we all feel this pain in our heart, or we feel a twinge, or something.
So, that kind of experience, where it feels like you're onto something, it might feel like a secretive, or even like I mentioned before, a vulnerable thing to admit it. But you can feel it. You do get this sensation in your body. It might feel like a spark, like you're coming back to life. It might feel a little giddy, in fact. It's like you're feeling something that feels true, that you haven't let yourself admit for a long time.
That's what it feels like in the body. But, usually located around the heart is where we feel the challenge. I think, for many women, we've spent so long in our heads that we've forgotten what that body actually feels like. Can you help us understand? Often women come to us and they say they feel numb, and they feel like they need to defrost. They've almost forgotten how to feel, because they're just head down, check things off the list, despite the fact that they're actually feeling guilty and feeling a lot of shame. They've forgotten how to feel everything else. What does being numb mean, and how does somebody know if they're numb?
Mmm, that's a great question. It's that feeling being numb. I think it's that feeling of missing the zest of aliveness. It's like living a life by prescription for so long, you lose touch with what makes you feel alive. And feeling alive can feel dangerous to the status quo. It can feel almost like a reckless right. Like what? Because, when you follow the prescription, you're guaranteed safety. Or you're guaranteed a pat on the head from society, or your parents ,or whomever that you've really been pleasing.
You know you're pleasing someone outside of you, and you probably thought it was you too, that you were pleasing. And maybe some aspect of that is still true. It's not like everything you've ever done was totally not true for you. But, along the way, we have these little drops in life, where we let go of parts of ourselves, and parts of our preferences, or parts of our truth. Because we're afraid that we won't succeed. Or we're afraid that we'll lose someone's love. So the numbness, yeah, it starts to feel like, it sounds dramatic, but a little dead inside.
Yeah, we hear that a lot. A lot of people feel like their spark’s going out, or they feel dead inside. They don't know who they are anymore. They feel a little bit lost, and Is it any wonder that we see people then lean harder into figuring it out, and trying to make it make sense. And they try to use their brain to figure this out, which is kind of ironic, isn't it?
But it's what we've been taught, right? It's so ironic, because you can't figure this one out. Which is what often brings people here, because they need to tap into this intuition, this spark inside of them. The thing that feels true, and right, even if it feels disruptive. And this could be, you know, changing your job. This could be renewing your marriage, or really taking a hard look at the state of your marriage. This could be looking at your parenting, where you work, this could be like where you live.
You know, where you live, it just doesn't feel good. But you haven't let yourself admit it because, then we'd have to move house. And then you just think of all these reasons why it's unreasonable. But that's the thing, if you don't, if you just live a reasonable life, you experience what a reasonable life feels like, and it kind of zaps the life force out of you.
Yeah, and I think most people, if you boil it down, they have an extraordinary life, everybody has a version of extraordinary. Because, to lead a mediocre life often feels like settling, and I certainly know that was my path when I'd done everything that I thought I should do. I thought that was the pathway to happiness. I’ve built the house, had the kids, had the chickens, and built the pool. I ticked everything.
I was like, “Okay, awesome.” “I've done everything.” “Now I'm happy.” However, I was empty. “What the hell?” “It is not meant to be this way.” And so, if we turn our mind Jaclyn, to what happens in the workplace, when we start accessing this superpower and particularly for those women who are working in male dominated environments, that's a lot of people here, whether it's financial services, or professional services, a wide range of industries, whether that's relevant or not. But what can open up, if we can access this superpower, and this intuition? What are we seeing with the women we're working with?
Well, their leadership expands because the truth is that the people that you're working with, or your colleagues or your employees, they want to be recognized for their range of humanity as well. They don't want to be seen as pure cogs in a wheel, or robots.
So, it's starting to recognize that other people deserve boundaries. You deserve boundaries, so in your leadership you're the role model for this, so you get to say what your boundaries are in leadership. And oftentimes the women that come to us, they don't really have boundaries in their leadership. They just take on everything, and they say “Oh, I'll take care of that for you.” That's too hard for you, and they, or their perfectionism is so intense, that they take things off people's plates, because other people can't do it as well as they can.
But that doesn't have to be true. We can start getting creative, like, okay, so here's the deadline. How can I still honor myself inside of this deadline? Who can I start trusting and delegating to? How can I start saying no to things I don't need to be at? Like, where are the boundaries that you're honoring? Where is your humanity, while also honoring the deadline? And when people start seeing you do that as a role model, then they have permission for themselves, and you can also start asking them what works for them right, and observing their boundaries, and observing their humanity. So, yeah, I think that's the gist of it. It’s seeing people with actual bandwidth, as opposed to someone you could just work into the ground, including yourself.
Yeah, and this is a very common thing that we see. But, what I think is an interesting side to this conversation, is we see a lot of women really afraid of their feelings. I would almost say terrified of them. And often the reason given is, “Well, I've shoved these things so deep, deep down, and I'm so full of them that I'm terrified If I let something out, I start to feel like I'm gonna be completely overwhelmed, and taken over by the wave.” “And then I'm gonna start crying at work, and then I'm gonna be considered weak, and I'm gonna become that emotional woman.” It's big, right?
And so then it's like, “Okay, well, no, no, no, no, no, I don't need that intuition.” “I'll have that intuition without the feelings, thank you.” And “Let me make it make sense.” What is different here? What's the antidote to those fears? What would you say to someone who's worried about that?
Well, you're feeling this. It’s part of your life force, first of all. So. if you try to stuff your life force down, I mean you're right, it is gonna come up. So, people who are scared about what happens, when I take the lid off this, I mean you're right that things are going to come up. I'm not going to lie, and say that they are not, but what I want to impress upon you is that you're not built for it.
You're built for your feelings, so it won't kill you, and in fact, not only will it not kill you, but it will make you a stronger leader. It'll make you a stronger mum, it'll make you a stronger woman, because any emotions that you have suppressed actually are stealing your energy, are stealing your part of your bandwidth. And so many women come to us with theirs.
They're at the end of their bandwidth, they're burnt out, and so if you want more bandwidth back in your life, meaning you want more space in your body, like your nervous system, you don't want to be reactionary all the time. You want to actually wake up and feel energized, and not depleted. You want to not snap at your kids all the time. All of those are symptoms of not having bandwidth, and I gave the example of boundaries.
So, we need to set boundaries to observe your bandwidth. You also need to observe your emotions, to observe your bandwidth, because your emotions that stagnate, I call it emotional constipation. Your emotions get blocked up in your body, and it actually steals your life force, because it gets bound up with undigested emotion. We must digest our emotions, because that actually gives us access to our power.
Your grief, your anger, your frustration, your fears, those are all access or portals into claiming more of your power, more of your confidence. So many women want confidence. If you are running around with suppressed fear inside you, how can you ever access confidence? You have to be able and willing to confront what you've been afraid of, and then allow that fear to be the thing that lifts you up into confidence. But we try to ignore the fear and be confident anyway. But it's not how it works and I think that's why they're coming to us, because they're realising it doesn't work that way.
Now there's this whole fake it to you make it thing. I'll just pretend to be confident. I know I'll take the seat at the table, and what we see is so many women having this external confidence, and you'd see them in a board meeting, or an executive presentation and go, “Wow, they are so together.” But, what you haven't seen is them, nauseous in the bathroom beforehand, or them, screaming at their kids over dinner because they're terrified about what they said to John and, “Oh my god, John's now not going to like them.” And the fact that they wake up now, at four in the morning, terrified about what just happened, the ramifications, because, “Oh my gosh, they were too loud.”
So, while they might look like it, this is what you're talking about, the thing that’s sucking the bandwidth. There's not just the presentation, where they appear confident. It's almost that external emotional pollution that is happening all around it, and that's really what is burning everybody out.
It's not just the event, because if you were simply confident for your 20 minute presentation, and then you were done, nobody would be burning out. But it's this constant undercurrent of “Oh, I'm beating myself up.” “Am I a critic?” And my high standards, and my tyrant. And if we're carrying all that, we're not going to be able to access the other side of us, are we?
Which is tragic, because it's still there, right? And it's so ironic, because in the end, you're still emotional, trying to suppress all the emotions. It's making you snappy. It's making you edgy. It's making you fearful, because you're afraid to face your emotions, but you're still emotional.
So, it's like, why don't you just deal with the real thing? And I will say that there's not a lot of places in the world where we can feel our emotions freely. It's not like we have a lot of places to go, to bring our emotions safely, right? So, again, it’s why people will find us. Because, we're a great container for women to say, “Okay, I'm finally ready to feel what is underneath here.” “I'm really feeling some degree of fear, or the anger that's always been here.”
And you deserve, if you're tuning into this, you deserve to meet those feelings. And feel safe to do so. And having a guide like Jo and myself on that journey with you is really imperative. And it's really an act of self love and kindness, so that you don't just like, try to open up this lid, and then you're finding yourself wallowing on the bathroom floor for the weekend because you opened it up. And you don't know what to do with it, because it is a lot to open up. So I don't say that to scare anybody, but just to say that you deserve professional guidance, as you open that up. Because it is something to navigate, and wade through.
Without support, the tendency will be to fall into a story, or drama. I'll put it that way. The drama around our emotions. The drama around the grief, or the anger, and what that actually does, is it stirs up the emotion, but it doesn't allow resolution.
So, I mentioned you get your power back from the emotions. But, once you resolve the emotion not just by stirring them up, just stirring it up, stirs up drama and then feels crappy for you, and then you're on the bathroom floor, and you know that's no fun. So we want you to actually feel your emotions and resolve them.
But there's an expression we say in the industry: You have to feel it to heal it. And resolution requires another way of healing it, or really feeling it, and going through the emotion and getting to the other side, versus getting stuck in the middle of it, and feeling worse. So I say that, yeah, that's important to note.
Yeah, and I think this is what we see when people get support. What power unlocks for them, and this is why we call it a hidden superpower, because most men aren't as emotionally intuitive, biologically, as we are. We've been wired this way for a reason. And when we try to deny it and act like a man, and pretend we don't have emotions, we're trying to act like a man in a woman's body and denying ourselves this gift of intuition, of access. And what we see, and I know Jaclyn, you and I have seen this in our own lives in terms of how you open up additional radio frequencies, that wouldn't usually be available.
So, you're looking at your work for the day and “Oh my gosh, it's a lot!” We could fall into the story of overwhelm, but when you've processed your emotions, like, “Oh, there's some fee here, that's all right!” I now know how to process it. This is my instinct, this is what my intuition says is the most important thing for today. That to do it, to move on instead of being paralysed by indecision, and the perfectionism comes in, and then we procrastinate, and the overwhelm, and it's so easy to then get stuck in this cycle of trying to work it out with our heads right.
Yep, and all you have to do is just slow down. I know this sounds kind of overly simplified, but the answer’s inside you. Another simple thing to say, but it's true. The answer's inside of you, but sometimes we forget how to listen to it. After years and years and years and years and years of listening to external answers, or following mandates that are external, now it's time to tune into them, that internal wisdom, and internal direction that brings us into alignment with our lives. And I think for a lot of the women, that's what they're really seeking. Ultimately, it’s to come into alignment with their lives, and this is the place to do it.
Yeah, when we do that, this is why we call it a superpower. This is when everything starts to shift. When you become that woman of influence, when you step up as a leader, when you delegate, when you usually see people get promoted very, very quickly, because they show up incredibly differently, and then they're showing up whole. And at home they're not yelling at the kids anymore, and their marriage is more present. And this is what we want for every single woman. We want you to access the superpower. We want you to become a true woman of influence, not a fake woman of influence to process and conquer your fears, and that is where the magic happens.
Well, thanks for joining us today, Jaclyn. It's always awesome to have you and start shedding light on this other side. That might not make sense and it might not be logical, but it's actually where all the goodness is, isn't it?
OUTRO: Thank you for joining us today on the Balance and Beyond Podcast. We're so glad you carved out this time for yourself. If you enjoyed this episode, please share it with a friend who might need to hear this today. And if you're feeling extra generous, leaving us a review on your podcast platform of choice would mean the world. If you’re keen to dive deeper into our world, visit us at www.balanceinstitute.com to discover more about the toolkit that has helped thousands of women avoid burnout and create a life of balance, and beyond. Thanks again for tuning in, and we'll see you next time on the Balance & Beyond Podcast.
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