Whether you call it “being in the zone”, “flow”, “hyperfocus”, “feeling invincible”, or in the words of my guest today “consonance” – we have all experienced those moments where we feel our abilities and passions are absorbed into the task in front of us. Time melts away and we produce some of our best work. What if you could have that every day?
On today’s Inside Influence Podcast episode best-selling author and entrepreneur Laura Gassner Otting describes how we can take the limits off our lives and live in a “limitless” state. A state describing when “what we do matches who we are (or want to be)” and the limitless possibilities that result. She calls this “consonance” – the opposite of dissonance.
Laura started her limitless journey at the opposite end of the spectrum. She had worked hard to achieve a successful career, but then realised she was working hard for someone else’s definition of success. Working in executive search, she also began to notice that those who appeared limitless had four decisions in common. Those four decisions enabled them to tap into their limitless potential. You can too.
Today’s Guest Laura Gassner Otting
Laura has over 25 years experience in service, leadership, and entrepreneurship. Today she is a best-selling author and an in-demand motivational speaker.
Dropping out of law school, Laura started her career as a campaign staffer for the Clinton and Gore 1994 Presidential campaign. She then worked in the Clinton Whitehouse helping to establish AmeriCorps (a domestic version of the Peace Corps). She then became an AmeriCorps program director and got her Master’s in Political Management from George Washington University.
She then entered the world of executive search and rose to the position of Senior Vice President of executive search startup ExecSearches.com.
After leaving the world of executive search, she founded the Nonprofit Professional Advisory Group (NPAG) where she held the position of President for over 12 years.
In 2015, she sold NPAG and after presenting at a TedTalk she was inspired to write her first book, “Mission-Driven: Moving from Profit to Purpose”. She then followed this up with the 2019 Washington Post Best Seller “Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life”.
“Letting go of the controls of trying to go back to the way things were allows us to open up our lens to the way things can be.”
“If you are comparing your bloopers to someone else’s highlight reel of course you are going to feel terrible about yourself.”
“You can’t do it if you let other people limit you to what they think you are capable of because nobody knows what you can really do”.
“We cannot be insatiably hungry for someone else’s goals.”
- Why imposter syndrome is a product of our current society and what we need to be groundbreakers
- Why social media is a highlight reel that should never inform your life choices.
- Why, when it comes to our decisions and potential, we often give votes to those that shouldn’t even have a voice in our lives.
- Who we should give voice to: mentors, a peer, and someone you trust and respect.
- How to find a mentor: look for people who have walked the path you want to walk and are willing to give specific feedback.
- Why you should not be afraid to seek out top shelf mentors or people you respect.
- Why you can’t just follow your passion, you have to invest in it. You need to work hard and be at the ‘bleeding edge of your incompetence’.
- Why focusing on what might happen if we fail rather than what might happen if we succeed stops us from ever taking our true place.
- We do our best work when we are in “consonance”: when our work and passion matches – and the end results are highly rewarding (not only financially).
- Consonance is contagious. People are drawn in by passion in action.
- The four pillars of consonance: calling, connection, contribution, and control. Calling is what gets you out of bed as a gravitational pull. Connection is involving other people and their calling in your work. Contribution is ensuring your work clearly contributes to your life. Control is being open to opportunities – while also setting clear boundaries around the areas of your work and life that matter.
References and links mentioned
- HBR article: “Top telling women they have imposter syndrome”
- Laura’s books: “Mission-Driven: Moving from Profit to Purpose” and “Limitless: How to Ignore Everybody, Carve Your Own Path, and Live Your Best Life”.
- Amy Cuddy’s TedTalk, “Your body language may shape who you are”
- Laura’s TedTalk, “Stop asking: How I can help”
- Laura on the Today Show
- My new ebook The Influencer Code
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