Lessons in Self Leadership: Explore Dream DISCOVER

This is Part 3 of a 3 part blog on the self-leadership I exercised to combine both work and play when I was travelling through France and Spain in the Spring of 2018.  I hope the lessons I learned will inspire you to step out of your comfort zone and boost your self-belief to try something different too.

Part 1 – Explore (Published 25 September)

Part 2- Dream  (Published 2 October)

Part 3 – DISCOVER (see below)


‘We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.’      Albert Einstein 

The curiosity that fuels discovery, comes from a desire to personally expand our capacity, our self-belief, our confidence or to enhance our knowledge and skills . However, fear sometimes gets in the way of curiosity and holds us back.  

Consider this question: How do you constantly grow your personal skills and knowledge to discover new enjoyment and fulfillment in your work and home life?  

Wherever we are, and whatever perspective we are coming from, we all have our own personal thinking patterns that are embedded overtime and mostly, we feel comfortable with these.  To do something different is not only a stretch, it can also often feel like a threat. It is uncharted territory. Fear of doing something different can hold us back. When we are in high alert our bodies are pumped with adrenaline to prepare us for fight or flight and as a consequence out rational and clear thinking and information processing is inhibited. 

How can we overcome fear? 

When we recognise our usual thinking patterns kicking in, we can catch fear at an early stage, take a deep breath and slow down to create space to consciously re-frame our thoughts.  By choosing the feeling of excitement instead of fear (after all these emotions feel very similar – such as butterflies in the stomach, trembling, sweaty palms etc.) it opens up new opportunities. We also feel more resourceful to deal with anything that is holding us back.  It gives us an opportunity to discover ways to grow through experiencing successes and failures, and learning from both. The ideal is to discover a balance between enough stress and insufficient stress for optimum functioning and performance.


My personal example: 

Earlier this year I had to overcome fear and stretch my comfort zone to expand my skills and confidence. I needed to raise my personal bar to fulfil obligations to some of my clients, who wanted me to run live webinars whilst I was travelling overseas. I had in the past, participated in lots of webinars, but had no great experience of designing and facilitating live or recorded webinars myself. 

The Challenge

To say ‘Yes’, I had to learn new skills, investigate webinar software packages and discover ways to ensure that my commitments to clients were honoured, regardless of where I was, while travelling.

The Outcome

I took time and worked hard to check out the technology and facilities at the locations I planned to stay on the dates of the webinars. I also designed contingency plans to increase the chances of success.

As a result, my confidence expanded by stretching my comfort zone in dealing with a number of unknowns, such as, the uncertainty with the quality of internet connections in certain locations. It prompted creativity with my problem solving skills. For example, I recorded the webinars in advance, to minimise the risk of not having a suitable internet connection to facilitate live webinars on specific dates agreed with high profile clients. These recordings were to be used as back-ups by the clients, in the case of a poor internet connection on the days of the live events. 

I personally tackled my problem-solving in an organic way, and this worked for me. However, there are more structured ways to do this and if you need this, I recommend using the Disney Strategy method detailed below.

The Disney Strategy

Find some time to work through the following 3 stages, Dreamer (covered also in last weeks blog), Planner and Critic stages, ensuring that you are standing or sitting in a different spot or location for each stage, so you can connect with the different perspectives:

  1. Dreamer Stage

Get yourself in a comfortable spot, close your eyes and transport yourself into the future and visualise that your dream has come true. Focussing on what it feels like to have achieved your dream gives you the emotional motivation to strive to make your dream happen.

Think about the big picture of your ‘dream’ as if it is fully possible. Consider the benefits of achieving it and notice:

  • What are you doing and what are you achieving?
  • Where are you?
  • Are you alone or are others there with you?
  • What benefits are you enjoying?
  • What is living your dream giving you ?
  • How are you growing as a result of living your dream?

When you have answered these questions move to a different place in the room that you will associate with the Planner stage

 2.  Planner Stage

 Visualise and act as if you have a workable plan. Plan how to make it a reality. Do this in a practical and realistic way. Aim for a detailed and manageable plan of action. Ask yourself:

  • What will I see and hear when the dream is a reality?
  • How can I make this dream workable?
  • What essential steps do I need to take and by when to make it happen?

When you have written down the answers these questions (preferable to just thinking them through in your head), move to a different place in the room that you will associate with the Critic stage.  Move to stand in the spot that you have chosen to associate with the Critic stage.

3.  Critic Stage

Step into the critics energy where you are looking objectively, logically and critically at your plan. Review your written plan.

  • Identify any weaknesses in your plan.
  • Select a new position in the location you are in and move into a new ‘Planner space’.
  • Critically assess your plan and make any necessary adaptions.


Note:  you can move into the Critics stage and again look for flaws, then move back to Planner stage for as many times as you need to exhaust all your ideas and issues raised.  If a workable plan is not possible you then re-start the whole process with a modified version of your Dream.


Call to action to DISCOVER:

  • Will you make a choice to stretch your comfort zone?
  • If ‘Yes’, how will you progress to your stretch (i.e. what methods will you use to define what you what to achieve)?
  • Who can support you to take action?
  • When will you take action?  
  • Do you need to identify anyone who can hold you accountable for doing what you said  you will do?

Hints & Tips

Work out ways that work for you to overcome challenges that are getting in the way of doing what you want to achieve. If you need a structure to support you to discover new ways of overcoming the obstacles (and minimise perceived risks) that come between you and achieving your dream then I suggest you use the Disney Strategy outlined above

Explore what you really want then create a way that works for you to achieve it.

Make it happen by taking positive actions. In doing this, you not only find ways to overcome your challenges but you will also have a workable way forward.

In saying ‘yes’ to the things you really want, making your dreams a reality and growing through these experiences, you are in actively creating your own destiny.  

Do call or email me if you wish to have a dialogue about how we may work together to support you to achieve your YES!

Wishing you every success and sense of fulfillment in exploring, dreaming and discovering to create the life you want!  ENJOY EVERY MOMENT!