Overcoming Overwhelm Part 1: Dialing in Your Pace of Grace

Uncategorized May 12, 2021

The more strongly you feel called to serve others, the greater your risk for struggling with the feeling of being overwhelmed. 

As mission driven change agents, some of us have been running in the red zone so long we don't even know what it looks like to shift gears and find our pace of grace for the long haul…


What Is Your Pace of Grace?

As someone with a calling to make the world a better place, one of your greatest risks for feeling overwhelmed is actually your calling itself!  You can’t run and you can’t hide: chances are you are going to feel deeply called to serve others throughout the whole course of your life.  This is why finding your personal “pace of grace” is vital to answering your call at the highest possible level over the course of your life.

So what exactly is this "pace of grace?"

Your “pace of grace” is the “just right” intensity of daily engagement in pursuit of your calling that brings...

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Psychology 101 for Change Agents: Overcoming Negative Beliefs

Uncategorized May 05, 2021

We all know our body has an immune system--but what about your mind? 

In Session 8 of this Understanding and Evolving Your Psychology series we're going to be talking about your psychological immune system in the form of your beliefs.  Our beliefs can serve as the bedrock of our calling as change agents, but they can also get in our way.  

Why do your beliefs matter so much? Because they are connected to so many other aspects of your psychological system—and when you get focused on your beliefs you get leverage to better support your joy and your impact across all the areas of your life. 

In this video and the accompanying worksheet we’re going to work on identifying and overcoming your most consequential negative beliefs.  How much more joy and impact would you have in your life if you found a way to let go of some of the beliefs that have been holding you back?  It’s time to find out!


Mapping Your Most Important Beliefs


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Assessing Impact: Getting Aligned About What to Measure and What It Means

Uncategorized Apr 27, 2021

Maximizing your impact as a change agent starts with being clear about what “impact” actually means to you…

 A lot of us use this term "impact" all the time in our work as change agents--we talk about high impact organizations, high impact funders.  But what do we really mean when we talk about impact?  And how do we best measure impact on the issues that matter most to us?   This challenge is at the heart of our work as change agents. 

Whether you are a social entrepreneur or a funder, paying attention to what you are defining as impact and how you are assessing it, is  fundamental to maximizing the difference you hope to make in the world.  

The video for this post walks through these ideas--here are some highlights: 

First Things First: How Do You Define “Impact”?

The good news is that the field of international development has done lots of work thinking about how to define and assess...

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Psychology 101 for Change Agents: Identifying and Examining Your Key Beliefs

Uncategorized Apr 20, 2021

Chances are you believe some things that aren't true--and you're not alone. 

That's the case for all of us.  We all live in a complicated world and we can't possibly process everything coming at us and form accurate well-founded beliefs about everything going on around us and inside our own heads.   Having some mistaken beliefs just comes with the territory of being human. 

But what about the beliefs that matter most to your own flourishing and to your impact as a change agent? 

Can you identify those key beliefs and take steps to make them even stronger and more powerful?  That's the focus of this session in our Psychology 101 for Change Agents series.

The Backstory on Your Beliefs

Why do your beliefs matter so much? Because they are connected to so many other aspects of your psychological system—and when you get focused on your beliefs you get leverage to better support your joy and your impact across all the areas of your life.

Beliefs are...

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Capitalizing Change with More than Money

Uncategorized Apr 13, 2021

How much does money actually matter to making the change you want to see in the world?  Whether you're a funder or a social entrepreneur, chances are you spend a lot of your time and energy focused on how best to deploy money in service of your vision.  There's no question that money can matter a great deal in the work of social change, but are there other resources that matter even more? 

In this post we are going to take stock of 8 forms of capital that you can draw on, whatever the change is that you want to make in the world.  

“Capital in some form or other will always be needed.”       --Gandhi

Eight Forms of Capital for Making Change

As a starting point, Wealthworks, a project of the Aspen Institute, that is focused on fostering regional economic development has developed a very helpful framework when it comes to thinking creatively about the different kinds of assets that go into economic...

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Psychology 101 for Change Agents, Session 6: What "Rules" Do You Live By?

Uncategorized Apr 07, 2021

Mapping Your Psychological Wiring Diagram: What Rules Do You Live By?

When it comes to your psychological system, chances are you have some key operating rules that are so hard-wired you're not even fully aware of them.

An important step in understanding and evolving your psychology as a change agent is to take a closer look at your “operating rules.”  That's the focus of this sixth session in this self-guided coaching curriculum. 

Most of us accumulate a detailed set of psychological "standard operating procedures" over the course of our lives.   We need these mental shortcuts not just to keep ourselves safe and meet our basic needs, but also to save time and energy.  In previous sessions we've talked about the distinction between System 1, the fight or flight part of our brains, and System 2, our higher faculties of reasoning and logic.  When we use System 2 to make decisions it takes a huge amount of caloric energy. Having a set of...

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What is at the Heart of YOUR Calling?

Uncategorized Mar 31, 2021

 You feel this call to make the world a better place, but what is truly at the root of that calling?   

This post is about getting to the heart of why it is that you feel this urge to make the world a better place--whether as  a philanthropist, a social entrepreneur, an advocate or a change agent of any kind. 

Why is this important?  Getting in touch with the psychological and cultural roots of your own calling can help you be more effective at connecting with others and bringing people together around new approaches to complex problems where we have gotten stuck in hyper-partisanship and political division.   

The psychological roots of your calling

 Abraham Maslow and many other psychologists have noted that human beings are called to serve something larger than ourselves.    Unfortunately, not all of us are able to clearly hear that calling, or have the resources to respond to it effectively.  That's one of the greatest...

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Psychology 101 for Change Agents, Session 5: Which Feelings Do You Value Most and Least?

Uncategorized Mar 26, 2021

If you want to know what truly makes you tick, it’s key to know your values at a very practical level. 

What feelings do you find most valuable in life, and which ones will you do whatever you can to avoid? 

One of the crucial insights of cognitive behavioral psychology is that even when we don’t realize it, our feelings are the products of our thoughts.   This is both an opportunity and a challenge:

  • The challenge: our conscious thinking about our feelings is often not very clear—we typically don’t experience our feelings as “cognitive constructions.” We often associate them much more with external events: “This happened which made me feel sad” etc. Therefore, we often assume that the only way to experience the feelings we want and avoid the feelings we don’t want is to somehow control the external events that impact our lives.
  • The opportunity: once we realize that our feelings are the product of our...
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Building Momentum on Your Personal Growth: Harnessing the Power of Your Unconscious Mind

Uncategorized Mar 17, 2021

When it comes to your personal growth, your unconscious mind is way more powerful than you think.  It can be your ally, or your worst enemy--and the choice is up to you. 

This post is all about harnessing the power of your unconscious mind to build momentum in your personal growth, and in your calling to make the world a better place. 



This might sound like the stuff of Saturday Night Live skits: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and doggone it, people like me!"  Can you make up whatever you want and have it come true just by repeating it to yourself?  No.  Here's a key distinction.  Whatever you use as your affirmation shouldn't be pure fantasy--it should be aligned with your existing values and your sense of your self at your best.   Sometimes the phrase that really inspires us come to us effortlessly, other times we have to reflect more deeply.  If you're looking for inspiration on an affirmation that really...

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Psychology 101 for Change Agents, Session 4: Human Needs Psychology and You

Uncategorized Mar 10, 2021

What if I told you that deep down, every single person is motivated by instinctive drives to meet the same 7 psychological needs? 

Do you know what they are? 

Do you know which of these needs is most important for you?


Psychology 101 for Change Agents

Session 4--Human Needs Psychology and You

 Human Needs Psychology is at the heart of the psychological model around which this coaching curriculum is centered.  The key idea is that we can understand an incredibly variety of human behavior on the basis of universal psychological needs.  This concept goes back to Abraham Maslow and his “hierarchy of human needs” as well as Alfred Adler and his ideas around our deep drive for fulfillment and self actualization.  More recently Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes have made a key contribution to the field with  their “6 Human Needs” framework. 

The model we use in this coaching curriculum is built around 7 innate human drives...

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