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The Clearest, Most Liberating Way to Direct Your Own Life


People are the sum of their beliefs.

That was the message from Patti Phillips, CEO of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) in her presentation on the Zone of Possibilities.  Diagnosed with an autoimmune disease earlier in life, Patti spoke about the struggle that left her angry with God and the world: “I could barely eat; I couldn’t speak; I couldn’t even get out of bed.”

It was only after pushing herself to her physical limits completing her first triathlon that she had a moment of clarity. She had given up all of her personal power to her disease, the doctor, the medicine, and had come to rely totally on external factors. It was at that moment she realized that she had to stop thinking of herself as sick in order for the healing to take place. It was time for a complete shift in her thinking.

Is there some part of your reality that you’re not happy with?

Often it takes an incredibly difficult situation for someone to recognize that they need a change in their life. For Patti, the doctors said that perfect health would be impossible for her, but it was possible.  By using the power of intention she was able to get herself off of medication, and is now the healthiest she has been in her life.

If you don’t take action, there is only one guarantee – and that is that your situation will never change. By making a real effort and setting your intention, you gain a great deal of freedom and power over your life.

What would it look like to shift your intention?

Patti’s message was simple: what we think about, we bring about. Have you ever had a bad start to your morning? Maybe you were running late, spilled coffee on your pants and thought “this is going to be one of those days.” Well, after you have put that out into the world, you’re right. Words are incredibly powerful and can impact your mindset, feelings, actions, results and beliefs.

This is especially true for women. While it’s true that women are still struggling to gain equality in many aspects of society, Patti believes that it is important to remove the victim mentality from the equation so that the oppressive language doesn't determine our future reality. Instead of using words like survive, overwhelmed, and exhausted, we should replace them with words like thrive, blessed and energetic. To reframe life’s challenges as opportunities will change how we wake up and show up every day.  

Releasing your potential will take constant effort and intention. There are many people who read books, listen to podcasts, and go to training sessions to better themselves, but only 10% of those people put in the time and effort it takes to actively put that information to use in their lives.

Be a game changer

There is enough space for all of us to be who we want to be. And it’s important that you get there, so you can help others get to where they want to be. Ladies: this means being a positive communicator, closing the gap between knowing and doing, being intentional about your sphere of influence, improving your presence, visibly being the best and prioritizing wellness. Gentleman, all the same is true for you but you have the added responsibility of lifting women up by advocating for women in the boardroom, connecting with successful women around you, and cultivating an inclusive culture so that both men and women can achieve the impossible.

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