I’ve always been a “why” girl. As a little girl I remember riding shotgun in my dads old, clunker truck on a random country road, asking the question “why” about almost everything I saw, heard, smelled, all of it. He answered every time. I honestly don’t think, to this day, he has ever not answered me and I’m late into my 30s. Thank God he was patient with his wildly inquisitive daughter.
Today, the work I do still largely consists of asking “why?”. My love is for self-directed leadership, motivation, awareness, and all of that is combined with connection. I want to help business owners build real and true, authentic relationships with their people. And a lot of the time I ask why something is or isn’t important to them.
I am a former competitive athlete and have a high respect for professional athletes. So the NBA Bubble was especially interesting to me because of my love of sports, athletes, and it was an attractive opportunity for me because I had so many questions about it.
Now, the reasoning for the bubble makes total sense and I applaud the persistence and ingenuity of everyone putting the bubble together. It really is something that will go down in history.
But the answer to the “why” regarding the bubble, didn’t satiate me. I wanted more. Not all my questions were being answered or even hardly discussed in the media. I wanted to know about the team relationships, social implications, affects on their mental state, emotional state, even their sexual lives may be totally different. I wanted to know the answers to what wasn’t being talked about or asked.
And for my line of work, this information would be so helpful to the people that I work with. During a quarantine, how does one keep a team engaged and trusting in each other if no one can physically be with each other. What if we are separated from our family, how do we keep our sanity and still do our work well? What can your leaders do to support you during these times?
So being the inquisitive woman I am, I decided, with a lot of anxiety and nerves, to reach out to several players and see if any would be willing to speak with me about my questions regarding the bubble. Thankfully, I got some responses and willingness to talk with me.
Some of the questions I asked: “What does it feel like not having a loving touch from your partner or a family member?” “How does it feel not seeing your kids everyday, and have them run and jump into your arms?” “How do you feel when you think about how their hair smelled after the bath?” “What is it like not getting hugs or kisses from your partner?” Those actions that make you feel safe, loved, cared about…how does not having them affect you? Being around your teammates the most, what role are you playing here that you don’t have to at home? Do you miss not being able to go to a new restaurant, see your local friends, smell the familiar scents of your city. How are you dealing without them? Any substitutions?
Now, those things are relaxing and centering, they help one feel grateful and content with their life, and safe. Without that, this can affect your general well-being which ultimately affects your performance. It changes your game.
When your life is stable, comfortable, at least predictable, you are more likely to perform better. In the bubble, everything is kerbaubbled (ha, my grinch reference for the day). The players, and support staff, don’t have the same opportunities of support to self-regulate or heal as they did before. What is that going to do to the players?
I have to give it to these guys. They were kind and willing to try and help me with my questions. They did their best being open and honest with a total stranger sitting across from them. I asked a lot of them. To be vulnerable with me. I didn’t take names, everything was anonymous, they had an open platform to say what they wanted. I hoped they would be comfortable enough to do that.
Upon asking these questions, we got to see each other via video so I could watch them respond and they could see I’m a real person. Being able to see their eyes move, their face change, even get a read on their energy with the questions was so helpful. Thank God for video during these times lol. In person would have been best, but it worked.
Overall, this was tough. It was scary. These big ol’ guys that seem so indestructible and untouchable and hard, felt a lot, and it was real.
A common goal was they didn’t really want to focus much on the future, it would be too overwhelming for them. Anxiety inducing, amirite? (points at self)
So they kept their attention on the day-to-day. Working out, practice, excursions (team building), activities, keeping themselves centered (busy or relaxed).
Their challenges were finding alternative ways to handle their issues. Being antsy or anxiety building, how to deal with that with what they have access to. Me? I’d take a drive with my music at level 23 (that’s the highest I can get my radio without my ears bleeding). But they can’t do that. They had to find out how to handle all of their issues, in the bubble.
The intimate and really vulnerable questions were tough.
Some responded openly and honestly. Some responded like they were really suspicious of me. Some had a hard time staying professional. Some didn’t believe why I wanted their insight. Some came there with great intentions but couldn’t find the words to explain how they felt.
Honestly, I understood all of their responses. It all made sense, eventually. Could I relate? Nope. But that’s also why I did this, I wanted to experience their experience. Learn about it through them. And each person will be different with how they see it. That’s when the epiphany hit me. I started to realize I wasn’t really here to learn about the bubble, I was here to learn about them in the bubble.
After all the “how” questions I asked them, I went back to my ol faithful. The question always at the forefront of my mind, the one God sewn into my heart. “Why?”
Why do all this to play basketball? Why put yourself through it, why put your family through it, your sanity, your plans? Why?
I knew some of the common answers would show, and they did. -It’s my job -I have to work -It’s my passion -I owe it to my team -I want to play and I feel safe here -Its just what I do -I want to be a champion
But I kept going with they why, why do you ___________ In the motivational world we call this the “Power of Why”. Where you just keep asking why until you get to the bottom of the actual question and the answer comes out. It’s very challenging and causes a lot of people to get defensive too. This happened a few times as well lol. Not everyone has asked themselves why so much, or they may not even know the answer as to why. But I kept asking until I got to the absolute real, authentic, sole reason, the root of the root to their why.
Resounding answer, “because I love it”.
This is where things really started to change.
But what did that actually mean? We believe that love is all things good, warm fuzzies, fulfillment, validation, affirmation, peace, direct connection to a higher power.
But this love they referenced and felt, wasn’t just those things – their love included anger, pain, fear, loss, sadness, anxiety, guilt and shame, uncertainty, and what I personally related to…rage.
How can love be all these things? Because love is wildly complex, it’s multi-faceted, complicated, and relentlessly inclusive. It involves all our feelings and emotions, our whole self. All of them.
It includes sacrifice, and I don’t use that word lightly. Sacrifice is pain. I was taught by my mentor that if you decide to say yes to something, then that means you have to say no to something else. That could mean saying no to a million things in order to get what you want. The opposite is true too. Saying no to something means yes to something else. That is sacrifice. That is love.
Love also includes fighting yourself, going against what you think you want to get what you need. Others going against you, love is a struggle.
In our life we want to avoid struggle. Understandably so.
But the struggle IS the love.
The struggle is what makes the love so big and influential, so important to us. Our lifes work and purpose, where our soul is aligned.
This really makes the normal people, like you and me, a part of “their” world too. We go through hell sometimes to get where we need to be. And that struggle is proof of your love. It’s in there, it just may look a lot different than what you expect.
These guys taught me that lesson. Love is very different than what you may expect. It includes all of us, even the sad and scary parts. And that gives me a feeling of peace, and community, to know that I’m not alone and all my faults and flaws and failures are still my love. My love for myself, my work, my purpose. All of what we are, is love. All of it. All of it.
I know you are struggling. I know you are hurting. I know you are feeling pretty worthless and a lot of the time you are just trying to drag your ass through the next 5 minutes. No wonder you think about giving up. No wonder you question if this is all really worth it. No wonder you dread what’s coming next.
This all makes sense. So much of our existence is pain and struggle. Let me just say, I get it. I’ve been through it, I still go through it sometimes, and I know just how it feels. I’ve been the “sick girl” for almost a decade. I know what it was like to have dreams and goals that seemed so unbelievably far out of reach. Not just because of my physical challenges, but also my own thoughts.
Am I really qualified to talk about this? Why would people believe the sick girl? Who would want to invest in me? I am imperfect, flawed, a sinner, who wants to take time to hear what I have to say? Who would want me?
Honestly, I couldn’t really answer these questions. I just had this gut feeling, something way far back in my head saying, in the softest of voice “but I’m supposed to do this”. This timid voice was relentless and I felt it all the time when I thought of my work and what I wanted to do, I especially felt it when I came up with countless reasons as to why I couldn’t do those things.
I didn’t know why this voice though it had it right. I don’t know who encouraged that voice to speak up. All I know is that it was born inside of me when I was made. This voice is a part of my design. It’s a part of the make up of Cayci. (continued in comments)
This voice, is part of my soul. It will not go away. And I have a feeling you know exactly what I’m taking about. Maybe it’s a voice or a feeling, a pull in your gut, or a flutter in your chest saying, “hey, we are meant to do this”. And you believe it but you have a million reasons as to why it can’t work for you.
There are a lot of reasons why you can’t do it, and there are a lot of reasons why you can do it. This fire inside of you will never burn out, ever. No matter how hard you try to drown it out with doubt, it will always stay lit.
So I’m here to say, that voice IS you. That voice is RIGHT. You are designed to do that thing that is specific to you. No one else can do that like you can, that’s why it’s YOU who was created to do it! Even when you feel like crap, even when you struggle, even when you fail….you are still designed to do that thing.
So what do you do? Here is the challenge. Make yourself list the reasons why you CAN do the thing that voice is telling you about. How could you make it work? What crazy, wild ass reasons are there that could make this voice come into fruition? What would your life have to be like to actually live out what the voice is telling you to do? Be free, wild, unconventional, challenging, and true with it. Go outside the box to answer it. Challenge yourself to drop whatever beliefs you have about your life and make something totally new.
Give the voice some room to be creative and active, see what it shows you.
https://cayciellis.com/connection-mp4/This question doesn’t really surprise me anymore. People ask this quite often in the business world. They don’t really understand why I put so much weight on leaders connecting with their team, and their team connecting with their customers.
So many think it’s about sales techniques and good marketing, or presenting an image of kindness and helpfulness that really isn’t backed up. I think we all have an experience where we went to a business and they didn’t seem as good or as nice as the commercial may have said or we went to an interview where everyone was great and then 6 months later we hate our job because our boss is crap.
I teach connection because I believe it’s the #1 reason why your team will work their ass off when they don’t want to, and the reason people will come to your business. Connection is more than money and output; it’s a relationship and it actually means something.
People need to be heard; they need to be understood. And that need doesn’t stop at the front door, that need extends to all avenues of their lives. So instead of serving your team and your customers in the store, we need to also be serving them in their life.
The way that happens in through connection. Connection is understanding, listening, empathizing, showing care, and speaking with love. It creates trust which helps build this authentic relationship.
When you create this authentic relationship with people, things become more personal and even more intimate. To where they now want to help, serve, buy, and engage with you.
Similar to dating someone. When you build that honest and true relationship you get a connection that makes you want to invest in the other person.
Same goes here too.
Leaders need to connect to their team. Show them this is a safe place where they will be heard, respected, and honored with what they need.
People need to connect to their customers for the exact same reasons. We want out customers to be heard, respected, and honored with what they need.
So overall, connection is important because it’s an ultimate need of ours that must start making its way into business for us to be successful.
Judgement and shame are high-priorities in my brain. I bring them both onto myself frequently. Not only do I believe that I’m usually part of the problem, but I also could really “do better” to fix them.
This isn’t healthy of course, but it is consistent. And it causes constant pain that shows out in different aspects of my life. Not always grandiose, but just small, heavy moments and pressure.
So I chose to kill my pain. We all do, everyday. We adopt actions or habits, maybe behaviors, that help us to kill our pain.
Mine pain just has been showing itself more lately. Screaming instead of the usual whisper. Jumping instead of the quiet stroll. Directly looking at me instead of the downward gaze.
It got louder and I had to kill it. And it affected everything. Thank God it did, I needed to change.
So this post is really about more judgement. I judge myself enough, more than anyone else could do to me.
So lets take a second to realize that when people mess up, or do something “bad”, they are really killing their pain.
That is when they need love. That is when they need encouragement. That is when they need a helping hand.
So instead of judging people for what they have done when they are in pain, lets listen to them speak on that pain. Lets hear them out and ask what they need or offer something if they don’t know.
Lets let love and connection be our tools to healing.
Since I work at home, everyday is “bring your pet to work day”. I’m cool with it, because having an injection of furry love throughout the day is exactly what I need to keep my mindset where it needs to be.
For me, the best mindset is in a place of compassion, gratitude, love, and service.
Nope, I don’t look awesome today. And I could easily avoid taking pictures or doing videos because I may not be “presentable” according to many peoples opinions (including my own).
But action is really the only way to make anything better. We just have to take action even when there are so may “reasons” as to why we shouldn’t.
I should do a video today – but I look like crap.
Crap is subjective, you are you always. Do it anyways.
I should record a live today – but I’m hacking up a storm and that’s annoying.
Welcome to life and allergies, do it anyways.
I should run an ad but I still don’t know my target exactly.
Doing nothing guarantees nothing, do it anyways.
I want to go to the gym but people get on my nerves.
Everyone gets on everyones nerves and I won’t even remember them next week. Do it anyways.
It’s OK to not want to do things and to have fears about it. That’s humans, no shame there.
But the truth of the matter is that we just have to do it anyways.
Be yourself even when you don’t want to, do it anyways ♥
As an advocate of Emotional Leadership, it pains me to see influential leaders NOT talking about motivation and how to do it in a healthy way.
The only talk is by “junk food”. Incentives, money, bribes, cars, trips……crap. OR it’s shame “Well, Karen signed up 4 people, so why can’t you?” And its OK to say that because “That’s what those personalities respond to.”
Are they freaking kidding me?
These big-time Influencers need to get their HEARTS in the game and TAKE CARE OF THEIR PEOPLE!
Now don’t get me wrong. I love a lot of these people and my business wouldn’t be the same without them. They are hugely influential to me and I am freaking amazed at what they teach and I’m able to learn from them.
But why leave their people out? The most important part, their motivations! Why are their people doing what they are doing?
Most importantly, HOW TO HELP THEM WHEN THEY ARE STRUGGLING…
No, the answer isn’t shame or weekend trips.
This bothers me, on a personal level.
If you have a team member that was gung-ho about the opportunity and then a month later has a hard time responding to your messages. Don’t you dare turn around and say “Well Cayci, they just aren’t motivated anymore. Time to move on.”
THIS is what bothers me on a personal level. The response of ABANDONMENT that is TAUGHT and APPROVED because “it’s not personal, it’s business.”
Well everyone, business IS personal. Always should be. Anything to do with a person IS personal.
And when we start teaching this and speaking on this in love and will to do better, the freaking world will change.