Whether you're starting a new business or trying to write a book, a large part of those accomplishments that I emphasize is commitment. You have to really step up and say “I’m going to do this” in order to motivate yourself to do it. However, there can be a process of doubting whether you are ready or experienced enough that can stop you from taking those first steps.


Today I’m talking about the idea of resolve and the internal moment where doing something “clicks,” allowing you to push forward with the projects you want to work on. It is an idea that has stuck with me recently that we do things only when we really become resolved to do them, whether they are internal or external motivators. The truth is, you won’t do something unless you feel resolved to do it in your whole body.


On this episode, we talk about what it takes to get your world-shifting project off the ground and what type of mindset it takes to get started. Then, we talk about the concept of resolve and how we can have moments of resolve that get things rolling and the different amounts of work that particular resolutions can entail. Finally, we discuss how to know if you’re resolved or not and how you can take that extra pressure off yourself if things aren’t moving at the speed you want them to.


What You’ll Learn from this Episode:




  • The difference between commitment and resolve.
  • Why you can’t move forward with projects unless you are resolved to do them.
  • Examples of what a moment of resolve might look like.
  • How you can tell if you’re resolved to accomplish something.
  • How to stop blaming yourself when you don’t accomplish what you think you have to.




Listen to the Full Episode:











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I talk a lot about commitment. It's one of the five cs of thought leadership. Speaking of really making an impact as a thought leader in the world, but lately I've been thinking a lot about commitment, thinking about what it really takes to get out there and make a difference with our message, and I have a feeling I'm seeing a little window into something even bigger than commitment. Something that has an even more profound impact on our ability to make it happen out there in the world in a really meaningful way. And I want to talk with you about that today.

Welcome to The Thought Leadership School Podcast. If you're on a mission to make a difference in the world with your message, you are in the right place. I'm Michelle Barry Franco and I'm thrilled that you're here.

Hello, hello. My thought leadership friends. How are you? We've had a lot of interviews on the thought leadership school podcast lately. I was looking at the podcast page on my website at tmichellebarryfranco.com/podcast if you want to check it out. And my heart was just dancing. Remembering so many of those conversations with these beautiful committed thought leaders. That's the coolest thing. One of the coolest things about podcasting, you know, I get to have these conversations and then share them with you as a speaking coach. I get to work with fascinating people and we really do have cool conversations and I get to ask them pretty much whatever I want. So yes, you should become a speaking coach just for this reason because it is so fascinating. But getting to share the parts of these conversations that I know will be of the greatest value to you is what makes podcasting such a treasure to me.

Such a delight to me. I love that we can offer yes my expertise, but all of their experience and insight in service of your message. It just feels so right on and fabulous. So I hope you're loving these interviews. Will you tell me what you think? Do you enjoy these interviews? Do you want me to do more of these? Is there another topic you'd like me to cover? So give me some insight into how this is feeling for you. I had a conversation with a friend recently and she mentioned that she noticed a shift in the focus of the podcast as we moved to the thought leadership school. And I was laughing when she said that because I haven't intentionally really changed much of anything that, you know what I felt like when I went to the thought leadership school podcast was that it was a better representation of my intention with the podcast and with my work in the world.

I want to help you get out there and make a difference. I want to give you the tools and strategies and insights or at least to offer the best opportunity for the insights that you can have that allow you to make that kind of a difference. So anything you want me to cover, I really want to know about that. So if you send us an email podcast@michellebarryfranco.com with a question and we choose your question, I will delightedly give you a shout out on the podcast. So please send them. Because I really want to be creating content that's most useful to you. Speaking of shouting out if you enjoy listening, would you do me a favor, please leave a review on iTunes or whatever your favorite listening app is and again if you send me the review an email so that I know you did that review and it was you.

I have a so wheat surprise, little sweet surprise. I'll send back to you via email and I think you'll really enjoy it. So if you do that for me it is so helpful. You know the more reviews we have, the higher up in search this podcast comes and that means more people can just be served by the content that we're creating over here. Okay. Now onto our show, which is actually all me today. I want to talk with you about what it takes to really make it happen out there with your message, your thought leadership as a speaker, as a writer, whether it's you know you're writing your book and wanting to spread it far and wide or wanting to get paid to speak or grow a thriving practice or business or whatever mission in the world. This has been on my mind a lot because I'm working with a lot of new people lately.

You know there are phases, maybe you have this in your own business. There are periods of time where my business seems to be full of sessions with people I've been working with for years. I love those. It has its own energy. There's a lot of background to it. And then there are times and seasons where there's a lot of new energy coming in and that's what's happening lately. And I think that combined with these interviews that I've been doing for the podcast, that it's really on my mind. What is it that makes us actually go out and take the action? Because what I'm noticing as I listen to people's stories is that some people are ready, they feel ready, they know they're ready, and that readiness leads to action and some aren't. And it's not directly related to experience. You know, if you know my story about my walk in the woods many years ago when the five C's of thought leadership, speaking of called it a lot of different things, but they're the five cs.

They are clarity, commitment, confidence, caring and charisma, and those five cs came to me really when I was asking out into the divine universe, what is it about the people who go make it happen in the world? What? What do they have that others who I work with and we do beautiful work together that they just don't seem to have because it wasn't about credibility. It wasn't about a powerful message and what had happened right before I went on that walk in the woods as I had, I was contacted by a client who I had worked with very recently. We had built a beautiful talk based on her incredible experience as an executive, a high level executive at a fortune 50 company. She was clearly an expert in leadership. She had worked in HR, so she knew about leading people from many angles. She also ran huge teams that also ran teams.

So teams of people who ran teams of people. She knew a lot about leadership, but something in her said she wasn't qualified enough yet. So I asked out into the divine universe, what is it, what's the difference? And then I got these five cs kind of in this like divine download. That's the only time that's ever happened to me. I hear about it happening to other people, but that was my time, at least so far. So the second c in the five cs is commitment and it felt really powerful to me that day, especially because I realized that of those five cs that I just named, commitment was my struggle. I had taken all these sabbaticals, you know, whenever things would get hard, my business, I'd say like, Oh, maybe I'm not going to do this anymore. I'll go get a job or I'm going to focus on my girls.

I have three daughters, or I'm going to, you know, we're doing a house remodel or we're moving across the country, or we just do all these like dramatic things in my life. And it would make a lot of logical sense for me to put my attention elsewhere. And I realized on that walk in the woods and I just didn't have the commitment that some of the other people who I had worked with who were out there really making a difference with their message seem to have. So for the last six years or so, that's how I've thought about that. You're either committed or you're not, or your level of commitment is reflected in your, you know, how much you're out there doing things in the world, whether or not you feel totally ready or whether you feel totally clear right there. The other four cs, but commitment was one that really seemed to matter a lot.

And then recently I was listening to one of my teachers, Michael Neil, and he was talking with another teacher that I love to listen to George Pransky. And as they're having this conversation, they're talking about, you know, what is it that makes us sort of like stop a habit that's bad for us or be more productive suddenly when we've been procrastinating for a long time, that kind of thing. And George said something that just really hit home for me. He said, you know, it's about resolve, you do things when you have resolve or when you are resolved to do them. And for me there's something about this word resolve that feels even better. Now I don't know what I'm going to do about the five Cs. And I suspect that resolve is, is actually part of commitment in a way that I haven't really worked out in my brain yet.

But I feel like resolve is that moment right before we actually take the action. So I think about times when I have taken action that I didn't previously think I could take. And you may have heard my drinking story or my story about stopping drinking. Well, for years I thought that I wanted to, I wanted to stop drinking. I would write about it in my journal. I was assessing whether I really drank too much. Am I an alcoholic? Am I not an alcoholic? You know, my life isn't really up. And you know, I'm not, haven't gotten any DUIs, I haven't, nothing really dramatic has happened as a result of my drinking. Is this really an issue? So I explored it really for a very long time and till one day I walked into the kitchen and my mother in law's house and I said, I'm not doing this anymore.

I'm done. And I had had too much to drink the night before. It's true. And I had not, you know, I didn't like my behavior the night before. But again, nothing super dramatic had happened. I just said, this is it. I'm resolved. And my resolve at that moment was to take an alcohol sabbatical. I had no idea what it was going to look like, but I knew that I wasn't going to drink for a while. That's what I was resolved to do. And what I loved about this conversation with George Pransky and Michael Neill is that that's the way he described it. He said, your only resolve to do whatever your resolve to do and nothing more. And I think he gave the example of weight loss. Like you know you want to lose 30 pounds, but really you only have resolve in this moment to buy the book on Amazon or wherever you're going to read the bookstore.

So you buy the book. That doesn't mean you're going to go do the new eating plan or exercise plan or you know, whatever it is that you've decided you're going to do to meet this health goal. That's what resolve looks like. And I feel like when we can look at it in this micro way, we can look at other behaviors in our life. So similar to my drinking story, I have a secret that I have not brought up before, but I used to smoke. I used to smoke cigarettes. This is years and years ago and I was a secret smoker because people in my world did not smoke. I remember the day when I said I'm done and I had wanted to say that lots and lots of times before that, but there was a day when I said, I'm finished. I'm ready now. I know that it's resolved now.

I know I'm not talking about the thought leadership and you might be thinking, what does this have to do with thought leadership? But it has everything to do with thought leadership because so many things that we do as thought leaders, they take a change in behavior and really oftentimes there's a lot of resistance to them. And so thinking about what do you have resolve to do? Maybe the thing that you're imagining doing, getting on the TEDX stage or speaking at that conference in your industry. Maybe that's an exciting goal, but it feels like too much and you don't really have the resolve to getting to that like it's too far away. It feels to me like resolve is actionable because it's sort of like about the next step or it could be about the next few steps, right? You could be resolved to, you know, I'm going to write five articles over the next month no matter what and I'm going to submit them to five different, you know, online publication places.

So it doesn't have to be like I'm just going to write the article. You decide what you're resolved to do. But it's such a really powerful question. What are you honestly resolved to do? Because we are so much less inclined to beat ourselves up about not doing something we quote unquote say we want to do when we just look at what we're resolved to do. So a couple of things that might be coming up in your mind, because I know these came up in my mind when I first started thinking about this, the first one being, well, how do I know if I'm resolved? How do I know if I have resolve around a particular thing I say I want to do? If I say I want to craft a talk but I don't know how to get there at all. Right? I don't know how to put together a talk that will actually convert and attract naturally and gracefully new clients.

Or if I say that I'm resolved to submit to five or 10 or 12 tedx events, but I don't know how to get there. Does that mean I'm resolved? And so what George Pransky would say, cause I've heard him say it is, well and Michael Neil will say this too. Well you know your resolve to do by looking at what you're actually doing. So whatever you're doing is what you're resolved to do. So it's a little bit of a like back and forth play right there. And I don't know if you can see this with me. I wish you could see my hand motions because I do feel like it's this kind of, you can feel it in you. You feel your resolve and when you're willing to just notice what's the smallest thing you resolved to do and then you do it and then you'll see the next thing that you're resolved to do and then you'll do it and somehow that builds into creating something really cool potentially.

Or maybe it doesn't, maybe it just, you know, ends up that you write out the application or write out the the talk title and description and that's as far as your resolved to go there. It is. I think about when I wrote my first two books, actually my first book, I had decided that I was going to write a pdf. It was going to be like a 10 page pdf and it was going to be a free gift as an optin and this is back in 2010 so I started writing this ebook essentially and then I kept writing it and I kept writing it. Then I started doing like some illustration things that I thought might go with it and then I wrote some more. I'm telling you, I wrote a 220 page book and not like a small little tiny book. I don't remember what the dimensions are.

I'm looking around my office, let's see if I can find it. And it's not even available anymore because it's really about kind of branding and messaging in that way. And I just haven't updated it for a long time. But it's a gorgeous book and it's full of tons of content. That's not what I was planning to write. What I knew in that moment is that I was resolved to create a pdf and then now at the time I didn't have this concept of resolve in my mind, but clearly when I look back, well then I was resolved to keep writing it and then I became resolved to figure out how to get it designed in a way that was really beautiful. And then I did and I found an amazing designer book designer who has designed all my books and she's just awesome. And then I needed to find someone to design the cover and I was resolved to find a really good designer for the cover.

And that ended up costing more than I expected. But here's the thing, I was resolved to having a gorgeous book, and that's been the case for me with each book that I've written. And that resolve drove me to do the things that it took to create that outcome. So that's the first thing is, you know, how do you know what your resolve to do? So it's a little, it makes me laugh when I say it because I can imagine you listening going, okay, that's sort of annoying. You know, you'll know because you're doing it. It reminds me of Byron Katie, who I love and is so wonderful, but she'll say, you know, well, obviously that was supposed to happen. You know, how, you know, because it happened. So it does have that element and there's so much truth to that. But then the second part of this is the second logical question I think is how do I get resolve?

How do I create, resolve in me around maybe bigger dreams that I know that I want? But it feels kind of too distant, right? And I have the sense that this is where commitment comes in. And again, I haven't figured this part out yet and how the two play together. So I'll keep you posted on that. Maybe you have ideas, would love to hear them, but I feel like when we see that larger, you know, that larger goal and we know that we don't have, like we can't feel the resolve around that more distant goal. How can we create it? And I'll tell you my experience around this is really, I'm going to sort of go back to what I just said a minute ago, which is walking toward that greater vision step by step. And some people call Susan HIIT calls these turtle steps. You know, I know that other people call these the tiniest step.

You can imagine, you know, there are all kinds of ways to think about it. I don't even really think of it in that way. It's not the size of the step so much as it is the resolve. What is it right now that I'm resolved to do? It could be. I'm resolved to write this book. When I wrote beyond applause, my most recent book, I was in a book writing program with the author incubator. Awesome program. And if I didn't finish that book within nine weeks, my editor who I paid a nice sum of money to as part of the program, wouldn't read my book. That was in our agreement. They wouldn't edit my book unless I had it in by the deadline. So you know what? I was really resolved to get that book in by the deadline. And interestingly, and not surprisingly to me, they have 97 or 99% completion rate in their program.

I might have that statistic, not exactly right, but it's in the super high nineties and it's because they have a built in some elements of creating resolve. I don't believe you can fake this kind of thing for yourself. So if you tell yourself, well, if I don't craft this talk by next Tuesday, then you know I'm not going to allow myself to go away for the weekend. And if there's a part of your brain that's like, there's no way that's going to happen, you're actually going to go away. Either way, you're just going to be mad at yourself. It doesn't work. Right. I mean we, our brains are so lovely and wonderful and powerful and we get ourselves all figured out inside there. Anyway. So I'm just going to offer to you just this question. What are you resolved to do? What do you feel resolve to do in your body and for me in case it's helpful, I think it feels different for everyone, but the, the energy of resolve in my body feels really grounded.

It kind of comes from the center of my body. I mean like, you know, solar plexus right behind my belly button down in that hole, like center of my body. And it feels kind of like a rich excited energy. Like I feel activated. It's not zingy like it. Like in my head, that's what I know. I'm just kind of still, you know, it's a new idea. I'm not quite at the resolve stage. Yours could feel totally different. And I haven't done any research on this at all, so I wonder what it feels like for other people. But notice when you can even think back to a time when you made a decision and you knew you were going to act on it. This was happening. Maybe it was buying that house that you know was right for you and you weren't sure how you were going to do it, but you just knew that you were going to do what it took to make it happen.

What did that feel like for you? And then maybe there's a translation of that into what your vision entails now and then you can look what are you resolved to do? And then let yourself take action from there. And maybe if you're like me and you can tend to get mad at yourself for saying you're going to do things and then not doing them, you'll be able to let go of some of that stuff that you just realize you're not yet resolved to do. It doesn't mean you won't be. There's a good chance you will be, but you're just not there yet. I got to tell you, it's been incredibly freeing for me and it's been freeing at a time when I am putting myself out there a lot more and I see myself moving actually toward that vision in a bigger way with this kind of smaller step by step.

I keep saying that, but really it's from this place of resolve. Here's one thing that I know about you. You are meant to make a difference in the world with your message. You wouldn't be here listening to me about this and learning about how to get out there and share your message with power and grace and impact. You wouldn't take the time. There are lots and lots of podcasts out there. You're listening to this one because it calls to that place in you that knows you're meant to make a difference in the world and sometimes that difference can feel so big and it can be hard to put our arms around or wrap our mind around or however you think about it. That's okay. That's what this kind of mission in the world can feel like. It's just, it comes with the territory, but just because you can't see how to get there and you've felt yourself maybe not taking action on promises that you've made to yourself.

Possibly. Maybe you haven't done that, but in case you have, it means nothing about what you're meant to do, the difference you're meant to make in the world, and even the big difference that you're meant to make in the world that is solid. We know that because you're here and because you know why, right? Because you know that I know that you're meant for this because you know that you're meant for this. Now get out there, take the next step you feel full resolve to take and then let the next one show up after it and I cannot wait to see you out there making even bigger waves with your message making that difference that you are so called to make and I will see you here next week. Can't wait. Thanks so much for being here with me on The Thought Leadership School Podcast. If you want specific and actionable guidance on how to become a recognized leader in your industry, you can download a free copy of my book, Beyond Applause: Make a meaningful difference through transformational speaking at speaksoitmatters.com/freebook.


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