12: How is Your Communication?

How is your communication? Do you regularly use the language of inclusion or do you use your words to marginalize certain people? These are important questions to consider, and they can make a huge difference in your relationships and in your business.

Rollo May, an influential 20th century psychologist, said simply and accurately: “Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy, and mutual valuing.”

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • When you feel marginalized, sidelined, or just not quite included
  • The example of my youngest daughter in dealing with her high school as she finishes up her high school degree AND a two-year college program
  • Her journey has required grit, self-determination, and self-motivation
  • The problem: when she needs to communicate with the high school, she and the other “Running Start” students are not the norm and don’t need the hand-holding that the other students do—so they are marginalized
  • She and the others are spoken to with non-inclusive, condescending language
  • How do we wade through this non-inclusive language that marginalizes women?
  • For example, why use the word “mankind” when we refer to humanity (Doesn’t that marginalize women?)
  • Often, we communicate with a lack of empathy
  • If we take the time to listen and focus on the feelings of the one who is listening, our language will change
  • Why I believe it is the responsibility of the communicator to communicate with the language that you intend and in a way that it can be received correctly
  • How the same thing happens in business and the customer WILL go somewhere that they are seen, heard, and NOT marginalized
  • “If I feel marginalized by someone’s language, then I’m not likely to want to hear more of what they have to say.”
  • What are YOU saying?
  • Is our communication open, welcoming, and inclusive?
  • Can we continue in a dialogue of family and friendship, or is it just the language of commerce and cold, hard cash?
  • Be sure your language is such that includes ALL people! 


Underwater? LET GO…for just a little while


Have you ever felt swamped? Buried? Underwater with work?

In the last couple of months…ok let’s be honest, all this year…I’ve been the proverbial duck. Above water, everything looks calm. But beneath the surface, these legs are paddling like mad! Sometimes you just can’t swim fast enough.

Read more

11: Dare to Dream Big

How big is your imagination? Do you dare to dream big—or does fear hold you back? Today’s show explores the idea of dreaming big and stepping out to do hard things. Before you go out to change the world, maybe you need to change things in yourself. Let’s talk about it!

“Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.” This quote comes from American medical researcher Jonas Salk, and is the perfect lead-in to this episode.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • For 14 years, my company, Let’s Pretend Entertainment, has had one message: “The power of imagination is the power to change the world.”
  • You can’t change the world until you change yourself
  • Imagine your highest imagination–your biggest dream–Can you picture it?
  • Clarity of vision is important: “We can’t move forward without it, but we can move mountains with it.”
  • Why you must have faith–in yourself, in others, and in something much bigger than you
  • It’s when you have faith that miracles happen
  • When you have faith, the universe conspires on your behalf for extraordinary change and magnificent impact
  • As Chief Daydreamer at my company, it’s my job to lead the charge in dreaming big and making things happen
  • Why are people afraid to dream big? They have no faith
  • Steps up to dreaming big:
    • Believe in yourself and your ability to get sh*t done
    • Go out and do something really hard that pushes you beyond your boundaries
  • After my accident, I had to do the hard things required in my recovery. “I dreamed of a life that wasn’t crippled, even though my body was.”
  • What legacy can you leave in this world that makes it a better place for you and others?
  • John F. Kennedy spoke at Rice University on September 12, 1962 and said: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard. That goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one in which we intend to win, and the others, too.”


www.elisahayes.com  Check out the Freebies section of my website for great resources!

10: Permission to Indulge in a Little Self-Pity

Do you ever feel sorry for yourself? Most of us do at one time or another. We may call it “having a pity party” or self-pity, but it’s something that prompts very different opinions. In today’s show, I’m giving you a little advice about why it’s OK to indulge in self-pity at times.

“Self-pity in its early stage is as snug as a feather mattress; only when it hardens does it become uncomfortable.” –Maya Angelou

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • When was the last time you felt sorry for yourself? After all, it’s a natural human response!
  • Sometimes we think that self-pity is bad and wrong in every way
  • Why self-pity is perfectly fine at times
  • If you say you never have self-pity, then you probably aren’t honest or even human
  • “The more you avoid something, the more energy you actually give to it.”
  • Why would you want to give an enormous amount of energy to something you don’t want?
  • Why it’s OK to admit that sometimes things just suck and you just feel sucky
  • Go to the pity party!
    • Show up for the appetizers and then leave
    • Own your self-pity and give yourself a time limit
  • My recent cancer scare and my anger that prompted a “pity party”
  • “Have I not been through enough?”
  • Why it’s OK to enjoy the “featherbed” for a little while and then go back home
  • Feeling guilty about feeling sorry for yourself just makes it worse
  • How to cope:
    • Have a glass of wine—just one!
    • Talk to a trusted friend
  • Howard Schultz said, “In life, you can blame a lot of people and you can wallow in self-pity, or you can pick yourself up and say, ‘Listen, I have to be responsible for myself’.”

09: Be Authentic, Not Perfect

Oscar Wilde said, “Always be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” That goes along perfectly with our topic for today–authenticity. What does it mean? How do we lead authentic lives? What does it look like when we aren’t authentic? Let’s discuss the idea of authenticity together.

If you heard the show’s intro, then you heard me say that this is a weekly podcast–but that isn’t entirely true. It’s been almost two weeks since the last one, so what’s up? Why have I not been authentic? The answer is that I’ve gotten caught in the trap of wanting everything to be perfect. Have you been there? If you have, then you know that trying to be perfect for everyone else is very time-consuming and energy-consuming. In short, it’s just plain exhausting, so isn’t it better to just be your authentic self?

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • The weirdness of talking to a microphone in my office when I’m much more used to a real audience with real faces
  • The point of the podcast is to be real and honest in mentoring women
  • Making yourself fit into what everyone else thinks you should be does NOT make you authentic; it just makes you a good actor
  • “Be true to who you are and know that who you are is enough.”
  • Why I teach mindfulness: because it teaches you to notice the story line going through your head
  • Speaking about leadership challenges me to lead by example, and–after all–isn’t that what mentoring really is?
  • How I imagine the many faces listening to me (and I want to hear back from YOU!)
  • How do we be the best that we can be? We share aspirations and always leave room for growth and own when we fall down
  • One of my favorite memories from my college days
  • What it means to be willing to “take the hit”
  • My challenge to you this week: Be honest, be real, and be willing to take the hit




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How to Be Thankful in All Things

Are you thankful in all things? Does it matter?

On Friday I learned I have a basal cell carcinoma on my lower leg. Although yes it is skin cancer, it can be removed and cured without likelihood of follow up treatment. And yet, I’ve been angry for days. Transplant recipients on immunosuppressive medication have, among other things, a high risk of skin cancer. So here we go. I can add one more thing to an already long list of health problems. I’ve been on edge and grumpy to everyone around me since hearing the news. Logic takes a back seat to emotions when it feels like the proverbial straw landed on the camel’s back. Read more