Have you ever had the experience where one part of you wants one thing, and another part wants something completely different?

Do you sometimes feel conflicted or torn?

Do you find yourself behaving is ways you are not proud of for reason you can’t explain?

Have you ever convinced yourself that your horrible thoughts means that you are a horrible person?

Have you been pretending to be someone else for so long that you are not even sure who you really are anymore?

Are you afraid that if you were to unmask the ‘real you’ that you would not even like yourself?

You are not alone.

If you were to ask someone who they really are, their answer would most likely be “it’s complicated”.

Sadly, too many people feel that they don’t really know who they are anymore – and feel afraid to find out.

Avoiding the work of self-awareness is understandable. But if you’re a leader it’s unacceptable.

Because if you’re a leader, your level of self-awareness determines your level of success, and the success of your team.

So, leaving it all the too-hard-basket is really not a very good idea.

Over my leadership career, I have often had flashbacks of that famous scene from The Wizard of Oz. The one at the end, where the curtain is pulled back to reveal the small, frightened man frantically puling the levers that control the all-mighty Oz. In moments when we are behaving in ways we are not proud of – ways that we know are not a true reflection of who we really are – it’s because a smaller part of ourselves has taken over the controls.

While all our parts have good intention, often they are driven by fear and are misguided in the best way to keep us safe and connected.

Unbeknownst to most of us, in challenging situations we are often hijacked by our inner parts – versions of ourselves that are way too young and far too inexperienced to drive.

So is it possible to remain empowered in challenging moments?

The answer is yes.

And it all starts with a radically different understanding of self and what it means to be self-aware.


What new possibilities might emerge if you could extend compassion and curiosity to all your parts (and all parts of others) based on the understanding that having multiple parts is natural, universal and beneficial – and that beneath all our parts lies a core of goodness?


“Above all other voices, listen to your heart. Trust this internal guidance system to lead you down the right path. The more you tune in, the more it’ll tell you: you’re wise, loving, kind, capable. You’ll make it through”

Jennifer Williamson