Interview with Sandy Hogan
By Laurel Elders
“Sandy, can you share more about your thoughts on the imposter syndrome?” I started our daily interview.
“Ahh, yes. It arises when an individual believes they are not as they present. It happens in all walks of life. It is not gender specific.
“You can identify it by catching your inner process. For example if you hear yourself thinking thoughts like:
“When suffering from imposter syndrome people become on high alert and hypervigilant. They question: “What if they find out?” They seek evidence that others may reveal them as a fraud. When you admire something you don’t think you have, you tend to give your power away through comparison and doubt.
“Nine times out of ten, this is all a myth. This is because people think about us a lot less than we think they do. When we are in negative emotions of fear, self-doubt, over-compensation, shame, they take over and we find ourselves trying to prove our worth rather than being our worth.
“People who are susceptible to the syndrome also struggle with shame, conscious or unconscious.”
What I have learned from Sandy in this interview and over the years as her student:
Furthermore, Sandy said: “The beautiful human needs the syndrome is trying to mitigate are: Authenticity, Inner-Value, Self-worth and Contribution.”
Homework Sandy suggestion to begin to unravel the syndrome:
Exercise: Identify someone who you find to be an exemplar of who you wish to be.
1) What qualities do they have that you admire so deeply?
2) What is the evidence of those qualities?
3) How can you emulate those qualities?
4) What will it take to believe in your own power?
5) When is the next opportunity to believe in yourself?
6) What do you wish to come of this opportunity?
Interview with Sandy Hogan
By Laurel Elders
We all have it. That inner knowing. That sensation within gleaming “yes” or dropping down in the pit of our stomach warning “no”.
Whether or not we follow it… Well, that is another question. I didn’t really want the second helping of cake, I but ate it anyway out of rebellion.
The poet Rumi invites us, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.”
When we respect our inner “yes” we naturally generate rewards. Not because we are being rewarded, but because we are gaining access to life through alignment. Abundance abides here.
When we rebel against our inner promptings, lessons and repercussions are naturally generated. Not because we are being punished, but because when we disavow our own insight we block the abundance available by living out of alignment with our truth. Dissonance abides here.
In the book, The Anatomy of Peace, one of the key teachings illuminates a concept found in carpentry. This is, when something is crooked, then it needs to be justified. In carpentry justification takes something crooked and attempts to straighten it. If it isn’t crooked then it is already justified.
In our spiritual walk, we justify when our alignment or intentions become crooked. Something happens, our heart says, “do this!” Then our ego kicks in and starts doubting and fearing and then justifying why we should do something else. Before we know it we all see are our justifications. And, oh, those justifications are so seductive and convincing.
This is called self-deception.
This is why the Course in Miracles advises us to first get at peace, then ask “What do I want to come of this?” We cannot hear our heart’s truth in the thicket of justification. It is too loud and distracting there. The heart’s truth is gentle and presently waiting. It will never be loud and pushy, like the ego.
When you begin to unfold, step into your true calling and follow your heart there is little to no room for self-deception if you wish to go far.
Below we will explore how to strengthen the inner-guidance muscles and learn to follow the “yes!” so that you experience the success you seek.
Before my mentor Sandy’s passing, I had the honor of interviewing her. Sandy was a powerful beacon in my life, who bravely and consistently invited me out of my self-deceptions and self-limitations so that I could soar. My hope is that an missing ingredient you are needing, you will find below.
The 10 Steps to Following Your Inner-Guidance:
1) “Understand how you receive guidance.” Do you have an inner felt sense of something? What does your “yes” feel like, versus your “no”? This is different for everyone, so be sure to recognize your signals to self. If you are not sure, Sandy advises, “Note prior times you listened & followed. What happened? When didn’t you listen? What happened? What were the differences?” I also invite you to make of list of your justifications when you don’t follow. Are there any patterns? What is the gist of the justifications?
2) “Consider all of the ways you have felt called.” Did you receive a tap on the shoulder through others? Was it synchronicity showing up? Hunches? Your children, spouse or close friends? On the inverse: What don’t you want to hear? What do you have a hard time being with? Sandy taught me how life first drops a pebble on your path, then a rock and then if we still refuse to listen, eventually a boulder. Sandy said, “Spirit doesn’t give up, but we often do too soon,” because we expect things to go a certain way.
3) “Do you feel the calling and then attempt to modify it?” What parts of the calling feel uncomfortable? How does this push you off the path? This is an invitation to trust the calling fully. Callings may seem to take us off the path we envisioned. Callings are not linear, they will take you on stepping stones that add up over time. “Go here today.” “Talk to this gentleman.” “Meditate this morning.” The do not always make sense. I was listening to an Abraham-Hicks talk and a man stood up to share his testimony. He was driving one day and his intuition told him, “Drive on the sidewalk.” What?! He thought that was crazy, but something told him to do it. As he did, he avoided an accident that happened right in front of him.
Often callings defy logic. This is why the bible says, “Many are called, few will answer.” We give up too soon out of disbelief. However, this also makes following our calling an adventure of a lifetime.
4) Learn to distinguish between your fears and your intuitions. How does fear feel in your body? Where does it show up? How does it feel different than intuition for you? I am horribly panicky about flying. I was committed to going on a trip to Germany, a 9 hour flight. A week before the trip I swore my intuition was telling me that the plane would crash and I tried to back out. I ended up going and everything was fine. That was fear. Fear is panicky, emotional. Intuition is typically a calm and present knowing. However, distinguishing the difference between the two is indeed a milestone in our own mastery.
5) “Do not minimize your GPS.” Sandy always reminded me, “If it isn’t’ a hell yes, then it should be a hell no!” Our inner-yes is our very own personalize GPS. Or, someone once called it, our God Protection Service. It is personal to you. Value it. It will not lead you astray. You could also call it your conscience. We each have one. Learn to trust it. You can ignore it all you want, but, the good news is that it doesn’t go away. Even if you have been ignoring for years, there is no day like today to begin to wake up to its guidance.
“Clear the runway!” Sandy invites us to clear the runway for take-off. What I’ve learned is that when we clear the past, we clear the path. Biases we accumulate over time, becomes like a viruses in our lives. Those inner wounds block our potential and then we feel as if we are not going anywhere, or stuck on the runway.
Wounds also block us from attracting new opportunities. How can you tell if you have wounds? How reactive do you feel? Reactivity means we still have fear. Fear means our heart isn’t clear. A cloudy heart is an indication we have not gotten complete with things in our past. Clear the past, clear the path.
“Follow the inner-yes.” First get clear what your inner-yes is so you can steer clear of self-deception. Next, act! Dare yourself to act. It may not make any sense at the time. Our promptings sometimes seem bizarre. Yet, there is a part of you that is connected to all that is and other people. This part knows what to do, where to go next and who to talk to more than your conscious mind.
When we get real about how we really feel, we can sense what is the best interest of the greater good of all concerned. Learn to trust it, even when it makes no sense. This is called, walking by faith, not by site.
Rumi teaches us, “Your heart knows the way. Run in that direction!”
“Have faith in your yes.” Sandy shared with me that when Einstein had a new idea, he would imagine life with, or without, his idea to see how he felt. Not what he thought, but how he felt. Thoughts can deceive. The heart is incapable of self-deception.
If you feel relieved at the idea of not doing something, then it is a no. Sometimes an idea lights up the heart, but it is hard to implement so our fears take us down. Have faith the “yes” will take you to that next great place.
Note to self: If you have a fear, it can feel like a “no”. Beneath the surface of fear your heart is aching for the yes. Clear the fear, and watch a new path to the “yes!” appear.
“To say or do the truth is more valuable that the risk.” One of Sandy’s favorite quotes was, “When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” By Patrick Overton
What are you risking anyway? Staying small? Not listening? When you get tired of staying small, I invite you to step into the arena of possibility.
“Give yourself grace.” Learning to follow the heart and stepping out of self-limitation takes time, willingness to course-correct, and to be open to being real. There is a Sufi saying, “May the face of the Real be upon you.” Being real included giving ourselves grace. It is the recognition that being human is to err. Sandy taught that “Mistakes are nothing more than mis-steps. Step again. It is ok to derail. It is ok to re-negotiate as we go.”
Many paths lead to the top of the same mountain. It is ok to take your unique path in life to the top.
10/23/2019 0 Comments
Interview with Sandy Hogan
By Laurel Elders
Question: "Ok, so I am answering my life’s calling. Why does it feel so challenging? Shouldn’t things just fall into place?!"
Sandy: “You would think so. However, we no longer live in a world filled with community or emotional support so we can easily end up feeling like we must go it alone or fight against the grain.
“First, many people are used to ignoring the call. So by the time they listen, it is a new function. Therefor, a new learning.
“Second, following the call may require, what seems like, “risk”. Risk is what leads people into at least one, if not more, of the Top 10 Reasons People Don’t Follow Their Calling.
“Third. Limiting beliefs take over like, “People will think I’m crazy.” Or, “I’ll probably fail.” Or, “Who am I to…” You get the drift. When following our calling, we must realize The Heart of our Self-worth.
“Lastly, many people do not realize there are mentors that want to help. Resources are also mentors. SCORE for example offers free business guidance. There are also mentors in spiritual communities.”
Sandy then sited one of her favorite quotes by Anias Nin, “The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
Sandy was a true mentor while I endured the challenges of waking up to my calling. She was also a coach. She wouldn’t allow me to give my power away by giving her credit for the new awakenings I would have as I reached a new peak on my journey.
She was right, when we aren’t raised in a society that fosters things like listening to what is calling, you kind of learn growing up to tuck it away, or fear seeming frivolous. You forget how to listen. The callings become echos of the past… unless we choose to listen and dare greatly enough to follow it.
Following your calling may not always be easy. However, it is very worth it. And, as our beloved Sandy put it, “When you step into your power, you invite others to step into theirs.”
An Interview with Sandy Hogan
By Laurel Elders
Laurel: What is at the core of having a solid self-worth?
Sandy: "Early and consistent positive validation. For people to know how their children are hard-wired. Parents often parent as if they are them. Parents do this when they develop conscious parenting approaches, unconditional positive regard, curiosity aka “What does the child want?” and emotional intelligence. Someone once said, “No matter how tall your grandfather was you still have to do your own growing.”"
Sandy and I further discussed how not everyone has the luxury of such a childhood. Even those in a privileged home experience childhood wounding.
There is a theory in the roots of the Enneagram that our first wounding is what creates the defense patterns by setting a pattern of reactivity in motion. This pattern is what creates the predictability of the personality type. The more in our defense mode we are, the more predictable our behavior is. The more we self-developed we choose to become, and as we choose who we are going to show up as in the world, the less we are governed by our patterns.
Sandy taught me that self-worth is a redundant statement. “Self” should automatically equal one’s worth. When it doesn’t, something has gone wrong.
She also taught me that when we do not know our childhood wounds, big or small, are causing our defense strategies as adults, it is hard to change them. However, she says, “Once you are aware you can do something.”
Sandy says, “We become aware of our woundings through painful experiences that seem to be happening to us.” Those can either be a catalyst calling us to awaken to our true implicit worth, or, we unconsciously continue the patterns of defense and personal suffering. The beauty is that the choice is ours.
What is at the core of having a solid self-worth?
You deciding to accept your worth truly comes from you being you.
Author: Laurel Elders, PCC, CEC
Laurel helps people wake up delighted to be leading the life they've been called to step into. She is a professionally trained and credentialed Integrative Life & Leadership Coach. Laurel's coaching methodologies teach you how to take life's roadblocks and use them as stepping stones through your own wisdom, allowing you to fully lead through your calling!