You wake up, stretch, and reach for your phone. Your social media is flooded with inspirational quotes and success stories.
Yet, deep down, you often wonder: What’s the secret sauce to their success? Is there some magical formula you’re missing out on?
It’s called “intentioning.”
With a world grappling with the aftershocks of a global pandemic and racial injustice, setting clear, heart-centered intentions has never been more relevant.
And in an episode of Honest Conversations, Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani sits down with Gloria Feldt, a renowned authority on women’s leadership and former CEO of Planned Parenthood, to highlight how women can confidently use their inner strength and lead with purpose and happiness.
Gloria Feldt, an esteemed authority on power, leadership, and women’s equality, stands as the co-founder and president of Take the Lead. Her Texas upbringing, where women’s aspirations were constrained, sparked her commitment to champion women’s rights through active participation in civil rights movements. She’s also the author of five bestsellers, including Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take the Lead. Her mission involves disseminating insights and wisdom through interviews and speaking engagements to empower individuals and challenge gender norms. With an emphasis on ‘intentioning,’ Gloria defines it as converting intentions into action. Through courses and resources, especially for women, she introduces the Vision-Courage-Action (VCA) method, enabling them to shatter limitations, confront stereotypes, and lead with empathy and innovation.
Watch the full episode:
What Is “Intentioning”?
At its core, the “intention” definition is a commitment, a resolution. It’s when you live intentionally, making careful and thoughtful choices in different parts of your life. Where you live, for instance. Or your relationships, your clothing, your work, and your personal beliefs.
According to Gloria, “intentioning” is the action of your intentions. (It’s very much the basis of her book, Intentioning: Sex, Power, Pandemics, and How Women Will Take The Lead for (Everyone’s) Good, after all.)
“Intention is ‘I see it; I’m going to be doing it,’” she explains. “Intentioning is ‘I am doing it; I have taken those steps; I have begun.’”
And in the world of women and their position in today’s world, there’s no notion more desperately needed than this. Why? Because in terms of leadership positions, as Gloria highlights, “much of the data says that the pandemic has pushed women’s progress back.”
It’s a sad reality, really. Only 7% of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women, according to a UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) article.
But the thing is, there are plenty of studies that show time and time again the benefits of organizations when women lead:
- Work gets better,
- Teams work well together,
- People are more committed, and
- Things are more fair.
So in this tumultuous time where there’s so much at stake, it’d be a waste to not include women in global matters. Their skills could help lead the way in creating a better future for everyone.
Why Is Intentioning a Superpower, Especially for Women?
Intentioning is not a quality that’s determined by genetics or biology. Instead, Gloria points out that our behaviors, especially around leadership and power dynamics, are socially learned.
Men and women, she argues, are fundamentally equal in potential and capability. However, due to social conditioning, women have developed particular strengths that can be harnessed as superpowers in leadership roles.
- Women are often socially conditioned to be empathetic and collaborative. This nurturing of empathy, a result of societal interactions, has equipped them with leadership qualities now seen as invaluable.
- Women, particularly in male-dominated fields, often find themselves balancing their innate feminine traits with adopted masculine ones. Yet, as more women take up leadership roles, they showcase the potency of feminine strengths in influencing, guiding, and decision-making.
- Women leaders often embody the value of diversity, having faced challenges due to gender biases. This experience makes them advocates for varied perspectives, understanding that diverse leadership—beyond just gender—brings depth, resilience, and innovation.
These qualities not only redefine leadership but also underscore the immense potential women bring to the table when their unique strengths are acknowledged and celebrated.
How to Set an Intention, According to Gloria Feldt
Intentioning is more than just a fleeting thought. It’s actually a commitment to yourself and your desires. After all, a heart-centered life revolves around not just identifying what you truly desire but actively pursuing it.
So where can you start? Gloria simplifies this transformative process into three concrete steps.
Dreaming of your end goal is one thing. But having clarity on it is another.
Gloria emphasizes that understanding your power is just the beginning. The real quest is identifying the “power to what?”
“Where do you want to be? What do you want to do? What’s the purpose that you have?” she asks. “I realized that’s just the first question. The next question is, ‘the power to what?’ What is your purpose? And so, the vision answers that question.”
This vision is your guide, your North Star. And it ensures every step you take resonates with your heart’s true desires and aspirations.
“You have to have the courage to believe that you can do it,” Gloria says. It’s the thing that drives you forward. And when doubt creeps in, it’s that inner voice that reinforces the importance of feeling worthy of your dreams.
This doesn’t mean being fearless, but embracing fear and moving forward despite it. Because to manifest your vision, you need to first trust that you can.
In doing so, it’s crucial to be gentle with yourself. That and understanding the path to greatness often comes with its fair share of challenges.
One step at a time, right? That’s precisely what this final and pivotal phase entails—acting on your vision.
The thing is, one study found that only 8% of individuals actually fulfill their New Year’s resolutions. Why is the number so low? Often, it’s not due to a lack of vision or courage, but the absence of consistent and aligned action.
As Gloria says, it’s about “taking the action, whatever it might be, even if it’s starting with one simple step.” This movement, however minuscule, is the bridge between your dreams and reality.
It’s essential, however, to ensure that every action you take resonates with your core values. In the hustle to achieve, it’s easy to get sidetracked. But genuine success lies in actions that bring both happiness and success.
So, as you chart your course of action, remember to align each step with what truly matters to you.
The narrative of power is shifting. Gloria’s insights serve as a reminder that intentioning is more than a daily practice—it’s a movement. It’s a call to arms for everyone, especially women, to set intentions that resonate, that challenge the status quo, and that build a brighter future for all.
And if you’re ready to join this transformative journey of intentioning, you can dive deeper into these concepts and more with Kristina Mänd-Lakhiani’s Honest Conversations. Join Gloria and many other thought leaders as they discuss, dissect, and disseminate wisdom that can change your life.
The fact of the matter is, “power unused is power useless,” in the glorious words of Gloria. And so it’s important to understand that women have that power, especially to make great changes in the world.
Gloria Feldt | LinkedIn
Tatiana Azman is a content writer for Mindvalley and a Certified Life Coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as being a cancer survivor, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.