Emotional strength, power & how to lead in a dying world


lisa fabrega

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In the last year, not a day goes by without an industry leader, colleague, or client texting me to ask me, “what can I do” in today’s climate. Leaders are feeling overwhelmed, struggling with their energy… Wanting to help but not sure how to do it when they are being so affected by what is happening. That’s on the global scale.  

And on the business side, they ask me why things that used to work aren’t working anymore. Why do people seem so quiet? Why isn’t their community responding to this thing that always worked so well? Why does it feel like everything is falling apart globally and in their industry?

So many leaders who have platforms of influence want to help but aren’t sure how or what to do. They want to make sure they don’t cause more harm and instead show up differently.

We are in a dying world. A world built on abuse and corruption. And we are facing new horizons in our leadership, our businesses, and our careers as a result.  

In the last 6 months I’ve read at least three exposés on famous “spiritual leaders” who were actually creating cult followings and conditions in their communities. Personal development leaders having blind spots exposed and reacting defensively because they’ve never faced this sort of challenge before.  

I can’t tell you how many mastermind rooms I have sat in where industry giants are secretly confessing they are worried because what worked for them before is no longer working. Men, especially, are struggling more than ever to make money and I hear whispers that women are doing better financially in online business — which is a huge turnaround from just a few years ago. And business owners in general are finding themselves challenged more than ever.

I can’t tell you how many people are questioning what they built, wanting to switch gears, opening their eyes to how their brands were built on codependency and reinforcing the guru paradigms.

If I were to gauge the state of mind of people right now based on the messages in my inbox, I’d say that the most innovative and visionary of us want to know:

1) how the hell did we get here?
2) how can I, as a leader, help to make things different?
3) where do I even start?

These are excellent questions, and as I mentioned in my last letter to you, we’re going to be tackling these questions over the next several weeks in a series of blog posts. Today’s post is the first of that series.

In this series we will address:

  • understanding how we got here
  • being part of the solution vs. the problem
  • and making sure we are staying ahead of the chaos so we don’t go the way of the dinosaur as leaders.
  • a HUGELY important process (inner leadership work) that I often see leaders dismiss or put on the backburner.  

I’ll show you why ignoring inner leadership work is part of the reason why we are in chaos right now to begin with, both micro-cosmically in our businesses or careers, and macro-cosmically in the world at large.

So, the first place to start is to take an inner dive into understanding HOW we got here and how we unconsciously uphold the dying world we are seeing around us today.

Immigrant babies in cages don’t just happen randomly. Outbursts of white supremacy rallies don’t just happen. Getting called out for your unknown biases doesn’t just spring up out of the blue. A sharp drop off in your impact and revenue because you’re not keeping up with how the world (and your customer) is shifting doesn’t just “appear” out of “nowhere.”  

All of these things are happening for two main reasons that I want to explore with you today.  

Understanding these two things holds the key to you staying ahead, as a business owner and/or changemaker, of changes that are coming. Changes where we are going to see many “big giants” in our industries fall. (And FYI, many already have, behind the scenes. I am privy to it.)

(Even the Dalai Lama agrees with me on this one. You’ll learn more about that later.)

These two reasons we’ll explore today hold the key to us becoming the kind of successful leaders we can be proud of. The kind of leaders who TRULY make a change in the world and leave a positive legacy that transforms the lives of many.

The intersection where we truly can contribute to a better world with our leadership, while also creating the lives we always dreamed of. These two don’t have to be incongruent.

Ready to dive in? Let’s do this.  

I believe that the world is in the state it is in right now because of two main reasons.  

        1) We have poor emotional health (and we don’t prioritize it).

        2) We have a totally effed up definition of/relationship with power.

To keep this short, today we are going to focus on emotional health. In our next post we’ll talk about power.



Incorrectly valuing the tangible over the intangible

The other day in a forum of entrepreneurs I belong to, I watched a thread grow where half the respondents were claiming that the biggest “overspend” business owners do in their businesses is coaching support.

As I watched those responses I couldn’t help but think “aha, there is the root of the macro problem in our world.”

Everyone was measuring the numerical/measurable benefits of coaching and basing their opinion on what the actual monetary return on the coaching was. Except you can’t put a monetary value on a coach who helped you have more confidence when you show up on a stage with 3,000 people listening to you.  

You can’t precisely measure on a P&L the benefit of not being burned out because of the coach you worked with, or saving your marriage because your relationship coach helped you shift. Yet the lasting impact from these “intangible” results are worth way more than any money you will make. Money comes and goes. Inner transformation is forever.

We’re obsessed with these “measurables.” Yet, that is only HALF of the equation.

I am continually amazed that the same person that is happy to invest $20k in a coach to help them create a launch plan or make $100k, would not then also invest $20k in a healer that can help her shift YEARS of trauma that is ultimately subconsciously holding her back from her next level much more than not having a business coach or strategy.

We all do it. We put the inner work for “later,” “after” we make our millions. After we sell that house. After we get married. After, after, after.  

How many times have you complained about “how expensive” someone who will do inner work with you is, yet you plunked down twice that amount, or set aside the time for someone to help you make lots of money without thinking twice?

Notice it, my love. Notice this and look at it hard in the mirror. We have all been taught to value making money and achieving fame/status/cred over taking care of our internal, emotional health. And this is why our world both on a macro and micro level are in this state of chaos.  

It is not sustainable to make money and fame 90% of our focus, and inner leadership work only 10%, or the afterthought; to invest heavily in money making things and to cheap out on the work that makes us emotionally strong and healthy, so that we show up more powerfully as leaders.

There are some things that no matter how many strategies you apply, how many strategic coaches you hire or how much team building you do, will NOT be resolved until you address the internal leadership issues that keep attracting those issues in your work.


Making emotions “weak” “unprofessional” or “not the sign of an expert”

In our industrialized, capitalist, patriarchal world, we have made investing time, energy, and money in our emotional/internal health a “weak” “not as valuable” “waste of time” kind of thing.  We think it’s the thing we can “leave till later” after we make our millions. (It doesn’t work that way).

We are obsessed with getting really good at making as much money as possible. “Hacking” things to cram more work in so we can make more money. And yet so many women come to work with me because they are falling apart inside and building these huge businesses or careers that leave them burnt out and questioning everything.

We make fun of people who show emotion. We consider it “unprofessional” to show it, in fact. (Do you know how many women who want to move into higher end prices tell me they resist it because they think that to be considered “worthy” of that price they have to act like some cold, stuck up, emotionless person?)

We associate “high end” and “sophistication” with a cool demeanor void of emotions. I actually had a coach tell me once that I come across as “not high-end” when I share stories of my own struggles and how I overcome them with my community. Apparently I’m supposed to act perfect all the time, like nothing ever fazes me and I’ve got all of life figured out. To me, that is not leadership. That’s crafting an illusion that feeds off making people feel broken in comparison to me. Nope, not the kind of leadership I am interested in.

This reinforces elitist and false narratives about what true leadership actually is. Leaders go through things too. Leaders struggle too. Now, don’t get me wrong, leaders SHOW UP for that struggle and navigate that struggle in a way that empowers them (if they have done their inner work!) and others around them. But we have got to stop perpetuating the harmful narrative that leaders are perfect and never have any issues. And that we should only give money to people who are crafting illusions that feed off of brokenness.


We are a world built from abuse and that is in our cells

Most of our world has been built on trauma. The abuse and eradication of indigenous populations. Genocide. Slave labor. Rape. Violence. War.

Then men in power came in and shoved it all under the rug while financially benefiting from those horrific acts. We have never actually faced it.

Just like when you do a detox and layers of emotions you never dealt with when you were 10 come up to be detoxed physically and emotionally, our world is detoxing all that trauma right now. There is only so long that that stuff can fester before it rots the entire core of the system.

We must understand that we are USED to abuse and its dynamics as if it was normal. Because it is what our world was built upon. We don’t notice how it has infiltrated the entire way we exist and how we perceive our world and relationships.

There is no other “mirror” for this dynamic than the President of the United States himself (or any despot that has risen to power in the world in the last few years). We currently have at the helm of the US government a leader who is emotionally unhealthy. A narcissist abuser, who has openly admitted to sexually assaulting women and is proud of it, sanctions policies where children are ripped from their parents and kept in cages. A man with sociopathic tendencies, who lies blatantly, gaslights entire countries… and we react like the abused children of a narcissist.

We either gaslight other people (we see this in leaders who spiritually manipulate their communities by refusing to take any responsibility for their actions) in return, tone police women of color who are crying out against microaggressions (a form of abuse)…

Or we collapse and freeze because we feel so overwhelmed and abused by it all. And we do nothing to help as a result. In this state we are so emotionally fragile and sensitive that we hide. Not only do we fail our communities when we do this, but we thwart our message, and hold it back from the world by allowing our fragility to overtake the more important mission of making impact.

In both cases we perpetuate the abuse that is happening. Because we’re of no use to those fighting for the good in the world if we can’t handle the onslaught of abuse that is coming from the highest offices of our world and just collapse. Or we in turn spiritually bypass serious situations, “love and light them,” refuse to take part in the elimination of abuse against our fellow human, and gaslight our clients, people in our world, or on social media.

From a business perspective — do you think that is the way to build a long lasting, sustainable, and successful legacy in the world?

(The answer is a resounding no.)


We need emotionally healthy leaders now more than ever

So what do we do?

The answer is that NOW is the time to begin to prioritize YOUR emotional and internal leadership more than ever.

Now is the time to really face yourself and see where you buy into the old paradigms.
Where you contribute with your time and your dollar to only investing energy or money in things that make you money fast, but leaving internal work “for later.”

Where you are fragile and collapse, or lash out, causing more harm.

It’s time to dive deep within and see where you are out of integrity with your mission of “changing the world.”

The way most of us in business were taught marketing, is literally to gaslight, verbally/emotionally abuse, and manipulate the potential client. To appeal to their basest instincts — their fear of survival, their scarcity instincts, to “trigger” a quick, knee jerk, “buy now” response.

I was in a room recently, with a very influential leader who suddenly realized after some coaching on my and some others’ part, that he has been subconsciously creating codependent communities for years, so that they will always feel like they need him and give him money forever.

We need to do this work because these things lie in our blind spots. A book isn’t going to show it to us. A business coach isn’t doing to do that work with us. A strategy isn’t going to give us internal strength to show up with integrity and power for others during dark times.

We need to stop obsessing over who has the 7 figure formula so we can hire them. And instead we need to hire the seers. The truth tellers. The ones who will go on the internal journey with us, call us out with love, and walk beside us as we excavate the BS we learned that is not really at the core of who we are.  

We need to be willing to face the abuser within. The money-obsessed/emotionally bankrupt person in us. We need to face the one inside who grew up in a world built on abuse and who, because of that, perpetuates those dynamics because it’s what feels normal and comfortable to us. We need to dig in and face the ways we subconsciously contribute to that.

That is different for everyone, what that looks like. But it is internal work. It is inner leadership. That is what the new age leaders who manage to survive the crunch that is coming and who will continue to lead and succeed, are prioritizing.

We need leaders who can see their blind spots and dig deep to root them out, so that they don’t cause more harm subconsciously.

We need leaders who can leave their shit at the door and show up as an empty container of possibility for their communities. We need leaders who point us back to the wisdom within ourselves instead of making us feel like we need them for the answers we seek.

We need leaders who, during the darkest of times, can process their emotions, retain their internal calm and show up as a strong voice to lead us through the darkness. Not ones that collapse, get quiet and pretend it’s not happening when so many are seeking answers.

We need leaders who can hold large containers for people. We need leaders who can hold more light. We need leaders who know how to empty themselves out to serve as witnesses and transmuters of the space around them. We need leaders who don’t get exhausted after leading one retreat because they haven’t learned to manage their energy properly yet.

All of the above is NOT what you do with a business coach or a 7 figure formula.
That is inner leadership work, my love.

We need leaders who model emotionally healthy behavior, take responsibility for their emotions, their triggers and can lead from a grounded place. Who model kindness, compassion, and fierceness with an open heart. Who have learned the art of discerning what is ego fear and what is the divine wisdom within speaking. Who have faced their traumas bravely and learned to separate their trauma from their actions and decisions (so that they don’t perpetuate it in their communities).

Until we prioritize our emotional health, the inner leadership work, we are simply unconsciously perpetuating the abuse upon which our world has been built.

Emotionally healthy people can have disagreements without insulting, attacking, or gaslighting each other. Emotionally healthy people don’t mansplain or tone police people of color.  Emotionally healthy leaders with their egos in balance don’t react defensively (therefore causing more harm) when they are called out for a very obvious snafu. Emotionally healthy leaders don’t put babies in cages or sexually assault women and brag about it.

I am a high performance coach. And the TOP thing I work on with my clients is emotional strength and health. The top thing!

It’s why the pillars of the work I do with my high performing leader clients are: discernment, boundaries, equanimity, & sovereignty. This is what I call my Empress framework (I mention it because we’ll reference back to it several times in the next few weeks, and I want you to know what the heck I’m talking about when I mention these things in the future).

Do you see anything about making 7 figures in that list? Nope.

All of the above things are emotional-health-related.  

Does that mean it’s not important to grow our businesses, make more impact, build aligned and soulful wealth? Not at all.

But we can do so without causing damage. We can achieve so MUCH MORE when our inner leadership game is strong. When our emotional health is in shape. I don’t promise my clients they will make more money — I’m not a business coach. But invariably my clients almost ALWAYS make more money as a result of the inner leadership work.

Because people are no longer investing in people who skip over their internal work.  

We need leaders who are discerning and don’t get wrapped up in emotions that come from ego triggers, but rather can process their triggers, breathe, and come back to the table re-connected to their truth.  

We need leaders who are well-boundaried so that we are not burned out, leaking our energy and power all over the place and modeling unhealthy codependent dynamics with our clients or communities. When we show up without boundaries we also don’t do our best work and can’t deliver our best to our communities.

We need leaders who retain their equanimity and can stay calm in the chaos. When everyone is freaking out, leaders are who we look to to get us connected back to our own equanimity. Are you able to process your own freakout quickly so that you can show up for your community quickly?

We need sovereign leaders, who made decisions for themselves. Who are deeply in tune with what is in alignment for them. Who know how to make decisions from the soul (divine wisdom-based) vs. the ego (fear/trauma/trigger based).  

The Dalai Lama said a few years ago that the “spiritual niceties” of kindness & compassion are no longer “nice” qualities to have, but rather, qualities that are going to save the world and ensure the survival of the human race.

We have reached that point.  

If your leadership, business, or marketing doesn’t contain those qualities because you are too afraid to be your authentic self, are too triggered to stop enrolling your clients in codependent behaviors, are too blind to see when you are participating in behaviors that harm marginalized people and are too shaken up internally to show up as a beacon of strength for those who need a leader….

It’s because you have not prioritized those qualities in your leadership.
And why haven’t you?

It starts here, love.

It’s time to get real with ourselves.  

We can either prioritize our emotional health and maturity, our discernment, our boundaries, and our ability to show up as strong leaders who can hold more light. Or we can keep ignoring it, doing what we’ve always been doing and go the way of the dinosaur.


In your journal, write answers to these questions (and feel free to post them below in the comments)

  • On a scale from 1-10 how would I rate myself in the following categories:
    • Discernment (ability to tell between soul and ego and make aligned decisions in my life and business from the soul)
    • Boundaries
    • Equanimity (your ability to stay deeply calm internally and connected to your core when it seems like the whole world is falling apart around you)
    • Sovereignty (your ability to govern yourself, your emotions, process them, and get down to the core of what is true for you. Feel confident that the decisions you made are right for you)
  • Answer this question in your journal (be bluntly honest with yourself):  
    • Do I regularly prioritize and hold inner leadership work in high value?  
    • Have I invested as much time and energy in inner leadership work with someone who is qualified to hold and lead me that way, as I have in templates, strategies, and money making programs?
  • Have I noticed that I’m making great money and seen as very successful, but inside I feel like a mess, am burned out, or want to throw it all in the fire and start over again?  Am I outwardly successful, but feel I need more help with my inner game?
  • Is the news today really throwing me off my game, shutting me down, and affecting my ability to function and show up as the leader I want to be?

The answers to the questions above will reveal a lot to you. I hope they serve as a fire under your booty.

I’ll be back in a few days to discuss the second root of the problems we are having in the world — our screwed up relationship with power.  

So many women I work with (including the uber successful ones) are afraid of being powerful.  They hold back their impact, their legacy, their revenue and their mission by subconsciously fearing that power.

I once worked with a woman who, once we dove deep and repatterned her relationship with power, went from $250k a year to $500k. And her entire client roster changed from difficult, combative clients who didn’t want to do the work (and drained her energy) to clients that felt more aligned, were a breeze to work with and got even better results.

That’s how potent repatterning your relationship with power is.

See you in a few days for that topic.

With love,