Leadership Consultant Miriam Linderman's Self-Discovery Lessons on Living with Purpose

Why is it important to discover your purpose? 

Grounding yourself in your purpose is essential for growth. Think of a tree; its growth depends on a solid root system as well as the support of other trees close by. Like the tree, to be able to fulfill your life purpose, you need the support of people and opportunities that give you a solid foundation for your journey and fuel you to STAND TALL!

Simply put, my purpose is to make people’s lives brighter; as a community-builder and researcher, I am always looking for resources to help you shine. Last year, I happened upon an article by Miriam Linderman called, “Thriving Women, Thriving Economies” about her experience at the Vancouver Board of Trade’s B.C. Economic Forum: Women As a Catalyst for Growth event. Miriam, I discovered, is a Canadian entrepreneur who left the corporate world to start her own coaching practice. I loved her advice in the article so I reached out and emailed her. Since then, we have Skyped a few times and I was inspired to invite her to share her insights with all of you - to introduce you to this wonderful woman who is empowering us all to shine a little brighter. 

Miriam is a certified leadership and life coach; she helps professionals find deep confidence, gentle power, and wise courage as leaders in their work and lives. Before starting her own business, she spent 35 years as a corporate leader in training, leadership, and organizational development, with roots as a yoga teacher and holistic health educator.

(c) Miriam Linderman

(c) Miriam Linderman

First, how do you maintain the balance between work and personal life?  

Balance implies equal hours for work life and personal life, and I have a new business that takes a lot of dedicated time, much like raising children, being in a relationship, caring for pets. Work-life balance can be another “should” and those just make us all jump through hoops that are not necessarily our own. I’d rather make sure that I tune in to what’s happening in my heart, in my body, in the moment, and ground myself through breathing, movement, meditation, writing, or simply inquiring. Then I can ask myself: What’s the next right thing for now? What does my soul need? What I don’t want for your readers or anyone else is to decide that work-life balance has to be a certain way or else they’re bad or not good enough. We are individuals. Let’s find the “balance” that works for us. If work is creative and merges into personal life and is fulfilling, who gets to decide what’s good or right, what’s balanced or not? Tune in and ask. 

Why is balance important?

I believe that we each need to rest, play, have fun, and fill the well in order to create - or we become dried up, uninspired, and sick of it. I’ve tried that too. Going and going for hours without breaks to finish a project - and then I hit a wall. I don’t want that in my life. I become grumpy and moody. We humans need replenishment. Just like plants and animals. 

How do you practice self-care in your busy life?

I am clear that relationships come first. Relationship with myself goes like this: Am I setting morning intentions, tuning in frequently during the day? Am I attending to myself through connection with my inner self, my body, my feelings? With my husband, my grown-up daughter, or anyone else I care about I ask: How can I make quality space and time to sustain the connection?  Everything else follows. On a daily basis, my husband and I unwind by going for a walk where we can share our day. I happen to like being with him as well as love him, so this is a treat for me. He grounds me. 

And also, I’m a spontaneous person, so my structures have to be loose enough to work for me. I follow my energy where it takes me and move from there. 

How has a positive mindset influenced your work and home life?

Watching, noticing, and observing our thoughts and knowing we have choice is one of the most important life skills we’ve got. Which is not to say that we will not have our melancholic days. Or be tired and maybe want to quit. But as a rule, when the negative shows up, we need to honour it, stay with it, and be curious: What do I desire? Under all that angst, what’s going on? Pay attention. It helps to know that I am never at the mercy of my thoughts and that my thoughts create feelings. So I can create the feeling state I long for. 

How do you cope with negative self-talk?

Notice when the beasts show their ugly faces. Say hello. They don’t get to make decisions for me. Because I have an equal Inner Tribe of Advocates who guide me. I call on them. My Inner Wise Woman is in charge, and I have a host of helpers for the trip. Your readers need to know that their imagination can be used to create inner goodness. This is the work I love to do with my clients. Developing a connection with what’s so available already inside, so that they can come from soul wisdom AND good solid practical reasoning.

How do you practice being confident daily?

Confidence is a RESULT. We become confident by doing. By practising. By failing fast and learning. By getting out there and daring. By being comfortable and uncomfortable and laughing at ourselves. Confidence is the OUTCOME of action. You can’t practice confidence. You get to BE it with time.  

What is your number one productivity tip?

I have 3 important tips.  

Tip #1, stop hounding yourself to produce. Instead, encourage yourself to BE, not only DO. It will go so much better. Encourage yourself to BE LIGHT, BE EASY, BE FLOWY, BE JOYOUS (you choose your own Who-you-want-to-show-up-as-and-BE before anything else).  

Then, tip #2, ask your Inner Business Strategist (name your own), Where do I place my energy today and at this moment? For the sake of your big WHY. 

And #3, for those nasty hard-to-love tasks – set a 15-minute timer and GO! Then set it again. It’s my best way of doing work I don’t love - and even the good stuff. Although I never set a timer for writing. That always flows. 

Why is it important to dress for success?

I have one underlying style, and that’s easy casual comfort. That’s who I am. I prefer comfort over fashion and you can have both, but I am so not a glam girl. I grew up with over-fussing about clothes, looks, and thinness and it made me crazy. My parents came from Europe and my Spanish and French relatives had a big influence. I’m quirky, eccentric, practical, and professional, so I wear event-appropriate clothes, but you will never find me in heels. Never. My knees and back hurt if I wear even a half-inch heel and frankly, heels have always looked like torture to me. But that’s me. Bottom-line, figure out who YOU are and just BE YOURSELF. You don’t have to offend people. But confidence comes from the inside out. So find out who is in there and go say Hello! If you try to be like someone else, there may come a day when you’ll wish you had asked yourself who you are sooner. Because the key is to stop looking out there for who you are. You are not there. They are. Find the magic of you. And dress for you, to reflect the magic of you. Let’s please stop hiding. 

Thank you, Miriam, for your presence at The Self-Discovery Retreat! Your insights ignite our inner strength, empowering us to shine brighter daily!  

As Miriam says: “being alive with purpose and joy is one thought away.” I agree! Sharing my random thoughts has changed my life. What dreams are you striving for today? Instead of hiding and waiting to unleash them, take time to find your big ‘Why?’ (as Miriam calls it) and discover your purpose.  Start sharing your light with the world today!