Anchor in your personal mission statement- those days the world seems to be working against you, step back from the details and remind yourself of the larger mission at hand. There will always be situations that test how dedicated we are to our mission, we have to anchor in that mission to see the larger picture.
As a part of my series about “Grit: The Most Overlooked Ingredient of Success” I had the pleasure of interviewing Cathy McKinnon.
Cathy McKinnon, 4x#1 International Best Selling Author , Transformation Coach, and Founder of Wellness Warrior Coaching.
As a Transformation Strategist, Cathy helps women take back their lives taking them from exhausted and operating robotically to finding the joy, confidence and energy they are so WORTHY of!
It is time for you to become the happiest, most inspired version of yourself and truly shine!
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what events have drawn you to this specific career path
In my journey to transform the major facets of my life I had to at times tap into a strength source that even I did not know existed fully. It is what I describe as the trifecta of events that rocked my world and had me starting from ground zero on what it was, I wanted for my life. My story begins when I was faced with major medical decisions that would impact my future and the world I spent years building with my then partner were shattered. I didn’t have a plan, I didn’t know anything more than the step directly in front of me. I’ve never been afraid of starting over, I just knew I could not settle for mediocre any longer, and there had to be more.
As my story unfolded, I knew I had to start sharing my journey to set example of what is possible when you bravely step into your true self. I just knew there was more to life than the circumstances I was settling for.
Can you share your story about “Grit and Success”? First can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey?
Grit isn’t something you can touch, taste, feel or see. Grit isn’t sought after, nor do you personally ask for it. Grit shows up when you are digging deep, and you can’t see the light anymore. It is that pit in your stomach that makes you yell out “can I keep going” and then it answers back HELL YEAH!
I leaned hard into that voice many times in my live not knowing it was grit. I’ve battled infertility, cancer, a lengthy divorce and above all adjusting to be a single mom. Growing up in a male dominated household I never realized just how much strength they were preparing me to have. My family was preparing me for each chapter in my life to not only survive but thrive.
Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
It wasn’t always as simple as finding the drive but something that started as listening to my inner voice to push through. Countless days of fighting and pushing my body to keep going had me questioning if I had the strength to carry on. Seemingly things weren’t working no matter how much I tried or which way I turned. It goes back to my root belief that there is more to this life than just being mediocre. Anchoring in my intuition and mu why gave me a vision for the big picture that made the daily steps easier. zTo know I was one step closer to the life I desired. There is an incredible universe of opportunities at our finger tips; there is no reason that we must settle.
So how did Grit lead to your eventual success? How did Grit turn things around?
This skill set from my childhood that I didn’t even realize I had, enabled me with the power to push through the challenging days, and understanding that my work was not done.I was not done living. It took courage and resilience to continually get back up and keep going to provide the understanding that I was being given these lessons for a reason. I was being redirected on my path to be set up for the life I was intended to lead.
It was through continual confidence in myself and hard work through each challenge I face, that lead me to the place I am today. To being able to see that the lessons learned from those hard times put me exactly in my place I needed to be able to serve in the capacity I am today.
Based on your experience, can you share 5 pieces of advice about how one can develop Grit? (Please share a story or example for each)
- Anchor in your personal mission statement- those days the world seems to be working against you, step back from the details and remind yourself of the larger mission at hand. There will always be situations that test how dedicated we are to our mission, we have to anchor in that mission to see the larger picture.
- Circumstances are not permanent- storms can feel heavy, know that in the midst of the storm it seems like it will never pass. The reality is that, it too will pass.
- Rejection is redirection- As challenging as it can be to not take rejection personal, have faith it is truly meant to be and is putting you on the path you need to be. There is a lesson to be learned. Step back and ask yourself “ what is this trying to teach me”
- Give yourself grace- not every day is a good , even the most positive people have off days. Just reset, recalibrate and start fresh tomorrow. Beating yourself up for something in the past or something out of your control will not net you further to your mission.
- Baby steps are still steps- Celebrate the small victories along the way! It can be very easy to beat ourselves up along the way until we hit that goal or major milestone, the reality is we are often not giving ourselves enough credit.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped you when things were tough? Can you share a story about that?
I’ve had a great mentor that has helped me over the last 7 years. They have taken time to not only guide me from a career perspective but also certain points in my personal life that will impact my ability to give my all to my vision. They have been there to support me, hold me accountable and call me out on my self-defeating behaviors when I wanted nothing more than to give in. Their ability to really listen and understand, provide a nonbiased sounding board, and the wealth of knowledge of my mentor has helped me more than I can acknowledge.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I believe it is our obligation to give back. As my network has expanded, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with amazing people and great organizations. I have worked with several organizations including The Bloc, a Chicago based nonprofit that helps underprivileged youth. The Bloc has an incredible success rate of not only creating award winning athletes but also their students excelling academically.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
Oh, there are so many exciting things in the pipeline! I just helped my son launch his first book “ Kindness…pass it on” which is his first project for his company Little Leaders, Big Voices. It has been such an amazing Mom moment to watch this little man grow and help impact the world through his voice.
Legacy is at the core of what I do. How we show up is not just for us but for them and the ripple effect our actions have on the world.
What advice would you give to other executives or founders to help their employees to thrive?
You have to find way to connect with your employees. Take the time to understand their goals and desires even when they may not align with yours. When employees feel heard and put in positions that align with their skills and goals; everyone wins. Instead of prescribing a pre-ordained path; take the time to truly build the alignment and watch the magic happen.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Creating a wave of kindness and caring. We are all hurting in different ways right now that we need to come together as a collective to better ourselves, our communities and the future. There is so much work to be done on creating good where there is pain.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“No, it won’t be easy. Yes, it will change your life”
I have faced some life altering moments where I had to decide to dig in and do the hard work or take the path that was easy in the moment. I took some very challenging roads that have proven to pay off in the long run. It brought a peace to my life that was so worth the short term hardwork.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.