How To Help Your Kids (and You) Embrace Your Uniqueness, with Jay Forte – RFL039

Jay goes solo in this episode and shares two of his classic long poems – stories to help us learn how to teach our kids to embrace their uniqueness and live who they really are.

How To Help Your Kids (and You) Embrace Your Uniqueness  – Episode Overview

Discovering and living who we really are is difficult. Partly we didn’t get an owners manual to help us define our talents, passions and values – and we certainly didn’t get one for our kids. So welcome to the greatest challenge and opportunity in parenting – guiding and coaching our kids to discover, develop and live who they really are – to discover and live their uniqueness. By doing this we help our kids tap into their inner greatness – their inner talents, strengths, passions and interests. Aware of and confident in these, our kids (and ourselves) have the information we need to look through today’s world to identify the places that need what we do and love best. This is how to help our kids find their way in our wild world.

I thought I would do something completely different in this show. Instead of sharing parenting experts and their perspectives, I thought I would share with you two things I have written that help us see that to help our kids we need to be (and to teach them to be) aware, creative and resilient – to see what makes them unique and to value and treasure it instead of wanting to downplay it.

In this episode, I read two of my long form poems. These aren’t normal poems – they are poems in the style of Dr Seuss – a longer, rhyming poem with a message and moral. The moral in each is to discover, value and live who you really are, without regard to what others say. I find these are a great way to help you have this important conversation with you kids because they live in a loud, push and “blend-in” world – a world that values them more when they look and act like others than when they be true to who they are and be authentic.

So here is what I hope happens.

I hope you listen to both poems and their stories and messages move you. And then I hope you listen to them with your kids.

The goal is to expand our awareness that our kids are just perfect as they are – that each is unique and will be happiest and most successful in life when we help each discover and become who they really are. Fight the urge to plan out your kids’ lives. Instead, walk with them to help them translate what they see and experience in their days to know how to find what fits them in life. This is a process – it isn’t done once and its over. But the starting point is discover what is different, amazing and awesome about ourselves, then tuning in to our world to find ways to bring our unique and personal best to all we do.

Poem #1 Be Who You Are and Live What You Believe

It is the story of Michael, someone who sees the world different from his family. They at first try to make him act more like his siblings, until he realizes and helps them understand that his way of seeing the world has great value for him and for them. [ Listen @ 00:06:55]

Poem #2 You’re Great and You’re Awesome, Just As You Are

TGZ_Box_4This is the story of Trent, someone who was born into a town that dictates how people are to look. During the poem he discovers that his value and worth are not in how he looks, but in who he is down deep. He then shares what he learns to change others. [ Listen @ 00:15:45]  Download this poem

I hope you resonate with message in both of the poems – and poems are just one way I like to share some of my thoughts.

I remember hearing from my parents when we were kids that we each came packaged with all the right stuff to have a most amazing life. It is our responsibility to discover what we came packaged with and to use it to build lives that matter and lives that let us use our greatest abilities and gifts in order to make our difference in our world.

There is a great reason why we are all so different – so that we each can find our unique place and do what it is we do best. If we were all the same or if we all just blend into doing what everyone else does, our world would be pretty boring.

So there is room for those who want to repair engines, write poetry, design buildings, understand earthquakes, teach children, run businesses, study the stars or the oceans, coach people through their challenges or the other thousands of ways to do what you do best in our world.

How will you be your kid’s guide – to help him or her see who they are, what they rock at, what they love and what opportunities in their world fit them? This, from my view is the greatest things we can do for our kids and is the purpose of our parenting.

Help your kids be confident in who they are – be authentic and true. Remember, you are great and awesome just as you are and so are they.

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About Jay Forte

Jay Forte on UniquenessJay is a business and motivational speaker, certified CEO, family and leadership coach, author, adjunct college professor and nationally ranked Thought Leader. He provides talent, strength-based and mindfulness tools to help people discover, develop and live what is best in them to achieve exceptional personal and professional results.

He is the author of Fire Up! Your Employees and Smoke Your Competition, and The Greatness Zone – Know Yourself, Find Your Fit, Transform the World. His new books, Improvisational Parenting and The Rhodium Rule are due out in 2016/17.

He is the host of the weekly podcast for parents, Get Your Kids Ready for Life; he blogs and writes for many national sites and is routinely on telesummits, radio and television shows talking about personal and professional potential, purpose and performance.

When not teaching, coaching CEOs, helping today’s parents help get their kids ready for life, or helping people seek out or create great life opportunities, he writes, gardens and cooks (as any good Italian) in Ft Lauderdale, FL.

Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice how authentic you are. Do you know what makes you unique and amazing and use it to guide your decisions? Or, do you see that you blend with others instead of standing out?
  2. Stop and Notice how you are helping your kids discover who they really are. What makes each of your kids different and amazing? How are you helping them develop this instead of downplay it?
  3. Stop and Notice if you are directing your kids’ life choices. How can you give your kids more of a voice in their directions and paths? How can you encourage them to learn more about themselves and support them to be who they really are?
  4. Stop and Notice how you talk to your kids about who they are. Consider using the poems in this podcast as a way to start a conversation about being authentic, true and honest – for both of you.

We are born just right – but many times we see that things our kids are born with don’t fit our definition of what we want for them. Giving our kids the guidance and support to discover and develop what is best in them creates greater and more meaningful options for our kids in life. They can then show up happier and more successful when they are connected to areas that they are good at and passionate about. As the expression goes – be an amazing original, not an average copy. Help your kids live who they really are – after all they are great and awesome, just as they are.

Being A Great Parent Starts By Valuing Yourself, with Gina Hatzis – RFL030

Being A Great Parent Starts By Valuing Yourself – Episode Overview

We have been taught that good parents give, give, give. We do for our kids and if there is anything left, we then take if for ourselves. But to be a great parent – one who is present, loving, aware and interested – we have fill OUR energy tanks. We have to take care of ourselves, love ourselves and value ourselves. This isn’t selfish – in fact, it is the way we tap into our greatest energy and abilities – to be really there for our families. It isn’t a them OR us thing – it’s a them AND us thing.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on what it means to be a good mom or parent. My intention is to share that what makes us great – or successful in parenting – is to first know, care for and love ourselves. This way we show up to all we do as our best selves and be able to better get our kids ready for life.

Meet our guest Gina Hatziz

Gina Hatzis on valuing yourselfGina Hatzis is the Founder and Director of Possibilities at Project Passion International (where she helps people transform all areas of their lives by transforming their relationship with themselves). As a coach, author and mindfulness expert, she guides people through a process to come back to their authentic selves. As a host of the popular, Ignite A Life You Love telesummit, she assembles people passionate about living their power and being accountable to create lives they love to share their wisdom with all of us. Parents of two, Gina and her husband incorporate their loving, self-worth thinking into their parenting.

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. Self-awareness – our ability to know ourselves is critical for us as parents and for our kids. We must know who we are in order not to lose ourselves as a parent. Parenting is just part of our lives – knowing ourselves lets us pay attention to the other important parts of our lives that need daily attention.
  2. We are unique, talented and amazing people independent of our parenting. It is important for us, to be great parents, to be able to separate our kids lives from our lives.
  3. We must always be true to our inner spirit to be able to help our kids discover and develop their inner spirit. This means we must value ourselves and make time for own personal development.
  4. It is not selfish to take time for ourselves as parents. We must each allow for our own growth and development to show up great as parents. Great parents come from being a great person – this requires our constant investment in ourselves.
  5. Be sure to separate your responses and reactions from those of your kids. They get to own their responses to their world – it is not our job to swoop in and fix everything for our kids. It is more productive to help them solve and own their issues – and it allows us to remember that though we love them, their lives are theirs and our lives are ours.
  6. Dr Masuro Emoto on valuing yourselfSee the links to the Dr Emoto activity that Gina talks about during the podcast. Images  Video  Article
  7. You can’t thrive if you ignore yourself, your health and your needs. To be a great parent needs you to be energized and present. You don’t deliver your best if you are running on empty.
  8. When we are running on empty, it shows in the kind of parent we are. When we are tired and down, we don’t parent in our best way. Spend time reenergizing yourself is the key to improving your parenting and helping your kids thrive.

Some question for parents:

  1. What do you build into your day to take care of you – mentally, spiritually, intellectually and physically?
  2. When was the last time you did something great for yourself – to remind you of your value and worth?
  3. How can you help train your kids to respect and honor everyone’s right to feel important, valuable and to be who they are?
  4. What is the energy level at home? What is your personal energy level? How are both of these affecting your kids?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

    1. Stop and Notice what energy level you have during your days? What is one way you could increase it?
    2. Stop and Notice how your energy level is affecting your parenting? What do you need to do to improve this energy?
    3. Stop and Notice how much you give of yourself to your kids and family. What needs to happen to pull it back into balance?

Parenting is part of your life. You are here to live boldly, confidently and fully in addition to your parenting. Focus on your development to stay energized. This not only helps you love your life more, but helps you show up more successfully to your parenting.

Suggested Resource:

release your brilliance and keep valuing yourselfRelease Your Brilliance – Four Steps to Transforming Your Life and Revealing Your Genius to The World – by Simon T. Bailey

(One of my favorite books) Each of us is born brilliant. Then we spend the rest of our lives having our brilliance buried by people, circumstances, and experiences. Eventually, we forget that we ever had genius and special talents, and our brilliance is locked away in a vault deep within. So we settle for who we are, instead of striving for who we were meant to be.

Release Your Brilliance provides the combination to the vault where your brilliance is kept.

After struggling for thirty-two years with disillusion, defeat, and despair, author Simon T. Bailey cracked the code to personal transformation, turning his life around and becoming a highly successful entrepreneur, respected family man and community leader. Using the metaphor that we’re all diamonds in the rough, Simon shares the four key steps to cut and polish the gem that is you in order to reawaken your genius, reignite your internal light, and release your potential. He guides your transformation with interactive tools such as Personal Appraisal exercises, Diamond Polishing action steps, and true stories of Living Diamonds. Join the thousands of individuals and organizations worldwide who’ve sat down with Simon and learned to create lasting change and release their brilliance!

Authenticity is the Key to Confident Parenting, with Aaron Kennard – RFL022

Authenticity is the Key to Confident Parenting – Episode Overview

There is a great quote – “Be an amazing original not an average copy.” Most of us want to parent like others. We check in with what they do, then we act out their script in our situation, with our kids. The results are never what we expect – how could they be when we use others’ solutions in our situations? What we really need is to be real, true and authentic – then to bring that person to every aspect of our parenting relationship. We then show up in the moment, with this kid, in this situation – and trust we can make a good decision. See, when you are in tune with who you are, you will trust yourself in all of your decisions – including your parenting decisions.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on great parenting. My intention is to help you see that you have all the right stuff to be a great parent when you tune in and be who we really are. When you come from your truest self, you have access to amazing wisdom. You have just been told that others know more than you, so you follow them. Today, learn to trust and be confident in you – after all, you are truly amazing.

Meet our guest Aaron Kennard

Confident parenting with Aaron KennardAaron Kennard is an author, speaker, blogger, podcaster and founder of Truly Amazing Life.  He challenges people not to accept mediocrity, the status quo and the belief that good is good enough. Follow his 12 steps – a roadmap – for a Truly Amazing Life of how to tap into your greatness and improve the quality of each day. Find out more about this remarkable man, his books and mission at the following links:

Guest Links:

Episode’s Key TakeAWays

  1. Remembering who you are is the key to helping you show up as your greatest self – to you, your parenting, your relationships and your world.
  2. Make time for yourself – to discover what is different, unique and amazing about you. Our answers about ourselves are on our inside, not on the outside. We will need to tune out to tune in – tune out to the loud voices that control our thinking and directions to tune in to our own sense of who we really are.
  3. As we learn how to spend time discovering and remembering who we are, we show up more authentically – more aware of what makes us an amazing original. From this place we are better able to connect with our kids and then guide them to do this same work for themselves. And knowing ourselves, as some cultures share, is the greatest work that each of us have to do in our lifetimes.
  4. Many times a traumatic or challenging life event is what gets our attention and shifts out of our auto-pilot lives, into lives of intention, authenticity and purpose. How can we connect to lives of intention, authenticity and purpose without needing the trauma or challenge to bring us there?
  5. When you are in tune with who you are, you have access to your greatest wisdom which helps you have greater confidence in your responses to all situations – particularly parenting.

Some question for parents:

  1. How are you aware of what is best in you, and that you access this in the way you live your life and parent your kids?
  2. How are you being authentic and inauthentic – can you notice the difference and see how each makes you feel?
  3. How are you helping your kids learn how to see what is unique and amazing in them – so they can be confident in themselves as they approach each day?
  4. In what ways are you living a truly amazing life?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1. Stop and Notice how authentic you are or are not. Where are the places you are TrueYou and where are you the You-on-View? How does this affect your parenting?
  2. Stop and Notice when you are really confident. What abilities are you using – how can you use them more often?
  3. Stop and Notice how you help your kids discover and develop what makes them amazing. How can you give this more attention?
  4. Stop and Notice how you empower and support others. How can you do more of this?

The phrase, Know yourself, is the wisdom of the ancients. It is the starting point for us to show up significantly in all areas of our lives, particularly in our parenting. Our confidence comes from our authenticity.


Suggested Resource

Remember Who You Are: How to Find Meaning and Purpose, Reclaim Your Passion for Life, and Unlock Hidden Treasures of Self-Confidence and Self-Love  by Aaron Kennard (Book 2 of the 12 Secrets to a Truly Amazing Life)

Remember who you are for confident parentingDo you ever feel disconnected from yourself? Do you ever feel lonely, even with plenty of family and friends in your life? Do you sometimes find it hard to look yourself in the eye and love what you see?

If so, this book has the power to produce a profound shift in your life.

This book contains a proven process to help you find greater meaning and purpose, reclaim your passion for life, and increase your self-confidence & self-love in the next 4 weeks or less, no matter your current circumstances…And it only takes about 10 minutes per day…including your time spent reading this book.

This transformational habit training system will restore your connection to your true inner self and bring you back to a place of peace and power in your life.

Through 4 weeks of short, specifically crafted, inspiring daily messages, you will be handed the key to unlocking the hidden treasures of increased self-confidence and self-love that are ready and waiting inside you.

Today is your day. Right now is your time to begin making dramatic changes in the way you feel about life.

You may be tempted to read this book straight through for faster results. RESIST THAT URGE! This system will produce optimal results only when you read it in the small, daily recommended doses – over the course of 4 weeks of short daily messages.

To make this easy for you, inside the book you’ll see a link for free access to the automated email delivery system for each day’s specific chapter.

How to Talk To Your Kids About Being Proud Of Who They Are, With Rick Clemons, RFL019

How To Talk To Your Kids About Being Proud of Who They Are – Episode Overview

You were born awesome. This isn’t just some feel-good talk. This is a fact. You were born with unique talents, strengths and passions – your identity is yours – and whatever you got is just right. On a planet of over 7 billion people, your uniqueness is your built-in performance and competitive advantage – the way to find your way in life. You are unique on purpose. But to tap into what is great about you first have to discover it, then develop the courage to embrace it.

As the saying goes, “be an amazing original, not an average copy”. Our world constantly tells us who to be – to look, act and think like others – it wants us to be copies. What if, instead, we were able to be who we truly are, and were able to help our kids do the same? Imagine how it would feel to bring to today’s world that thing or things that only you can deliver?

Being proud of who you are means you must discover who you are, then accept and embrace it – whatever it is. In this acceptance, you allow yourself  to then start to sort through life for the places that really fit you – not the ones that other say you should connect with. It’s your life – you must own it and act as its leader – this comes only after you know who you, accept it and be proud, regardless of what others say.

Attention and Intention

This week, my attention is on discovering who we are – down deep. And my intention is to help parents learn to be true to who they are so they then can guide support and coach their kids to do the same. You can’t live a great and amazing life pretending to be someone else.

Rick Clemons being proudMeet our guest Rick Clemons

Rick Clemons is a talented life and identity coach, speaker, podcaster, author and blogger. He is the host of the Coming Out Lounge podcast, author the soon to be released book, Frankly My Dear, I’m Gay – A Late Bloomers Guide to Coming Out and of 2 other upcoming books, is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, Your Tango and Healthy Gay He is the creator of the .1 Project, an awareness that we are 99% alike and 1% different – and that we should embrace this difference. As an openly gay coach and dad, Rick coaches others in self-acceptance, getting past limitations, authenticity and embracing our uniqueness and differentness. See the links for more on Rick.

Guest Links:

Episode’s Key TakeAways

  1. You have to do your own work to discover who you are. Once you discover what makes you different, unique and amazing, it is then up to you to live it. This is where parents are tremendous help to kids – to help them discover and embrace who they are, so that they show up right, big and interested in their lives.
  2. One-size-fits-all parenting doesn’t work. Modify how you parent with each child to help them connect with and find their own uniqueness.
  3. You already have everything you need – the right talents, passions and strengths – for you to have your great life.  Can you be open enough to see what you have, and courageous enough to live it? This is for both parents and kids.
  4. The greatest negative voices about us come from ourselves. We let the outside world influence what we think of ourselves. What if we were able to give ourselves and our kids permission to be who they are – with no other requirement? How might this change how you approach your life – and how you help your kids approach theirs?
  5. Give your kids permission to create their own blueprint, roadmap for life. Watch when you successfully guide them and when you are pulling or pushing them in your direction.
  6. Celebrate your kids’ differentness whenever possible. Honoring it creates a safe space for your kids to be who they really are.
  7. Security and stability are not key in your kids minds (these are in our minds as parents); what is in their minds is curiosity, adventure and exploration. This is how they discover who they are and start to find their place in their world.
  8. Millennials are most fearful of not having the freedom to be who they really are – they are most afraid of needing to blend and be like others.
  9. Ask more than tell with your kids – it creates the ability to get your kids minds to sort through information, to share their perspective and to create the safe space to discuss things. In the absence of this, they may not deal with what they feel makes them different until it becomes urgent or a problem. A high number of teen and young adult suicides come from kids being unable to discuss and deal with their uniqueness and differentness.

Some question for parents:

  1. Do you embrace your “differentness?”  How can you encourage and support your kids’ “differentness?”
  2. How can you be okay with allowing your kids to be who they really?
  3. How is your fear of our world stopping your kids from being who they really are?
  4. Could you ask your kids these questions:
  5. If there were no judgments who would you really be?
  6. If you knew the impact you could have could change the world, how would you act?
  7. How can I help you be courageous enough to think your own way?
  8. How can you see that what makes you different is what makes you great?
  9. How can I create a safe space for you to discover, understand and accept who you really are?
  10. Can you allow and support your kids to be different than what society tells you – could you accept them as gay, wanting to follow a different (or no) faith, move to another country, think about a career that isn’t in line with your thinking?
  11. What needs to change in you as a parent to be able to accept and support your kids as they are, not as you need them to be?

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Stop and Notice Challenge

Each week we ask you to stop and notice – to develop your skill of tuning in to you and your world. This week’s stop and notice challenge is:

  1.    Stop and Notice one thing that is different and unique about each of your kids. What are you doing to help them see, develop, accept and embrace it?
  2.    Stop and Notice when your fear of the world is holding your kids back from discovering and living who they are. What can you do to address this fear?
  3.    Stop and Notice the change in your kids when they are encouraged, supported and accepted to be who they are. How does this make you feel as a parent? How does this make your kids feel?
  4.    Stop and Notice how the world constantly tells you who and what you should be – and that it does it to your kids. How will all of you trust your own voices more than the loud voices of others?

We are each born just right – we get what we get – and what we get is enough to be amazing in life. To access this, we have to get better at accepting and being proud of who we are, then to create the safe space for our kids to do the same.

Suggested Resource  – Infinite Possibilities by Mike Dooley


This is a masterwork from teacher, author, and featured speaker Mike Dooley. As the next step beyond his immensely popular Notes from the Universe trilogy, and his follow up, Choose them Wisely, this book contains even more enriching wisdom for living an abundant, joyous life.

Mike Dooley knows that we create our own reality, our own fate, and our own luck. We’re beings filled with infinite possibility—just ready to explore how powerful we truly are. Manifesting the magnificence of our dreams isn’t about hard work, but rather about belief and expectation. These principles transcend belief, realizing the truth about our human nature.

Your dreams are not accidental, nor inconsequential. And if someone were tell the truth about life, reality, and the powers we all possessed, would it be recognized? Our lives are full of adventures—and not exactly the sky-diving, mountain-climbing variety—but something better. Readers will laugh, applaud, and be inspired by Mike Dooley’s wit and wisdom.

This is a great book for parents to remind them that they and their kids are filled with infinite possibilities – if they just discover, accept and live who they really are.