Unapologetically BOLD: I'm not sorry for....
Leading with My Heart with Karen Markle
March 8, 2021
Do you feel like you are facing challenges that seem to have no end in sight? We all probably have and may even be experiencing it now and today's guest speaks about how leading from the heart doesn't mean there won't be suck, but there is more likely to be hope and love. That hope can be healing. That hope can help you do hard things. The hope is needed in the workplace. As a single mother to 5 amazing children and an Air Force Vet that has done a total 180-degree turn in her career, Karen will speak with us about why leading with the heart matters.
Do you feel like you are facing challenges that seem to have no end in sight?

We all probably have and may even be experiencing it now and today's guest speaks about how leading from the heart doesn't mean there won't be suck, but there is more likely to be hope and love. 

That hope can be healing.
That hope can help you do hard things.
The hope is needed in the workplace.

As a single mother to 5 amazing children and an Air Force Vet that has done a total 180-degree turn in her career, Karen will speak with us about why leading with the heart matters. 

About the guest: 
An Air Force Veteran & single parent raising 5 incredible human beings, she knows firsthand what it means to persevere through difficulties and challenges that feel as if there is no end in sight. She has spent over 20 years working in the senior healthcare industry that taught her the importance of listening first to understand, then moving forward once the dust settled. Karen is a coach and writer that is passionate about helping others find their voice and the confidence to push through the challenges of life.

[00:00:02] spk_0: this is This show is brought to you by Safety FM. Welcome to unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for If you are a person that is tired of apologizing for being you, you know the human part of you that sometimes feels like it has to be different at home versus work versus play. The human side that just wants to be hot, humble, open and transparent about your wants, desires and uniqueness. If you answered yes, this is for you. Join me, Emily Elrod as I dive into conversations with Amazing Guest. About what? That you're not sorry for And creative and loving ways Let's get started. Welcome dramatically. We're back for another unapologetically bold I'm not sorry for. And I am so excited today to have one of my good friends that make Karen Karen. Welcome, Thio.

[00:01:03] spk_1: Emily. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me here. I'm super excited to be here today.

[00:01:08] spk_0: Karen, tell us a little bit about yourself, and then we'll jump into what? You're not sorry for

[00:01:13] spk_1: sure in a nutshell. What I do right now is I am a confidence coach, and I also co host a talk show that we offer once a week. It's called the Positivity chats I co hosted with Steve Sullivan, and it's really amazing what God is doing through that through me. But, yeah, I work with people to help them to develop their confidence, help them to re establish the value principle. And, to me, the value principles that regardless of where you are in your life, whether you're in the value at the top of the mountain, you still have value. And a lot of times people forget that. And God's given me the ability to speak wonderful words of encouragement and hope into people when they're in those tough spots and help them to restore their confidence. So that's kind of what I dio

[00:02:04] spk_0: and to speak a little bit more because I know a little bit about your past and to say why you can speak so boldly about these things. If you can give just a little back story on why you can one speak about it into the kind of the trials and tribulations that how your messes went into a message.

[00:02:24] spk_1: Sure, sure, sure. I mean, it's actually kind of interesting. I was on a call earlier this morning, and we touched a little bit about my background story that unfortunately, I have had to deal with the taste or the sting of racism. And I experienced that as a child. And when I was a kid, I was made to feel like I had no value like I didn't matter. It was largely just because I looked different and I didn't realize at the time my parents, my family, they're Christians, and they were always trying to speak life into myself and my siblings. But racism is really just such a horrible thing that people don't really understand unless you've been a victim of it. But carrying that on through my young adult life, I found myself involved in a toxic relationship so that racism had already created a doorway for additional negative experiences to kind of really eventually erase my self esteem, my self confidence and it led me to feeling like for a long, long time that I had no value. I was doing great things on the outside so people would look at me and they say, Oh, Karen, you're so good at this, blah, blah, blah. But inside I felt like I was garbage, and it took a lot of prayers and support. But the Lord really blessed me and put me back together because after my divorce, I was left into basically a pile of just shattered bones. My parents saw me. They my mom was crying. She couldn't believe how I was just a shell of a person. But again, it was the prayers of my family, my support, my church family. At the time, that really helped me. My faith brought me back to a place that not only did God restore me to where I was before, all of the negative, he actually has helped me to grow past what I was. So I mean, I'm like on fire today, I told the person, I feel like I'm a fiery Bush and I love being able to tell people, especially when they're down in the valley and they feel like everything is going wrong in their life. They still have value, and when you know you have value, I mean because there's value and there's worth, and that's a whole separate issue. But the value piece that so many people are looking externally for, they're looking to other people they're looking to the world for when you know that you have value. It's amazing what you can do, and you can get yourself to do even when the cards are stacked against you. So that's why I'm so passionate about that.

[00:05:06] spk_0: And I think that's very important to know on the aspect. And I think it really brings into what you're not sorry for. And so I'm gonna ask you, Karen, what are you no longer apologizing for?

[00:05:17] spk_1: Well, thank you, Emily. I am not sorry for leading with my heart. I used to have people kind of look at me like you can't really be genuine. Karen, You you're You're too good to be true because I speak from my heart. Um, and a lot of times when I speak from my heart, all of these really amazing things come out of my mouth, and it's just like they make people feel good instantly. And it's never, um that I spend time thinking I don't There's no agenda behind what I say, and that's the best part about it. It truly is. I've allowed myself to become a vessel for God to operate through. So when I meet people, whether I've known them for 10 years or known them for 10 seconds. If I get an opportunity to talk to them, God has always given me an on time word that can come straight from my heart. That will help that person in that moment. And and I used to feel bad about it because people were like Karen, you, you're not being really You're not being sincere and it used to offend me that people would say that. And now I'm old enough to know I don't have to care

[00:06:24] spk_0: on. And that's so true, though its's the thing that sometimes happens, especially people of faith. And and even if you're not a faith, it's speaking from the heart of love and being kind and being patient, being honest with people in a way that is without an agenda. And I think that's the big part that comes from it is your not coming. This is my assumption and I know you so I can actually say this aspect. You're not coming toe convert anybody. You're coming from a aspect that you just wanna be alike, and I think this is very important in business aspect. As well and also life. How many and of how many of us are not bold in our spiritual walks in our heart walks and how we truly feel about things. And so and it's more than a feeling. I feel like it's more, and I guess that's something I wanna dobbin before we get started. What is even leading with your heart mean?

[00:07:24] spk_1: You know, that is kind of a difficult question for people to really wrap their brain around, because it was something that I didn't even realize. I was just doing naturally until I started having conversations with especially people in the faith community, and I really began to understand that more. But leading with the heart really means, um, when you allow what comes up in your heart to be what comes out of your mouth, and that is a loaded answer because it really is conditioned upon what your heart is, how your heart is. Postured is really everything. What is in your heart? What is in a person's heart will almost always betray who they are and how they are by the things that come out of their mouth and the actions that they display towards others. And if you're a person who is filled with a lot of negativity, you see it in either the words that they say are the actions that they do or don't do or don't say. Likewise, If you're a person whose heart is filled with love and kindness and all the great things about life, you don't have to necessarily say anything. You could just display action and people will know your heart is centered, right? Mm.

[00:08:36] spk_0: And I love that, too, because it makes me think of this is kind of a deeper talk. But I had a conversation with a few coaches, actual sports team coaches, and one of the things that they are experiencing is like and and I also have this conversation with leaders. It is whenever they got into the leadership, whenever they got into the coaching world, that they thought they were just supposed to like work on techniques. Let's work on this one was a gymnast coach, and the other one was a baseball coach and, like hey, how to do a back handspring right or form or a full or whatever. That technique that they're working or baseball like making sure that they're swinging all the way through. Um, yeah, they had one where one of the poor girl's was molested. Yeah, in having things that were placed in their heart that they didn't know that was there. That is another thing. And and that's the reason why I think this is such a big subject to because there's a lot of leaders and there's a lot of people walking around with things in their heart that they do not know how to do. Like like I said, He's like, I came here and I thought I was just gonna coach, you know, and I had another one and he's like coaching is only about 50% of it, and he's in a high pressure d one college and the things that these kids were asked, they feel they feel like they have to do and the struggles from the core. And so that's the thing that I think is important with leading with your heart and leading specifically with what it says. My heart, it's it's ours. It's what we put in it, not what others place upon it. If that makes sense. So let's talk about that for I call him core values. That's really what heart is. It's like, what are the things that really ticks my like and make me basically create a filter for my decisions? So for you, What? What is that? How can you tell somebody or invite them to practically lead from the heart?

[00:10:47] spk_1: Well, I like I'm gonna answer this kind of a little bit by touching on something you just said about, You know, the things that we put inside of us, You know, your heart is really conditioned by the filters, if you will. The things that you allow yourself to be exposed to, right. So if you are constantly feeding yourself, you're well placing yourself in environments that are going to eventually give life to that air goto birth types of behaviors, ideologies that are not positive, that are not about uplifting others. You have to know at some point down the road the right circumstances, they're gonna be put before you so that whatever you put into your heart is gonna blossom. And many times these things are deeply rooted and you don't even know that you've been exposed to it. Part of those issues come from I like to say a fence That's a really great one. Offenses are, um, really damaging seeds that if you don't deal with it, when you get offended by somebody from the very beginning, it will get planted in your heart and over time, with each additional offensive gets very deeper and deeper. You have this case that goes around your heart makes you cold. It changes you into somebody else. But part of what it also does is it gives life to unforgiveness and resentment and bitterness and anger. And I could go on and on about that, which is what you don't want. What you need to do is always be mindful of who you're speaking with. Who do you spend time with? What are you talking about when you're with these people? You know, for me, values for me are about ethics and about integrity and honesty. And this word is used way too much. But it still is true being your authentic self because when you're talking about leading from your heart and your heart, I'm a firm believer your heart will never betrayed. You can go out there. You can try to present this false front, but your heart, because it is filled with everything that you've been allowing it to be exposed to, will still project something different. If you're not being authentic and people know how to spot a fraud, you can dress up nice. You can say all the right words, but there's this feeling we get, and I feel like it is the Holy Spirit with it. Talks thio, everybody, whether you are a believer or not, it's that quiet, still voice that tells you Hey, that person, what they're saying that something is not right. I see them smiling. That sounds right, but something's telling me it's not lining up. I would tell somebody if I was having a conversation. Listen to that little voice that you hear, because there's probably a lot of truth going on, and usually when time goes on, we are able to see truth come to the forefront because things begin to unravel down the road. So I don't know if that answers your question directly, but goodness gracious, we have got to be careful what we're listening to who were spending time with even things that we're reading. We have to be careful. You've got to guard your heart. Isn't it saying the word of God that out of your heart springs forth the words of life, and I may not be quoting the scripture accurately, but it is so true. Everything that we put in our hearts, it does dictate how we go through life, whether it's good or it's bad. It also is the thing that is going to ensure that we have a longer life, so make sure you have your heart filled with good things.

[00:14:25] spk_0: Hey, man, and that's there's so many things I hear on that one. I hear boundaries. I hear a fence and it actually makes me think of two part. I give Mike Todd transformation. Church is actually but that hot that I say for us to be humble, open and transparent, that actually comes from his, um, well, from the churches. That's that's what their mission is. And I'm like, I love that because I think it's the authentic and that's something that my goal is is to be humble, open and transparent. But to connect that back with the fence, he did an amazing illustration on this, and again, it doesn't matter if you're a faith or not, these air still values that every human wants. From a physiological perspective, our body craves this. This is how we were designed. It's actually called oxytocin. And so that connection I called the love hormone in the body. But all that to say is he had an illustration and was talking about a fence on how we have one fence and literally he had his crew come put a fence up around him and yeah, yeah, and then you put barbed wire and like and how you're missing some of the blessings that could happen your life because of the fences that we've placed around ourselves around our heart. And so I think that's really important. And also from the physiology perspective and how were designed is that we talk about sleep, food, mood and movement. They have a lot of power over us, but the thing that actually has even more power is our environment in that being are so fear of influence that has a major impact on what puts into our heart. And how it can change is, I think that is a social dilemma. The new Netflix Siri's. It talks a lot about the engineering. And here's this. I say this as a slight. Those are the things that I know how to do. But I don't want Thio to a point. I do want to inspire people. I don't want to manipulate them. And that's how I feel like you. Could you a lot of people can and do do it to manipulate. And so if that's controlling us, then other things. They're controlling us. We and then we have a fences around us. There's a lot going on. And so right now somebody is listening to this and they're like, Lord, have mercy. I am in state of overwhelmed eso I wanna back off for a minute and talk a little bit more about leading with your heart and how it's a practical approach and it's actually less overwhelming when you do it. So yeah, I think the easiest Well, I think the easiest

[00:17:01] spk_1: way for people Thio lead with their heart is just think about what's on your mind when you start the day. I mean, I was having a conversation with someone last week and I was talking about somebody that I reached out to that I had been meaning to reach out to for a long, long time. And I just allowed other things to get in the in the way. And that was an example of me leading with my heart. Finally, because, you know, I feel like the Lord put this person on my heart for reason. I didn't know if they were going through any difficult time or not, but it was something so easy. I told myself in one of the individuals that I ended up doing that with was probably my oldest friends. I've known her for over 30 years, and there has been a period of time where we don't always talk is frequently. But for the last several weeks she'd been on my heart that I should reach out and talk two. And I had, like about 20 minutes in between some calls on Friday and I said, You know what? I'm just gonna pick up the phone and I'm going to call her. I don't even know what she's doing. I don't know she's available, she answered on the very first ring, which never happens, and we had the absolute best call in that 20 minutes, and she was able to be encouraged by just me thinking of her, and I was encouraged by what she would share with me, and it come to find out she had been thinking about calling me at the same time. So that's just a very practical way of me leading with my heart. That's something that all of us have the ability to do. You get up in the morning, or maybe you're at your desk and you're thinking about Oh, I should just, um, go pick up something special or nice for my wife or your significant other, and it doesn't have to be like you're spending lots of money. It's just when those thoughts of you wanting to do something nice for someone and really just the thought. People don't always need to have a gift if you call them and you just say, Hey, I was thinking of you sometimes that is such a powerful statement and you don't even realize in that moment that person was going through some difficulty moment, and they just needed to know that somebody else was out there thinking about them. So that's those are some practical ways,

[00:19:15] spk_0: and I love that for us how we I said earlier. Oxytocin. It's it's to find those oxytocin releases, and that's one of the best ones. It's whenever you have those moments, find a way to bond with somebody because you never know you. And that's the thing again, if you wanna everybody that if you listen to my show, you know where my heart is. You know what? God's me. But even if you take that out, whatever you have that moment, do it. Yeah, I feel like you call it intuition. If you want. It's an inside and knowing that's deeper and it and it does. I feel like it does stem from the heart. And then also the other thing is is, Look for those what we call again oxytocin release is so again it's bonding. So handwritten notes, uh, gratitude. Find ways that you can care for others. And we joked before this and she said something. She said she spoke my love language like huge minds, words of affirmation. So you could tell me I'm amazing all day and I'm just gonna be like, uh, thank you. We're my husband's is not totally opposite. And so I was laughing. We were laughing before this because ad, for some reason Oh, opposites attract. It's just what it is I found. And so, But with that, I have, ah, found that finding ways that we can speak together and knowing what his is and knowing what mine is and doing that with your people, like the people you work with is very important. All my people first thing First day, let me know what your love languages. Um, if you don't know what your love languages here's here, go take a test because I need to know what it is because if not, I'm naturally going to lean towards what I say. And I think that's again going with leading with the heart and finding connections. And so talk about a time when you have lead with your heart and it worked out for the better. And how it was something that you like. Yes, I'm finally walking out doing this boldly.

[00:21:32] spk_1: Yes, yes, yes. Um, I have a client who is really struggling with their self confidence, and it seems like every time we get together, um, I see them making some improvements. But then I hear the making comments and statements that kind of or like, Wait a minute, what happened here? And so over the last week, after I met with this client, I just felt in my heart that I needed to just send them a little email that just said out of the blue that I was thinking of them and I wanted to check in and their response when they thought they wrote back to me, probably within a couple of hours, their response made me practically fall off the chair. Because this client is the type of just very logical they're, you know, they're all about. If you tell me to do this, I'll do that. And it's just very in the box. And I'm a little bit more touchy feely kind of who you know, but

[00:22:30] spk_0: in a good

[00:22:30] spk_1: way, of course. Um, but anyways, I wasn't expecting them to respond at all, because all the other times they haven't really been responsive. But when they responded back, they said, Oh, my goodness, Karen, thank you so much for sending this message because it let me know that somebody cares about me. And I had no idea that they were feeling that way, especially at that exact moment. I mean, I kind of picked up on different things we've been working on whenever we would meet, But in that moment, I didn't know they were feeling that way. And when I got that message back, I felt like Thank you. Lord, I'm so glad I listened to you because it was just kind of an all of a sudden. Just send them a little note. It wasn't long. It was just Hey, I'm proud of the hard work that you're doing. Thanks for doing it. Even if you feel like you're not, you know, making all of the successes that you want, you're still showing up. You're still trying, and you need to applaud yourself for that. And they were just like, Wow, thank you so much. And I was like, thank you for helping me to just be doing what you've created me do. And I didn't worry about if they're gonna think it's too like religious, or I kind of left that out the door a little while ago. I just said, You know what? This is who God made me to be. You really like me or you're not like agenda is not to make everyone like me, but give

[00:23:57] spk_0: me a little

[00:23:57] spk_1: bit of time. You're gonna like me because you're like the things that I say. I mean, I can't help it. So that's just how it always works out. You know, it's just that

[00:24:08] spk_0: I love that and I love the heart that, like, even speaking with it, So you need my listeners listening. And right now, like you have got to be able to tell you have a heart that cares and loves and serves others. And that's what I'm so blessed to continue to get to know you mawr and the work that we learn and grow. Um, I'm just I'm just grateful for you, for all of that. So I know that we're coming right at our in time. So I do have a question for people that are apologizing for leading with their heart. What would you tell them?

[00:24:49] spk_1: Very simply, Stop apologizing just that simple. I mean, if you are leading with your heart, you are doing it the way that it's meant to be. We're all created in the image of God. Everything that God does comes from his heart. He is a heart that is built and is overfilled, the overflowing with love. And when people lead with their heart, especially when it's positive things, that air coming out of their heart, they're basically just a a vessel of God. They're an extension of God and think about that. I mean, whether you believe in you believe in God or not, that's still something pretty incredible to know that you have an opportunity to be a vessel for God, right? Just by saying something nice to the person behind you, like their hat. I do that all the time. My kids get a little weird. They look at me sometimes because I'll see somebody who has a really cool coat. I

[00:25:43] spk_0: won't even know

[00:25:44] spk_1: them. I'll just go up to him and I got I absolutely love your coat and they just looked at me like my kids, or like on the person is like Oh my gosh, And

[00:25:55] spk_0: in that moment they

[00:25:57] spk_1: feel like they're a rock star. So if you lead with your heart, I say Keep doing it, Keep doing it. You never know who you're touching more importantly, and I'm a big believer in this, people watch us all the time and many times they're people that we don't know that we will never interact with that are watching us. And then they're taking something from what they see. So lead with your heart. If that's how you are, posture, keep doing it. You are changing people's lives. People, you know, and people you don't.

[00:26:29] spk_0: Yeah, I love it. You're being a glow stick, a dark world. You're giving, um, a part of yourself and understanding that for me it is just like there's that saying, If if you have a smile like pass it on, you know, one, it's cool because there's mirror neurons in your brain that actually will pass it on. So I smile. You're gonna smile. I know how that works. It's pretty awesome again. Physiology for the when. But all that to say is there's these cool things of just passing on kindness. And there's this song that says, Basically, when did kindness becomes so revolutionary? And that's my thing, especially in this season right now. Just pass it on past kindness on leave from your heart and make sure that you have what's in your heart is that kindness? And if it doesn't. You can't be kind of others if you're not kind of yourself, can't you don't love yourself. Can't lead others if you don't leave yourself so those kind of things to that I would, um because it is, it is. What's in your heart will come out of your mouth.

[00:27:44] spk_1: And also, I'd like to add one quick little note here to a lot of times, people who leave with their hearts sometimes have trouble accepting kindness back, so I would encourage anyone that is listening to you watching this. If that is, you learn how to receive the kindness that is coming your way. Because guess what? It's payback time, right? You. So you reap what you sow when you are out there sowing kindness all over the place. You should not be surprised when it comes back to you, and sometimes it might take a while. But when it comes back, it's usually gonna be even more than what you put out there. It can be hard in the beginning, but receive it, receive it, receive it. That was a lesson that was really hard for me to learn a long time ago, but now I'm just like, OK, I mean, not to the point that American, but I'm like if someone wants toe do something nice for me now, I allow them to. That's their way of trying toe. Also do what we do naturally. Let them do it.

[00:28:46] spk_0: Uh, amen to that one. Because that was a big one. That could be a whole another Siris in itself. And there is, uh, what Shonda Rhimes? Your Yes, she talked about that, too. And just how in a four and a room full of women that were top top people in the movie industry How none of them could take a compliment. But I feel like that that specifically I could speak as a woman because I am, um, that saying, taking compliments. It's taken me years to say thank you. Shut the mouth, you know exactly on. And it's like and the thing is, is, uh if you give it out, some people may be awkward with it. And what I felt people a lot of times is receive it because it's true. That's right. And so, if you if if you can give it, give it If you need it, reach out to some of your people that may can give it easily. Find ways that sources and be careful if you're watching negative or listening to negativity like you said Karen. So I think those were some amazing tips. And I am so blessed that you came on today and thank you all that we'll listen in later. I hope you have an amazing and blessed day. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of unapologetically Bold. I'm not sorry for If this touch shoot anyway, please like and subscribe and share with your friends as we continue the message of being unapologetically bold, Bobby and hot humans who are humble, open and transparent. See you next time.