The Heart Of Struggle: The Leadership’s Journey

We all have experienced difficult events, emotional hurts, and serious mistakes. Life is never without struggle, and the way to live it on life’s terms is to accept ourselves as we truly are, and embrace the journey.

The heart of struggle is an important part of our leadership’s journey. It identifies our limitations and our pain—and our quest to move through them despite of them.

[quote]Life makes senses when we are centered in our heart, it leads us to our own unique journey.[/quote]

Here are some steps to follow on our path:

Awakened HEART. Many of us suffer and when we do we numb ourselves and reject what we feel, and so, we get stuck where we are. To awaken our heart is to see reality.

Committed HEART To commit our hearts is to allow whatever may come. It’s a requirement for acceptance of self.

Experiential HEART. In accepting our struggles, we experience our heart in a new way.  We observe ourselves, to find new frontiers to embrace uncertainty.

Enlightened HEART: Thoughts can become saboteurs, wounding and demonizing. Allow your heart to be the source of light that drives away the shadows.

Identified HEART. Struggle means getting rid of the old and trying on something new. To Identify your own heartbeat, your own gifts, is to bring your truest self to this task.

Returned HEART.  The returned heart is  a homecoming of sorts, its about processing what you’ve learned on your journey and sharing, teaching, and allowing others to benefit from your journey.

Our journey is filled with never ending struggles, we must meet them with an open heart.

The mind will not get you through at the heart of struggle, but getting closer to the heart’s wisdom will let us learn from its intelligence.

The heart knows what the mind struggles with.

Lead From Within: At the end of day, our suffering is a signal that we are misaligned with our calling, and it’s the heart of struggle that helps our leadership to unfold, as we put to death some parts of ourselves and give birth to something new.



N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. lollydaskal

    20. Aug, 2013

    Be loyal to the nightmares of your life’s choices.

    Reply to this comment
  2. lollydaskal

    20. Aug, 2013

    See you all on #leadfromwithin chat tonight
    THE HEART OF STRUGGLE starting at 8pm est.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Martina

    20. Aug, 2013

    Great post Lolly. Yes, the heart (and the spirit) know the way. We overthink situations and allow our doubts, negative thoughts, and the voices of others to interfere. Unfortunately too often we allow our fears to rule our actions. We demonstrate our true hearts by our ultimate action.

    This post is important in knowing and following our own hearts, as well as interacting with other people.
    “If people show you who they are, believe them.” Maya Angelou

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      20. Aug, 2013

      I hope Martina,

      You had a wonderful birthday yesterday.

      You are a stunning soul that shines bright among us.

      The distinct message of our journey is following our own heart beat to our own path. Uncover our own uniqueness

      Love the Maya Angelou quote!

      Thanks so much for your loyal support and gracious wisdom.


      Reply to this comment
  4. J. P. Lucas

    20. Aug, 2013

    Thanks Lolly – I enjoyed your post!

    You Tweeted yesterday, “We are sometimes taken into troubled waters not to drown, but to be cleansed.” What a powerful and inspiring perspective of living life from the heart! My favorite part is the opportunity “to be cleansed” within the struggle.

    When we view our struggles as opportunities, we shift our focus away from fear and unworthiness. In turn, we free ourselves to live true to our purpose and passions.

    As leaders who practice this perspective openly, we inspire others to confront their struggles with an open heart and experience the same personal growth and freedom.

    – J. P.

    Reply to this comment
  5. lollydaskal

    20. Aug, 2013

    Very true J.P.

    if we live with an open heart, we can inspire others to confront their own struggles.

    Thanks for stopping by and sharing your insight with us.

    I hope to see you tonight at #leadfromwithin.

    Looking forward to your comments.


    Reply to this comment
  6. lollydaskal

    20. Aug, 2013

    “Life is, in fact, a battle. Evil is insolent and strong; beauty enchanting, but rare; goodness very apt to be weak; folly very apt to be defiant; wickedness to carry the day; imbeciles to be in great places, people of sense in small, and mankind generally unhappy. But the world as it stands is no narrow illusion, no phantasm, no evil dream of the night; we wake up to it, forever and ever; and we can neither forget it nor deny it nor dispense with it.”
    ― Henry James

    Reply to this comment
  7. lollydaskal

    20. Aug, 2013

    When we struggle in our hearts—-all it takes is LOVE
    Because Love opens the doors into everything,
    as far as I can see, including and perhaps most of all,
    the door into one’s own secret, and often terrible and most frightening onto something great.—- our true self.


    Reply to this comment
  8. Garren Fagaragan

    20. Aug, 2013

    aloha Lolly…

    The heart of struggle…for me implies an
    inner game…an inner world of habitual
    thought and emotional patterns.

    Your steps to follow on a leaders path are
    insightful and helpful…as always.

    Yes… life provides unending situations that
    tweak our inner world.

    Personally…the key question is…how do we relate with them?

    Through meditation…like shamatha (calm abiding)
    one can relate with them like a dance rather than
    struggle…which implies a fight.

    The approach is when the outer world “churns up” our inner world…allow things to rise…move towards it gently…grab an arm and waist and dance…until the song ends.

    do this again and again…and guess what. Our
    inner world settles down…becomes our friend…
    and our true nature is revealed more and more
    giving us more confidence in that.

    thanks again…

    see you tonight on your tweetchat…

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      20. Aug, 2013

      There are two struggles:

      an Inner-world struggle and an Outer-world struggle…

      as leaders, humans, parents, teachers, spouses, lovers, partners, we must make an intentional contact between these two worlds.

      only then will we be able to mesh the one World into another which we call the HEART.

      Reply to this comment
  9. lollydaskal

    20. Aug, 2013

    True Garren,
    it is an inner journey, but much more than that too. first within; then outside with others.

    I am so happy you stopped by. I look forward to seeing you this evening.

    I hope all is well in your neck of the world.

    Reply to this comment
  10. lollydaskal

    20. Aug, 2013

    …….. struggle as an opportunity to grow.

    True struggle happens when you can sense what is not working for you and you’re willing to take the appropriate action to correct the situation.

    Those who accomplish change are willing to engage the struggle.

    Reply to this comment
  11. LaRae Quy

    20. Aug, 2013

    We don’t seem to take life as seriously as we do when we are struggling…struggle forces us to forget ourselves for a moment and dig down to find purpose behind it all. I appreciate the way that you encourage people to take a closer look at struggle and not try to whitewash it. Struggle is the only one predictable thing in this life, so we might as well learn from it.

    Thanks, Lolly!

    Reply to this comment
    • Siva

      26. Aug, 2013

      Yes, Struggle is the only predictable thing LaRae…you are right.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Panteli Tritchew

    20. Aug, 2013

    Hi Lolly:
    Many of us who face struggles tend to externalize them as something “out there.” Perhaps the reason that we struggle with compassion for others is that we don’t open our own hearts to our own selves. You have beautifully captured “the heart of struggle” that is part of the journey within. Thank you, Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Karin Hurt

    22. Aug, 2013

    Love, love, love this list. I’m not sure we’re ever fully awakened to our heart. I feel like I’m always in an awakening process.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Terri Klass

    23. Aug, 2013

    Beautiful post, Lolly! The heart of struggle can be so difficult to harness and realign in a more meaningful direction that really suits us better. I love the idea of an identified heart- saying goodbye to a past, unfulfilled life to welcoming a new one, filled with hope and promise.

    I think we all owe it ourselves to find that new direction and walk down that piece with an open heart and mind.

    Thanks for your amazing wisdom.


    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      24. Aug, 2013


      sometimes when we struggle the last thing we seem to realize we have another path, another road, all we are concerned with is the pain in the moment.

      it takes enormous discipline to move past yourself and awaken yourself to something new.

      Thanks for sharing Terri. as you know I appreciate you greatly.


      Reply to this comment
  15. john paul

    23. Aug, 2013

    . . . and the Healing Heart of a wounded warrior.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Raj Kumar Bangia

    24. Aug, 2013

    ‘Once this heart of mine was barren like a desert.Lacking in grace and lacking in life;
    Till the stream of love made it fertile,
    It was full of waste and unlovely land.
    The stream of love hath transformed my barren grounds,
    To a flower garden and a fruit orchard’

    With Love and best wishes.

    Reply to this comment
  17. Rosa

    24. Aug, 2013

    Thank you for this post. Lolly. Very timely for me in my journey I have chosen to take. Today I feel how by looking at my struggle and facing it, I am more at peace with myself. My heart beats a different beat today.

    Reply to this comment
  18. Siva

    26. Aug, 2013

    Excellent Post Lolly, I fully accept the following of what you had written “Our journey is filled with never ending struggles, we must meet them with an open heart” Looking forward to read more of your works.

    Reply to this comment
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  20. Dawood Chishti

    30. Aug, 2013

    You have realised much awaited dream of affection and love for humanity. It is is product of your passion and honesty to help others.
    Your flag may fly high upto sky!

    Dawood Chishti

    Reply to this comment
  21. Simona Rich

    29. Sep, 2013

    Hi Lolly,

    I completely agree with you that any kind of suffering is a sign that we are out of alignment with who we really are.

    I witness many people scared to show their real selves to themselves, let alone others!

    However only when this happens one can achieve inner integrity and cause a positive change in one’s life.

    Thank you for your wonderful post.

    Simona Rich

    Reply to this comment

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