Last year, I made the commitment to create a Giving Circle, seeking to have 100 friends donate $100 throughout the year to Project Forgive.

Choosing to step into this commitment challenged every cell in my being.

What would people think of me if I asked them for money?!?

Putting myself out there with a personal request felt different than having someone hire me and pay me tens of thousands of dollars.

It felt vulnerable and scary, like I was standing at the edge of a cliff. And, I had an opinion about feeling that way.

Yet, I took the leap and did it anyway.

What happened was miraculous.

Friends who walked with me during various times of my life stepped forward to join the Giving Circle and make a donation.

I also received messages from people who felt I crossed the line.

Some people unsubscribed from my newsletters.

While it didn’t feel great to receive these messages and have people withdraw, I was clear I made the right choice to take this leap of faith.

I forgave myself for feeling vulnerable and hurt. I let go of disappointment and forgave people that wrote unkindly. I released and moved forward.

Why was this essential? Because…

Forgiveness is an incredibly important element in leadership.

Years ago, I worked with a CEO who had a team filled with hurts.

As I had conversation with his team of 7 executives, I heard their stories and could see what was getting in the way was not a lack of resources or processes, rather it was conversations around forgiveness.

Today, I use the signature tool of Project Forgive, “Accepting the Apology You May Never Receive”, created by Dr. Shawne Duperon at corporate trainings and Design Your Destiny Live.

What would it be like if you carried a bag of heavy rocks all day with you and you never put them down?

This is what it feels like when you carry around an unforgiveness in your heart.

The conscious or unconscious pain tears at you physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and relationally.

You never fully move forward which is why it stymies your leadership.

Forgiveness is the one act that has the power to change your past and your future in an instant.

And, it doesn’t mean the hurt didn’t happen.

It means you aren’t willing to let the circumstance steal the joy from your life.

The first step is willingness. You have to be willing to forgive.

This year, I decided to announce the Giving Circle at my annual Design Your Destiny Live event – and launch it twice a year in February over Valentine’s day and in November over Thanksgiving. This time rather than feel scared and at the edge of a cliff, I am excited and clear because I understand that forgiveness has been the biggest gift I’ve ever given myself.


The Upside Challenge of the week is to examine a place where you are stuck in business or in your personal life. Do you see an opportunity for forgiveness? As I like to say – forgiveness cannot change the past, and it can change the future….

The world needs you and your brilliance.

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