Welcome to the Live Boldly blog, a curated space where Christopher D. Connors shares his expert perspectives on navigating the complexities of leadership in today's dynamic world. Here, you'll find a blend of thought-provoking articles, practical advice, and innovative strategies designed to enhance your leadership and life journey and inspire excellence in your personal and professional life.

The Hard Truth of Becoming Your Best Self
5 min read
min read

The Hard Truth of Becoming Your Best Self

Embracing your true self and living the life that brings joy, peace and fulfillment to your heart and soul should be the end goal.

Embracing your true self.

Becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be.

Literally being yourself- the person and career woman or man that you most want to be.

What does that look like?

For many of us, the biggest piece of the puzzle is always getting to the knowing. As we continue to search for deeper meaning, we feel the desire to make a declaration. “I am…”

We know that being in the right mindset is so powerful. We know that visualizing ourselves and speaking positive affirmations over our lives is life-changing. It completely changes our perspective and the way we see ourselves- as well as how others see us.

Gaining this clarity means knowing who we really are, why that matters, how we’re going to get where we want to be, and what we need to do about it.

It means walking through that door, embracing your true self and living the life that brings joy, peace and fulfillment to your heart and soul.

Can you walk through that door? Are you willing to do what it takes to get to that space?

Surely, it won’t be easy. Because growth never is. And that’s really what I’m talking about.

The Hard Truth of Personal Growth

“We have the choice of two identities: the external mask which seems to be real…and the hidden, inner person who seems to us to be nothing, but who can give himself eternally to the truth in whom he subsists.” — Thomas Merton

Growth is hard.

Sometimes it feels like all anyone ever looks at is the results. The outcomes. The “bottom line” value that very often is quantifiable.

They don’t see the blood, sweat, tears, anxiety, fears, battles — and inner-triumphs that change the course of our lives forever!

We know that deep-down, we’re growing. We want others to see this and recognize it. And when we perceive that others don’t seem to care, we get worried. It bothers us.

How could that be?! Can’t you see me growing over here!

And this lack of validation and affirmation can lead to self-criticism and negative self-judgment.

Let’s face it- a lot of the judgement we put on ourselves is self-imposed. Every one of us is trying to grow. But the worst possible thing we can is sabotage ourselves on our road to trying to better our lot in life!

I can tell you from my experience, this is exactly what once happened to me. I thought I was growing. I thought I was walking through that door and into the life of my dreams. The truth is, I was dwelling, at times, in the past. I was getting far too anxious about my future.

I was the ultimate critic of myself and it was to my detriment.

I was barely giving myself room to breathe on the inside. Eventually, I came up for air. I started to see things more clearly. What I learned from my struggles was to stop beating myself up. I assure you- the world is going to do enough of that for us.

Be Willing to Try Again

If you’ve ever tried to succeed at anything in life, you probably haven’t achieved your goal on the first try. Maybe you did. But I bet you didn’t on the second or third try. Nothing worth achieving comes easy. It’s a fight to get what is truly great. It’s a fight to reclaim the life we want for ourselves. To know ourselves and be the best possible person we can be.

Growth isn’t easy.

It’s a harsh reality of life, but one that we’re best equipped to embrace and manage. We all want to move forward and on to the next level of our development. We will. And we WILL sustain the gains along the way. We have to realize that walking through that door means doing so with a clear mind, focus, discipline, confidence and conviction.

Don’t look back. Stop worrying. And ditch the excuses.

There’s a whole lot of living to do. It starts with you. Embrace yourself for everything that you are and everything you want to be. If you’re not yet where you hoped you’d be, please keep focusing on doing your best every day with love and joy in your heart. That choice is always within your control.

You can walk through that door. You just have to take the first step.

Learn more about finding your best self and get great tips on living your best life:

How to Dramatically Improve Your Productivity Each Day
5 min read
min read

How to Dramatically Improve Your Productivity Each Day

The most successful people speak positive words and goals over their lives to feed their subconscious mind and then visualize their success.

Productivity is a three-part process that will make or break your success. This begins with thought creation, then commitment (verbal or written) and then taking action and following through. The true joy of any process is the doing part. Success comes when you improve your skills and continue forward with consistency, repetition, and a positive mindset.

In this article, I will focus specifically on the second phase of productivity: Commitment.

This is where you can make or break your day. You need a plan — this is the key to habit making and it’s what ensures your success. First, the speaking part:

We can speak positively over our lives in two ways: 1) Actually speaking the words and 2) Sending the same words from our mind into our subconscious mind via, “the voice inside our head.” Both are powerful ways to build faith. Napoleon Hill once perfectly summed up the subconscious part:

“Auto-suggestion is the agency of control through which an individual may voluntarily feed his subconscious mind on thoughts of a creative nature, or, by neglect, permit thoughts of a destructive nature to find their way into this rich garden of the mind.”

The key here is to speak positively and to do this in the morning, afternoon, and evening — all throughout the day. The most successful people practice auto-suggestion to feed their subconscious mind, in an effort to fuel their success. Verbalize the words. Write them down and make a commitment.

Then, let the voice inside your head play these back in a positive, re-affirming way. You can begin here:

Plan Your Day the Night Before

I’m glad that no one keeps a tally of the number of unsuccessful days I’ve lived. Frankly, I’m willing to bet we could all agree to that. What I can tell you is, the unsuccessful days have been the ones that I did not plan. As I have grown over the years in my career, I have dramatically reduced those unsuccessful days by following one simple step:

I have planned my day the previous night.

I recommend that you list out goals that you aim to accomplish each week. Then, highlight the tasks that you want to accomplish each day using the Time Management Quadrant below originally developed by former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Eisenhower Matrix

You can choose to put these into time slots, depending on whether you use a daily planner or simply a task or milestone list for the day. Once you have something in writing, you’ve made an actionable commitment to getting it done.

Always allow yourself the ability to adapt and change if it’s in your best interest to do so. As the great (if not somewhat crazy) Mike Tyson once said,

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Chances are, you won’t need to dodge monster right hooks over the course of your day, but you will encounter adversity and changes that force you to adapt and modify your plan.

Read Your Plan Out Loud

Reading your plan helps you process the information and store it in your conscious and subconscious mind. No matter how good you think your short or long-term memory is, if you don’t write or read your plan, you will forget some information. Recognizing new opportunities is a skill that comes to those who have a clear, prepared mind.

When you visualize what you want to do, you have an image in your imagination. Your imagination gives birth to the ideas, goals, and plans that you have. Suddenly, you have a vivid picture of seeing yourself successfully carry out your goals for the day. As the great Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

The real question is, how committed are you to your success?

Join my newsletter for emotional intelligence and productivity content! and Check out my Amazon bestseller, Emotional Intelligence for the Modern Leader.

How to Productively Manage Negative and Positive Emotions
5 min read
min read

How to Productively Manage Negative and Positive Emotions

One of the greatest revelations is the recognition that we can use positive and negative emotions to propel us toward a life fulfillment and success.

There’s no such thing as “good” or “bad” emotions.

While that may seem a bit hard to digest at first blush, it’s something that proves itself to be true time and again. It isn't until you accept mistakes and failure as building blocks for success that you realize a blessing these negative emotions can be. Until you truly immerse yourself in the positive emotions of life, you cannot reap the rewards that come with adopting that mindset. It's truly about how productively you manage your negative and positive emotions. That's what emotionally intelligent people do well to live a rewarding life and career.

Earlier in my career, I was very much inspired by the incredible real-life story of the amazing, J.K. Rowling.

Before writing the first Harry Potter novel, J.K. Rowling lived with tremendous stress, often questioning herself. She almost let fear, disappointment, anguish and anger consume her. She endured terrible physical and emotional abuse from her ex-husband.

She viewed herself as a failure. Both personally and professionally, it was a bitter fall for a woman who had high expectations of herself. She knew she loved to write- and certainly had a talent for writing- but she was struggling with some internal demons.

How dire did her situation get? She was clinically-diagnosed with depression and even thought about taking the gravest action possible- committing suicide.

Yet incredibly, her drastic circumstances led her to write more and more. She grew out of the depths of depression and used these negative emotions to her advantage.

One of the greatest revelations we will find in our lives is the recognition that we can use positive and negative emotions to propel us toward a life fulfillment and success. Anger can be used to our advantage. So can awe, gratitude and pride, as well as sadness and guilt. Great success stories are built on frustration, anger, fear and pain, as well as wonder, faith and inspiration.

Similarly, hope and joy can catalyze us and lift us to new heights.

I’ll focus here on four common negative emotions that we can use and offer ways on how to recognize them through self-awareness and emotional intelligence:


The music of my youth reminds me that Zac de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine was right — “Anger is a gift.” It’s a very hard lesson to learn in life, but I’ve found it to be true. While anger can slice and wound us, it can also serve as a remarkable foundation that we can use to our advantage. The key here is to never actively want to live in an angry mindset.

Anger is more of an emotion that we are forced to react to, usually due to circumstances that occur to us. A prime example of this would be someone telling us we’re not good enough. Not getting the executive promotion we want. Having our startup idea rejected.

When these things happen, we can go in a lot of different ways. When we take on this anger, we can use it as powerful fuel to help motivate and inspire us. If we have clear direction in what we know we need to do next, anger can be the force that surges us forward. If you have an opportunistic mindset, anger can truly be a gift.


First things first, I ask you, what are you afraid of? Deep down — in your subconscious thoughts, what do you truly fear? The longer I’ve lived, the more I’ve realized that fear is most definitely a mislabeled emotion.

This piece from Harvard Business Review, by Matt Brubaker and Foster Mobley, takes into account four great ways to combat fear. It’s an excellent step-by-step process to incorporate emotional intelligence and break down four parts of fear and how this cycle manifests itself in our lives:

Step 1: Acknowledge the Fear
Step 2: Interrogate the fear to better understand it
Step 3: Choose a different course of action
Step 4: Act on that choice — in a way that aligns with your values”

Attributes like acknowledging, confronting and choosing action and commitment are essential for dealing with fear. This brings out our self-awareness, empathy, self-care and the courage to combat fear. Absolutely essential for living life on our terms.


What leave you in awe? Think about that!

I think of the remarkable places I’ve been. The experiences of seeing my three children for the first time and continuing to live my dream of supporting my family through my entrepreneurial efforts. Think about the music, the romance with your partner, the events, family moments, achievements and more that have left you in awe.

Summon the magic of those moments and let them shower you with warmth, love, peace of mind and excitement. This visualization can empower, motivate and inspire you to work toward your goals each day. They can also bring life to your relationships.


I speak here about the good kind of pride — the one that give you a feeling of contentment, conviction and self-respect. Pride can re-assure us that we’re creating and doing things that are in alignment with what we value. Doing a kind act for someone else. I think of this always when I dedicate each day as a tribute to my family that I deeply love.

What are you proud about? Could be people, accomplishments, an activity or hobby of yours. Embrace this.

And embrace all of your emotions so that you can use them to your advantage.

Looking to be a more emotionally intelligent leader? Reach out to me here:

The 3 Essential Keys for Building a Successful Career
5 min read
min read

The 3 Essential Keys for Building a Successful Career

To position yourself for a career of success on your terms, it is vital to have a philosophy around what you hope to be, and what you intend to accomplish.

To best position yourself for a life of happiness and success on your terms, it is vital to have a philosophy around what you hope to be, and what you intend to accomplish.

Some people call this a creed. I call it, establishing yourself. This is a written documentation that establishes three things:

  1. Your purpose
  2. Your direction
  3. The substance of things that matter to you

Your purpose — or your raison d’être — is the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing with your life. I encourage you to look at this from a blank slate in order to get to the brass-tacks truth of what you really want your mission to be in life. This should be organic and developed only by you — free and unfettered from any influences or emotions of the moment.

Your direction is the process — and the actions you must take in order to fulfil the requirements of your plan. Too often people doubt themselves because they don’t think they’re ready to begin moving in the direction of what they want to accomplish.

They think it’s not their time, they’re lacking in a particular area or they’re too young. They’re hindered by limiting beliefs which beget doubt and fear.

Oftentimes, it simply makes sense to begin even with very tiny steps toward completing tasks and goals that match up with your purpose. This is where writing out your goals and putting them into a plan comes in.

This is your direction — the compass that will guide you when life gets in the way, you’re too busy, too tired or hungry. Planning is essential.

‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.’ — Maya Angelou

The substance of things that matter to you are part and parcel of your purpose and should be incorporated, as much as possible, into what you do each day. These are the core values, principles, people and things that bring enthusiasm and passion into your life. Also, the beliefs or activities that get you excited and mean something to you.

In other words — as Bono once sang, “all that you can’t leave behind.”

The Power of Planning

Successful businesses, schools, hospitals, sports teams and individuals begin by stating their goals and addressing how they intend to achieve them.

These collective individuals understand the importance of accountability and the power behind committing to a specific philosophy. They understand their purpose — what dedicating time and effort to a cause means and what taking ownership over something is all about.

Equally as important as writing a creed is to define — for yourself — what your definition of success is. Never let anyone else define success for you. You should always take the time to do this for yourself.

In a competitive landscape, it’s easy to be concerned with how others are doing. To stress and worry about such things is natural. It’s human.

But when you have established yourself, you’ll realize the power behind deciding for yourself how successful you can and will be. Your definition of success serves as the foundation for all future attempts at becoming who you hope to be. Several years ago, I wrote mine. Here it is:

‘To live each moment to the fullest by having a positive attitude, a smile and a genuine enjoyment for life, while giving everything I have to love the people and environment around me and make it a better place.’

You’ll notice that this is indeed a philosophy, a high-level view of how I’d like to conduct myself in this world, and a few of the actions I’d like to take. This is not a series of marching orders or specific goals intended for a short duration. Your philosophy is strategic, while short-term goal setting is tactical.

Setting goals helps you focus on specific things you aim to accomplish and how you plan to accomplish them. The creed is crucial for establishing the things that matter to you. This leads to the development of your own personal values and principles.

“Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission.” — Zig Ziglar

There have likely been millions of thought impulses that have flashed through your mind during the course of your life — even for those of you in your teen years. These thought impulses are acted upon, left in the recesses of your subconscious mind or ignored. Your thoughts lead to your life’s experiences and those experiences are often shared in the company of others.

All of these things have an enormous impact on how you make decisions. Your decisions will impact your course in life and whether you will find yourself happy, ambivalent or disappointed.

When I think back to putting together my philosophy, I reminisce about past relationships, experiences, thought impulses and emotions. I think of the times when I’ve been happiest, times I’ve been down, moments of peace and distress, and the times I’ve found my greatest inspiration. My inspiration is derived from my core philosophy.

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history.” — Mahatma Gandhi

My motivation comes from the “fire” inside of me, the indescribable power that fuels my dreams and inner creativity. I acknowledge this “fire” as a gift that God has given me — a beautiful divine power that I believe all of us can tap into if we have the desire and we believe.

This power will lead us to personal freedom, greater clarity of thought, vitality and energy to bring into our everyday lives. All this requires is a willingness to believe in yourself, and the desire to get to the core of what fuels your inner fire. Introspection and deep, personal reflection are key to living a life of freedom.

They help us to analyze our experiences and thoughts, and determine how we can use them to our future advantage. They provide us with a greater sense of direction and purpose.

Once you have established yourself, you will become more confident, stronger in your convictions and you’ll have greater passion for living. You will begin living your future destiny.

The 7 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People
5 min read
min read

The 7 Habits of Emotionally Intelligent People

These are the habits of emotionally intelligent people. They will help you live a fulfilling, productive and happy life — on your terms.
“I just wanted to let you know I was thinking of you.”

Those words are a reminder that empathy and kindness are two of the greatest gifts we will receive in life. I’ve had the good fortune of receiving these gifts for a long time now. The kindness has rubbed off on me in many ways, filtering down to the way I treat my clients, my family and friends. Those words above were from the woman that raised me — my mother.

When I was growing up, my Mom taught me how to treat myself and others with respect. She let me know that I’d need to adapt to the changing world around me, and encouraged me to think introspectively and learn about myself. It was crazy to think it possible that life could be any other way. I had a role model that lived her life with love, class and grace.

My mother is also an author, of sorts. Oh yeah — she’s the Maya Angelou of greeting cards. You pick a holiday — even ones that are a bit silly — and she’s got you covered.

St. Patrick’s Day ✔️

Valentine’s Day ✔️

Easter — you betcha ✔️

Labor Day… all right, let’s not get crazy. But you get the point!

Her handwritten cards were — and still are — a reminder to enjoy each moment — to make each occasion special. It’s helped me commit these times to memory and cherish the kindness and love that makes the “little things” in life such a huge part of living.

My Mom has shown me time and again what it means to live an emotionally intelligent life, and most importantly how to live one. I wanted to share the many lessons I’ve learned from her, as well as some of my own along the way. They’re the habits of emotionally intelligent people. They’ve helped me to live a fulfilling, productive and happy life — on my terms.

1. They personalize communications with kindness.

Take a page out of my mother’s greeting card collection. Let someone else know that you care. Be kind — not because it’s the contemporary buzzword or thing to do. Because it’s the right thing to do. Kindness and empathy are the habits of beautiful people. They are relationship multipliers. They show tremendous self-awareness and genuine care for others.

It takes thought to do this — be willing to go the extra mile and put yourself in the position of someone else. It’s an amazing feeling to be treated with kindness.

2. They devote time each day to self-care.

I used to look at certain things like massage, chiropractic care and coaching as premium services that weren’t at all necessary. It wasn’t until I started investing more in myself that I learned these were things that are essential to maintaining my equilibrium. What I mean is — these are game-changers for me that add value to my life and improve my well-being.

Emotionally intelligent people understand this and commit select items to habit that will work for them. Start with having a meditation practice, even if it’s five minutes per day. Look at the four dimensions of wellness:

  • Physical
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual
  • Mental

What can you do each day and week to nourish yourself and help your personal development? Focus on the emotional side. Seek things that will help you feel fulfilled, motivated and energized.

3. They use motivation and passion to power their day.

Living with passion and purpose motivate you to live the life you’ve always wanted. I’m very big on self-motivation. My top love language is words of affirmation, so I thrive on hearing these from people I love and trust. I also feed motivational and inspirational words of encouragement to myself subconsciously. Napoleon Hill was fond of using the term, “autosuggestion.”

I think of it as a pep talk from the heart. Think about how you feel when you think of the things that light the fire inside of you. Remind yourself of reaching your goals and doing so for the people you love.

4. They forge authentic connections with people.

This one for me is really simple. They invest their time and energy in people. They tell the people closest to them, “I love you.” They lead with a smile, their spirit is true and they genuinely have no airs about them. They’re real. Everyone knows it.

I think of my wife — an emotionally intelligent woman that has always told me the truth and showed me from day one that she wanted me to be happy. Every conversation with her has always been so real. This connection led to love. 8.5 years of marriage and three children later, this authentic connection has sparked a lifetime of happiness.

5. They know themselves in a deep, intimate way.

This begins with the foundational piece of emotional intelligence: self-awareness. Emotionally intelligent people know who they are — and just as important, who they are not. They understand what makes them happy, sad, angry, scared, thankful, in awe, and everything in between. They have a sense of purpose and do things with meaningful intention.

They invest time in personal development to become better wives, sisters, husbands, brothers, sons and daughters. They know that life isn’t a game — it’s a journey. What better journey than to know what makes you who you truly are, and then to share that gift with the world?

6. They view adversity as a growth opportunity.

From the ashes of every disappointment can rise an amazing blessing. This isn’t just some self-help gobbledygook. It’s the way I live my life. It’s the way I’ve seen emotionally intelligent people that I respect live their lives. When I’ve had my heart broken, when I was let go from a job, when I’ve dealt with bad injuries, I’ve always come back stronger and wiser.

Emotionally intelligent people successfully adjust to any challenge life throws at them. That’s called adaptability. It’s called resilience. It begins with a positive attitude and a belief powered by self-motivation that things are always going to get better. When you live your life like this, you grow and become even stronger for the next challenge.

7. They are intellectually curious and love helping others develop.

Last and certainly not least, emotionally intelligent people have an insatiable appetite for learning new things and helping others to develop and learn new things. The common theme you’ve surely seen is, emotionally intelligent people aren’t just in it for themselves. They want mutually beneficial outcomes that lead to true growth.

They love to help people become the best version of themselves because their actions are outward, while their thoughts are inward. In other words — they spend time thinking about creating the kind of world they want themselves and others to live in. One with wonder, love, joy and happiness. They then commit their actions to create that world and do so with passion.

Becoming an emotionally intelligent person is something every one of us can do. We all have the power to love, learn deeper about ourselves and do kind things for others. We can all learn to take better care of ourselves, adapt to difficult circumstances and motivate ourselves to reach our peak potential. It begins with habits — the secret sauce that puts a life of fulfillment well within our grasp.

Join my newsletter for emotional intelligence and productivity content! and Check out my Amazon bestseller, Emotional Intelligence for the Modern Leader.


Sign up for exclusive insights on leadership, emotional intelligence, and personal growth directly to your inbox. Don't miss out on the tools and strategies you need to succeed. Subscribe now

By clicking Sign Up you're confirming that you agree with our Terms of Service.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.