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Are You Ready to Address the Elephant in the Room?

I think we will all agree that over the past three years education has become even more complex to manage and understand. School leaders across the country are struggling with the same pain points- unfinished student learning, teacher/staff shortages, anxiety, depression, and so much more. People who loved and were passionate about the field are now pursuing other occupations.

Let’s face it, education was already suffering with many of these challenges before the pandemic, COVID-19 seemed to shine a brighter light on the challenges that plague the education system which is also a reflection of our world.

I have had the honor and privilege of traveling the country talking to leaders and educators during these difficult times speaking to teams about how we can embrace the beauty underneath the struggle by focusing more on the opportunities rather than the challenge. I wrote a book in 2019 when COVID-19 first hit titled, The Beauty Underneath the Struggle: Creating Your B.U.S. Story to not only help me cope with all the changes that were happening in our world, but to use my own story and strategies to help others.

In the book, I talk about energy levels, which I refer to as “Writing Styles” which goes along with my theme of the book of being the writer of your story. The writing styles chart (attached to this article) was inspired by the work of Dr. David Hawkins. Dr. Hawkins was a nationally renewed psychiatrist, physician, researcher, spiritual teacher and lecturer. I first learned about Dr. Hawkin’s work by reading The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer.

Using muscle testing, Dr. Hawkins conducted over 250,000 calibrations during 20 years of research to define a range of values, attitudes, and emotions that correspond to levels of consciousness or our energy fields.

When you examine Dr. Hawkins levels of consciousness map, you can begin to ask yourself questions about your own personal energy and how you’re showing up in life each day. Dr. Hawkins explains the classifications and energy fields of the Map of Consciousness, making them comprehensible and useful in our daily life. When we have this unique higher understanding, we can evolve spiritually to be freer, happier human beings in all areas of our lives (

It seems that the more problems we encounter in this world, the more we look outside of ourselves for the answers. And the more we look outside of ourselves the further we are from discovering solutions, thereby creating even more problems.

As I visit with school and organizational leaders, they share all these new initiatives they’re putting in place to ensure business continues as usual. They’re spending valuable time, money, and resources on programs that hope will solve many of their problems. But they are ignoring the elephant in the room, and that is the employees that they hire to implement these new initiatives. Think about it – these new initiatives are only as effective as the people using them. So, if you have employees that operating at low frequency – unhappy, depressed, angry, and struggling in their personal lives, more than likely the systems you’re asking them to employ will lack the energy needed in order to be effective in the lives of others.

I learned very early in my career in education, the problems in our schools are not with the systems but the people who employ the systems.

In education we want to focus all our attention on the processes and outcomes but we give very little attention to the dysfunction that taking place right underneath our noses, the elephant that takes up the entire room – employee’s attitudes and behaviors. We fail to lend focus to these areas because we feel we lack the knowledge to give guidance when dealing with the complexities of human behavior.

I’ve found in my trainings and workshops when we talk about human behavior and provide teams with time to focus on their own behaviors, there’s a light bulb that comes on in the room, and you can see people reflecting on their thoughts, beliefs, and choices and how their actions (and sometimes non-actions) impact others.

Every morning we wake up and turn on the television or look at social media, there are even more problems than we care to talk about. These problems will continue develop until each of us are willing to look in the mirror and ask ourselves the tough questions – who am I? Who am I meant to be in this moment? How does my attitude, beliefs, and behaviors keep me from being my best and how do my belief impact others?

If we want to solve today’s challenging, we must learn to address the elephant in the room and begin looking within. When we focus on all the things external to us, they will grow. It’s only when we’re willing to travel within and examine our own behaviors, beliefs, and actions that we can begin to heal ourselves and the world.

Are you ready to address the elephant in the room?

With something to think about...

Sending you beautiful energy for an amazing week of self-discovery,

Niki Spears,

Author, Motivational Speaker, Chief Culture Cre8or

Writing Styles Chart from The Beauty Underneath the Struggle: Creating Your B.U.S. Story

styles 5.20.20
Download PDF • 222KB

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