The Difference Between Change and Progress with Kelly Markey

Reading Time: 13 Minutes

In this episode with Kelly Markey, we discuss her new book Don’t Just Fly, Soar, which chronicles her turbulent, yet inspirational journey through life.

Takeaways We Learned from Kelly…

Find your mojo.

“Don’t just be complacent. Try to find your mojo, no matter what situation you’re in.” Embrace challenges and seek growth, rather than settling for mediocrity.

Be vulnerabile.

Kelly emphasized the importance of being authentic in sharing her story. By opening up about our struggles, we can connect with others and inspire them to overcome their own challenges.

Measure progress, not just change.

Recognize that change is not always progress. Take control of your life, make conscious decisions, and ensure your actions align with your goals.

Be authentic in your relationships.

Having difficult conversations and addressing disagreements are crucial to maintaining strong relationships. Embrace differences and still maintain love and respect for one another.

Set goals and break tasks down.

To achieve your goals, break them down into smaller tasks, and be strategic about your approach. This makes it easier to track your progress and stay focused on your objectives.

Overcome procrastination.

One of the main reasons people fail to achieve their goals is procrastination. Address this obstacle by staying committed to your plan and consistently working towards your goals.

Embrace different perspectives.

When interacting with others who have different viewpoints, see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Engage with them in a respectful and open-minded manner, allowing both parties to benefit from the exchange.

Unlock the power of your story.

Kelly stresses the importance of helping others realize the power in their own stories and using it to overcome stigmas or cultural barriers.

Stay true to your values.

In challenging situations, staying true to your values and beliefs helps you make a difference, even if it means having difficult conversations.

Small actions have a big impact.

The way you show up in life, your relationships, and your friendships speaks volumes to those around you and can inspire others.

Embrace resilience during uncertain times.

Kelly’s ability to remain resilient during the pandemic allowed her to provide inspiration and stability to others in need.

Share your experiences to inspire others.

Kelly’s book “Don’t Just Fly But Soar” became a source of hope and inspiration for countless people facing their own struggles.

Be open to unexpected opportunities.

Kelly’s journey as an author and the impact of her work, including nominations for two Nobel Prizes, shows the power of being open to new possibilities.

Touching one life can make a difference.

Though it can be time-consuming, making a positive impact on even one person’s life can have a ripple effect and inspire countless others.

About Kelly Markey

Kelly is an international best-selling author, motivational speaker, philanthropist, wife, successful corporate professional, and global inspiration. Her new book Don’t Just Fly, Soar, chronicles her turbulent, yet inspirational journey through life. Her focus is to help others that are on a journey of self-discovery, perhaps looking for personal development tools and resources to overcome painful early life experiences. We may even experience trauma as adults, such as divorce, addiction, and abuse. From small beginnings in South Africa to being now settled in Australia, Kelly is empowering other women of the next generation to find their path to success.

Read the Transcript

Allison: Welcome back to the Deliberate Leaders podcast. I am your host and executive business coach Allison Dunn. Today our guest is Kelly Markey. She is an international bestselling author, motivational speaker, philanthropist, wife, successful corporate, professional and global inspiration. Her new book, Don’t Just Fly Soar chronicles her turbulent, yet inspiring journey through life. Kelly, thank you so much for joining us here today on Deliberate Leaders.

Kelly: Thank you, Allison, for having me on this beautiful podcast. I am honored.

Allison: Thank you. I love to kick these off with a deliberate conversation, what would be your number one leadership tip for our listeners.

Kelly: Don’t just fly. And that just came out. So you know, quite often we find ourselves in the thick of it.

Don’t just be complacent. Try to find your mojo, no matter what situation you’re in.

Allison: Okay, so soar, find your mojo. Don’t be complacent. All very good tips. Your backstory is fascinating. And so I’d love for you to share a little bit about that. But you focus on helping others soar by uncovering the truth behind the things that happen in their lives. So tell us a little bit about your backstory, and then how you help people do that.

Kelly: Yes, sure. So it is an intensive backstory, I started growing up in the apartheid regime in South Africa. And India endured a lot in terms of discrimination, how they’ve complied, left for brighter skies to New Zealand, and then Australia. And then I discovered, I guess, firsthand that discrimination lived everywhere. And I had to find the silver lining. I guess in every situation, I lived with undiagnosed endometriosis, which was excruciating. And then had to go through bouts of laparoscopy to discover that it was almost impossible to conceive went through rounds of IVF, miscarriage, divorce, the whole gamut. And through it all, I had to be professional and show up at work. I’ve worked. I work in medical it. So I’ve worked on some major projects around the globe, and having to show up with the professional array and do my job deliver. It was not easy, but I’m here.

Allison: That is a very interesting backstory. You talk about how you help people uncover their truths. So can you share a little bit about I mean, I think I feel like you’ve shared some of your truths. But can you help tell us how do you do that with people?

Kelly: For me, I think it starts with the authentic story in terms of not lacing it with anything. And my story is I had no desire to write a book, I felt compelled during a lockdown. And I wrote my memoir, which is self help memoir. So what I what I got out of it when I was in the thick of it, Allison is that sometimes I was bleeding, and it was so intense. And I never had the moral support that I needed because I live away from my family in a foreign country. And my professional network was unaware of what I’m going through. So I discovered that people are busy, and they’re not really interested, you know, to unpack or uncover what’s breaking a human being or hurting them, or even to be part of the equation to towards healing.

So, my story in my book is authentic and how I was feeling and many readers relate to it because they’ve been there and they know that there’s hope…

You have to pick yourself up. Sometimes you have that lifeline that you can reach out to. But you need to get your mindset to a place where you’re not feeling overwhelmed, and you see the light at the end of the tunnel, and you are reaching towards it no matter how difficult the situation is.

Allison: Life certainly does deliver us painful things at certain times. And having those lifelines around you is really important than having people recognize that you do need help that you’re strong, but you may not be strong at that moment.

Kelly: Absolutely.

Allison: One of the areas that you focus on is relationships, you suggest that one of the biggest challenges people have is understanding the difference between change and progress. Can you tell us some of the reasons why people confuse the two and what they can do about it?

Kelly: Absolutely, I think sometimes we don’t see the forest for the trees, we could be in a violent or non productive or harsh relationship that could be you know, romantic, family or professional. And we are so focused on our perception of what Utopia looks like that we forget what we are putting up with.

Progress is being able to get up and feel content in the morning. No matter what comes my way, I am happy that I’ve given it my best shot.

And this is where I want to be. And this is my choice. I’m happy. I’m not living in in a situation where it’s out of my control. It’s bringing back the control into your hands and your life. And no, this is what I choose.

Allison: And I just ask for clarification. So people confuse the two. So they may want to change. But they’re not making progress towards that. Is that what I’m understanding you to say?

Kelly: Yeah, absolutely. They may want to change or confuse change with, you know, changes, the only constant they may think, okay, change is not something that they can measure, you know, it’s things may change by osmosis, lots of us think that they think it’s going to happen, I’ll just trudge through and see what happens. So that’s not progress. If you are in a relationship for 3040 50 years, and you’re waiting for osmosis to happen. It’s not progress. Progress. Is you getting up in defining what the day looks like for you.

Allison: Thank you. Our, our beliefs, our behaviors shape, how we show up in relationships, can you share your philosophy on that?

Kelly: Yes, so I think for me initially being authentic. And that has so many layers, you know, even in friendship, friendships that we have for decades, even family we can have on a mask.

Being authentic, is being able to have those difficult conversations, being able to address the elephant in the room, and still be friends still sit at the table and be authentic and say, “You know what? I beg to differ. But I still love you.”

And quite often people fail at those relationships because they think if we have a different outlook, then we should go in different directions.

Allison: Do you find that there’s a couple of techniques that help people to find where they cannot be aligned but still continue forward together?

Kelly: I think it depends on personality or character quite honestly, Allison, because there are characters out there that are black and white. And there are others that feel you know, life is an adventure, let’s embrace things and the more I learn, the more change are implemented in my life, the better I am. So it depends on the characters we encounter. And sometimes, as individuals for myself…

I meet people that are rigid or set in a box and I feel maybe it’s my opportunity to show them something, not verbally but with my character and my presence that there is another way you can explore.

You can open up a whole new avenue without bashing someone. It’s in the way you engage.

Allison: Let’s talk about a little bit about goal setting. I think that that kind of goes around behaviors and beliefs to what’s, what are some of the reasons that keeps people from achieving goals that they’ve set for themselves?

Kelly: I think the number one is procrastination. And also we have we have the big dream, like, I want to be a millionaire by the time I’m 40. have, you know, the likes of it.

The biggest setback to achieving goals is procrastination, and not breaking down the big dream into the actual tasks that we need to align with. You have to be strategic about it.

 So yeah, “I want to be a millionaire. And I’m 40.”

But again, they’re thinking, “Okay, I probably will, you know, just move in the direction that I’m moving, and it will happen.”

You have to be strategic about it. You have to have a plan: Okay, I’m going to get a good education. And this education is going to give me a job that has that level of income.

Or I’m producing a patent, or I’m producing a product, and this is going to be my grace, my net, this is what I would make in a year, this is what I’m going to make in Kenya, and you moving towards that. And it’s the same with any other goal. It’s measuring your daily task and having a slow attack at it. And the Sundays, obviously, you’re not going to feel like, you know, I’m going to get out and reach for the sky. But at least you know, you are making that trudge towards your big goal. Yeah,

Allison: I believe that half the power is setting a goal itself. And then you know, sometimes you can’t put a timeline on a goal, sometimes it takes longer than you expect. And sometimes it can be achieved so much faster than you’d anticipated. But having a goal that you really deeply want to I think our brain naturally goes about going after it. You have to make it happen, though, for sure. You have a very powerful story. And I know that you work with others, to help them identify the power in their story for themselves. Can you share your thoughts around that?

Kelly: Yes, sure. So in terms of bringing others, I think, you know, there’s lots of people that are living in stigma or in their shell. And coming from the culture that I do, as well, in terms of I come from an Indian ethnic background, I’m the sixth generation born in South Africa. You know, my forefathers went from India to South Africa. Within my culture, there’s a lot of stigma with, you know, racism from being born in South Africa, but also with divorce the culture where you wish and the plan.

And I can slowly see the dial shift, where people are embracing it, but it’s really difficult. And me living in a developed world. It’s a different mindset. But there’s also a culture here that’s not embracing in terms of, you know, my demographics or my color. It’s about having these difficult conversations or being the light, sometimes you aren’t in a situation or I am in a situation where people don’t really want to have those difficult conversations, even though you know, we pronounce it as our core values, or organizational values.

It’s having the grips, which is not easy, Allison, to get up every day. And slowly, but surely, say, I’m going to be true to my values, and you take people on that path.

It’s the people that touch your life. It’s the way you do the little things – the things you say yes to, the things that you say no to, the way you show up in life, the way you show up in your relationships and your friendships.

You know, just everything that you do. It all speaks volumes to those that are around you.

Allison: I completely agree. Congratulations on your book, Don’t Just Fly But Soar. What inspired you to write it?

Kelly: So, like I said earlier, I had no desire to be a writer, I found myself in lockdown. And I was getting calls from all over the world, you know, people that were feeling lost, and I guess the applecart have toppled, and we all around the globe didn’t know what was going to unfold the pandemic. And somehow, I think people around me, I’m quite an avid traveler. So I’ve got, you know, networks in many parts of the world. And I’ve connected with lots of people. So these people are still, you know, part of my life. And I think they kind of perceive this resilience or panache in my life, that they thought, Okay, I’m gonna reach out to Kelly and see if I can get some level of inspiration or stability, because, you know, we were all in this boat together. And we didn’t know how far we were sinking. And it was so perpetual that I was like, wow, okay, maybe I do have something to offer in terms of my lived experience.

So I just grabbed my laptop. And normally I’m, you know, in the pressure cooker working or traveling, and I have no time to just, you know, sit down and breathe. So now that I wasn’t locked down, and people were also reaching out because I am a social butterfly. And are you okay, with this lockdown thing? I was like, yeah, actually, I’m doing fine.

I just started writing. And it just morphed into something that was amazing. So I wrote this in 10 days. When I launched, I became a best selling author in less than an hour.

I’ve sold in more than 70 countries, I’ve donated some of my books to South Africa for woman’s month. And my books were farmed out to a woman that needed, I guess, inspiration.

And one night, I was back in Australia, and I got a message via messenger from a woman reaching out to me and she was like, I’m reading your book that was gifted to me.

And for the first time in my life, I’m feeling like I can get out of this cocoon. She said to me, “I really need to speak to you. Can I call you?”

It was 3am, but I could feel that authentic need to connect. So I was like, Yeah, sure. And as soon as I answered, she, like burst into tears. And she was my husband committed suicide on my birthday. And it’s been six months, since I’ve had a proper sleep, or a meal, and I’m reading your book, and for the first time, I feel like, I have hope. I’m going to come out on the other side, and she feels like, I’m not gonna die. And I was like I had chose.

Even if I just wrote this for one soul, I know, I have accomplished something.

But I get this every day hours. And I wake up in the morning, and someone has told me I’m on this page. I’ve read this, I can so relate, or I feel like you’re writing about me. And I’ve had my first interview on the radio in Australia, and the announcer said to me, he normally doesn’t read nonfiction. He used he normally read fiction to escape from his reality. And he said he was reading the latest Star Wars book. And he couldn’t put it down. And then he had to read mine to interview me. And he said he couldn’t put my book down. It had him corrupt. And this was a guy who normally doesn’t, you know, read anything outside his not. So it’s amazing reviews and testimonies like that. I’ve been inundated with requests to write another book. So I wrote another book.

Sorry, I’m getting emotional. I’ve wrote another book. And the manuscript is entitled making sage decisions, which unravels how we as individuals make decisions organization’s global level and how that impacts the world looks at real use cases. And I sent this to peer review, and they were amazed, they were like, This is so amazing, you have to send to the universities. And I did.

I’ve been nominated for two Nobel Prizes, I still cannot believe it. So that’s a Nobel Prize in Literature and a Nobel Prize for Peace

… because I talk about, you know, the unrest and violence and the whole gamut and domestic violence as well. And I’ve recently, I’ve been a finalist for women changing the world awards. And the award night is next month in London. So I don’t know where this is going from a point of where I had no idea that I was even an author, and it just leashed itself on me.

It’s been amazing. And it’s the lives that are changed. And the fact that I’m making this global awareness is amazing.

Allison: I’m glad I asked that question. It provided a much deeper understanding. I will pick up a copy of the book, I feel like this will be very moving for me. And I encourage my listeners to do that as well. Congratulations on the Nobel Prizes in the awards and finding it in your hurts to not want to do something but to do it anyways. That’s amazing.

Kelly: Yeah. So because it feels like you know, a double job. And my husband goes, Why are you doing this? You know, it’s taking so much of your time, but he can see the merit in it. And so can I because…

If you just touch one life, it’s amazing that this is touching millions.

Allison: Yeah. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It has been a pleasure to meet you today. And to have you here with us today. Thank you so much, Kelly.

Kelly: Thank you. It’s been a pleasure to be on this podcast.

Allison: I want to make sure before we close out this episode, what is the best way for people to connect and or fine tune?

Kelly: Absolutely. So I’m on all social platforms. You can find my books wherever you can purchase books. I have a website you can reach out. It’s Kelly So you can find me via that or Facebook, Instagram. And yes, looking forward to connecting with everyone.

Allison: Thank you so much, Kelly have a beautiful rest of your day.

Kelly: You too. Have a brilliant one. Thank you, Allison. Bye.

I'm Allison Dunn,

Your Business Executive Coach

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