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Winning in the Dark: Enoughness and Worthiness

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My client, Jaycee, was doing something truly amazing. She’d worked hard and put in extra hours to build a culture of teacher collaboration.

As a result, there was unity within the staff, and children’s learning and engagement soared.

She was really pleased with the outcome.

…But no one else seemed to notice.

She brought the question to the Schools of Excellence community for owners and directors

She kept reassuring us, “I am happy! This is exactly what I wanted.” 

And then she’d add, “I just wish other people knew.”

However, the experience of sharing her unseen efforts and the endurance it required to lead with impact (but without acknowledgment), was enough.

She discovered she didn’t need accolades from teachers or parents because she had a safe community and because the end result was intrinsically rewarding.

I want to go deeper into the topic of winning in the dark—the phenomenon of discreetly or invisibly achieving success and overcoming challenges.

This week, I’m unveiling the first episode of a three-part series on the Schools of Excellence Podcast about winning in the dark.

In this week’s podcast episode, I’m beginning the discussion with an exploration of the concepts of enoughness and worthiness.

It’s common to hinge your self-worth on what praise and acknowledgment you receive. 

If you achieve your goal, but no one notices, are you still satisfied? Do you try to fill the void by going on to the next project before you take a few weeks or months to appreciate what you’ve accomplished?

If this sounds like you, you may have an opportunity to build up your sense of enoughness and worthiness.

Join me in the podcast this week for a conversation about:

  • How to discern whether you are struggling with enoughness
  • Common external pressures that can impact how worthy you feel
  • Why winning in the dark is especially challenging in the age of social media
  • The gap between intellectually and emotionally knowing you’re enough
  • Strategies for how to become unshakeable in your self-trust


Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

Having an engaged and insightful mentor is a great way to guide you through the quiet obstacles that eventually lead to winning in the darkness. Work through your current biggest challenge with a Schools of Excellence Leadership Day Intensive. You’ll get a full day of on-demand, in-school training with me, plus various accountability check-ins, to help you and your team build a stronger, healthier center.

Spoiler alert: One of the key strategies for building self-trust and worthiness is to join a supportive community. By sharing your wins with like-minded school leaders who truly get it, you’ll find the quiet recognition you crave. I encourage you to apply for our Owner’s HQ and Director’s Inner Circle membership programs. As a member, you’ll gain access to tools, resources, coaching, and community that will help you as you work toward building a school of excellence.

Click Here to Listen on Apple Podcasts

Click Here to Listen on Non-Apple Devices

More about the show:

If you are an Early Childhood director or owner, prepare to transform your school and life with the Schools of Excellence podcast. Tune in each week to learn from Chanie Wilschanski, the founder and host of the Schools of Excellence Podcast and a mom of 4 little kids. Each episode will be packed with tools and strategies – equipping you to build schools with higher staff retention, teacher motivation, parent partnership, collaborative culture, and beautiful quality of life.

Every week, Chanie shares the truth about the journey to excellence, the strategies that are working TODAY, and the mindset about the critical decisions and choices that you make every day which impact yourself, your teachers, parents, family, and children who you serve every day.

In addition to weekly solo episodes, she’ll also be inviting industry leaders and the changing makers of the landscape of education to give listeners the inside knowledge of what it takes to sustain excellence.

Don’t miss an episode, subscribe today for everything you need for your leadership journey!