In episode 9 of the Fresh Eyes Podcast, Vitale Buford interviews Justin Patton, an international speaker, Executive Coach, body language expert and author.

In episode 9 of Fresh Eyes, I interview Justin Patton, an international speaker and Executive Coach who believes “everything meaningful happens through conversation.” His experience has allowed him to coach leaders in some of the top Fortune 500 organizations, NCAA athletes, and women competing in the Miss America and Miss USA competitions. Justin is an expert in body language and executive presence and is the author of Bold New You: 6 Breakthroughs to Playing Bigger in Leadership, Business, and Life. Today we discuss how to be the leader of your life and the ways you can show up bigger in your life.

Justin has many awards and accolades, however that’s not the only reason I brought him on the show. One of the reasons is that he played a very special role in my life – he helped me realize I needed to get sober in 2014 – and it was through meaningful conversation. We revisit that conversation that happened in May 2014 and discuss what it was like on both sides of the conversation and how he showed up bravely to impact my life in one of the most profound ways. 

Then we dive into the main reason for this interview: being the leader of your life. Justin discusses five ways you can do this, because he believes “if you want to be a great leader of other people, you first have to be a great leader of yourself.” 

The first way is to create the vision of who you are when you’re at your best. Justin talks about understanding who you are when you’re at your best and understanding the emotional wake you’re leaving in your life. 

The second way is to keep your ego in check. Justin says that ego is always based in fear, and he defines ego as any fear-based thought that pulls people out of the truth of who they are. When you have the vision of who you are when you’re at your best, you’re able to then identify when your ego gets in the way. He talks about the different extremes of ego, and that “none of show up our best when show up as an extreme version of ourselves.” 

We move on to the third way to become the leader of your life, which is taking responsibility for your energy. This all about taking responsibility for the mindset and the presence you show up with in life.

“Awareness is the key that unlocks everything that is good and authentic in our lives. Everything.” 

Justin believes you know that you are showing up in your lowest level of energy when you are making decisions based in fear. He then discusses the three levels of energy and how to shift out of the lowest level. 

“You are not responsible for how other people take your message, but you are responsible for how you deliver it.” 

The fourth way to becoming the leader of your life is all about becoming a deep listener, and the fifth way is becoming aware of your feelings. Justin discusses the value of emotions and the importance of identifying what you’re feeling. 

We close our conversation with recent AHA leadership moments that we’ve experienced, and Justin also talks about the number one thing that makes a great communicator. 

“Life sometimes is really hard and sucks, and we get sucker-punched. And my biggest thing I would tell people is just, don’t give up on yourself in the process. That on the other side of all the hard stuff, life is amazing. But we’ve got to be willing to hang on until we get to the amazing.”

To connect with Justin, visit his website, Facebook and Instagram.