We're creating A Fun & Affordable Mental Fitness Gym for IT Leaders & their Teams

We help you recharge, refocus, and get stronger so that you can Lead your Team with Ease & Flow

We’ve been there – We get IT – We’ve got your back, even when others don’t.

We stand by you when things get tough when your goals seem out of reach when you need someone to talk to so that you can stand tall, calm, balanced, clear-headed, and confident in your power – in any leadership role & situation.

Founded by Ali Farahani, a former CIO/CTO & Leadership Coach, and Lucie Tesarova, a PQ Mental Fitness Trainer, our mission is to create a fun, affordable, science-based & technology-backed Mental Fitness Gym for IT leaders & their teams so that they can improve their performance, wellbeing, and relationship with ease & flow.

Victorious warriors win first in their minds, and then go to war. Defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win. 

Sun Tzu, Author of the Art of War (544 BCE - 496 BCE)
  • Does going to work feel like waging a daily war at times?
  • Feeling like the attacks are coming from all possible angles?
  • Do you wish that work instead of war would feel like a play?

If you are

  • Tired of being attacked – by your outer or inner enemies of judgments, doubts, and disempowering thoughts,
  • Feeling isolated, lacking support
  • Wishing for a more positive circle of peers & mentors
  • Ready and motivated to turn the war into a game with our support

… then join us! 

Allow yourself to be supported so that you can support and lead powerfully your teams and organization.

With us, you can become victorious. And turn the war into a play.

Start with your inner game first. 

  • We train you.
  • We guide you.
  • We support you.

So then you can go, and lead powerfully from within – no matter in what environment you happen to be.

With us, you are not in the fight alone. 

We have your back.

And we make you win and transform not just your inner game, but also the cultural game in your company.

Ready for your inner game training to begin? 


Get New Energizing Results by Aligning your Leadership YES’s and NO’s

Think about what you say YES and NO to as a leader

Get New Energizing Results by Aligning your Leadership YES’s and NO’s

“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.”

Tony Blair, former British Prime Minister

Did you know that you can harm your well-being, performance, and others by saying YES to them and being “kind”? 

As Tony Blair said, yes is easy. Why? We want to please each other! We want to make others happy, like us, appease them, and avoid conflict. 

It all seems to be a kind, friendly behavior, doesn’t it? So what’s the trouble with that? Why would he advise NOT to say YES? 

When it’s vital to check where your yes’s and no’s are

You probably know all the answers, but if you are like me, sometimes I like to remind myself of the lessons learned, especially when I’m not getting the results that I want or plan. 

Tony Blair, in the interview from 1994 before he became prime minister, was referring to the opposition that he was encountering when “rebranding” the British Labour Party. He was talking about things and changes that were NOT popular with others. Yet, he deemed them necessary from a strategic, long-term perspective. Saying NO was not easy, yet was placed and voiced there strategically. 

If you are not a politician but a leader of a company division or a team, you will face a different opposition. It might be from your peers, or from your board of directors. In your personal life, from your family members, your friends. All of them have certain demands, and requests on your time, energy, and attention.

In all these situations, it is crucial that you say YES and NO to the right requests and the right people as the misplacement of yes and no to wrong things, projects and people can be VERY costly. It can cause you high levels of stress, lower your performance, bring anxiety, depletion of energy, worsen your health, and harm your effectiveness, happiness, and RESULTS – both in your personal and professional life. 

“The oldest, shortest words – ‘yes’ and ‘no’ – are those which require the most thought.” 


So how to know when some of your no’s and yes’s are misplaced? 

You are not happy at work or home; you feel resentful and drained. Both your productivity and your team’s productivity suffer. You may feel overweight and heavy both in body and your mind, especially at night. Your relationships feel distant. 

These are some specific signs pointing to the Inner Trouble Makers that misplace your yes’s and no’s and mess with your life, relationships and results. Both on the personal, micro-level (self-leadership) and the inter-personal, other-leadership macro-level. 

What messes with your (and your team’s) performance, happiness, and productivity?

In the Positive Intelligence® terminology, based on 4 different science fields, including neuroscience, we have 10 Inner Trouble Makers that sabotage our performance, happiness, well-being, and relationships. When these Inner Saboteurs hijack our brains, we tend to feel negative emotions and think a certain way about our lives, events, and other people around us. 

And, these Inner Saboteurs have us say yes when we should say no, and the other way around. 

1. The Avoider Saboteur 

The Inner Avoider is a part of us that seeks harmony and pleasantness in relationships and life. Nothing wrong with that, right?

Well, it depends. Trouble awaits when the Inner avoider takes this beautiful ability to the extreme. 

It will have you procrastinate on filing your taxes. Instead of having an uncomfortable conversation with your spouse or underperforming team member, you keep saying YES to not rocking the boat and “keeping the peace.” Yet, you are also saying NO to healthy and meaningful relationships, to making a difference for your team member who is struggling, and NO to having your team perform at the highest levels as the resentment and low trust, and missing communication will erode both your personal and professional relationships. 

The Avoider has you say YES to PROCRASTINATION (filing that paperwork that’s needed, making that call you have been avoiding), preventing yourself from dealing with what is essential (e.g., your health, happiness), and more. 

Is Inner Avoider Making You Procrastinate & Suffer Later?

What misplaced NO and YES cost you

You also say YES to the cost that comes with that yes above. Feeling overwhelmed by the overdue items in your inbox and to-do list, feeling guilty, shame, afraid… 

Extra financial costs & additional administrative burden due to filing some paperwork late or paying some bills late. Loss of income as you avoid taking that uncomfortable action that would increase it (e.g. negotiating a higher salary, asking for and persistently negotiating a higher budget for your department’s initiative). Loss of trust in relationships as when you say yes to someone’s demand but then avoid following through, things will not be happily ever after in either personal or professional relationship. Should I continue? Would you like to add any of yours? 

Self-Reflection Prompts: 

Now pause and notice – can you find any Avoider messing with your leadership in your personal or professional life? 

In what way? What did it make you say YES to that brings you and others more harm than good?

What did it cause you to say NO to? Something that you want and is important to you? Be it peace of mind, higher sales or productivity, happy and fulfilling relationships, or a cohesive and high-performing team? Take a moment and think about it. Perhaps write it down. 

Align your Yes’s and No’s and Generate New Results: 

Now. What is the result that you wish for that you haven’t been getting? That would energize you? 

Look at your YES’s and NO’s that were misplaced. 

What do you need and want to say YES to and NO going forward in order to improve your performance, relationships, and well-being? 

Pause and ask yourself: what are the conversations, actions, and things to do that you have been avoiding and postponing and saying NO to, and as a result it caused you to say YES to increased anxiety, guilt, and other negative consequences?

What is at least one action that in the past you postponed (=said NO to), and now you want to say YES to, as you want to also say YES to new results that inspire and excite you and your team? 

2. The Pleaser

The Inner Pleaser uses your good heart and caring for others and their needs and happiness against you when you spread yourself too thin, overcommit to helping others and hear their needs and address their concerns and emergencies. In contrast, your own needs, priorities, and projects start to suffer as you don’t have the time, and energy available for them. 

When hijacked by the Inner Pleaser Saboteur, you say YES to other people’s emergencies, needs want priorities, and NO to protecting your energy, calendar, and priorities. 

Is Inner Pleaser having you Please and Resent Later?

What misplaced NO and YES cost you

The cost of the misplaced YES and NO is growing resentment (and therefore slowly poisoning your relationships), exhaustionpoor productivity, and weaker results on your side. 

You may become a bottleneck in your team as you try to help everyone else extinguish their fires and your own start burning you up (and out) from inside. 

People on your team stop trusting your YES as they learn that it will either come with the Resentment Tax Bill later, or an explosion of anger after you cannot take it anymore and you finally tell them all the things that they are doing wrong which you didn’t want to tell them before as you “didn’t want to hurt their feelings”. Ouch. 

There are also plenty of possible financial costs – by trying to please others, you may give away your important resources – be it in a form of settling for a lower department budget, not asking for a higher salary as you don’t want to seem “too needy”, etc. 

Self-Reflection Prompts: 

Now pause and notice – can you find any Pleaser messing with your leadership? In your personal and professional relationships and projects? 

What and who does it have you say YES and NO to that ultimately is costing you and them and all of you a lot? Can you recollect any specific situation when you said YES to someone or something and you wished you said NO as it cost you tremendously? 

Align your Yes’s and No’s and Generate New Results: 

What (and WHOM) do you need and want to say YES to and NO to going forward so that you can improve your performance, relationships, and well-being? 

Is there any uncomfortable NO that you need to say so that you can say YES to your wellbeing, performance, and peace of mind? 

When do you catch yourself saying YES when you know that you want to and should say NO? What can you do differently next time to protect yourself, your team’s performance and anything else you want to protect from incurring costs you will not tolerate going forward? 

3. The Hyper-Vigilant 

Oh, this Saboteur tends to hijack those who are able to see into the future. They can plan, strategize, and predict. Caring about everyone’s safety and wanting to protect their families, communities, and organizations. They are perseverant, consistent, and hard-working towards objectives. 

What could wrong there, you may ask. These are all awesome and noteworthy characteristics of a leader! 

The person hijacked by this Inner Saboteur sees nothing wrong even when this Hyper-Vigilant is having lots of fun with taking all these wonderful qualities to an extreme. People around someone hijacked by the Hyper-Vigilant are having way less fun. And the person themselves who is being hijacked is not having much fun sadly either! 

The Hyper-Vigilant Hijacker has them say YES to always looking for things to go wrong, for mishaps to happen and for dangerous situations to avoid. It has them say NO to trusting others, NO to free creativity as NO mistakes are allowed – both for themselves and their team. 

Is inner hyper-vigilant making you worry & sick later?

What misplaced NO and YES cost you

It costs you peace of mind as your mind, body, and life fills up with anxiety when you are waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

It costs you sleep and well-being as the stress hormones in your body lead to decreased immunity and you are more susceptible to catching a virus you don’t want. Women can start having physical problems, for example with their thyroid as their body is trying to compensate for the high level of cortisol and adrenaline that anxiety and constant stress may produce. 

On the macro-level, it costs you cohesion, trust, and decreasing performance on your team. When being hijacked by the Hyper-Vigilant Saboteur, it is difficult to trust others – their motives and abilities. And like a self-fulfilling prophecy, others may start avoiding sharing some possibly triggering information with you as they don’t want to face your anxiety which also makes them anxious. As you look everywhere for lies and dangers, you will find out they held it from you. The less you trust them, which in turn, makes them even more afraid to freely share…. And the vicious circle continues till … you may lose an employee or a friend. 

Self-Reflection Prompts: 

Now pause and notice – can you find any Hyper-Achiever messing with your leadership? In your personal and professional relationships and projects? 

What does it make you say YES to, and NO to that harms your and your team’s performance, wellbeing, and relationships? 

Align your Yes’s and No’s and Generate New Results: 

What do you need and want to say YES to and NO to instead in order to improve your and your team’s performance, relationships, and well-being? 

What kind of self-care or mindfulness practice you might need to say YES to help you deal with your anxiety and stress? Whose support you might want to say YES to? What kind of stress management tools do you need to say NO to moving forward so your health doesn’t suffer long term (for example, stress eating comfort foods). (Positive Intelligence has tools to help you deal with stress and anxiety – we can help.)

What to do next?

To be kind to your eyes and your brain, I will pause here today. Check out some of my future articles for how the other Saboteurs can mess with your performance and misplace your yes’s and no’s 🙂 

If you are curious NOW, don’t want to wait and want to know NOW what kind of Inner Saboteurs are mainly attacking you and damaging your performance, relationships, and health, click here to take a free saboteur assessment. 

Make sure you check your inbox and spam folder for an email from Positive Intelligence® with your assessment results. 

You are invited to join us for the future MindFittery programs and workshops where we train you in ways to say NO to the Saboteur’s lies and YES to your and your team’s highest potential. Follow MindFittery on LinkedIn or contact us with any questions. 

To our freedom from the inner saboteurs, 


Lucie Tesarova

CEO of MindFittery, a Mental Fitness Gym for IT Leaders

Certified Leadership Coach by International Coaching Federation (PCC)

Are you a CIO? 

Make sure you sign up for the LinkedIn newsletter “Happy CIO” by CIO Veteran and Co-Founder of MindFittery, Ali Farahani

Posted originally on LinkedIn

Lucie Tesarova
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