Cylvia Hayes: Empowerment Coach


Here are the highlights of my interview with Cylvia Hayes: Certified Empowerment Coach on Women Developing Brilliance® .

Who is Cylvia Hayes?

Cylvia Hayes is a Certified Empowerment Coach and Trainer, an award-winning environmental and anti-poverty activist and the former First Lady of Oregon. She helps people at mid-life reinvent their lives, careers, and identities and reclaim peace, power, and purpose. A committed social change-maker, she is founder and CEO of 3EStrategies and Cylvia Hayes Enterprises. Her book, When Life Blows Up: Peace, Power, and Reinvention will be out soon!

Cylvia has led a very unconventional life – starting out as a cowgirl and farm kid, surviving deep trauma, winding up on her own at 16, working as a heavy equipment operator and playing scholarship soccer to pay for becoming a first-generation college graduate. Later founding successful businesses, traveling to over 20 countries (so far), being appointed by governors and even serving as First Lady of Oregon. Most recently moving through an intense public shaming to the stage to deliver a widely viewed TEDx talk.

Cylvia pulls all of these rich experiences together to help people master big life transitions and reinvent career and self-identity. She aspires to change our world for the better by helping change-makers become their best, most effective and empowered selves.


Lightbulb moment

The complete disempowerment of her life blowing up is what drew her to the field of empowerment coaching. At age 47, Cylvia had everything going for her...and then she received a call from a reporter informing her they had dug up some dirt regarding her past which had huge implications, being she was the first lady of Oregon (wife of the governor) at the time.

Overnight, I become click bait. It was the biggest political scandal in Oregon.

No stranger to adversity, Cylvia knew the political trauma was something that even her typical resilience muscles couldn’t easily bounce back from. She felt that it had to be for some bigger purpose and that’s what got her looking at how she could harness it.


Big truth

Cylvia underwent Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to help her process the events and heal. She feels that her public shaming helped her tap into self-healing in a profound way.

There was a moment, in total exhaustion and burnout that she experienced a spiritual awakening of sorts and in her own words, “from that moment I was never the same.”

She surrendered.

Shining a bright light

Rising like a phoenix from the ashes, Cylvia came through the other side and now inspires women. She became certified as an empowerment coach through Tony Robbins.

From there, she knew she wanted to devote her career to personal development.


I reached this point where my survival could no longer depend upon me forcing it and getting it done. My survival depended upon being able to sit for a prolonged multi-year period of time in uncertainty, in events that I could not control, in fearful possibilities and be able to maintain a healthy inner state.


Cylvia’s top tips

  1. Drill down on your personal fears. Ask yourself, which of these fears actually merit action and which of these fears are we conjuring up that may or may not actually happen. Is the fear really warranted here?
  2. Be at peace with uncertainty. 
  3. Get a hold of what you can and can’t control. It helps to clarify strategic action and helps pacify the overwhelm.
  4. Get used to coming into the present moment again and again and again during the day. A process she calls “presencing.”


Cylvia’s words of wisdom

Get real around fear and learn how to release unnecessary fear.

When our identity is shaken, it’s helpful to realize that we may not have the exact same circumstances as before (job, money, relationship, etc.). But, knowing that you're still everything that you were is an imperative realization.


I loved my time with Cylvia because

I admire women who pull themselves up from their bootstraps after times of hardship and trauma. The courage that it takes to take accountability for your "less than stellar" moments inspires us all to be the best version of yourself every day.

Connect with Cylvia:
You can catch her TedEx talk here.

PS: 🙏🏼Review this episode on iTunes. 🙏🏼


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