Commitment #4: I choose to utilize my slaying principles one layer at a time!


Thoughts from Slaying the Onion

“We were in the middle of discussing the Slaying the Onion process during a group session, when a curious coaching client asked, ‘When you get stuck in a conversation, and you know the other person is resistant to going into the next layer of their onion, then what?’ I realized her question was so profound, even while the group members were struggling to understand why they would even want to slay the layer without any motive or purpose. It was obvious to me then, she was ready to be an onion slayer. The onion development process actually originated when I realized so many did not know how to look in the mirror, face their fears, and challenge themselves and their so-called comfort zones. Slaying is an intense process. It requires us to delve into our hearts, minds, and souls one layer at a time.”

A life-long commitment

This excerpt from Slaying the Onion is actually about me (Hailey, Operations Specialist). Before I worked for One Light Ahead (and before the release of this book), I competed in one of April’s Master’s League Competitions where she introduced the Slaying principles to us for the first time. I was intrigued… and honestly a little confused. I had so many questions! I understood the concept of the layers, but how did it all play out in my life? I asked, “When you get stuck in a conversation, and you know the other person is resistant to going into the next layer of their own, then what?” I wanted to know how to speed through this process and just get through it. Check all the boxes, peel all the layers, find the hack, and complete the task. Turns out, this is a life-long process, and not just a task we can tick off our to-do list. 

Selectively Slicing

Sometimes when we’re slaying onions, trying to dig deeper and connect further, we cut through tender layers— and it’s painful. We can damage or cut off valuable relationships by jumping the gun, trying to peel layers too quickly, and overstepping others’ boundaries. Being able to determine when it’s appropriate to slice through multiple layers at once and when it’s necessary to show restraint is a honed skill that comes solely from our own experience (trial and error) and learning from the experiences of others. The important thing to remember is that this is a lifelong process, a honed skill, and necessary to take slowly— one layer at a time. 

For more commitments and a deeper dive into the principles of slaying, get your copy of Slaying the Onion today! 

Commitment #3: I Choose to Give Myself Grace

I choose to give myself grace as i need it— without beating up on myself

As leaders, our inner voice is often our most critical influence. We are taught from a young age to be kind and quick to forgive others. Extending grace to ourselves seems to be a completely different story. 

In a world that says, “Hustle. Do the most. Be the best,” we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to have it all together. When we don’t meet our own expectations, the pressure builds and releases in the form of harsh self-criticism. 

It’s hard to forgive yourself for your own mistakes, perhaps because you were never taught how to. Or maybe you don’t give yourself grace because you’re a perfectionist; you know the ins and outs of your shortcomings and mercy feels disingenuous. Whatever the case may be, the vast majority of leaders struggle with the concept of forgiving themselves.

But why does it matter? Why should you strive for forgiveness and grace in your own self-talk? 

It’s impossible to experience freedom if you’re bound in the shackles of your mistakes— and ultimately, neglecting to extend grace to yourself will limit your ability to serve others. Being unkind to yourself serves no purpose. In fact, grudges you hold (even against yourself) take up negative space in your mind and distract you from performing at your best. 

Compassion over Criticism

Studies are consistently showing that success is directly related to an individual’s ability to fight self-criticism and practice compassion. Take it from the scientists at Stanford Medicine,

“We mistakenly think that being competitive and pushing ourselves hard is required for success. Research, however, is proving these theories wrong. Most of us don’t stop to consider whether our self-critical and competitive attitude are helping us achieve our goals. We don’t realize that they are actually standing in our way. Scientific data shows that self-criticism makes us weaker in the face of failure, more emotional, and less likely to assimilate lessons from our failures. Studies are finding that there is a far better alternative to self-criticism: self-compassion.

Less likely to assimilate lessons from our failures.

When we understand that failure is a normal part of the human experience, we allow ourselves the freedom to grow and learn through our errors. Mistakes are inevitable and often painful, but they provide a unique opportunity for growth in wisdom, compassion, and empathy. When we identify and meet our own flaws with grace (and understand how much we really need), it becomes easier to forgive and extend that grace to others. Recognizing where things went wrong and how you could have acted differently brings great wisdom, often more powerful and memorable than success.

“Remember this journey is for your benefit, not for beating up on yourself. We may never change the past, it is done!” -April Ballestero, Slaying the Onion

Choose compassion over criticism when talking to yourself. Face your failures head-on and greet them with grace.

Commitment #2: I choose to assess what is on my radar/life wheel to know what is real.





Commitment #2 from Slaying the Onion is, “I choose to assess what is on my radar/life wheel to know what is real.


The Radar tool is designed to give you a visual representation of your satisfaction in life.

If you completed this exercise, would your wheel look flat or full?

How do you suppose a “flat” lifewheel would affect your ability to show up at work or at home?


For access to this tool and more information about how to do your own assessment, get your copy of SLAYING THE ONION or visit our website to start your journey today!