GLOW GANG X CLARE DESIRA

In our series, the GLOW GANG, we talk to inspiring women doing incredible things. It's a hub for everyone to tap into - it may resonate, inspire, encourage or give you the new perspective you didn't know you were looking for. 


Clare Desira is the founder of the Top Five Movement and has worked with thousands of people in 40 countries to build a stronger mindset. Known for the most refreshing take on mindset and resilience, Clare Desira, builds audience connections quickly. Clare has worked with thousands across 40 countries and with clients including Apple, IBM, Red Cross, Australia Post, Intrepid and QBE. Clare hosts the number 1 charting podcast, Leading Generous Teams, which dives into the strategies social sector CEOs use to build mental health, resilience and mindset for themselves and their teams. Clare’s changing the stats around mental health. Her 2012 TEDx speech about how gratitude could change the world created a global gratitude movement. 

As the holiday decorations go up, and the year draws to a close, we reflected with Clare on 2020 and how we can maintain a positive mindset heading into 2021. 

Hi Clare, thanks for your time today. You’re the founder of Top Five Movement, which works with resilience, leadership and mindset. We’d love to know what inspires you everyday? 

At Top Five Movement, we believe positive thinking is boring. It’s a little too fluffy.  We can all relate to a time when we’ve been in the thick of the unknown or uncertainty and someone has told us to “chin up” or “pull our socks up.” It’s not accessible or helpful and usually only inspires an eye-roll.    

Yet we each have a negativity bias which can automatically dial us into the worst case scenario. And while you’re focusing your attention on the worst case scenario, you forget the bigger picture and miss the things that are in front of you.
This year more than ever it’s been important to forget both positive and negative thinking and focus on helpful, encouraging and productive thinking at every chance. This focus helps us see things differently and problem solve. It interrupts us when we’re spinning our wheels, procrastinating and overthinking things outside our control. 

This type of thinking harnesses neuroscience to get better results during any change.

2020 has been a tough year. Everyone has been affected in some way. How have you remained positive? 

I focus on reactive (in the moment) and proactive tools that harness neuroscience to train my brain everyday. I could talk about these all day but here are just three examples: 

  • Daily belief/mindset work - This is not woo, this is about neuroscience. I believe your brain reaches for your most practiced thoughts, especially on a shaky day. Each day I use mindset tools to strengthen my brain or mental fitness to fuel more confidence ahead of growth opportunities. For example, if I have a big opportunity coming up, instead of getting lost in nerves, I’ll take time each day to rewrite and practice thoughts that support that opportunity going well eg. “I’m ready for this.” It’s a far more strategic and enjoyable way to spend the time, than the exhausting feeling that sustained nervous energy can bring. 
  • Daily list - I write a top five (gratitude) list each day. I not only have a collection of over 10,000 positive memories, but a habit like this trains your brain to expect good in yourself, other people and the world. You’ve heard the saying, bad things happen in threes. I can guarantee that’s true as we’ve trained our brain to see three bad things amongst millions of pieces of information. At work, this habit leverages neuroscience to stress less, focus more and get better results during any change. And bonus, it’s proven to be one of the most instrumental ways to increase your happiness. 
  • Setting mindset goals - In addition to setting performance goals, I set mindset goals which focus on how I want to show up and lead each day, eg leading with confidence and focus. I then deliberately take actions each day to bring more of those feelings into my leadership and life. When was the last time you’ve thought about how you want to feel when you lead? And what can you do more and less of today to lead that way? Your ideas should be practical enough that you can schedule them in your calendar.

Your workshop and programs focus on realistic resilience and strategic mindfulness techniques for generous leaders. Tell us more. 

We’ve worked with thousands of leaders and teams across 40 countries. We love flipping the script on mindset and resilience training script with generous leaders and their teams.  

We bring tools that people can actually use at work to feel like they can slow down time, problem solve in new ways, get a confidence boost when they need one. We show people that even though we might not even realise it, something we invest everyday is our thoughts. And so many of us by default are investing loads of them into comparison, worry, stress and things outside our control. 

Think about what you’d do at the gym. Here repetition is key.  
Do a bicep curl 100 times, you’ll have a stronger bicep.  
Worry about losing your job or opportunity, 100 times, then you’ll have a stronger self doubt. 
Focus on the fact that there are opportunities everywhere 100 times, then you’ll have stronger drive and motivation. 

The thoughts we repeat are an investment.
The thoughts we practice get stronger.  
Our work shows leaders and their teams how to: 

  • disrupt stress, worry and ruminating.
  • better understand their thoughts and where they are stuck and 
  • practice thoughts that are worth investing in.    

  • Now we’re dying to know as you’re always glowing. What does your skincare routine look like? 

    To be honest I’ve never known a lot about skincare. Beforehand, I just mindlessly grabbed any old moisturiser from the supermarket shelf. I knew Renee and so when she launched, my first purchase was to support her new venture… but I bloody loved it and now I’ve actually got a diary reminder to check my Cinch and order more so I’m never caught without any!

    If I’ve worn makeup I use both Cleanse + Glow then Pump + Glow.  If I haven’t had any Zoom calls then I just use Pump + Glow.  

    And lastly, what does beauty mean to you? 

    What you choose to see in yourself, other people and the world. 

    Follow Clare on instagram here.
    Shop Clare's favourite products here.
    Listen to Clare's Podcast here.