Authentic Leadership

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” ~ Harold Whitman ~

What is your calling in life? What makes you come alive? How can you bring out the greatness in yourself and others?

Leaders who make a profound difference in the world know the answers to these questions. They are driven by a vision so compelling that others are also inspired to greatness. Is this true for you in your own life and business? Are you inspired? Driven? Fulfilled?

If the answer’s no it’s most likely you got caught in the ‘how to’ of your life, rather than the ‘what’ and the ‘why.’ You’re grappling with the details and losing sight of the big picture.

The reason many people fall short of their goals is that they are not truly compelling – they lack real meaning and purpose. They may even be someone else’s goals. A true vision will have that delicious combination of excitement and fear: excitement that makes us feel alive, tinged with a little fear because it will require us to grow outside our comfort zone. Goals set from that place will set fire in your belly.

In the words of Bob Proctor, ‘Go after what you want, not what you think you can get. You won’t know how to get it, but start with a fantasy and dig into that part of yourself you’ve never seen before.’

This is the part that lives beneath the lies of limitation and doubt we tell ourselves every day. We access it through the mind/body connection. You can’t ‘think’ your way into a sense of purpose and engagement. It has to be experienced, embodied.

The body is unflinchingly honest. It offers clarity for even the biggest of life decisions. Imagine as a leader, you could identify and ‘try on’ each important element in your life, test it for accuracy. Imagine sensing the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ of your body. Think how it would inform your decisions, your interactions, and your sense of vision.

It begins with the senses. Start noticing things more consciously. Where your awareness is drawn is a clue to what’s going on internally.

Notice what touches your heart as you go about your day. A smile; an encouraging email; a funny video; a special memory.

When you ponder a particular situation at home or work, close your eyes for a moment, go inside – acknowledge your emotions, notice how your body feels. Is there tightness anywhere? If so, where? Or do you feel relaxed?

As you start applying these simple awareness steps in your life, you’ll begin to feel more aligned and much more connected to your true vision. That is the heart of your authentic leadership.

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