When we think of the word leadership it’s often associated with a job title, position or classification level. We’re told managing people in our team will equate to roughly 20% of our work and then we can get on with ‘our real job’. I believe leadership is an experience that is available to us all, no matter what you do. It occurs much more often than you might expect.
It is every moment of every day.
When I worked in Corporate, I was driven and focussed. I was also exhausted, plagued with adrenal fatigue, digestive, and fertility issues at the same time. I enjoyed my job and worked with great colleagues and on interesting projects. But, I was so externally focussed on meeting other’s needs that I never realised I wasn’t meeting my own.
This experience wasn’t unique to just that job. Looking back, I realise it was a pattern I held my whole entire life.
I wanted to be an effective leader. But I felt so disengaged, guilty, and oh-so-tired that it never felt enough. I’m sure to others I was encouraging and friendly and considered a good colleague. But I wasn’t living in alignment with my true purpose. There was something more for me. By shutting that off within myself, I was also shutting off the opportunity for others to grow and live in alignment themselves.
It took courage and compassion to realise if I wanted to see change in my life I would need to make a radical decision in how I approached it. When a promotion pushed me over the edge, I was asked the question “what do you want to do instead of this?” I knew it was time to jump off the merry-go-round of what appeared to be an ideal lifestyle, and wonder off on the path less travelled for a little while.
Aligning with my purpose
The experience was equally terrifying and exhilarating. I found myself undertaking study in Kinesiology and other personal development courses. I fell pregnant and then started my own business whilst raising children. Once they were older I decided to home educate them as well. It has been a journey, but one that is aligned with my own purpose. Most importantly, it feels right for me.
“The best activist in the world is the woman who looks after herself and her family” - Cyndi O’Meara
This quote is something that I come to over and over again. It provides such grounding and encompasses what I believe leadership is about. When we are better able to slow down and respond to our own needs. We can EMBODY what is meaningful for us. When we prioritise well-BE-ing in our lives, we show up with integrity and authenticity. These traits are what allow others to see our truth. If they resonate, it allows them to rise up and live in their own version of integrity and authenticity. This is the ultimate ripple effect that can change the world.
Emotional Intelligence theory shows us that self awareness is the first step, and it’s one not to be underestimated. When you know yourself you’re better able to support yourself and those around you. It’s the ability to follow through with courage and confidence that can be the challenge.
The new way of leadership calls for BE-ing
It’s not just about words and theories. It’s deep embodiment of the work you do and your unshakeable belief in that. This requires accessing other levels beyond the intellect. It requires us to call upon, accept, and respect our innate intuition and instincts.
We all want to be great and inspiring leaders that can help raise the vibration and change the world. How do we do that? By understanding that holding space for ourselves is first and foremost the priority.
But how can we show up for ourselves when it’s the last thing we want to do? How many times do we show compassion and understanding to others, but avoid it in ourselves?
Realising how we treat ourselves is the ultimate reflection of our true nature. When we respond to our needs using our Inner Carer, rather than our Inner Critic we have the opportunity to balance the scales.
Today’s well-being practice
Reflect upon the following questions and consider how connected you are with your own innate style of leadership:
- What are the daily practices you do to help keep you replenished and rejuvenated?
- Are you living and working in alignment? Does your work support your personal ideals and vice versa?
- How do you hold space for yourself? Do you have a supportive coach or mentor to help?
- Do you know what your triggers and vulnerabilities are? What actions do you take to support these moments?
- Do you have a personal mission or affirmations to call upon when you lose your way? Do you have a vision board to keep you focussed on your highest vision?
Knowing our true innate gifts is an opportunity to thrive.
My work’s basis is understanding we all have the answers within us. We just need to listen, trust the whispers, and follow through with confidence. If delving deeper into finding your own innate style of leadership is calling you, then I invite you to look at The Leadership of You to support you through this process..
I’d love to hear your own experience of leadership, please reach out and connect with me in Community on the free We-being platform.