There are the moments in life when we experience “being in the zone.” It might be the perfect golf swing that lands the tiny white ball in the middle of a luscious green fairway. It could be a sales pitch where the words fall effortlessly from our mouth at the right time and with the perfect tone to connect with the audience. Or perhaps, it is the hours that pass so engrossed in reading, cooking or painting that it feels as if just a moment has gone by. These flashes of timelessness are not the goal rather they are the gateway to you and your leadership.
The point at which we stop thinking about how and what we are doing and are simply allowing it to happen, it becomes a time when we open to the strengths and uniqueness we bring to the world without judgment. The leadership challenge for everyone, be he or she a C-Suite executive, an elected official or one rising through the ranks, is in not feeling that there is something wrong with himself or herself. Believing that there is some flaw, some intrinsic error in our being is what sends us in the wrong direction of trying to “fix” something that isn’t even broken or not act because we believe ourselves to be unworthy in our current state.
It is in the “fixing” that the world’s problems (and are own) are born. Why? For these three reasons:
- Hiding:If we believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with us, then we have to hide who we truly are from others—and erecting and maintaining walls takes a great deal of energy, time and focus.
- Posing:If we are hiding who we truly are from others, we then have to “create” an image of who we think we should be, who we believe others want us to be, or whom we believe is professionally and socially acceptable to be. Putting on a mask, or multiple masks, becomes an elaborate, quixotic and cumbersome dance.
- Projecting:By not showing-up as ourselves we have a difficult time seeing others as they truly are. Not only are we hiding, we are asking the other person to show-up for an illusion, which pressures him into doing the same. In other words, oftentimes we would rather deal with one of their myriad masks or reinforce their desire to hide to make ourselves feel better. Only in being ourselves are we able to accept and be compassionate with others for who they genuinely are.
What does hiding, posing and projecting with others lead to? It means that we are totally incapable of connection and without connection there is no leadership and ultimately no solutions—just more issues. Sure, there may be some successes along the way but in the end, these will be only empty victories.
One’s leadership journey begins with the belief that “there is nothing wrong with me.” This does not mean that we don’t need to continue to learn, grow and evolve. It means that we no longer judge ourselves for those areas, places and ways we are still developing; they are simply the journey we are on at this moment. In giving up our judgment about ourselves, it allows us to bestow this gift onto others. If we want to understand the power we have to influence others now, simply have a conversation without sitting in judgment of them—it’s powerful.
Now we are back to those transcendent moments — that time when we allowed ourselves to simply be, to bask, to enjoy without the chatter of what we are not. This is the seed of leadership. Becoming comfortable with your authentic self and easily sharing it with others, is how to lead by example and equally as important, you are now standing in your power while being completely comfortable with others doing the same. Perhaps it is time to stop thinking about being a better person and simple start being a better you!
For more information on how you can cultivate your authentic self and catalyze your leadership contact Lisa Arfaa at firstname.lastname@example.org.