We hear so much about leadership as an outwardly act to help other people reach their full potential. Meanwhile, a lot of us leaders need a little inwardly work. It’s so much easier to look outside of ourselves, rather than hold that mirror up and really take a good look at who’s staring back. The only way to truly lead others is to first lead ourselves.
12 tips to help take that look in the mirror… and start doing some inwardly leadership work:
Remember, you’re just looking. You’re not judging yourself. When you find yourself criticizing, just say “next” or “interesting”, or something to allow yourself to move on.
Be objective and lighten up. Pretend you are an investigator or scientist. You’re not looking for a certain outcome. Just accept what you see.
If you find something you want to change, that’s cool. Afterall, change is the only constant right? My 5 Steps of Change can help a lot, check it out!
Pay attention to your thoughts and beliefs. What are the “voices in your head” telling you? Do you believe those voices, or should they be changed? Remember, you control your thoughts and beliefs - don’t allow them to control you.
Be mindful of what thoughts and beliefs you feed yourself. Go for positive doses. Youtube and TedX has so many great motivational videos.
Feel your emotions. Allow them to flow through you. Don’t resist - this only causes harmful stress. Smile. Research proves this will make you feel better.
Take a slow deep breath through your nose. Hold it 5 seconds. Release through your mouth. Do this 3 times.
Think about the relationships you have in your life. Are you surrounding yourself with positive people, or do you have a few that are draining your energy? I believe we should spend about a third of our time with people we look up to, a third of the time with people we connect with (on our level), and a third of the time helping build others up.
What are you putting in your body? Do you take care to eat properly. This has a huge affect on how you feel, and how you will lead yourself and others.
Are you moving throughout the day? A 10 minute stretch routine in the morning is easy and a great preventative! Looking away from the computer, walking as much as possible, standing rather than sitting, taking the stairs, parking far away. (Hint, stop thinking you’re in such a hurry. Tell yourself you have all the time in the world! Your body and mind will act differently.)
Are you breathing? Letting your muscles relax. Taking a breath in through your nose, very deeply, holding it 5 seconds and releasing through your mouth is a great tension reliever.
Are you having fun? We’re not meant to struggle and suffer, contrary to what many of us learned during our upbringings. Get rid of that belief. Smarter people enjoy their lives and what they’ve chosen to do!
Investing in yourself has many payoffs, including being a much more balanced and authentic leader. Remember to enjoy the journey!