Welcome to 2014! The root of January is Jannus, meaning “god of the doorway.” January is the door that opens to the New Year. Yet January is often problematic for many people. We get caught up in the desire to begin anew, often making resolutions that quickly fade.
Why is it that when we desire change it is often difficult to implement?
In the work I do with clients, we focus first on clarity.
- First get clear about the desired change. I often see that people rarely drill down deep enough to truly understand their desire and motivation. This is what will help sustain momentum.
- Secondly, create an intention. The difference between an intention and a goal is profound. An intention, when planted with clarity and in a deeply relaxed state, will pull you forward. An intention is rooted in the subconscious mind, which is running the “behavioral operating system” the majority of the time. A goal can be more difficult because when your actions are inconsistent with what you stated, emotions of blame, shame and guilt can be self-punishing. This can cause you to retract the goal and thereby not move towards that which you most desire.
- Lastly, and of critical importance are the practices and habits that will support your moving towards your intention. These include behaviors that will promote new neural wiring, and that which supports your engagement towards your desired future.
Here are some places to start:
- Recognize which mindsets are determining your reality. Your external world is a mirror of your internal world. When you change the way you see – your “mindset” – your reality changes. However, mindsets are usually invisible to us. Learning to become the observer of your own reality is the first step in this process. The change in your reality – and the results – happen first within your own mind.
- Organize your priorities to align with how your mind works. You don’t think like everyone else. Become effective by using approaches that work with your mind and not against it. When the system comes from within you, it works because you are being your own Natural Leader. You’ll create the results you desire by working your way.
- Create collaboration and trust founded on confidence in your natural leadership style. Most breakdowns in leadership are in communication due to misaligned and distorted thinking and perceptions. Because of this, our communication often results in resistance and defensiveness. When the leader creates a space for others to fully express and contribute, everything changes. You learn to transform from a style of “attack and defend” to one of “allow and emerge.” Collaboration and trust become the norm.
- Experience yourself as a leader so you can stand apart from and above day-to-day problems. Do this for yourself first, and then you can do it for others. As you learn and practice being fully present and engaged in the here and now, your leadership influence soars. Your Natural Leader knows what to do in every moment, so you can relax and trust.
- Practice consciously and choose the habits that support you in making transformation sustainable. Your natural leadership is integrative, balanced and whole. You have moved from “push” and “manage” to “allow” and “co-create”. You have learned what works, and have stopped doing those things that don’t. Accountability supports you on the path to experience Natural Leadership as a journey and not an event.
When your Natural Leadership evolves, joy is a part of your daily experience. You re-discover the joy that is already in your life, and you can be okay with everything that’s going on. You start to see things you never noticed. When you return to this “center” as your base, it allows all kinds of positive things to present themselves. Your brilliance brims up out of you as your Natural Leader takes over.
Here are a few questions to help get you started as you open the doorway:
1. Get clear first.
2. What is my intention?
3. How will I know when I have made the necessary progress? What will I observe, hear, feel, and experience?
4. What practices will help me get there?
5. What habits do I want to create and which ones do I need to release that no longer serve me?
This framework can be used personally and professionally. I personally engaged in an intensive business planning process for 2014. I included many of these questions in setting my business objectives and action steps that will support my business growing to an even bigger level of impact.
I am entering the doorway of 2014 with a map, a compass and a clear destination. The journey will unfold with adventure; some with delight and some with disappointment. I am clear, confident and prepared. How about you?
Susan Freeman, MBA, NCC, ACC is an executive coach, speaker and the author of “Step Up Now: 21 Powerful Principles for People Who Influence Others.” An accredited coach with the International Coach Federation, Susan’s background includes an M.B.A. from Columbia University; 25 years of strategic marketing, non-profit, and retained executive search management experience.Visit her at www.StepUpLeader.com
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