Taking a step back, pausing or taking a break is not something most of us do well in leadership.
However, it doesn’t feel like we have the time to take a break, pause or reflect. Yet, pausing is an incredibly important part developing strong confidence and strong leadership. In fact, it is the first step in increasing your confidence.
Your Inner Guidance Cycle
In this series of blogs, I’m introducing you to the steps in the Inner Guidance Cycle. I talk about this cycle in my new book Mastering Confidence: Discover Your Leadership Potential by Awakening Your Inner Guidance System. The first step in awakening that guidance system is to pause.
The first step: PAUSE
By taking this first step, PAUSE, you’ll start to awaken your Inner Guidance System. It’s that inner wise part of you that helps you to get a hold of your thoughts and then move forward with a conscious response.
From reacting to responding
Most of us are reacting to whatever shows up. We aren’t taking the time to choose how we want to respond, or even how we want to feel. Pausing is stopping, pulling back or taking a break. By pausing, we can make some choices instead of running around like chickens with our heads cut off!
Pausing is part of journeys
Think for a moment about a road trip. There are times when you are travelling that you take a break. You pull over the side the road and stop. That might be a roadside turnout so that you can stretch. You might pause on your trip to stop at a gas station to fuel up. You can’t refuel, stretch, go to the bathroom if you don’t stop
Leaders need pauses too
In leadership when we pause, it gives us the opportunity to become mindful and present to what is happening. I’ve talked before about the racing thoughts we have about what’s been going on and about what is coming up. Pausing settles those thoughts. When you pause, you are not in the future or the past but here, in the present moment. It is in this present moment that you find access to your Inner Guidance System. It is those thoughts, feeling, and sensations that help to guide you forward.
The direction you are going
Learning to make pauses, a regular part of your routine takes time. Eventually, you may get to the point where there is a trigger that reminds you to do this. That trigger could be when you’re feeling:
Make pauses part of your routine
You need to schedule your pauses in. This will help you to build a habit of pausing. So that you get used to responding to the triggers, it is important to start with establishing a routine of stopping and pausing. Remember, it's is this first step of pausing, that is going to allow you to awaken your Inner Guidance System.
Plan to make these kinds of pauses
Look through your day and decide how you can add these types of pauses:
Scheduling your pauses in
Next, do the work of actually scheduling those breaks in. Add triggers to help you remember to do them, even if you are busy.
Reminders about WHY you must schedule the pauses in
Awaken your Inner Guidance System: Step # 1 - Pause
Start accessing your inner wisdom and allowing it to guide you by pausing. By awakening your Inner Guidance System, you will be learning to get control of your thoughts and feelings. That inner control is going to help you master your confidence. Strong leaders are confident leaders. Begin to awaken that Inner Guidance System: Schedule in pauses throughout your day.
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.