There isn’t only one way to see things. There is not a perfect way to handle a challenge. There is not only one description for a person. We live in a world of many perspectives, viewpoints, possibilities and opinions.
Applying this truth to how we tackle leadership, can serve to increase your confidence level. Let me show you how.
Your Inner Guidance System Via The Inner Guidance Cycle
I have walked you through the stages of accessing your Inner Guidance System in the last few weeks. You’ve learned to move through the first two steps of the Inner Guidance Cycle. The first step, pausing, allows you to notice what has been going on both around you and inside of you. The next step I’ve encouraged you to do is to ponder. Pondering is getting curious about your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. It is by accessing this inner wisdom or your Inner Guidance System that will help you to find self-confidence. In this post, I want to talk to you about what to do with what you find when you’ve spent some time reflecting.
Unconscious to Conscious
The first two steps of the Inner Guidance Cycle have helped you to turn unconscious thoughts into conscious thought. We are usually so unaware of what is going on inside us. Because we haven’t noticed, we also don’t realize what the thoughts we are having are doing to our confidence levels.
Be Wary of Looping Thoughts
Being unaware of repetitive looping thoughts such as, “I can’t handle this” allows the idea to become an ingrained belief. Becoming aware that we’ve had the same thought, ten times in the last 3 minutes, makes it possible to examine the idea more carefully.
When we become more mindful of the fact that we repeatedly have this thought, we can inspect it. Is it true? Maybe not. Or, perhaps it is partially correct. You can then ask yourself what parts are true. “It is true that I can’t handle it all by myself.”
This new understanding helps us to realize that we may need to learn something new, ask for help or try a different way. Awareness helps to shift our thinking.
This change in thinking gives us the ability to see the problem and ourselves differently. Rather than the repetitive thought of; “I can’t” we pivot to; “With help, I can.” Suddenly, the load seems a little lighter and our confidence is boosted.
Turing to new ways
Pivoting is turning. It is shifting the way we see a challenge, a project, another person, or ourselves. It is changing our perspective.
The following excerpt comes from page 139 of my upcoming book Mastering Confidence: Discover Your Leadership Potential by Awakening Your Inner Guidance System. It will help to deepen your understanding of the pivot step,
How To Pivot
To change what you are thinking, ask yourself the following questions:
Making Your Pivot
Pivoting allows you to get from where you are now, which is often stuck, to where you want to be. Think of it as an intersection. Pause when you get there. Ponder for a moment. Look at the direction you are going, then consider the alternatives. Which road ahead of me is going to get me to the future vision I desire. Then, let’s head down that path. Use the Inner Guidance Cycle to access your Inner Guidance System!
Up next week, I’ll help you with the final stage of the, Inner Guidance Cycle, proceeding.
If you want to be an exemplary leader, don't wait for someone else to tell you how, what or why. Find access to your inner wisdom when you pause and then ponder.
Consider what is going on inside of you!
Reflect on what you notice.
Consider, how are those thoughts, feelings, and sensations, are connected to what is going on outside of you. Use this information to awaken that inner wisdom that can guide you forward.
Awaken Your Inner Guidance System
You get insights from your wise self when you ponder. Pondering is listening to your inner wisdom or what I call your Inner Guidance System. The insights gained by pondering can support and guide you. This Inner Guidance System is instrumental in mastering leadership confidence.
Stop to notice
Taking the time to ponder helps you see things you may have missed in the hustle and bustle of the day. In the last blogs, I introduced you to your Inner Guidance System and the first step of the Inner Guidance Cycle; pause. The first step is to pause periodically. Next, once you have stopped, you can move on to this second phase; ponder.
This stage, pondering, allows you to notice and observe thing you would have risked overlooking without the conscious exploration of your Inner Guidance System. Pondering allows you to pick up on subtleties during interactions such as:
Someone said something and that left you:
Perhaps an email you received sent you to:
Your staff’s blunder may have you:
Your thoughts may be about someone else or the situation
Insights from within
The awareness of these thoughts, feelings and sensations and how they connect to your world can provide surprising insights. This new understanding or this inner wisdom is your Inner Guidance System in action. Understanding what is happening under the surface can prompt you to shift what you are doing, how you are interacting with others and maybe even more importantly, what you are saying to yourself.
Confidence begins inside
Your inner dialogue contributes to your confidence. Thoughts that empower you, inspire you and boost you up, will increase your confidence. Changing your thoughts starts with awareness of what you are currently saying. That is where pondering comes in.
Warning, no judgment
Notice that I did not suggest you judge or criticize your thoughts, feelings or sensations. This is not the time to beat yourself up. It is not another opportunity to berate yourself for screwing up, missing something or for telling yourself what you are feeling is wrong. It’s simply time to notice.
Put a name to it
As you ponder, I want you to identify those feelings thoughts and sensations, attaching names or labels to them.
Put your Inner Guidance System to work
Pondering is the reflection portion of the Inner Guidance Cycle. It is the gathering and input of data into your Inner Guidance System. Remember, you are assembling the following:
Extra credits for going detailed
Over time, when you practice following the Inner Guidance Cycle, you will get better able to pull the pieces within apart. You will become aware of the stimulus and the subsequent reaction. In time, rather than reacting, you’ll be able to choose a response to what is going on in your life.
Consider the following example:
Pause and then ponder.
All of this information gets put into your Inner Guidance System so that it can give you direction. In the next stage, pivot, we will learn what to do with all of this information you have gathered. For now, pause and ponder. Look at what going on inside of you and increase your awareness of how thoughts are connected to feelings and sensations. This alone will evoke your inner wisdom and help you to increase your confidence levels!
Grab your copy of Mastering Confidence today and learn how to ponder more effectively!
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.
If you want to feel more competent, capable and sure of yourself in your leadership, you need to increase your self-confidence. To be able to bounce back time and time again, when the $#!t hits the fan, you need a system that will help you regain your confidence when you falter.
The system that powerful leaders everywhere rely on is a system that is inside of them. I call this your Inner Guidance System. Leaders who can navigate the busy, stressful and difficult times AND come out on top, rely on something inside of them. This inner wisdom provides strength, insight, and stamina, not just to survive but to thrive.
Your Internal Compass
Let me introduce you to your Inner Guidance System. Accessing this system will help you master your confidence. You’ll discover more about this in my upcoming book: Mastering Confidence: Discover Your Leadership Potential by Awakening Your Inner Guidance System. For now, though, let me give you an overview.
Your Inner Guidance System is your internal navigational structure. Think of your Inner Guidance System as your personal GPS or as a compass. Your Inner Guidance System points you in the right direction.
Know Your Leadership Destination
But where are you going? Yes, that is a crucial part of the equation. Leadership is about taking people someplace. It is about moving your organization from here to there. That is your vision or destination. The destination could be something like:
For you, as a leader, to take your team there, you need to be able to respond in a certain way, make some tough decisions and fan the flame on that dream of what is possible. With everything going on some days, that can be hard! It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day work. One can get frustrated, overwhelmed and discouraged by the things you have to deal with.
Where many leaders find themselves in the face of all this, is:
Even the best leader can find their confidence wavering. To combat this, one needs to have a system in place, to bounce back. A strong leader needs a system to help them regain footing, find stability and once again move forward confidently. That system is your Inner Guidance System.
Confidence comes from within
Many leaders are looking for more confidence in their leadership. Confidence comes from what you think you’re capable of. Therefore it is by activating this wise inner self that you can begin to feel more confident. By tuning into your Inner Guidance System, you find your thinking changes and thus, your confidence levels increase.
Get acquainted with your inner wisdom
Your Inner Guidance System is made up of your:
When you tune into your Inner Guidance System, it helps you identify the direction you need to go as well as the action steps you need to do to get moving in that direction.
Follow the steps of your INNER GUIDANCE CYCLE
To make use of your Inner Guidance System, you need to follow the steps of the Inner Guidance CYCLE. These four steps, when repeated again and again, help you to make use of your internal wisdom.
The steps of the INNER GUIDANCE CYCLE
The Inner Guidance CYCLE involves four steps that I want you to master through lots of practice so that you strengthen your confidence:
When you do the steps repeatedly, they provided insights that you need to move in the direction you want to go. In the upcoming blogs and videos, I will go more in-depth into each of these steps.
Notice your THOUGHTS
To begin to get acquainted with your wise inner self, start paying attention to what is going on inside of you.
Consider what thoughts you have about situations.
Notice your FEELINGS
Identify your feelings about people, challenges or outcomes you experience.
Notice body SENSATIONS
Begin to pay attention to the sensations in your body. For example, notice when:
Tune into your INNER GUIDANCE SYSTEM
All of these, thoughts, feelings and sensations are signs your Inner Guidance System at work.
Stay tuned for the next blog, where I will walk you through the first step of the Inner Guidance CYCLE, which is the pause step. You will learn not only the value of pausing but how to do it more often.
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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.