Leadership from inside out – The paradox of choice
„I am not what happened to me, I am what I chose to become.” Carl Jung
Most of us live our lives standing outside of ourselves, ready to judge our actions, our physical body, our feelings and our thoughts from an external standard. We are in an endless competition. We have a tendency to define ourselves through the feedback from others and give more credence to the views and opinion of others than listening to our own inner voices, our heart and our intuition.
We are too busy in the doing and forget about who we were being.
What happened? When did our lives become so busy? How did we fill our days with so many things? Too much of everything and more, and more. More is like a modern sickness, it can be a constant distraction and leave us under enormous pressure. I meet people on a daily basis who want more. More freedom, more responsibility, more confidence, more sales, more money, more love, more energy, more time etc. The irony is the solution to our need for more often entails in doing less.
Many of us spend our days racing to catch up with ourselves.
We also live in a world where there is an ever growing list of ways to communicate with our nearest and dearest for example phones, chats, social media, e-mails, texts etc. They all seem to accelerate our stress rather than improve the quality of our relationships.
The ‘paradox of choice’ in our society means a large amount of choices we have can regrettably become overwhelming instead of liberating.
What is the solution then? How much is enough? How can we reach abundance (having more of something), without doing more and more, and end up in a rat race? How much are we afraid to be left out of something, or miss out on something? These questions keep me busy recently as I watch my executive clients and as I am ready to move my business to the next level.
One of the answers came from two people. Jayne Warrilow says “We need to give ourselves permission to stop.”, While Rich Litvin says: “You have to slow down in order to speed up.” When we slow down it is much easier for us to get in touch with our authentic self and the REAL LEADER in us.
But how to do it?
When you are doing breathing exercises, going for a walk, reflecting, meditating, reading a captivating book or enjoying a dinner with your beloved ones (without phones!) you do slow down.
Truly recognising opportunities for connections and for business can only happen if you are here in the present. When you are constantly chasing your dreams and goals, you (like me) end up in a nonstop future focused mode.
Lucy Ryan reminded me recently how important is to be grateful for who we are and what we have today. To be appreciative in the here and now. Keeping a gratitude journal may sound girlish for some of you but the impact on how fulfilled and happy you feel and what kind of energy you generate around yourself are enormous and invaluable. So write down 3 to 5 things, people, or event you are grateful for by end of each day.
So it’s okay you can stop now……
Sources: Energy awakening by Jayne Warrilow, Positive psychology in action Coaching without Border (CHN) event by Lucy Ryan, and Rich Litvin