The last step is often the hardest. This is a sad declaration, but frequently, it’s true. The final period can be the most challenging. Knowing that, though, can keep you in the game and moving forward.
Confident leaders keep moving
Confident leaders continue to move forward despite challenges. That level of confidence comes from mastering their thoughts when things get rough. Managing what you are thinking is easier when you connect to your inner wisdom or your Inner Guidance System. To do that, I've been teaching you to use the Inner Guidance Cycle.
Accessing your inner guide can help
When you follow the steps of the Inner Guidance Cycle, the final step is to proceed. However, getting back into motion after a pausing, pondering and pivoting can often be the hardest step.
---> Why is action the hardest step?
A quick review
Let’s look back for a minute about where you’ve been. You’ve paused. You have stepped back and become more mindful of what is going on. Pausing allowed you to move to the next step, ponder.
Pause then ponder
When you ponder you begin to notice what has been going on both inside of you (thoughts, feelings and body sensations) as well as around you. Reflecting on your inner and outer experience gave you some insights. Pondering awakens your inner guide or your Inner Guidance System.
A little shift now ... pivot
By awakening that Inner Guidance System, you begin to more closely evaluate how your thoughts are connected to your life experience. Those perceptions may have shifted your thoughts, beliefs or your opinions. That takes you to step 3 of the Inner Guidance Cycle; pivot.
Pivoting means a different way
A new perspective pivots you and may prompt you to take different action or respond in an unusual way. Alternately a new way of seeing things may lead you to inaction where you had previously planned to act. That new action or inaction may be contradictory to what you are used to. It may also be far from what those around you are accustomed to expect from you. That could be uncomfortable, for you and them.
Discomfort can be paralyzing
All of these can be very uncomfortable. Discomfort can paralyze us. We freeze, not wanting to go the next step. In a way, it feels better to stay right where we are. I suppose it does until you really look at what staying here means.
The deception of our comfort zone
Staying here, in our comfort zone, isn’t really all that comfy. No, it actually sucks. For many of us, our comfort zone means we’ve given in, blended in or conformed. It actually feels a bit like defeat! Settling for the mediocre life, the ok job or the tolerable work environment isn’t comfortable. It’s painful.
Dealing with the pain of the comfort zone
But we know how to deal with pain, don’t we? We just numb the pain and try to pretend it’s ok. So we:
Change is necessary
In many ways, there is a bigger the problem. No one ever changed the world by living in their comfort zone. No one ever grew or developed, or achieved anything by numbing out the pain and playing and safe. Organizations don’t make a big difference in the lives of their customer, by playing it safe. Instead, change is made, when we get out of our comfort zone.
Q: Why is action the hardest step?
A: When we move forward, we are consciously moving to a place of discomfort. However, if you want to live a full, rich life and enjoy your job, you need to move forward instead of continuing to play it safe.
It’s time to get back into action. Do the uncomfortable thing.
Get the momentum going
An object at rest stays at rest. Conversely, an object in motion stays in motion. Therefore if you want to move back into action, you have to get the ball rolling. One way to make this easier is to connect with why you are making the shift in thinking and taking new actions.
Figure out your Why
In my book, Mastering Confidence: Discover Your Leadership Potential by Awakening Your Inner Guidance System I spend a lot of time helping leaders figure out their “why.”
Proceed with inner wisdom
When you answer these questions, you kick start inner movement thus giving you momentum to take the next outer step. That next step often takes a lot of courage. Being brave means, you are managing your thoughts. Being aware of and managing what you are thinking is the whole underlying feature of the Inner Guidance Cycle. It’s that awareness that awakens that Inner Guidance System. Your inner wisdom gives you the edge in feeling better and leading better. This inner edge is what helps you to master your confidence.
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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.