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 be able to add in awareness 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!
Kathy is a leadership coach for women who want to strengthen their leadership and find balance in life. She mentors women as they rediscover their purpose, passion and persistence for life while dealing with office politics, jerk bosses and the challenges of family life. In her signature program Women with Grit: Leading with Courage & Confidence, Kathy gives her ladies the hope and inspiration they need along with a kick in the pants to make positive change in their lives.
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I'm here to help you grow your courage & confidence, so you can lead and live a full and rich life.