As a mindful leader, you are probably very aware of what you do, how you present yourself, how you act, what you say, and how you handle problems with others. Right? Here’s my question: are you really? Or do you say so because it’s expected and you don’t want to disappoint anyone who thinks highly of you? Or do you maybe say so to get a well-meaning ‘critic’ to stop pestering you? After all, you’re a busy leader. Why should you bother with such a silly question? Well, maybe you should… if for no other reason than to honestly evaluate yourself and your leadership.
Yes, we’re on a Tony Robbins kick lately, but he’s as successful as he is at least partially because of his applicable wisdom. In this last article about personal accountability, I’d like to bring up self-awareness again and why it’s so important.
One aspect of mindfulness, especially in leadership, is being aware of your own mindset. However, being aware is only one portion of it. What good is being aware if you don’t do anything with what you’re aware of? That’s where applying your knowledge comes in.
What Comes After Self-Awareness?
1. Be brutally honest with yourself. You may think you’re self-aware, but is that really enough? And are you truly self-aware just because you say so?
2. Think about what you can do to solve something that a fellow human brings up to you. Are you hearing their concerns or trying to brush them off? Do you take feedback into consideration or just assume that you know better?
3. How do you react to others, especially when they voice a concern about something? Are you calm and collected, open to feedback, and willing to at least mull it over? Or do you find yourself being defensive, impatient, or dismissive? If you notice this about yourself, great – you’re on the right track, but not quite there yet. If you don’t notice this but others do, it’s definitely time to re-evaluate your mindset.
Five Ways to Improve or Maintain Your Mindfulness
The best way to make sure you’re seeing things clearly and optimizing your skill set as a mindful leader is through maintenance. There are several simple things you can do daily or weekly to maintain and improve your clarity in all aspects of your life, so if you feel at all – even the tiniest little bit – like you could be doing better, read on.
1. Meditate. Whether you sit and breathe or just clear your mind while folding laundry, gardening, or doing another task that doesn’t require too much thought, it helps.
2. Keep a journal. Though this is similar to meditation, it offers the added benefits of being able to get everything out of your head and leaving it lone for a day or two so you can go back to what you wrote with a fresh perspective.
3. Know that you don’t know everything. Once you do and allow your thirst for knowledge to lead instead of your assumptions, you will find that the world looks like a completely different place… and so do the people in it.
4. Never stop learning about yourself. People change almost constantly, and the more experiences and lessons you have in your life, the more you probably have to learn about yourself. Journaling is great for this as well because it allows you to fully develop and work through who you are, what your core values are, and what small things you can do to become better than you were the day before.
5. Study. Ongoing training, coaching, and exploration of things you’re interested in as well as things you need to know well for your career is a great way to keep your brain, thoughts, and emotions at their absolute best.
It’s unfortunate that more people don’t realize the amazing power they have within them. Do you recognize your own power? Your greatness? Your drive? Take a look in the mirror for a few minutes and think about what you’ve overcome in life so far. How far have you come? Do you know where you want to ultimately be? If you know in your heart that you’re on your way, don’t be afraid to celebrate. Each small victory is worth acknowledging! Your personal power lies within you… in your mindset.
As always, keep leading mindfully! I hope to see you back here next week on the Mindful Leader Blog.