Personal Leadership is vitally important to live a life that is authentically meaningful, contented and expressive of your most natural self. How we assume a leadership role in our lives can take many forms. The one I’m focusing on in this blog post is what I call the Inner Work of Success - the practice of developing a relationship with your inner world, to get to know and understand how your mind works, what your heart is telling you and to really LISTEN to that still small voice that is the truth of who you are.
Inner Work is important because without it we are run by history, stories, habits, limiting beliefs and circumstances. We (and the world) miss out on our authentic experience, the richness of who we really are.
There are many methods to Inner Work. One way I work with personally and with clients is to notice when I’m being triggered. Triggers teach us a lot! Three emotions that can indicate that something is being triggered are anger, fear and resentment.
For example, I’m feeling angry. “That guy just cut me off!!! What an idiot $&#*&#$^” I feel the rush of anger, indignation and adrenaline swirl into my body. I don’t discharge this anger by giving him the finger or swearing (most of the time).
[Note: My attitude and reactivity or lack of it while driving is a great barometer of how peaceful I am within myself. When I’m not peaceful, I discharge this anger. When I am peaceful, there’s no anger. Road rage is an indicator of how poorly folks handle stress, anger and fear. We are racing around in lethal weapons not aware that our actions could literally kill. And do. ]
I then breathe to settle my body down. Breathing is essential to gaining perspective at what is being challenged in the trigger.
Then I get curious and question myself from a loving non judgmental place: “What's happening that I reacted so strongly just now when the same thing happened earlier and I didn’t react at all?” “What was I feeling before this guy cut me off? What was my inner state? I’m feeling victimized, pushed around, assaulted by this guy. I don’t even know him. What’s this about?”
Then I stay with what comes up with curiosity and openness. This takes practice. Aha! I recall earlier feeling a shrinking inside like I’m losing my power when someone said something to me at work. Even though I responded maturely I felt afraid, threatened and stuffed it. I finished work, got in my car to drive home and voila! This guy cuts me off.
I look closely at what this earlier experience triggered and discover that it triggered a belief that I’m not competent or good enough. I see that the feelings I had to stuff at work because I really felt like crying and you just don’t do that at work, are still with me. This guy cuts me off and I’m enraged. That little place that felt threatened earlier is feeling threatened again. The anger comes as a way to show me there’s something here that needs attention.
Once I see this, I can talk to someone (not while driving) journal and/or sit with this place inside that feels incompetent, small and vulnerable. I sense what it needs: attention, acknowledgement and gentleness and nurture it. By giving voice to these feelings I shift my relationship to this vulnerable part providing a new perspective and understanding. I love more of my experience and who I am.
Accessing the truth of your experience and being in an authentic place with yourself takes responsibility and personal leadership. In this way you get to be the fullness of who you are. It takes awareness, commitment, the right tools, support and foundation to stay with yourself and to encourage your own evolution consciously while living in the world.
The Inner Work of Success is the most precious success any of us will ever have. Are you ready to take it on?
Please use these Inner Work questions to guide your journey to Success:.
Describe a situation where you felt triggered.
How do you know you were triggered- what feeling showed you this?
What else was happening that might have contributed to your reaction?
What’s really true?
Adding Soul to Your Success,