As we continue to navigate upheaval, civil unrest, and even more “safer at home” directives, personal leadership is your strongest response. No matter what’s happening in your internal or external environment, you were born to lead yourself through this, and even help countless others do the same–if you choose. What’s required to lead in this way is staying conscious and connected to the authentic leader within. Here are four practices to keep yourself grounded in the truth of who you are.
1. Lead with Wisdom
There is a lot that’s unknown and completely out of our control. And, nothing can take away our freedom to choose our own response to what’s happening. Are you practicing thoughts that boost your immune system or tear it down? Are you getting caught up in a negative spiral fueled by anxiety, fear, or grief right now? How can you be in that discomfort and not let it define or run you? Listen to your inner wisdom. Ask yourself questions that lead to outcomes that support, uplift, and create clarity. What is one positive action you can take given the situation at hand? How can you have more compassion for yourself and others who are struggling? How can you learn to ask for help or offer to help someone else right now?
2. Lead with Power
Empowerment comes from inside. It’s a source of infinite strength that often surprises us when we’re faced with unthinkable challenges. Allow yourself to discover the magnitude of your own inner strength. Let your inner hero step up in small ways right now. Ask yourself: what is one act of strength for me today? Just take today and apply this. How can I help someone (or myself) feel stronger today?
3. Lead with Inspiration
Keeping your spirits up in crisis is an act of leadership. As Dr. Robert Holden says, “Spiritual fitness is how we stay in shape during difficult times and build resilience.” What if you treated yourself to a morning ritual that uplifts and replenishes you energetically? Would you consider beginning the day with an inspired reading, meditation, prayer, affirmation, yoga, breathing exercise, or journal entry? Any of these new habits might help relieve your nervous system, open you up to a new insight, or even change the trajectory of your life for the better.
4. Lead with Positive Regard
The most influential leaders hold others in a place psychologist Carl Rogers called “unconditional positive regard.” Even when they strongly disagree with others, they choose to see the inherent goodness at the heart of everyone. They value others as people first and their role second, so people feel understood and appreciated. They value people as inherently good and treat behavior/attitudes/choices as distinct from the human being. How can you meet challenges with strength of heart? How can you recognize the humanity in each person and redirect energy toward what can be used in the situation for positive change, forward motion, learning, new solutions for the greater good?