New Year…New Inner You?

New Year…New Inner You?

Wow the New Year can be such a catalyst can’t it? For me the build up to Christmas and that momentum of switching over to a new year has created a fire in me to change!! How about you?

I spent quite some time during the build up to Christmas reflecting on what behaviours I wanted to develop, master, enjoy. Yes enjoy! The major theme for me has been about focusing more on the quality of the moment – the NOW, each present moment. As ever my focus is on how I am BEing, not what I am DOing. 

It’s very easy isn’t it to focus on changing things external to us – getting into New Year’s resolutions that focus on the DOing to improve our lot or indeed fix something that we perceive to be a failure or weakness of how we are.  

So for me development, personal and professional, is predominantly focused on BEing not DOing. How do I want to BE different, how do I want to create or change a behaviour.

‘Our attitude is like perfume…people can smell it’. And we get what we get as a result.

A few insights occurred to me during my period of reflection:

  • Fixing – the momentous amount of time I’ve spent trying to ‘fix’ something about myself has been huge! This is all good because it has lead me to where I am now. However, acceptance of me as I am and where I am is really where I can propel myself to come alive and step forward
  • My Experience – EVERYTHING that I experience is happening on the inside, not outside of me…particularly my perception of myself, others, the leadership context. This perception dictates how I behave
  • BEing – I can DO a lot of things, however how I am BEing whilst I am doing them is what makes a real difference to me, my leadership and the resulting impact

Thus right now, in the context of behaviour change, I realise some of my biggest learnings in all the 20 plus years I‘ve been proactively developing myself comes down to 3 fundamental things:

  • Willingness, openness, acceptance – this is never ending…
  • Getting off self condemnation…again…and again…and again…
  • Challenging…my beliefs…perceptions…assumptions…

I shared in my last article about the ‘Building Inner Confidence for Professional Impact’ on-line course that I have spent the last 18 months developing. At the crux of this are some of these insights…especially the approach that the course isn’t a sticking plaster. It’s a combination of the last 20 years of self insight and learning.

It’s not about telling yourself that you are this or that or indeed that anything external is going to give you the confidence or assurance you want. The course is asking you to be willing to go inside, dig deep and see what’s there. Pick at the uncomfortableness, see what your perceptions and beliefs are about yourself. See that those negative beliefs and perceptions are fundamentally complete rubbish! And the real truth is something only you can discover because that is inside you – or is yet to be revealed. That’s empowernment my friends…

Writing this I remember how scared I was to go inside me and take those first steps. So I have a huge empathy with anyone who may be feeling terrified, apprehensive, scared, anxious about doing so. I was so fearful that I’d find something awful, something fundamental about me that was just life changingly terrible. Or something that would mean all my concerns and fears were actually true. I was a liability, a burden – and essentially not good enough. Well of course I didn’t find anything like that. It was all hot air, fears, complete crap, self created illusion. Hard to know that though right? Unless you take that courageous first step…

So here we are…a New Year and the golden opportunity to use this catalyst, this energy to fuel change. Take the plunge to invest in yourself and your ongoing journey that is your life and leadership… 

What’s the worst that can happen? Or more importantly what’s the amazing BEST of you that could emerge?

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