In today’s world, we’re often wearing multiple hats at once, juggling various projects and find ourselves giving our time & energy to numerous people. These situations can often lead us to feel frustrated, burnout or fatigue. We usually don’t realise how this becomes a perpetual cycle which we are unaware of. Becoming a Conscious Leader is when we are continuously understanding more about ourselves so we can best be present and serve others. This term stretches beyond the business domain and into all aspects of our lives from our friendships, partners, situations & ourselves.
This concept is about taking radical responsibility for everything around you & a continuous journey of self-discovery. When you stop reacting to life, you can take a step back and reflect. There is power in slowing down, to look at situations objectively and respond more intentionally.
The journey to becoming more of a conscious leader in your life starts with self-awareness. Within this context, you need to begin to understand more about how you operate as a person. Where did your beliefs come from? What insecurities are driving your behaviour? How do you come across to other people? These are some of the fundamental questions to start considering to begin knowing more about yourself. We can only be as helpful as we know ourselves. The more we can understand ourselves, the more useful we can start to become for other people around us. We are all unique individuals that have intricate thought patterns; however, we tend to repeat the same behaviours in certain situations.
Discovering what the cause or triggers are can begin us on a journey change the outcome. Life is rarely a straight path, and there will be things outside of your control that could impact you or the people around you in a negative way. Often in those situations, it’s much easier to be a pessimist or blame others for the situation, which is an example of a negative bias. Negativity bias is when we pay more attention to negative experiences over neutral or positive experiences.
Being a conscious leader gives you back your freedom and not let these emotions keep you a prisoner of your mind. You understand the situation for what it is, a happening. In this happening, you can decide the state you want to be in and what to focus on.
When we start to understand more of who we are, our behaviours, our past conditioning. We can better serve and lead others when we know how to communicate effectively. What words to say, how to say them & trying to understand their belief systems. This will begin to make us conscious creators and not passive creators.
When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.
Here are some of the ways to begin cultivating awareness, which as mentioned in the first step on becoming a conscious leader. Here are some basic concepts which should help. You need to give yourself time to discover which technique is best suited for you and try to experiment.
This technique has become more widely popular over the years, to allow yourself some time chunk of time each day to recenter yourself and your mind. The most important aspect of mediation is becoming an observer of your thoughts. Noticing what enters your mind and allow it to as easily drift away, keeping your focus on normally your breath. You can begin to become more aware of what repeating thoughts are entering your mind and start to allow yourself to let them go more easily. For those that have never had a meditation practice, I have found the easiest way to start is using the mobile app Headspace. It gives guided meditations which are free and easy to follow to begin building the habit before you feel confident to try other types of meditations.
We often look at our past but do we have any records of who we were in those moments. This can be one of the powers of journaling. We have a timestamp of how we were feeling and thinking about certain situations over some time. There are many types of journaling, such as gratitude journaling, dream journaling, mood journaling, and many others. The key is taking your thoughts out of your mind and transferred onto paper or digital documentation. Whichever is most convenient for you. People who would be interested in learning more, I would begin by buying a journal and if possible, daily reflections of how your day was. Your wins and struggles and see how these events influenced your behaviour. Over time, you might be able to spot patterns or triggers and begin learning more about yourself.
This can seem the simplest to perform from the list; however, it can be forgotten when we often are operating on autopilot in our daily lives. For this very reason, being intentional is a valuable technique. It allows us to stop and consider the choices we are making, breaking us away from our normal patterning and conditioning and creating new possibilities with new decisions. One way to begin becoming more intentional is to keep asking yourself “What is my intention going into this?”. The more you’re able to practice, the easy it will become for you to live more intentionally.
These practices are only the beginning of a journey of self-discovery, which is probably the most critical fact of becoming a conscious leader. Self-discovery is a journey with no destination. There will always be patterns, limiting beliefs, behaviours & thoughts that prevent us from being the best version of ourselves. This is okay. We don’t need to become the best necessarily but instead, strive for continuous improvement. So we can best serve the people around us.