Friday, March 18, 2016
We have “good” days and we have “bad” days, and we judge ourselves too harshly in both directions. But staying power is one of the secrets of leadership.
No matter your leadership role, it’s too easy to get caught up in judging yourself for what’s going on. You may find you are overwhelmed - too much to do, not enough support, confused about your direction, unclear about your vision. You may be angry, in pain, fearful or too ambitious. You may be exhausted, under pressure, or just plain stressed out. It might be making you sick or unable to take your seat in your role.
Alternatively, perhaps you find you are cruising, celebrating your success, luxuriating in triumph. The pitfall here is when we believe that this will last forever and we become too attached to success.
No matter where you find yourself, you can guarantee one thing: it’s going to change.
So how do you deal with that? How do you navigate change? How do you remain in your leadership seat with all the changing forces moving around and through you?
Finding a way to stay with your experience in the midst of the shifting sands means there is a sense of stability within yourself and for the people relying on you. This comes from within. It is your own inner strength and sense of presence that allows you to move with the waves instead of being thrown by them.
Staying power means we are willing to feel. Willing to reside in the midst of our experience, no matter what. This is a power, and not to be taken for granted. We have to work at it - it’s a path after all.
There are a few lucky folks who innately know how to do this, but I am not one of them. I have had to work at it, to learn how to let go of my panic and worry and rest with uncertainty. I have had to learn to trust my inner resilience and know that I will be okay (or I won’t) and that I have what I need to navigate the terrain before me.
This place of equilibrium, this landscape of equanimity does not mean having an experience that is flat and unchanging, but rather means being able to ride our experience and know that it too will change. We have to be willing to feel what we are feeling, tuning in to our body, coming home to the present moment.
This is the journey of The Presence Point. It is not a quick journey, and for some of us, myself included, it is continuous and on-going. But the journey becomes the delight, and the confidence that arises then is what shines in our leadership.
Some days are easier than others. But if we trust ourselves enough, we can begin to appreciate those hard moments for what they bring to us. The learning and depth that occurs in our experience because of challenge will benefit us and those that rely on us, if we let it.
I dare you to find your own inner staying power. I dare you to engage the power of feeling. Next time you feel your boat rocked by elation or depression, by excitement or unease, I dare you to ride it out. You will benefit everyone around you immensely if you do.