Friday October 18, 2013
One of the most powerful pieces of writing that I’ve ever seen is from Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love.
It was quoted by Nobel Prize–winner Nelson Mandela in his inaugural address, and perhaps you’ve heard it before. I keep the full quote in my desk, and I refer to it often. Listen closely and consider your own life as you listen to Marianne’s words.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within is. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
What powerful words.
The best place to begin living an extraordinary life and becoming the leader you were born to be … is to honestly look at where you are now. This is not about judging yourself or making yourself wrong; it’s just a simple truth-telling from you, to you, about your current reality.
That honest look at yourself will be part of the foundation for making some quantum leaps in effectiveness and in personal satisfaction.
We’ll begin this message with a series of questions, such as,
How are you doing in the major areas of your life?
How are you doing with your relationships?
How about your career?
Your health and fitness?
Your connection to spirit?
Take an honest, direct, and nonjudgmental look at where you are. Beating yourself up is counterproductive. Glossing over real problems and having your ego speak is also counterproductive.
The following questions are for you to answer and only for you. It’s through the resulting awareness that you can create an authentic opening to actualize the rest of your ability to create an extraordinary life. You can just mentally make notes of your answers, or for maximum value, you can write them down.
So how are you doing with your relationships and communications? Your relationships with yourself, with your family, with your colleagues at work, and with your community?
Are those key relationships rich and fulfilling?
Or are they superficial or distant or in conflict?
Over the past five years I’ve asked many of my executive coaching audiences how many are estranged from a family member or know of someone in their immediate family who is estranged from another family member. The yes response rate is more than 70 percent. For many of us, key relationships are in turmoil. How about you? How are you doing with your relationships and your communications?
How are you doing with your career? Are you doing work that’s rewarding to you? Are your talents, experiences, and knowledge being used effectively? Are you acknowledged for your contributions? Do you spring out of bed each workday morning, eager to show up at 100 percent?
How are you doing financially? Are you making the progress with your income and savings that you feel are responsible and satisfying? Does money run you? Or is it simply an enabler in your life?
How’s your health and fitness? Are you as capable of your best work or giving your full attention to your children at 5 p.m. as you are at 10 a.m.? Do you like how you look in the mirror? If there was an emergency that required you to be fast and flexible, could you perform physically?
More importantly, what is the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in these key areas? If where you really want to be is represented by a 10, how do you rate yourself?
Begin to clarify what you want as a result. Perhaps more importantly, what’s your level of commitment to beginning the process of closing the gap between where you are and what you want as a result?
Stay tuned … in my next posting I’ll share my approach to “closing the gap” with the intent of supporting you in becoming a more effective leader.