Happy New Year! You may find that your approach to this year falls in line with the traditional start of having set resolutions, making goals, letting go, or whatever new beginning your vocabulary chooses. Whether you find yourself excited and hopeful, or in a place of shaking off the past year, how you approach this year makes a difference in whatever you intend to accomplish. How you approach anything is how you approach everything, at least on some level. Your attitude is the impetus or deterrent to your success. Attitude is everything. Your attitude is your viewpoint, outlook, perspective, stance, position, orientation, approach, reaction and mindset, and I can assure you that it impacts everything.
So, the starting place is to be conscious of how you see yourself, others and the world. You may be very clear about your attitude and it shows. You may have unconscious thoughts and beliefs that impact the way you show up in the world. Both may occur simultaneously, and your energy (“the physical or mental strength that allows you to do things” according to Merriam-Webster) is influenced. Understanding the amount of consciousness you have is vital. Consciousness is awareness, and I cannot stress enough that the level of awareness you have is critical to knowing where you are now, how you show up, and where you want to go (i.e., what you want to achieve).
So, this brings us to the goals you set and how effective you are in getting results. Here are some suggestions for building awareness, which will impact your relationships, confidence and ability to create success. Building self-awareness will make a difference in your own life and those around you.
- Set an intention and make a commitment to examine your thoughts, beliefs and attitude.
- Write down what you want to achieve – an important step in creating progress and change. If you don’t want to change anything, fine. But I recommend at the very least, write down suggestion number 1 – the intention and commitment become aware.
- Notice your language, and I am not talking about only what you say to others, but also what you constantly say to yourself. We have little messages that fill our thought process all day long, and sometimes most of the night. These thoughts or inner voices may be empowering (Great!) or they may be energy debilitating by keeping you holding beliefs about yourself and others, or what you can achieve. By the way, beliefs are the same as biases – they are the way you see yourself, others, situations, etc. Biases impact you, those around you, and your ability to create change. I know a significant number of people who feel like as a single individual, they cannot make a difference. Well, that is just not true. Anytime you align what you do with your values (the key principles that are important to you, which are the guidelines for your life), your clarity, energy and ability to move forward increases. See item 4 for more on values.
- Make a list of your values. Start by listing everything that is important to you in life, relationships, career, and living in general. Next, go through the list to determine the non-negotiable values that you believe are critical. Knowing these comes in handy for almost any choice you have to make.
- Start a judgment journal. Intend to notice anytime you make a judgment of others, situations, or yourself. I am not talking about discernment that will is crucial to safety. I am talking about the judgments you make constantly as to who someone is or how someone will be without actually engaging with an open mind to get to know the individual. This works for situations, too. And, become aware of how many judgments you make about yourself – whether you can do something, or you can’t; whether you are good at something, or not; whatever story you tell yourself about you. Having a judgment journal is a fantastic contributor to building consciousness.
- Start a meditation or centering practice that provides time for you to connect to yourself, your beliefs, attitudes, longings, dreams, fears – or whatever is deep inside of you that gets shoved aside. By the way, meditation does not have to be a long process, sitting in a specific position or lying down, eliminating thoughts and sounds. A centering practice can be done while walking and focusing, listening to music, appreciating art or nature, being still and setting intention. I know people who meditate best when they are out running. It does not matter the method; what matters is the deliberate thought process and reflection. Make it yours and change it up. Notice when you need a breather and BREATHE!
- Notice your responses to stimuli – those things that bring a reaction in you; whether the stimulus is another person, situation, group, policy or procedure. Your ability to respond is increased when you understand if you are reacting out of habit, emotion, or unconscious behaviors. Responses and/or reactions are grist for the mill in building consciousness and discovery.
- Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Undoubtedly, you will have moments where old habits and behaviors take you off track. Use those circumstances as a time to examine your attitude and belief. Discover if the beliefs and behaviors are blocks that need to be explored more fully.
We are at a time where individual consciousness is important to our lives and our world. Utilizing your strengths and talents starts with knowing where you are holding them back; where they could use further development; where you do not allow your authentic self to show up. We can make a difference in our world, organizations, families, communities and our own lives. It takes living consciously – One Person at a Time. That person is you!
If you would like to know about my coaching and consulting work with individuals and with organizations, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for upcoming programs and tips for living consciously in 2017.
Conscious Leadership in the Workplace takes the discussion of inclusive and dynamic leadership to the next level with powerful tools and exercises that help you create an environment where everyone has the opportunity to contribute and succeed.