internal change could be the missing link between what is and what we want

Although change is always in front of us, we think about change more at the start of each year. We can’t know the future. We certainly can’t control what the future holds. Or can we?

We can control one change: our beliefs about ourselves. This internal change could be the missing link between what is and what we want. For you, your leadership and your business.

“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” ~Rumi

You and your beliefs

Let’s start this conversation with the topic of self-talk. Becoming aware of your self-talk will help you become aware of your beliefs about yourself.

  • What are you telling yourself about you?
  • What stories are you telling yourself about how others experience you?

An effortless way of turning self-talk from negative to neutral (so that you can eventually shift from neutral to positive) takes just two, almost instantaneous steps, when you are alone:

  1. Listen to the words that come to mind when you are alone: thinking back on what someone said or did or what you said or did; reacting to what you just did, or thinking about your current state or future.
  2. Change your words to a question. For example, when I do something dumb when distracted, I now say “isn’t that interesting!?” instead of the exclamatory statement. This helps me move on quickly, and energetically. Before, I felt suspended in an unproductive mood.

You may not be able to stop negative self-talk. What you can do is stay aware, notice, and quickly restate (even aloud) words like, “Isn’t that interesting?” to open your mind to something better.

Once you gain skill in self-awareness, and are able to shift from negative to at least a neutral state you can expand this to improve your leadership.

Leadership and your beliefs

Knowing yourself is important to great leadership. Staying open, curious, is more critical. Curiosity allows you to question even your own beliefs.

Sometimes what we believe is no longer serving us and is best unlearned if we are to lead well into the future. Stay curious about what others are saying or how they are behaving that causes friction with your beliefs.

You can remain curious while in a neutral or positive state, but rarely in a negative state. Thinking you know best turns friction into negative emotion. You can’t lead well from a negative state.

Want to improve? Here’s how to add awareness and curiosity with others to your self-awareness:

1a. Listen to another person’s words or notice their behaviors. and

1b. Listen to the words you are telling yourself about this.

2a. Ask a question that helps you get clearer about their intention.

As a leader, your aim is to build others and ensure that there is alignment and momentum toward the shared objectives.

Beliefs and your business

Your beliefs are not only important for yourself and your leadership, but also for your business. Your beliefs shape your decisions, actions, and reactions in your business environment. Your beliefs can either help you or hinder you in achieving your business objectives.

Your business involves more people than you. What I stated above holds true for every employee, partner, board member, supplier, etc.

What can you do? Orchestrating a culture that is always ready for change includes creating a safe place for people to speak up and speak out. Weaving in awareness, noticing, and questioning are great steps to take to strengthen the alignment of individual beliefs with what is most needed from them for business success.

And then, together, changing the world becomes possible.

“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” ~Steve Jobs

For “Your 1 Best Next Step,” consider how self-aware and curious you are, and practice the steps to be even better at both.

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About Lori

Lori is The Pivot Catalyst. A trusted advisor and coach, who catalyzes momentum for leaders and teams. The result is lasting business agility--even performance breakthroughs.
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