Building YOUR relationship with YOU
At our recent Courageous Leaders Event on May 11th, I had the great honour of discussing the vital importance of building a deep and meaningful relationship with yourself. While there are countless leadership trainings available, we often neglect the critical task of truly understanding who we are and how to connect with ourselves on a deeper level.
As leaders, we have a responsibility to be able to self-lead, as our teams are a reflection of ourselves. Therefore, we must give ourselves permission to truly know who we are. When we take the time to focus on ourselves, we can increase our self-belief, resilience, courage, and compassion – all of which are essential qualities for effective leadership.
To build a relationship with oneself, we must first accept ourselves unconditionally and let go of the need for external approval. We must practice kindness and compassion towards ourselves, just as we do towards others. Often at times, we are kind to others but critical of ourselves, so it’s important to check in with our self-talk and treat ourselves with the same level of kindness and respect that we would give to a friend.
To connect with ourselves, we must delve deep into our internal world, an area that is often neglected. This world includes our purpose, mindset, standards, attitude, values, strengths, and weaknesses. While it can be confronting to examine these aspects of ourselves, it’s a necessary step towards personal growth and understanding. It’s also important to recognize that asking for help in this process is not a weakness, but rather a strength.
When I focused on my internal world this is when life started to change for me, as I felt I could really breathe. I knew who I was and what fulfilled me. It gave me the courage to start my own business and back myself. I invested in my growth as I truly trusted I would be able to give a return.
Allow me to share 3 ways you can start:
1. Reflect on what your purpose is
We often tend to overcomplicate the pursuit of finding our purpose. Take a moment to identify the activities in your life that naturally bring you joy. Personally, I realised that throughout my career, I spent a significant amount of time bringing my team together and teaching them new skills. This insight led me to understand that my purpose lies in teaching and developing people, helping them believe in themselves. Keep it simple and remember that your purpose can evolve as you do in life.
2. Become the boss of your mind
I recommend starting by reading Carole Dweck’s book, “Mindset”, which sheds light on the distinction between fixed and growth mindsets. Many individuals believe they possess a growth mindset, but upon closer examination, they realize they tend to adopt a fixed mindset when facing challenges. Cultivate curiosity about the mindset you bring to various situations. Recognize that we have the capacity to be the boss of our minds and take responsibility for how we show up.
3. Elevate your standards
Gain clarity on your personal standards. Identify someone who has achieved the success you desire and inquire about their standards. You can then choose to model those standards. For instance, two standards I adopted were “say yes and figure out how” and “show up 100%.” These standards helped me to go beyond my previous limitations and venture into new territories. Take the time to envision who you aspire to become and establish the standards necessary to reach that level. Then, assess the gap between your current reality and the desired standard. This will enable you to identify the actions required to bridge that gap.
At the event, we concluded with a powerful guided visualization exercise that allowed us to connect with our future selves. This exercise helped us envision the person we want to become and make decisions today that our future selves will be proud of.
Building a relationship with oneself opens up a world of possibilities and creates a solid foundation for the future. As leaders, it’s important to continue growing ourselves so that we can inspire and lead our teams to reach their full potential.
After all, leadership is about growing others, and to do that, we must first grow ourselves.