No one can persuade another to change, each of us guards a ’gate of change that can only be opened from the inside (Marilyn Ferguson).
We can open these gates of change when we freely choose ways of being, and attitudes which are congruent with our deepest values. When we live with more inner directedness, integrity and self-definition, we infuse the culture around us and those entrusted to our care with positivity and proactivity — creating a working atmosphere that is more guided by principles than one motivated by duty. Self-awareness and reflection lead us to the discovery of a core deep within us, that is, in some respect, changeless. Victor Frankl, survivor of the Nazi concentration camps, and author of ‘man’s search for meaning’ discovered, through his awful ordeals and obstacles, an inner self-mastery with which he later inspired others. Much of this self-mastery is used in leadership training and workplaces today. Amongst the concepts of self-mastery, there is an emphasis on;
The bigger picture — whereby we explore what we want to give our lives to….our personal, vocational mission statement, our definition of a life worth living, the ’trail or legacy we want to leave behind when we have left this particular role.
Values — Knowing what calls us to live with integrity and congruency in our chosen or assigned roles and striving through goal setting and commitment to live them out with a sense of purpose and direction.
Self-worth — Sometimes when we do not believe in our own internal power, we ’lean’ too heavily on outside symbols of power for e.g. our positions, various definitions of success titles. We then get trapped in the ‘disease to please ‘whereby we might overly avoid conflict.
Identity When we are forever meeting outside expectations or applause, we lose the link with ourselves and become co-dependent in our roles and relationships.
Attitudes of abundance versus scarcity — When we can rejoice in another ’s success as well as our own and when we can enjoy the interdependence of teamwork, we are living with a belief in abundance, where there is enough for everyone. If, however, we are constantly competing, we live with a scarcity mentality.
Knowing our shadow — We do not have to change who we are, but we do need to know who we are, we need to become intimate with the unconscious forces and narcissistic needs lurking beneath the surface. With a compassionate awareness of their origin and a commitment to on-going rejection, they are no longer running the show and are, in fact transformative in keeping us in empathic and humble relationship with others
All the above dispositions are a choice — the freedom we must live from the ego or the spirit. When we live from ego there is fear, scarcity, competition, division, struggle, defensive communication etc. When we live from the spirit there is creativity, peace, service, connection and success, in the real sense of the word. Through rejection, awareness, and personal development, we learn how our responses to life events does not have to be reactive, but nan be value based, and we can learn to subordinate moods, feelings, impulses to these selected values. With awareness, we can be the observer of our own involvement, thus exercising internal power. This internal power is crucial to good leadership, as without it we cannot empower others.
Alongside inner freedom and inner integrity, we can discover our imagination — that which enables us to visualize a reality beyond our present one. We can visualize uncreated worlds of limitless potential. Through creative visualization, we can channel our most difficult circumstances and forge from them our greatest triumphs.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)© Martina Lehane Sheehan, ,- –