Empower your inner leader. Trust your magnificence and watch your dreams come true.
A clear decision combined with taking action is the first step on your path to inner leadership. Leading from within is learning to become still, to listen, to exercise faith and to surrender into your joyful knowing.
This will move you in the direction of your dream. Leading from within in its truest form is a desire for growth and freedom. It is the freedom to express one’s self from the deepest core that dances in every fiber of our being.
It is an inner urge to truly understand ourselves and the invisible world in which we live.
It is a yearning to break through self-imposed limitations in order to serve the world from our best self and to make a meaningful contribution to the world we live in.
Inner leadership is the experience of discovering the depths of resources we all carry within us. It is the path of living empowered lives.
The garden is a powerful metaphor for the path to inner leadership. Those who garden do not make plants grow. Rather, they provide the ideal conditions for plants natural growth to take place. This allows the plants natural and authentic beauty to emerge and blossom.
Like plants, we all have a natural inclination toward growth, to lean toward the light.
The path to leading from within arises from rich and abundant soil. There are many paths to developing inner leadership.
For the next four months, I will share with you four individual paths along with discussing the power of practice..
Leading from Within, Path 1: A Worthy Ideal
Setting goals has a greater impact than anything else you will do in your life. Without goals, you have no direction. If you have no direction and you don’t know where you are going, how will you get there?
It is simple—you won’t. Deep within each of us is a deep knowing designed to guide you away from confusion and lead you into your purpose—your individual path. This deeper call comes from inside of you.
It is the expression of your essence, your unique gifts, talents and abilities. It is that inner voice that calls you to offer your gifts to the world. That inner voice is often expressed through feelings of longing or discontent.
Longing is the intuitive yearning to be, do, have or create something that is not currently present in your life.
For example, you may want to be in private practice instead of working for someone else, you may want to see more clients per month than you are currently seeing or you desire to become a teacher as an additional source of income or simply because you love to teach, or maybe you would like to write a book.
Discontent is feeling dissatisfied with a situation or circumstance that is currently present in your life.
For example, you may feel discontent with your place of work, or you often hear yourself complain about your level of time and money freedom. Maybe you feel stuck and restless.
When longing and discontent tug at your heart perhaps this tug is simply the needed sunshine that shows up in the soil of your soul.
When you dig deep into the soil of your soul—what’s there? What truly inspires you? Can you identify your longings and discontent?
It is a little frightening to pay attention to personal longings and discontent. What if you fail? What then?
It is important to remember that genuine inner guidance directs you in a loving compassionate way. Your longings and discontent can lead you to your purpose, and living with purpose allows you to live in your personal garden of joy.
The real purpose of a goal is to grow. A real goal challenges you to go within, to draw something out of yourself you never knew was there. A real goal invites you into the following questions:
What do I want? What do I love to do? What are my gifts? How shall I serve?
A real goal draws you toward something you have never done before. A real goal leads you to your purpose in life. Real goals invite you to work with your imagination.
Children naturally live in fantasy. Their imagination is wide and deep. As we enter school around the age of 4 or 5, we are told to stop fantasizing and pay attention.
We begin to lose this very precious, marvelous and miraculous part of who we are. We then begin to live with the paradigm of needing to know how things will happen before we do it. Our logical mind often gets in the way.
Creativity comes from the root word creator meaning within. You must journey deeply within in order to dream, imagine and fantasize; to get in touch with your true purpose.
Three Goal Categories
Change is inevitable, but personal growth is a choice. The real purpose of any goal is to grow. There are three categories of goals related to Leading from within:
- I know I can accomplish this goal. I have done it before, I can do it again.
- I can accomplish this goal if I do certain things. I will follow my detailed plan step by step and I believe I will get there. This is based on what I think I can do.
- I have a deep desire or longing for something. I want it so much, but what if I fail in trying to get it?
Going after something you have never done before often feels scary. Remember when you entered massage school? Perhaps you felt a combination of both fear and excitement.
Or think about when you decided to move into private practice. You followed your heart despite the fear.
Deep longings inspire you to grow, imagine and dream. Your deepest desires invite you to live from your best self and do something you have never done before. Longing goals make you come alive, even when you don’t know how you are going to get there.
Learn to coordinate your heart-felt longings with the deepest level of your mind in order to get the results you want in your professional and personal life. You will learn to bring your dream into focus and manifest it into reality.
There is no inspiration in simply knowing and thinking. When there is no inspiration, people quit. What inspires you will draw you forth and keep you going, and you will never quit.
We are goal-seeking organisms. We need to dance with our deep desires in order to stay alive. We are in a constant evolution of change.
The Power of Practice
When you are leading from within, how do you move from your deep desire to result? This involves three main points:
Begin with identifying your deepest desire. What inspires you? Wrap your desire with imagination. This invites your reasoning mind into the process and you begin to seriously consider your idea. This is now turning into theory.
You must ask yourself two questions at this point:
Am I able and Am I willing?
If you are able and willing, at this very moment your idea turns into fact. Your emotional involvement at this point changes your behavior. Behavior changes results.
Your idea turns into fact. Inspiration comes from the heart. Heart energy is the driving force behind accomplishment. If your heart is not involved, you will hear yourself making excuses. Don’t let circumstances get in your way. Make your own circumstances.
Spend a day in quiet reflection. In fact, spend a day in day dreaming. Relax and imagine what you really want. Who do you want to become?
Create a list of your desires. Include personal and professional goals. Describe your goals in detail and in the present moment.
It may sound like this: “I am so happy and grateful now that I am in private practice seeing 15 clients per week, giving me time and money freedom.”
Do not give one speck of mental energy to how this goal is going to be accomplished. Do not concern yourself where the time, money, assistance you may require, is going to come from.
Attempting to think “how” will either limit or destroy your dream. Just think of what you want.
As a visual reminder, create a five-pointed star and label each point with an aspect of yourself that you are becoming as you journey toward your goal.
Remember, the purpose of any goal is to grow.
Be Empowered As a Brand-New Massage Therapist, Part II will publish on Feb. 15.
Editor’s note: Download your free copy of the New Practitioner eBook, The Blueprint for a Successful Massage Career.
About the Author
Kathy Ginn, LMT, BCTMB, is the creator of Life Empowered Institute. She is a body-centered Hakomi practitioner, Proctor-Gallagher Thinking into Results consultant, teacher and mentor. She offers body-centered coaching and continuing education focusing on personal and professional development along with courses in Ethics as Right Use of Power. Her courses are offered through webinars and experiential classroom learning. Ginn is a regular contributor to MASSAGE Magazine, and her articles include “4 Steps That Will Guide You on Your Journey as a Massage Practitioner.”