Honor thyself


The journey into joy is a model of honoring who you are. It comes from a deep and data-driven understanding of how you intuitively move through the world. It is a model that inspires leaders to know themselves and to trust their intuition, so much so that they can most authentically lead from their hearts. Leaders hear this and know that such a model feels right, but then fear says, “How?”

It might feel scary

Fear is the primary block that prevents most people from truly showing up authentically in the world. But this fear is not innate. This fear is taught. It is most often driven by something that someone else said or did. In the name of protecting us in a scary world people around us will say things that flip the conversation from one of the inner journey of becoming a leader along the path of a heart growing to external expectations of the corporate mindset that one needs to follow in order to survive.

The most common fear-driven mantra of the corporate mindset that we often talk about is the teacher/parent who tells a student/child who desires to be an artist when they grow up that they will never make enough money doing so. These types of statements pull young souls off of the relevance of their own heart’s desires and insert the fear of not being able to make enough money as the primary motivator for what subject, major, first job, etc. that future leader will decide to follow. Just like that, a young heart freely growing in the world is constrained by the linear illusion of success.

The constraint is even more felt if the primary cultural identifiers (e.g., ethnicity, skin color, sex, gender, age, ability level, citizenship, etc. ) of that soul are still significantly oppressed in the dominant culture as they will have to opt out of the natural (and therefore most parsimonious) path of their heart growing and join the cultural journey of overcoming. The danger in this is that the extent to which they can do so in a way that ‘fits’ the dominant culture’s model of success can often give them, their family, and their community a superficial sense of security that they can and will make it. Logically, people will conclude that such overcoming is a success. Intuitively, leaders will feel like something is still wrong. That is because all of this occurs with little to no relevance, let alone accountability, for whether that journey of trying to ‘make it’ in this world is in alignment with who that leader is authentically designed to be.

Without that check, then what we have been taught as practical and logical thinking may have nothing to do with our inner truth. In a world in which everything is so externally motivated, if no one is checking in with the hearts of leaders to ensure that they are in alignment with their own unique journey through life then the reality is that few if any leaders may be successfully achieving their heart’s desire. What is success without a leader becoming the best version of a leader that they are designed to be? And without a heart fully engaged in bringing their whole self, then leaders are performing leadership to meet someone else’s expectations while, continuously and constantly, their heart desires to do more than just pay the bills.

But the fear is not you

When our sense of being and becoming the leader that we are designed to be is externally motivated then all sorts of fears naturally manifest. Leaders not so silently hold all sorts of fears of failure and/or success, in general. Also, fear of meeting the expectations of one particular leader (e.g., a parent, a teacher, a boss, a mentor) in particular. Then because there is the expectation that they meet the external expectations without issue, then when they are not able to do so they blame themselves as if they actually did something wrong.

But it must be stated that these fears are actually reasonable if one’s sense of inner authenticity is in any way dictated by external circumstances. External circumstances are literally, by definition, outside of one’s self and therefore less in one’s control. So, there is nothing really irrational about fearing all of the things and all of the people who have expectations about how you are to feel and behave about all of the things. What is irrational are leadership models that promote externally driven models (often one-size-fits-all) of motivation, influence, and management and yet expect people to perform at their best without honoring or even engaging their heart’s desire. The likelihood of any one leader’s performance naturally aligning with the expectations of another leader, who may or may not even be on their own authentic path of growth, is so incredibly low that no one in their right heart would ever choose to be anything but authentic if it were not for fear(s) that someone previously instilled in them. Literally, it is them and not you.

Who you are when you love yourself is you

The proverbial concern of many leaders who can see, hear, and feel that the fear that they are holding within is actually externally driven is, “How do I even know who I am anymore?” In other words, many leaders rather quickly feel that they don’t know enough about who they are to not rely upon those external indicators. What is them? What is me? How to know the difference anymore?

We know that by honoring the many and multitude of ways each heart has already authentically led in this world and accomplished amazing things, leaders can begin to name their own model for how their inner wisdom (knowledge + intuition) moves. Naming this model offers each leader the language to name that which is truly them. Once you have the name of the mechanism that reflects how your heart moves, then you can track that data, and, just like any business model, you can begin to forecast what success will look like tomorrow, next year, or some other key point in the future. In fact, leaders can most accurately analyze their own leadership data by tracking who they are when their heart smiles back at them for simply being them.

Tracking joy will guide any heart along its desired path of growth and therefore to real and meaningful success.