It Begins with You
How to transform your mind to excel as an alternative leader.
By Mari Williams
With the coronavirus pandemic, a recession, and concerns around leadership affecting us all, there’s a perfect storm of change in the air. Everyone I know is reviewing their life, cleaning out and clearing up. However, whether you’re focused on pivoting your business, changing career, or sorting your relationships, what you need to focus on first is you. Your mental and physical health are so tied together that it’s impossible to make changes in one without affecting the other – I see this as a good thing.
Many people are reviewing their wealth: not only financially, but also in emotional and life quality terms. However, there’s a big blocker that most people don’t even realize stands in their way – that it’s their unconscious mind that’s actually running the show and making the decisions. Did you know you are approximately 95% run by your unconscious? That’s the reason why you cave in and eat that donut even when you have your physical training plan and healthy eating diet mapped out.
So why would your unconscious seek to undermine your plans, even when they’re all about improving your life? Well, while it seems at odds with the consequences, your unconscious is actually trying to be your best friend and protect you. It continually assesses for what it considers to be danger. Did you know scientists theorize that our minds absorb 11 million pieces of data from our senses every single second? The problem is that it seems we can only pay attention to about 40 of those pieces at a time. Your mind has to decide what is good and bad for you fast – so it uses a variety of different generalizations and equations, specific to you as an individual.
Can you see the huge room for error?
New diet plan = hunger. Hunger triggers a survival state = your brain telling you…. “Go on… eat that donut!”
So what can you do about it? You can clear your mental baggage, so that your unconscious becomes a personal champion for you: your own onboard combination dietician and PT, who encourages you to eat healthily, believe great stuff about yourself, and make strong positive decisions.
I look at leadership differently to most people, most coaches even. I believe we all lead beginning with how we lead ourselves.
Do you take action as if you value yourself? Are you intentional in how you live your life, in the decisions that you make? If the answers are yes, great. If not… that’s where you need to start. It all begins with you.
Once you’ve got yourself sorted, then what about all the other areas you lead in? You don’t want to be average – so how do you lead better as a parent, partner, and friend? Or if you’re in a professional leadership role, how do you lead your team? Are you intentional? Do you hone your skill set, and hit the goals and dreams you want to achieve?
From thousands of hours of experience, working with clients from all walks of life, I can tell you that there are five key areas you need to work on. I call them my Five Principles of Alternative Leadership.
- Understand how your mind works. You need to be able to identify where your unconscious is tripping you up.
- Clear your past. Your childhood is the foundation you were created from – clear the stuff holding you back.
- Find your self-worth. It’s crucial to how you make decisions, manage conflict, build relationships, and so much more.
- Understand the nuances of control. You have to be honest about how you control yourself, others and the world that you live in. If you want to live the life you design, you have to know how to control (in a good way) the environment around you.
- Finally, you have to know how to make great decisions and communicate them. Once you can, you’ll find your dreams and goals are much closer than you think.
Once you have those in place (yes it’s going to take a bit of work, but you aren’t work shy), life will start being easier, opportunities will come your way, and your dreams will grow bigger than you’d ever thought. Career changes and promotions may come; relationships will improve and your self-confidence level will be brilliant.
Mari Williams, The Mind Architect is an award-winning coach and therapist who works with professionals, often in leadership roles. She enables them to live happily, whilst being ambitious and successful in both their personal and professional life.
Mari is author of ‘It Begins with You: how to transform your mind to excel as an alternative leader’.