You are your best you only in the present. I have become more conscious of the need to spend more energy in the role of observer. Learning more about this role, and practicing there, will assure I give more fully to self. To just watch – observe without judgment – I have the opportunity to take in what is occurring around me, observe my reactions, understand these reactions, and learn more about my true core.
This realization has shown me I have strayed from practicing what I preach. I have not been giving myself the gift of time to be certain that I possess what I desire to give to others. In denying myself this time, I have withheld the gift of peace. Through this dark portal of denial, I have wandered into past regret while in the same breath covering my head to protect myself from fear of the future.
Practicing presence is practicing calmness. There is confidence in calmness. Your confidence is a gift to those you lead, influence, and serve. Do your due diligence with awareness – an understanding through observation – so that you do not become a silencer of the subtle voice which draws one into a blessed moment.
Allow listening to advance your voice. Learn how, and when, to listen to yourself. My individual coaching clients rarely listen to self in the critical moments. I suppose that is where I come in; to listen and then let the individual hear the weight of their words. We were talking about the concern of trust in Mark’s organization of 800 people. There were four of us in this dialogue and I was asked to summarize. I began with what I believed was the theme for the project; followed by my crediting Mark for the words in the theme. His response was, “I said that?”
Surprised by our own voice, we are jolted into the present where our voice finds its tenor and confidence. To give in the present is in accordance with the impact you desire and intend. My friend and colleague Melanie offers a beautiful suggestion for being present; “Slow down to the pace of the verb you’re in.” If you are writing, write. If you are driving, drive. If you are talking with Karen, be there with Karen. Come into the present, hear your voice, and give.
Relaxing into who you really are opens the flow of your gifts to others. When authenticity flows free of judgment, you are confident. We often set an expectation because we do not want to be surprised. In this sense we limit others and ourselves as we plan to be surprised by nothing.
True giving is free of limiting expectation. True giving – to self and others – is free of debilitating guilt. As confident leaders – those who give to self to assure our giving to others – we leave each situation better than we found it.
For more like this and the developing series around the 7 skills, see: 21st Century Leadership Skills