Leadership Between the Lines

Fear, intuition, honoring yourself & creating impact through intuitive leadership.

One of the trickiest things to do in these beautiful lives we lead can be the simple act of honoring ourselves. "Trusting our intuition." "Going with our gut." These phrases are tossed around with great popularity. The spouters of such wisdom being hailed as gurus, wise sages, and teachers pointing us to that bottom line truth within us that we know to be true, but so easily forget or too often override. Hearing people talk about this, it seems easy, an "of course!" Doing it, is a whole different animal.

It takes commitment and choice to honor intuition. It is an active process.

It creates impact. Impact that is too important to ignore.

I've been observing the differences between intuition vs. fear vs. comfort zones a lot lately. It seems the more sophisticated my business gets, the bigger the game becomes, and the more people I meet who are up to big things...the harder it becomes to discern between intuition and fear. I grapple with this, and I see others grapple with it as well in their own unique way. And I've learned this has a cost; emotional, time, energetic, and yes, financial. The amount of money I've spent, just over the last 3 years alone, when I've ditched my intuition is significant. (Yes, I added it up.) I've decided I can be horrified by this, or I can now claim my honorary PhD in "honoring your intuition" and use my new found powers for good. I'm going with Dr. Anese.

All this being said, all costs aside, I think the financial cost is the least of it. I believe that the biggest cost of not honoring our intuition is in the spiritual cost, the energetic cost, and the cost to the impact we're meant to have on this planet as leaders in our lives and organizations. This is a very big deal.

How do you tell the difference between fear and intuition? How do you honor yourself, stay true to yourself at all costs, and create the impact you're meant to create?

I've found, for myself, and many, it's an imperfect combination of 3 things...

  • Self awareness & being highly in tune with your body and spirit.
  • Identification of state: being in tune with where the "fear" is coming from and where you're making decisions from.
  • Choice.

The wisdom of the body.

Our bodies know. Really they do. When we listen to them, there are short cuts to wisdom and internal truth that simply can not be achieved by "thinking it out." Those feelings of angst, that feeling in your chest of resistance, the prick on the back of your neck? Those are all cues from your body trying to communicate with you. Your spirit -- your deepest wisdom -- has the answers first. And one way of communicating with you is through your body. The more you ignore it, the louder it will get.

Fear: Not so great a decision resource state.

Our minds will do everything they can to override the wisdom of that body. Self talk like "you'll be left out", "this is just a comfort zone, buck up", "you should do this", "if you don't do this you're not really committed", "you'll miss the boat", or my favorite, "what if?" ...runs rampant when we're bumping up against making a big decision.

"What if?" I have found is one of the greatest opponents of intuition. Though it is a worthy question. After all "what if?" takes us to possibilities, to vision, to amazing things. "What if?" creates the future. However, "What if?" can also disguise itself as a creative visionary friend when really it's trying to keep you from what you REALLY want. The "what if?" that sees to the future and the "what if?" that overrides intuition are two very different things. Look close.

Check in with yourself about your decisions...Where are your decisions coming from? Are they coming from fear, jealousy, scarcity, panic? Or are they coming from joy, contribution, abundance, and peace? When I look back at some of my biggest and best decisions I've made, even the ones that were terrifying and a big "gulp" for me had a feeling of "YES!" underneath them. A feeling of "go!" A feeling of "peace" (even if that peace was laced with butterflies). When I look back at decisions that have had less than intended or optimal or even stressful outcomes, if I'm truthful, I've felt the underlying resistance that whispered or urged, "no" - but was overridden by internal chatter driven by "what if's?" in wolve's clothing.

I've found that the more one tries to override their intuition, the more daring and brilliant the self talk becomes. When all the while, if they were just to stop and listen and not try to force themselves out of an intuitive decision, the solution is often simple and right in front of them.

Of course, the simple solution is often not the easiest, which may mean you have a hard choice to make.

A willingness to say "no" in order to serve your true "yes".

Be prepared; you will likely disappoint a couple people along the way. When you honor yourself, when you say "no", people may be....mad. That's okay. If they're true allies and friends, they will come around quickly, they will support you in your "yes". If they're not, you'll learn soon enough where to invest your energy and heart, and where not to.

Be prepared; in honoring your intuition, you will be tempted to go against the quiet whisper in your body, to do just the opposite thing - this will likely be driven from fear. You will doubt yourself. You will go back and forth. But in the end, if you listen and feel into your own internal wisdom, you will find it.

Honoring our intuition is a choice. It's a choice that takes practice, commitment, and awareness. It is an active choice, it's not passive. It is a choice that creates momentum - the more you do it, the easier it gets. It is a choice that inspires, and it is a choice that creates positive energy and impact for those you serve. For when you honor your intuition - your "intuitive yes"- your energy is freed up to contribute in a bigger way to the things you stand for and the impact you want to create in the world.

Choose well. axc