ADAPT

I’M START­ING WITH THE (WO)MAN IN THE MIR­ROR

NICHE Magazne - - Romantic Fantasy - by Christina Benty

LEAD­ER­SHIP BE­GINS WITH YOU.

Call me crazy but I love Mon­days. I get ex­cited about new be­gin­nings: the start of the day, the week, the month, the sea­son, and the year.

I am es­pe­cially ea­ger when the fall ar­rives be­cause it al­ways sym­bol­izes the sea­son of launch­ing and learn­ing with the re­turn of rou­tine. So when fall rolled around, I was sur­prised to find my usual en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm wan­ing. Like a tire with a slow leak, I felt flat and unin­spired.

It was a busy sum­mer, and I spent most of it do­ing the dance of in­san­ity. I am still in the early years of a thriv­ing new business and plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties com­ing my way. All very ex­cit­ing! How­ever, it also means burn­ing the can­dle at both ends phys­i­cally, men­tally and fi­nan­cially. With too many balls in the air, too many peo­ple to please, too many rab­bit trails to fol­low, I found my­self buried in a tsunami of my own mak­ing. But the real tsunami was the story in­side my head. I in­dulged the bad habit of re­peat­ing a self­de­feat­ing mes­sage of over­whelm and I was start­ing to be­lieve it.

Habits are a re­dun­dant set of thoughts, be­hav­iors, and pat­terns that get re­peated over and over again. They

ei­ther serve us or they don't. I like my habits to serve me. In or­der to get back on track, my habits need to be in­ten­tional.

Philoso­pher Mor­pheus said “There is a dif­fer­ence be­tween know­ing the path and walk­ing the path”. If you truly want to be a leader, then you bet­ter lead your own life first. Lead­ing your own life means em­brac­ing the no­tion that your pri­mary and ul­ti­mate re­spon­si­bil­ity is to in­ten­tion­ally take charge of self. That means your habits. I preach it, I teach it and I be­lieve it. I knew I had to look my­self in the mir­ror, and gen­tly give my­self some of my own ad­vice! This fall, I needed to ADAPT. Maybe you do too?

It may mean go­ing back to the basics:

ASK

Be the cu­ri­ous sci­en­tist in your own life. Ask your­self lots of ques­tions. Hon­est inquiry un­cov­ers your cur­rent re­al­ity. What be­liefs are you tol­er­at­ing that don't serve you? What needs to change? What is your su­per power? When do you feel like your best self? What do peo­ple thank you for?

DE­SIRE

The power of as­pi­ra­tion is greater than the power of des­per­a­tion. Now that you know your­self, what do you want? Not what does your mother want or your chil­dren want or your world ex­pect. Get clear about what you want and set your in­ten­tion. When you know what you want, you have what Danielle La­porte calls ‘goals with soul'.

AC­TION

Does your be­hav­ior match your in­ten­tion? Do your ac­tions align with your goals? Cre­ate an ac­tion plan by re­verse en­gi­neer­ing it. A key piece to play­ing at your ab­so­lute best is to en­sure that your daily habits, rit­u­als and ac­tiv­i­ties re­flect your in­ten­tion. What are the steps needed to move you to­ward what you de­sire? Break them down and write them out.

PRI­OR­I­TIZE

Do those things first be­fore any­thing else, and when you are do­ing them – be fully en­gaged. Push back against busy­ness be­cause you can be busy or you can be in­ten­tional but you can't be both. As Robin Sharma re­minds us, ‘Rather than do­ing many things at medi­ocrity, do just a few things with mas­tery'.

TRUST

Be pa­tient and let go of your need for in­stant grat­i­fi­ca­tion. Trust that it is the small in­cre­men­tal steps that will move you for­ward. Life is not a race, it is not meant to be con­quered. Life is a jour­ney and it is meant to be sa­vored, to be ex­pe­ri­enced, to be em­braced. Some­times you get to learn the same thing over and over, and that is OK. And there you have it. My cheesy acro­nym ADAPT is go­ing on my bath­room mir­ror to re­mind me that my pow­er­ful rit­u­als are what sup­port my health and fit­ness, business and per­sonal goals. Most im­por­tantly, it brings me back to align­ment with my­self and my be­lief that lead­er­ship is an in­side job.

When I look in the mir­ror, I want to be the kind of leader that I want to fol­low.

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