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be-ferociousWe begin our life like an innocent sponge, ready to soak up all the world has to teach us, with no filter. How we speak to our children becomes part of their inner voice. We lift them up to spread their wings or we dishearten them, leaving them living small and crippled by their internal belief system.

“Human beings are hard-wired with the impulse to share our ideas… and the desire to know we’ve been heard. It’s all part of our need for community. That’s why we’re constantly sending out signals and signs. It’s why we look for them from other people. We’re always waiting for messages, hoping for connection… And if we haven’t received a message, it doesn’t always mean it hasn’t been sent to us. Sometimes it means we haven’t been listening hard enough.” ~ Jake Bohm, Touch

Being mindful requires that we take a step back from external input and check in with ourselves. We are limited by the version of our brain’s reality map. If we want to become leaders in our own lives, we need to examine our map. We need to see the places in our map that haven’t been updated to fit who we want to be and what we have in our lives.

For example, reactions to a situation could actually be reactions to old memories. Entertain the idea that no one can make you angry against your will. We choose either consciously or unconsciously to have a particular emotion. We write our stories and reinforce our old world views. An emotional response out of proportion to the situation can occur either because we are connecting to a memory or projecting a fear about the future onto the present.

It is very easy to project outward when a situation occurs. Have you ever said “He made me so mad” or “He is such a ___”? If you have said or thought something like this, you were projecting your internal map of reality on a situation. Look for the possible messages that you didn’t have the eyes to see before.

Be ruthless in demanding the truth from yourself. Only a true, accurate perspective of your starting point can allow you to be mindful and get what you want.

Staying in the present means we own all of our thoughts and feelings without filtering out the parts we think will not be acceptable to others. The world needs us to show up in every situation. All of us!

What kind of world do you want to live in?

Excerpt from Raw Leadership: Awaken Your Power Within
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