Taking an idea from inception to fruition is rarely a straight line. Taking a dream from thought to reality is an unclear, winding road. It is a road littered with obstacles. Most people want to rush straight to the end without realizing how much there is to learn along the way. Is this you? The key to success is in recognizing obstacles and navigating through the mess that allows you to grow and gives new meaning to your journey. It is the journey that allows you to:

1) Master your relationship with yourself (to like, value, and respect yourself),

2) Create a better future based on current challenges and desires, and

3) Be the driver of your own future.

Today’s piece will share on the first step: Mastering your relationship with yourself and developing the courage TO BE YOU.

Courage is learning to like yourself. It means accepting who you are and honoring your very being and existence. Other people’s opinions of you and your external accomplishments do not change who you are at your core. We cannot change what’s happened in the past. Putting ourselves on trial and acting as our own judge, jury, and executioner only leads towards a cycle of self-created mediocrity. Removing yourself from patterns of comparing yourself to others and the expectations that people have of you is what allows you to find your own sense of courage.

Answer and reflect: When was the last time you gave yourself permission to relax, re-connect and recharge? Relax, everything will be okay! No matter what your situation looks like, step back, breathe deeply, and recall a time when you were worried and didn’t know how you’d get through the situation, yet you did. What lessons did you learn? Use this time to take a step back, relax and to make you stronger.

Courage is turning down your inner-critic and dealing with imperfection. Many of us with big goals carry the pressure and expectation of performing at our very best, each and every time. However, when you focus on what you lack, you are more likely to get stuck in positions below your potential. You are less likely to start a new business and opt out of career opportunities because you may be counting your weaknesses more than your strengths. You opt out of the public speaking opportunity that could yield new business leads. Your professional experience is insufficient to get that new client. You are too young and inexperienced to gain respect from your more senior colleagues. You are too old and outdated to stay competitive in the workplace. You can always find an excuse to hold yourself back from fulfilling your potential, but the truth is you do not need to be perfect. The biggest challenge in reaching your potential is taking that first step and going for it. Find that comfortable balance between where you stand now and what you expect of yourself. Accept it and be at peace with it. Learn how to bring out the best in yourself and others.

Answer and reflect: What strengths, resources and opportunities can you no longer afford to miss? What story are you telling yourself that is keeping you from taking that next step?

Courage is giving yourself permission to receive. It could be a past experience – it usually is – that limits you from believing you deserve better. Every day and moment are opportunities for us to let go of limiting beliefs about ourselves and are opportunities to reinforce positive beliefs. This takes practice and positive reinforcement, but it is the first step to any change. We have to let go of what’s not working for us to make the biggest change. According to Eckhart Tolle, known for his teachings on spiritual practice, we cling onto things that form who we think we are, and this becomes part of our identity. Development lies in making changes and letting go in order for something better to come along. Are you willing to do everything necessary, so you can present your best self in the world? Are you willing to forgive like you’ve never been betrayed? To not hold your future hostage to your past? To believe in yourself even when you fail? To express yourself fully without holding back?

Answer and reflect: What words do you use to describe yourself now? Do they represent you in your healthiest, most vibrant and abundant state? The essence of who you are, free of an inner-critic, filled with patience, gratitude, enjoyment, and self-compassion? What are you waiting to hear from others to feel validated? Can you give yourself that permission and courage to nourish more of what makes you feel fulfilled?

The journey towards self-love, self-compassion, and self-value is a sacred experience. Compassion for others only follows with the love that we hold for ourselves. Many of us find ourselves being too busy. As a result, we easily disconnect from our heart and place of compassion, and instead we lead from our heads and over-analysis. We forget how to embrace our own beauty and grace. We need to fall back in love with ourselves exactly as we are in the present moment.

Answer and reflect: What does it look like to love yourself in the now? How do you become a magnetic force to those around you? How do you portray your energy to your partner, your boss, and your customers?

Lastly, success is in respecting and believing in yourself. By respecting yourself, you will create a position of strength and honored reputation. There is no need to aggravate, overpower, or fight others when your sense of “self” is intact. Your self-esteem and sense of self-worth will show in your presence and physiology and it will instantly be recognized by those around you. Learn to assert yourself without ego. This will repel those who are not of like mind and attract those who choose the same path as you. Be clear on those who seek to take energy from you and those who give you positive energy.

Join me in this shared journey. If you are ready for the space, support, and tools to lead with more self-compassion, authenticity, confidence, and personal-power, contact me at sc@shianchuan.com for resources or a free 30-minute consultation. I design safe spaces and programs for you to listen to your soul and to integrate your wisdom. We live in challenging times, and as leaders it is vital that we take time to renew our spirits and reflect on the purpose and passion underlying our work, and above all, ourselves.