Several years ago I was asked to distill our work down to its simplest form. The result of that process was four questions. It’s a simple way to grow in self awareness and take responsibility for being the creator of the experiences you’re having in life.
1. Where am I?
The conscious leadership inquiry begins with locating yourself in this now moment. Are you above the line or below the line? Other ways of answering the simple question include: are you in presence or the drama triangle, are you in a threatened state or in trust, are you in fear or love. Any of these, and many more, are simply ways to help us identify if we are in a reactive place in this moment.
I have found that conscious leaders become masterful at accurately locating themselves. Most people can tell when they are way below the line— clearly reactive and defensive—but discerning leaders can tell when they are moderately or even mildly reactive. They can not only see it in what they’re saying to themselves and others, how they’re behaving and what they’re believing, but they can feel it in their bodies. Self awareness is often the first step in waking up as a leader; one essential dimension of self awareness is noticing our present state of consciousness.
When people begin this journey we recommend that they use an app like Mind Jogger (iOS) or Randomly Remind Me (Android) to prompt themselves to check and see where they are. When the alert pops up asking, “Where are you?” simply pause, breathe, and check to see if you’re above or below the line.