Contributed by Dhiren Harchandani, an EO UAE member who is a transformation architect, speaker, author, and endurance athlete with over 2,500 hours of coaching experience. He’s the creator of several personal development programs designed to transform each area of life: Superhuman Journey, Master Your Inner Game, Guided Forgiveness, and Recode your Thoughts. He’s on a mission to show every human being on planet Earth how to master their Inner Game.
Leadership starts with self-discovery
We are at a time in history when the most conscious person in the room is the leader.
We learn early in life how important it is to possess leadership skills. We watch some of our mentors strut through the world with what we might imagine as “innate” leadership skills.
As adults, we are all leaders in our own right but to be acknowledged as a leader, society tells you to work harder, take no breaks, and never stop competing.
How your conscious mind hinders true leadership
Leadership comes with high expectations, and when you don’t meet those expectations, you judge ourselves. This self-judgment triggers incessant chatter inside your head.
You might tell yourself “I am not good enough,” “I am not smart enough” or “I am a failure.” I was once stuck in this abyss of incessant chatter, and I can tell you that it’s not a good place to stay.
When I paused and shook myself free from all the things that I’ve been told that leaders should be, I realized that I had been playing the wrong game all along.
Outstanding leadership involves connecting with your innermost self. It focuses less on talent and abilities and focuses more on intuition, character and self-awareness. That is why working at these depths and developing your Inner Game are necessary to master true leadership.
What is the Inner Game — and why should you care?
According to Timothy Gallwey, the Inner Game focuses on two aspects of the human mind: the conscious mind and the subconscious mind. The conscious mind is the part of your mind that passes judgment and convinces you that you are not doing enough. However, when you master your Inner Mind game, you are able to silence the conscious mind and strengthen your subconscious mind enough to acquire new knowledge and transform it into unique leadership skills.
When I made the conscious decision to master my Inner Game, I focused majorly on reprogramming my subconscious mind and I was rewarded with more skills than I imagined. Not only did I become a great leader, I became a disciplined and successful entrepreneur. I became a professional listener and a fitness enthusiast. You could say I began becoming a better version of myself.
Unlike any other game, the Inner Game does not require you to play against competitors, it is a personal integration with your insecurities in order to discover the parts of yourself that are still trapped by fear and self-doubt.
How your Inner Game can help you attain new heights of leadership
In order to master your Inner Game, there are three basic steps you must take.
- Silence the hypercritical voice of your conscious self. To do this, you must extend integration over your insecurities in order to unpack the beliefs you have about your leadership abilities and yourself. Begin by asking yourself questions like, Are the thoughts my insecurity pushes into my head really true? and Am I really the person these insecurities and fears say that I am? Answer as honestly as you can, write those answers down, and figure out what this new information means to you and your leadership abilities.
- Accept that you can’t control everything. Make a list of the things that are outside of your control, and consciously accept that those things are outside of your control. Worrying about them compromises your performance on other fronts that are within your control.
- Master the act of concentration in order to silence your conscious mind and focus more on strengthening your subconscious mind.
I realize these three steps are not as easy as they sound but the result is going to be worth every effort you put into it.
Playing the Inner Game will help you realize that the outer game forces you to compete against others when the true competition is between you and your insecurities and contaminated thoughts.