Coming Back Changed

Leadership traits whiteboard

I just got back from a weekend in Chapel Hill, talking mindful leadership with some superstar Morehead-Cain students.

To say I came home changed and inspired would be an understatement.

In the course of our two-day workshop I had some of the most engaging, thoughtful discussions on mindfulness of my life…with young adults, some still in their teens, who I know are going to use their unique gifts to change the world.

Throughout the coming months I’m going to talk more about my vision for the future of leadership and the critical role mindfulness plays in it.

But today, I want to leave you with just one thought. Something that took me more than 25 years to understand. And something that the best leaders know well.

I’m not perfect.

Neither are you. None of us are.

We’re not supposed to be. We make mistakes. We drop the ball. And it’s easy to get down on ourselves, to think that things should be different, and fall into the trap of unreasonable expectations.

But those critical voices in your head — the ones that tell you how often you mess up and why you should be doing better — aren’t out to help you, no matter how loudly they insist they are.

So do me a favor, and even if just for today, thank those voices for their opinion. Tell them it’s just that — their opinion and nothing else. And go on loving yourself for the amazing, imperfect being you are. Maybe it’ll last for an hour, maybe longer. Either way, just try it today.

Our mindfulness practice helps us learn to manage our negative thoughts and begin accepting ourselves for who we are. If you’re ever interested in getting started, we’d love to help.

And if you’re not ready yet, that’s OK. Just go on loving yourself. You deserve it.