Learn from the expert Andy Maurer about how you can better your life through leadership. A guide for leaders.
People often lose themselves in the life of leadership. They spend their energy and time inspiring others, solving people’s problems and caring for the emotional, relational and financial needs of spouses, children and team members. Yet in return, they often forget about their own identity and purpose and neglect their own emotional, relational, physical and mental well-being.
As a result, they lose touch with what they feel, who they are, and where they are headed. To reclaim their sense of health, life and longevity, they must go on a deep journey to find their identity and uncover their purpose.
Redefine Your Identity and Purpose
Identity gives leaders a solid foundation for who they are and the value they bring to the world and relationships. It allows them to show up as their full selves with confidence, courage and joy. When a leader lacks identity and purpose, they often spend their whole life becoming whatever everyone else wants them to be, causing them to forget who they truly are in the process.
As a result, their worth and value become fused with their performance, their peace becomes dependent upon the opinion of others, and their relationships lack depth, meaning and connection. From the outside, their life looks immaculate, perfected and joyful, yet on the inside, they often feel lost, stuck, lonely and exhausted.
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As a leader, If you resonate with these feelings, here are a couple of exercises you can do to help you discover and live out an authentic identity and clear purpose.
Identity gives leaders a solid foundation for who they are and the value they bring to the world and relationships.
If you’re seeking a better well-being first, you need to anchor your worth and value in something other than your performance. Your significance and worth are not something you work “for” it is something you work “from”. If you try to achieve significance through success, you will ultimately be left feeling more empty than you began. This is why so many leaders spend decades trying to outperform their previous success, yet rarely ever find true rest.
The saying is true: If you’re not enough today, you will never be enough tomorrow. Take out a sticky note and write on it, “You’re enough, not because of what you do, but because of who you are.” Place this on your bathroom mirror, in your car, and at your office. You might not initially believe it, but as you read it over days, weeks and months you will start to feel a sense of freedom, gratitude, joy and peace. Who you are is more than enough and therefore, worthy to be loved. So don’t take the bait that you can earn your worth through simply working harder and doing more.
Next, once you begin to untangle your value, identity and purpose from your performance, then you should make a list of three “I am” statements. These are statements that describe who you are at your core. They could be statements such as: “I am a visionary leader”, “I am emotionally connected,” “I am courageously confident”, or “I am relationally loyal.” It doesn’t matter what you write down as long as it feels deeply connected and authentic to you.
Next, write out a sentence for each “I am statement” describing how these qualities add value to people and the world around you. For instance, you might say, “I am courageously confident. This allows me to lean into risk with courage, knowing that pain is the pathway to growth and success.”As you redefine the source of your worth and articulate your unique personality and contribution to the world, you will be able to show up with more courage and confidence.
Cast Vision For A Life Of Purpose
While identity is essential for a life of longevity, you also need purpose. Purpose allows leaders to stay on their course with joy, hope and passion even when they get knocked down and all the odds are stacked against them. Purpose allows people to cast a compelling vision for their company, community and family, one that inspires others to come alongside them in that vision. Leaders who lack purpose feel exhausted and depleted from chasing too many paths. They lack intentionality and are confused about their future and why it matters. From the outside, everyone is looking to them for guidance and direction, yet on the inside, they can feel depressed, discouraged and directionless.
If this describes your life as a leader, here are a couple of exercises you can do to help you identify, clarify and materialize your identity and purpose.
First, visualize life five years in the future and ask yourself, what kind of life do you want to pursue? How do you want people to feel when they are in your presence? What impact do you want to have in the world? What do you want to be remembered for? What type of relationship do you want to have with your children, spouse and friends? These can be helpful questions to gain clarity about your purpose in life.
Lastly, write out your five core motivators in life. To persevere through hardship and pain, every leader needs to know their “why”. In other words, why do you wake up every morning and continue to show up to life and leadership? Are you motivated to give your kids a better future than you had? Are you motivated by financial freedom? Are you motivated by deep relationships and moments of adventure with friends and family? To have clarity about your purpose, you need to define why this purpose is so important to you.
Purpose allows leaders to stay on their course with joy, hope and passion even when they get knocked down and all the odds are stacked against them.
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As you work to redefine your identity and cast a vision for a life of purpose, you will be able to show up as a whole leader, full of joy, confidence, courage and peace.
After more than 15 years in the health and wellness industry as a licensed therapist, personal trainer and professional speaker, I became acutely aware of the unique challenges leaders face. I resolved to meet these struggles head-on by founding Pursue Whole, a unique coaching program that blends the best teachings of executive coaching and therapy.
My integrated approach provides leaders who often find themselves under high amounts of pressure with a safe space to process their inner struggles and cast a vision for a life of wholeness. As I coach CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, professional athletes and entertainment executives, I am determined to help leaders pursue a meaningful and connected vision for their lives, leadership, and relationships.
After a decade of working with leaders on these issues, I created one of my most transformative coaching frameworks, Big Vision. As part of the coaching journey, I help leaders discover who they are, where they are headed, why balance matters and who they need in their lives to get there. As a result, this unlocks their ability to prioritize what matters most, cultivate deep relationships and confidently lead others through struggle and into success.
This year, I launched the Purpose and Identity workbook that allows individuals to create their own one-page Big Vision, independent of my coaching program. My mission is to help leaders reconnect with their authentic selves and pursue a meaningful and connected future for their lives in terms of leadership and relationships. As leaders gain clarity about who they are and where they are headed, they can live a whole life of purpose and growth.