Our leadership “true potential” is not realized simply by inspiring others or feeling inspired or just having more information. Knowledge is not really power until it is applied. Recognition or an “aha” are only nice, interesting tidbits until you muster up the courage to make the change. Courage is a funny thing; it does not mean the absence of fear. It is primarily an intention to feel fear, but to go ahead and proceed anyway. Understanding the source of FEAR—mostly Fictitious Evidence Affecting Reality in our brain—can help to alleviate it.

To me, courage and leadership go hand in hand. Leadership often requires one to step out of the proverbial comfort zone and guide the way into new and sometimes uncharted territory. It is also an act of courage at times to deal with one’s own blind spots so that growth for both the individual and the team can happen. Leaders need to lead by example, not just by charisma, if real change and sustainable improvement are going to be made. Leaders need to get comfortable with change, or else they need to stop calling themselves ‘leaders’.

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, and to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. ~Henri Bergson

What is the challenge that makes change so, well, challenging? Why do we try to keep our self ‘just the way we are?’ In a nutshell, it is our perception about feelings. We have unwittingly conditioned—yes, conditioned—ourselves to fear our feelings. Feelings are associated with states of being. Feelings come to surface when we are in the midst of change. Avoiding feeling is to our own detriment. Here are a few interesting points about feelings:

* Per research at the HeartMath Institute in California, the magnetic energy of feeling is 5,000 greater than thought alone.
* People buy emotionally and then justify rationally
* Repressed feelings are associated with life-threatening, chronic disease
* Stress is an issue with emotion and feeling that is poorly managed
* Joy and gratitude feelings are associated with health and well-being

“Rational” thinking is overrated. If one is rational to the point of self-destruction—meaning regardless of experience, one continues the march to the beat of the same drummer in the face of a changing environment—then that would appear irrational to me. Fortunately, the brain science that has and is emerging can help support the fear that the rational mind has when facing change.

The science also shows that we can retrain our brain—literally. I have surely discovered, even before the science started to emerge, that when we create processes to address and begin to honor both sides of our brain, we begin to tap into our inner genius, our true potential. We also can feel much better, as a rule, and have better health. Change, then, can become a way of life, a way of expansion and growth and in a way that is healthy and balanced. We as leaders need to lead the way of embracing change by first recognizing the need to grow and change within our self.

Again, do you as a leader in your business or in your life have courage? The first step is brain awareness. Our brain is a gateway to our spirit and potential that we are not even aware of yet and ideas, that we have not even thought of yet. Just think how things would change if leaders found the courage to not only talk about change, but actually embrace it head- and heart-on. Know thyself by acquainting yourself with the operation of your own mind and brain.

Author's Bio: 

Valencia Ray, M.D. teaches business owners and corporate leaders how their amazing brain can actually hijack personal power -- not in the abstract, but in the context of integrating business and personal life. Dr. Ray, a board-certified eye surgeon and medical business owner for over 20 years before selling her practice, shares her own life changing process. By sharing her story, she helps others to expand their vision and learn that by living with purpose and confidence, it is possible to have a more integrated, healthier lifestyle – with less struggle, more inner peace and more abundance.

For more information and to contact her regarding dynamic, inspirational keynotes, trainings in collaborative leadership and team building, entrepreneurship and coaching programs, visit her website at http://www.ValenciaRay.com