What do You Listen to More – Head or Heart?
May 2018 is 50 years since the first UK heart transplant, and there have been many stories in the news, including about ”cell memory” the interesting phenomena where recipients of donor organs report personality or food preference changes following heart transplants.
These changes match those of the donor – e.g. Vegetarians develop cravings for meat and similar, as reported in Medical Daily: ”the behaviors and emotions acquired by the recipient from the original donor are due to the combinatorial memories stored in the neurons of the organ donated.’’
So the saying ‘listen to your heart’, is true – it really can know things! We all experience intuition, what we call a gut feel or instinct – but how often do we all let our heads rule our hearts in a way that stops us listening to this instinct – and stops us from being who we really are?
In our research 88% agreed that “I have times when I doubt myself”. 79% agreed that they’d use words like doubter, worrier, over thinking and lacking confidence when describing themselves.
This is what our head is telling us – this is not who we are. None of us were born with these words written on our heart. What truly represents each of us is our unique heart-based values – who we really are, the us that never changes, our natural gifts – our potential. The parts of us that we have often forgotten along the way, as our head has talked us into a different way of being.
For everything the world throws at us we interpret these events and create our own ‘success model’ made up of beliefs – some positive, some not, habits and strategies that help us cope. We conform to how we think we ‘should’ be what other people and the world expect us to be (in our view) and we move away from our natural selves, (our values) – we feel uncomfortable, our confidence gets knocked and we stop being our best and natural selves. We take our energy inwards, along with our potential and we stop shining.
All too often at work this can be accentuated as we worry about what people think of us, are busy trying to fit in and do and say the ‘right’ thing: we become masked trying to be the person we think we should be, to be ‘good enough’ – this leads to lack of authenticity, creativity and innovation and creates conformity, hinders real communication and genuine relationships.
Leaders and managers can then tend to have a transactional perspective – seeing the tasks rather than the person involved.
To be the best you, you need to understand who you are. Our best self is our real self – represented by our heart based values – our guiding principles.
The benefits of authenticity at work, reported by HBR, is significantly higher job satisfaction and engagement, greater happiness at work, stronger sense of community, more inspiration and lower job stress.
So, stop listening to your head and turn up the volume of your heart. If you follow your guiding principles (your iAM values) you will nail it and shine!
Focus on following to make the change:
- Listen and trust your intuition – this is your heart guiding you.
- Bring your outside work self into work every day – be the same person everywhere.
- Radiate authenticity and trust your self to be good enough as you are.
- Look out for the strengths and positives in yourself and others
- Celebrate success and achievements – notice what is good.