The Importance of Prioritizing Yourself (feat. Tommy Breedlove)
High achievers are primed to buy into common misconceptions around happiness and fulfillment.
Traditional external markers of success – money, status, fame – cause leaders to focus on “more” and “when,” which actively robs them of actual fulfillment and happiness. True fulfillment is a deep sense of contentment and well-being that comes from living in alignment with one’s values and purpose. By shifting their focus from external validation to internal growth, high-achieving leaders will experience greater fulfillment while stepping into more impactful and legendary leadership.
Today on The Enlightened Executive podcast, Tommy Breedlove joins us to discuss a more fulfilling professional journey. Tommy is a Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of the book “Legendary.” His program, the “Legendary Life Movement,” challenges high achievers to break free from the pursuit of material success and embrace their legendary leadership qualities. In this episode, we explore the essence of legendary leadership and how aspiring leaders can harness the power of self-awareness to find greater fulfillment.
Cultivating Legendary Leadership
“Legendary Leadership,” as defined by Tommy, is leading with authenticity and aligning one’s actions with their values. In Tommy’s case, unresolved childhood traumas shaped his behaviors and choices, causing a departure from his values and sense of self. The realization that he had never dealt with the emotional baggage of his past became the catalyst for change. He chose to confront his insecurities, fears, and past traumas head-on, which transformed his life and paved the way for legendary leadership.
If you want to cultivate leadership success and fulfillment, look to your internal world and redefine what external success means to you.
Focusing on the Internal World
Tommy’s journey emphasizes that personal growth is directly connected to professional growth – and it’s the main premise of The Enlightened Executive podcast!
Even the most accomplished benefit from adopting an open posture, always learning and evolving – not just in a professional sense, but from an emotional perspective too. Acknowledging areas for growth and embracing the vulnerability of personal pain points is an empowering first step toward fulfillment. Taking this internal inventory enables you to identify limitations and blind spots while maintaining a powerful presence in your personal and professional life. A driven but disconnected leader can become more confident, purposeful, and fulfilled by focusing on these next steps:
- Identify Unresolved Emotional Baggage: Reflect on your life and identify any unresolved emotional baggage or experiences that seem to still have a limiting and emotional affect on your present-day life. Take time to address painful past experiences and explore the impact they are having on your current behaviors. Depending on the scale of these experiences, you may need to seek professional support through therapy or coaching. If you don’t have professional support, make it a goal this week to find someone to talk to.
- Embrace Humility: Regardless of their achievements, the most successful leaders remain curious and humble. It can feel tremendously vulnerable for high achievers to ask for help or admit weakness. Leaders who understand and acknowledge not only their strengths but also their weaknesses and emotional pitfalls can make more informed professional decisions and lead with greater authenticity and impact. Log instances when your ego gets in the way of curiosity or growth. Notice if there are any patterns or commonalities.
- Leverage Wisdom: Fulfilled leaders remain committed to self-awareness and growth. While it’s important to read books or attend workshops that inspire and challenge you, these are low-exposure avenues of personal growth. Try seeking direct guidance from mentors or executive coaches, leveraging their wisdom and support as you navigate the nuances of your professional journey. Start by making a list of 3 people who could mentor you professionally or personally and invite them to lunch this month.
A key step to embracing authenticity in legendary leadership is to gain clarity on the purpose of your leadership. What does successful leadership mean to you? If it’s strictly about the next title or more money, Tommy encourages you to replace these external identifiers of success with internal ones. To do this, question the conventional markers of success and explicitly define:
- Personal core values
- The purpose of their work
- What brings them joy and fulfillment
The most aligned and impactful leaders act in ways that align with values that fuel their greater sense of purpose. By focusing on personal growth and aligning goals with internal values, leaders can transform their leadership without sacrificing meaning and fulfillment in their lives.
Tommy also shares…
- The importance of prioritizing yourself
- How to build stronger personal relationships
- The connection between self-awareness and transformation
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