How to Wake From Sleepwalking and Find Vitality Again

Old sneakers feel like home. Rituals are an oasis in turbulence. 

Rituals are stability. But rituals enable you to sleepwalk into the desert.

What worked in the past is perilous now.

The danger of rituals is comfort.

5 signs you’re sleepwalking:

  1. Stretching yourself is replacing French salad dressing with Italian.
  2. You can’t remember the last time a new face sat in the meeting.
  3. Nagging frustrations are “just the way things are”.
  4. You know the outcome of conversations and meetings before you have them.
  5. You feel relief when new ideas are tabled.

5 ways to find vitality again:

#1. Buy new shoes.

Choose a new leadership skill to develop and allow your inner-circle to see your journey.

  1. Tell others what you’re working on.
  2. Invite participation from others.
  3. Establish behavioral goals.
  4. Invite feedback.
  5. Practice the skill until it feels like worn jeans.

#2. Prepare for resistance.

Other sleepwalkers don’t want you to wake up. It’s jarring for you to hold yourself and others accountable, if you’ve neglected that skill, for example.

Sleepwalkers love predictability and stability. They push against change.

Tips for facing resistance:

  1. Communicate positive intentions and goals.
  2. Allow time for others to adapt.
  3. Ask others for help.

#3. Turn toward the sun. Don’t fight the night.

Don’t simply react against things you don’t like. Choose positive intentions and forward-facing goals.

Focus more on where you’re going and less on where you’ve been.

#4. Bring new voices into the mix.

I received an email from a leader that said, “I’m interested in exploring another voice.” He realized the wisdom of bringing the outside in. I’ve worked with his company over two years.

#5. Don’t turn on all the lights at once.

A little instability ignites vibrancy. Too much change blinds sleepwalkers.

Rock the boat. Don’t sink it.

How might leaders wake themselves from comfortable rituals and patterns?