How you can access your inner wisdom more by scheduling time to ponder

​​If you want to be a strong and confident leader, you can’t rely on someone else to tell you what to do.

To be socially intelligent and understand what’s going on with your team, take action when someone isn’t measuring up, or be decisive, you’ll need to access your inner wisdom. That’s the part of you that knows and guides you, even when the road ahead is bumpy.

🤨 Access your inner wisdom by Pondering
You’ll find access to your inner wisdom when you PAUSE and then PONDER. Pondering is when you:

  • Observe

PONDERING helps you consider what is going on inside of you! Pondering is the opportunity to tune in and consider the following:

  • Your thoughts

When you ponder, you will connect the dots ✍🏻
When you pause and ponder, you’ll start to consider how your thoughts, feelings, and sensations are connected to what is happening outside of you. You’ll then be able to use this information to awaken the inner wisdom that can guide you forward.

Awakening your Inner Guidance System
When you ponder, you get insights from your wise self. Pondering is listening to the inner wisdom of your Inner Guidance System. The insights gained by pondering can support and guide you.

🔥 Accessing your inner wisdom is instrumental in mastering leadership confidence.

Step # 1 is to Pause

Taking the time to PAUSE and PONDER helps you see things you may have missed in the hustle and bustle of the day.

Remember, to access your inner wisdom or Inner Guidance System via pondering, you first need to pause. Repeating the cycle of pausing, pondering, pivoting and proceeding are the steps of the Inner Guidance Cycle.

These are the four steps in the Inner Guidance Cycle

PAUSE — Step back into this moment

PONDER — Tune in to what is going on inside of you

PIVOT — Shift your thoughts

PROCEED — Move forward with intentionality

Step # 2 Pondering allows you to see the whole picture

Once you have PAUSED, stepping back, you can move on to this second phase; PONDER.

Pondering allows you to notice and observe things you would have risked overlooking without consciously exploring your Inner Guidance System. In addition, pondering enables you to pick up on subtleties during interactions such as:

🔷 Someone said something that left you:

  • Thinking, “I’m an idiot.”

🔷 Perhaps an email you received sent you to:

  • Think, “I don’t know how to do this.”

🔷 Your staff’s blunder may have you:

  • Thinking, “People must think I don’t know how to deal with my staff.”

🔷 Your thoughts may be about someone else or the situation

  • This will never work

You’ll start to get insights from within
The awareness of these thoughts, feelings and sensations and how they connect to your world can provide surprising insights.

This new understanding of this inner wisdom is your Inner Guidance System in action. Understanding what is happening under the surface can prompt you to shift what you are doing, how you interact with others and, even more importantly, what you say to yourself.

Your confidence begins to grow
Your inner dialogue contributes to your confidence. Thoughts that empower you, inspire and boost you up will increase your confidence. Changing your thoughts starts with awareness of what you are currently saying to yourself. That is where pondering comes in.

​It’s worth it to pay attention to what is inside

When you’ve taken the time to pause, then start to notice.
🤔 Go within and pay attention for a minute to
become more aware of what is happening.

❓What is going on?

  • What did someone say?

❓What am I thinking?

  • What thoughts have been going through my head in the last few minutes or hours?

❓What feelings have I been experiencing?

  • Hurt, anger, or frustration

❓What’s been happening in my body?

  • Racing heart

Warning! Don’t be judgmental
Notice that I did not suggest you judge or criticize your thoughts, feelings or body sensations. This is not the time to beat yourself up. It is not another opportunity to berate yourself for screwing up, missing something, or telling yourself what you feel is wrong. It’s simply time to notice.

Put a name to it
As you ponder, identify those feelings, thoughts and sensations, attaching names or labels to them.

  • Get used to noticing the subtle differences between anger, annoyance, and irritation.

Put your Inner Guidance System to work​
Pondering is the reflection portion of the Inner Guidance Cycle. It is the gathering and input of data into your Inner Guidance System. Remember, you are assembling the following:

  • What you were thinking❓

You are looking for increased awareness, clarity about what’s happening and the ability to see how you got to where you are.

Extra credits for going into detail
Over time, when you practice following the Inner Guidance Cycle, you will get better able to pull the pieces apart. You will become aware of the stimulus and the subsequent reaction. In time, rather than reacting, you’ll be able to choose a response to what is going on in your life.

Consider the following example:

⚪️ The stimulus

  • What happened that started this chain reaction?

⚪️ The thought you have about that stimulus

  • What story did you make up about that stimulus?

⚪️ The feeling you had

  • What feeling did that thought evoke?

⚪️ What sensations were happening in your body as a result of the feeling?

  • Red face, shortness of breath, stomach-churning?

⚪️ What reaction did you have as a result of the stimulus, the thought, the feeling, and the sensations?

  • To yell?

Pause and then ponder.
All of this information gets put into your Inner Guidance System so that it can give you direction.

In the next stage, PIVOT, we will learn what to do with the information you have gathered. But, for now, PAUSE and PONDER. Look at what is happening inside you. Increase your awareness of how thoughts are connected to feelings and sensations. This increased awareness alone will evoke your inner wisdom and help you to increase your confidence levels!

Grab your copy of Mastering Confidence today and learn to ponder more effectively!

Originally published at



Helping women leaders make it in the nonprofit world. Leadership Development Coach * Best-Selling Author * Wife * Mom * Grandma * Mom to one boxer named Zeus!

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Kathy Archer

Helping women leaders make it in the nonprofit world. Leadership Development Coach * Best-Selling Author * Wife * Mom * Grandma * Mom to one boxer named Zeus!