Francesca Sipma is the Founder and CEO of Mastry, creator of HypnoBreathwork®, and International Speaker.
Passion, focus, motivation, drive, confidence, charisma and even fearlessness—everyone has a different answer for the coveted superpowers of entrepreneurs. Every successful founder is examined; each young CEO is analyzed. Leadership courses and business books will give you different answers.
In reality, the true superpowers for entrepreneurs are less sexy but even more valuable: self-awareness, emotional regulation and, most importantly, intuition.
Why self-awareness and emotional regulation?
As a leader, you need to be aware of when you’re not staying open and collaborative, as well as when you are projecting either your management style or a righteous way of being.
Self-awareness refers to your ability to see yourself clearly and objectively. Self-awareness can impact your decisions, as well as the bottom line. “Companies with higher rates of return on stock also have employees with fewer personal blind spots,” according to research by Korn Ferry. Despite this, I find that self-awareness is in short supply.
Emotional regulation can give you the ability to recognize and understand your emotions and others’ emotions. Then, you can use that knowledge to manage your behavior and your relationships. This is an absolute necessity for leaders. With all of the different obstacles and challenges on the very non-linear journey of entrepreneurship, we require the ability to find a baseline within ourselves and not operate from a triggered or overly emotional place.
Intuition is a deep sense of knowing that cannot be accessed from your logical or analytical mind. It’s a voice that resides inside you. It might seem illogical and unexpected, but I believe it always has a higher plan than what you can see from your bird’s eye view. It allows for efficient and effective movement—no overanalyzing or second-guessing. When using your intuition, you’re simply taking action on solutions that took your gut half a second to reveal.
To hear your intuition, it is your job to quiet the mind, tune in, listen and take action on those nudges of guidance. It is a muscle that is built, cannot be duplicated and is often the source of invention and innovation. The more you act on your intuition, the stronger, louder and more clear it gets. A strong intuition will allow you to bypass the analysis of everyday indecisions. My intuition, for example, ended up taking me on a year-long spiritual sabbatical. It seemed irrational at first, but it was the reset I needed to come back as a stronger coach, entrepreneur and CEO.
How can you hone these superpowers?
1. Practice breathwork.
As a coach who specializes in breathwork, I’ve found practicing breathwork can help you achieve all three superpowers. When you’re triggered, a difficult situation comes up, an employee breaks down or a new competitor comes into the market, you can use your breath to find new, expansive and more intuitive solutions. Work to get to the root of why you’re experiencing an undesired reaction, and give yourself time to respond in a more aligned and clear way. Instead of functioning from a place of fear or ego, you can operate from an aligned, calm and collaborative place.
You can also take this time to come up with creative solutions, as well as problem solve and tap into your higher consciousness. Then, you can make sure you’re always emotionally regulated and operating from a centered and grounded place as you lead your team. Although it’s not always easy, by getting back to this baseline, you can lead and inspire more powerfully.
Try to clean house of the anger, fear, self-doubt, judgment and other skeletons you might be repressing. Use breathwork to realign with your truth and our intuition—past the challenge and into a new solution. There are a variety of breathwork styles out there that are accessible with a Google or Youtube search, and you can try incorporating 20 minutes of breathwork into your day.
2. Practice meditation and visualization.
Another key tactic to hone your intuition is meditation and visualization. Take time to be still, pause your emotional reactions and tune into your body. Picture different scenarios and desired outcomes. In my experience, when you do this, you can get clues and cues in the right direction.
Self-awareness, emotional regulation and intuition can help you make fast, aligned and confident decisions. This creates massive momentum, energy and alignment. Magic happens when you take intuitive action. Where people fall short is in their consistency and immediacy. That hesitation can significantly change the trajectory of your path—or at least take a lot longer to get there.
It’s important to note that the intuitive path is not the easier or linear path. It’s the one for your highest good and the highest good for all. It might not give you exactly what you want when you want it, but it will take you through unexpected twists and turns that can have a greater impact than you could have imagined. That is a superpower.