Inner readiness is that human quality that enables us to act out, in the here and now, our authentic potential in harmony with ourselves and the context around us. By potential here we mean the set of personal resources, knowledge, skills and useful attitudes that support us when acting in the diverse contexts and in times of change, whether the change comes from outside or from inside.
We all possess that potential that resides in us ready to be expressed, however the potential is not enough to empower us to act. What allows the potential to become an authentic action is our inner readiness.
When we talk about acting out our potential, we mean our human capacity of responding to events and situations, as the result of a conscious choice we make. This conscious choice is the output of a process in which we are alert and deeply aware about what’s happening in the here and now either outside, meaning the context around us, or inside, meaning our own resources, will, values, emotions and reaction habits. The awareness we are referring to is reached throughout reflection practices, that can happen either before during or after action and mindfulness practices, which are opportunities to observe and notice, without judging, what is happening in the here and now to ourselves and in the context around. Through this we become more aware and this awareness increases the possibility to be inner ready, as inner readiness is not a permanent condition of ours, or a competence that one acquires for good.
When this inner readiness is coming to us, it can happen in a suspended time and space, in the place that Scharmer calls of “stillness and knowing”. Here is where we can “experience a slowing down of time, a widening of space, a panoramic type of perception, and a collapse of boundaries between people, even between people of opposing teams”. This place of “stillness and knowing” is where we can access our source of energy,that is the “inner place from which we operate”. It’s the source that’s needed to act out our potential, instead of reacting to the events and challenges that life calls us to face. It’s the place where the not knowing is allowed and valued as a creative space instead of being considered a lack of responses.
The action moved by inner readiness for us coincides with what Scharmer calls “generative listening”, that happens when we let go our voices of “judgment, cynicism and fear” and is the expression of our true authentic leadership potential. It’s the moment when we align the intelligence of our head, our heart and our guts and we reach that state of neurological balance or ‘autonomic coherence’ where we are neither too stressed nor too relaxed, but are in a ‘flow state’.