People never fail any project, leadership does. And so you can't ignore how you are showing up as a leader.
"Listen with ears of tolerance!
See through the eyes of compassion!
Speak with the language of love!" ~ Anonymous
For any great leadership to happen, you'll notice at the core, these four things are at play; not in any particular order though:
1. Common intention
A powerful intention binds us all together initially. This is what we commonly refer to as the purpose, cause, mission, 'the why' to which we can relate to. It is beyond one's agenda to meet personal gains, but an agenda for the greater good to support the bigger vision. It has to be powerful for people to relate to, come together and give their sweat & blood. Otherwise why would they even join hands; solo would have been good! Why work together with no sense of purpose, no sense of connection to the why?! A leader who talks initially of lofty visions and along the journey drifts away from it or is unable to support the team in envisioning why they are putting their energy, time and effort; will not be able to harness the requisite amount of motivation and drive required to pull them in that direction. It will require the leader to push people through his/her agenda. And this requires lot of energy which eventually will be draining & not serving at all. This leads to issues like lack of motivation, low morale, draining energy etc. People can see through it. They feel it when there is deviation from the agenda and when the agenda has become very personal to the leader unless you are working with dumb-heads. They realize and see that they are being used as a means to achieving that agenda and so slowly and slowly, they start withdrawing. Then their defense mechanisms are at play too because they got to save themselves. That's natural! Hence, the survival mechanisms come to the fore! They become guarded and fear that they might just be used & there's nothing for them to look up to or contribute to. Some kind of hope sabotage or fatigue is there. Let's hypothetically consider this that the intention of the leader is very good but how it is being perceived by the receiver isn't. Then also, as a leader, one has to take responsibility for the impact that is getting created as a result of who he/she is being. Now you may question, why should I? You may not, but when you are a leader, your job is very crucial and it demands more from you. It requires you to show up in a different way. It requires you to model what is expected from people. Everyone resorts to blaming, but a great leader takes the lead and models. That's why, leadership is not just a title, but a responsibility, a journey of transformation from your shadow side to your greatness. Your willingness to walk that journey will elicit the same from the people that you are leading. Telling, coercing and expecting won't. At least in today's scenario where you are leading brilliant, smart, independent & inspiring people; it won't. That's the work that you have to initiate in yourself to be able to enable people to stay connected with the why and not deviate from it.
Many a times, our context plays a crucial role in shadowing the leadership that once started with lot of zeal and enthusiasm. A leader who isn't aware of himself/herself, who has not done deep transformative work on oneself, won't be able to notice how his/her being is working against him/her. Many a times, our shadows play without us realizing that our survival mechanisms are at play. And when you can't accept that, when you are in your own illusive world based on your stories and contexts, you will see others from that lens and so every creation would be sourced from fear and not love. The bigger picture gets lost in this urge to deal with the stuffs that are showing inside of us and not willing to bring it up & see through it. Authenticity is realizing that this is happening to you and acknowledging it; not hiding it or pretending perfect. This would build more trust among people who are watching you and waiting to join hands with you in your lead towards that vision. You will be able to enroll people into your ideas when there is honesty and conviction in what you think, feel, say and do.
"Why is it so hard to trust people? The real question is: "Why is it so hard for the people to tell the truth?"
As a leader, if you are unsure, can't speak your truth for whatever reasons, gaining trust is next to impossible. Many a times, a leader himself/herself has trust issues because of unpleasant past experiences. May be a clearing hasn't been done there. And so, in every action, there is glimpse of that hurt/pain and it slowly corrodes the foundation. Because the leader operates from a space of saving oneself or protection from getting hurt. Speaking the truth, modelling vulnerability will go a long way in gaining people's trust. Our urge to look perfect every time, kills our relationships. When you carry a burden within, how do you think you will focus your energy in the moment to see it in totality?!
Consistency in our thoughts, feelings and actions is important. That builds trust. And when there is trust, people feel free to open up. And that's what leads to deeper connections. A leader who tries to be perfect, tries to project who he/she is not, tries to lead without understanding self and others, tries to use power as a means to coerce people to follow him/her and dictates one's projections/judgement, eventually leads no one to good but self & all to toxicity and curbs creativity and innovation. Leading is caring and opening up to the point that you are willing to accept all the discomfort that comes along the way for the greater good of the people and for fulfilling the bigger intention.
And if you see that kind of toxic leadership, call it out for the greater good of the people and for the bigger why. Inviting you to see within and look around, what kind of a leader you are and what kind of leadership you are supporting?
Believing in you,
#leadership #deepwork #insight #leadershipdevelopment #coaching
"Here's a test to find whether your mission on earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't." - Richard Bach
To find our true self, we have to be willing to give up a side of us that's familiar, that is known and that's very much us. We spend our lives in search of our authentic self, but we never get in touch with it due to our inability to give up that wasn't ours but formed as a result of our covering up of who we truly are. In this journey called life, ironically we first hide ourselves & then based on our awakening, we again try to show to the world who we are; most importantly, allow us to embrace who we are. That trial, that journey of hide & seek is life. That journey of unconsciousness to consciousness is life.
We are ultimately spiritual beings in human forms. Eventually, all that matters will no longer matter because to a soul, all that matters is love. Love for self, others, every being on this planet. Love is the language that our soul speaks and is familiar with. Rest all is an illusion. The more drawn we are to the illusion, less we experience this nectar of life called 'love'.
This life is to live & experience; hardly it is to arrive at something or to gain something. It is but for us to experience one of the most powerful existence & form, that is humanity. When we drop everything & listen to our soul's calling, we have found ourselves, that's the victory of human existence.
When you can trust, when you have no reason to trust,
When you can love, when you have every reason to hate,
When you can walk forward, when you have every resistance to give up,
When you can rejoice, when you have every reason to crib,
When you can celebrate life, when you have every reason to shut down,
When you can feel joy, when you have every reason to be sad,
When you can enjoy being you, when the entire world is caught up in being someone else,
When you can be detached, when you have every urge to be attached....
That's when you have found yourself, that's when you have found the true meaning of this existence.
This life is nothing but a soul's experience to transcend from being human to being whole. To experience the wholeness within you, you have to be willing to shed that isn't you.
#spiritualgrowth #leadership #life #insight
"The purpose of our lives is to give birth to the best that is within us." - Marianne Williamson
Every time I reach a milestone, I do enjoy it; but very soon my mind gets fogged with this question: “What’s my purpose, what’s my WHY? Why am I doing whatever I am doing? How does all of it make sense? When on my deathbed, will I be proud of myself? Will I be content for what I have created? Is this worth-remembering and how will all this serve humanity in a broader way? Have I lived my life purposefully?”
DON'T SPEAK THE TRUTH, JUST CONFORM
From a young age, I knew that I am not someone who loves to conform. I grew up having lot of structures in place. Even if I disliked it, I kind of accepted it because I believed that I have only two options: either to conform or rebel. Conformity seemed right at that point because being a rebel meant that I would have to face lot of oppositions; more so I will miss out on the love of the people. So, inside a rebel, I chose to sow the seed of a conformist. This stance was my quick fix to what was present before me. I did try being a rebel, but I was shut off. I couldn’t harness the courage to be a rebel because that came at the cost of something: being disliked, lacking greater approval and less acceptance. How I took this was, don’t speak the truth; just conform. People dislike listening to the truth, they like to be validated. They want to hear what they believe is to be true. As a child I learnt this survival mechanism & went on. But there was anger brewing inside of me, almost like the volcano. I suppressed it and bottled up my anger. Found ways to numb it. Mostly became indifferent to my own emotions & feelings. I covered it up with being happy, smiling and being just a good girl who is well accepted by everyone around; kind of easy to manage & deal with. Why am I even sharing all of these? One crux from all of these is, I was living an inauthentic life. I wasn’t true to myself and lived for others and what others expected of me. I conformed. This stance sucks. But it also gave me love of people, approval and that’s what got me here where I am today. It did play a big role in my life. And I am thankful to that side of me too.
I WANT TO OWN MY TRUTH
Being in the transformative journey for the past couple of years & having comparatively raised self-awareness, this hypocritic stance is intolerable because the rebel in me wants to find an outlet to speak its truth. For years that rebel which had been shut off by me, now wants to come out & scream loudly. It is seeking for a release of this energy that is bottling inside of me and making it difficult for me to experience the nectar of life i.e. experience my essence, my authentic self. Conformity isn’t who I am; I want to own my truth. Now my heart desires for something more, something that I haven’t experienced before and that is deeper connection & intimacy with self & others. And this definitely doesn’t come from being good but being true.
For most parts I believed that rebellion is the only way. And the opposite of that is conformity. You just have two options. Hardly did I know that there was another option too and that is: speaking the truth and influence reforms & may be not. How does that even matter? Being true does. What was uncomfortable for me was whenever I spoke the truth, it wasn’t received well. I had to bear the consequences of being disliked or even face disagreements. And my challenge was to sit in that discomfort of being attacked. That’s how I felt. That meant I had to be willing to be alone. But my need for approval and validation was too strong. I felt every disagreement to be some sort of an attack to my relationship with the person concerned. I feared that this discord would now affect the relationship. It will never remain the same and I didn’t know how to regain the trust, love and positive dynamics of a relationship even after a disagreement. The best I saw and learnt was to avoid that discomfort or least, the one dominating the relationship, winning the game and having the power over other to control & manipulate. Least did I know that a good relationship is built on an unconditional foundation; there is no condition attached to it. Just like the true love between the child and the parent which is based just on love and no other condition attached to it. But to even get into that space, one must love oneself unconditionally. If you are constantly made to realize that you lack this, that you are not good in this/that, that you look certain way which isn’t right, that you must achieve something to prove your worth etc; then you start to attach conditions to that self-love. If I say myself that I will love myself only when I look this way or have an IQ of this or achieve this and that; it is conditional & when the condition is attained, another condition replaces it and this vicious spiral goes on taking you nowhere. Love can never be experienced in a stance like this.
Coming back to my question of what’s my purpose? Until many years ago, my sole purpose was to be that girl/daughter/woman/wife/mother/employee/individual who is loved by the world. This meant that I wasn’t living my truth but being someone that the world wanted me to be. I did everything I could to win them over or rather fool them. Saying what they wanted to hear, doing what they wanted me to, living a life that I should be living as per the norms of the society/the cultural background that I hail from. But as I am approaching my 40th birthday; in October this year I will turn 40. I am asking myself this question again: what’s my purpose? Is it to live life this way or to live my purpose truly? And the answer is very clear to me and that is: My purpose this lifetime is to speak my truth, live an authentic life and influence reforms; transform people’s lives so that they can live an authentic life themselves. Everybody operates in their time zone. It took me these many years to drop the guard, the mask and come home to myself. I need nothing from anyone, all that I was looking for outside is inside me. Now all I want is to give myself this gift of freedom to be who I am. And in this journey of mine, if I can inspire others like me to walk this authentic path towards liberation from this disempowered conditioning to be someone that they aren’t, then my purpose in life is fulfilled. That day on my deathbed, I would truly smile with no regrets. In fact, as I write this, I smile now with such a relief. Thank you, life! You always amaze me with your unique ways.
So, what’s your purpose this lifetime?
#purposefulliving #leadership #spiritualgrowth #innerwisdom #life #transformation #coaching #insights
"If you want to meet someone who can fix any situation you don't like, who can bring you happiness inspite of what other people say or believe, look in a mirror, then say this magic word: "Hello".
- From the book Messiah's Handbook
(Reminders for the Advanced Soul) by Richard Bach.
I came back all charged up from this coach retreat at Costa Rica. The plan is laid out for what I want to create, who I choose to be in this world, what milestones I want to experience & sleep with. I spent my flight layover time doing that and I made a pretty good plan. I am so excited to get back home & kick-start with my plan. Ah! I even broke it down to everyday details. I used the Pareto Principle - 80/20 to do the smart work. Did I leave any room for contingencies?! Oh yes, I did! I am a great planner with great ideas after all! Can you relate? If yes, good; read beyond. If not, still go on to get more clarity. Don't give up here. Because there's more to this and what I am going to share. So, I land in India with my heart filled with enthusiasm, deep desire & vision. I reach home, excited to meet my son & my partner. Next morning, reality hits me hard. The realities of the world that I live in. This world drives up my fears and all the resistances that I have. This is the world created by me, I choose this however tactics I may choose to put it the other way around. There are wonderful aspects about this world and unpleasantness too. If someone says that the world that they live in doesn't have any unpleasantness, I would assert that they are lying or trying hard to escape it; feeling/seeing something that is so uncomfortable. So, here I am sitting beside my son who is having fever, missed school; my help not showing up due to her sickness; my husband travelling overseas for work in two days. This leaves me with managing everything that wasn't laid down in my plan & that I didn't expect, on my own. That moment, sitting in this heartbreaking discomfort, a voice in me said,"Look at you planner. All your plans failed you. This is your reality. Stop dreaming & just give up." For a second I even detested myself for going to the retreat. Not going would have saved me from all the pain that I am going through. Pain as in helplessness at my inability to stick to my dream plan which I articulated so well. At least, things would have been familiar & comfortable! Other way round, not coming back would have been so great?! I don't have to deal with any of the mess in my world!
For a driven & passionate person like me, it's usually 'play big or go home'. There is no room for anything small. My inability to execute my plan in a circumstance like this is an absolute disaster for me. My inner self has a story & my story is that I will now loose out & miss out on time. I am in a hurry to get where I want to; I must reach my destination faster otherwise it would mean I am not good enough. Is this story the ultimate fact about me?! As I dive deep, I see that it's my interpretation and not the truth. I do get the futility of that. Challenges are everywhere; how I see them & who I choose to be is what makes all the difference. Here's how I arrived at this. Go on and read further to get more of what I have to share. Still struggling?! Great, you are in an unfamiliar place & that's a good place to get present to something that you haven't experienced before.
Just as I was self-loathing & holding on to my story, I got present to everything I was feeling in that moment. There was anger, sadness, disgust, guilt, regret; kind of mixed feelings. Oh yes! That's a feeling after all. And we detest feeling bad. We make that mean something about us, our world, the people, about life etc. Our survival mechanism is to escape from feeling anything unpleasant or messy. We avoid that and ridiculously, the experience that we are left with is feeling that which we avoided feeling in the first place. We just try to justify not to feel that way, we defend, we avoid & many a times hide.
Doing this exploration, I got present to many discussions that I had had in the past with different people about how they escaped their reality to experience something better. To put in simple words, I asked them: "What did you do to not feel what is uncomfortable in your world and replace it with something opposite of that feeling?". And here are some of the many ways they use: 'I take a long break & go on exploring the world', 'I go on an adventurous spree', 'I enjoy the moment inside the flight on high altitude. This gives me a sense of peace within, out from the world', 'I pick up projects that are outstation so that I don't have to deal with the mess here', 'I work long hours & spend less time at home'......You can come up with your list too. It'll drive you crazy if you do an honest introspection; I guarantee you and say this from personal experience.
What's different then when we choose something different than what looks normal to us? Well, you are the same, what's different is the context then & the stand you choose to take. Context is our story, which is very dear to us; our truth about our world which isn't a fact, although it may seem like one to us because we are so attached to it & we have every reason to back it up. We have become experienced in doing that over the years that it looks so real to us that we are blinded by it. Our context is our interpretation of our world. If we can accept this fact & open up to exploration of this truth, then we can create what we want wherever we are. We can find peace, happiness, joy, serenity, success & everything that our heart desires be it here or anywhere else. Because the stand that you choose to take irrespective of everything that is happening around, is your gift to yourself & to the world for who you be in your greatness. And remember that a stand is very different from choosing something opposite of what you are feeling. To get to the depth of this, I will probably write another blog. For this one, just this awareness is enough.
Want some magic?! Then look into the mirror & say: "Hello, I am the creator. I can change my interpretation, my context and take a stand that will enable me to experience what I want to. I don't have to run away to feel certain way or experience something that looks impossible in my world right now." You don't have to force or try hard at all. Your willingness to sit in this possibility, will be the first step towards that shift.
In this VUCA world when nothing is certain, your plans with need a re-look, a makeover from time to time. If you get attached to it more than your intention & vision; chances are that you won't enjoy the journey & the experience of it as you execute the plan. Your plan operates in a context that you live in.Wisdom lies in creating a plan & then be willing to embrace the twist & turns; willing to trust the divine detours because what shows up during these moments is what we need to experience/feel/be with to be able to truly feel then what we are longing for; what our heart is wanting to experience eternally. Post that, our actions change and so our results.
Leaving you with this curiosity: "What showed up in you as you read this piece? Is there anything that you could relate to from my sharing? Is there reluctance?" I would love to know & if you are willing, would love to have a conversation with you on a more deeper level.
Believing in you,
#ourcontext #ourstory #interpretations #stance #insights #coaching #leadership #life #authenticsharing #emotionalintelligence #reflection
Have you ever been ghosted? Have you ever been give the silent treatment? Have you ever been left unanswered, wondering what happened? Have you been left with the feeling of 'you don't matter now'? Well, owning this feeling is hard. Sometimes owning the side that we detest experiencing, is hard. I have felt this way and I can tell you it sucks, it is painful. The very first thing that comes to our mind is: "What did I do? What happened?". See the focus in such cases is always on oneself. And many a times one is left with these stories of making oneself wrong for another person's behaviour, making it mean something about self & living with it for a lifetime too. And in many cases depending on the impact, it leads to psychological problems as well.
Let's take this phenomenon to the corporate world where people are constantly trying to prove their worth, protect their identity, maintain their status and the list is endless. In simple words, people are striving on survival mechanisms in a scenario like this. Organizations where there is no care culture and cutthroat competition prevails, very often you will find that once an employee resigns, leaves, asked to leave, laid off, terminated or even rejected in interviews, they aren't treated with respect and care. Rather they are given silent treatments, withdrawn from participation, from involvement & immediately cut off. The same employee who had been working, contributing and was a part of the organization's growth, is now suddenly cut off. I do understand the need to do this from the standpoint of confidentiality like not sharing detail about confidential data, project etc., but what if when you energetically & intentionally cut the person off without even empathizing with him/her? This shows either of the two things:
1. That you now don't care for the person because the person isn't an employee that you see in your future together. So, your care in the first place had a condition attached to it.
2. You simply considered them as just means to your end with no emotional attachment.
Whichever stance it might be, this is sourced in fear and not in love which is the true consciousness of every soul. Fear can show up in many forms and in your wildest assumptions can have their own truth but my question is, "What kind of culture are you feeding in? A culture where there is cutthroat competition, people are merely objects?!" Till the time you are serving the purpose you are in, if not you are out?! What if a culture of care is nurtured and modeled? What if the leader paves the way towards a more inclusive culture for humanity and love? What if vision of abundance creation merges with spiritual growth of humanity in the organizations?
This similar pattern can be seen in other areas of connection as well. Take the platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp etc. How many of us truly connect with an intent to connect? The same norm is followed: pseudo-connect, ghost/silent treatment, lack of bonding/connection. This has become our default mode of operation whether we like it or not. And we are left in world devoid of deep connection, bonding, care, respect and connection. We form communities which can benefit our growth not as human beings but help achieve our professional objectives. Once that is achieved, we are disconnected. We learn this behaviour from the ones leading it and we follow the trend without questioning. I really wonder what's the future of our upcoming generations! What lessons we shall pass on to them when we live in a world where we are more concerned about adding people to our list and least bothered with true human connections.
Connections, ongoing connections need vulnerability, the will to be open, truthful and care for another person not for one's gain but purely with an intent to connect with another. Are we willing to create a culture of care in this cutthroat competitive world? If not, where are we heading to and why? If yes, let's connect, converse, get curious about one another without judgements, without agendas; if at all there is an agenda, let it be for the greater good of the person and humanity. What is the first step towards creating this? Let's stop ghosting, not not responding, giving silent treatments and start engaging in conversations. And this needs trust, courage and will. Rest will follow.
Believing in you,
#careculture #connection #leadership #humanity #organizationalculture #life
Ah! What a stupid question to ask?! That’s our instant reaction, right?! See, if the question itself sounds stupid, then imagine how really making mistakes would land on you! Don’t worry, you are not alone to feel this way. Most of us live this way, including me. We have a strong aversion to making mistakes & so we live a certain life, a life that is a guarantee to some of the aspects, some of the nuances but not all. This stance guarantees us just a little of what could have been possible. This stance limits us from expanding ourselves to infinity. Our natural desire is to expand, to be free, not to be bounded; but we create the prisons and we live inside of it cribbing, complaining, regretting & also being okay with it. Sometimes some truths are hard to digest because it shows us that side of us that we don’t want to see or get present to because it is so painful, so unsettling, so triggering.
Every time I think of me & everyone around, I find that we are so gifted, highly potential and resourceful, but we aren’t using even an iota of that. Every time we desire to stand up to our greatness, we get stopped not just by others who are fearful but by us too. It is more of our own stances, that stops us from creating what we desire. And the greatest of all things that holds us back is nothing but OUR FEAR OF MAKING MISTAKES. Mistakes start defining us and who we become. But that’s the interpretation of the world and us. That is not the truth. Mistakes are simply mistakes. We make them painful memories and hold on to them making it mean something about us, the person or any subject in that context. We have great ideas, but we keep these to ourselves. Don’t we?! I can assert this because: one, I did like this and two, I know of many people who have done this. The questions that holds me/them back are usually these: What if this isn’t good? What if I look stupid? What if I get rejected? What if it doesn’t work out? What if people laugh at me? What if my life gets messier than what it looks now? What if…………? You can use your fear here to fill the gaps. Just for a second ask this another question: “What you are assuming; can you be 100% sure?” In this mind game, we tend to give up, resign already & not start anything. And mind being mind, it’ll keep popping up with newer & brilliant ideas to find solace in the fact that it is just going to be inside the mind only without coming out in the real world to play the game. We fear playing the game honestly. Did you come across anyone who just by thinking & ideating & not diving into the reality created anything miraculous?! Obviously not! Sometimes I wonder what I have created by holding on to this stance of being perfect, not making mistakes and hiding if I make mistakes out of fear of humiliation, looking stupid and what not! Honestly, nothing! In fact, in the act of not creating the mess outside, I created the mess inside of me.
Long back I learnt not to make mistakes. Because making mistakes wasn’t fun. Who would love to bear the consequences of it? All the shame, guilt and repercussions are hard to handle. But only if you look at it that way and sadly, we are made to look at it that way. Yes, we are made to look at making mistakes that way, we are conditioned everywhere this way. Even in the corporate, you’ll agree that although you are asked to think out of the box, generate new ideas; when you do, you are not received well by many & even the leader is not able to give you the space to make mistakes for many constraints that (s)he is bounded by. We are leaving in constant fear of losing out, missing out, falling short, running behind etc. So, we just give ourselves limited chances. But our exploration of our gifts and its manifestation needs time and more chances than what we are willing to give ourselves.
As the year is winding up, I am sure you all are going to take stock of things. You are going to do an inventory count for 2019. What worked, what didn’t? What was awesome, what wasn’t? What got created and what didn’t? What goals got manifested and what didn’t? etc. Hardly do we take stock of our mistakes. What if we ask ourselves this question, “How many mistakes did I make this year?” As you ask yourself this question, be gentle and kind on yourself. Sit without judgement, don’t sit with a mindset to find fault & beat yourself up, but to take pride in yourself for the fact that you did something out of your way; for something that you were fearful of; for something that you weren’t sure/certain of but you did. As you open you heart to this, you’ll notice a shift in the way you look at mistakes. This stance will enable you to dive into newer, creative and innovative ways. It’ll open the doors to possibilities, of ways that you didn’t know existed. Make mistakes, take stock, forgive, let go, take a new stance, take a renewed goal and again be willing to make mistakes, to let the mess be created, to allow yourself to sit in the discomfort, be willing to play and not just focus on winning. Because after winning, you’ll again feel the vacuum for you haven’t enjoyed the play truly. Make your game infinite and not just fixated with just winning. And if you play without inhibition, without control of self from making mistakes, you will any which ways win. If not anything you will make your life memorable & you’ll be left with a better experience of life. Because as you look back, those wins which were difficult and allowed you to stretch, made a greater impact than the ones that you played safe & comfortably.
My intention for 2020 is to allow myself to make mistakes, make mess & not make it mean anything about me but make it memorable. For I know, where I hold back is what needs my attention & action. And that which I’ll resist will persist. As I look back on 2019, in my mistakes I learnt greatest of all lessons, deepest connections were formed and most of all I grew as a person, as a leader and as a coach. And so, I can allow others to make mistakes & give them an “A” despite of that; give my trust to them. And life is about growing and not controlling us from expanding. As I dive into the unknown trajectory, I will make mistakes for that’s a new ground, but what if I look at it not as mistakes but my willingness to redefine my definition of mistakes?! Making mistakes is much more joyous than sitting in regret for not trying to make one.
In the words of the awesome Sara Blakely, “Go ahead, make mistakes. The worst that can happen is you become memorable.”
Those who made/make a dent in the Universe are the ones who never stopped after making mistakes. Are you willing to allow yourself to making mistakes in 2020? And for the mistakes that you made in 2019, are you willing to let go of those painful memories & recreate a positive stance? Because it’s the mindset that you would choose to carry forward in 2020 that would shape your experiences of life eventually.
Wishing you a joyous, abundant, fulfilling & fantastic 2020. May you live in your essence and experience life in totality.
Believing in you.
#life #leadership #coaching #insights #mistakevsexperience #livinginessence
Our essence is the state of groundedness of our being, a state of our peak-performance, our zone of genius. A state of our highest-self, a state where we are at our best & when others experience us as our best. Yes, both! But we oscillate from over-expressing to under-expressing it. How you arrive at your essence, is by doing the deep work with your coaches, taking feedback from people who have experienced you, from honest self-evaluation, from being open to receiving feedback from people (apart from your relatives & blood-relations) with whom you have worked with, even taking feedback from strangers whom you have connected for the first time. You'll see common patterns and themes. Your ability to receive, just receive (without having to counter/defend) what they have to offer you will allow you to see your essence, who you truly are. And when you live in your essence, you are that unique person that you are meant to be, being able to manifest the gifts that Universe has bestowed on you.
"Everyone has unique gifts & talents. What you love is, what you are gifted at. To be completely happy, to live a completely fulfilled life, you have to do what you love." - Barbara Sher
And like I mentioned before, we keep oscillating between over expression & under expression of our essence. We do this for various reasons. One of the reasons is because of our fears, some acknowledged and some unacknowledged. Having been coached and having coached my clients, one thing I have observed is the resistance to first accepting that there is fear. Denying that one has fear is also a reflection of the fact that either you don't want to dive deep or having fear would mean/reveal something about you that you are not willing to face/get present to. Whenever there is denial, resistance, there is something more beneath that. Uncovering it will truly serve you. But sadly, many a times we live in denial and even resist opening to that someone who is willing to take us to that depth that we are fearful of going.
"Denying the truth doesn't change the facts."
Let's look at the chart below to understand what over & under expression of our essence would look like. I am taking just five of the many essence that me & my people, my kind of people have. Please note that I have got in touch with my essence from the deep work that I am doing with my coaches and my fellow coaches in the safe container called the Forge group that I am in as a part of my learning initiative as a coach & a leader.
You can uncover your essence & then see if you are over expressing or under expressing it. When we feel that what we are doing isn't enough, we do more. The underlying fear is to be secured, certain and be the best at it or else we may not have it or be left out. Mostly driven, passionate and ambitious people would be over expressing their essence. Because they want more and more & want to free themselves from the underlying feeling of 'I am not enough, I need something outside of me to feel enough'. They want to be sure, experience abundance at the cost of who they are. When you do so, you are leaving yourself with an experience of life where you actually feel unfulfilled, not enough and not good about where you are at. Hence you jump to the next level to feel that you are enough. But sadly every time you get to that level, you realize there is a level beyond & your focus is to getting to the next. It's like climbing a ladder that has no end and your drive is to get to the end, highest continuum of it. At some point you get frustrated and tend to give up or do more, exhaust yourself to get to somewhere that you realize you never wanted to go. You live a highly stressed, driven life that robs you off your energy, peace of mind and leaves you with a feeling of disconnect & vacuum. You live a life where you have to constantly prove to yourself & others to satiate the feeling of being enough.
For those who under express their essence, the hidden fear is, 'I am not worthy, I don't deserve, I am not good enough.' Here it is more of a victimized stance that you adopt as a result of the failures, negative/unpleasant experiences that you might have had while growing up or what you experienced of the world around you. May be you were conditioned to be this way to underplay and stay protected. Fear of not being accepted as you are might have led to this stance and so your need is to be accepted the ways others want you to be, to fit in somehow. What is the experience of life you are left with as a result of this stance?
What is really getting in your way to living in your essence? My experience of myself & my clients says the following might be something to reflect on.
Are you willing to deep dive? If yes, what is that tiniest step that you would take in that direction?
I will be happy to have a conversation with you around this to know what you want to create for yourself & where ever you are at life. I am willing to support you. I resisted receiving support earlier, but after opening my arms to receiving support from my coaches, my life & who I BE has transformed drastically & so my outcomes. Are you willing to receive that support that I am offering you? If yes, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message me or just reach out in any creative way that you deem fit.
Believing in you,
What we see is what we learn & imbibe. More than what we learn by what is told to do, we learn by what is being modeled to us by our leaders. And I am so glad to have witnessed that sort of leadership which is purely based on the leader's being and not based on 'driven-doing' mode that we mostly operate from. Where did I experience this? In the Forge group that I am currently in as a part of my leadership deep dive. Every time I feel I had a breakthrough, I am complete; I see another blindspot & it is an ongoing journey. I never thought this kind of self-revelation was possible, unless & until I got present to this phenomenon through coaching. And so I wonder what powerful impact we can create when we walk the inward journey & be in our zone of genius!
One of the rarest commodity in leadership is, leadership without ego. Ego is centered with 'I' and 'my needs'. And so we give meaning to every experience that we create to mean something about that 'I' & 'my needs'. Hence, leadership in such a scenario doesn't remain leadership in its truest essence but more of control, manipulation & driven by agendas that aren't accepted & acknowledged by others & even self at a deeper level. And unless & until we choose to break this cycle, we keep creating the same experience again & again.
Real leaders are different and they don't fit the general idea of leaders that we commonly hold on to. Leadership without ego is a choice to do & be the following no matter what:
It is hard to pause, reflect & see what's the clearing that is required for a repeated unwanted experience of life that we are creating. It is hard to call out on self because that would trigger underlying beliefs that we might be unwilling to explore & get present to. The very identity of who we had been, might be shaken when we choose to look within & that might be uncomfortable. Hence the seemingly easiest way we think is, to look outside us & distract ourselves from the real stuff. But sadly, this isn't the way to do away with the deeper discomfort that we are running away from. The more you be with the discomfort, you dilute its ability to trigger us and control our behaviours & outcomes.
Leadership is a way of being that not only elicits the greatness in others but enables us to experience our greatness even more powerfully. It isn't something that leads to burn-out, sleepless nights, auto-pilot mode of operation but an inner stance of leading; first self and then others to a path of acknowledgement & liberation from fears, inhibitions, hypocrisies, self-doubts, distractions and settle in groundedness & serenity i.e. our essence. The road is slippery though!
Leadership is a muscle that needs to be built & can never be put to halt & assumptions that it will get shaped by default. It needs reflection, deep work and constant evolution & not necessarily just when we are holding a position or title in the professional world but generally too. So the question that I leave herewith for you to reflect is: "What would the impact of leadership without ego on you, your life and people around you would be?"
Believing in you,
I wasn't who I am today and I very well know that I won't be the same person as I progress in my life. Change is what truly defines me. And I am happy to declare that I am loving this journey of self-discovery, self-awareness, evolution and transformation. I thank each & everyone of you in this journey of mine because all of this happened in your space. Consciously, unconsciously, subtly, intentionally, I was held to experience what I was experiencing; to feel what I was feeling; to act/not act in certain ways to arrive at results expected/unexpected. All I say is, I have grown & now my mental map has widened, my energy field has expanded to be able to accommodate more, hold more, see more and most importantly enjoy more being myself, enabling others to be themselves as they are. On this 30th October 2019, I will turn 39 and so I thought of reflecting my lessons learnt so far and share with you all hoping you'll benefit from this. This in a way is my return gift to you all for all the love and warmth that you have showered and bestowed on me throughout.
1. No one else but only you can give yourself the love that you have been seeking outside.
2. True happiness lies in our ability to experience all our pleasant & unpleasant emotions.
3. The complaints that we have of others are exactly the same someone else is having about us. The only thing is, we aren't aware of it or finding it hard to own & accept.
4. Your experience of life majorly depends on who you choose to BE.
5. No one is bad, it's just that our mental maps aren't aligned as a result of which we aren't able to access their bright, more evolved sides.
6. Nothing in life is as scary as our mind makes it to be.
7. By not diving into the other side of fear, you are missing out on a blissful experience of life.
8. Every one has a unique story that you can truly hear only when you drop your judgement, guards, masks and choose to be in your essence.
9. You can experience another person's greatness when you first experience your greatness by being in your essence.
10. Never spend your life comparing yourself with another soul. You are different, they too are. Never believe anyone who does this comparison to make you a better version. Truth is, in comparison you loose your power.
11. To have a meaningful & peaceful life, embrace adult responses over childhood patterned responses. We majorly act based on our conditioned protective childhood responses. Don't forget that you are no longer that child but growing & evolving.
12. Nobody needs fixing. All they want is the space to be themselves to be able to experience who they are. In that space you flourish & evolve to your highest self.
13. Your triggers are the best place to get access to the brokenness that is inside. Your true work starts in this exploration.
14. Every experience in life matters. If you don't believe me, look back & you'll realize what I mean.
15. If you find yourself in an experience of life that you are not enjoying or don't want to be in; then know that this is exactly what you need for your growth. Yes, a bitter truth.
16. Don't hold on to anything, nothing is permanent; this includes your thoughts, feelings, emotions, ego, judgement, actions, literally everything. Instead hold the sacred space and let things get created in that space freely. Master the patience to hold the space.
17. Never underestimate the power of anyone however hard you may find it. Your rationality can't match the light inside every soul.
18. You can get access to your intuitive abilities only after you have had access to your intellectual abilities.
19. You attract certain kinds of people in your life because you need them to learn something/experience something unfamiliar/co-create something. Don't detest this experience, but thank them for being there.
20. Our greatest learnings come in seemingly unpleasant ways.
21. However compassionate, caring you might be, know that your leaning back & allowing the person to carve out his/her path in that challenging/struggling moment will only truly serve them. So learn to lean back even if it is discomforting and all you want to do is save them & do it for them.
22. Remember that excitement for anything after some point fades. Be it in relationship or any venture that you started. Your decision to not give up when the excitement goes away will enable you to take the leap to the next level of your growth. Giving up is not the solution to not being excited. Rather it is a great reflection point for you to look at your own patterns.
23. Be okay with asking for support. Don't equate that with your inability to do on your own and don't beat yourself up for that. When giving support is joyous, so let be receiving joyous too.
24. Blaming is one of the easiest thing you can do rather than owning a part of you in that messiness. Blaming does no good to anyone. Owning your messiness needs courage & depth of character.
25. Our excuses are our true projections of how powerful our intentions are. They are inversely proportionate.
26. Love the person for who he/she is and not what you want them to be. That's not love, that's transaction, an agenda. Hence your experience of love will be around your definition of love.
27. One day you'll leave this world and anyways go away to the unknown. So decide now who you choose to be, because that's the best you can do with your life.
28. In the name of responsibilities don't run away from your dreams. Likewise, in the name of your dreams, don't run away from your responsibilities.
29. Follow your own truth.
30. Life is beautiful. People are in their space doing their best as they can. I am joy, devotion, radiance, wisdom and serenity (from my essence work with my coaches & people who have truly experienced me).
Expand and spread your wings, fly as high as you want to & create your own lessons. Every lesson is a personal experience & has its own unique beginning, middle and ending. Believe in that.
"A clear rejection is better than a fake promise." - Anonymous
We all fear rejection. We want to avoid it at all cost. Rejection makes us feel bad, low. But what is rejection in the first place? It simply means dismissal or refusal of a proposal. But what we generally do? We give our own meanings to rejection and allow that story to play in our mind. We then operate from that space again & again. We let the word rejection mean something about us, we take it personally. We use this formula: Rejection = I am not good enough, Rejection = I am not worthy, Rejection = I am a failure, Rejection = I am not enough, Rejection = I couldn't convince, Rejection = I am __________. You may fill in the blank as you give meaning to it. And that's when the problem lies. Later in our lives, we become so good in avoiding the rejections that we stop playing where we feel there's a chance to be rejected. We start playing low even without realizing it. All rejection meant was, the other person failed to see what you had to offer. So, does it mean that you will stop offering to others who might be eagerly waiting for you and what you have to offer? Or should we make peace with our self-sabotaging definitions and live with it indifferently? We can be indifferent to anything we wish to be. That's one of the most easiest things to do to avoid feeling the pain & regaining ourselves. Feeling the pain is tough. And who wants to be broken every time. But, if you rewrite your definition of rejection, then the heartbreak would have a different meaning for you. It will be an opportunity for you to see beyond just the emotion but what you might improve not because you got rejected but because you are committed to your growth and highest version.
Let me quote a live example here of my rejection story. There was a story that played in my head for long. Most of the time I would speak up, bring forth an idea or something that I deeply believed in & thought might serve an organization that I was serving; I used to face rejection. Rejection can be of two kinds: one is you get ignored totally or you bear the consequences of non-compliance, cornered. And I used to be in one of the zones mostly. Never to be accepted. I gave meaning to all of these to mean something about me, I took it personally and so I stopped sharing, to be accepted. I stopped being authentic to be with the bandwagon without analyzing if it was good/bad, I stopped sharing my views to please people with whom I had worked with. But, on the inside I felt terrible. I was doing something that wasn't authentic to me. I was doing something that I didn't believed in. I was doing something that wasn't me. And what did this do to me, the fear of rejection gave me acceptance, superficial love and feel good factor for a while; but it robbed me off me. Slowly, I started becoming who I wasn't. I felt unhappy on the inside. I felt conflicted and so I decided to confront my definition of rejection. What does rejection mean to me? I decided to explore that which I hadn't perceived earlier. My previous definition was: Rejection = Nonacceptance & Cornering. Deep down there was this need in me which longed for acceptance & involvement. That's my stuff and the emotional baggage that I was carrying. I dealt with that separately and came out of it. Then, I decided to redefine the terminology 'rejection' in my dictionary. Rejection for me is simply next one now. No arguments, no defense; simply acceptance of the other person's views because I know that is personal and has nothing to do with me or my potential. It's the way they choose to see it and I honour that. But, I will put forth what I believe to be true of course with an attitude to re-look at my views not to mean anything about me but for greater good. Now, approaching others and getting rejected doesn't feel bad. Now I don't refrain myself from speaking authentically. Because now my focus is not me, but the bigger intention of creating a greater impact.
When we allow rejection to mean something about us, we loose our power. But when we allow the same to mean something about the fact that there was a mismatch in perception, all things fall in place. No defense required, no justification required. It just opens the doors to creating newer possibilities and doesn't curb me from being who I am. But, of course, who I am doesn't have to be rigid again. Acceptance of the fact that we do make mistakes and it is okay to learn, grow & not know is the key. Ah, I wish I would have had this lesson earlier, I would have approached so many people & things; may be my trajectory would have been different. But again, I do know that everything comes to you including the guidance of the Universe only when you open up to its mysteries. Nothing before, nothing after. Just at your right time, depending upon your willing to receive it.
Our stories recreate our experiences of us, people & life. To have a newer & more meaningful experience, we need to investigate the stories playing in our head. Are we tightly holding on to that or willing to let go to create newer & more powerful ones? This simple awareness will enable us to make a shift, a tiny shift that will lead us to exponential growth.
Some of the areas that you might reflect on are:
1. Are you hiring people that you are comfortable with? What does this pattern reflect?
2. Are you resisting to see a different side to the issue that you are facing? Reflecting on why & your resistance might help you?
3. Are you unwilling to take support because you believe this is who you are? Diving into this arrogance might lead to a breakthrough you might be resisting all your life?
4. Am I playing small fearing rejection?
5. Am I not open to newer perspectives?
6. Am I being guarded & not vulnerable?
7. Am I showing that I am too good to even need any support?
8. Am I not being aware of my emotions & indifferent to that side?
9. Am I sensing some resistance while reading this blog? What thoughts, feelings & sensations you are having as you read this?
10. Am I getting triggered by something outside of me? That could be a great place to start with.
Believing in you,
#leadership #authenticity #rejection #fearoffailure #ourstory #meaningweattachourselvesto #lookingbeyond #uninvestigatedthoughtsandstories
Life & Organizational Development Coach