Collective traumas and the weight of collective grief is real and rampant.
There have been so many moments in just the last two years that we have all watched together that activate vicarious trauma and collective grief.
The horrific milestones of COVID and COVID-related deaths, hate speech, successful attacks on our democracy, relationship ending debates about masks and vaccines, attacks on protestors, and waking up to being complacent and complicit to systemic racism.
And in January, the world watched an armed insurrection in Washington DC, and the relentless gaslighting and attempts to retell that day in ways the deflect accountability and culpability followed.
It’s no wonder many of us began to feel helpless.
But unaddressed, helplessness can quickly lead to hopelessness.
Grief comes with working through vicarious and collective traumas. And grief begs to be witnessed or it turns malignant.
And it is important to not rush through what we have experienced in our own lives...
Rushing into the future can mean missing important data.
Data, in this case, doesn’t mean points on a graph but really looking in the face of your experiences of the year. The good, the bad, the really hard, and the really exciting ones.
This process helps us see patterns over the course of the year so we can see our growth and evaluate what we want to leave behind and what we want to bring with us into the new year.
Rushing through the end of the year, avoiding reflection at all costs, making big promises to yourself and others to rush by the hurts and frustrations of the past year, robs us of the chance to find the best next steps for ourselves, our families, and our work.
Taking the time to truly reflect on the past year is an act of Self-leadership that can support much-needed unburdening.
This liminal space in the in-between of the years can be overrun with expectations and comparisons and feeling inundated with promises of what we need to do or buy that will make this...
If you are a leader who embodies activism, you are moved by personal convictions that see beyond yourself and the bottom line. You boldly desire to make intentional change that will impact another person, your family, where you work, our planet.
When activism is seen as a negative word, it supports the status quo. Making activism negative plays upon your fears being misunderstood or being seen as too much, too disruptive.
And it is easy to respond to these fears by quickly defaulting into silence or complacency.
But there is something immensely freeing by owning our values and desires for the world we want. Sure, it can feel a little scary and most definitely vulnerable.
When we do the work to not be weighed down by our burdens, we can move through the fears and increase our capacity for vulnerability so we can own our activism not as something to be ashamed of but as a beacon for our meaningful work and life.
My guest today wrote a whole book reframing activism with a more...
What motivates your dreams is just as important as the dream itself.
Maybe even more important.
These dreams for your future inform your daily decisions and where you focus your time, energy, and resources, and they impact how you lead yourself and others.
They fuel the drive that motivates you to get up each day as you do the important–and sometimes tedious–practices that build the future you want for yourself and the world.
They support moving from a vision or idea to action, creating the reality you have always longed for.
The tricky thing about your desires for the future is they require understanding your past and any pain it holds.
No matter how smart the parts of you are that strategize and plan - if you are not clear on the echoes of your pains, losses, and unmet needs then they can become interwoven with your vision for your future.
And if you are not aware of these influences, they can drive you in ways you may not be aware of, setting you up for burnout and...
What drives you can make you or break you.
We often look to our values, commitments, and operations as a map to how we do life and work.
But there are things that get in the way of honoring our commitments to ourselves and those we serve - no matter what we have professed as our values and mission.
The messages that tell us we are not enough. We have to do more or get more. We have to over-deliver and never disappoint.
These shame-based messages get in the way of our ability to make our aspired values consistently lived in action.
Shame is insidious, sneaky and can become a powerful driving force in our lives if we do not get clear on what is driving us and why we are making the choices we do day in and day out.
Until you look at your own unique experience of shame and what drives it, shame will continue to chip away at your capacity for courage and convince you to compromise your integrity.
Getting granular about what drives you - and why - can reveal some hard truths and important...
Leading with questions instead of leading with answers is a powerful practice.
Sure, in times of crisis, steady, knowing leadership is calming and often necessary.
But the pressure to have all the answers all the time limits creativity and possibility.
Having the capacity to ask questions instead of offering all the answers is what brings out the best in you and those around you.
When you move from a position of knowing to one of curiosity you build trust, both within yourself and in those around you.
Not knowing all the answers has the ability to deepen team cohesion and cultivate creativity and innovation that would never have come from you trying to figure it all out on your own.
Yet so many leaders feel a responsibility to have everything figured out and they push themselves to exhaustion for fear of anyone finding out that they don’t have all the answers.
But courage reminds us that there is a different way to lead and it supports our ability to be vulnerable and say,...
If you want to lead yourself well, you have to know yourself well.
The tricky thing is, it can be surprisingly hard to really know yourself.
We live in a world where we are told by others–on repeat–who we should be and who we are.
We have gotten so good at being who we think we are supposed to be that we end up believing there is something intrinsically wrong with who we uniquely are.
Especially when it comes to behaviors, personality traits and abilities associated with how your nervous system operates.
We tag the word disorder onto neurological differences like autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity which pathologize aspects of being human.
This dangerously narrow view of health and functioning decreases everyone’s ability to better understand the incredible resources we have in ourselves and in those around us.
We all are trying to figure out what makes us tick and how we can improve our work and life.
And that is what today’s Unburdened Leader...
When you are not honest with yourself, you end up living a disconnected life.
You may feel connected to your life when you get the dopamine hits of likes and follows or public affirmations from colleagues. Though, let’s be honest, these external validations are never satisfying for long.
If you live a life where your worthiness and safety are woven into the opinions of others, it makes sense why so many cling to a life that is unsustainable and out of alignment.
And it often takes a big crisis to push us out of the grind of the life we are living to reflect and re-evaluate.
Whatever the catalyst is, getting honest with yourself and your circumstances is the only way through figuring out what next steps to take.
In a world of highlight reels and social media filters, being honest can feel counter-cultural. And stepping into radical honesty can stir up a lot of emotion.
Choosing to be honest with yourself and others definitely has risks. But you will also experience the rewards...
We are seeing conflict move so quickly to chaos these days.
Anger, entitlement and self-preservation can kick into overdrive when you feel devalued. We forget about relationships and fight to be right, no matter the cost.
Civility is pushed aside more and more as we navigate our differences.
The wounds of relational trauma, betrayal, neglect, poverty, racism are playing out in so many spaces of public gatherings and personal relationships.
But now is not the time to throw our hands up and walk away from this messy state of affairs.
Yes, there is a lot happening that takes us out of our space of leading from confidence, clarity and calm. It is inevitable that our emotions will overwhelm us at some point.
But it is essential that we cultivate spaces together that encourage conflict that moves us towards solutions, not sensational soundbites.
We have to look at how we communicate and the language we use. We have to intentionally set expectations and guidelines for what is okay and what...
We all grew up being told who was the creative one, who was the smart one, and who was the sporty one. There was no space for anyone to hold a multiplicity of skills and interests.
Of course, none of us hold just one identity, skill, or interest.
So an identity crisis–or multiple identity crises–is inevitable.
But an identity crisis can be a powerful turning point in your life and work.
On one hand, you can keep doing what you’ve been doing—what you’re supposed to do. Or you can take a big risk and do something different.
We all have PhDs on what we are supposed to do. We have breathed in the messages on what it means to be a success and responsible. Staying on the current path is oddly comfortable—even when it sucks.
When you decide to honor the desire to grow and make a pivot with your work or take a risk with a significant relationship in your life, you are entering into a stage of growth that can be lonely and a bit disorienting.