It’s true that the meaning we choose to give to a situation or thing becomes the experience we have with it.
Story shapes reality.
I find this simple model a great reminder of how much we do have control over what we think, feel and create in our lives.
It’s important to understand the power of our language and how it impacts our version of reality, which, ultimately, is the one we experience.
When we narrow in on one way of giving meaning to something, we are missing out on other angles of the truth, fact, and information.
Recently, I had a conversation with health specialist and podcast host, Anthony Hartcher. We discussed whether or not it’s wise to refer to the current mental and emotional challenges that many are having as a “mental health crisis.” I, personally, believe what we are witnessing as “break downs” are direct signs of a break through or healing crisis. To me, the trend we see in practically everything in our world is showing a massive coming apart of perspectives, approaches, systems, and paradigms that need to be readdressed, rethought, restructured, and rebuilt.
In short, I find we are in a time of break down in order to breakthrough to a new chapter and level of enlightenment, capacity, and possibility. To do this, it takes looking at and working with what needs to heal in order to move forward. We start by asking each of ourselves this core question: What, within me, is currently blocking movement to a better place in my life?
In leadership, when we don’t embrace, directly address, and work with challenges that present themselves, and, instead, we try to control them by either ignoring or attempting to project or push blame off elsewhere, we will continue to perpetuate an experience of challenge for ourselves and others.
What we resist and push back on persists and grows.
I was recently speaking with someone who is interested in having me present to a group of C-suite professionals. He shared that some of the concerns these leaders have been bringing up were around the current demands for more empathy in their leadership approach.
The question that was posed was: “Is there any way you can help offer solutions for addressing the issues these leaders are having within the cultures of their organizations that will allow them to lead more effectively without having to be empathetic?”
It reminds me of the prevalent attitude within our society when it comes to something that isn’t working – just remove and replace it with something that “fixes” the issue and allows us to keep doing things the way we’ve been doing them.
Change is constant. It is a key ingredient for innovation and growth.
What is needed most when things aren’t working is a deeper dive into what is at the root of the issue itself. My response to the above inquiry was, “I believe the larger question is, what is making the discussion around empathy so uncomfortable?”
Getting more comfortable with discomfort in our lives allows us the room to ask the right questions when we are challenged. We can begin to engage with whatever is breaking down and learn from it. After all, if something is falling apart, there is a reason. Pushing it away or trying to mask or desperately prop it up without looking at why it’s happening will not help us improve our situation, and actually keeps us stuck in the challenge that is being created by the breakdown.
Within any crisis or dysfunction is a seed or lesson we need to learn to create something new. If we don’t take the time to discover what this is, we will struggle TO properly move on and open space for a new and better beginning.
When we try too hard to avoid or ignore what is trying to come through, we end up not having what it takes to support new growth and improvement.
So, how do we stop fighting or resisting the breakdown and embrace it instead?
Allowing ourselves to fall apart is, perhaps, the greatest challenge. It’s a leap of faith and trust that what is on the other side is truly better than what we currently have and are experiencing. When we do permit ourselves to come apart in order to better understand what lies beneath, how we are operating and if what we have is truly aligned with what we want, we find truth.
And don’t they say TRUTH sets us free?
If so, why do we fight so hard to cover up the truth?
It’s because the truth is often very uncomfortable and inconvenient. It requires us to make changes and see things that we don’t want to acknowledge.
But if it is hurting us and others, then aren’t we better off seeing it and bringing it into the light so it can heal and become realigned?
A healing crisis is when the body is purging all of what creates disease in order to reclaim health. It feels like a crisis but is actually a very important part of the healing process.
What if we discover that what is falling apart and breaking down in our lives is damaging us, and letting go of it will make room for something so much better?
Better perspectives. Better opportunities. Better ways to create and experience the life we truly desire.
Today, look at where you are struggling to “keep alive” or maintain something you are meant to release – something that is desperately trying to leave your life to set you free to receive what is waiting for you.
Is it a belief? A way of doing something? Is it a relationship? A commitment or obligation? A fear? An attachment? Disbelief? A lack of faith and trust?
What is standing in the way of YOUR next?
And can you choose to embrace the breakdown of what has been in order to allow what wants to breakthrough?