INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
Years ago, I was listening to a commencement speech from comedian Jim Carrey, when, at about the ten-minute mark, something he said stopped me in my tracks. It got to the core of one of life’s greatest travesties. Said Carrey:
“So many of us choose our path out of fear – fear disguised as practicality. What we really want seems impossibly out of reach and ridiculous to expect. So, we never dare to ask the universe for it.”
Stop, pause, and breathe that in for a moment. Do you recognize yourself in this? I can tell you from personal experience, fear’s most insidious form is practicality. “Ah, realistically, that’ll never happen”, “Let’s be real”, “Things like that don’t happen to people like me”, we tell ourselves. Meanwhile, we fall into a pattern of being, instead of becoming. My point is this: ask yourself if you’ve quietly fallen victim to practicality in any way in your life. If you have, ask more of the universe, and yourself. Choose a path of possibility, and be brave enough to take the steps it takes to get there.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many make)
Organizational psychologist Adam Grant wrote a wildly popular New York Times article in which he labeled that feeling of pandemic-induced blah we all feel as “languishing.” I discovered the key to overcoming this sense of stagnation and emptiness, in, of all places, a refrain from the brilliant, young poet Amanda Gorman, who wrote:
“There is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”
So much of pulling ourselves out of stuck mode comes from truly believing that light lies ahead, and letting that belief permeate the way we carry ourselves from day to day – in actions big and small. And yet, it’s one of the biggest missed opportunities in today’s world. Wrenching ourselves from the mud happens when we’re bold and determined enough, no matter how hard it is, to step up and be a positive force for others. Languishing is a social ailment at its core, one that can only be overcome by choosing light, by choosing to be with, and for, others. See the light, be the light. Start today with a simple gesture and build from there – it really works.
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
One of the most powerful ways to build your resilience is to practice reciting what psychologists call the Change Choice, which says:
“Do I just want things to change, or will I change them?”
When you choose the latter, you’re essentially dropping the victim mentality. The truth is, you play the victim when you believe you have no control over outcomes, when you believe that you’ve been irreparably wronged, and when you’re stuck in “It’s not fair.” The underlying belief is, “I’m powerless,” which yields debilitating learned helplessness and inaction. So, practice repeating the Change Choice out loud when needed – and choose wisely.