How to lose friends and influence people

I don’t know if you’re feeling the same, but the world feels a little heavy to me right now. The re-emergence of the corona virus in Europe and subsequent shutdowns, the endless news of the election in America, the constant talk of recession and job losses and the uncertainty that sits over so many households as governments offer short term hope in a time of long-term uncertainty is a heavy load for us to collectively bear.

It’s Naidoc Week here in Australia, a time to recognise and celebrate Aboriginal culture. But, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests both here and overseas it also serves as a stark reminder that while we have much to celebrate, learn and share there is still a long way to go to bring about equality, tolerance, empathy and understanding. It too feels heavy.

And so, as we head towards the end of what is the year 2020, we’re tired. We’ve expended so much energy in the realm of uncertainty, fear and disappointment. For some it’s slowed us down, made us reflect and forced us to decide what’s important in life. For others, it’s set their hearts on fire seeing this year as the great disrupter. The one which made us stand up and take notice. The one which will define our future.

This week I received two emails that are of a tone I have never received before. They are from women whose online communities I belong to. While their content was different their intent and strength of the language was the same. In short, they were spelling out very clearly what they stand for and inviting those who did not agree, or worse took a passive aggressive stance to leave. Instead of asking nicely for their community members to refrain from certain behaviours they stated clearly “I will not tolerate”. Instead of suggesting that some members might find a better community that aligns to their beliefs elsewhere, they threatened to ban them. They used phrases like “I despise people who…’ “you bought my product, not me”, “you are not welcome in my space”. They left no doubt on the position they held on certain issues.

No more good girl for them.

It got me thinking about how during hard times, whether it be those we are experiencing collectively now, or those we find ourselves in as we travel through life, that our propensity to push the negative away, not to acknowledge it and not to address it does us and those we lead a serious disservice. Not knowing what we really stand for and being afraid to dig deep through the mud of negative thoughts and feelings and then publicly declare our position leaves us standing for nothing and being for no-one. Being the first, being brave enough to call “it” out and to go public announcing a position that’s not going to be popular with everyone is courageous. It’s also leadership. And while it’s hard to imagine how this would go in a workplace where someone else is the boss, where others hold the power, it’s something we need to think about. It’s something we need to be brave enough to wade through and consider. It’s a discomfort we need to get comfortable with. Sometimes we lose to gain.

How are you going to use the uncertainty, fears, disappointments of 2020 to know what you stand for? How are you going to embrace the heaviness and lovingly understand what you can no longer tolerate and who you need to ask to leave your space? And how, are you going to help those you lead know that it’s ok for them to do the same. Email me if you want me to develop some free resources to help you with this.

PS. Ok, heavy today I know, but on a lighter note I am taking enrolments for my FREE 5 Days of Affirmations to bring in summer - the last season for 2020. Let’s do it with intention and use the power of affirmations to bring the energy of adventure and abundance that summer brings. I can’t think of a better way to see this year out. Can you?

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