Be A Man. Be A Woman.
As a leader, perhaps you feel that everyone is counting on you to be “the man,” to be certain, confident and appear to know what you’re doing all the time. You can’t act weak, you have to step up and get it done. It seems like there’s no room for you to be sad, or down, or vulnerable in any way. This false identity of what it means to “be a man” leads to unhealthy habits, where we are unable to cope with our emotions, and unable to express our truth.
Be a man. Be a woman. It doesn’t matter how you identify – these types of statements create an expectation we are all familiar with as business leaders. When you’re in charge, you’re in power. You’ve got your stuff together. Because you’re on point, everyone is on point. You are the one who gets everyone feeling aligned, strong, and unwavering.
This idea that we as leaders have to be absolutely solid, unshakable, bulletproof, emotionally always in the right mood, always in the forward mode – this paradigm is coming to an end, a rightful end.
I encourage you to take a moment and self-inquire. Is there a strong aspect within yourself that thinks you need to continuously put on an image of strength, of having it all together?
The truth is, we’re not always together, we don’t always have everything aligned.
Many times, we have stuff going on at home – stress at home, pressures at home. It can be hard to shake these pressures when we come into our business, and in many situations we can see the negative impact on our energy. On the flip side, we also may experience pressures from our business that are hard to shake off when we get home, which can strain our relationships with our family.
With all this pressure upon us, how can we cope?
How can we find authenticity, realness, okayness with our actual human condition?
You’ve seen, and I’ve seen, ourselves and so many of our colleagues burn out, end up in horrible divorces, get hit with bad health circumstances, all from continuously putting out fires.
These circumstances are all manifestations of the lack of equilibrium within ourselves.
At this stage of life and of human evolution, it is essential to find out who we are, and to live in harmony with our soul.
Equilibrium is not a luxury anymore; it’s a non-negotiable for any leader, especially one who is responsible for the growth of a business, or many businesses. It’s important that you live a sane life, a sane life within; an emotionally sane, and fluid and joyful and healthy emotional life.
Again, it’s essential, my friend. It’s not a luxury.
Can we find a new strength at times when our internal balance is off?
Can we, in those times, find a space to go where we allow what’s vulnerable to be expressed?
This space is one that we must seek out, craft, and commit to. It can be created, held, and shared with our deepest loved ones; with coaches, with a mentor, with therapists, or confidants.
As we steer our businesses, it is essential that we – and really, all whom we work with – have access to such support.
In the sci-fi TV series Starship Enterprise, the starship is equipped with a counsellor, someone who is empathic, and able to receive the inner terrain of what’s going on for the crew.
The paradigm of the show demonstrates that within this great responsibility of exploring new worlds and keeping the ship stable, the leaders must be guided in the here and now to take time for themselves and honour what is present within them.
To achieve the true strength and power of enlightened leadership, you need a sacred and safe space where vulnerability has full reign.
You need a place where you can cry and break down. A place where you can totally show how you don’t really have your stuff together; a place where you can kick and scream and yell about all the people, all the stress, and all the judgments that you have. A place where you can cut loose and unleash your truth, rather than always having to button your lip up, transform your attitude, and keep your emotions inside to maintain a professional demeanour.
This energetic release allows you to find a deeper sense of centredness; to fully gift your presence to the world, and to your work.
When you express those vulnerabilities, those terrains, which are usually not expressed by us as leaders, a sweetness in your demeanor will come, a new emotional strength will come to you, a profound quietude will start to emerge. Go ahead and call in your loudest, your most uncut aspect, your unleashed aspect, because when that is given free reign, I assure you, a power of wisdom will start to grow in you. A maturation of your being, a maturation of your clarity, will start to happen. A self-recognition and acceptance and love will start to awaken and deepen in your heart.
And with all those beautiful, softer qualities of Being emerging within yourself, there will be a direct influence upon your leadership, in a world where you can perhaps not always show those vulnerabilities. When you have established the regular practice of connecting with your inner Being, you may meet these paradigms again, but you’ll be coming from a deeper place. The depths that you’ve touched, in the sacred terrain of expressing the vulnerable, will allow your invulnerability to be even more precise. Your clarity will be obvious. Your conviction will be felt and heard. In fact, perhaps even a greater silent power will start to emanate from you, influencing those around you, in a way which requires no force at all.
Vulnerability is the force that does not force.
It is a higher power we all have access to.
I invite you to give it some space in your life.
Let go of being “the man” or “the woman,” and just Be, in your true essence.