This is so where I am at right now. I’ve actually journaled about this very thing earlier this week.
In effect, I think and believe that I will be at “home” with myself when I finally convince other people of my worth, helping them to see it. But I won’t. I will only be at “home” with myself when I see my own worth first.
Once you reach that state, when you are truly and fully at “home” with yourself, accepting yourself as you are in the present moment (rather who you wish you could be in the future), that’s when you no longer require others to see your worth because it no longer matters. You can finally just be who you uniquely are.
Also, it may sound weird that I know this, yet I can’t seem to achieve it. That’s the thing though that a lot of people can’t seem to grasp about what it takes to truly transform yourself. Knowing something isn’t enough. You truly have to live it, experience it, and feel it to fully understand it and grasp it. Thinking about it isn’t enough.
We should revel in the discomfort of the current moment to generate a ‘new paradigm’, not a ‘new normal’. Feeling unsettled, destabilized and alone can help us empathize with individuals who have faced systematic exclusions long-ignored by society even before the rise of COVID-19 — thus stimulating urgent action to improve their condition. For these communities, things have never been ‘normal’.
The phrase, “new normal,” erroneously implies that the pre-Covid world was normal when, in fact, it was profoundly disbalanced, destructive, and devastating for many. We had normalized an unnatural and aberrant world order where 26 individuals across the globe owned more wealth than the bottom 50%, where it was ok to acidify oceans, clear-cut forests, mine the mountains, and exterminate life as long as the GDP grew. None of this can be defined as normal by any stretch of the imagination.
Transition is the inner psychological process that people go through as they internalize and come to terms with the new situation that the change brings about. Empathetic leaders recognize that change can put people in crisis. The starting point for dealing with transition is not the outcome but the endings that people have in leaving the old situation behind.
Change will only be successful if leaders and organizations address the transition that people experience during change. Supporting people through transition, rather than pushing forward is essential if the change is to work as planned. This is key to capitalizing on opportunities for innovation and creating organizational resilience.
An enormous vacuum in leadership exists today—in business, politics, government, education, religion, and nonprofit organisations. Yet there is no shortage of people with the capacity for leadership. The problem is we have a wrongheaded notion of what constitutes a leader, driven by an obsession with leaders at the top.
That misguided stand often results in the wrong people attaining critical leadership roles. When problems surfaced at Enron, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen, Tyco, and dozens of other companies, the severity of the leadership crisis became painfully apparent, creating a widespread erosion of trust in business leaders.
Over the past fifty years, leadership scholars have conducted more than a thousand studies in the attempt to determine the definitive leadership styles, characteristics, or personality traits of great leaders. None of these studies has produced a clear profile of the ideal leader. Thank goodness. If scholars had produced a cookie-cutter leadership style, people would be forever trying to emulate it.
The reality is that no one can be authentic by trying to be like someone else. People trust you when you are genuine and authentic, not an imitation … You need to be who you are, not try to emulate somebody else … Leaders are defined by their unique life stories and the way they frame their stories to discover their passions and the purpose of their leadership.
Our current world of work often becomes increasing more complex and confusing because of the limitations of our current beliefs. When we learn to let go of these outdated beliefs and step beyond them, we’re able to shift our entire perspective of what’s possible in the process.
Additionally, we need to move away from an educational system that trains people to do only one thing in only one place. By doing so we create path dependencies that increase individual fragility. Specialization is beneficial in predictable, low-volatility environments, but in uncertain, high-volatility environments, specialization can slow or inhibit adaptation. The optimal state involves people with an array of specialties who can learn new skills and switch between specialties quickly and efficiently.
Taking a reflective step back from this, we need to move away from a business system that values this which is causing an educational system to value it in turn.
And the focus isn’t so much on finding “an array of specialities” for an individual but rather reframing the meaning of specialization within the larger context of this new age based upon what’s valued within it which is adaptability. Thus the meaning of specialization transforms from being something within a specific domain of knowledge to something that allows one to bridge an “array” of different knowledge domains.
What I’m talking about here is something I’ve discussed and illustrated years back with a simple diagram called The Big Shift (which ties into John Hagel’s & John Seely Brown’s work). This future that is emerging presently causes a radical shift, like an earthquake shifting a building off its previous foundation, whereby our identity is no longer defined within a single job within a single domain. Instead our identity now slightly overlaps an “array” of what used to be considered different jobs (with different domains of knowledge each accompanying them).
Another more common name for this “slight overlap” is hyperspecialization.
And this new meaning of specialization that allows us to flexibly adapt across many different domains of knowledge is more commonly known as our passion.
In other words, an individual’s passion paradoxically allows them to hyperspecialize and do so across many different domains of knowledge at the same time.
Thus they are no longer trapped at a professional “dead end” of eventual obsolescence within the confining beliefs of the old world of work but are instead freed to flexibly adapt and explore endless possibilities specifically optimized for them within this new world.
To find out who you are, you will want to embrace adventure; you will want to discover and hone your skills and talents: you will want to become all you can become.
During the early years of our lives, while we are passing through the surviving, conforming and differentiating stages of our psychological development, we have to do two important tasks: develop a sense of self—an image of who we believe we are, and build our story—establish a set of beliefs that we can use to explain how the world around us operates. The image we create becomes our identity and the story we tell becomes our cosmology.
Our identity and our cosmology are conditioned by two factors: our parents, and the culture of the community/society in which we live. By the time we become young adults, who we think we are is a complex mixture of our own unique character overlaid by layers of beliefs we have learned about ourselves from our parents, other close family members, and the community/society in which we are embedded.
If parental programming and cultural conditioning was all there was to our character and story, then all children born into the same family in the same community and the same society would turn out the same. But this is not the case.
You don’t have to reflect for long before you realise that as far as our characters are concerned, we are all born different. We come into this physical life with inbuilt preferences, qualities, gifts and talents. You just have to observe how different siblings can be to know this is true. These differences are apparent even at a very young age. There is no scientific explanation for this: All we know is that every one of us is unique, special and different.
The parental programming and cultural conditioning we experience can either suppress our uniqueness, in which case we develop a false sense of our self, or can support us in discovering our uniqueness.
This is what evolutionary coaching is about—helping your clients examine and, as necessary, remove or reduce the layers of parental programming and cultural conditioning that have led to the creation of their false sense of self (the ego), so they can uncover and examine and explore their unique sense of self (the soul).
In other words, evolutionary coaching is about helping people find out who they really are and become all they can become—helping them to individuate and self-actualise—so they can be truly independent unique human beings and live the life their souls intended.