2022: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

What is needed more than ever in our leadership worlds is not a facade of perfection but the authenticity of earnest care

Today marks day 139 of this year, and so much continues to grapple for our time and attention.

In a culture that glamorizes "hustling," "grinding" and "chasing our dreams," one of the wisest things we can do for ourselves and those we lead is to slow down and journey inward with intention. Each day becomes a unique opportunity to cultivate a deeper awareness and appreciation for where we are and where we will go.

If we are not mindful, it's easy to fall into the comparison trap. We can begin comparing our journey to another person’s, worrying too much about what everyone else thinks about us, overlooking the real importance of how we feel and think about ourselves.

In her book Comfortable with Uncertainty: 108 Teachings on Cultivating Fearlessness and Compassion, beloved spiritual teacher Pema Chödrön’s asks:

“Right now, can you make an unconditional relationship with yourself? Just at the height you are, the weight you are, with the intelligence that you have, and your current burden of pain? Can you enter into an unconditional relationship with that?”

Cultivating an unconditional relationship with ourselves and our minds is vital in our leadership journeys. Showing up for those we love and lead directly manifests how we show up for ourselves daily.

Understand, we can let go of the burden of feeling we need to have it all together as leaders. What is needed more than ever in our leadership worlds is not a facade of perfection but the authenticity of earnest care, boundless tenderness, and graceful empathy for ourselves and those who look up to us.

So let’s relinquish the worry, doubt, fear and anxiety that keeps us stuck and instead take one step forward in cultivating an unconditional relationship with ourselves. Just because we wander does not mean we are lost.

Suppose we begin to feel like things should be playing out differently in our lives this year. Realize, life is unfolding exactly how it is for us to grow as more enlightened and compassionate leaders and human beings. When we dare greatly and fear less, we become courageous enough to hold on to light, love and peace, even when amidst darkness, hate and chaos.

These moments become temporary experiences to evolve, transform and strengthen the unconditional relationship with ourselves. And the peace, vitality and flourishing of that relationship are always worth fighting for.

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