I was facilitating a senior leadership workshop last week and was reminded every day of what appears to me, to be a couple of quite profound questions that more and more people are asking themselves.
Who am I and how do I show up as the real me?
The me that is “all of me” with humility, confidence and courage. Here is a link to a fun clip from How To Train Your Dragon which focuses on this topic of All of Me
Common questions from the leaders I was working with were
- What if the real me isn’t who people like?
- What if the real me isn’t who I’ve been portraying in my career?
- What if the real me makes things more complicated, difficult or uncomfortable?
- Who really is the real me and how do I know for sure?
I believe these are questions of immense importance for us all to ask so we can be happier, more content and able to live better lives. They are also questions I’ve been grappling with for a long time.
There is a danger that the grappling turns into navel gazing, thinking in circles with no progress and wallowing and I’ve done my fair share of all of those. Equally I’ve invested the past few months – well I’ve had the time and space! – to really dig below all of that and be honest with myself – as much as my unconscious biases and stories will allow – to explore who I want to be and what does “all of me” truly look and feel like – I’m a work in progress that’s for sure.
Why does this matter for all of us?
I believe that as we look to solve the small, day to day and large, global problems of our lives and society, that we need much more honesty from many more people.
People who can say, I’m me and I want a better life for myself, my family and my community and I’m willing to play a part, big or small, to create and support better lives for as many people as I can by being myself.
I know I’ve had a few comments on previous blog posts and in workshops, that as I explore, accept and show up as the current me and the me I want to be, that this is creating a space for others to choose to do the same at whatever stage of life, career and self awareness they’re at.
- I read and hear about many people who are doing amazing work in positively impacting the lives of the few and the many.
- I see and hear about many people who are choosing to speak out, rebel against and fight the current social systems that don’t always serve their communities.
- I also see and hear many people who complain, blame and feel victimised by these systems.
And of course I can only imagine what motivates all of those people to be who they are being. It’s not my place to assume, judge or analyse these people – what value is there in doing so and in any case I could never fully comprehend their unique situations.
I believe what I can do is be curious and try to empathise.
I believe that I should first focus on being and becoming the best version of myself without fear and judgement so that I can confidently show up as the real me and choose how I can contribute in ways that make a difference in ways that I choose.
I wonder how things might change for individuals, communities and Countries if we all did that?
My sense is that many people are looking “out there” at “them” for answers or for who to blame and whilst on one level I understand that, again how does it really help. You can’t change other people you can only change yourself and be example of the type of human being you want to see in the world.
These are big questions with no one size fits all answers. We all have to find our own paths, to explore and discover the answers that best fit for each of us, not in a selfish “it’s only about me” kind of way but in a way that shows accountability and courage.
For the leaders in last week’s workshop, I sense a real commitment and desire to dig deeper and uncover who they truly are so they can confidently make their unique contribution to the World
What about you?