I was chatting with a friend of mine who was recently laid off. The experience has been overwhelming for him in a myriad of ways, including feeling inadequate and not good enough to get another job.
He scrolls through job postings on LinkedIn and sees jobs in his industry that might be a good fit but chooses not to apply to them. Why? It’s safer to reject himself before others have a chance to reject him.
In contrast, I have another friend who was recently laid off and she is enjoying this journey and using it as an opportunity to explore what might be next. She feels excited and ready to take on a new adventure. And, she’s having a ton of conversations with various people about what they do so she can compile a list of opportunities that would feel expansive to her.
What is the difference here? The exact same event occurred, but how these two friends are dealing with it, the thoughts, and emotions they are experiencing, and actions they are taking are so very different.
I believe the answer can be found in the book, The myth of normal: trauma, illness & healing in a toxic culture, where author Gabor Maté MD explores two essential needs: attachment and authenticity.
The purpose of attachment, he states, “is to facilitate either caretaking or being taken care of.”
Attachment wins when we are young
When we are young, attachment wins because we need help to physically survive. Because we don’t have many tools when we’re young to help keep ourselves safe, we’ll often hide how we feel, even from ourselves.
An example of this might be a parent who repeatedly yells at, talks down to and reprimands a child for not meeting their expectations. The parent, in so many ways, let’s the child know that they aren’t enough.
While the child may feel anger toward the parent, that’s not a safe feeling to feel because they need their help (attachment). So, they turn the anger inward – they may start being harsh with themselves each time they feel they didn’t meet an expectation. This helps protect them in a couple of ways.
First, they don’t make the parent even angrier by showing their anger. And second, because they are taking the place of the parent, so the parent can see they are being harsh with themselves, and they can back off.
“The conscious mind determines the actions, the unconscious mind determines the reactions; and the reactions are just as important as the actions.” – E. Stanley Jones
Authenticity wins when we are older
But, as we get older, being authentic is a higher priority to us. Unfortunately, if we had to hide how we felt all those years, over time that chips away at our ability to be authentic.
Dr. Maté states, “As these patterns get wired into our nervous system, the perceived need to be what the world demands becomes entangled with our sense of who we are and how to seek love. Inauthenticity is thereafter misidentified with survival because the two were synonymous during the formative years.”
In this example, we’ve got an adult who feels it isn’t safe to feel anger and is very hard on themselves when they feel they haven’t met an expectation. In fact, they may even decide it’s too scary to even try (like my friend who was laid off).
And, they aren’t consciously doing it, so it’s difficult to consciously address it. All they know is they feel “stuck.”
An exercise to try if you’re feeling stuck
If you’re feeling stuck in some way, it’s likely a part of you that is working to keep you safe, day and night. So, what can be done? Go inward. Acknowledge and befriend this part. Find out what it needs. This will help you to integrate it and move forward.
Here’s an exercise to try:
- Find a quiet time and calm your mind.
- Reflect on a recent event, conversation, etc. that felt uncomfortable to you. This might be a feeling of inadequacy, anxiousness, resentment, etc.
- Identify the emotion (anger, sadness, fear, disappointment, etc.) that comes up as you reflect on the situation.
- Identify where you feel this emotion in your body (chest, neck, stomach, throat, etc.).
- Identify what the sensation in your body feels like (shallow breathing, heaviness, burning throat, neck pain, etc.). Simply sit with this sensation. Feel into it.
- Thank the part for trying to protect you for so long. It only has good intentions.
- Ask this part, “What is it that you need?” Don’t try to force thoughts – the answer won’t come from your mind. Just sit with this question and see what comes up for you.
Continuing the integration
Spending more and more time going inward will help integrate these parts, which will free you to move forward. For example, at a time in my life when I was in the middle of a career pivot, I felt exhausted and foggy – unable to get any traction.
During this exercise, I was able to identify a part of me that didn’t want a career change because it was too scary and unstable. Instead, it wanted to stay with what was known, dependable, and safe. So, I was able to use that information to decide what to do next.
In my case, I decided to work a few hours with former clients as well as new ones. With this mix of work (both old and new), the exhaustion and fog dissipated.
Is there an area of your life where you feel stuck or don’t know what to do? Try this exercise and see what comes up for you.
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In the complex and rapidly evolving landscape of modern business, innovative models are the need of the hour to navigate challenges and maintain sustainable growth. Inspired by the metaphor of the ‘Earth as a Cosmic Playground’, the LEGACY Impact System has emerged as a beacon of guidance, interconnecting six crucial business elements to create a comprehensive roadmap towards sustainable success.
LEADERSHIP – Conscious Leadership
Simon Sinek, a world-renowned optimist and visionary, once stated, “Leadership is not about being in charge. It is about taking care of those in your charge.” Conscious leadership embodies this principle, prioritising awareness of the broader implications and ripple effects of decisions on the organisation, its stakeholders, and the environment.
- Leadership Training: One of the foundational steps towards conscious leadership is investing in leadership development programs that highlight ethical decision-making, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility. These training programs should encompass elements such as emotional intelligence, transparency, empathy, and long-term thinking, equipping leaders to guide their teams towards sustainable growth.
- Stakeholder Engagement: Conscious leaders also emphasise consistent and open dialogue with stakeholders. By incorporating stakeholders’ insights into decision-making processes, leaders can ensure they’re addressing the needs and concerns of those impacted by the organisation’s operations.
EVOLUTION – Adaptability
Like the ever-evolving cosmos, businesses must be capable of change and evolution. Albert Einstein’s wisdom encapsulates this requirement: “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” In the fast-paced business world, adaptability becomes an essential survival trait, fostering resilience and agility.
- Innovation Encouragement: Businesses can nurture adaptability by creating an environment that celebrates innovation, rewards creative problem-solving, and supports calculated risk-taking. This could involve implementing an open-door policy for ideas, organising brainstorming sessions, or establishing an innovation hub within the organisation.
- Technology Integration: Keeping abreast of technological advancements and incorporating them into business processes is another critical step. This proactive approach not only optimises operations but also positions the organisation as a forward-thinking player in the industry.
GROWTH – Continuous Learning and Development
Motivational speaker and writer Leo Buscaglia said, “Change is the end result of all true learning.” In the realm of business, this translates into the equation ‘continuous learning equals continuous growth’. Organisations that champion a culture of ongoing learning and development are well-positioned to thrive.
- Employee Training: Regular training and development opportunities should be provided to employees to update their skills and stay abreast of industry trends. This can range from skills-based workshops and webinars to providing resources for self-learning and personal development.
- Learning Culture: Promoting a culture that values learning and improvement at all levels of the organisation is crucial. This can be achieved by recognising and rewarding learning initiatives, encouraging feedback, and fostering an atmosphere of open communication.
ALIGNMENT – Holistic Approach to Business and Value-Based Marketing
Renowned systems scientist Peter Senge stated, “Alignment is the prerequisite for effectiveness.” Taking inspiration from the cosmos, where every element is harmoniously aligned, businesses should ensure all aspects of their operations align with their core mission and values.
- Internal Alignment: To ensure coherence between what a business says and does, internal processes, practices, and culture should reflect the organisation’s mission and values. This includes aligning recruitment and management practices, employee benefits, and internal communication with the organisation’s core ethos.
- External Alignment: Similarly, marketing, customer service, and branding strategies should resonate with the organisation’s values. Authentic alignment in these areas fosters trust among stakeholders and differentiates the business in a competitive marketplace.
COMMUNITY – Community Building
Civil rights activist Coretta Scott King once stated, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” This statement holds significant relevance for modern businesses, underlining the importance of community-building among stakeholders.
- Stakeholder Inclusion: Businesses can foster community by including stakeholders in decision-making processes, fostering a sense of ownership and engagement. This can be facilitated through town-hall meetings, feedback sessions, and collaborative projects.
- Engagement Initiatives: Launching initiatives that promote interaction and collaboration among stakeholders can further strengthen community bonds. These initiatives can range from team-building activities and social events to forums for sharing ideas and challenges.
YIELD – Sustainability and Technology Integration
Danish architect Bjarke Ingels pointed out that sustainability should not be viewed as a sacrifice but as a design challenge. Businesses, similarly, should see sustainability as an essential aspect of their design and operational strategies, not as an afterthought.
- Sustainable Practices: By incorporating sustainability into every facet of business operations, from product design and manufacturing to supply chain management and waste disposal, businesses can make a positive impact on the environment and society.
- Tech-driven Sustainability: Technology offers a myriad of ways to enhance sustainability. By harnessing technology to optimise resource use, reduce energy consumption, or streamline processes, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices.
In conclusion, the 6 L.E.G.A.C.Y. Insights offer a holistic and actionable guide for businesses looking to navigate the complexities of today’s dynamic business landscape. By integrating conscious leadership, adaptability, continuous learning and development, alignment, community building, and sustainability into their day-to-day operations, organisations can achieve sustainable growth and contribute positively to the larger cosmic playground.
Ray Pang SH has generated over USD$1.216mil for his business using the Transformational Sales Methods he discussed above and in his other articles on A2S.
Want to work with him and become one of the 125+ business owners he has helped generate over USD$12.164mil in sales for? Go to his Instagram here and DM him the word “LEGACY” to learn how he can revolutionise your business now.
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