Leaning In to Leadership

To be a leader you must hold a willingness to have people not like you. You have to be able to take a stance and have opinions that will not be popular or received well by everyone.

You can’t always play ‘nice’ and you won’t always be ‘good’ as a leader. When there is a job to get done, sometimes you have to make hard decisions and take actions that may not be correct in the moment but may lead to the greater good. Or perhaps you may support things that are correct and necessary in the moment but detrimental over time.

A great leader will always have an eye on what they don’t see, or they will invite people in who can give them the perspective on themselves that they are blind to and they will be willing to learn, grow, and make amends.

In the big picture, you do not get to choose whether you are the hero or the villain in another person’s story. You have to do what you are called to do.

It’s not my job to judge others, although I am human and have judgements. It’s not my job to decide what other people’s lessons are or the acts they take that lead them to the final destination. It’s not even my job to decide what is right or wrong.

It is my job to stand up into my own leadership and own my power. It’s to use my voice and the leverage I have in my own unique way. And that way will not be for everyone. There will be people who will be hurt, pissed, and triggered and that may be exactly what they need.

One of the greatest acts I have done has been to recognize when there is someone who has hurt me and it caused growth in me that was far better than the pain the hurt caused. I can be thankful for the growth and not continue to subject myself to the pain.

One of the greatest gifts I have received was to be held in safe space while someone I was angry with witnessed but did not take on my pain, my triggers, or my experience. It allowed me to discover my part in the issue and to learn, grow, and trust that person more.

It’s disappointing to me when I see places where people I admire could step up and they don’t seem to but it’s not my place to judge their journey. It doesn’t mean I have to continue to participate. It also doesn’t mean I abandoned my path because their leadership has become wrong for me.

It means I am my own leader. I find my own way.

My light does not dim because I am able to see the flicker of someone else’s.

Neither does my light dim when I witness the depth and brightness of another’s.

Being a leader, to me, encompasses these things but this is not all. Leaders show us who they are more than they tell us how to be.

Being Seen

This is one of my favorite pictures of me. Yes, this one showing all my lumps and bumps and curves. All the things at times I have disliked and unwanted.

Pictured: Me and the amazing
photographer Lindsay Miller.

Traveling to Sedona was scary for me.

I’ve always been larger in size and finding a balance between acceptance of my body and making change with it has been an ongoing journey.

Sedona had several challenges. 

First, the airplane. When you are larger, there’s fear about flying not based on crashing or the dangers of air travel but on the size of the seats, comfort and what looks you might get when you board.

Next, the heat and elevation. I’m a sea-level gal and I learned in Sedona how my breathing is impacted by the change in elevation.

But the biggest challenge was yet to come.

You see I’d been working hard at accepting my body for it’s curves and really learning to enjoy the way I can move when I dance. At that time it wasn’t uncommon for people to ask if I had a dancing background when they saw me move; despite my shape and size.

But here I was in Sedona facing one of my biggest fears: a photographer.

An amazing one at that and I found a lot of internal messages about my unworthiness of being seen.

I really started to doubt my own value. My own right to take up space. The knowingness I had of my body and the capability it held. My very own sense of what was possible quickly became dark and doubtful.

And I did it anyway.

I love this picture of me.

This was one of the times when doing something despite how I was feeling in the moment opened me to more freedom and self-acceptance but forging your way through challenges doesn’t always end that way. Sometimes the end result is cementing the very thing you feared.

To make it a experience like this different, it requires a shift in mindset around doubt and it’s purpose. Understanding doubt from a different perspective can help you to discern when going forth can lead you to your greater gifts and when it’s notifying you to change course.

Curious to explore more about doubt? Let me know.