The Leader Within19th April 2020
Due to government regulations during this COVID 19 pandemic, many businesses have been shut and many employees have been furloughed. For those businesses that remain open, trade is vastly affected by the curfew imposed (Not all, the supermarkets are thriving!) and those still working may be working twice as hard for half of the reward. In these situations, it can be extremely easy to be disheartened, disillusioned, disappointed, in despair and feel like you have been robbed by something out of your control. Maybe you would throw your hands up in the air and exclaim in exasperation, “Man, why do I even try? Why is this happening to me? How can I even compete with this? It is absolutely beyond my control!”
It is true that we could not have anticipated the Coronavirus and the response taken by the government leading to our present outcome. These situations are thrown at us without warning (some could argue there was a 3-month warning but let’s not be facetious!) and there are regulations that we must follow and rules that cannot be broken.
You may rely on your leaders to make decisions and form the environment that you live in. These include political leaders, industry leaders and right down to the owner of the company you work for. Through their decisions and actions, your present situation has been constructed for you, without your permission. However, it is not true that you have totally no control. Your thoughts still belong to you solely. You can control your thoughts which lead to your speech and action at all times.
There is a leader within all of us. You do not need a title before you can call yourself a leader. Anyone can start leading by starting with themselves. Lead from within, especially if you are a leader to others.
Some give up control and allow others and the external environment to lead them. They allow their thoughts (which leads to speech and actions) to be governed by other people and external factors. They become victims. The narration they tell themselves goes something like, “It’s not my fault. I can’t help it. I did not have a choice. I am just unfortunate and unlucky. I have a hard life. I have too much responsibility. If … (fill in the blank) had (or hadn’t) happened, my life would not be like this.” There is a lot of finger-pointing (either literally or figuratively). A lot of “It’s someone else’s fault. It’s because of some situation.” Let’s remind ourselves that every time we point a finger at others, one finger points out and three others are pointing back towards us.
There is another way. We can take Extreme Personal Responsibility (EPR) and look inwards for solutions. We can choose not to give the power to others or external situations that are beyond our control to depict whether we smile or not. We can elect to keep and retain the power that makes our thinking, creates feelings and affects our mood. Why should you give the power to affect something that important to others? When we take EPR, we are telling ourselves a story of leadership, not of victimhood.
To master EPR, just like any other skill, it takes practice. It takes time, effort and work to calibrate and recalibrate our inner mindset and feelings. It is something not many of us are taught. However, once you have fire-proofed your thoughts and battle-proofed your feelings, it is extremely difficult for external factors to bring you down.
For those whose businesses have been shut down or greatly reduced, it is time to pivot to think about how else you can serve your customers or even change the entire business plan. For those who have lost their jobs (or furloughed), use the time to improve your education and learning. This will enable you to increase your value and you will come out stronger and more useful when you return to your work or in your new job.
There are measures and actions that you can always take, despite everything else. As long as you are alive, you fight daily for who you are and who you want to become. No COVID 19, 20, 21 or any external situation can deny your existence, your uniqueness, your brilliance and your genius. You have a choice in every moment. The door to happiness swings inwards, not outwards. All answers that you seek can be found within if you choose to lead yourself.
“Be the change you wish you see in the world.” – GandhiBack to Blog