Starting a 2019 Awareness List

Without self-awareness and the ability to manage our emotions, we often unknowingly lead from hurt, not heart. Not only is this a huge energy suck for us and the people around us, it creates distrust, disengagement, and an eggshell culture.  Brené Brown

Over the weekend I saw Brene Brown on our local PBS station talking about her newest book, Daring to Lead.

I and many many others adore this woman.

If you aren’t familiar with her, the best way to “meet” her is to google her and watch her TED talks. The first time I heard her I was speechless and in tears. In a matter of minutes she opened my eyes to so many things.

As 2018 nears its final days, many of us begin to plan the for new year. Self-awareness is on my list. I no longer see it as a self-improvement list. How can I improve when I am unaware?

So–becoming aware is where I will begin 2019.

I’m thinking I’m not the only one who needs to re-evaluate their starting position. Kinda like that old game of Monopoly–you cannot pass go until….

At the top of my goals is investing the time to read Brene’s books. I have them all either on my shelf–thanks to my little used book store–or on my Kindle.

But here’s the deal–

Reading them is so hard because everything she says resounds so strongly with me. As I read I find myself thrown back in time–which is where I need to begin.

I know I need to address the old issues I’ve carried around with me for decades–like it or not–for a while, it really will be one step forward and one step back.

Because her words encourage me, I re-posted Brene’s blog on my Facebook page today and clipped parts to share here.

“Leading from hurt” behaviors can be fueled by feeling no value from our partner or our children, so we double down on being seen as “important” at work by taking credit for ideas that aren’t ours, staying in comparison mode, and always knowing instead of learning. The most common driver of the hurt that I’ve observed is from our first families.

The first-family stuff can look like seeking the approval and acceptance from colleagues that we never received from our parents. Also, if our parents’ professional failures and disappointments shaped our upbringing, we can spend our careers trying to undo that pain. That often takes the shape of an insatiable appetite for recognition and success, of unproductive competition, and, on occasion, of having zero tolerance for risk.

Identifying the source of the pain that’s driving how we lead and how we show up for other people is important, because returning to that place and doing that work is the only real fix. Projecting the pain onto others places it where it doesn’t belong and leads to serious trust violations. Our long, hard search for whatever it is that we need never ends and leaves a wake of disconnection.

One of the key learnings emerging from our leadership study took my breath away: Leaders must either invest a reasonable amount of time attending to fears and feelings or squander an unreasonable amount of time trying to manage ineffective and unproductive behavior.  Well, leader, heal thyself.

I am…

B…simply being…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: