I’m having a lot of conversations with business owner clients over these past couple of weeks about our changing relationships with leadership, and there’s plenty coming up about authority too.
When we run businesses that we market on social media we are told over and over by people positioning themselves as leaders in the space that we must be
- the one (the only one) that can solve ‘their’ problem
- all in
- unapologetic in our truth
etc etc you know how it goes
I’m interested in what it does to our self trust when everywhere we turn people are not only telling us what they think as though they are entirely certain, but also presuming to tell us what’s going on in our own minds with the same confidence.
Specifically, I saw something posted on instagram recently that was
- presented in terms of total authority, as though it were an objective, expert, evidence based observation about how I, the reader, move through the world based on my gender
- lacking any resonance for me whatsoever
- written by someone whose work I used to find interesting
I noticed how my reflex response was gentle amusement.
It’s not so long ago that it would have been tension in my chest, a twist in my guts, my jaw clamped tight in some combination of anger, frustration and confusion.
At that time, I would’ve been battling with
- how can they think this?
- how dare they claim to tell me about myself?
- I need to let them know they are wrong
- I don’t really want to give energy to it
- am I wrong?
- they think I’m wrong
- I wonder who else thinks I’m wrong
- I wonder what else they think of me
- I wonder how my business will be impacted by this conflict
What takes us from that to gentle amusement?
(And by this, I do not mean mocking anyone or dehumanising them in any way, it’s more of a sense of, wow, it’s wild that we used to share a general sense of what’s important, I can’t believe they went that way, isn’t life funny).
The shift comes with the completion of a developmental leap. (Not to be confused with a quantum leap. This is not about speed, shortcuts or pseudoscience).
My self concept is more robust and so self trust is available. There is an absolute separation between what I’m reading and any meaning making about who I am or my place in the world. There is an objectivity. I can read, consider and be interested by it as a symptom of a certain sort of culture in the online space without feeling invaded or consumed by it.
There’s a sense that I’ve gone beyond it. “That seems true for them right now, it doesn’t seem true for me”. It’s comfortable. It’s satisfying.
Now I know I’m meant to give you my 3 step strategy to achieve a developmental leap in just 10 days and make $10k along the way, but instead, I’ll offer you these suggestions for your consideration.
- mute accounts that disconnect you from self trust. There’s none of the ocnfrontational vibes we can experience from unfollowing- simple, easy, an act of self compassion
- when someone’s content sets something off in you, if you can, take a few moments to slow down and ask yourself- if a child said this, what would I think about it? This can help you to separate what is being said from any power dynamic present in your relationship with the creator of this content. You might be unaware of this relational element until you think in these terms
- ask yourself, in whose presence does it feel safe to be unsure whilst I do my own thinking? And consider spending more time in those spaces
- lastly, perhaps for your journal, what do I gain from outsourcing my inner authority to these self appointed leaders? And what is lost?
If you’d like developmental coaching support to navigate anything I’ve covered here, or something else, you can see info about working with me 1:1 here. (I have some availability for one off sessions. These are £150 and include a comprehensive write up from me to you. You can book here). Finally, if you’re interested in working with me from January onwards, please book a chat with me here. All my packages have non-punitive payment plans available.