Conviction 1/12 : Trust demands a conscious and active choice
As indicated last week, true leadership finds in my view its roots in the inner strength and quality of being that the leader has developed. The more solid this foundation, the more deeply rooted and aligned the leader with his intrinsic values and deep intuition, the greater his/her natural authority and capacity for positive impact.
True leaders are also subject to life’s adversity
Like all human beings, true leaders are also subject to life’s adversity and its associated fears. Fears related to structural, technological, economic and environmental changes. Fears of displeasing, of not being recognized, of being challenged for their ideas and actions. Fear of not achieving their goals and those of their organizations. Fear of losing their status, their teams and talents. And many more.
True leaders however notably distinguish themselves from other leaders by their awareness that the quality of trust they can place in life, in themselves and in their vision is their own responsibility. That this trust really does not depend on any circumstance or outside opinion. On the contrary, that it requires a conscious and eminently active choice on their part: that of choosing to trust in all circumstances, thus using wisely their freedom and their ability to respond (“response-ability”).
Of course, this choice is not a one-day choice nor definitely acquired. It is a choice that requires perseverance and inner discipline at all times. Choice to accept in the first place their humanity and inherent vulnerability (without blaming themselves). Choice to recognize their fears and become aware of them. Active choice then to renounce giving in to their fears and to renounce letting themselves be governed by their agitating mind. Choice to make no decision until they have deeply reconnected to themselves and contacted the intrinsic trust and peace that dwells there. Choice to activate their listening and inner discernment. Choice to act according to the results of this inner discernment in spite of their fears, in deep alignment of all the parts of their being.
Finally, choice to remain in trust even if their actions do not immediately produce the desired effects. Indeed, it is not because these leader act consciously, confidently and in inner congruence that everything will immediately materialize as expected in the outside world. Their inner alignment certainly favors their achievements thanks to the quality of their decisions and the positive energy that these leader generate; but it is no all-risk insurance and it also commands great patience and endurance as true leaders like Nelson Mandela, Gandhi or Martin Luther King have proved.
This radical choice to trust in all circumstances however allows for greater insight, courage and quality of personal energy. Anchored in their being, integrity and internal security, these leaders dare to overcome their fears, to affirm what they consider right in the depths of their being and to act accordingly, thus becoming engines of positive transformation in service of all (and not only of themselves).
I have observed in my practice and my personal experience that one of the greatest obstacles to this radical trust lies in the eternal question on the goodness – respectively the badness – of life and human nature. Indeed, how could one dare to trust life and listen to one’s deep intuition and discernment when one believes that life and human nature are malevolent?
True leaders are those who have understood that no matter what kind of pleasurable or tough experience they experience, there is always something good in it too, a potential for growth, learning and inner alignment. They thus firmly trust that Life is for them (and not against them) in all circumstances. In sticking to that inner posture and actively seeking that goodness even when they can’t see it at first sight, these leaders develop the resilience and strength to overcome tough situations and to let themselves positively transform by them. Instead of fighting and resisting Life by closing themselves, they learn to partner and dance with Life and remain wide open to its infinite possibilities.
True leaders also understand that human nature is neither good nor bad by birth, but that it is indeed the place of a perpetual inner fight between good (the Source of life, unity and being) and evil (the forces of division that imply non-being and lack of unity *). And they know they are free to choose between the two. They thus see no effort in consciously and deliberately choosing inner unity and listening to their being, their deep intuition, their Source, as they know they can confidently rely on it as carrier of good and of Life potential.
What about you ?
Do you also feel this call on your being? This call to participate in a positive transformation of our world? If so, what are the beliefs that still prevent you from choosing trust in all circumstances? And most importantly, what are the positive effects on your life of choosing radical trust?
* The etymological meaning of the ancient Greek word Diabolos means the divisor.