Our thoughts shape our reality in profound ways. By holding onto old belief systems that no longer serve us, we give them strength to take over our world and control the realities in which we live. What fears are you holding onto? What conversations are you not having because of the unknown outcome or because you’re not sure if you have the tools to have them to achieve the outcome you want? Which parts of yourself are you holding back from others for fear of how they’ll react or perceive you? Internalized judgements not only hold YOU back, they also create projections of judgement and non acceptance of others. Self-acceptance encourages us to acknowledge those fears and work through them.
Responsive Conference 2018
This week Amelia Torres and I, along with the support of our Lingo Live colleagues, Rachel Zolotarsky (aka Zolo) and Natalya Hirth, had the honor and pleasure to facilitate an intimate and interactive workshop on self-acceptance at the Responsive Conference in New York City. Our workshop dug into the beliefs we have about how life “should” go and the fears we carry that prevent us from being comfortable just being ourselves.
Our fears often hold us back from pursuing professional avenues of growth that could be otherwise available to us. If we could only step into the darkness and trust that if we are being true to ourselves, our paths will reveal itself. Many times, we limit ourselves based on our perceptions and expectations of how things should go or are likely to go. For example, an employee hesitant to bring up a tension they feel with a manager. These employees may hold on to fears that if they say what they really feel, they may lose their job or chance at promotion. However, leaving unresolved tension to fester leads to unhappiness and disengagement, which could also lead to loss of job, promotion, etc.
Why not believe that if you are truly on your path and living your life in accord with your highest self then there is nothing that you can say or do that would not result in exactly what it needs to?
Acknowledging our fears
I, like many people I know and work with, have spent a lot of time making professional choices based on fear. This allows past hurts and experiences to cloud perspective of current situations and relationships. Typically, these projections and fears are born from something and are a part of us that deserve our attention. Awareness and understanding of our fears is important so that we learn to make healthy choices when they are triggered at work. We do not have to react to them, nor do we have to be bound by them. But we cannot move past our fears unless we acknowledge, give voice, and through interaction, learn to shift our perspectives of them.
Begin with self-acceptance
It’s critical to learn to see situations and people more clearly. The process of speaking about our fears at work empowers us to explore the roots of these issues. It is true that they will probably never go away fully, but it is important to know that we can learn to work with ourselves in these situations and release the negative energy we hold around these patterns of thought and behavior. The path to belonging and inclusion at the workplace begins with self-acceptance and a deep and unconditional love for all of the parts of who you are.
-Jesse Abing, Chief Learning Officer at Lingo Live
Interested in reading more? Check out Diversity and inclusion: language is action.