I am starting to feel like we live in a world where we are more apt to tear one another down in order to make ourselves feel better, or to get further up whatever ladder we are attempting to climb, than we are to raise each other up.This is not a comforting realization, it is actually one that hurts my heart and one that I have personally experienced lately so I thought maybe I would speak to it.
I have this visual in my mind of someone climbing up a ladder, but looking back and down on the person below them. In order to take that next step, they will have to use the person's head to stand on and push themselves off so they can get up faster. It is a sad, but pretty accurate visual representation of what the world has been doing lately.
Now let's flip this narrative. Wouldn’t it be great if instead of what I just described to you, we looked back and down at the person below us, and instead we extended a hand and pulled the person up alongside us? What if instead we helped them and supported them to climb up with us? Huh, wouldn’t that be something.
Okay, so let's think about this. Why is this happening? What is at the core of it? I am wondering if it is that lack of self confidence and love for ourselves. This paired up with the fear of failure and you have the perfect storm of what some would call survival mode. Fear of failure is a real thing and something that all of us face. No one WANTS to fail. No one wants to mess up, but it’s part of life and unfortunately it is going to happen, that’s just reality. It is by no means fun, or something I want to do regularly, but I have recently come to realize that only when you fail can you learn life's biggest lessons.
Think about this. What if after you’ve failed you took a minute to pause, reflect and be open to the lesson that was being put in front of you? What if there was a lesson bigger than you that you would have never learned, had you not failed? Think of that loss of opportunity. The thing is, you have to be open to it. You have to be comfortable to be able to sit in that uncomfortable moment for a minute.
Unfortunately though, if we do not feel that we are surrounded by others that will allow us to sit in this lesson without shame or the feeling of embarrassment, it is hard to reflect and learn from it. That’s where I think we do it wrong. That’s where I think there is room for improvement among us all. How wonderful would it be if we could lean on each other and feel supported through our mistakes? How wonderful it would be if we worked in a place that allowed us to fail and then gave us the safe space needed to reflect, ask questions, learn and grow from the experience? What if we could wrap around our family and friends and admit that we messed up without judgement or shame?
For a lot of us, this is not possible so instead we sit in a place of shame. Instead, the narrative shifts from “I’ve failed” to “I'm a failure” and the committee in our heads takes over with a spiral of shame and “I’m not enough” statements. It’s not like the verbal abuse we give ourselves is bad enough, then we talk about each other behind our backs. We judge each other. We speak poorly of one another on whatever it is we don’t agree on. We say hurtful things that most likely, we would never speak to their face. It’s horrible, but true. The gossip starts.
Let's pause here and talk about gossip. This kills me. It’s everywhere. It gets me right in the center of my heart. Why, oh why do we talk so poorly about each other? Why do we feel it is necessary to speak such unkind words of one another and not to our faces? Is it because of our own lack of confidence? Does it make us feel better about ourselves? Well it shouldn’t. It should make us feel horrible, but the sad thing is I don’t think it does.
Can’t we all just be kind? Isn’t this what we teach our children? To speak kind words? To share? I know personally as a parent it is one of my biggest goals for my children. Not that they are the smartest, prettiest or most popular child in the classroom, but that they had a kind heart to everyone. So why then do we as adults do the opposite? It makes me think that no wonder there is such an issue with bullying in the world today. Children are mirroring what they are witnessing and if as adults we are doing this in our home, we need to remember that they are watching us.
I am not going to sit here and pretend like I have not participated in it myself. I have, and I hate this fact. I am guilty of it too, but I am making a promise right here, right now that I am not going to engage in it anymore. When it starts, I will walk away or stop the conversation. Instead I choose to rise above. To lift my fellow friend or co worker up. I will be the person that you can come to in order to reflect and learn. This is my new narrative. This is the person I want to be at the center of my core.
Wow, wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone made this pact? Don’t you think it would make for a better world? A stronger workplace? A more engaged and trustworthy circle of friends?
I get it, sometimes we struggle because maybe we don’t agree with choices someone made. Or their parenting styles are not ones that align with ours. Or maybe they DID mess up. Who are we to judge? Who are we to think we’ve got it all figured out? I sure as heck don’t. I have learned that there is enough room in this world to have us all excel and do well. So when we see someone struggling, let's extend a hand and lift them up. Let’s try to bring them along with us, instead of leaving them behind.
Let's be clear, not everyone falls into all of this. I have seen the power firsthand of complete strangers raising me up around my blog. It has truly been amazing and gives me hope that we can change. When we support each other, incredible things can happen. It’s possible and it’s absolutely beautiful. Just imagine if we were all taught how to love each other fiercely instead of how to compete with one another. That’s the world I want to live in.
Continue your journey to be the best version of YOU, unapologetically.