The dark side of leading is the secret pain you can’t release.
7 reasons leaders can’t release painful experiences:
- Feel the pain, still.
- Fear recurrence.
- Don’t feel heard.
- Have an ax to grind.
- Prefer blame to responsibility.
- Struggle to forgive.
- Want to remind you how you failed.
Painful experiences often overshadow joys.
Letting go is the harder part of moving forward.
- Failures haunt.
- Offenses sting. Fear of pain blocks joy.
- Unmet expectations weigh down. A disappointing past grows heavier with time.
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” Herman Hesse
5 principles for finding release:
- Press through painful experiences. Don’t wait for pain to disappear.
- Grow tender, not hard. Deep hurts often keep hurting.
- Stay vulnerable, not foolish.
- Listen to the darkness. What positive message comes through your painful experience?
- Forget forgetting. Forgetting is a pipe-dream. Release is a recurring behavior.
5 ways to come alongside:
- Accept, don’t reject or correct, their sadness.
- Ask questions.
- Reject the need to make it better.
- Turn them toward the future, gently.
The only way to build the future is to do it now.
If you wait for the future, you repeat the past.
5 questions that help others find the future:
- What’s important about those painful experiences?
- If things were better, what would they be like?
- How might this expand your potential? Pain humbles the heart and quiets the spirit.
- What forward-facing behaviors might you engage in today?
- What would you like from me? Don’t let them brush this question off. Wait for an answer.
How are you a better leader because of painful experiences?
How have you helped others grow through painful experiences?