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Let Go of the Blame to Move Forward
A wise friend once shared with me her secret to a successful and happy life . . .
"Forget the back-story" - Leslie Ayers, The Job Search Guru
Part of "Accepting what is," the first step in practicing Unfear, is to let go of assigning blame. When we get caught up in the back-story, in assigning blame, we arrest forward movement. Assigning blame is a diversionary tactic. It is avoidance, a fear reaction which imprisons us in the past.
When we focus on assigning blame we create ego conflicts and a toxic work environment. Accepting what is requires focusing on and attending to the circumstances of the present; rather than placing focus on back-story, the "what-might-have-been" of the past, or the "should be" of the future.
Fear and the Here-and-Now
The psychological condition of fear is divorced from any concrete and true immediate danger. It comes in many forms: unease, worry, anxiety, nervousness, tension, dread phobia, and so on. This kind of psychological fear is always of something that might happen, not of something that is happening now. You are in the here and now, while your mind is in the future. This creates an anxiety gap . . . You can always cope with the present moment, but you cannot cope with something that is only a mind projection "you cannot cope with the future."- Eckhart Tolle
Nothing ever happens in the past or in the future. Each action we take, in fact everything that happens in life occurs in the present moment. Once a moment is past, or an action is taken, it can't be undone. It moves from the present moment, the NOW, into what we call the past. Accepting what is frees us from being trapped and ineffectual in the past. Furthermore, it frees us from the anxiety of trying to predict and cope with a future that has not and may never occur.
The next step in practicing Unfear is . . .
Building Relationships and Community.
As we watch the political scene and the economic picture unfolding in our nation, we will be faced with many questions and challenges.
Do we as individuals, companies and as a nation continue to make decisions based solely on financial growth interests, economics, and the desire to obtain more power? How do we feel about the political decisions being debated or the agendas taking shape? When we take the long view are we creating a sustainable environment for our nation's future growth?
The choices before us as businesses, leaders and individuals require that we accept what is, and that we begin to take building relationships and community into consideration when we make a plan of action for moving forward.
First we must accept the what-is-ness of our current circumstances. What precedents have been set? What policies and relationships are we growing now? What communities are being supported? Are the answers we find in keeping with the kind of world we want to live in? Who stands to benefit most from the decisions being made? Is this acceptable to us as people? If not, how will we respond? Do we use our roles as leaders to affect changes in policy?
Secondly, we will have to determine the kind of paradigm, or world view, we choose to operate and do business under. Is our current paradigm serving us? Is the course we are on sustainable, of benefit to the nation and to the nation?s citizens? Where are our priorities? Do we sacrifice people and communities to offer shareholders higher profits? What policies are we advocating in order to increase the "bottom line?" What are we tearing down and what are we building up?
The challenge presented to leaders now is in determining where our priorities lay, and what relationships to strengthen and grow.
Karlin Sloan is the founder and CEO of Karlin Sloan & Company, Ms. Sloan provides organization development consulting, training and executive coaching to clients the U.S., Europe, South America and Asia. She is the author of Smarter, Faster, Better; Strategies for Effective, Enduring, and Fulfilled Leadership (Jossey-Bass, 2006) and Unfear (January 2011).