Like billions of others, I am reeling from the US presidential election results. I am aghast that so many people have voted for a man who has such blatant disregard for PEOPLE. I am intensely concerned for the World we live in; worried that the racists, bigots, misogynists and haters have been granted carte blanche to come out of the closet.
I have spoken my truth! But this aside, let's make no bones about it - the World is volatile and uncertain right now. Which means that we need talented men and women to stand up and get their talents out into the World. (I wrote about this on Wednesday in my guest blog for The International Coach Federation - "Coaching in a Volatile and Uncertain World".)
So here are three things you can do now - and from this day forward to help the world. AND be happy whilst you're at it!
The world needs you in all your uniqueness and with all your talents. The world needs you to step up, live your best life and embrace it more than ever. Here's how you can help the world AND be happy:
1. Speak your truth
"What if you had the courage to speak up?"
Speaking your truth is about being in alignment with your core values and standing up for what you believe in: It does not mean shoving your opinions down other peoples' throats - you can speak your truth kindly and elegantly. The distinction is assertive versus aggressive. I hope you'll notice that in this post, I have spoken my own truth succinctly and resisted the urge to rant!
As you've also read, it's flippin' scary to speak your truth - as my friend Heather says, you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences: "The haters are gonna hate".
You'll need courage, but if you don't speak your truth, if you leave it to someone else, then what? How many people are also "leaving it to someone else"?
You'll find an excellent short article on speaking your truth on Oprah's website .
2. Live your life fearlessly
"Do one thing every day that scares you"
Living fearlessly is not quite what I mean: We all feel fear, but we need to keep practising feeling the fear - and doing it anyway.
I want you to live your life fearlessly, because fear is the biggest baddy of them all: Fear trumps Trump.
Fear endeavoured to stop me writing this post. Fear endeavoured to stop one of my clients from picking up the phone to speak to a recruitment consultant this week. Fear endeavours to keep us small, quiet and complacent. When good people let fear win, bad things happen and lives are never fully lived.
I had to make a difficult phone call earlier this week. I sat with my finger poised on the dial button of my phone for several minutes. The little voice of fear inside my head gave me plenty of excuses:
- You can do this tomorrow
- You won't get a good reception. Wait until you're in a better area. Tomorrow.
- Send an email instead. Tomorrow.
"FFS! Amanda, get your big girl knickers on and MAKE THE DAMN PHONE CALL"
So I faced the fear head on and made the call. And the fear disappeared.
You don't need me to tell you that the only way to live fearlessly is to face up to fear. But the only way you can do that is practice. So keep practising and you'll notice the fear melt away. It won't ever completely go, but you'll be able to dance with it rather than shrink from it.
3. Practice random acts of kindness every day
"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do"
Many "ordinary" people feel powerless in the face of World events and politics, but we are NOT powerless.
In a volatile and uncertain world, we have a choice: We can either give up and become victims, subject to the whims of those in power. Or, we can do what we can. When many people take many small positive actions, change happens. And what could be a simpler way to change the world in our own little way than through random acts of kindness?
- Have you ever let the person behind you in the supermarket queue go before you, even when there was more in their trolley than yours?
- Have you ever sent someone a card to tell them how much you appreciate them and why?
- Have you ever picked up litter and taken it home?
On Wednesday, I did something I've never done before: At the end of my Forward Ladies business breakfast meeting in Manchester, there was a lot of food left over - about 40 freshly baked bagels with cream cheese and prosciutto. I asked the manager if we could wrap them up in individual packages so that I could give them out to homeless people. He was so kind - he helped me to wrap them and gave me a plastic vegetable basket to carry them. I ventured out with the basket of goodies into the city centre feeling a bit nervous. I was actually nervous about other people looking at me, and I didn't know what reaction I'd get.
I needn't have worried. Each of the homeless people I offered those bagels to accepted and thanked me graciously. This little exercise made me put my own fears about "the next 4 years" into perspective. I am so fortunate - I have never been in a position where a stranger has offered me their leftover sandwiches wrapped in tin foil. I might have created fearful thoughts about what the future might hold, but I am not homeless. My fear was all in my head - the people I spoke to were living the fear.
Be the change the World needs by bringing your gifts into the world, facing your fears, speaking your truth and doing what you can.
Amanda has been helping talented women to step up in their career, business and life since 2003. She is currently offering her 3 part video coaching programme, Career Confidence 101, free of charge at www.amandaalexander.com/cc101