“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” -Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles,” From Chapter 7, Section 3)
As Marianne Williamson points out in the opening quote it is not our inadequacy that keeps us from “going for it,” but often, the opposite – our sense that we are very powerful.
My wife and business partner, Suzanne, and I did a two day leadership development workshop with the national Board of Directors and leadership team for The Hunger Project Mexico in Mexico City and I was reminded of what being bold is all about. From the beginning in 1977 leadership and participants in The Hunger Project have been told that ending hunger on the planet is impossible. The commitment to end hunger on has meant that to participate is to be willing to take on the impossible, week-in and week-out. This is a situation that sends many people in search of some other game to play!
In the leadership workshop we focused on what each of us must bring up in ourselves to work on such a project. The time, talent and treasure required of each long-term participant is unmatched in most environments and yet many people keep participating and increasing their involvement over time. Why?
As we pushed workshop participants deeper into the inquiry of what it will require of them to be leaders in the various roles they have spoken for, two quotes came to the fore - Marianne Williamson’s, and funnily enough, a theme for the fast food chain Del Taco, “Go Bold or Go Home.” It made no sense for someone to stay in the workshop who was not willing to commit themselves to full-on participation in the work of ending hunger and poverty in Mexico and the world. It was either stay and “Go Bold” or Go Home.
As we dug deeper, the contrast between our fears, concerns for looking good, and our circumstances just did not measure up to our commitment to ending hunger and poverty. While we worked mainly on methodologies for how to be more effective in our work, it further became clear that for each participant, it really boiled down to courage – the courage to step beyond worries and concerns and unleash their power.
We confronted the issue of fear versus power by addressing the topic of fundraising and money. This subject will bring up fear more quickly than anything I know. On the other side of that coin, I also know that it offers the opportunity for fundraisers and investors to both experience their power!
So the question for leaders becomes – do you ever confront your deepest fears in order to be able to be your boldest? Do you ever help your teams do that? How can you bring yourself and your team face to face with the contrast between everyday fears and the deep seated sense of enormous power that each of us has? Are you ready to take the path of “Go Bold or Go Home?”