We live in a media saturated, propagandized world. Everywhere I turn I encounter people who are living in fear. Paul Virilio, a decade ago, called this culture “the administration of fear.” If you live with fear, you won’t ask questions. Yet it is only in asking questions, in being skeptical, that we find truth. Not political truth which is mere propaganda as current situation proves. But the truth that we can live by.
Is uncertainty something new?
Is uncertainty just something that arrived with COVID-19, with the Black Lives Matter protests, and with a disputed presidential election?
Or is uncertainty a given in life? If so, then how do we thrive in its midst?
This is the conversation that I had with my friend and colleague Bill Watkins, founder of The Lion’s Pride business coaching program.
“You only have power over people as long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power–he’s free again.”
– In The First Circle, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
In times of uncertainty, we need to turn to the values and beliefs that define us. In a social environment, whether a family or a business or a community, the same is true.
Every place creates such a culture. It is often ignored by its leadership. It is an unacknowledged belief that leaders create culture. They can, but they can only do so by destroying the culture that is already there. Maybe it is necessary if that ‘persistent, residual culture’ has been corrupted and made toxic by the loss of belief in the company’s values. I’ve seen that. It is a very difficult thing to change. It is far better to go join the culture that is there and elevate it through leadership capacity building.
One of the ways that we elevate this persistent, residual culture is by creating a story that we tell ourselves. It is a story that reminds who we are. It is a story that helps us to say Yes to the good things and No to the wrong ones.
We are living in a time of uncertainty. How do we find ways to counter the experience of fear, anxiety, and self-doubt? We need a story that affirms who we are and reminds us of what matters to us. Our story is there for us when uncertainty seems to be at its most intense and alienating.
I’m offering a webinar to address the fear and anxiety that has grown exponentially because of the coronavirus crisis.