Former President Barack Obama recently said, in his speech to the class of 2020, that “hope…is a hammer for us to use in a national emergency; to break the glass, sound the alarm and sprint into action.”
Throughout these past two weeks, I have been moved with hope and by the hope of others. Over the past two weeks, the glass is being broken and the alarm is sounding: protests continue to happen throughout the United States -and some parts of the world- crying out for the end of racial violence; Louisville banned the no-knock warrants in response to Breonna Taylor’s death; Celebrities handed over their Instagram Accounts to Women of Color through the #ShareTheMicNow campaign; the Supreme Court ruled to protect civil rights for LGBTQ as well as upholding DACA and protecting the rights of “dreamers.”
Where there is hope, there is change. As a fellow coach of mine, Joanna Lindenbaum, once said, change needs both breakthrough and transformation. I believe we are currently in the midst of a breakthrough in our country. We are experiencing a dramatic change in a short period of time. The transformation, the work that demands persistence, consistent attention, dedication, commitment, continued awareness and diligence is what comes next. The transformation is what happens more slowly over time so that the change is sustained so that the change becomes the norm.
Hope is the thing that allows both breakthrough and transformation to happen. Hope is what helps us keep going when things are the hardest, allows us to persevere when we are tired, downtrodden, and resigned. Hope is vital to our nation’s growth and evolution as well as our own growth and evolution.
Today’s article is about how hope drives our own transformation.
I’ve been thinking a lot about hope recently and how powerful it is. When I came across Obama’s quote about hope, it resonated deeply with me.
My work is founded on hope. The reason leaders come to me is that there is hope that it could be different from the current state. My clients – both the companies and individuals that hire me – decide that the status quo is not good enough for them. They know somewhere deep inside them it is possible for them/their leaders to show up as their best authentic selves both at work and in their lives and thus perform better as a result. They imagine that work could be intellectually challenging and relationships with peers could be rewarding and fruitful.
Imagining what could be is what gets my clients through the door. Inevitably, the next question they ask is “How? How do I get to where I want to be, Rachel?”
At MettaWorks, we believe that the way sustainable change occurs is through the inner work. When we do our inner work, we immediately see our relationships get better; we see our performance increase, we sleep better at night, we are happier in our lives and jobs.
What do I mean by inner work?
Inner work at MettaWorks means:
- Imagining what could be. We need to know what we are working towards, what success looks like.
- Cultivating awareness around what isn’t working. We need to understand what is getting in the way of where we want to be.
- Collecting data on the particular circumstances that trigger us. We need to have clear examples of the specific circumstances where we get stuck.
- Challenging old belief systems and assumptions. We need to be clear on the belief systems or behaviors that aren’t serving us anymore.
- Identifying behavior in others that respond/show up in a way that you respect. We need to have examples of belief systems or behaviors that help us achieve our goal.
- Identifying an antidote to your triggers that is personalized. We need to ensure our new belief systems or behaviors align with who we are.
- Show up in a new way. We can now put those new belief systems/behaviors into action.
Without fail, every client who has done their inner work- who has gone through the above steps- performs better in their role, has increased buy-in from stakeholders, high engagement from team members, better relationships outside of work and sleeps better at night.
This inner work is not an easy road. It is not something we can do alone. It can take hundreds of thousands of people – as we are seeing across the United States, to help the United States do it’s “inner work” to change internal systems, infrastructure, the fabric of our culture. Or it can take just one person to help you dream about what could be, mirror back assumptions you may be making that aren’t true, help you build a path forward that will keep you accountable as you change.
MettaWorks can be that person for you. All it takes is a little hope. All it takes is a little trust in ourselves that we can change and that this change will be much better than the status quo.
Hope can be a beautiful flag that it is time for a change. Notice where you feel hopeful in your life and take the first step towards change by imagining what could be.