Driving down the road, headlines of the current times are filled with stories of negativity and distress. The truth is South Africa – You create your own success or failure. If you choose to focus on the negatives, you will get more of those. Think back to the late 80’s. Think of the pessimism and gloom. I don’t need to remind us that it was the collective consciousness of South Africans that willed this country out of a revolution. So too, can we plunge our nation into a state of economic negativity and chaos or we can as leaders in this country be the harbingers of hope. Yes, that’s right, a leader has a responsibility to create hope. Hope can be measured in so many different ways – it can be responding to difficult situations with grace, living with integrity, refusing to judge or cast blame.
As a coach working with business leaders over the last 27 years, there is only one thing that I’m certain of and it’s that we are pure energetic beings. In fact, Einstein said: “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want, and you cannot help get that reality. It can be no other way – this is not philosophy, this is physics.” Sandra Ann Taylor, a psychologist working in Ohio has identified the different emotions and their vibrational frequency range.
So, if you’re languishing at the bottom where fear, grief, powerlessness resides, you will definitely attract more of that reality. However, if you are at the top where appreciation, love, gratitude and peace lies, so too, will you attract more of that reality. That said, how do we change our beliefs, negative moods and mindsets to attract a more peaceful and joyful life. It’s not really that difficult.
Prof Richard Boyatzis an American organisational theorist and professor of Organisational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University, an expert in emotional intelligence and behavior change has set out the Sacrifice Syndrome in which he describes the negative loop that we get into, that can ultimately change structures in the brain to our detriment. Conversely, we too, can open three positive pathways namely Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion that can reinforce positive neuronal pathways that can lead to feelings of hopefulness and looking forward to the future.
We all know about Mazlov’s famous theories about self-actualisation. But the next level up is Transcendence – transcendence is about helping others to self-actualise. So if you’re a leader who is interested in leaving an amazing legacy – be the creator of hope. Shine your light into the dark corners of despair and by doing that you will have lifted your own energetic frequency and activate the brain’s pleasure-seeking areas that reduce stress and its accompanying systolic blood pressure. Empathy is no longer regarded as a “soft skill” as neuroscience has proven the health benefits and impact on high performing teams. As a young leader I was coaching recently said: “you become good when you do good” Know that there is a pathway through this negativity and despair.
By Gail Cameron
Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash