Sunday, October 25, 2015

How Falling In Love Changed Me As A Leader

My posts are inspired by my experiences and conversations on a daily basis. If I learn something that I believe can be beneficial for my audience, I grab my smart device and start writing. I organize it in a clear and concise manner to be understood quickly. 

Well, that is sort of true. 

Yes my posts are inspired by my experiences. In reality, they are inspired by all elements of that experience- the actual event, what was said, what wasn't said, what was heard, what was felt and the reflections on what didn't happen as well. Our actions are triggered by emotions and engagement is best achieved by getting an emotional connection. (What Simon Sinek stresses in 'Starting with Why.') 

So once I'm inspired by the full experience, I write. I pour my heart out. I laugh and smile but sometimes tear up and exert sighs of anguish. Only after it is all down on paper, do I start to re-organize it in a clear manner. And the worst part is that I sometimes keep it so professional, that I miss articulating what was really in my heart. 

I know I do this at the fear of losing my niche. But today I want to try and capture my true feelings, at the risk of seeming emotional. 

Before the Magic

For years, I was closed off emotionally. I struggled to articulate what I was feeling and my relationships did not always seem genuine. I have always been caring, outgoing and fun but how connected was I really to those around me? 

As I look back on my early years in college, I missed out on opportunities because I wasn't really opened up enough to know they existed. I created constraints of what I could and couldn't do, which led me to miss internship opportunities or casual dating with a new friend. 

And Then It Happens

I remember not too long ago when I was sitting across the table from a friend of mine. He skipped the pleasantries and started to pour his heart out to me. I froze and I remember my exact thoughts were "why the hell is he sharing this with me?" I was never taught to open up and if I did, it was after years of knowing someone. That cold November night was one I'll never forget. For hours, we talked about all of our struggles, relating to family, friends and work. I felt very awkward, as if I were doing something wrong but at the same time I felt complete. 

The Lesson 

The first time I realized I had truly fallen in love with this man, I cried. I cried out of denial, anger and fear (most people are crying from sheer happiness!) I never believed in falling in love so I was upset that I let myself fall into this trap and I was confident it would make me weaker. 

But it turned out to be the greatest thing that ever happened to me. 

The reasons are not what you expect. 

Falling in love has:

-Made me more receptive

-Increased my empathy and patience level 

-Created a pathway to see things from multiple perspectives 

-Allowed me to become more vulnerable without jeopardizing my confidence. 

As a leader, your ability to connect is the most critical aspect and with this transparency, you create trust. Even though I'm still struggling on a personal level with this so-called "love," I know I have been shaped into a completely different person from it.

I believe I am a better person because of this life altering event. I was told recently, "people let you down, but you cannot let that limit your ability to love." 

When I first read it, I linked it to the act of love or being in a relationship. (And it does.) But after thorough review, there is more meaning to that statement. The first being that you can never lose the ability or the capacity to love and second, how things may not always go as planned but you need to keep going. It is bold to combine love and leadership but when you take a step back, they go hand in hand quite well. 

So next time you're partaking in an emotional discussion or acknowledge the feelings you are having for that special someone, remember to think bigger in how else this can help you or how it already has helped you! 

No matter where you are, what you're doing or who you are with, never hesitate to want to say (or sing) the words- "almost like falling in love."

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