Choose Upside and Commit to Growth

Success coach and emotional resilience expert, Suzanne Dudley-Schon shares her brilliance in this week’s Upside Thought.

Suzanne understands that the beingness of leadership matters more than the doingness of leadership. 

You can take all of the tactical leadership actions that generate success and not be a leader worth following.

This week, she’s written about choosing Upside and committing to growth – one of my favorite topics!  

Happy Reading!

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The graphic above is without a doubt one of my favorite quotes of Lisa Marie’s. I love the simplicity and the power. Unadorned and potent.

With the pandemic and the long tail of its social, political, and economic effects, we are keenly experiencing that life is change. 

Because of the internet and our synthesized connectivity through mobile devices, social media platforms, and 24hr news, we are buffeted daily, needing to continually adjust and respond. Seeing, feeling, and needing to process faster and faster.

While the world changes around us, personal growth is optional.

We can opt out by living the status quo of our routines—be they mental, physical, or emotional.

We can stay safe and stuck.

Some ways we do this is by sheer avoidance. Staying busy and distracted. Directing our attention to everything external.

Another avenue is to use blame.

By placing blame, we can point fingers instead of “lifting” our own, to take action for ourselves.

Another tactic is to refuse to question our opinions, thoughts, and beliefs. 

When we don’t examine and put them to the test, we develop blind spots without even realizing it.

We can get stuck in mental and emotional ruts. 

And lest you think I am suggesting betrayal of values I would comfort you with the reminder: truths can handle inspection. Like forging metal, the hammer blows of testing make them stronger.  

To “choose wisely”—we must interrogate notions, motivations, and intentions so we can make informed choices. 

I’ve been well-intended and made bad decisions, and I’ve been driven to do something without realizing what that motivation really was. 

And, I’ve certainly lived through countless occasions where my thoughts led me to believe something that was untrue. 

I’d heard it on repeat from someone else and then I repeated it to myself… and so it became unquestioned, operating me like I was possessed. And, in a way, I kind of was.

Now, what’s interesting is… sometimes those “possessions” start out as beneficial only to become extreme and unconscious.

That’s why it’s crucial to do a frequent litmus test.

When we don’t catch ourselves in time, things stop working. We find ourselves in repeated patterns, complaints on a loop.

Creatures of habit, we tend to resist change… and this is where choice comes into play.

Choosing Upside. We must take action—actively choose and be intentional rather than slipping into the familiar. So how do we do it? 

We must be committed to the life of growth, willing to be uncomfortable and endure the ambiguity that is a necessary component of change.

This way of living requires continual creativity, being responsive and alive to each moment—informed by the past and yet open-minded about the future, unencumbered by attachment so that it can unfold newly.

As for choosing upside, that also involves conscious decision-making.

Using our best understandings, it is to opt for choices that serve for the highest and best good, that uphold principles, that uplift character and spirit.

ACTION: The Upside Challenge for the week is when presented with options and decisions to make—go through the steps to commit to growth.

Choose wisely.

Choose Upside. And share your process and results. 

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