Willing to Be
I frequently refer to Margaret J. Wheatley’s article Willing to be Disturbed in which she makes the case for us “to have our beliefs and ideas challenged by what others think.” Wheatley makes the case that “change starts with confusion: cherished interpretations must dissolve to make way for new. Of course it is scary to give up what we know, but the abyss is where newness lives. Great ideas and inventions miraculously appear in the space of not knowing. If we can move through the fear and enter the abyss, we are rewarded greatly. We rediscover we’re creative.”
As I consider the challenge Wheatley puts forth, I find that some times I am ready to be disturbed and other times I am less willing to engage in such challenges. However I absolutely appreciate this framework and use it as a goal and measurement of my progress in life.
Building on Wheatley’s framework I offer some additional willing to actions for us to consider and perhaps adopt. Are we willing to:
- Be honest with others and ourselves each day to manifest our beliefs and values even when we expect them to be challenged?
- Admit our mistakes and use those experiences to enhance our decisions and actions?
- Ask clarifying questions when we are confused?
- Try to understand the perspectives of others when they contradict our beliefs and views?
- Speak up in a group when we encounter disrespectful actions?
- Advocate for others who will benefit from our support?
- Be ourselves when others prefer us to think and act differently?
I encourage us to consider how willing we are to live our lives according to our beliefs and values and according to Wheatley “move through fear” so that we become our best self.