I recently read “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb for our book club. A fascinating book where the author takes us on the journeys of 5 of her patients (including herself). In each of these stories, we are introduced to characters that each have what they consider established truths about themselves. Through Lori’s therapy sessions, she uncovers key parts of each person’s established truth and how that might not be serving the patient in making future decisions. She helps guide the patients to see something they had not seen before. This is part of Lori’s powerful message from her very popular TED talk, “How Changing Your Story Can Change Your Life.”
This core of this message is that we’re not reliable narrators of our own lives. Her quote from the book: “the art of getting to know yourself is to unknow yourself—to let go of the limiting stories you’ve told yourself about who you are so that you aren’t trapped by them, so you can live your life and not the story you’ve been telling yourself about your life.”
Are you telling yourself stories that might be unreliable? Are there any unreliable narratives we tell each other as a individuals, a country or in our companies? Without a doubt we all find stories to make sense of our histories that influence our future decisions.
I have always told myself that I was a strong advocate for those who are marginalized. Invariably, this changes my focus for the future and lessens my call to action. . “I don’t need to focus on that, I’m already have it as my story.” However, whenever I think of that image where we are all at the Pearly gates and our lives are reviewed, St. Peter might look at me and “meh”. Yes, in all honesty, I was just “meh”
For 2023, I want to stop relying on my inflated stories I tell myself. Our country, our community and more to the point, our businesses, need strong advocacy for marginalized groups this year.. In our country alone, over 300 anti-trans bills were proposed in 2022. States passed more than 15 bills targeting transgender people. Over 30 transgender people have been killed this past year. (Note from Stan – Link to my blog about corporations once again being called to take the lead around diversity, equity and inclusion)
I know our country can be better than this. What can we all do to make this a more inclusive place to live and work? Our call to action begins by examining our outdated narratives that what we‘re doing is good enough.
Do you feel you or your company has some false narratives that allow you to be “meh” in the DEI space? Is there room for you to do more? At the end of 2023, for myself, I want to know I did more, I hope you can find that for your business as well. Let this be our new and honest start to a better and more inclusive world. It all starts with our introspection. Let’s begin a new story for 2023.
Happy New Year.
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This was the first of many blogs that will be provided by my new associate, Deanna Jones. Link to my announcement of her joining my team.