You cannot be a Driver of your Destiny and a Victim of your History at the same time. At 54 years of age, I am living proof that we are not what happens to us, we are who we choose to become despite what happens. We are not our stories, however traumatic, painful and disappointing, we are the responses to our stories. I am Lynn and my Story goes something like this:
I am a survivor of multiple rape (the first rape being so brutal that the police thought a train had ridden over my face and the second being as recent as three years ago); teenage pregnancy; racial discrimination; other forms of violation and abuse; divorce; single parenthood; corporate selfishness and a business World direly lacking in integrity. The response to my Story goes something like this: I am a Global Inspirational Speaker & Poet, an Award-winning Author of an Amazon International Bestseller; Inductee in the Women appreciating Women Hall of Fame (UK 2020) Recipient of 5 Global Awards, including a Life-time Achievement Award @ Arise Africa Magazine; 2021 Patron for the South African Council for Business Women and named Global Ambassador for the Rossy Foundation International (Germany). My conscious choices have led me here, exercising non-victimized thinking for the past 39 years has led me here. Intentionality has led me here: the will to want to heal, overcome, significantly succeed, successfully single parent has led me here. I accepted 150% responsibility to become who I am today. This is Self- Leadership: the ability to successfully self-direct our lives, outside any limiting, negative, sabotaging external influences, based on internally driven decisions, rather than external conditions.
Only you can determine the degree to which you create positive momentum in your life. If you are not moving in the direction of your dreams, you have not assumed total responsibility for your life. In the absence of knowing the direction you must take, you will be consumed by either, your past or the limitations of your current reality. Nobody can lead you to the place that you are destined to be. You must lead yourself there. If you choose to not to lead yourself, life will continue to happen, rather than respond to the purposeful momentum you are creating. You cannot live by default when as a Divine being, you are meant to live by design. Whatever you move towards, moves toward you. If you remain where you are, nothing greater than where you find yourself can happen. So never mind what your current situation is, you must make the choice to transcend it!
Leading a self-directed life requires you to give up ALL excuse-finding and pay-offs in your comfort zone. Blame needs to be disposed of: whose fault is was, is and will be matters not. Self-Mastery seeks neither blaming nor complaining. Excuses will eventually excuse you from owning your authentic power, the more we justify our non-performance and non-success in our own lives, the longer we continue to disempower our authentic selves. The more reasons we provide for not having and doing, the less results we are able to achieve. To accept 100% responsibility for where you want to go, you have to take 100% responsibility for where you are. Self-leadership is courageous enough to face the brutality of any personal reality. The gap between where you find yourself currently and where you want to find yourself ultimately is the Universe’s invitation for you to exercise the fullness of your personal power! To choose not to exercise this power would be to choose to be less of who you were born to become. You would have then missed the mark of your earthly existence, this is the Bible’s definition of SIN:to miss the mark. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant also calls it out as an acronym for: Self- Inflicted Nonsense. I unconsciously over-indulged in this kind of nonsense until my mid-thirties, I did so when I allowed others’ to humiliate me, to hurt me, to judge me…UNTIL I came across Eleanor Roosevelt’s Quotation: “Nobody hurts, angers, humiliates or judges you without your consent”. I was allowing them to do this to me, because I was doing this to me. I had not yet bought into my divine self- worth, had not moved beyond my own self-judgement, self-criticism and self-loathing yet. I had not stepped into my realm of true authentic power yet.
“We cannot take charge of our lives in a state of regret, shame, guilt, blame and entitlement. We can take charge of our lives when we accept our past mistakes as lessons and reframe our past failures as teachers having provided us with invaluable feedback”.
The art of self-leadership cannot be cultivated without cultivating a developmental, proactive approach to life. Our brilliance does not sit in our brains; our brilliance is our resilience. It is how well we rise after falling and how many times we continue to try after failing that truly define us. We all have the capacity to do so, none of us are more resilient than the other, it’s really about how badly we want our dreams to come to life. This is a choice we all have. We also have all of the required inner resources to bring our dreams to life. We lack nothing on the inside. The more we do anything the better we become at doing it. This includes rising after falling and re-trying after failing. When Thomas Edison’s assistant complained at the 999th attempt to get it right, Edison’s response was that they were 999 times closer to getting it. Self- Leadership is a mind-set! You cannot adopt a mindset of a Victim and a Visionary at the same time, nor adopt a mediocre approach and expect excellent results, neither can you be pitiful in your thinking and powerful in your being.
“If you are waiting for the perfect moment or ideal conditions to be met before you take charge of your life and lead yourself to where you deserve to go, you will wait forever.”
When do you know that the time has come to take charge or increase control of your life? You will know when you feel life is simply happening and that you are a passive subject of chance in an equation where you can exercise conscious, purposeful choice. You would begin to recognize your role in re-cycling the same, self- sabotaging experiences and yet desiring better because you recognize that there are more meaningful things to experience. You will also begin to realize that your latent potential and innate brilliance need to be resurrected, yet we can only resurrect what we know has died or exists. What we don’t recognize in ourselves, we cannot expect others to see it in us…
There are no perfect moments manufactured by the Universe to promote easy change in our lives. The moments present themselves as moments of insightful revelation for those who are willing to see the changes that need to occur, based on an intolerance of what is occurring. Some choose to remain blinded as a way of protecting the comfort of non-committal to personal transformation and growth. Nobody can be blamed for this!
“I learned that a Dream is kept alive when reasons for its fulfilment are greater than one’s perceived limitations and challenge. I learned that if we want anything badly enough, nothing can stop us, particularly when we know why we want it. The size of the Vision must exceed the size of the limitations or challenges. The strength of desire and conviction to succeed must always override the excuses we make to remain in our comfort zones and succumb to complacency. I leaned that success becomes inevitable when failure becomes non-optional… (An extract from my Book: Butterfly, my Soul got Wings, what Life has taught me – BOOK 1)
Know that the first person to lead is YOU! Herein lies your true power, your significant successes and service to humanity become the highest expression of this power. When you lead yourself with greatness, you will lead your life and others with Excellence. (Lynn Hill)
© ARISE AFRICA MAGAZINE