As I said previously (go here), more often than not, internal struggles and pressures hold us back WAY MORE often than external pressures. However, I’ve made a few mistakes over the past few years that are now holding me back a little bit. I want to make those things right over the next few weeks. Let me explain a bit more…
Before I was a tech leader or a pastor, I was an activist and a cultural commentator. Each one of the roles I just named have a very different set of core values. I love aspects of each, however, I will admit that I have made a bit of a clumsy transition from one role to the next. Of course, nobody can completely shape-shift and completely leave behind who they used to be, but sometimes this is required unless you want to stunt your own growth.
For instance, now that I work in the very secular, non-religious environment of the tech world, I can be compassionate and warm like a pastor should, but I can’t act like the pastor the business or board meetings! That’s not my role there. If I was to ever serve as a pastor again, of course my history as a tech leader and as an activist could shape how I do things, but a church needs a pastor and not a tech CEO.
I am very much an activist at heart. This was formed in me from a young age. As you may know I was assaulted so severely as a 15 year old that I missed nearly 2 years of high school recovering from surgeries. After I recovered, I moved to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College, the alma mater of Martin Luther King, and a place where activism and standing up for the downtrodden is a fabric of the culture.
Out of that crucible, I became a very outspoken leader and rarely filtered my thoughts if I was on the mic, on NPR, or on social media. If I felt a certain way, I said it. I held back from time to time, but rarely.
Sometimes my willingness to be outspoken, even during the hardest times, really helped people and I have very few regrets (like speaking out against human trafficking in Haiti or outing a pastor who was molesting children). I’d do those things over again 10 times out of 10.
However, other times, like activists sometimes do, I spoke my mind on issues that bothered me personally, but did so in a way that didn’t really advance the issue and caused me more harm than good. This week, I’m going to reach out to a few people and privately offer them my apologies (however late they may be) regarding what I said and how I’ve grown since then. I have no idea if they even give a crap, but I owe it to myself and to them to bring a bit of closure to those issues.
I said all of this to say this…
Life is hard. To be your best self, you have to have a clear conscience and cannot afford the emotional baggage of grudges or burned bridges. They will absolutely hold you back and keep you from living to your full potential. You will need every mental/emotional/psychological advantage you can get if you are going to have true success moving forward.
Your success in life is not going to happen on accident and the bigger the path you can clear for yourself the bigger your trajectory for success will be. This week I want to work on clearing the path.
QUESTIONS FOR YOU ::
Without naming names, do you have anybody that you need to apologize to?
Have you burned any bridges that you should invest difficult time in repairing?
Can you foresee any problems creeping up in your future that you could proactively address now?