There is an epidemic of overwhelm in our world.
Have you noticed it?
Most likely you have—especially if you are in the business world in any capacity whatsoever. It goes beyond the constant social media feed, growing volume of competing demands between work and family, or even businesses expecting employees to do the job of three, four or five people to increase profit (or so they believe.)
Recent conversations and experiences have led me to the conclusion that at its core, this overwhelm stems from our growing disassociation from one another, and loss of our innate connection to all things, both animate and inanimate, natural and manmade. A cosmic idea, I know—and one that we desperately need to apply to our businesses, and our crucial role as leaders within them.
I propose that part of our growing overwhelm is that we have become too addicted to being smart and savvy. We want to think our way out of our messes, problems and situations by ourselves. To ask for help might mean appearing weak and incapable.
However, (and here’s the big idea we either get or we don’t) in the vast expanse of the universe, there exists a subtle dance of collaboration we have a choice to participate in, or not. When we choose not to join in, we suffer from confusion, struggle and a note of inner discord.
When we struggle with overwhelm, we simply must ask for help in order to break that cycle of confusion, frustration, fear and disconnection. We must ask for help in order to receive relief. I am referencing the Biblical statement in Luke 11:9-13, "Ask, and you shall receive; seek, and you shall find; knock, and the door shall be opened to you”.
Did she just drop a Biblical reference in a business blog?!?
Whether you are Christian, or just the mere words “God” and “Bible” make you want to punch someone, this phrase is often misunderstood and misrepresented as a shortcut to getting what we want.
Hey! Just ask God and, voila! Like a genie in a bottle, your desires are made manifest! Right? No. Asking like this isn't about manifesting desires through the Law of Attraction.
What has really landed with me over the last month is asking and receiving is actually about how the Universe operates — a subtle dance of collaboration. It’s how our lives operate most effectively. It’s how businesses can accelerate their growth.
The Cosmos patiently awaits our invitation, seeking our permission to offer guidance and unveil opportunities. When we pose our queries to the Divine, it responds in kind, aligning forces to support our journey.
Yet, if we choose silence, the Universe gracefully steps back, granting us the independence and free will to navigate life on our terms. It doesn't impose, allowing us to grapple with challenges and learn lessons autonomously.
Not all that surprisingly, other people—our clients, partners and teams—can behave quite similarly to the Universe. When we push them away, or hold our work too close to ourselves, for fear that someone might not do it the way we believe it needs to be done, or because we feel overly responsible for it, then the precise people we need to support us will step back waiting to be invited in. They sit quietly in meetings instead of offering ideas, leave early because they are disengaged from the work and feel unappreciated, and interestingly, become overwhelmed themselves, since it is contagious.
The Cosmic Connection in Asking and Receiving
When we ask, we extend an invitation, seeking co-creation of solutions, guidance and opportunities. We become a part of something bigger, and what is actually doable expands. When you ask for help, insight, or just emotional support, that’s not a transactional plea for material gains but a sacred act of collaboration. Just as the cosmos patiently waits for our permission to align forces and support our journey, asking for input or seeking assistance from our team is not a sign of weakness but a recognition of the collective strength that collaboration brings.
Silence and Independence
As I mentioned, the universe is respectful of our autonomy. If we choose silence, it gracefully steps back, respecting our independence and free will. In the business context, this echoes the importance of allowing team members the space to navigate challenges and learn autonomously. True leadership isn't about micromanaging but creating an environment that fosters growth and self-discovery.
Yes, we have a duty to guide, teach, provide helpful feedback that fosters improvement and growth, as well as ensure there are guardrails to keep less experienced team members out of the proverbial ditch. So does the Universe. But the Universe never micromanages us. It never punishes us for our mistakes. We do that very well on our own.
So, our work as leaders is to model this divine intervention and support, providing it for our teams.
In the corporate world, delegation is a common practice, but there's a deeper layer to explore – turning to our partners and teams as sources of support, much like the universe responds to our requests. This transcends mere task allocation; it involves recognizing the unique strengths each team member brings and allowing them to be a vital part of the collaborative process. It's about co-creating success rather than dictating outcomes.
The Power of Connection:
The essence of asking lies not just in the answers received but in the profound connection forged between our intentions and the cosmic forces at play. Similarly, in leadership, the power lies not just in giving orders but in building meaningful connections with the team. When there is a genuine connection, there is a shared purpose, and collective efforts become more potent.
Overwhelm is not as powerful as connectedness.
The doorway into this antidotal connection lies in the power of asking, not as a means to control outcomes, but as an avenue for collaborative leadership. Your teams and partners are part of the cosmic forces that support your journey, creating a harmonious balance between independence and interdependence. In this dance of collaboration, success echoes the beauty of a universe responding to our invitations.