Don’t languish: change can happen quicker than you think


Julia May

How’s your hangover going? Your COVID hangover, that is.

We’re noticing that people around us are tired and a bit listless... “languishing” is the word. As the psychologist Adam Grant describes it, languishing describes internal stagnation; feeling “somewhat joyless and aimless.”

Well guess what, people. We need you not to languish. We need you not to stagnate. We need you to dip your toes back into the sense of possibility and potential that sits within you, like a quiet pool of water.

There is hope: we want to say here that it’s possible to shift out of a languishing state, and faster than you think. Positive, constructive energy can unfold from you. It just needs prompting: a tickle, a nudge or even a gentle push. What do you need to bring it forth?

We saw this energy emerge last week when we gathered in person for the first time in more than a year, with the 14 extraordinary leaders joining our three-month Visibility for Influence Mastermind. At the start of our two days together, as people arrived, it felt as awkward as a teenage party: a palpable sense of where do I stand? What’s my place here? Who are these people? Do I have the energy for this? Not to mention the fact that we were all simply out of practice of being in the same room as multiple other.

Over the two days, they unfurled. They relaxed, turned inwards, turned outwards towards us and each other, and took hold of the guide rope being thrown out towards them: an invitation to go inch towards that internal pool. First, just to the knees: they came to understand what was most important to them as leaders in their own spheres of influence; what made them angry; what they wanted to stand for as a person and leader. Then they edged deeper, waist-deep, pairing up and asking one another, “Why do I want to lead?” “Why do I do what I do?” Why? Why? Why? Many times over until something meaningful burst forth; an anchor for future decision-making.

Before they knew it they were swimming in that lovely pool of potential, taking themselves into the future possible: setting a vision for the problems they’d like to solve; the influence they’d like to have.

By the end of day two these women were roaring; choosing an anthem to set the tone for the post-languishing phase that they were electing to step into, with a strategy for where they wanted to lead; where they knew they needed to show up and be visible. They used words like “I am ready.” “I am in my power.” They were tired but energised; connected to one another and ready to forge a collective whose impact together will be much greater than one alone.

So here’s our invitation to you: don’t languish; take the rope, whatever it might be for you, and dip your toes in. Or offer a rope to others around you: your team or family. Change can happen more quickly than you think.

Here are some offerings to get you started:

  1. Check out the playlist of anthems our Masterminders chose to accompany them as they stepped into the arena.
  2. Set a vision for yourself and your leadership for the year ahead, using our vision mapping process, and share it with your team.
  3. To get really into it, watch our Insta Live conversation and be guided into a future state with our vision-setting visualisation.
  4. Tell us, or someone, what you need to dip your toes in.
  5. Talk to us about the change we can help bring for you or your people… quickly.

Don’t languish. Step forward. The world needs you.

About Visibility Co.

Working at the intersection of leadership, strategy and visibility, we seek to be strategic provocateurs and catalysts of systemic change, supporting you to unleash the potential within so you can create a better world from wherever you are.

While we’re not big on labels, we’re often referred to as social impact and communications strategists, or strategic leadership advisors, or visibility experts.

Fancy words for a business, led by Julia May and Sarah Anderson, that brings together purposeful leadership, strategy and communications in truly integrative and innovative ways.

Find out more

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