The Great Unleashing
February 10, 2020
I was at a conference recently that had us get in touch with our longing and discontent. We did this so that we could tease out what we would really love that is not yet a reality. As a serial visionary the envisioning comes easy for me but adding the focus on longing and discontent helped me be much more specific to what I want. Powerful visions can set the stage for movement forward and yet many of us find we end up not moving forward much in the end. There are so many ways that we hold ourselves back. We minimize our power. We give in to our fears and buy into social narratives about what someone like us can and can’t achieve. When we do this, we lose sight of who we are and our most potent dreams for ourselves and our world. What would be possible if we could face those fears, and claim our greatness? What would it look like to help others face their fears and address their barriers? What potential for change could we unleash?
The first brave step that must be taken is shifting our mindset from one that sees ourselves as inherently limited and our resources as fundamentally scarce to one that recognizes that there is always something we have access to that will support our moving forward. It’s difficult to remain focused on our goals when our fears and self-limiting beliefs are in the way. But it doesn’t have to be that way, we can lead ourselves out of those mindsets and move beyond what is holding us back. This is what it means to unleash our potential. It is a courageous act to see ourselves for who we really are: visionary, hard-working, entrepreneurial, and inherently extraordinary - fully capable of realizing our greatest dreams for the world.
Yes, there is always a risk of failure. Not only that, but we will inevitably make lots of mistakes along the way to our goals. However, unleashing our capacity means shifting our mindset about our journey. Mistakes hone our skills, and failure can be our greatest teacher. The ebbs and flows in our path toward truly making a difference are also the landscape of real and lasting change. Every mistake makes us more familiar with the terrain. Each perceived failure rewards us with a more detailed map of the territory we’re exploring. So unleashing ourselves is about seeing this journey toward our goal as an adventure instead of a grind, as discovery as opposed to defeat.
At The Hunger Project, we’ve seen how simple shifts in mindset can turn into proud achievements by communities that used to struggle with hunger and poverty. However, mindset is simply the first unleashing. Empowering people to end their own hunger also requires skills and resources to realize the vision of a whole community. Sometimes it looks like volunteering your time to spread the word. Sometimes it looks like making a financial investment in the potential of those in need. Sometimes it looks like investing in yourself and unleashing your own abilities so you can more ably lead a community of change-makers toward a worthy goal like ending world hunger for good. We have to step forward into our leadership potential, and believe in our capacity to make a difference in our own lives and the lives of others. Just like how we have to open the shutters to see the sun, we have to pull back our own fears and limiting beliefs in order to unleash our brilliance.
April Burrows, Country Director