I was really angry this weekend. Listening to the Sunday morning political pundits, the question of the day was whether the media is now being a little too harsh on Obama. This was regarding a question of why did Obama sign off a pardon for a pentagon nominee who just happens to be an ex-lobbyist, and this on the heel of him signing off an executive order to disallow lobbyists any positions in his administration just one day into his presidency.
I decided to step way back and look at the big picture of what was happening beyond what the facts were indicating. Obama won us over in part because he was/is different. He was not pulled or pushed by any one pundit, lobbyist, or even one way of thinking. He did not buy into the fear that had engulfed this country after 9/11 and rush us into war to make someone pay the price. He was beyond it all. Now, almost one week into his presidency, he is in a very different place. He is in charge and he is surrounded by his advisors. He has discovered by jumping in, how deep the waters truly are and he is relying on his supporters, and those with more experience to help him. However, the experience he is relying on is just what we did not vote for. We voted for change, and that implies a certain amount of risk taking and free thinking, qualities that he has demonstrated so far. If he relies too much on his advisors who have more experience, he is going to be an old politician very quickly.
This analysis begs the question, how often do we in our own lives sell out to those around us? How often do we give away our own power to others, because we think they know better, or we don’t think we are in the position to question their thinking or judgment? Every time we compromise ourselves and our values for whatever reason (lack of experience, lack of self-worth, fear, etc.) we lose out. We give away our sovereignty to someone else. Now, I am not suggesting that we should never listen to someone else or ask for advice. It is a very fine line, listening to opinions and suggestions and then acting from our own core values. Once that line gets twisted, we lose face and no one trusts our decisions including ourselves. So, the coaching nugget of the day once again: trust yourself!
Yes, we are in dire times, but dire times beg for new thinking and new solutions. Those can only come from new thinking. If we use Obama as a giant mirror reflecting to us what we need to see, then I would ask him to use his own judgment and remember why we voted for him. And I would ask myself to use my own judgment and remember who I am and how I got here. It is time to come out of our shells and let go of our security blankets and start living. This is not time for looking backwards and asking for help from those with credentials and experience in what used to work. This is precisely the moment where what used to work, isn’t working! It is time to re-invent ourselves on the outside by remembering who we are on the inside.