If there is a single word in the English language that is more overused than this one in the realm of business – including business education – at this moment, I can’t imagine what it is. Toss a feather and you are likely to hit someone who wants to talk to you about “disrupting” industries, sectors, paradigms and more. Gone are the days of mere “innovation.” Now, we can’t just change things; we have to create and earthquake while we’re doing it. Throw off the whole game. Knock everyone and everything sideways so that that people call us visionary, or genius. We want to be the ones who masterminded the full system overhaul of whatever space we call our own.
We are so committed to (at least the idea of) being fearless and unconstrained by boundaries and norms in our work. I wonder why it’s so difficult to feel the same way about our own personal growth? Why are we less inclined to be “disruptive” in our own development than we are with external products and plans?
One of the reasons people like mindfulness is that is calms you down. Breathing intentionally, narrowing your focus, and centering your energy does wonders for your physiological state. But after you’ve been practicing for a little while, you might start to notice a little something else in the midst of that calm. Your blissful reverie gets…well…disrupted by its polar opposite: discomfort.
This is when a lot of people back away. They think, no thanks, this isn’t what I came here for. I came to relax, to unwind, to escape. You can do that, too. You can choose to stop when things get uncomfortable. The minute that voice in your head tells you it’s time to move on from your mindful moment, you can do that. Or, you can choose to stay for just one more breath. Just one. That’s all.
You might actually survive it. Even more so, you might find you have more than just one more breath, or one more second, or one more mindful step left in you. You might find that your boundaries aren’t where you thought they were. And take it from me, once you realize that, well that knowledge about yourself can be….
Yup, you got it. Downright disruptive.
As the great guru Winnie the Pooh once said, ““You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you know.”
In other words, there is more to you than you think there is. The path to getting there is bound to be bumpy, but if you can find your breath, you can – without a doubt – reframe your personal paradigm and unleash all that incredible potential within you.
Photo credit: Patrick Hendry