Joyful Black Woman Smiling

Finding Your Flow In Joy

Now that we have settled into this world that we are living in, people are starting to think about who they really are as leaders, entrepreneurs, partners, parents, neighbors, community members, and, simply, as human beings. Many of us have an endless list of questions about what should come next and how to prioritize all of the doing that we think needs to be done. But, the bridge between the personal and professional is gone now – we don’t need to figure out how to cross it anymore. All that is left is us. Each of us trying to find and be in our whole selves, and working to apply it to whatever we do. But, as we make this transition, many of us, if not most of us, are still stuck on the other side. We know it is not right, but having missed the forest for the trees, we can’t help but focus on which is the next bullet point to cross off.

With the world changing and transforming at the rate that it is, 
it is simply time for you to name your joy as part of your wonderful and unique magic. Your joy is what allows you to do so many amazing things, every single day.

Step Out Of The Illusion

If you are one of those people – don’t worry. Truly, it is okay, and we’ve got you! There is no judgment if you feel like you are stuck on the other side of that bridge. If we, your family, your colleagues, and your community do not seem to be not standing next you now, please know that we once did, and we will be beside you again. You might feel lost, but, in truth, it is the models of leadership that have been applied and ascribed to you that have created the illusion that you are not yet qualified enough to be the leader that you are capable of being. If it feels like you are lost and don’t know what to do next, it is because the unspoken rules of leadership do not encourage people to bring their whole selves to their work, and thus, it is so often lost in the rest of their lives as well. People are expected to do amazing things, each and every day, but, at the same time so often required to leave their values, wisdom, truths, strengths, and joy at home.

"You have always been a leader, and you can keep leading well from the wisdom of your own joy."​

How do you know that you are truly a natural-born leader? How do we know you are? It’s simple – because you have already demonstrated your authentic leadership presence, over and over again. Think back to all of those times that you were incredible. You might have been a child, or an amazing leader at work, a dynamic partner to a friend, or a wonderful parent to your child. It could even be that art project that you just nailed back in the 3rd grade. It doesn’t matter what or when, but rather that it exists. These are the moments of you in your whole self that truly speak to your worth and value in the world. Hold on to those and use them as your building blocks to move forward.  Because, until now, your sense of value in the world has been largely, if not completely, understood through a very narrow definition of who you are at work. You did not create the gap between your whole self and the you at work, so you don’t have to internalize it as if it was your fault or of your own making. This is the corporate mindset at work. It sets the guidelines for how much of yourself, and what parts of your talents and strengths, you are even allowed to bring to leading well. It is the one-size-fits-all model of leadership that defines the corporate mindset that says your joy is not relevant to your performance. Well, in these times, it is officially time to say that your joy, your whole self, and who you are at your very best, is, in fact, extremely relevant to the bottom line. 

"It is not about what you do, it is about how you will continue to bring yourself to everything you do."​

Your Flow Is Not In What You Do

At The Big Joy Theory, we talk about this kind of stuff all the time because it really is a journey to stop reacting from all these external influences and motivations. It is so challenging to give yourself permission to stop responding to all of the bullet points, quarterly goals, and annual reviews because it is how we were trained through most of our lives. This, of course, is not to say that none of those things could possible be important.  Rather, it is to say that your breath, your strengths, and your joy are worth way more than you have been allowed to give them crredit for. In this culture, it just feels like if you are not doing then you are never going to be seen, never be successful. But, it is exactly all of the doing and conquering and performing that is keeping us from seeing ourselves! We can’t self-actualize the truest and most authentic sense of who we are from a bunch of bullet points on our resume. Who we truly are cannot be fully assessed by a boss who barely knows the real us in a 30-minute annual performance review. We know this, but yet we hold ourselves accountable to it and measure our worth by it. Would it not be far more productive to simply go to a psychologist for an annual check-in on how you are feeling, to measure if you are progressing as a human being, in life, at home, and at work? We know that the ways in which we are being asked to lead are not productive. They do not, promote a sense of well-being or wholeness, and yet it is so hard to stop marching to the beat of that drum when we tie it to our sense of self-worth.

"Happiness may not be joy, but it is certainly more productive than deficits. However, in joy, we don't have to settle for anything less than our own authentic sense of who we are at our best." ​

Your Flow Is In "How" You Do

Here, at The Big Joy Theory, we simply love doing and getting shit done! We are here for it all. But, still yet, marching to the beat of doing to just be doing or to impress someone else does not fill our soul in any meaningful way. Does it fill your cup? Could you ever even go to enough leadership development workshops to become whole? What fills us is knowing that we have a way of approaching life and work that is productive, for ourselves and for others. What sustains us is knowing that we have a model of self-care that ensures that we can bring our whole selves to the work and apply our “How” to everything that we do. By focusing on our “How” we allow ourselves to not see every challenge as a barrier, but to be constantly curious about how we can, as independent leaders as well as collectively, bring the best of what we have to offer to turn those challenges into opportunities. And, the real beauty of leading from the joy of whole self for us is that what naturally and continually falls out of us is that imposter syndrome vanishes, conflicts become opportunities to learn and grow, and diversity is fuel for innovation.

"The challenge may be new, but you facing and overcoming challenge is what you already know how to do." ​

Step into the flow of your joy within. This is not another bullet point to conquer. It is an invitation to breathe, reflect, and let your own understanding of who you are be made more relevant than the illusory rules of the corporate mindset. This is simply our invitation to you to begin your journey into joy. Consider us your partners in the joyful evolution of you!