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Embracing the Energy of the Dark Side

Posted by Anese Cavanaugh on March 10, 2014

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Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It’s a basic rule of physics, but a challenging and oftentimes misunderstood principle in business. Especially when it comes to embracing the dark energy that success can bring along with it.

Succinctly, haters gonna hate. It’s what you do with that hate that can exponentially increase your effect on your team, business and community. Here’s how to catch all that flak and redirect it to double your impact.

Dark side, baby. Dark side. Love it up. You are on a spiritual roll.

When you tell your truth, live authentically, do big things, have an intense inspiring story, or are simply amazing… people are going to get triggered – for the good and the
bad. When you step up, along with the inspiration you leave in your wake… it’s okay – someone is bound to be a “drag”.

When the negative reflex of people dealing with your success comes… it just seems to have more pull. And the negative hurts. Especially if we take it personally, try to “fix”it, “prove” it, or make it “right” for the “hater” by making ourselves “smaller”.

The truth? Be ready for it. And be okay with it. And send that response a little love. We get to have the light with the dark. It’s part of leadership. It’s part of the package
of impact. Leadership is vulnerability.

The swing and the choice.

The middle ground of reaction is narrow – or at least not as wide as it used to be – and people seem to be swinging and committed to either negative or positive.

This is where we have a choice in who we want to be and which way we want to swing. By operating with a positive focus, being connected to purpose, getting the right
support, and being committed to “taking the high road”, we have a better chance of being able to lead through the tough stuff.

The most powerful energy wins.

Dark negative energy is powerful. It’s “contagious” and tends to pull others in fairly easily (especially if their energy is not strongly grounded). It’s an easy place to go
to and feel instantly validated – if even only energetically – by others in that space.

In fact, for many, the dark is much easier to deal with than the light. Much easier. The more we connect with our purpose, the more we lead with intention, and the better we
take care of ourselves — the easier it becomes to stay in a positive and strong energetic state. The “light” now becomes the desired norm and state. And from
here, it is easier to block, rebuff, and recover from the negative.

Bottom line? The most powerful energy “wins”, so the question becomes: Which energy will you let be stronger? The dark or the light?

Managing Leadership Energy = Making Sure the Positive Energy is the Most Powerful

It’s part of our greatest work as thought leaders, business leaders, and leaders of self in general, to take such great care of ourselves that we can “stand in the fire”.
To build such reserves and such resiliency that even when we get knocked down, we can find our way back to ourselves, and our mission, and fast. That we can
activate that “force field” instantaneously. And that we can be compassionate, yet fierce, with ourselves, and others, when needed throughout.

So what do you do when you hit the dark side of leadership and success? What do you do when you feeldiscouraged, beaten down, heartbroken, disenchanted? And you want to stay in,
or get back to, the light?

Topics: Business

About Anese Cavanaugh

Anese Cavanaugh is a mom, entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and all-around leadership and collaboration expert. She’s considered a trusted advisor, teacher, and thinking partner to some of today’s most savvy business leaders and organizations like IDEO, Cooper, Chevron, IBM, Doorsteps, Citicorp, and others. Anese has been called a “game changer”, a “miracle worker”, and even “wonder woman” by clients (though we had to coerce this factoid out of her, she did not write this.) A noted writer and speaker, Anese has been seen in Shape Magazine, Prevention Magazine, The New York Times, The Miami Herald, Western Suburban, TNG, Leadership Digital, Inc Small Giants, and on stages across the country. She has received numerous awards for writing and impact, including an award for Professional Woman of the Year for Coaching & Mentoring by the NAPW. Creator of the IEP Method and Crafting Impact Leadership Programs, her methodology has been integrated into core curriculum and processes in various leadership institutes and training programs including Youth Guidance Organization, Zingerman’s Community of Businesses, and the ISAE Leadership Institute where she served as faculty for their executive leadership program.

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