Holding Back

Trust and fear seem to be inseparable partners in the workplace.

Trusting that one can move forward without fear of retribution, ridicule, or redundancy appears to be a strong theme I am experiencing at the moment. What is feeding this insidious and infectious dis-ease?

What has shifted that is causing people to feel they can no longer speak up or show up for who they really are? What would make them believe that being honest, and sharing genuine, deep-seated concerns, would result in them losing their jobs? I am both puzzled and concerned, because in not feeling safe to speak up about the real, the tough, the things that have deep meaning for us, or that have potential to significantly impact those around us, we run the risk of harming self and others.

In holding back, we might think we are protecting ourselves, when in actual fact we are merely kidding ourselves. We just end up living the lie of pretending we don't care or that it doesn't matter, when in fact it it matters so deeply we become ill.

We become boxed in and afraid to move forward.

We are paralyzed.

In holding back, we find ourselves witnessing the unfolding of tragedy, as in the case of the Challenger disaster, when courageous conversation can result in a different outcome.

In holding back, we limit our freedom to choose, as well as the freedom and choice of those with whom we need to engage.

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Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada