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Here’s how you can have the biggest impact as an ally and defender

By on March 23, 2021 0

2020 has already been a year most of us won’t forget. Most notably, the recent death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police set off a cascade of events and reactions that sent the social and racial injustice movement, led by Black Lives Matter, skyrocketing to new heights. peaks. While 2020 hasn’t been easy for anyone, the long-sought change is altering our society in ways we’ve wished for but haven’t been able to achieve for decades.

The fight for racial equality is a battle that the BIPOC community has been waging for over 450 years. For white Americans, June 2020 will likely be remembered as the time many of us finally opened our eyes to the work needed to make true equality endure. Race has been something many white people have shunned, and now that we’re directly confronted with the disparities between our lives and those of the BIPOC community, it’s impossible to keep looking the other way. As a white person who is committed to doing the work to be anti-racist and ultimately become an ally, I approach race in a way that I have never done before.

This movement has opened the floodgates of information, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and exhausted and lose sight of what’s most important. While you can and should help in many ways, such as expanding your education and donating if you can, it’s also important to step back and think about how you can have the most impact. significant. To connect with your innate intelligence and drive so that you can use your most powerful resource – yourself – as a tool to propel the success of this movement.

I call this your “Zone of Genius”. While it’s a powerful tool for just about everything in your work and life, here’s how you can use it as a guide to being an ally for racial justice.

What is your area of ​​genius?

Your engineering area is the intersection of the work that is most intellectually stimulating for you and also the impact that is most meaningful to you. When you experience this convergence, you gain the ability to achieve a work experience that most people dream of, an experience that taps into your greatest intellectual strength in order to have the kind of impact on others that fills your soul. It’s the kind of experience that makes you unstoppable; where work doesn’t feel like work, it feels like an extension of who you are.

To break it down, let’s focus on the Genius first. It’s the thinking or problem-solving that you’re best at, and it’s the process that your brain likes to work the most. Think about the three most recent times when you were totally in “The Zone” at work, which means you were on fire intellectually. Write them down in great detail. What has been the most important thought process you have experienced? Was it about distilling ideas, creating structure, proposing overall visions? Explain what it was and give it a name. This list can help you find language that resonates with what you have observed.

To identify purpose, you must dig into your past or prepare to go deep below the surface of your last significant moment. First, think about your life and your childhood. What were the most memorable and empowering moments? Write them down. Is there a theme to the emotional pain you felt? This is probably your main emotional challenge. If you can name it and then apply it backwards to help others, that’s often your goal. For example, if you struggled to make yourself heard as a child, you’re probably highly motivated to help others speak up.

Or think about the last most meaningful moments you had at work or at home. What was the impact on someone who mattered most to you? Take that impact and identify its root. If you helped someone feel better, in what specific ways did they feel better? Did they feel seen? Did they feel listened to? Did you help them express something they couldn’t otherwise express? This is probably intrinsically linked to your own basic emotional challenge and is therefore another reflection of your purpose. If you’re still unclear, check out this list major emotional challenges and goals – it can help you see your own.

How to use your genius zone to be an ally

Once you’ve identified both your genius and your purpose, use these tools to think creatively about how you can take action. This doesn’t mean you don’t participate in anything that isn’t aligned with your Zone of Genius, but rather use this information to identify ways you can contribute that reflect who you are.

For example, my goal is to help others feel seen. A devastating side effect of systemic racism is that BIPOC often has to adapt to accommodate white culture. This inherently means that they disconnect part of who they are in the way they present themselves at work. I can help them begin to see, own and proactively showcase who they are at work. It’s not only a powerful way to support the BIPOC community, but also a way that fills my soul, which means my energy for this type of work is endless.

Another example: Say your genius is in distilling complicated topics into one cohesive and powerful message, and your goal is to help others feel safe. You might want to consider lending a hand to non-profit organizations that support underprivileged BIPOC children or write op-eds about the difficult issues they face. Or if your genius is in creating possibility and your goal is to help others speak up, you might want to use your genius to think up innovative ways for BIPOC to be heard. The key is that you are contributing to the problem in a powerful way for the cause and for yourself.

Whatever your specific area of ​​genius, I hope this framework can help you begin to navigate your own journey to becoming an ally in a way that allows you to access the energy and enthusiasm to how you contribute. I believe this will truly create uncharted change, which our society has desperately needed for a long, long time.