I am the first to admit that the leadup and days prior to the Presidential Election brought me great anxiety. I fretted, agonized, lost sleep, drank wine, debated on Facebook, and worst of all told my mother that she was voting for the wrong candidate.
I believed that if my candidate did not win that the state of the nation would crumble, riots would occur, compassion would be lost, war was inevitable, and the rights of people would disappear. For the first time in my history, I donated money, not once, but three times. In fact, my finger hovered over the donate button every time I got an email.
I am not the only person that felt this way. My friends have shared their stress levels and conviction if the country is led by the wrong man that devastation is certain to occur.
I was so riled up the other day that I forgot to eat, and I NEVER forget to eat.
Then, I remembered something: that my day-to-day life probably was not going to change much no matter who was in office.
The second thing I remembered was this: the anticipation of the worst possible scenario was creating my anxiety. None of what I feared HAD happened.
If you are a believer in the power of thoughts and that you are the creator of your thoughts, then if you’ve let the election get the best of you, you are out of alignment with you really are. The truth is that you, like me, have put far more faith into the problem than the solution.
There are many CEO’s and leaders in our country who can and have made a difference without the approval from the President of the United States. The push for equality and equity rarely start from our government. Yes, our leaders must pass legislation, but they are not the impetus behind the push for change.
Change arises from the people who are tired of oppression and believe that all folks regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, color, or religion have the right to be seen and heard. Take the NFL for instance. While there are zero college football programs for women, the NFL is leading the way for women to coach men in football.
Bruce Arians, head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was the first coach in NFL history to hire two full-time female coaches—assistant defensive line coach, Lori Locust, and assistant strength and conditioning coach, Maral Javadifar. Bruce hired the female coaches not under a mandate from the government, but rather a suggestion from his wife.
A friend of mine, Sharinda, created radical change a month ago when after witnessing individuals in a car dump a cat, then drive over it. Sharinda did what none of the other onlookers did that day. She went inside Walmart, got a box and towels, put the cat into the box and drove it to a veterinarian. Sharinda paid for the cat to be put to sleep and reported the incident so the vandals could be caught and punished. While it is illegal to torture animals, somebody must be willing to report the crime and do the right thing.
Did the government mandate the hiring of chief diversity officers? No. The shift in public response for equity, diversity, and inclusion grew the need for a more vibrant and supportive environment for underrepresented members of society.
Positive change can and does happen without the government. Positive change begins with a person like Bruce Arians or my friend, Sharinda. It begins with a person who believes in the best and seeks the best for all people.
I am not discounting the power of our President, but I am asserting that there are many day-to-day life altering experiences that do not need our government’s approval. You make decisions every day that are impactful. You have the freedom to be a responsible citizen, to be compassionate, and caring, to offer opportunities, and to stand up for what is wrong.
So, when you get anxious about the future of our great country, remind yourself that you can create a better country through your actions and words.
**Sherry Winn CEO/Founder of The Winning Leadership Company, www.thewinningleadershipcompany.com