Apple iOS 10 comes with a feature called Low Power Mode that “reduces the amount of power your iPhone uses until you can get a full charge.” Humans have a similar setting, and it’s called living below our potential. It comes standard and it’s a bug, not a feature.
I spent much of my adult career in this mode. Part of it was professional misalignment, and part of it was that I hadn’t yet done some important work I needed to do on myself. Regardless, it was wasn’t good for my employers and collaborators, and it certainly wasn’t good for me.
It’s a generous thing to call someone out, with love, when their light isn’t shining as brightly as it could. But care must be taken to not do damage when someone is fighting a hard battle in secret, and it’s best to be invited to that sacred space of candid feedback.
I say this because I’ve damaged relationships by providing “well-intentioned” feedback that was too harsh. That’s not fun to admit to myself, much less acknowledge publicly, but it’s the truth. Behind my harsh feedback was actually a fear of being called out for my own hiding and subpar performance.
It was a vicious cycle. As the saying goes, hurt people hurt people. My hope is that you show up in the world generously, and stand firmly in your truth, with love. We need a lot more of that.