Get Up, Stand Up

kristina leonardi
Jul 26, 2019 · 4 min read
Photo credit: Kristina Leonardi of Andy Warhol painting at the Whitney Museum

One of the things I try to do when speaking to groups in career transition is put back the power in their hands and their hearts. I let you know that you should not accept your fate as victims of a system or think you are subject to the whims of the economy, conventional wisdom, how things appear on the surface, or any external voices — and that where there is a will there is a way.

I want you to find the connection, strength and truth of who you are, how you got to this moment, and then motivate you to make the changes necessary to grow and move forward in a positive direction in your career and life. I ask you to take back control of your job search, trust in the process, and often end in a half-jokingly way with my fist up and the rally cry: Power to the People!

It’s not that I ignore the cold, hard reality of the way the world works these days and how that might impact job prospects or a fulfilling existence, but I do want to wake folks up to the fact that they are not passive participants in life and that you have much more power over and responsibility for your situation than you might realize or want to admit. Which means you can’t blame anyone, and you probably just have to work a little harder or smarter to get the results you want.

We’ve collectively come to a crossroads where this could not be more true; we’ve allowed a variety of entities to take over, bombard and bamboozle our hearts and minds and bodies — whether governments, corporations, the military, Hollywood, or some combination of them all — and take advantage of our numbing tendencies, heads in the sand, electronic distractions or sheer need to survive the daily grind…how much longer can we take it?

With all the recent talk about spying, why not do some internal surveillance to observe and feel what’s going on in your life right now — what kind of tyranny is dictating your thoughts, words and deeds, consciously or subconsciously? Where can you take action, even if only symbolic, to show that you, not your oppressor, is in charge? What is your version of Tahrir, Taksim or Brasilia? What would Edith Windsor, Wendy Davis or Tim DeChristopher do in your situation? What Supreme Court judgments do you need to overturn or restore in your heart? How can you bend the rules in your favor without breaking them or engage in civil disobedience when they are no longer (or never were) valid or have become corrupted? Where do you need more courage in your life? What can you liberate yourself from?

As I always say, personal transformation is the key to social transformation, so if we want a better world we need to start with our own. Use that intelligence gathering to find something, someone, or some idea in your life that is holding you back — keeping in mind that this is often your own ego or limiting beliefs! Perhaps it is simply letting go of the image of who you think you are supposed to be or were told you are, or maybe it’s approaching a health issue, relationship or unemployment with forgiveness and a new point of view that puts you in the driver’s seat. Or maybe the most radical thing you can do is love yourself unconditionally.

Need a little help Shaking the Tree? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you find the Strength, Courage and Wisdom to Use the Force and create the life you so deserve!

Originally published on www.kristinaleonardi.com July 9, 2013

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Check out this very-roughly-edited-not-the-best-quality video of uninterrupted remarks wrapping up the workshop “Lead Yourself to Success (in Work & Life!)In this excerpt covering the final ten minutes, I summarize my thoughts about confidence, being a leader in your own life, maintaining your individuality and humanity in the times we live in, and why the world is relying on you to be successful.

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Speaker,Coach,Writer.Very Tall. Expertise:People. All kinds, what makes 'em tick, how they fit into the world, how they can best connect to themselves + others.

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