New announcement. Learn more

"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."
Earnest Hemingway.


Drawing a line in the sand.

A point beyond which one will not go; a limit to what one will do or accept.

Where is your line?

Do you have one?

Did you have one that has been blurred or rubbed out?

Have you surrendered it?

This blog is not informational it is conversational. It is an invitation to figure it out together.

In a world that is becoming increasingly “anything goes” and yet “extremely polarised and rigid”, I have been struggling with where my lines are. And it has led me to take a step back to assess what my personal convictions are. Where are my ‘points beyond which I will not go’? Where is my ‘limit to what I will do or accept’? I think it is important for us to know. In a world of uncertainty and blur, I think we need to have some certainty and clarity about where we stand.

Here is another word, conviction: A firmly held belief or opinion. Being firmly convinced.

So, what do we do with that then? As leaders, do we enforce our convictions on others? Do we inspire them to follow? Do we force them to follow? Or do we get clear on where we are and then make space for others to stand with us or follow us and for them to not follow if they so choose? Are we really okay with that? Are we secure enough to still make space for others whose convictions are different or opposite to us? Can we still make space to learn from each other without having to sacrifice what is most important to either of us?

There is a part of me that remains flexible and open to learning and growing, staying curious because I know I don’t know everything AND there are parts of me that are firmly convinced about things and there is a definite line in the sand, standing by my convictions and being willing to suffer for them is a consequence of my decision.

I recently got to chat with a parent whose child has drawn a line in the sand, and who is standing by their convictions, it is not popular, and the child is facing some pushback from others because of it. The parent is hurting for that child and in their attempt to protect that child from pain, they are on a mission to remove other people’s lines so that their child will not experience the pain of standing alone and facing the consequence of their conviction. I don’t think that is the answer, and yet I don’t have the answer for it either. I feel like we are stepping into dangerous ground here if we celebrate avoiding pain or suffering instead of teaching them to journey through it.

How do we as leaders create spaces where people can stand in their convictions and be allowed to face the consequences of them and still create a space of being resilient? How do we create spaces where going to the messy middle is not only allowed but encouraged?

Entrepreneurs have hero status now, but in the past, they were viewed with suspicion and a fair bit of contempt. They were seen as chancers and dreamers. They had to stand by their conviction and forge a way forward. That toughness to draw a line in the sand and continue despite the pushback is what created resilience in them. It created the tenacity to push through and weather the storms.

I am worried for that parent and a world that wants to mould the world into safe and beige place, so nobody feels the discomfort of being on the other side, I am worried for a world that becomes so PC in the fear of offending anyone that we lose our ability to stand in any conviction and have clear lines of what makes us different.

I am worried for a generation who never faces any kind of pushback or suffering, who never has to feel the sting of rejection and yet decides to still make their stand in the face of it without it breaking them. We should be helping them with the tools to make it through to the other side of the struggle in the midst of being misunderstood, we should be teaching them that what others think of them is none of their business. We should be teaching them to celebrate their differences and not to become beige and faceless, emotionless and voiceless. AND we should be teaching them to be respectful of others who have a different view from them and how to agree to disagree but stay curious.

Resilience is best learnt while the pressure comes and we show them how to stand back up again, draw the line in the sand and yet be flexible enough so the pressure doesn’t snap us. I wonder what the long-term consequence of protecting them from any kind of suffering is. Could it be that they never learn the skills to know where their lines are and how to respect where others are too?

What do you think?


This product has been added to your cart