Radical Uplifting:
Support Through Show and Tell

Many were moved to tears listening to Professor Lisa Fairfax give one of the most heartwarming introductions for her college friend Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson before the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was an exquisite demonstration of support, only later equaled in comparison with the soul stirring affirmation by Senator Corey Booker after hours of grueling and hostile questions. THIS is radical uplifting – it’s the display of humanhood in its purest form and, in Judge Brown Jackson’s case, it moved her to tears. It’s a feeling we all can appreciate, and we saw it on full display in the viral picture of Judge Brown Jackson’s daughter onlooking as her mother sat before the committee, her husband behind her each day, and the outpouring of support from the general public. Here was a power woman, being radically uplifted even when she had ALL the goods.

I was recently interviewed in for an article about Power Women, where I dug deep to honor what that means to me. My biggest ah-ha in all of this is that feeling powerful doesn’t happen in a vacuum. We all need to be radically lifted up from time to time! Why?

We live in a world that requires such tenacity and perseverance, which means we need even more reminders of who we are and that we are enough! We’ve been conditioned to be depleted and even wear that as a badge of honor.

We face rejection over and over again – from the deepest levels of what it is to be human to the ideas that we are vulnerable enough to share. And we can face those rejections from the people that are ‘supposed to’ be the ones that love us the most. Our cups are depleted far too much than they are overflowing – and our humanhood is one of the greatest sources for our much needed replenishment.

For intentionally ignored individuals and communities, I can only imagine that standing in their full power is like standing up straight with a 300-pound dumbbell on your shoulders and having to carry that load 24 hours a day. And honestly, that’s still putting it mildly. We need to look no further than recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings to witness this firsthand.
On bad days and in tough seasons in our lives, as it can be hard to zoom out and remember what you’re made of. TRUST, as much as I try to tap into that knowing within, I still need a tribe that can help me remember who I am.

  • What can change in a person, with this kind of radical love and support?
  • What might they do as a result of feeling lifted off the ground by another?
  • What heavy burden might be laid down, even if for a few moments, when they are able to stand fully in all their glory and grace?

I’ve recently been reminded of what it feels like to be on the receiving end of what becomes possible when you’re radically uplifted. I had to put some materials together that spoke to my superpowers, and I enlisted the support from one of my ride-or-dies. I knew she was going to be a cheerleader and that she might point out some things I wasn’t acknowledging about myself, but WOW, she took it to a whole different level!

What she did for me is the radical lifting I’m talking about – through emphatically and without hesitation, telling and showing me how much she believed in me and my superpowers. Her showing came in the form of voluntarily editing and re-editing until we were both beaming with pride and excitement. It put me on a high that lasted for days, which led to more creativity, which led to me believing in myself more, which led to my cup being overflowing such that I could be a radical uplifter for even more people.

And the crazy thing to me is that this kind of powerful giving also opens the floodgate to even more joy. It’s like getting the nutrients from the water that you are giving because it’s passing through your body first.   

Just to be clear here, I’m not talking about compliments and I’m not even talking about cheerleading. I’m talking about a deeper, divine, radical uplifting that comes from another person deeply believing in you. It doesn’t necessarily matter if they’ve known you for 5 minutes or 15 years – because that kind of radical uplifting is coming from truth.

I think we can all tap into and hone the ability to radically uplift others. This is the ability to allow ourselves to see another person, not just who they are today, but what they are capable of and then TELL them and as much as we can, SHOW them.

What is Radical Uplifting?

Radically uplifting someone is to see beyond their human flaws, mistakes, past actions and current circumstances to know what goodness is there. It’s about suspending judgements and even your own limiting beliefs about what’s possible, because you have a deeper knowing that so much more is available to them. It’s about planting not just a seed, but a whole flowering tree for them to see who they are in this moment, because they have lost the ability to see the forest all together.

Radically uplifting another human is not to be reserved for your best friend or family member. In fact, I think it can be even more powerful when you do this for someone you don’t know as intimately well. And it’s 100% needed in our working environments.

When was the last time you emphatically supported someone? Was it through telling them or showing them?

I think both telling and showing are incredibly valuable – especially when you consider that different people have different love languages and different needs. If we put all of this into a context of your work environment and putting allyship and co-conspiratorship into meaningful action, well then you have a real revolution, don’t you?

So how do radically lift another person up to a whole new vibration?

Radical Uplifting Through Telling 

When you’re standing up for someone or standing in front of the person you are emphatically supporting, you have to get your whole body in on the action. Let yourself feel that conviction for their greatness. Breathe into it. Feel into it. What would it look like if you saw this as a calling – to be in such deep support for another? An image of a picket line of sorts comes to mind – leaning over the barrier with passion in earnest to get someone’s attention – to get someone to really hear what you’re saying.

Why so intense, you may be asking yourself? Because wheeewwww, there are so many forces that are telling people otherwise; both internal AND external. This isn’t a #yougotthis conversation, energetically it sounds more like:

YOU GOT THIS from the tip of your toes to the top of your head! You were BORN to get this! You didn’t overcome each hurdle over the past 25 miles just to stop now! NO!! This is the moment to buckle in and KEEP GOING because you’ve done it in the past and you can do it again!

Remind people who they are. The very best of what you see in them and what you know to be true of what they have done already. You may not even be able to know the vastness of their potential – but you know it’s there.

Some of the most riveting Oscar speeches remind people to dream big and keep believing in themselves. Big, sweeping curtsey to queen, Ariana Debose. What if you took this kind of energy she had and pour it into the person across from you?

You have the potential to get a moment like the one with Supreme Court Justice Nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson and Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. To me, that was radical uplifting and THAT is revolutionary love.
And beyond telling, there is showing. Perhaps not unlike the famous line “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”

Radical Uplifting Through Showing:

Companies have an unbelievable opportunity to seize this moment and invest in putting the heartbeat back Telling and words of affirmation are powerful and important and impactful. There is more that we can do, if we want to accelerate the revolution. We can ask ourselves:

  • What privilege might we have?
  • What access might we have? What doors can we open?
  • What resources do we have that could enable another person to go beyond where they are?
  • What opportunities can be created?

There’s a reason why there’s a delineation between words like allyship and co-conspirator. It revolves around actioning the words we speak. It’s about follow-through and commitment.

There’s a difference between SAYING you believe in someone and then SHOWING them. Same goes for romantic love, right? Don’t tell me you love me, show me in a way that actually means something to ME.

Even asking the question; ‘what can I do to support you’ is a wonderful way of showing people you are willing to take an action that is within your power to do.

But pleaaaseeee, pay attention to your follow through. Because showing loses so much of its power when you drop the ball.

What It Looks Like, Is Where YOUR Magic Comes In

I’ve used a few examples here that might not be everyone’s style – and that’s ok, this isn’t meant to be a blueprint. It’s the thumbprint that YOU put on the radical uplifting that fuels the power of it all.

It can look like advocating behind closed doors, warning a colleague of a shit-storm they’re about to walk into, mentoring someone who needs some guidance or declining a project to give someone else an opportunity.

It can look like leaving strollers at the train station for refugees crossing the border, buying your neighbor who just worked a 12 hour shift a treat from the bakery, handwriting a note of thanks to someone you just met, or whispering the word ‘persevere’ to a stranger when you feel in your gut they needed to hear those words.

It can look like a rainbow of emojis texted at just the right moment, because you chose to think about who might be struggling in your life. And it can even look like writing a blog post to share a vulnerable experience in support of others who are going through the same thing.

Your flavor of radical uplifting is what gives it the authenticity and meaning. There are no should’s or supposed to’s, it’s simply an honoring of what you have to offer to another human so that they might remember who they are.

The Transformation Starts Here

Standing in my power and owning it has been a transformation in and of itself, but it’s not a one-and-done process. I have to transform over and over to shift my own trajectory to higher and higher ground. A key to this work is giving myself permission to truly receive radical uplifts from others and also giving them generously over and over again.

I believe that if you made just a 1% upgrade to lifting another person up, we would have exponential results. I also believe that these tiny shifts are what ignites the corporate culture revolution that we need so desperately.

Cheers to the transformation AND revolution. ?

Are you wondering how I might be able to support you in your personal or organizational transformation? If so, let’s get right to it; book a complimentary 30-minute exploratory call.

Additional content you may be interested in:

Corporate Culture Revolution: A Call For Marketers to Lead the Way

Influencing Company Culture

The Revolutionary Act of Redefining Success



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