Why I Strongly Disagree with Simon Sinek

Why I Strongly Disagree with Simon Sinek by Christine Barnes

I’ll preface my response to this interview and video by stating that I do agree with Simon on a couple matters. For example, leadership does not necessarily equate to the highest ranking individual and small business owners aren’t always entrepreneurs. But there are four main ideas we don’t see eye-to-eye with hence the reason for this post.

I wouldn’t wish my path to this exact point on anyone as I’ve felt incredibly lonely at many different times, I’ve certainly questioned my sanity, and I’ve chosen to stand by my passion rather than listening to those closest to me. Yet, that is why I've marched on and I’ve decided to write and share this piece of my heart with the world. Because I cannot stand the thought of someone sitting back and putting their dreams off simply because they don’t have a support system of their own.

So let's dive right in.

Courage is absolutely an inside job.

You are doing people a grave disservice when you suggest courageous moves cannot be made without the belief and support of others. I stand firmly behind this statement with my most recent PIVOT as first hand experience. Sure, I have a number of people I am eternally grateful for who have my back regardless of my job title or the work I’m sharing with the world. But my transition from full time employee to full-fledged creative entrepreneur required more than the unrelenting support of my lifelines.

This move, my biggest both professionally and personally to date, was made completely by and for myself, but not until my self-belief outweighed that of anyone else around me.

The support of others is one thing.
An unshakable belief in yourself is an entirely different thing.

You can have an endless amount of people on your side but at the end of the day you must feel some extent of real joy and personal pride with your life otherwise you’re actually only living it for others. Beyond that, I knew I needed to arrive at this magical intersection of standing strong in my message and trusting that I had the ability to make my dream a reality. This newfound conviction was easily the biggest hurdle of my journey thus far, and I’d argue it is the exact reason many people find themselves stuck.

We are our toughest critics so it is not until we’ve convinced ourselves that we will then be able to feel the support others have for us. And, even then, there is no guarantee that things will remain the same.

The only constant in this life is change and that includes relationships

Look, it is solely your responsibility to pick yourself up and move forward after failures and successes alike. It is also then purely your responsibility to check in and switch things up if something no longer feels like it belongs or fits within the rest of your life and that which you are working toward.

It can be easy to lose ourselves and what we stand for as individuals when we begin relying on others to keep us afloat. It is crucial then that you are able to call on your courage whenever and wherever because relationships will shift and take on different forms.

A courageous life is available to you with or without the support of others.

My biggest qualm here is how quick Simon is to downplay or rule out courage because he insists it is not possible to live an extraordinary life without the help of others. Life is messy whether you are an entrepreneur, an employee, or somewhere in between those two and I’m not here to debate the positive impact that can be brought on by having genuine people in your corner. But waiting or banking on some stranger to believe in you and your dreams and simultaneously hoping their support will carry you over the threshold and in to your biggest goals is wasted effort and energy.

Stop waiting, stop wishing, start living.

You are going to fail and fall, unfortunately, because we all do. But you are beyond capable of becoming your biggest and bravest support system just as you are.

Here's the heart of the matter: courage is the ability to take action whether you have someone to fall back on or not because your confidence is more important than any potential encumbrance. It is full-heartedly taking the reins and responsibility within your own life.

Call me crazy, but courage is attainable and accessible for each of us even if it is buried deep beneath the surface because we’ve never been told or shown just how brave we can be within our own lives.