Writer, Advisor + Consultant

The art of contradiction

The Art of Contradiction and Showing up as a Leader in Your Life:

I see it everywhere (myself included) and specifically, in the business world:

Being told to do one thing yet the business owner is doing something completely different.

Being told not to follow a generic system, and then being sold a generic system

Being told not to spend your money on endless programs and then being sold a program

Contradiction is everywhere.

And it’s not necessarily all bad. After all—as human beings we tend to change our minds. We tend to change our opinions, and we tend to say things we may not always believe without even realizing it.

Have you ever heard something come out of your mouth where you took a moment to pause – hear and reflect what you just said, and then say or feel: “Damn, I take that back—I don’t believe that!”

Or have you ever given advice that you’re not taking yourself? It’s the funniest quote I heard from a friend when she (sort-of) jokingly said “Take my advice—I’m not using it”

And so the art of contradiction is that we don’t always mean to be ill-meaning. It’s not always a ploy, scam, or mal-hearted.

As Osho teaches: contradictions are a creative doorway: “I don’t want your mind to be convinced by me, I want to relate to your heart”

According to Osho contradictions are helpful because they force people to decide for themselves what is true and right.

You see advice is all over the place:

You can get advice reading a book, blog, taking a course, listening to somebody you admire, or getting a tarot reading

But advice is nothing more than possibilities—which can contradict itself.

Often there will come a time when the teacher or person you look up to will say things you don’t agree with or that contradict their own behavior. It’s important to listen with your heart so that you don’t blindly follow what you’re told if it doesn’t feel right (and especially if your inner guidance is directing you to a better doorway).

The art and lesson of contradiction is to take a moment to pause, and choose to re-become (or become for the first time) the CEO of your life. The CEO of your business—which means making your own decisions.

Don’t build a Facebook Business page if you don’t want to. Don’t create a business plan if you don’t want to. Don’t buy an online course or consulting session if you don’t want to. Don’t take any advice from anybody unless it resonates. Unless you want to. Unless your inner guidance is telling you: Yes, THIS will be helpful, this is the correct step forward.

At the heart of it all is learning to trust yourself, and having the confidence in your ability to be the boss in your life and make your choices.

Make up your mind. Make your own decisions.

I know, it sounds simple, and yet it’s likely one of the hardest things on the planet because one thing I’ve seen through many different modalities that I’ve taught, is that people like to be led. People enjoy a step-by-step framework, people enjoy a system, and often people would rather be told what to do than have to make up their own decision.

Because making a decision means you’d have to be accountable and responsible for your own actions. Because when we make a decision there’s always a fear that we may be making a mistake. Because when we make a decision we may be left wondering about the other options.

But here’s the deal: if you want to lead your life and lead your work: the only way to lead is to make your own decisions.

Even when you hear a multitude of contradictory opinions from various sources, or even within one source, or somebody you deeply admire, you need to cultivate the ability of discernment: to decide for yourself what is true, what is right, and to own your final decision.

This pertains to business, what we eat, how we exercise and how we choose to interact with the world. What we say yes to, what we say no to. What we believe, what we act upon.

We have a mind: it is a gift to use our mind. Our mind is often blamed as the place of ego or monkey mind, but our mind is also a sacred gift when we use it wisely: when we use it to tap into our intuition and make our own decisions based on what feels right from within: from the soul. This is the way of the soulful entrepreneur, this is the way to be a leader in your life.

What do you think?

(Because after all, I may contradict myself tomorrow, I may not even agree with what I wrote, and that’s OK. Because that is the gift: the ability to change our mind, to change our opinion, and to be open to learning and open to seeing things in a new way)

I’d love to hear from you in the comments



6 comments… add one
  • Maria May 17, 2015,

    I think that tere is a need of deep reflextion on the ways to make peace between the geneticaly european cultural notion of progress and the reallity of one’s fulffiling life/business or the society’s fulfilling existence. The gap the very powerfull notion of progress created between a kind of largely recognised “general aim and purpose” and the reallity of the life is (I think) is the main reason of why we are so willing to find the best “step by step guidance” and the unproportionante fear of “making mistakes” many humans in the european like cutural contexts suffer.

  • anthony April 18, 2015,

    Thanks Tova. I am a big fan of blogs that support creative thinking.
    And congrats Janet. I’ve always been curious to know if places ads work out,keep us updated

    • Tova Payne April 18, 2015,

      Thank you Anthony 🙂

  • jsnjan April 16, 2015,

    Right on T! I promoted myself to CEO this morning and gave my inner CFO the green light to place an ad in the classifieds.Felt good to be the boss of Me!♡

    • Tova Payne April 16, 2015,

      Wow, Thanks Janet, and that is Great news to hear! 🙂


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