Some of you have been going through some identity challenges with the opinions of others that are intended to break us to conform us. The intention, whether it is with ignorance or willful ignorance, stems from the idea of brute force compliance so their character is justified.

Your character is founded on values that are admirable. It is through an effort to better understand the needs of others to succeed with your personal goals. It is difficult and many will be more than happy to declare their toxic behavior as education.

Belittling and berating people for their exploration of their identity is never okay because there are values that are associated with it. I respect your exploration that will have very challenging moments. My professors have taught me a lot about what education really is.

Watching the professors in action and how they responded to me with my old beliefs and attitude–they taught me that teaching is a form of leadership that requires finesse and a form of respect that permits people the opportunity to be led to their own conclusions.

It is important to me to let you know that I believe that you are doing exactly what you need to do to discover your journey of growth. If people want to break you with comments that are intended to tear your identity down–ask yourself whether they are worth being a part of the resources for your success. Would you, as a leader of an organization, accept that behavior in your teams? Is that behavior something that you would consider an HR moment? If so and you are pushing for a business culture that fosters and promotes diversity and inclusion that is not enabling but empowering–then you know you are on the right path.

Some people are not meant to be a part of your army on your journey. Will it hurt? Yes. It will. I know because I’ve been there and have had to re-evaluate my relationships based on my boundaries that I revisit every year as my personal foundation with lessons that have been learned. It’s a part of the growth process that is necessary to become an effective leader.

I am saying that I believe, you are an amazing individual that has begun a path that caters more to others than a self-serving attitude that demands others to accommodate you. You are choosing a beautiful path of self-discovery to accommodate others. That’s what Adulting is all about. That is what great leadership is.