If the previous 2 articles in my Fulfilled and Free trilogy resonated with you even a little bit, if you feel that there are times that your own behaviour confounds you and isn’t easy to change, or that other people’s behaviour is incomprehensible and you would love to be more able to get the best from other people, maybe this last part of the trilogy will be of use to you.
The question here is “how do we choose to do things differently?” the most exciting part is the CHOOSE bit. It means we have the controls. We have the power after all!
This is a 10 step process of developing the ability to choose. This ‘choice making’ is done through building awareness and using reflection to bridge the gap between your conscious and unconscious.
1. Acknowledge the fear or longing you feel inside. Feel the void and own it. You may find another word for it, when you tune into the radio station of it. Maybe its fear, disappointment, anxiety, uncertainty, overwhelm or something equally uncomfortable.
2. Become aware of the search within yourself. Define it and know what your specific ego is seeking. What are you chasing? What underlies that? The answer may be something like: more money and fortune, or fame so I can feel enough.
3. Shine the light of awareness on the illusion which your ego mind concocted to solve the problem. This might look like: I’m chasing success, so I can find worth, to be thinner or fitter, because I want to be more physically acceptable and beautiful, so I can be socially acceptable and included, acknowledged, have more status, find relief from shame and feel valued. I’m chasing comfort so I can find relief from my inner turmoil, anger, fear, conflict. Consider all of these and find your own scenario.
4. Know who you are so you can be that, unashamedly. This might look like: I am joyful, gentle, kind, uncertain, visionary, wise, greedy, determined. Sometimes it helps to ask people in your life how they see you. Ask them for 3 words that describe you. See if you can see what they see. Don’t just seek the positive or the negative, get the full spectrum.
5. Allow the shame, vulnerability and fear of your own inadequacy to be there without moving to fade it or fix it. It is uncomfortable and might make your stomach tighten or your belly lurch, but it won’t kill you and it will pass. Accept it. It’s part of the human experience. Maybe it shows up as shyness, maybe negative self-talk, maybe the need to prove, maybe comparison and defensiveness. Whatever it is, tell yourself the truth about it and own it.
6. Keep striving to be the real you - speaking your truth, without watering it down. Even if it polarizes people and makes some dislike you. There are 7,5 billion people on earth. It’s fine if some don’t like you! Who cares? Start following your own inner compass and making the rules for yourself (the internal rules and your life rules).
7. Whatever recurrent thoughts you have, keep examining them. What is occupying that precious space in the front of your mind? If its food or weight, clothes, your persona and public identity, the money you want or are making or what other people think, this is a clue for you that your ego is in control. If it’s what people did or didn’t do or say, your ego is in charge. Gently push it into the passenger seat. Take back the steering wheel of your life. If its thoughts of gratitude and enjoyment of the pleasures of your life, then you are probably free. You will know, because you will feel satiated and at peace.
8. The void needs to be filled from inside of you, so make sure you are connecting the hose from your inner well to your inner space. This means finding your passion and pleasure and staying connected to them. Letting them be your guide. Spending your precious time on your pleasure and joy instead of driving and striving. Understand your own essence and express it with gay abandon.
9. Listen to that inner voice and write down what it says. If it isn’t speaking in kind and compassionate tones, encouraging and acknowledging you, then it’s doing you harm, not good. It is your ego voice unless it’s nurturing and kind. Compassionately take the microphone away from it!
10. If it always feels like it’s never enough, it’s your ego driving you. Try not to be lulled into following its drive. Seek rather what makes your heart sing and your body feel energized and light. Accept the fear that doing this creates. It will make you afraid. Do it anyway.
I think that if you even do one or two of these, you will feel the difference. Awareness is the key to shifting from proving and feeling it's never enough to feeling some inner power and gratitude. Don’t settle beautiful people, this is your life! It’s too important to ignore this. Take back the controls and choose joy day by day and hour by hour. Self-coaching is rough and tough. If you want some help, give me a yell and I will help you with this, or maybe even help your whole team, so you can be more coherent and collaborative. Remember, I do explore a lot of this in my book: The Sweet Spot, Energize Your Work And Life So You thrive.
Stay fulfilled and free!