The short answer is – It’s you’re life which means you can do whatever you want with it.
If this is the question you’re living into, consider this – if you felt that you truly ‘owned’ your life, telling your own ‘authentic story’, would you ask that question?
Imagine for a moment that your life is a pen. It’s your pen and you can keep it in your pocket forever or take it out and draw something. The question is if you want to draw or is something holding you back.
DOING V ACHIEVING
I know plenty of people who are satisfied exactly where they are but all of them want to be ‘seen’ a certain way. Personally, I believe this is ‘doing’ something with your life. You’re owning a deliberate choice to create a ‘persona’, a ‘way of being’ that demonstrates your values through your behaviours. I like to think of this as a goal to come from, rather
than a goal to achieve. It’s right at the heart of ‘well- being’… so long as the persona is yours.
CONDITIONS OF WORTH
I speak to people all the time who define themselves outside in, meaning via external comparisons (I’m like/not like her, or I don’t have ‘x’ therefore ‘y’). It extends to clothes, houses and social media likes. Is this a problem – not necessarily although if you’re continually changing your persona to ‘fit in’ this isn’t a good strategy for a fulfilled life.
The truth is, we all have a desire to fit in and belong, its part of our evolutionary past, but if we’ve created ‘conditions of worth’ for ourselves that mean we’re not telling our real story so that we can fit in and belong than we’re suppressing ourselves and our innate need to ‘be’ and express themselves for who we are. The irony is that the mask we wear are barriers to belonging because relationships are built with the mask, not the authentic person wearing it. This isn’t a good life strategy and it will not serve you long term.
I know we all want to be seen, heard, loved and valued for who we are and what we contribute. Think about it, we tend to respect those who share views and opinions because we’re all craving authenticity. If we’re not true to ourselves we’re likely to have regrets.
Bronnie Ware, wrote a book about the top 5 regrets of the dying while she was a palliative care nurse. In summary they are:
- Living a life true to oneself.
- Working too hard at the expense of other things.
- Not expressing their feelings.
- Losing touch with friends.
- Not ‘choosing’ to be happy.
My experience tell me it’s perfectly possible to be happy where you are. I also know this state isn’t permanent state because we grow, our thinking evolves and our life conditions change. Old answers are no longer satisfactory and we seek better ones. You can see this in the drive for the next job, house or car. You can also see it when more stuff doesn’t fill the hole within you and you ask things like ‘what am I doing with my life’.
I also know we try to convince ourselves of a different story but inside we can’t hide our secret dreams and fears that hold us back.
WHAT DO YOU
WANT TO GROW
The reality is that your life goals grow with you and if you want to be fulfilled and to avoid a life of regret you should lean into them. Most people don’t lean into them because of a negative story they’re telling themselves. This means most of us exist in a gravitational field between desperation and inspiration. Life is ‘ok’, we have enough to do something but not enough to do nothing. There are people in worse situations. The masks we wear are bearable, we plod on, doing things we don’t want to do, spending money we don’t really have all to impress people we don’t really like so we fit in and belong.
A LIFE THAT MATTERS
The question arises – are we living a life that is authentically ours and telling the story we really want to tell or are we on a hidden hamster wheel, exchanging relative comfort for real joy and all because we want to fit in?
I’m not advocating a life WITH A lofty purpose, although this is really powerful, I’m advocating living your life ON purpose. Owning the pen, drawing what you want, when you want to draw it, and being happy drawing, regardless what of what others think, because that’s their story and this is yours.
Sometimes we don’t know what to draw or feel like we can. If that sounds like you then why don’t we have a conversation. I’ll get you really clear on what is right and possible for you.