You know those people who tell you that you can have/do/be anything you want in your life?
Like unlimited power and freedom? Incredible results personally and professionally? Like anything is possible?
For the longest time, I hated those people. HATED. With a fiery rage.
I've come to see why, and it's a little sad but I'll tell you about it.
Basically, I was doing this health coach thing for years and still felt like my life wasn't working. Why wasn't I happy? Why wasn't I feeling fulfilled? I was doing all the right things! Eating good things often, bad things less often, sleeping, exercising, all that. But my relationship was falling apart. Everyone and their mother was up in my business about my transition, asking really intrusive questions. I wasn't losing weight. My business wasn't growing. I wasn't getting opportunities I wanted.
So, eventually I got angry. I hated those uber-positive people on all the social media telling me to love more. NO. No. I needed money and recognition, not love. Screw that.
Then I hit the wall.
I'll spare the details and leave that for my book, but basically I came to see that I was holding myself back and getting in my own way. Me. Moi. Those things I craved weren't coming because I was giving the Universe mixed-messages. I was in complete and utter internal conflict with what I said I wanted to feel or have and what I was doing to actually make it happen.
And the worst part? I didn't even SEE that I was doing this.
It didn't feel like that at the time. I felt like I was in a hamster wheel doing all the things I could think of to make progress, personally or professionally. But it was the WAY I was doing it all that was the problem. Perspective showed me this, nothing else. Not even the many people who kept trying to tell me. Because I am one stubborn person, indeed.
Can I share the perspective with you that finally helped me?
Here's the thing: you're smart. You've lived a pretty decent life so far, hopefully. You've done many things. Seen a lot. You have certain skills and strengths and abilities, all that. You've collected things from experiences you've had--either some lessons learned from living your life to literal skill-building in school(s) over the years. And all that has gotten you really far.
But you're stuck right now. Maxed out. At your limit. Something isn't working. Except you might not being seeing yourself as the source of making it work well or better. You might think everyone else is the problem. You might see yourself as doing everything right, but everyone else isn't on board and that's where the breakdown is.
Personally or professionally, you are the source to make or break something.
It's intense that you're that powerful--I know. But you are. It's your life, after all. And it's unfolding according to choices, habits and behaviors you're practicing day in and day out.
If it's working well, I'm glad! It might mean you're being really effective and perhaps even loving your life. I hope you are, anyway.
If it isn't working well, are you seeing yourself as the source as to why? I'm not saying you are to blame (this isn't a guilt thing) but are you blaming other people? Do you see yourself as doing things "right" and people just can't get on board? Or they don't understand you? Or they aren't listening to you?
Are you coming from the perspective that "if everyone would just _________________" then things would be perfect.
Have you considered this is actually why things aren't working? I mean, it could be those people--sure. But what if, WHAT IF, you chose to see yourself as the source for something working or not working? What if you totally shifted or transformed your point-of-view (POV) and saw things differently? What would be possible for you, in your personal or professional life? (not that they are separate, because wherever you go, there you are)
OK. Enough hypothesizing. You need some actual advice. Here ya go.
Consider these three ways you can see yourself as the source moving forward:
Be Responsible: I don't care whether you're the boss or not. Consider everything, EVERYTHING, is your job. You are responsible. I don't mean you have to actually DO IT ALL but you can consider that you could do anything that's asked or needs to be done. Anything versus everything. There's a distinction. Do you see it? Nothing is above or below you and your capacity. If something you did goes right, you can take credit. If something you did goes wrong, you can step up to make it work better. This goes for conversation, too. That's another blog post coming soon. For now, just sit with this one.
Listen Better: If you're multitasking, you aren't listening. The human brain can only process so much at once. Yes, even yours, as magnificent as it is. As soon as you take your focus away from someone, you cease to listen to them. You might hear them, but I'm not talking about hearing. You can HEAR noise all day. When you want to be the source of something working, you need to listen to people. Otherwise, you're adding to the miscommunication. Here's something else: when someone is talking, are you listening to their voice or the one in your own head? Are you constantly judging and assessing their words? Are you waiting for a chance to speak? To be right? To justify yourself? Get off the hook? Correct, redirect, etc.? Have you even just listened to someone without waiting for your turn to talk? Try it. It will change your life!
Stop with the Shoulds: This is like listening, but it's specifically about your expectations. It's not wrong to have goals. It's not wrong to have aspirations. It's not wrong to have boundaries or ideals. It's not wrong to have hopes, even! But as soon as it goes from COULD to SHOULD, that's you being the source of forcing something to happen. An agenda. Limited possibilities. You're attached. Fixed. Inflexible. You're "right". Someone is "wrong". Yikes! What if your version of right isn't actually right at all? This could show up as "people shouldn't be doing that" or "it should have been done this way". Bringing that kind of energy to personal or professional interactions pretty much guarantees another person will resist, deflect or react in some way. Physics is a thing, after all.
Give these three ways of being a try for two weeks. Focus on using them in personal relationships and professional ones and see what you're the source of shifting in the next 14 days.