What do I value? What do I stand for? How do my actions in all aspects of my life reflect this?
These are some questions that have been brewing around my heart. I say my heart because my mind has always had questions crowding it, worries elbowing their way in, eliminating any room for what is most important. My body has become a compass- tightening in the chest, weight between my shoulder blades, heaviness of my eyes- all pointing to my true North. These physical sensations are all indicators that I’m off course or there’s an obstacle in my way. For years, I’ve ignored the messages. Soldier on. Work harder. Ignore, ignore, ignore.
From an early age, I developed an awareness or a thought that to be perfect would make things “OK.” I was never looking for a level of living beyond OK. Not good, not great, never Amazing or Awesome. This was developed before I left elementary school. It’s no one’s responsibility, fault, or intention. My exact experience or story is not important nor are the choices I have made as a result of acting on the story and messages. What is important is how many times I ignored what my body was trying to tell me. “This isn’t right.” “You deserve more.” “It’s OK to say NO to this.” “Walk away.” “Hey—don’t you want to try this?”
Ignoring the messages of my body, accepting the messages from my childhood, and working on Perfect all lead to the erection of my wall of Professionalism. Polished Suzie. Poker face Suzie. SO MANY TIMES I’ve been complimented and rewarded for this version. What would happen if I allowed the less manicured version of myself to shine?
Today, I’m more invested in my reputation as described by all of my stakeholders. How do they see me? How do I show up with them? This version of reputation isn’t one that I’m trying to craft but is one that is reflected to me. My stakeholders, my community, my tribe- they are my mirror. How close am I to my true North based upon their reflections?
Ironically, now that my actions are guided by my choices and in alignment with what I value versus being forced by “Shoulds” and “Have to’s,” life doesn’t look much different on the outside. But, there’s a lot more room on the inside for what’s important. My life is far from perfect, it is very messy, but it is on the path to Awesome.
Questions for your consideration: What is your true North? What is getting in the way of you following it? How do your actions reflect what you value?