This is the first post celebrating 25 years of running my own business. I plan to do a series on things I have learned so stay tuned
I wanted to begin with this question Who are you really because as a coach, I see a lot of focus on who I want to be, what I want to do, how to be successful, how to make money, etc. It's all about rushing forward to change, or to find your "authentic" self.
You are already yourself. Sometimes it just takes a little digging to clarify those traits....a little bit like bringing a diamond up from the mine in it's rough form and then through polishing and cutting making it as beautiful as it can be. It's still an "authentic" diamond in both forms....the latter just lets the beauty shine through for maximum effect.
Oscar Wilde said it best" Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken".
My question is how can you do that if you don't have a baseline from which to work? One of my toughest challenges is to slow down my clients so we can explore this before moving forward. We have been conditioned to do everything quickly, to multitask, to be uncomfortable with stillness and silence. Look around at the rise of meditation or similar techniques to still our busy minds.
So "who are you really?"
What are your values? What are the key themes in your life, which, you see over and over again?
How would you answer these questions?
What lines will you not cross? Where do you draw the line in the sand?
What brings tears to your eyes? Often we bury our deepest emotions and they come our when we read a moving poem/book, watch a movie, hear a song ...why does it touch you? Can you identify that wellspring of emotion?
What haunts you? What images hurt your heart?
What makes you really angry?
What injustice or unfairness sets your teeth on edge?
What do you believe is wrong?
What can't you stop yourself from fixing? What forces you into action?
What brings you joy?
What makes you want to dance or sing?
What makes you smile?
What brings you peace/a sense of calm?
What gives you goose bumps?
What do you believe is right?
What do you want to share with people?
Often it's easier to identify our values by looking at the opposite of things which make us angry. For example what if you get really upset at people ostracizing someone because they are gay? You may have a value of fair play, of treating people equally.
What about people cutting in line in front of you? Your value could be "doing the right thing" or treating others with respect.
Your values are your template, which you can lay over any situation in your life to see what's the right thing to do for you. You always know when you take the time to listen to what your inner self is saying.
So you can see why sometimes our values are at odds with what we think we should be doing.... for example if you have a value of loyalty, but your work environment steps on that value time after time, how happy can you be?
I have worked with clients where their values were being trampled and this resulted in physical illness due to the difficulty of trying to reconcile two opposing views.
So "who are you really?"
Is there a gap between who you are and how you act?
In the next blog post we will explore ways to close that gap.
If you want a session on clarifying your values contact me.