Doctors, gurus, teachers, politicians, bosses, friends, colleagues, movie stars, parents….
We listen to all of these and more, taking in what we think we “should” do or believe, rather than exploring what lives in our own personal beliefs or longing.
We tie ourselves in knots trying to please these people, making sure we’re “acceptable” based on some external definition of what “acceptable” is.
Then we spend years trying to undo the knots and align with our True Selves.
I’m not saying we should ignore everyone around us. I’m not saying other people don’t have something worthwhile to teach us or share with us.
There’s a tremendous amount of valuable information out there to consider, but none more valuable than what comes from your own inner wisdom.
Once we receive the information, it’s up to us to discern what’s worthy of integrating and digesting for us specifically. We aren’t required to take it all in, and we’re certainly not required to make it our own.
How many more stories are we going to adopt without considering what our own personal story truly is?
I find that one of the most difficult questions for my coaching clients to answer is, “What do you really want for yourself?”
This may not seem like such a difficult question on the surface, but once you start digging into it, you might find that you’ve really become disconnected from what you value, what you care about and what you want.
When we lose connection with our inner compass that aligns with our true values and sense of purpose and meaning, we give our power away. We become soul-sick and depleted. We feel lost and succumb more easily to stress and fear.
So how do we stop tying ourselves in knots, and re-align with our inner wisdom to guide us?
- Align – Take time to determine and ensure you are aligned with your values. Really ask yourself what you value, why it matters, and how you are or aren’t aligned with those values. Then begin taking action to align step by step.
- Pause – Take a deep breath and separate yourself from the information coming at you. Discern what feels resonant, and what doesn’t.
- Question – As you try to discern what resonates or not, question what you’re taking in. Is it coming from a trusted source? What makes the source trusted? How does it relate to or align with your personal values?
- Integrate – Once you determine what you want to take in, make it your own. Learn and truly understand more about it. Don’t take it in simply as a regurgitation of what you heard or saw. Embody and express it as a part of you and how you want to show up in the world. If it doesn’t feel good to do this, it’s probably not for you.
- Release – If there’s any hesitation, even when it feels right for you, perhaps you’re holding on to fears of judgment or of disappointing others. It’s time to release your attachment to what others think of you, and let go of any fears of not being accepted.
To align, pause, question, integrate and release are not easy to do. Rarely can we simply flip a switch and implement these practices.
Be gentle with yourself. Seek support and guidance. Have patience, and take things step by step, one moment and experience at a time.
And if you’d like help to embody these practices more confidently, know that I’m here to support you.