Too often we try to fit into a box; fit what we think people want us to be. It is in those times that we diminish our self-worth and authenticity by being someone we are not. How many times can you identify when you didn’t weigh in because you were afraid to be seen as loud, controlling, a know-it-all, or a brown noser? How many times have you kept great ideas or solutions to yourself because you believed your role was to make someone else feel bigger?
I do not believe that there is a right or wrong way to assess yourself, but I do believe it is imperative that you challenge yourself to look deep. Being self-aware isn’t easy but it is an invaluable experience.
Has someone ever told you that your standards are too high? Yeah, I’ve heard it a time or two or daily. Pre-30’s, I would have immediately sprang into action to change my standards to match what was said.
You may have said those words or a version of them when you were younger but didn’t realize just how profound they become as you age. It is correct to say that no one is the boss of you because you are the boss of you. My friend’s granddaughter is so far beyond her three years. She said to her grandmother, “Nana, you not the boss of me. I the boss of me.” What a smart child.
Does vulnerability equal weakness versus strength? Well, for years I believed vulnerability was synonymous with weakness. Vulnerability is defined as the quality or state of being expose to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally. We have been taught that being vulnerable leaves us open to attack, to being taken advantage of, to being helpless or worse, to be perceived powerless.
“Speak your truth, no matter if your voice shakes.” Enough said. Okay maybe I could say a little bit more about it. Standing in your truth is a cute catchphrase that we hear often. But what does it mean? Does it mean if your “truth” is harsh, you can say it regardless of who you hurt? Arguably, no. There are so many people who know me that are reading this right now like “Whatchu talking bout Willis?” Bear with me ok.
Some thoughts are meant just for you. That sentence seems innocuous but honey let me tell you, it was life changing for me a little over a year ago. Through my former job, I was fortunate enough to work with a leadership coach. The first time I met my coach, when he walked into the room, I immediately felt like an investigative reporter – Who is he? Where did he come from? How did he learn to exude such confidence? How did he learn to put other people at ease all while delivering some harsh truths?
There are two schools of thoughts on this. Some “experts” tell you to focus on your strengths versus your weaknesses and others tell you to do the opposite. So who do you listen to? As the overarching theme of this website dictates, you listen to what is true in your life. I know that if I focused on my strengths rather than my weaknesses, then I would be an amazing hermit who excelled at her job counting widgets in the corner of a dark factory.
Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with gold or silver. It treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to hide or cause the object to be discarded. The repaired piece becomes unique and different from all others of its kind. Is it just me or can you see the applicability of this principle to people? No? Wait for it...
Does this sound familiar? You just hung up the phone and you are staring off into the distance unable to process what just happened. The person who was supposed to love you unconditionally and protect your heart, just broke it. The person who you thought was your forever turned out to be just another life lesson. The person who you saw sitting next to you on the front porch in the matching rocking chair 20 years from now, just said you were no longer their person.
Thomas Merton: “Five years from now you should look back on your life today and think you were a heretic.” I know Thomas Merton was speaking in terms of spiritual change and progress but I think it is a great quote for helping to keep us honest on our journey to living this BAM life.
So have you? You can read my mission statement in the About section of the website. I thought mission statements were only for businesses and organizations. Is a mission statement necessary for an individual? Well, I am writing about it so I will say yes it is. In all seriousness, an individual’s mission statement serves the same function as an organization’s mission statement.
What does it mean to live this BAM life? Being transparent, as I brainstormed what I wanted my website to be about, I knew it had to be about the life lessons I have learned and my desire to share them with others. Moreover, as I thought about the words that personified me and my experience, I saw a trend. The words that kept resonating with me centered on a theme of boldness, authenticity and meaningfulness.
“Be unrelenting in determining who you want to be and simply be that person.” I heard this on one of the many podcasts I listen to and it resonated with me. At the time I was struggling with a characteristic of mine that I was trying to change and was about to give on. (I truly wish I could remember which podcast gave me this gem!) That quote and the ensuing discussion helped me to refocus my efforts. I recommitted to making the change because I realized that though difficult, it was integral to who I was becoming.
The main theme fueling my determination of reasonableness is predicated upon one thing: does what I am doing, going to do, or being asked to do, destroy my peace. What this means is that I value my peace above all other intangible things. If I am doing something, considering doing something, or being asked to do something, you can be guaranteed that I will say no 100% of the time, if ultimately it destroys or will destroy my peace.
I really know that I am not perfect by any definition. Being transparent, I no longer seek perfection. A long time ago I recognized that perfection was the root of my unhappiness and my remaining stuck in the same place year after year. To be clear, from the outside looking in, I was successful but knowing the gifts God has blessed me with, I was not living to my fullest potential.
Just like one of the overarching themes of this website, I do what is authentic to me and who I am striving to become. Therefore, that means again that my definition of success and yours will be and should be different. My definition of success encompasses measures from different areas of my life.
So what if the person criticizing you… is you? I don’t know about you but I am often my worst critic. If I had enemies that spoke to me like my inner voice does at times, I would swear I was being bullied. Be best, right…? So then why do I still allow these thoughts to continue? Because it is always what I have done? Well, I am working on stopping the negative self-talk but it can be harder than you think.
To know me well is to know that I hold my reputation near and dear because I believe that your reputation is all that you have. I’m sure that will be the subject of another post one day but for now, let’s focus on what he said that caused me to reflect longer than usual.
DAILY REFLECTION!!! Yaasss! I am excited about this topic. Why you ask? Because this simple thing changed my life. I have to say that prior to my completing daily reflections, I thought I was just winning at life. I wholeheartedly believed that I was an amazing boss, a great person, and a good mom, daughter, sister, and friend.
Before we talk about how to live a meaningful life, do you know what constitutes a meaningful life? As you suspected, that answer will ultimately be different for each person but fear not here is a basic place to start. Living a meaningful life encompasses developing...
Does living boldly mean jumping out of an airplane, running for office, and embracing new ideas, experiences, and people? Yes and no. Wait for what…? Yes, it means those things and no, it doesn’t mean those things. Oh boy, why did you start reading this post, right!!!...
Freedom is being you without anyone’s permission. – Buddha Do you really know yourself? Do you know what you believe in, stand for, and won’t settle for? Are your beliefs those of your parents? Have you ever stopped to question your beliefs? I have. I have questioned...