Let me preface this post acknowledging the challenges I’m describing are challenges of the relatively privileged. Without our basic needs like safety, security, food, and shelter being met we can’t truly consider actively making choices that support our social, emotional, or spiritual growth. If you’re reading this post, I gently challenge you to ask yourself, “Who am I? Who do I want to be?’ and “what do I want to contribute?”
The last few years have provided an abundance of fodder for life contemplation – as well as large blocks of time for many of us to call into question the way we’ve been living our lives – for better or for worse.
Like you, I’ve done a lot of soul searching and questioning the choices I was making. Thus far, Moxxie has been a vehicle for me to add some good juju to the world, share the real me (terrifying!), and really consider who I am and how I want to show up in the world. Leaving behind the traditional business and education worlds has – in a HUGE way – been confronting.
I realized recently that I successfully transitioned out of who I was before – someone who chose security and worked to fit the standard of who I thought I should be. I’d left behind the respectable monikers, ‘teacher,’ ‘administrator,’ ‘project manager,’ and ‘course developer,’ before realizing that I had no new identity to – well – identify with.
I’d been working so intently on extricating myself from the traditional world when it first occurred to me that I was only vaguely aware of who I wanted to be, it was scary as hell. It was scary not having that sense of identity to hold on to – to retreat into as a safe haven. But – it was also (and continues to be) exhilarating to throw away the versions of myself that no longer serve me and nurture a new, consciously created way of being.
Take the Leap Toward Who You Want to Be
I am not at ALL trying to steer you away from a deep dive into figuring out who you really are and how you want to be in this world. Quite the opposite! I encourage you to begin examining how you spend your days – what truly lights you up – how you want to feel on a daily basis. However, I’m letting you know that throughout the process you will stumble. For every two steps forward, doubt may drag you back one. Some days you’ll feel invincible. Others you’ll feel freaked out. But eventually, you’ll begin to create a mental vision board. You’ll figure out what feels right and worth keeping and you’ll identify what feels rotten and figure out a way to let it go or at least loosen its hold over you.
Life changes us. Experiences mold us. Expecting ourselves to settle into a lifelong static definition of who we are is not only unrealistic but also unhealthy. If the last few years have prompted you to watch the movie of your life and consider making some changes, you’re not alone.
Consider this – at any point in our lives, we can choose to watch our own movie and decide if it still reflects who we’ve become in the last number of months, years, decades.
Practical Tips for Becoming Our Real Selves
I invite you to spend some time reflecting and perhaps making some adjustments that will allow you to begin to let go of the past version of you – maybe a version others assigned to you that has never felt quite right.
I don’t have a lot of practical tips about how to get from the old you to the new you. That’s not what this post is about. You can get there any way you darn well choose to get there. I don’t care if you have an ugly-crying revelation that something has to change, or you find yourself inspired by someone else’s story of becoming. The point is not how you get there – but that you get there – period.
Yes, it’s scary having life feel more like a blank canvas than a how-to manual. But it’s also exciting to know that we are finally actively cultivating our own versions of ourselves and not versions foisted upon us by society. Once we let go of years – sometimes many years – of fitting the mold that no longer supports or suits us, we can begin to cultivate the person we want to be.
I realize it’s idealistic, but as we enter this new and even more challenging phase of life on this planet, I invite you to take a look at who you are and ask yourself:
Am I the same person I was five years ago?
Do I like the person I am today?
If I don’t like the person I am lately, what can I do to change that?