Lead, Follow or Forge Your Own Path
What Happens When You Find Yourself Balancing All Three
We wear so many masks throughout our life. I’m not talking 2020 keep-your-distance masks, I’m talking the ones we put on out of habit, with intention, and even those thrust upon us.
I’m a Women, a Leader, a Speaker, a Student, a Daughter, a Cousin, a Friend, a Coach, a Mentor, an Entrepreneur, a Business owner, an Intuitive, a Greek, a Midwesterner, a West-coaster, a Bitch, a Rebel, a Liberal, a Conservative, a Messenger, an Artist, a Teacher, a Believer, a Procrastinator etc.
But what am I really? And if I’m all those things, then what?
This is a problem with leaders.
Often we give ourselves away to the “experts.” Forgetting that we get to play a role in our own development.
I love a good outline. You give me a step by step and I’m all in for the ride. However, it’s important for me to remember that I get to choose what works and what doesn’t. I'm fond of saying: If a construct is useful, then use it!
Every single human is wired in their own unique way. This helps explain why there are so many avenues for success, different teachers and ways of learning for us to find the right fit.
It’s important to be aware of what others are sharing and how it fits for who you are and where you are at the moment.
I found myself reading an email newsletter from a spiritual leader I tend to gravitate towards. It was all about 20 spiritual myths to let go of. I found myself buying right into it. Even though some things that were being declared didn’t resonate well with me at all.
I had to pause and check myself. Why am I taking so much of this to heart? Just because this person wrote eight books and has a New York Times Best Seller doesn’t mean they have all the answers. It certainly doesn’t mean they get to decide what is spiritually right for me.
Then I started to really ponder this idea of
The Timing of the message
Depending on where you are in your life and what mask you are currently wearing, you’ll find that leaves you with a lot of choice and responsibility.
Is this the right message? Is this the right teacher? And are they right for me right now?
Spiritual messaging, health and wellness products and programs are everywhere. It's easy to think that just because a message (or a way of eating or meditating or outlook on the world) is everywhere that means it's right for you. Maybe yes, maybe no.
You must use your own discernment to see if it feels right to you.
When you are in alignment with your moral compass, values and Who You Are, you know if something resonates or not.
You can feel if it’s light or heavy.
We forget the power we have over the information we are shown.
It is okay to pick and choose from a variety of messages in the creation of your own.
We are so much more than one label or mask. You can like a teacher but not all their teachings. You can follow a teaching without holding the teacher on a pedestal.
Teaching is an awesome responsibility. Dr. BJ Fogg PhD (one of my teachers and Tiny Habits® creator) said if you are offering a product or service that claims it will change someone's life and it doesn’t, that’s not a neutral proposition.
We constantly look for validation and support from sources claiming to have the answers. My take on this thought is if you claim it, then you had better be prepared to hand over the proper tools so they can accomplish it and support them along the way.
With so much out there on ways to find happiness or live a full life, it is important to discern what is true for you. What is necessary for your own well being.
You have to try things and revise them to make sense for you without giving your power away.
You have to look internally to know what works for you.
Yes you want to believe in all that is out there as the magic solution, but you need to do the work internally too.
No one has the answer book designed perfectly for your life. (sigh)
Only you can write that one.
Even the teacher is in training. If any teacher or anyone in your experience claims to have all the answers then I say, Move along, nothing to see here.
A really good teacher is always in training...always learning and growing. A good teacher does their best to walk their talk and model what they teach. I've found more than my fair share of teachers who don't walk their talk. Yes, we are all human, but when you're saying one thing and doing another on a consistent basis, that's a big red flag. Find teachers who are "eating their own dog food" as my good friend and Internationally recognized Feng Shui consultant, Katie Weber, would say.
I am a Mother of two. It is my awesome responsibility to raise them to be good humans who can go out into the world and live successful lives. I am their teacher, yet I find that I am more of a student of what a mother is, and they are my teachers.
My son taught me so much about behavior. I found myself this past week being really short with him. He is the kind of thirteen year old who doesn’t willingly do his homework. He is the kind of thirteen year old who would rather lose himself in a video game than do the tasks he needs to do. (I’m sure this is a totally unique situation you have never experienced with your kids!)
We had a chat where I used the Fogg Behavior Model (the one I use with my clients) and we realized it wasn’t an issue of defiance or lack of motivation, it was the fact he lacked a prompt to remind him to do his homework.
And so my son was the teacher once more.
The Timing of the Message
Has anyone ever suggested a book, movie, or t.v. show to you that you simply set on the shelf because it didn’t sound or look like something you’d like? Then a year or two later you find yourself telling that same person about this new book, movie, or t.v. show you are totally into. And they’re like, “yeah, I told you about that like 2 years ago! Welcome to the club.”
Timing is everything right?
When you get the right message at the right time it feels like prayers are answered. But the right message at the wrong time can feel unimportant or even silly.
Very often a certain knowledge or way of thinking is being practiced for years before it catches steam. It’s timing. Big ideas and breakthroughs happen when enough people are open to the message.
The messenger could just be the right person for that message at that time and nothing more.
That’s why I encourage you to stop doing things just because your 10 step program is telling you it’s important. If you don’t feel it’s importance within you then it’s not going to make a difference.
You have to give yourself permission to be in charge of your own training. If you want to see results faster, then pick and choose and create your own path.
I know it’s not the clear path, but it leads to unseen lands that can only be seen through your own discernment.
Where in your own life have you put a teacher above the teachings? Have you ever found yourself doing something they say will improve your life even though you know intuitively that it won’t? (I did.)
What roles do you play? Are you still learning in your teacher roles? Are you picking and choosing your messages from multiple sources?
Where in your life are you the student? In what areas would you like to be more of a student?
Are there areas in your life you feel you’re an expert at? Are you still engaged to learn more? Do you feel like you are both teacher and student?
Let me know what your leading roles are. In what ways are you opening yourself up to being more of a student. How are you educating yourself to be a better teacher? What messages are you resonating with? Who are your favorite teachers? Why?
We have more power in our experience than we may ever know. You get to be the trailblazer of your own experience. I’m so excited to hear where your path may lead.