Or does the way your life looks depend on the economy? The acceptance and expectations of others? Or the needs of others? Whew....we don't live in a rarefied existence where we are oblivious to and unaffected by the rest of the world....and yet, the happiest people have learned how to accept all this AND live a life that is 100% theirs!
As I work with coaching clients, the question of "what % of their life is theirs?" is one of the questions on my initial welcome package. Rarely do I see and response of 100%. It also seems the lower the percentage, the more stress that person is feeling. I know one of the causes of stress is the feeling of helplessness about things we have no control over. We all have situations and circumstances in our lives we can't control. It's how we perceive them that causes the stress or not.
I also have found when I work with people about creating goals, there are often goals that aren't really theirs, but expectations of others-their manager, or spouse, or parents. We often are trying to live up to other's expectations of us or our own that were, perhaps, created long ago and no longer hold any juice for us. It is OK to let go of these goals and it doesn't mean you are a failure!
So, my question for you today is "How much of your life is yours?"
Ask yourself these questions:
- What goals do I have that I am not passionate about?
- Who else expects me to work on that goal?
- Why do I need to hold onto this goal?
- What's the worst that could happen if I let go of this goal?
- What daily activities do I do because someone else wants me to (and I don't)?
- What circumstances are in my life right now that keep me from doing what I want?
- What people keep sucking my time and energy so I can't do what I want?
Now, if you've been reading the last couple of weeks, you'll recognize the recent topics are closely related:
One blog comment when these were posted asked if that meant we shouldn't do housework, etc., if we were not passionate about it.
The real truth is that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DO ANYTHING! NOTHING!!!! You don't have to get out of bed, go to work, make money, do the dishes.....none of it. Everything you do is YOUR choice. Now, that doesn't mean there aren't consequences to not doing certain things, but in the end, it is ALL your choice each day. Tasks can be delegated. They can be dropped altogether. They can be changed so they are joyful.
Start by answering the questions above. Recognizing where you feel you don't have any choice is the first step to either owning that you do have a choice or coming up with a way to let go of the goal, task, responsibility. Sometimes, we just need to accept situations and quit resisting and wishing they were different. Accepting what "is" allows you to get on with it instead of being stuck and in victim mode. From there you can create an experience that is happier. I think of Viktor Frankl and this story in Man's Search For Meaning: to be in a concentration camp and still be able to call his life his own! If you have never read his book...it is an amazing true story of one man's triumph over his circumstances!
Then, after you discover where you are giving away your power...you are free to choose to continue to feel disempowered, to make a request, change or a shift or you could decide to accept that it is the way it is. If you feel stuck in moving through this, get a coach to help you see what you don't see or help you examine your choices. The cool thing is...we ALWAYS Have choices! Make some good ones!
Have a Marvelous Week! It IS up to you!!!!!