Have you thought about your inner strength? Wht does it take to be a leader in your own life? Do you truly know what you want? Or is it a figment of your imagination or expectation of how it should be? Do you truly know who you are and how you want to live your life? Can you get there on your own? Do you want to do it on your own?
These are some of the questions that I asked myself recently as I was given the gift of looking inwards through a personal crisis. It sometimes takes a big shake up of one’s world for one to shift perspective. Otherwise, we continue to merrily plod along - leading our lives in a comfortable fashion.
Lately, I have been exploring my niche of Parent Leadership facilitation in growing contexts - not just in the family model, but also in the corporate, business and professional world. As I expanded my vision, I found I needed to develop my voice. I was finding it difficult to express ideas in my own words. I have always believed that we stand on the shoulders of giants. I am a conduit of the knowledge of the world, and the wisdom of the ages. That nothing is truly ‘new’. We just re-discover and remember it in a new context. So, there is a need in me to say ’it’ in my own way.
Through my awareness of a desire to find my self-expression, I started to look at my world with new eyes. I realized that I had created a world up till then where I had put others first before my own. I managed expectations by seeking approval of others over my own. Over time, I eroded a lot of my own self-worth and esteem by making others’ opinions what seemingly became my own.
Then I started noticing that my son Jett was finding it hard to express himself. He would even find it hard to defend himself - and would rather be punished in school than stand up for himself. This realization became a mirror of my own behaviour. I started to analyze what that actually means in my life …. and as I sifted through it all, I found that I was practically leading a life of what other’s expected of me, and not standing up for what I want. Why? Because I have even stoped thinking about what I want!
I looked to others I perceive to be stronger than I am to protect me. Those with higher credentials, authority, knowledge, status over me.
After my realization that I had betrayed my own strength, talent and skills - I got angry.I got angry that I did not set the boundaries to lead my life the way I wanted to. I failed to protect my own self and let others behave atrociuosly towards me - and not say anything about it. Why? Because I had gotten numbed by what I thought was the expected thing to do. I feared that if I did not do as expected, I would be annihilated! Amazing. eh?
Today, I realize that I no longer need protection from others. What I need is to call upon and recognize the strength in myself to protect me. In doing so, I can protect others when I choose to. I have learned to leove and forgive myself. I now celebrate every little win each day in recognizing that strength.
It is still baby steps … and yet, if not for the personal crisis that arose, I may forever have been blinded and deluded by my idealisitc world of how I think it should be - rather than how I would like it to be.
Every day, I look forward to finding something new to celebrate in my life. Have you looked at your life recently and see how you can transform it to how you want it to be?