I recently had a conversation with a woman who ‘didn’t want to end up like me’. The context to this statement was based on the fact that I am not a homeowner or in a position to be one anytime soon and by societies standards I don’t appear to have a ‘career’.
At first I was hurt and obviously offended by her statement, however this exchange got me to thinking about how women in particular are pulled away from their authentic selves by the expectations of society, by models of success and our careers and a world that teaches us that ‘doing’ is better than being and that we have to hustle to have any sort of value and all that messaging becomes internalized for 20 – 30 something women like myself until they have a catalysing experience.
For many of the women I talk to or work with motherhood is a catalyst but there are many other experiences like the loss of a loved one, a breakdown of a marriage or a change in health or just feeling unhappy. It’s this catalysing experience were you think ‘this is not me, this does not feel like me or I feel like I am living someone else’s life’. It’s a sense of not living in alignment with who you truly are.
For me the catalyst has been my health and my ongoing battle to manage chronic conditions. That’s when I transitioned into alignment with my more authentic self and went from all the societal expectations of what I should be to the point of authenticity, being true to my authentic self.
In my work I am a Meditation Teacher, Crystal Healer, Spiritual Book Group facilitator and a Holistic Living Blogger. The theme that pulls of all these together is helping others to feel good and sharing experiences and information with others, particularly women, that inspires their personal growth.
It did take me a while to realise that maybe I could create a career that feels more aligned and better to me. I am still slowly nudging towards this as I do have a ‘day’ job as a receptionist in an organic spa, which I feel is also important to mention as a lot of the time people neglect to mention the realities of transitioning particularly from a financial point of view.
I also think that its good to have patience and an understanding that it might take longer than you might like to find the right way to pull everything together, I think as a multi passionate woman when you do find a way to pull everything together it becomes more sustainable. Because you are using different skills and knowledge and you’re constantly learning new things. It is also easier to sustain excitement when you’re not just picking one interest and going full speed with that. Which I have done many times before, I didn’t want to fall down the rabbit hole of one thing and then deciding it’s not for me and another thing and so on. For some people that works very well but it didn’t work for me. I didn’t want a career focusing on just one thing until it’s over.
It takes a lot of courage to create your own career and to live authentically, but when you do find a way to pull everything together it feels very exciting. So if you are currently dabbling or perhaps you are looking to create a more authentic life for yourself here are my my four top tips to help you get started:
- Redefine your values. It’s hard to behave in an authentic way if you do not know what you value and desire. Often, we hold tight to the same values we grew up with, when we need to re-evaluate what feels right to us now and align our actions around those things. Get clear on what you care about and authenticity will take root.
- Develop an open mind. Authenticity flourishes when we experience the world wholly, from every perspective. Rigid, good/bad thinking keeps us trapped in judgment and limitation, which causes us to shut down our vulnerable, authentic self. Challenge yourself to look at all sides of the situation. Be open.
- Notice when you are being inauthentic. Pay attention to those times when you are insincere in your speech, or when you are acting in a way that doesn’t align with your core values. Then explore the fears and beliefs that may create those barriers to your authenticity.
- Trust your intuition. Often, we feel out of sync when we are acting inauthentic. Things just don’t feel right. Pay attention to those hunches, physical sensations, and impressions. They can be your instincts telling you that you are not being genuine. When you are on track and authentic, you’ll feel that too.
I’d love to hear your thoughts and your stories!