Updated: May 7
How often do you avoid doing the inner work needed to live your unique and authentic purpose?
With all the distractions in the world, it doesn't surprise me how easy it is to ignore doing the deep, transformational work. Much of the support from society and the media are about quick fixes and overnight successes rather than long-term unlearning and overall healing.
Many people simply want to just make progress without taking the time to understand how or why. Awareness is key in breaking old patterns and relearning who we are. It means listening to the inner voice and bypassing all those "shoulds" that we're bombarded with.
In my early years as a solopreneur I worked from a lot of what I "should" do rather than what made the most sense to do or what I believed to be right. Much of those "shoulds" were modeled after what other people were doing, what I was told by mentors, or from hundreds of books. Most of which had little to do with the original vision I'd set out with in mind of how I wanted my business to look like and run. At first glance it almost seemed too good to be true that people had actually created formulas, methods, and done-for-you programs so that I didn't have to think for myself. It didn't take long before I found myself more lost and frustrated than anything else. I'd always been a leader and here I'd allowed myself to become a follower. I even let people decide for me what I was and wasn't good at. Once I moved away from those "shoulds" and worked from my intuition, many things began to fall into place. My excitement returned along with my self-empowerment. But there was still a missing component. Me.
I was missing me in the equation. I was busy doing and not being in my business. I was putting my clients first and myself last. I placed everyone else's growth over my own. This went on for almost a year. I knew I was unhappy, dissatisfied, and unfulfilled deep inside, yet there were many positive and good things going on too. While I cheered on the progress of my clients, I didn't find myself cheerful. It didn't make sense because at the heart of it all, I was doing what I loved. Then it came to me. This big obvious pink elephant in the room, and we'll call her Avoidance. I was avoiding some very obvious things such as: the areas I still needed work on to keep evolving personally, unhealthy patterns that didn't serve me, keeping to both personal and professional boundaries, and giving in to those pesky doubts and insecurities. As someone who loves personal development and welcomes change, I was keeping myself quite stagnant and blocked from my intended path. The thing is, I enjoy the personal work when I want to do it, not as much when it's staring at me in the face and making me uncomfortable. So, I had only one option and that was to pull up my sleeves and simply begin.
Once I began doing the deeper work and stopped avoiding what I didn't want to face, I felt more empowered and self-assured. Old patterns were replaced by new and healthier ones. My inner dialogue stopped being negative and I became my own cheerleader. However, there is more work to do. The inner work is ongoing, but far less daunting. Each time I level up something new arises. Most importantly, I no longer avoid getting to the heart of the matter of patterns, habits, and fears. I greet them like a guest. I have a chat with them. I get to know their underlying reason for showing up. And when they leave, I see things from a unique and higher perspective. I learned an aspect of this method from The Guest House poem by Rumi. It's a compassionate and kinder way to acknowledge those thoughts and feelings that come and go - the unexpected ones - the emotional ones - and how to treat them in a way that creates learning and growth in the moment. My purpose in working with others is to guide, bring clarity and direction, facilitate remembrance, and show them ways to reconnect to their divine presence so they can live authentic, aligned, and with noble purpose. Whatever lessons we don't learn, we'll keep receiving. Anything we avoid that is ours to own will become obstacles. Anything we leave unhealed will only create dis-ease. Anything I avoid keeps me from fully showing up in my integrity. Avoidance comes in many forms, such as avoiding difficult questions because you don't like the answers, avoiding the truth because the illusion is easier to handle, or avoiding conflict. There can be healthy avoidance such as avoiding people who deplete your energy or are disrespectful of your time and boundaries. Again, awareness is the key to understanding what keeps you stuck and what guides you towards living your authentic purpose. I'd love to know if there's one thing you knowingly continue to avoid. Please leave your comments below!