One of the many things I love about the work I do is that I am constantly learning from my clients. They might not know it, but in each session there is always a new insight or connection that comes up that causes me to reflect and internalize its significance. Lately I've been thinking about what it takes to do the work to move forward. What does someone need in order to feel confident they can take the steps toward something new that they want to do but scares them nonetheless?
As I've been listening to my clients and considering my own knowledge and experience, I find myself coming back to three things. There's a lot contained within these things, but here's how it breaks down:
1. Claim your story: no one knows and understands better than you who you are and what you have done. It’s time to own it—and define it for yourself. If you don't, there's no shortage of people who are willing to do it for you.
2. Commit to your values: in order to move ahead in a direction you choose, it’s necessary to know what most matters to you. Once you know your core values, you can create a life that honors them.
3. Create your own model of success: though we all have people we admire for the lives they’ve led and feats accomplished, not one of us can choose to live anyone else’s life but our own. By considering who you are and what matters to you, you can build a model of success that fits your strengths and vision of what’s possible. This might be patterned on the lives of those you admire, but it’s one that you create.
And then there’s Dorothy Allison: “Two or three things I know for sure, and one is that I would rather go naked than wear the coat the world has made for me.”