Have you switched careers recently? From corporate, over to coaching or healing or direct sales?
If so, you may find yourself speaking with a prospect, while simultaneously asking yourself WHY they’d want to work with you or buy your product.
Or perhaps you struggle to speak with passion about the VALUE of your work and your abilities?
What’s sucking the energy and joy out of you? You may be feeling inauthentic.
Experiencing yourself as authentic is key to your entrepreneurial success!
Phase 1: BOXES
When we’re young, we can be labelled and put into boxes. We’re the special child, the athletic child, the good kid or the bad kid.
Same in school. You’re hanging out with the jocks or the nerds or the cute girls – again, the labels.
After we get out of high school, we can feel societal/family/cultural pressure to follow a certain path.
This is what my path looked like.
- I went to college, so I got to check the “college” box.
- I got a great job straight out of college. I checked the “great job” box.
- I got married. I checked the “marriage” box.
- I decided not to have kids, so I chose to not check the “kids” box.
I felt like I’d checked all the boxes I was aware of.
At that point, I had my first midlife crisis, at age 28. I looked around at my life and thought “IS THIS IT?” Will my life be just like this til I retire? Because retirement was the only other box I was aware of and it was way far off in the distance.
I felt horrible. My own life bored me.
Phase 2: Exploring Options
I just knew change was MANDATORY. However I wasn’t 100% sure of the right thing to do.
I left and divorced my husband; I left my job and started a government contracting firm with a colleague. Things got better. I wasn’t all the way into full happiness and full expression, but I was way further along than when I was 28.
Exploring options is often uncomfortable. You’re watching everyone else do things a certain way and it looks like it’s working for them. You try it, but it doesn’t work for you.
That leads to stress. You ask yourself: “Doesn’t everyone else know what they’re doing? Am I the only confused one?!”
Despite your reservations, you may feel like you’ve got no choice. You’ve got to leave your existing path and find a different path.
In the midst of exploring other paths, there’s a lot of uncertainty which we humans hate! We don’t like not knowing what the heck is going on in our own life.
In this phase, you can experience moments of stress/uncertainty and occasional flashes of “Yeah – this is right – everything is working perfectly!”
Exploring options phase is followed by ….
Phase 3: Coming Home to Your Authentic Self
What is this mysterious authentic self? We’ve all had experiences of it and it’s hard to verbalize.
Elements of your authentic self:
1. Know your values and live according to those values. You will be very uncomfortable when you do work that’s against your core values.
2. Understand and live in your strengths. Know them, rely on them, use your strengths in your important work and life efforts.
3. Be with like-minded people. When you’re checking the boxes, you end up hanging out with people who may or may not be really aligned with you. When you’re living authentically, you spend a lot of time with your like-minded people, personally and professionally.
When I look back – my first husband was a good guy. We were good buddies but not a lifelong match. For me, that’s a profound example of not being with MY people.
4. Serve a purpose bigger than yourself, benefitting other people. You’re engaged in work that benefits not only you, it helps other people. This happens in your work and outside of it: in your spiritual, social and volunteer efforts.
In authentic phase, feelings are TREMENDOUS.
You feel solid and grounded on the inside because you’re living in accordance with your values and strengths. And there’s lightness as well. There’s less stress. You’re less affected by other people outside you. It’s not that you don’t care; but your focus is on your sphere of influence vs. sphere of concern per Stephen Covey.
Decisions are much easier and you have much less 2nd guessing because you’re getting strong clear internal guidance.
And usually you’re connecting in to your spiritual source in a big way.
Combine your inner guidance with strong spiritual guidance, and you’ve got a killer GPS!
3. Satisfaction and significance!
When you’re doing great work in the service of a purpose bigger than yourself, you feel a huge sense of significance. You see how your efforts contribute to this larger end. You feel satisfied and significant.
RELATED: Five Qualities of Work That Make Your Heart Sing
Not sure what’s getting in your way? Click below to take my amazing quiz and learn more!