In October’s Good Housekeeping magazine Michael J. Fox was interviewed about his new TV show and the criticism it has received from people who think he shouldn’t be working so hard nor using Parkinson’s Disease as a catalyst for entertainment. He responded by saying, “You know your situation. Don’t let others project onto you what they think you should be feeling.”
I think this is great advice except for the fact that many of us are too busy and/or too disconnected from our true feelings to really assess our situation. Often it is easier to rely on the expectations of others to guide our choices, determine our definition of success, and take the blame when things go awry.
This installment of The Coach’s Alphabet will be relatively short because it is about truth, and only you know your truth. Only you know what feels aligned to your values, faithful to your purpose, and authentic to how you want to live and who you want to be.
Some people dismiss conversations about authenticity, purpose, and soul as being spiritual malarkey−well, no one uses the word malarkey anymore−but in contemporary times these concepts have been relegated to the self-help aisles of the almost nonexistent book stores and categorized as Oprah-esque jargon that has little relevance to day-to-day life in our modern achievement-oriented capitalist-driven world. Talk about malarkey.
Since being certified as a life coach in 2000, I have worked with all levels of professionals, with IT consultants and corporate & nonprofit executives; with entrepreneurs and engineers; and with people climbing the corporate ladder and people transitioning into retirement; and each-and-every one of them benefited (emotionally and financially) from resetting their compass to their truth, or for the sake of this metaphor, their true north.
It is a simple process but admittedly, not always easy. It requires you to look at where you are going (we’ll call that the magnetic north) and determine if you are being pulled into that direction by choice or by circumstance; by your passion or someone else’s projection; or due to a conscious decision or as a result of unconscious habit.
The opposite of truth telling isn’t necessarily the telling of a lie, for that requires pro-active intention. For most of us, the deception we fall victim to is more likely due to passive negligence. Maybe we think that if we don’t stop and reflect upon where we are, we won’t have to suffer the feelings of being lost or stuck, nor set our pride aside to stop and ask for directions−even if we only need to stop and ask ourselves.
As one year concludes and another begins, my wish is that you play with the idea that truth is only a perspective, and when you perceive and pursue your own truth, then your personal and professional results will be aligned with your values, faithful to your purpose, and authentic to how you want to live and who you want to be.
Truth is a hard commodity to come by these days, and once you find it its value will continue to increase as you share it with others. If you’d like some assistance in resetting your compass to your true north, please contact me for a complimentary 30-min navigation session via phone or skype.