Having been labelled a stereotyped triple type ‘A’ personality all my life, I developed a pattern to show up as that highly praised and expected adrenaline charged persona. For years, I went hard all day, 5 days a week and crashed on the weekend. I soon became addicted to the ‘doing’ of life, and progressed to filling up my weekends as well. I repeated this cyclical behaviour every 6 months, and then crashed even harder for a well-deserved holiday. There was always a guarantee that I would come down with a virus of some sort or my back would go into spasm around the second day of my vacation. I thought I was doing everything right as I was committed to exercise, eating and sleeping well and rewarding my ‘get ‘r done’ lifestyle with time away. I now know that I was in adrenaline overdrive and heading towards a lifetime of chronic illness.
This mindset of endless multi-tasking and over thinking triggered immune responses that produced great physical and emotional imbalance and, the end result was my diagnosis of an autoimmune disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis. Although a difficult lesson to learn, it has taught me how essential it is to know and practice what my Authentic balanced state of being is. I discovered that I am the only one accountable for my well-being and it has nothing to do with an old school proverbial pie chart.
As a result of the disease I have chosen to befriend, I have spent the last 7 years assessing, discovering, and clarifying what my life looks like in a truly balanced state. Initially, I did approach this in the traditional pie chart way; scheduling time allotments for the various activities in my life; work, exercise, meals, relationship (spouse), relationships (children), relationships (friends), sleep, and play; 8 areas of my life to fit into each day. This made sense at first because this was the way balance was defined and taught to me. The problem was that I failed ‘balance 101’ miserably as I created a state of chaos while trying to fit everything that I ‘should’ do into a 24 hour period of time; I was back to my old pattern of excessive doing. I became even more exhausted and felt worse than before. The feeling of failure not only presented as a result of not being able to complete my daily goals but, also from my own perceived failure of not meeting the societal expectation of what I needed to achieve; the perfect picture of the balance pie chart. The result was that I tried even harder to meet others’ expectations and became more anxious and unwell.
Experience working with my clients has proven that, whatever our adversity, we are all seeking our own individual state of balance. Through my leadership training and personal development, I have learned with clarity what my physical self needs, what my heart desires, and what my mind responds positively to (rather than reacts negatively to). I know with certainty that this is very different for each of us. As a result, and while working through the Balance session of the Authentic Purpose Plan process, we do not use the generic model of balance that forces us into an uncomfortable way of being but, instead use a more Authentic approach that utilizes our values as guideposts.
Determining our core values allows us to bring them to the forefront when we choose what we will do next and what we will let go of in any given moment. There is decisiveness in knowing that when we show up in line with our top 5 core values, we are able to move towards a state of being that creates what balance is for each of us as we then naturally achieve physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Cumulatively, our ‘feel goods’ move us towards our ultimate Inner Purpose Feeling.
When we are mindful of what ‘feel good’ each of our values moves us towards, we become acutely aware of when we are feeling the exact opposite; we experience that icky physical response that sends us an S.O.S. It is a message that let’s us know it is time to make the choice to assess and shift from what is out of balance for us.
My top 5 core values (guideposts) and the feelings (feel goods) they provide are:
1. Value of Effectiveness;
Provides me with the feeling of Having Purpose
2. Value of Creativity;
Provides me with the feeling of Being Whole
3. Value of Clarity;
Provides me with the feeling of Being Enough
4. Value of Love;
Provides me with the feeling of Being Connected
5. Value of Choice;
Provides me with the feeling of Being Present
My ultimate Inner Purpose Feeling is EASE, and it is achieved when I, mindfully, choose to move towards all of the above ‘feel goods’ in unison; it is then that I have successfully achieved my unique state of balance. This is my way of celebrating my unique self.
What are your values and, when you listen to them, how do they make you feel?
Are you consciously making choices that take you to that ultimate feeling you are yearning for?
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#balance #values #leadauthentic #OLCBreneBrown #leadfromwithin