It’s a funny thing when we work in the corporate world, become mothers or fathers or grow older – something happens where we disconnect from ourselves.
We get so intertwined with our egos – becoming attached to our identities as professionals, managers, mothers, fathers, sons, corporate badasses – that we start believing that is who we are when in fact it is just a part of us.
If you find yourself lost or as though your spark is diminishing, then it’s highly likely that you’ve lost that part of you that it is desperate to be found again.
That’s the thing; we live in a world which is all about the achievement, the striving, the doing, the reaching of goals and then the setting of new ones. We define ourselves externally – how often we get promoted, what people think about us, the job title, the socially accepted norms.
We don’t take the time to connect to our being and what we truly want. The voice inside us that is our compass and tells us where we should go. It knows much more than we ever give it credit. Call it gut, intuition, a feeling – we so often push it out the way so that we can let our ego run the show. The gut that you want more is ridiculed, told it’s got ideas above its station and then put firmly back in its box.
I am going to take you back to where I was three years ago. I had a decent job in a management consultancy and what everyone said was a pretty good gig. Flexible working, August off with the kids, London wage, lovely boss and team and all the material benefits we buy into with the corporate world. The thing is, I just wasn’t that happy.
My ego loved to tell people what I did in the corporate world, my desire to control loved the fact I could map out precisely when I could go on holiday, move house, retire based on my earnings but the real me (the risk-taking, carefree, it’s going to be ok, do it anyway me) just wasn’t buying it.
The inner me had a burning desire to do and be more. Still, I just kept fobbing her off – wait for a better time, don’t be ridiculous, what about the deadly obstacles that could lie in your wake and not to mention the guilt my ego employed to remind me to be grateful of what you have and stop asking for more? Know your place, Caroline!
Then one day I just couldn’t stand my own nonsense anymore, and I made a pact to start listening to the inner me. It started with yoga, then meditation, then life-mapping, journaling, reading and slowly I began to find the "me" that wasn’t ego-based but just wanted to be happy and to be heard. The real me that wanted to do her own thing and live in the moment, stop waiting and start living.
It was then I gained real momentum. I started vocalising what I wanted, opportunities started coming my way, and my spark returned. I then decided to let the real me run the show, so she resigned, set up a business with no savings (and no real clue how to do it) and took a massive leap of faith.
Being led by my gut (the real me) has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am better off – emotionally, physically, financially and spiritually. I do crazy things like invest in eye-watering expensive courses and coaches based on a feeling and then get it back 10-fold. I work with clients on gut and say no to opportunities that don’t feel right (as tempting as they may look). I do things that make no sense to my ego and then just tend to work out anyway.
So for any of you out there that know you are ignoring the real you then please stop. The thoughts about the risk, the ludicrousness of going with your gut is just your ego running the show and doing you no favours. That inner voice, the real you, will make you braver and more abundant than you ever imagined. Let her come storming out to the front because that is when the real party gets started.
Here are my top tips for connecting to the real you:
- Meditate and ask the real you what she wants. How does she feel? How can she express herself?
- Follow your gut and do something incredibly courageous based on it. Every day.
- Journal about what you want from your life. You will know because it will feel good - whatever feels good to you then write that.
- Follow the joy. That’s her. Do more of what makes you happy.
- Be kind - use praise rather than blame. Focus your energy on you and what you want.
- Be grateful for what you have but don’t keep yourself small because you have guilt about wanting more. We are all deserving of everything we want and more.
- Start today. Tell your ego to pipe down and don’t buy into your fear. Instead, start creating the life you really want. One step at a time.
This article was written by Caroline Britton, a UK business and mindset coach specialising in helping people get out of their rut and create the life and business they really want. Discover more at caroline-britton.com.