Once upon there was a story I (Elizabeth) used to tell myself: “In order to fit in and be accepted, I need to do what is expected of me. I must not rock the boat, be too loud, be noticed, speak up or do things my way. I MUST CONFORM”.
This was the story I told myself since childhood, based on societal norms, my family culture, my experiences at school, and responses from others.
This story helped me stay safe, keep me out of trouble (mostly), and set me up to be a “good citizen in a caring health profession”. I married young (it was expected of me), had two children (it was expected of me), looked after my extended family (it was expected of me), contributed to the children’s program and music at church (it was expected of me), hosted many family dinners (it was expected of me), and ALWAYS put myself last (it was expected of me).
During this time, I was also stretching the rules a little – After my first child was born, I decided I didn’t want to be a full-time stay-at-home mum, I wanted to also work – so I did. Sometime later I needed to keep my learning going and embarked on a master’s, at the same time as working, mothering, caring, and contributing. Creating a career path was definitely stretching the limits of what was acceptable in my family circle.
I was giving, giving, giving, and depleting, depleting, depleting, without even noticing it. The stories I had told myself for decades, were beginning to trip me up, create internal conflict and sabotage my ability to recognise my incredible skills, my passion, and my purpose to be on this planet.
When we constantly live in our stories and keep re-telling these, we disenfranchise ourselves and impede our career potential.
We get stuck in stories like, but I’m a perfectionist – so they don’t even start things. I’m never on time – so they’re always late and miss opportunities. I’m lazy – so they don’t begin. They’re so good at that but that’s something I could never do – so they never even give it a go. I don’t have enough time – so they miss the magic of prioritising themselves and personal development in order to ‘finish’ the static to-do list for “them”.
All of these “stories” are connected with our shadow self and are the things that drive us nuts about others as well. These are a reflection of what we are working through – what “pis**s us off about others”, is because we have this characteristic inside us as well, and until we notice this and accept this, we will not be able to move through the internal conflict and confusion within our lives.
So, if you find yourself saying or even thinking any of these stories or similar, then the next step is recognise these characteristics and traits as being part of you, and when you accept them, you will have better relationships, be more confident, be more self-aware, have more physical and mental energy, experience more creativity and dissolve your resistance to change.
“When you find out that there was never anything in the dark side to be afraid of…
Nothing is left but to love.”
~ Alan Watts ~