The great unlearning!
Thinking of these characters in our story, conditioned by other people’s values, external measures beyond our control, family and friends, life situations – whatever it may be. Exploring in a unique way to that time, we learn by growing, by doing, by making mistakes, by having successes – but we can also develop baggage.
We might be taught not to trust, to be careful with love, careful with money, not to treat yourself, to restrict yourself, to indulge yourself. To hide ourselves, to be outgoing and loud.
For example; I have been in debt for a long time, I have cleared it and then gotten back into debt again and am currently having to work hard now to clear it all, for the final time! I thought these purchases or over priced London lunches and dinners would make me happy, help me fit in, gain approval from my peers at times. I know now that this comes from long term conditioned thinking that happiness is external and success is materialistic. If I could have a word with myself now I’d be at least advising my younger self to go travelling and if you’re going to put anything on that credit card it should not be Chanel sunglasses to wear for that one week we get sun in the UK!
Your own measures of success may be externally focused – but not actually bring you joy once that initial dopamine hit wears off and you have just another handbag, awesome bit of tech or pair of shoes to just add to the collection.
Your measures of success may also be internally focused but we are not aligning our actions with them.
For example, I am currently doing a job that to someone else I might be considered successful at – I am good at it, I earn well, I have the potential of a long career with the business. However, my personal measure of success is contentment and joy, giving back and supporting others – I am not doing that in my day job currently therefore, while it serves a purpose in the aforementioned debt issue – I am not aligned.
Now I’m not saying to quit the day job if you’re not aligned, I intend to keep mine for another 12 months or more currently, but realising you’ve been living a life you have been told to live is something else entirely.
What do you need to unlearn? How can you realign? What conditioned measures of success are you using currently that you could challenge?