"This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” - William Shakespeare, Hamlet
I wear those first nine words on a necklace twisted into the shape of a round infinity symbol. It was given to me so many years ago now, like eight or so, by my beloved Editorial homegirls at dLife, with whom I am so thrilled to still be friends. It was one of those rare things, I think, getting along so well with other people like that. Being so different yet working in such perfect sync, most of the time. I won't go into it, but suffice it to say those women know some things about me other people don't. Ha! (Eventually, there was also one guy in the Editorial department, but that was a different time under a different regime - mine.) It's cool to have people who get you. It was even cooler for them to give me that necklace as a birthday gift one year because it meant they saw what I was trying to do - be me to my utmost - and this necklace continues to be one of the best gifts ever on a very short list of best gifts ever.
It's a very common thing to say, I know. "Be yourself." "Do you." "I gotta be me." All very true. I think the question we may not always ask ourselves is, "Who am I?" We assume we know it, of course. A plethora of adjectives from the superficial to the spiritual surely arise when pondering the question.
I am a mother.
I am a wife.
I am organized, slightly obsessively so, but only slightly.
That probably ties in with my being somewhat of a perfectionist.
I am a spender growing into a saver.
I am an editor.
I am a writer.
I am an encourager.
I am a recovering procrastinator.
I am a child of God.
But all that? It's surface. Not superficial. Surface. This is who I know I am consciously and mostly by choice. But what I am finding as I take step after annoyingly hesitant step to independence is that the start of this entire journey really begins with me knowing who I am subconsciously, maybe the stuff that I already know needs fixing so why should I say it out loud? Or is it the stuff that I'm not even aware of yet. It's only now, for instance, with all my current thinking, that I'm starting to get a slightly different picture of my perfectionist tendencies and yeah, that needs to get sorted out because it may very well be one of the subconscious voices trying to sabotage my conscious efforts.
Reading all the books I have lately and listening to the audiobooks of various kinds, it is clear that my spirit and my beliefs about myself are the foundation of my success. "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..." says Proverbs 23:7. That I believe another proverb that tells us that death and life are in the power of the tongue. So it becomes evident that I have to think a little deeper about things and what I say can help counteract any negativity that crops up until I finally believe it deep down. (There is this whole discussion about paradigm that Bob Proctor talks about that may be worth your time.) The challenge is to get at the subconscious as much as I can because the last thing I need is to be my own worst enemy and not even know it!
In that vein, last night was the first of a 3-part online workshop that Courtney Sanders is doing. It is called The Consistency Code and it is exactly what it sounds like - a 3-class lesson broadcast live on Facebook in becoming more consistent in the things we want to be consistent in so that we can achieve our goals. I went into it thinking for sure there are things I suck at being on top of and I'm working on that, so cut me some slack, OK? But as I think I already told you in a previous post, I love this woman's spirit and I love her branding too. Wait. Did I tell you that? Maybe I didn't. But now I have. So sure, I'm interested in hearing what she has to say. And she had a lot to say too. All really good things, some of which I'd heard before, some not in quite the way she said it. But the best part? The homework.
You see, Courtney asked us all if we considered ourselves consistent or not. Well, that was easy. I am consistently inconsistent or even inconsistently consistent. They're both saying the same thing, right? I am working on some things, like brushing my teeth before I go to bed (25 days and counting with just one unintentional miss!) or reading something every day no matter how much I have to do or how tired I am or how much I'm running behind one very big kid or the other. After all, you used to always find a book somewhere close to me when I was younger. I hate the fact that I let life repeatedly kick that to the curb.
Courtney asked us what we thought we were - consistent or not - and the overwhelming majority of viewers said they are not consistent. Ah, but it was a trick question. Seriously, how did I not think of it myself? Courtney went on to read the dictionary definition of the word and then smiled as she told us, (paraphrasing) "You should have said you're consistent. You are ALL consistent." We're consistently doing what we want to do or we're consistently not doing it. Either way, we are simply doing what we find to be the easiest thing to do because that is who we are at this time. You said you're going to the gym but find yourself flaking out? The easiest thing for you to do is not go and you're consistently doing that! Of course she had plenty more to say about this, but I'm going to recommend you go listen for yourself. It's worth it, if you're looking to improve yourself.
So Courtney gave us homework and I loved it. She gave us a tracking sheet and asked us to write down all the major things we do every day for a week. What we actually do, not what we planned to do. So maybe you write it as you go through the day or maybe you recall your day at the end and write it down. Whatever works. It's pretty clear what you'll glean from this activity. You'll get a vivid picture of how you're spending your time, see what you're consistently doing - or not doing. Makes you not want to do anything pointless, huh?
I'm determined to not let that little homework assignment get in my head and steer me away from whatever I would normally do because I want to see the truth, though this month is already not like my past months have been. My focus now is on something it wasn't on last year, at least not to this extent. I have been busier on this next phase of my life than I have been in 4 years, since dLife went into new hands and I eventually left. Still, I'm going to do what I do, write it down and see what it tells me next Monday on the last day that I do this.
We'll see what it reveals.