Myliek Teele gave an Instagram live on directing our own lives where she discussed deciding what we wanted and acting in accordance with that. She gave real examples like, if you don’t want to get up early, don’t apply for a job that starts at 7am. It’s ok to acknowledge who we are and what we want and we have more power than we think to shape our lives as we see fit. In fact, that is exactly what we need to do if we expect to be happy doing what we are doing. If there is a particular lifestyle you want, then yes, you need to do what it takes to achieve that and it may require some sacrifices. But if there are things you really can’t live with, then don’t force yourself to do them. Learn the difference between the perception you’re trying to give versus the life you’re trying to live—and close the gap.
For example, I looked at what is happening in my life right now. I’m still recovering from a near breakdown and looking at what happened both at work and with my husband. On top of that still balancing managing multiple departments, my son’s schedule, and my own business. Now, I know this isn’t unique and it isn’t even unique that I’m doing it on my own. That doesn’t mean it isn’t a struggle while you’re in it or that it doesn’t take a minute (or a month) to gather your bearings. For me, the first thing I’m working on is recognizing that I don’t need to apologize for what is happening in my life. As I said, I’m not the first person to go through this so why should it be a problem for others because I’m the one going through them? They will deal with it. The expectations on me are unrealistic. I’ve learned where I do need to step up, yes, but I’m one person and if it comes to protecting my energy or taking care of my family over giving my time to someone else, I will take my energy EVERY time. I’m realizing the most precious things to me outside of my family are my time and my freedom. I will not get that doing what I’m doing now.
I’m so glad I listened to that podcast because it put it in perspective for me. Not everyone needs to achieve corporate success to be successful. Not everyone leads in the same way—and that doesn’t make them wrong. People have different needs and wants and goals and it is up to them to protect them, to work for them because no one will just give it to them. If you’re not clear with your time or boundaries, you will end up working toward someone else’s goals over your own.
We have options, we have opportunities, and we are not trees. The system wants us to forget this so we stay cogs feeding something we know is broken. Reclaim your power. Not power over others, but power over yourself. Power over your time. Power over what you do with your life. How you spend your energy guides what happens to you so redefine what is wasting your time. If you “have” to go out for a corporate dinner that takes you away from your family and the bill comes out of your pocket and you get no return for it, then that was a waste. But if that dinner can set you up for the next 30 years in a way you want, then absolutely go for it. If you want time with your children, then don’t take a job that extends you beyond the time you’re comfortable being apart. I’m not naïve, I know it isn’t always easy, but there are ways. And as I’ve said before, even though we compare movement to trees being still, even the trees change their leaves. And we are in the perfect season for that reminder.
I want to close this with one last reminder. We don’t need permission. We are so trained to wait for the right time and to make sure that our moves won’t inconvenience someone else. Two things: 1. When it comes to the corporate world, they don’t give a damn if THEIR choices inconvenience you. If something isn’t a good fit, they cut it out. 2. No one will ever tell you when the right time is because as long as you’re serving their purpose, they have no benefit to “let” you work on yours. We don’t need permission, we need to remove blocks and that is all on us. We need boundaries. We need empowerment. We need to trust ourselves again because we know this isn’t working. Take back your life and build it to be every bit as magical as you want it to be.