Is it Really You?
I can think of so many times when I set a goal and struggled to bring it to fruition, just to suffer along the way. The goal would be a noble one, a good one. But, yet, it wouldn’t feel right. It wasn’t that I wasn’t capable of achieving it, but more so that I wasn’t gifted for it and it wasn’t me. And here lies the key piece: If we are setting goals that don’t reflect who we really are, then we will suffer the stress and cognitive dissonance that come as a result.
When I moved back from Japan in 2006, I was armed with an MBA, consulting experience, and a mastery of the Japanese language. So, naturally, it only made sense that I should start a consultancy that served Japanese companies. And so I did. But, I was MISERABLE! Sure, I had all the tools that led to the logical conclusion that this is what I was meant to be doing, but I was a little off.
At the core of my being, or in my True Self, I wasn’t made for pointing out people’s problems and telling them how to fix them. I may not have been able to articulate my theology very well at the time, but I believed in the humaneness and blessedness of creation and that God had not only already placed the answers in our hearts, but that we had gifts to build upon, not problems to be solved. Eventually, I would discover coaching and do many of the things I did in consulting, but just from a different approach and methodology.
What about you?
Has your ego ever led you to take on a project or apply for a position that seemed like the next best step in your upward mobility? Did you get the position just to realize that you hated it? Perhaps not because there was anything inherently wrong with the position itself, but it just wasn’t you.
How about now? If you are currently struggling with a goal that you keep setting and keep falling short of, it’s not that you’re inadequate. Rather, it’s likely that you keep setting a goal from your ego that’s just really not you.
You’ll hear me talk a lot about the True Self because I think Richard Rohr, Parker Palmer, Thomas Merton, the other mystics, and even Harvard Business Review are onto something when they say that each individual and even each organization has a True Self. For us Christians, this is the self that was created in the image of God and is rooted in God and interconnected with all of creation.
At any given moment, we are at a crossroads - the convergence of infinite possibilities that could lead to a new reality. At each of those moments, we are faced with decisions. When faced with these decisions we should be asking ourselves one important question: Which choice will best reflect my truest self? The more we choose a path that is rooted in our most authentic self, the more congruent, stress free, and naturally lived lives we will have.
It’s easy to let the ego step in and make decisions for us. It’s what we’ve done for most of our lives. But where does that usually get us? How do we recognize our ego vs our True Self anyway? Stay tuned for that or join us at an upcoming Spanda Clergy Retreat.