The inconvenient truth is that, right at this moment, you might be living somebody else’s script, intentions or expectations. The empowering truth is that you can change this, as we speak.
An even more inconvenient truth is that we have collectively, although not consciously, agreed to comply with a reality that’s ruled by beliefs and run on expectations. At the end of the day, all that matters is what we expect of ourselves. The quality of our work or art is determined exclusively by what we do when no one is watching. Because when others are watching, we tend to seek validation, try to conform, to measure up to their standards, to please or not to disappoint them. Before we know it, we spend our days as characters in the stories of others, keeping the authors pleased by following obligingly the lines of their scripts.
In the last year I’ve been working with professionals trying to change their careers, businesses, lives and organizations. They all feel excited, skeptic and overwhelmed at the same time. Their minds are overflowing with ideas, insights and opinions (often contradictory ones) offered by those most trusted or closest to them. It seems that everybody knows what exactly they should be doing, except for themselves. They start doubting their skills, the clarity of their thinking and even their loyalty. Eventually, it all boils down to the questions: “What am I supposed to do? and “If I follow my instincts and my heart, am I not disappointing my friends, my partner or my business associates?”
Whether intended or not, change inevitably puts our identities are on trial. The deeper the transformation, the greater the initial chaos will be. And when our career, business or life begins to look like a battlefield, it is difficult to make a confident statement about anything. To filter out the mental noise, we need to connect with our own truth(s). It’s necessary that we find out how wewish things to work out, how we believe we should act and what we feel we should choose.
Brené Brown stated that authenticity is a set of choices we make every day. I often hear people asking themselves how many of the friends would still support them if they chose to make a hobby out of their work. Or if their business judgment would be brought in jeopardy if they admitted for once they didn’t know what to do, despite their position or formal authority. Or how things would have turned out if they had found the courage to follow their heart and speak out against an infamous proposal. But the page has been turned and the chapter closed. They can only know, if next time they stay true to themselves and find the courage to create and live their own scripts.
Authenticity comes with practice and at a price. Yet a price that’s not nearly as high as what we would pay for settling to being merely a character, instead of the writer of our story.
So, think again, whose script do you choose to be living today?