You may not know this about me, but I have always loved, LOVED to write, and have been writing since I could hold a pencil in my “sinister” left hand (as a child, I once spent an entire day transcribing the movie Superman 2 for the sheer joy of filling up an entire notebook with my scrawl — we had VCRs back in that day, so it was an even more tedious task than you can imagine!).
But until recently, I had let work, career, parenthood, other “stuff” take over, and years and years had passed without my having written a jot. And it wasn’t until a few years ago when I started writing regularly again that I realized how much I missed the creativity and thought that goes into choosing just the right word or capturing my ideas in written form, and how much it fills my brain and my soul to create. I am a writer. I always have been.
But I also love math and science and astrophysics. I am a contradiction in so many ways. But aren’t we all?…
One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in the past seven years of being my own boss is that I need to honor who I am. Most of us don’t do that. I still struggle to do it from time to time. We waste years of our lives trying to work on our (perceived) deficiencies or force ourselves to do things we hate or beat ourselves up for struggling with certain things. And we are told over and over again that working harder, not necessarily smarter, is the way to succeed.
Culturally and socially, we are rarely encouraged to focus on what we do well, only told to improve on what we don’t do well. How demoralizing and depressing is that? And what a horrible way to live.
What if instead, we accepted that we will never be good at ALL THE THINGS and just moved on? What if instead, we valued ourselves for what we are good at and worked on amplifying and leveraging our strengths? What if instead we accepted and honored who we are and let go of everything we aren't?
I know it’s not always clear-cut, and we all have responsibilities and rules and pressures and financial realities to contend with. All I’m suggesting is that if we can do things a little bit easier, if we can spend more time leveraging our strengths, if we can try to design our lives to be a little truer to who we are, don’t we owe it to ourselves to do so?
It can be baby steps (for me, that means writing more and not forcing myself to run… I hate running!). It can mean outsourcing or delegating some of the tedious admin tasks that suck the lifeblood from us. If can mean subscribing to a recipe box if you hate the question "what's for dinner" as much as I do!
You don’t have to quit your job or move to an ashram or become an ascetic or start to meditate 12 hours a day. You just have to make decisions based on what is right for you and who you are, and then try to live in the world in a way that makes sense for you in every way possible.
Delegate one thing that you hate doing at home and in your business. Stop thinking about topics that make you angry. Leave that WhatsApp group. Find one way to exercise that brings you joy instead of stuffing yourself into wedgie-inducing yoga pants just because someone else swears by the practice.
Everything won’t suddenly be perfect and you won’t suddenly be pulled to new heights of success and fulfillment and self-actualization. But we can all take baby steps that compound over time and distance, and the more we do, and the more consistently we do it, the bigger the impact will be in honoring who we are.