For accessibility and ease, you can listen to this post narrated by Mike:
I used to be really afraid. I used to want to control everything. I’d grip on tighter, work harder, and basically be a perfectionist to make sure everything went according to plan.
If things didn’t work out the way I’d planned, I’d become even more controlling. Even more obsessive. Even more critical.
I called it ‘competent,’ but, honestly, I was just really afraid.
I didn’t trust life. And I didn’t trust my own ability to spontaneously dance with life.
I didn’t trust that if this program didn’t sell enough spots, I’d be capable of coming up with more money on the spot. I didn’t trust that if something got slowed down or delayed, that I’d be able to improvise to make it work.
I didn’t trust myself. So how could I ever trust the world or anyone around me?
After a lifetime of feeling like I never quite fit in—feeling a bit like I’m “too much” or “not enough”—I learned not to trust myself. My emotions were too intense, too sensitive, for this world. My instincts were too excited or too dramatic.
And I was told again and again that I was “overreacting” or “being too sensitive” or “didn’t know how to take a joke.”
So I subtly, unconsciously, learned to stop trusting myself. And, therefore, I needed a plan.
If I didn’t intuitively fit into this world, then I needed to control the world to tightly manage that fit. I needed people to act a certain way. And opportunities to roll out a certain way. And I needed to be competent.
And I’d freak out pretty much any time anything didn’t go according to that plan. Because how will I be safe, then? How will I get what I want?
So I vacillated between workaholic saviorism and helpless victimization. I was either busting my butt, being “competent,” and holding all of the balls in the air, or I was bemoaning how I don’t fit in and how nothing works for me and feeling resentful.
I didn’t realize they were two sides of the same coin—a coin where I’m always the victim, and I either need to be saved or to give up in defeat.
It never occurred to me that it was possible to get out of the cycle.
See, the thing about not fitting into life is we assume that we’re the problem. Maybe unconsciously, we start to assume something’s wrong with us. We never stop and think that maybe we’re visionaries. Maybe we’re geniuses. Maybe we just need to flip our frame of reference.
It’s not about us trying to squeeze into the containers of our lives; it’s about finding or making containers that can fit us.
It’s a subtle shift, but one that has massive implications.
Look—we’re pretty good at assessing which container to use when we know the essence going inside. If I’ve got boiling hot tea, I could choose a cheap plastic cup, but it’ll probably melt and burn my hand. So I might try a mug with a handle.
And it’s the same thing in any area of our lives. If I know my essence is Aligned, Zany, Free, Unmistakable, Vulnerable, and Successful, then I’ve just got to find the right container for that.
I could choose a job where I have to put on an act and never be vulnerable; but, like my cheap plastic cup, it’s probably not going to work out so well. I could choose a relationship where there’s no room for me to be weird and zany; but that might not work out, either.
So I choose my container with my essence in mind. That’s it.
And, if I can’t totally alter my container (like I’ve got a job to pay the bills and can’t look elsewhere right now), then I know how to choose my battles. I know that the battles to allow me to do things that feel freeing (even in small ways) are going to be way more important than anything else.
And it’s interesting. It’s one of those things that just kind of sneaks up on you. I don’t think I realized until recently how much less afraid I am. Not that I’m not still afraid sometimes (correction: many times). But I do it anyway. I always move forward.
And, when it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t have nearly the same catastrophic effect on me. Because—oh well. I’ll just figure out a new way. I know that I’m capable.
But that knowing only comes from building our strength in spaces that can actually hold us. If I’m a fish who tries to climb a tree all day, no matter how much effort I put in, I’ll never get anywhere.
We have to know our essence to even begin to trust ourselves.
That’s such a bold statement, I’m going to repeat it:
We have to know our essence to even begin to trust ourselves.
We have to know who we are, what we want on a deep level, and what our genius is to build self-trust. Because of course we can trust ourselves in the areas of our genius. They’re the areas that come naturally to us.
And, if we keep building our lives around those areas, it’s kind of a no-brainer.
If I personally choose the thing that’s Aligned, Zany, Free, Unmistakable, Successful, or Vulnerable in any given moment, I know it’ll work out. I don’t always know how or when. But I know that I’ll figure it out eventually.
Because I’m not “too much” or “not enough” in this container. It’s a perfect fit. A perfect fit for my genius.
And now I’m not controlling life. I’m dancing with it. When life sends me on an unexpected spin, I’ve got my grounding. I know exactly who I am and where I am, and I can spin right back in when I choose.
It doesn’t mean everything is magically easy. But it does mean I know I’m capable of handling it even when it does get hard.
It means I know how to choose myself. And continue coming back to myself.
It means I get to experience as much of my genius as possible and see that I am, in fact, a genius.
That every moment can feel like grabbing coffee with a best friend. That there doesn’t have to be striving and struggling and control and fear. That I can just trust whatever comes out of my mouth next is genius, and I don’t need to obsess over it. Just like I might not need to over-plan a conversation with a friend.
When we know our essence and build a life that can contain that essence, we’re no longer the victim that needs saving or despair. We’re the geniuses of our own lives. And we’re here to share our gifts with the world.
Questions for Reflection:
*Answer in a journal, in the comments right here, or take it over to the Sacred Branding® Facebook group where we can support one another:
Are you trying to control this situation?
— Do you ever grip on for control and make sure you’re ‘competent’ and have all your ducks in a row? Do you get upset when things don’t go according to your plan? Is there a part of you that wants to push harder or do more when that happens?
— Do you get really afraid that something might not work out? Do you ever vacillate between feeling like you have to save yourself with hard work, and feeling like you don’t fit and it will never work?
— What if you are a genius, and you don’t fit into your current containers because you’re here to create new ones that can fully contain your genius? What if all you need to know is your genius and then let yourself find the spaces that fit that? What if you could trust yourself more simply by discovering your genius?