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Want to be Happier and More Self-Fulfilled? Get Serious About Your Personal Boundaries.

Boundaries are not walls.

Walls keep people out. Boundaries let people in, but in a deliberate and intentional way. It’s important to understand the difference.

You build walls from a place of fear. This is true for literal walls, and figurative ones. You build walls around YOUR HOME to keep people out, because you fear what they’ll do to you if you let them in. You fear that they’ll steal or damage your things. You fear that they’ll harm you and your loved ones. You fear that they’ll see you ‘off-duty’ and at your most vulnerable. You build walls around your property to protect yourself and your loved ones.

And you also build walls around YOURSELF to keep people out, because you fear what they’ll do to you if you let them in. You fear that they’ll steal or damage parts of you. You fear that they’ll harm you. You fear that they’ll see you at your most vulnerable. You build walls around yourself to protect yourself.

A wall says: “I’m scared of you. Stay away! I don’t want to know anything about you, or for you to know anything about me.”

Boundaries are also about protection, but aren’t created from a place of fear. Boundaries exist to show where something begins and ends. Where a country begins and ends. Where you begin and end.

A boundary says: “This is me. Welcome! Know me as I am, and accept me as I am. And I look forward to doing the same with you.”

Personal boundaries

Very few people have clearly defined personal boundaries. Why? Because you have walls, instead. You don’t start out with walls, you build them as you go through life.

When you’re a young child, you’re trusting and open. You’re curious about the world. You’re excited by everything there is to explore. You see the world around you as a place of wonder. If something hurts you, you cry. Then you dust yourself off, and get back to your exploring. Fear has no role in your life. Yet.

Fear starts to appear in your life the day your loved ones start to mould you. They start to turn you into the person they believe you need to be. To fit in. To be successful in life. To do this, they use fear. “Don’t do this, or you’ll…”. “Do this, or you won’t…”. “Learn this, so you’ll…”. It all seems to make perfect sense. Except that it doesn’t.

It never makes sense to mould someone. Because if you’re moulding people, you’re stopping them from being themselves. You’re saying: “You’re no good as you are. You need to be like this.” This kind of message erodes your sense of self-worth.

And it never makes sense to use fear to get someone to do something. Using it like this teaches children to fear things that aren’t even there. It’s one thing to teach children that real things like fire, cars and bears can be dangerous. It’s another to use fear as a stick to get children to do what you want. All you’re doing there is teaching children to fear the imagined.

Walls are a by-product of fear. They’re inevitable because you don’t trust yourself to protect yourself. When you feel unprotected, you feel threatened. And when you feel threatened, you build walls.

Trouble is, the walls don’t change anything. Sure, they may keep out the unwanted. But they don’t help you deal with your fear. That’s because no wall can ever be high enough to keep out the unwanted 100% of the time. If someone wants to get in, it will happen. Deep inside, you know this, which is why your fear never goes away. In fact, I’ve found that the higher your walls, the more fearful you get. Pretty ironic, don’t you think?

Walls also prevent you from feeling lasting happiness and self-fulfilment. These states of being are only possible when fear has no hold on your life.

Your walls make you feel less secure, more threatened, less happy, and less fulfilled. So, what’s the alternative? Creating clear personal boundaries. And maintaining them.

How to create personal boundaries

With your personal boundaries, you want to let people in. But on your terms.

Letting in people on your terms is a good thing if your terms aren’t about controlling others. Controlling others is about fear. This is different. Here, your terms are those things that allow you to remain yourself. And being yourself is the key to happiness and self-fulfilment.

Your boundaries exist to enable you to be YOU. To enable you to live YOUR life based on YOUR principles and YOUR belief system. You shouldn’t want to live any other way. Because then you’re living from someone else’s principles and belief system, not yours.

Your starting place for creating personal boundaries is with you. With who you are and why you’re here. To figure out how to answer these questions, you might find this post of mine helpful.

Once you know yourself deeply, you can start to get clear on your personal boundaries.

Boundaries state how you want to be in the world. What you’re prepared to engage in, and not. What actions are yours to do, and not. What behaviours are for you, and not. Your boundaries determine your side of things. And the environment and people you surround yourself with.

You might find it easier to think about personal boundaries like this. Which aspects of your life MUST be maintained to enable you to be you? I call these your non-negotiables.

For example, do you have non-negotiables for:

  • Your own behaviour (e.g. love guiding all your actions)?
  • How you live (e.g. minimizing your environmental footprint)?
  • Your health and well-being (e.g. never eating food you know is bad for you)?
  • Your intimate relationships (e.g. having the same worldview)?
  • The behaviour of those you spend time with (e.g. not being around toxic people)?
  • What you spend your money on (e.g. not buying from companies whose ethics aren’t aligned with yours)?

There should be no judgement attached to your non-negotiables. There aren’t ‘correct’ non-negotiables. There are only YOUR non-negotiables. They’re not for other people to see or comment on, they’re for you. You may choose to share them with those close to you. Or you may choose to keep them to yourself. It doesn’t matter.

All that matters is that you have clearly defined personal boundaries.

How personal boundaries work in practice

Personal boundaries are liberating. They free up your mind because they take the hard work out of decision-making.

Personal boundaries act as a lens through which you view the world. A filter through which you pass things before engaging.

How?

Imagine that one of your non-negotiables is never eating food you know is bad for you. When you’re offered such food, what happens? You decline, politely. That’s it. You don’t need to justify your decision with an explanation. It’s your right to decline, just as it’s the other’s right to offer.

Imagine that another is having the same worldview as your intimate partner. A couple of coffee dates would reveal this. If you’re not a risk-taker and your date likes to risk everything on a hunch, you have a different worldview. If you’re a people person and your date has no friends, you have a different worldview. If you’re fit and active and your date is a couch potato, you have a different worldview.

Do you see how much more simple your boundaries make your life?

Being yourself is the route to happiness and self-fulfilment. So anything that helps you with this is well worth doing. Creating personal boundaries is a big help. Don’t be deterred by the amount of time and a lot of effort it takes to create your boundaries. The first time you do it will be the most labour-intensive. All subsequent reviews of your boundaries will get easier. And you should review them annually to make sure they’re still right for you.

One day, when humankind is more enlightened — ruled by love, not fear — we won’t need boundaries. But for now, we do. We need boundaries, not walls.

Are you ready to get serious about yours?

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).
life-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

How to Live Life on Your Terms

And stop living it on someone else’s

If I asked you whether you live life on your terms, you’d probably say yes.

But do you? Are they YOUR terms? Or are they your family’s, and/or society’s terms?

As an independent soul and a bit of a rebel, I used to think that I lived on my own terms. I was wrong. I did a lot of things that were expected of me, things that weren’t me at all. As a child, I’d tried so hard to fit in that I’d started doing what others wanted me to do. Even if it wasn’t what I’d have done myself.

At first, it wasn’t a big deal. Giving in a little here, a little there. But after years of this behaviour going unchecked, my own terms for living had been eroded away. Not that I was aware they had. The terms on which I was living had become so familiar, they felt like mine.

The fit became less comfortable as the years went by. I still wasn’t aware that this was behind the unsettled feeling I had. But I couldn’t escape the fact that I did feel unsettled. Something didn’t feel right inside. The best way to describe what I felt is that there was a void inside. A certain emptiness.

It was decades later that I finally understood why I felt that void. I was missing from my own life. Through not living life on my terms, I had lost myself, bit by bit, along the way.

30 years spent rediscovering myself taught me much. About me. About others. About what it means to be fully alive. Today, I live life on my terms. How do I know? Because I dance to the beat of a very different drum. Different from the beat I used to dance to. And different from the beat I see everyone around me dancing to. I’m told I’m an outlier with such frequency that I know people experience me as different. People I know very well, and people I’ve just met.

I love being an outlier, being different. You know why? Because I AM different. I’m unique, the only me in town. You’re unique, too.

How to rediscover yourself

Rediscovering yourself requires you to answer two simple questions. “Who are you?” and “Why are you here?”. The questions may be simple. But answering them isn’t.

Who are you? Who is beneath all those layers of conditioning?

And if you think you have no layers of conditioning, think again. We ALL emerge from our families and school with conditioning. Remember those rules you had to follow? Do you still follow them, even though you don’t have to? That’s conditioning. Don’t get me wrong, not all conditioning is bad for you. It’s only bad for you if it goes against your own conditioning.

Your own conditioning is your belief system.

Your belief system is one part of what you have to figure out to rediscover yourself. The other part is to understand what lights you up. What lights you up is a combination of what you love doing and what you’re naturally good at.

One way to get at all this information is to answer these three questions.

  • What’s important to you?
  • What do you love doing?
  • What are you truly good at?

What’s important to you? is all about the principles upon which you wish to build your life. Which personal qualities do you want to be known for? You know, things like honesty, kindness, resilience, openness, respect. If you find this hard to answer, think about the qualities you see in people you admire. Which types of behaviour are you not prepared to engage in? Are you prepared to use fear to get what you want? Are you prepared to be dishonest? Are you prepared to harm others through what you’re doing/buying? Which causes or issues are closest to your heart? Do you care about the environment? Human rights? Child labour? Income inequality?

To answer What do you love doing? properly, you’re going to need to go back in time to when you were a young child. From your earliest memories till when you were about eight years old. It’s best to stop at eight, because that’s when you started being moulded by others. With the best will in the world, your parents and those close to you started to direct you. To be a certain way. To go down a certain path. The trouble with this is that you are not them. Either as an individual. Or as part of your generation. So, the life for which you were groomed may not fit the real you. Mine didn’t at all. To answer this question, close your eyes and think about the young child version of you. What did you spend your time doing, when it was up to you? Think about this in detail. Note how you liked to play — alone or with others. Whether you were more introverted or extraverted. Whether you tended to lead, or follow. That kind of detail.

What are you truly good at? If you’re like me, you may not have a great sense of this any more. You may be accomplished at a lot of things, which is great. Some, you’ve learned to do well, and some, you’re naturally good at. All these things will serve you well, but you’ll get more joy from what comes naturally. Get a little outside help with this one, from people who know you well. Make sure you choose people who are impartial. This may rule out your immediate family as there can often be a lot of baggage in those relationships! Sift through their responses and note down those that resonate most with you.

Putting yourself back in your life

You now have the raw material you need to get clear on who you are, and why you’re here. The next step is to start to make sense of it.

From your answers, craft a short paragraph that captures your essence. It should talk about your values, your beliefs, and your skills. It’s your personal statement. Think about it as an elegant paragraph containing your personal keywords. Anyone reading it should be clear about who you are as a person.

Next comes what you plan to do with your life. I call this your Life Vision. Take your essence — the real you. Add what you love doing, and then the unique contribution you want to make in the world. This combination forms your Life Vision.

Living on your terms

You know who you are. You know why you’re here. Now it’s time to start living it. To start living on your terms.

Dreaming about your personal statement and Life Vision won’t make them come to life. It takes planning and action to move you from where you are to where you want to be. First, you need to break your journey down into steps. Make sure the steps are large enough to be interesting, and small enough to be achievable. Then, you need to plan how you’re going to take action. Plan no more than 90 days out, and then get more granular. Into months, weeks, and days. Don’t get into the daily detail too far ahead, or it won’t be relevant. I lay out next week’s daily plan at the end of the previous week.

Every action in your plans should take you one step closer to your Life Vision. It’s that simple. This level of focus is what it takes to live on your own terms. You may think it’s a lot of effort, that your current life is easier on you. You’re right about the first part, but wrong about the second.

Living on your terms feels better than any other way of living, and is worth every scrap of effort it takes to get there. You feel more alive than ever before. You feel more clarity than ever before. You feel more fulfilled than ever before. You feel happier than ever before.

And you’re worth every scrap of effort it takes to get there.

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

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The labels that define us

And how we limit ourselves by becoming them

I remember it so well. The day I became ‘a sick person’.

It was such a shock to me. I’d always been proud of my health. “I’m ‘a healthy person’, I’ve got good genes”, I’d say to myself, and anyone else who’d listen. I was someone who could put her body through endless abuse, and come out smelling of roses. Sure, I got my share of colds and ‘flu, but nothing worse than that. Until one day in my late 30s, that is.

You’re sick. You have ulcerative colitis. It’s incurable. You’ll be on meds for the rest of your life.”

That’s all it took. Those words flipped a switch in me, and I became ‘a sick person’.

My behaviour as ‘a sick person’ was very different from my behaviour as ‘a healthy person’. I took fistfuls of meds — to stop the flares when they happened, and to prevent them from happening. I panicked if I was more than a minute from a toilet. And spent hours scoping out routes I could take to alleviate my panic. I stopped exercising, not wanting to stress out my body any more than it already was.

I lurched from one flare to another. I had no idea what brought them on — it didn’t seem to matter to me. After all, my disease was incurable, so why spend time on such trivialities? Instead, I spent my time on my visits to doctors. Lots of them.

People felt sorry for me. My friends and work colleagues, and complete strangers in pharmacies and medical labs. They looked at me as though I had a life sentence hanging over me. Because that’s how I looked at myself.

After about 18 months as ‘a sick person’, something happened. I woke up one day with a clear picture in my head of a much older me. And this me was bursting with health.

In that moment, I stopping being ‘a sick person’ and started being me.

Without realising it, I’d become the person I’d been told I was. A sick person. I’d become the label I’d been given. In so doing, I’d handed over full responsibility for myself to others. In believing what I’d been told, I’d absolved myself of responsibility for my body, my health.

This realisation both shocked me, and spurred me into action.

I started a lifelong quest to educate myself. About this disease and others like it, and about health, in general. And to understand and love myself. Deeply. This was the only way I could take back full responsibility for my body and my health. Which I did, with great success.

Turns out, I’d been living the labels I’d been given my whole life. The dutiful daughter/wife/friend. The good person. The rebel. The outsider. And, in living these labels, I’d limited myself. So much so, that I’d become someone I’m not.

I’m not alone in this. I see people living their labels all around me.

  • The single mother.
  • The cancer survivor.
  • The daughter
  • The grieving widow(er).
  • The mother.
  • The business(wo)man.
  • The son
  • The [insert your religion, here]
  • The father.
  • The [insert profession here]
  • The sister
  • The ex-pat.
  • The immigrant.
  • The brother
  • The [insert your label, here]

I see you over-identifying with your labels. To your detriment. You’re limiting yourself, because that label is but one aspect of you. You are so much more. You’re limitless, multi-dimensional. Not the unidimensional person that label makes you.

Today, I decide how I live. I decide what goes in and on my body. I decide what — and whom — I surround myself with. I am neither ‘a sick person’, nor ‘a healthy person’.

I am me. And I’m limitless. Just like you.

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

self-fulfilment-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

10 self-fulfilment fails

The path to self-fulfilment is paved with good intentions, but more often than not, the way you actually live makes you feel anything but self-fulfilled.

Here are 10 signs you’re failing at self-fulfilment.

  1. You’re so busy, you barely have time to eat. There are a million and one things on your To Do list, all of them important. It’s a good thing you’re a pro at putting your head down, because that’s what you need to do.
  2. You go through the motions, day in, day out, and can’t remember the last time you were engaged in what you were doing. Still, you get things done, so that’s good.
  3. There is so much on your plate right now, you don’t know what to do. You feel completely overwhelmed and can’t see a way forward. This makes you feel pretty useless and lost.
  4. Every day, you wake up tired. It doesn’t matter how much sleep you had, you’re tired from dawn till dusk. And even though you’re tired when you go to bed, you just can’t seem to turn off your mind… so the cycle continues.
  5. Nothing ever goes your way. It’s not your fault – you just aren’t lucky. Other people are much luckier than you – they don’t realise how easy life is for them. It’s not easy for you – no matter how hard you try, you don’t succeed at anything.
  6. B.O.R.I.N.G. That’s your day. It’s your life, actually – that’s how it feels to you these days. You’re bored with what you’re doing and you’re bored with yourself.
  7. Everything has to be JUST RIGHT. Nothing else will do. You will do anything to make sure something is perfect – you can’t bear the thought of someone finding fault with what you’ve done.
  8. Even though you’re busy, you say yes – after all, it’s a favour for a friend. And that friend is so appreciative of your help that she’s always asking you for favours – you’re her go-to-person. Being wanted like this makes you feel good about yourself.
  9. You have all of these grand plans and dreams and love nothing more than to imagine what life would be like if one of them came true. But you don’t do anything to make them come true. After all, if you did and the reality wasn’t as good as the dream, where would you be?
  10. You spend a lot of your time comparing yourself to others, making sure that you come out on top. You take verbal shots at their garden gnomes, the way they dress, their make-up (or lack thereof), the car they drive – anything really… as long as you look better as a result.

Burying yourself in work, living on autopilot, being overwhelmed, feeling world-weary, seeing yourself as a victim, boredom, perfectionism, people-pleasing, procrastination and comparing yourself to others are ALL signs that your life isn’t self-fulfilling. They are signs that you’re distracting yourself from the reality of your life, that you’re feeling a loss of control, or that your self-confidence is low.

Self-fulfilment comes from a mindset that can be learned by anyone (see this article). And self-fulfilment feels good – it makes you feel more alive, more creative and more engaged with your life.

So take action today and stop failing at self-fulfilment!

 

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

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What would it look like if it were easy?

You listen to – and believe – all of the lies about yourself, especially the ones you hear on repeat in your head. The lies that tell you you’re not [______________] enough or not as [______________] as her/him; that you have to be perfect; that people will only like you if you do what they ask you to do and behave like they want you to behave; that you have to over-achieve in order to be accepted.

You’re afraid to try or start something, because you’re sure you’ll fail at it. You lack the self-confidence to go for it, so you play it safe. You get overwhelmed and stuck, unable to move forward even if it’s something you want to complete.

You feel useless, empty and scared – and then numb your feelings so you can make it through every day. You judge your every action – and those of others – harshly, constantly using “I/you should…”, “I/you must…”, “I/you always…” and “if only..”. You take things personally and hold onto grudges. You are competitive off the sports field, needing to be the best or always right.

You say one thing, and do another, and worry about the past AND the future. You feel the need to be the centre of attention, thriving on drama to such an extent that you unintentionally create it. You spend time around toxic people and in toxic places.

You live hard and fast, sacrificing your own health and well-being to get ahead. You make assumptions about everything around you, preferring this to looking stupid by asking questions for clarification.

You believe that you aren’t enough. You aren’t compassionate with yourself, so you can’t be with others, and don’t live in a way that nourishes you. You prioritize success over happiness, thinking that success leads to happiness, which it obviously doesn’t, because you start chasing a new success the minute you’ve achieved the last one.

You fight situations and people if they’re not how you want them to be, and cling onto everything, even if it no longer serves you. You NEVER forgive – your indignation at how you were treated feels much more satisfying. You say what others want you to say, believe what they want you to believe, follow their rules and have no idea how you spend your time.

You’re terrified of failure so keep on doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result – which never comes. You don’t bother having life dreams any more, because you know they’ll never come true. You never ask for help as you think it makes you look weak. You try to control everything, because you secretly believe that you can’t control anything.

You beat yourself up so badly that it makes you want to beat up others, too – to deflect the attention of your inner critics away from you for a few minutes. You bottle up everything you feel until it erupts uncontrollably when you least want it to.  You  feel hard done by, as if life has dealt you a bad hand.

You don’t want to stand out from the crowd, you want to fit in and do things the way others do them. Fitting in is so important, you’ve become a people-pleaser, doing whatever is asked of you. This makes you feel used – but you feel even worse when they don’t ask you for help. You spend more time trying to fit in than you do with the people who truly value and love you.

 

What would it look like if it were easy?

It would look nothing like this. 

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

boundaries-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

Why being yourself and having boundaries go together

For most of my life, I’ve had trouble with personal boundaries. Both with stepping over other people’s boundaries, and with allowing others to step over mine.

In my particular family dynamics, there was no such thing as personal boundaries. Walls, yes, but not boundaries. I had to do what I was told and wasn’t allowed to question anything people in positions of authority said or did. This led to my boundaries being crashed endlessly.

Back then, I didn’t have the awareness to know what was going on, just that it didn’t feel good. That having no voice and being made to go along with things I didn’t agree with sucked.

Boundaries are lines that define you. What you’re willing to do, and not do. What belongs to you, and what belongs to others.

Part of being yourself fully is deciding where your boundaries are. That’s why it feels so bad when someone else decides this for you.

Boundaries are crucial in all your interactions – with other people, with animals, with organisations. They’re a matter of respect. They’re being violated every time someone invades your privacy, or tells you what to do or how to behave. If someone’s presence or input is uninvited, it’s disrespectful.

Boundary setting comes from deep within. It’s based on your beliefs about what’s right for you in your life. You get to define how you behave, how you respond to someone else’s behaviour, what’s your to do. You also get to maintain your boundaries. And that means learning to say NO.

Whenever I’m feeling frustrated or angry, it’s because I’ve not maintained my boundaries. I’ve not said NO when I should have. This tends to happen when I rush into something, or when I feel sorry for someone. I’m suffering the consequences of my failure to say NO right now. I’m looking after someone’s dog, an incredibly needy, inactive dog, whose presence in my home prevents me from living my life. I love dogs, but don’t have the bandwidth right now to deal with a dog whose modus operandi is so different from mine.

You can learn to say NO in response to someone asking you to do something that’s not right for you. And you can learn to say NO in anticipation of someone offering you unsolicited advice. e.g. “I’d love to share something with you and just want you to listen – I’m NOT looking for any input about it.”

If you don’t maintain your boundaries, you cannot fully be yourself. Your ‘you-ness’ is compromised by every failure to say NO. If being yourself is important to you, then boundary setting and maintaining must also be important to you.

It takes courage to say NO. It also takes strong guiding principles. The reward is your freedom and a more joyful life.

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).

 

autonomy-http://agingdisgracefullywell.com-sarah-blick

How to reclaim your autonomy

We don’t mean to give away our autonomy. It just seems to happen. After all, we’ve been doing it for years, since we were about eight.

You see, society taught us to give away our autonomy.

This started to happen during the Industrial era, when the primary concern for government and industry was having a compliant workforce. Even our education systems were designed that way, to create people who were obedient.*

So, how are you giving away your autonomy?

  • By not questioning what you’re told/asked to do
  • By following the masses, instead of considering what your own values are
  • By allowing others to control you, or put you down
  • By feeling as though you have to behave in or be a certain way
  • By believing that government and industry have your best interests at heart, that they wouldn’t knowingly do or make anything that would harm you
  • By believing in perfection

Things like that.

Individually, you may not feel they’re a big deal. But we rarely do just one or two. And the effect of doing most or all of these things is devastating. You start to feel lost, hollow inside, as if you’re impotent, and don’t matter.

But you do matter. A lot. And you need your autonomy back.

How do you go about getting your power back? You start small, that’s how. You pick one thing, and start looking at it another way. When you’ve mastered that, choose another. And so on.

Here are some ways of reframing these long-held habits.

  • Not questioning what you’re told/asked to do:

==> Ask yourself what you truly think of what you’re doing. Do you agree with it? Do you understand it? Does it fit with your values/what’s important to you?

  • Following the masses, instead of considering what your own values are:

==> Do you actually think like the masses? Do you really care what [insert celebrity here] says, does, thinks, wears? Do you need all of that stuff? Does stuff matter more to you than anything else?

  • Allowing others to control you, or put you down:

==> How you react to things other people do or say is YOUR choice. You can choose to let someone control you, or you can exercise your free will. You can choose not to feel belittled by something said to you. See these things for what they truly are – failings of the other person, not you. And feel compassion for them, not anger.

  • Feeling as though you have to behave in or be a certain way:

==> See above. This is about control. Control by society (e.g. dress like this if you want to be successful). Control by your family (e.g. don’t show us up by doing that).

  • Believing that government and industry have your best interests at heart, that they wouldn’t knowingly do or make anything that would harm you:

==> Question everything. Inform yourself as thoroughly as you can. Most motivations are not honourable and have FAR more to do with power and money than anything else. If you do not agree with what government or industry is doing, vote them out – literally, in the case of government, and with your wallets, in the case of industry. People power is stronger than anything else… if we use it.

  • Believing in perfection:

==> Perfection is either something imposed on us by others, or is a form of self-torture. Either way, you need to drop this notion if you’re going to regain your power. Doing your best is what matters. Always. Just remember that your best will vary from moment to moment, and day-to-day. And that doing your best is never competitive.

You were born autonomous, it’s how you’re meant to be. And it’s how you can be if you make some changes in your life.

 


* “In our dreams, people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present education conventions of intellectual and character education fade from their minds and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into men of learning or philosophers, or men of science. We have not to raise up from them authors, educators, poets or men of letters, great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, statesmen, politicians, creatures of whom we have ample supply. The task is simple. We will organize children and teach them in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.” First mission statement of the J.D. Rockefeller-endowed General Education Board in 1906

 

Sarah Blick is a very tall, dog-loving, morning person. She loves to be in the great outdoors, to write, to eat well, to be active and healthy, to make her own household and personal care products, and to listen to indie music. She’s an ENFP (Myers-Briggs) and a Rockstar (Fascination Advantage).