When I was a student nurse coming off a night shift, working my way down the escalator, I would rejoice that I was off shift and would look at the grim faces of people as they stood in line, rising to the surface on the opposite escalator. I may only have been 19 years old, but I could see that very few people looked happy or as though they were 'feeling good' to be on their way into their day of work.
This morning I was conducting a coaching session with a client who showed me a photograph of himself five years previously. The photo showed a man who looked older than the man sitting before me today. As this client described, looking at that photo of himself - he was dull, trapped, so much less alive than he felt today, even though today he described his current lack of 'success' according to a definition that he might have used 5 years before - in terms of finance and possessions. Then he had been working according to what his values were then. At that point expressing his principles to a wider population was his main outlet from the values he had been socialised into, values that were crushing him. His 5 year old photo, alluded to that deep, inner dissatisfaction. Since then he had let those old compressing norms go. He is now more creative, able to express his passions. As yet his financial position is at odds with the freedoms and benefits that he now experiences, but that does not mean that he has not had many successes to be proud of. He, like every one of us, is on a journey, learning, developing, growing more skillful - feeling alive, interested, full of possibilities and developing them.
Sometimes, we have to pull apart words, expectations, obligations that we have been socialised from birth to accept. Sometimes words such as 'success' have a meaning that we have accepted as we were taught decades ago. We were taught meanings and to accept those meanings according to how our 'teacher' and society had accepted the definition to be. Does success need to be understood in financial terms or by having reached a particular level in an organisation or a particular level fame? Not at all. Can success be living your life according to your own values? Yes, success can be what you choose it to be.
During my morning dog walk, today, I had a conversation with a fellow dog walker, whom I had not seen for 18 months or more. He described, how he is now working for himself, he is building his own business which enables him to do what he loves most and that is to be with his partner and his animals. As yet, he isn't earning much, but he is 'feeling good'. He, like this morning's client, could not envisage working for anyone again. In fact most self employed people I have coached and spoken to would describe being self employed as a far preferable situation to working for anyone else. Ofcourse, being self-employed is not for everyone, however, people who prefer to be employed can also change how they feel to feel good every day, and it really is important to do so.
It is so easy to get so trapped in doing what you are doing, that you cannot see the woods for the trees. So many people lose sight of their dreams and passions. They forget how they felt when they felt enlivened, engaged, interested, energetic, passionate in their beliefs that they could live lives of their own choosing. Sometimes it can be the physical sensations that let you know that you have got off course.
Do you recognise when you are feeling really uncomfortable? Some people don't. Feeling uncomfortable has become their norm, so much so that they are no longer aware of it. When you are feeling uncomfortable you might feel stressed. You might feel really tense. Or you get a knot in your stomach. Some people might come out in a hot sweat. Or get palpitations. Others feel sick or are sick. Notice how you are breathing when you feel uncomfortable/ill at ease.
Take note of when these sensations happen. Is it when you are asked to do something you don't want to, or don't have time to? When you have responded in a situation without full honesty? Going to work? Etc?
Such 'sensations' are certainly symptoms, which may have more to do with you not being true to you, than you being or becoming sick. However, if you ignore those 'sensations' it is very likely that further down the line, you may become medically sick and have developed some chronic disease.
Take note of the occasions and situations when you once again experience those feelings of vitality and enthusiasm. Do more of them.
If you would like to discuss how you can change what you do to 'feel good' more of the time, contact me at www.makethatdifference.org/free-trial and book a FREE 30 minute consultation.