Are YOU your own Compass?
- What does that even mean?
I facilitated a workshop early January about setting intentions for the year ahead and then planning out your goals but really, at the core of it, was something else.
We all have dreams and plans, right? However, many of us are putting blocks in our own way by letting others taking charge. For me, that has really been the first step; I needed to realise that I can’t rely on others to make my dreams come true. I needed to take control and responsibility for my own actions, in order to create the life that I want to live.
I needed to decide what I wanted, how to get there, and I needed to put in the work! So that’s what I mean by ‘Be Your Own Compass’.
Read along to see if You are your own Compass and let me know what you think!
1. You regularly take stock
Do you have a clear idea of where you are in your Life? I don’t mean where you physically live, but how you feel about your current situation. What areas of your life are you happy with? What areas of your life need improvement? How are you on a daily basis? Is there a sense of ‘resting in yourself’ or is it more ‘running around like a headless chicken’?
Naturally, these things change from day to day, week to week. However, taking stock of your situation, on a regular basis, helps you feel more connected (to yourself) and more in control of your life.
2. You know where you are heading
Once you do your regular check-ins, then it’s also important to know where you are going! You may have identified things that are going well - Great! How can you bring more of the good stuff into your life? You may have realised that there are areas that you aren’t happy with - That happens! How would you like it to change? You may have realised that your current state of ‘headless chicken’ isn’t really how you want to live your life! What does your ideal sense of self look like?
You don’t necessarily need to have answers for all of the above, however, the clearer you are on what you want in your life, the easier it will be to achieve it.
3. You have a plan
So now you have your destination (what you want to achieve) and you know where you are starting off from (you have taken stock) - how are you going to get from A to B? This is where you figure out what you need to do in order to achieve your goals and live the life you want to live. As Stephen Covey said; “Start with the end in mind”. So you know where you want to be, now work backwards and identify the actual steps you need to take in order to get there.
To avoid overwhelm, it is a good idea not to try and change everything at once. From my experience, you can only really work on 2 or 3 goals at the same time - depending on what it is and how big those goals are. One may be changing something in your every day life, like becoming more mindful. You can take daily actions towards that. Another might be a more long-term goal that you work on, at least, weekly. Breaking them down into small, actionable steps will help you feel more accomplished and ‘on track’ than if you try to do everything at once.
4. You adjust your course as you go
It’s great having a plan and actionable steps! It’s really the way to go in terms of wanting to go anywhere! However, we also need to accept that ‘Life’ happens and we can’t 100% predict how things go. Therefore, it’s a good idea to regularly take stock - as mentioned - but also in terms of your plan. Are you on course? Have certain things changed that requires you to make changes? Perhaps you got a great opportunity that you want to try out!
All that is totally fine. I feel it’s better adjusting the course as you go, rather than sticking stubbornly to the initial plan and then realising that it wasn’t actually a good plan. Because, as you move forward towards your goals, you will continue to learn and explore and see new things. So be flexible and adjust as you go.
5. You don’t blame others for your failures
This is probably the biggest thing in terms of taking control and responsibility for your own life, and thereby, being your own compass. It is very easy to blame others for our current miserable situation (E.g. “I hate my job, my boss is an idiot”) or for our failures (E.g. “I have been trying to lose weight for ages, but it’s impossible because my husband isn’t supportive”). While there definitely are external things that affect our lives, that we can’t control, there are so many things that we can control. We have the power to control our own thoughts, our own behaviours and our own path. So instead of wasting energy and time blaming others, realise that it’s really YOUR responsibility. YOU need to change things if you want things to be different.
No, you probably can’t change your boss, but you can change your attitude towards him/her. No, your husband might not be very supportive, but you can adjust your plan to account for that. Stop letting other people control your life.
A note on thinking that all this sounds selfish.
Personally, I have struggled for years, to realise that it’s ok to put myself first. I still need reminders on a daily basis. Putting yourself first; deciding what You want and what You need, is not selfish. It is absolutely vital if you want to live a healthy and happy life. This doesn’t mean that you don’t care about anyone else or that you can’t compromise on certain things but, if you don’t give yourself what you need, on a daily basis, you simply won’t be able to be there for others at all. Full Stop.
So, being your own compass is not selfish. It is pure vital self-care.
What do You think? Are You your own Compass?
Let me know in the comments below!