Goal setting, Midlife gap year, Personal development

Living authentically means living with inner conflict

So, fresh out of my first ever life coaching session yesterday, pondering about my midlife gap year plan I am trying to commit myself to (in 12 months’ time), the succinct quote below is what’s left ringing in my ears. I’m not sure why, but I responded with “Yes, do you think so?”

The answers are within you.

life coach
Image result for yoga outdoor
It’s a great, calming picture, though you can be authentic upright too. 🙂

It also reminded me of a previous reflection I made in a recent post (though aren’t they all?), Human Wholeness – In pursuit of FI. The language I was using like ‘life physio’ and ‘rebuilding myself physically and mentally’ were unconsciously in a theme of rehabilitation or rebirth. I am pleased with this intriguing observation. This must be one of my life priorities for my Midlife Gap Year. It’s the achiever in me that is overlooking this for more intellectual pursuits.

Although I had put family and other relationships quite far down my ‘re-evaluated’ list of goals, this is actually the number 1 most important thing in my life! I think I had it as fourth in terms of what special priority it would have during my year out. In a way, it’s already ticking along fairly well, just that I hope to have a bit more time with my Little Firelite and more energy for other people, generally. Unless it’s all just a ‘Freudian slip’. :O

Post-coach reflections and questions

So after talking to my life coach, it led me to 3 new questions for myself:

1. Who is the authentic me? (If I feel inauthentic.)

2. Are there limiting beliefs that are needlessly contributing to my ‘indecision’ over leaving my job?

3. Why do I struggle with life transitions? (I’d made a connection with always having this since I was a child.)

The more I spoke, the more I felt that the difficulties I had with reconciling my year out, leaving my career (probably), and what to do with that time were all to do with ME. My identity issue (e.g. what are my priorities? Who is authentic me?) is not so much an issue placed within society (e.g. other people judge me, I feel so boxed into my roles by people) as it resides within me (e.g. I judge me, I box myself in, I choose to take on the roles that people put me into). I have a lot of conflicting values, and quite some imagination as to what I think others think of me and why that’s important.

Just from the top of my head, here are a few values I have that conflict and the flipside of each one:

Wish: “I want to prioritise my goal of writing a book”

At the same time, it is: “I want to leave my well paid job to do something selfish”

Value this reflects: “I believe I must be true to myself (authenticity value)”

At the same time, it follows: “My authentic self is selfish”

Conflicting value 1: “I should pull my weight in the family and continue working for FI (value family)”

At the same time, it follows: “I’ll lose any chance of my authentic self by being so ruled by money”

Conflicting value 2: “I believe in being productive and contributing to society (productive value)”

At the same time, it follows: “I can plan all I like for my year off to be productive, but I could equally waste the whole year not achieving much at all!”

And on and on.. The more I think about it, the more it feels like my whole life is a riddle! Are all these different thoughts me reflecting what I think others think of me?? I need a drink! I’ll come back to that one…

Prioritising values with fewer conflicts?

Interestingly, if I reframe that in terms of getting healthier and fitter, over and above the other things, then this one should mostly be within my control and the best possible reason to leave my job. The intensity of my job means that it’s hard to keep moving through the day. My joints are getting crunchy and I’ve read that I’m turning into what I do day in, day out.

As this was my first session with my life coach, it was mainly me talking so that coach could get a good understanding of the issue. So, at the moment, I’m finding the process of blogging at least as helpful… but I’ll be having another session next week.

Wake up and smell the flowers!

Related to some of the themes I’ve touched on regarding authenticity, I’ll leave you with some questions in George Kinder’s book (Kinder is ‘the father of the life planning movement’, apparently) that Don Ezra’s Life Two (this blog’s namesake) article mentions. I’ve been meaning to sit down with a good cuppa to answer them myself, so maybe for next time! And now, over to you…

  • FIRST QUESTION: You have all the money you need. How would you live your life? 
  • SECOND QUESTION: You’ve just found out you have five to 10 years to live. How will you change your life? 
  • THIRD QUESTION: You’ve just found out you have 24 hours to live. What are your regrets?

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