This is something I think a lot about, because it’s the root cause of a problem that I see so much of in myself and others, in business and in everyday life. I didn’t fully see it until I realized it was part of my main objective in life to put people back in their own authority. To learn to listen to themselves. Their own heart, their own inclinations, intuitions, desires, needs and experience. To stop putting other people, organizations, celebrities, or even family and friends above themselves when it comes to making decisions that chart the course of your life.
We want someone to tell us how to do it, because it’s been done. We want someone who seems to have succeeded at the particular thing we’re after, to tell us how they did it so we can follow their path to get where they seem to be. And we pay mightily for it.
But listen, that is not a problem… there are teachers, and there are students, and the dynamic of ‘lead and follow’ is inextricably part of our world, but when it comes to who you are and how you want to live your life or run your livelihood, to follow anything but your own call first is a sure-fire route to a feeling of always being somewhat lost, behind, and not enough.
If we are not first standing strong in our own knowings, we cannot really use any teaching or guideline effectively, because the world is full of different authority figures saying different things all the time, and if we have no compass of our own to guide us, we will just be lost in a sea of “do this” and “do that“, without any way to know which one is right.
That’s because there isn’t one that’s “right”, but there is one that might be right for YOU. How the hell can we know which one that is if we constantly give away our own authority? Our own ability to steer our own ship?
I realized as I was walking the other day that to try to put people back in their own authority is truly a mountainous task, because sadly: people don’t trust themselves.
And for good reason! (we think) We think we have good reason not to trust ourselves because hey, we’ve royally f***ed some sh** up in our time!… we’ve made mistakes… we’ve failed… we’ve taken wrong turns… we’ve lost! We definitely DON’T have it “all figured out”, so why should we trust ourselves?? And therein lies our fatal mistake: thinking that there is a person on this earth, of gold-certified authority or not, that HASN’T royally f***ed up too, and done all of the above, and then some.
Do you actually believe that those authority figures of yours, the ones you deem more credible, reliable or trust worthy than yourself haven’t made mistakes? failed? taken wrong turns? lost? Do you actually believe they’ve got it all figured out in any kind of a permanent and unchanging way??? Do you actually believe whatever game they’re on top of, they’re going to stay unflinchingly on top of forever??
We believe we can trust someone more than ourselves because we believe that someone’s got this game completely won. And hey, that could be true if nothing ever changed again… and, *ahem*, good luck with that. Nobody’s got the game won, because the games not over. It never is.
There is not a person in the world who is not chalk-full of mistakes, wrong turns and humiliating failures. Not ONE. And that means NO ONE has more authority over how you live your life or shape your business than you do. No one is more worthy of your trust than you. Because look, the reality is we’re all just a bunch of failures and f*** ups, if there’s one thing we can trust ourselves to do it is to fail. 😀 But then we get up, and we try again. We do it different, we try another way. Because the reality ALSO is we’re all a bunch of winners and heroes too.
It’s an all-inclusive trip, my friends. The story is full of twists and turns, highest peaks and lowest valleys. Enjoy the ride! It’s the only one you’ve got.
So don’t give away your authority to someone you deem more worthy of it, use what you can learn and take what fits for your own “true north”, and leave what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to chart your own course, and break away from the “how-to’s” and “what you MUST do’s“, experiment in your own unique inclinations and intuitions.
Don’t forget that the current “authorities“:
1) have not always been authorities. 😉
2) don’t have any kind of game permanently won. (as soon as you figure it out, it shifts.)
3) might have what works for them, but what works for one doesn’t work for all.
4) may have discovered groundbreaking things or ways by following their own natural inclinations.
Nobody has more authority over your life and business decisions than you do, because nobody KNOWS YOU and your business like you do. And that is a fact you can bank on.
Follow only the leads that strike a chord with you,
and make them be part of YOUR symphony.