“I could have settled. I could have made it easy on myself and done it differently… But I couldn’t.”
While visiting one of my oldest friends in London this past week, we were talking about the decisions we’ve made in the last few years; how hard it’s been and yet how essential they’ve been to making us the people we’re proud to be today. And she was right, she definitely could have made it easier on herself by settling for a comfortable life, one without the risks of running her own business or without having tough conversations with her partner. But just as easily as she could have, she also couldn’t. Her strongest, most powerful self, her Inner Leader, wouldn’t let her. Her sense of self and everything she valued refused to allow her to live an unfulfilled life that didn’t look or feel like her. So she made the easy decision to choose the hard path, her own. This is fulfillment. It’s a radical act to choose your truest self over what society, expectations, and even family chooses for you. It’s an incredibly easy and hard decision, simultaneously. Most of us know in our heart of hearts what we want, whether it’s a temporary interest or a life-long calling. We know what it’s like to feel the tug in our heart: I want that. And we also know how painful it can be to live in contradiction to that feeling because our powerful and parasitic Saboteurs make it seem like we’re not worthy, like we don’t deserve it, or my favorite, like it’s not realistic. Fulfillment requires repetitive and deliberate choice based in reflection and self-awareness. This is why it’s hard. It can be exhausting to live in your truest self which is why fulfillment doesn’t equal happiness, it equals authenticity. It equals firmness of identity. It equals integrity. So, you could choose the easy path dictated by society’s agenda for you. You could live in that box. Or, you could regularly choose your most authentic and powerful self. Day after day after day. It’s terribly hard. But it’s also easy.