Golden Visions and Associates | Coaching for Success
Thought for the Week
Your Success Thought for the Week of July 1, 2009
Freedom To Be You
Imagine yourself as completely authentic and fearless.  What would this freedom open up for you?
During this week of celebrating 'Independence Day' in the USA, I like to think of an equal freedom within each of you, regardless of which country you call home.
As children we are fun, courageous, and excited to take risks. Until others set us straight, we are fearless and see no limitations.  We are alive! 
Then, in adolescence we apply rules to ourselves depending on what's 'cool' or acceptable.  While still open to taking risks, we close a bit of our authenticity off in favor of being accepted.
College teaches us the discipline lacking during previous educational pursuits.  The pressure is on to please others (teachers), and focus less about what is important to us - what makes us happy.  Fear replaces freedom and begins to be a part of who we are becoming.
Our 20's bring career, marriage, children and mortgage.  At this point, we're focused on adult responsibilities, not necessarily what we want, or taking calculated risks that make life such a fun adventure.
By the time I meet many new clients in their 30's, 40's and 50's, they've lost some sense of who they are at their core.  Their innate freedom has dwindled, fear has set in.  New clients are often visibly saddened when this observation is shared with them.
If you keep this approach of focusing on what's 'expected' of you rather than the 'authentic you' and what is possible, your world will get smaller and smaller.  Anyone with aging parents can see how small their world has become.
The good news is that you can stop this pattern at any stage in life.   Simply focus your awareness on two areas: 1) your self talk and 2) your emotions.
1) Self talk-You may be used to your inner critic, the voice that continually tells you what is wrong with 'you' or others.  Is the voice you really want to listen to, to aid in your decision making and day-to-day relationships?  If not, change it.  Instead of focusing on the downward spiral of what is wrong, seek ways to make it right.  You have a wise inner voice eager to push your critic aside and aid you if you only ask. Allow your brilliant authentic self to speak up and guide you.
2) Emotions-Your emotions provide valuable information if you only allow them to do so.  If you're angry, for example, this emotion tells you something is not right and that action must be taken...but which action?  Ask yourself what is truly making you angry-is it the current situation or is something summoned from your past?  Ask yourself what you want; how you can best accomplish this; what honors you and those around you; what tactic will bring you back to a place of power and clarity? Anger alone won't solve your challenge.  Focusing upon the wisdom it provides will take you to the solution.
I invite you to step back into yourself this week-who you are at the core.  Challenge that inner critic in your 'self talk' and draw upon the rich data from your 'emotions' to expand your world beyond what others may expect of you.
This is a liberating experience.  Give this gift of freedom to be 'you' to you this week!
Enjoy your discoveries and have an expansive week.

To see more of my published articles, including 'Gifts of Emotional Intelligence,' go to:Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Executive and Leadership Success and then click on Writing and Wisdom across the top.

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week" for July 1, 2009 as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, GV&A, Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Success, 541.385.8887, PO Box 1696, Bend, Or. 97709.