I went to my first TEDx event this weekend - the diversity of speakers definitely challenged a lot of what I thought I knew about myself and my place in the world, and one or two that left me with more questions than answers. I woke up on Sunday morning feeling like I’d just finished a long run in the rain - though physically I felt OK, my brain was on overload.
There’s a saying that once you’ve gained knowledge of something, anything, your view of the world around you changes. Who you are from that moment on will change, whether that knowledge feels significant to you at the moment. You can choose to use it, to affect yourself or those around you, or you can choose to carry on as you were.
The theme of the event was ‘Perspective’ - whether it was about overcoming significant personal challenges, to a commentary on technological evolution to how I may or not have been pooing correctly in my 34 years on this planet. Yes, just think about that one some more then Google the pelvic floor muscle.
A recurring message for me was choice and trust. I kept hearing it in that voice mothers use when they tell you to bring an umbrella because it looks like it’s about to rain. Then that voice in your head tells you that you know better, and the umbrella doesn’t match your suede boots so...yolo. Sometimes you’re right, sometimes it pours. However you learn your lesson, life decisions either comes out of trust in yourself, trust in someone else, or doing nothing out of fear. Taking no action is still a choice, right?
I also realised that I spend a lot of time in my head - to think, to escape, to pretend, to help me make sense of a lot of things. But mostly to escape, I’m really good at it. It’s probably why I can spend a whole day by myself. That feeling of loneliness comes from the perception of a social disconnect, and in reality it’s often self-imposed. We are not alone, we feel alone. We are not misunderstood, we feel misunderstood. Feelings are the symptoms of deeper questions we’re avoiding. Or questions I’ve tried to answer because I feel I should know the answers by now.
Often the questions we ask are based on what we already know, and therefore limit the possible answers. How do I make more money? How do I meet men or women of high-value? How can I get a job I love and enjoy? Often we stop before we dig down deep enough to understand our core values and beliefs - it’s what drives our decisions in life, whether we’re aware of them or not. As we grow up, live life and add more layers, it’s no wonder that we can feel lost along the way because we get distracted about who we are at the core.
Finding yourself is really a journey about asking those questions - to do the work and peel back the layers to your core values and beliefs. Not everyone has to pack up their lives and move to South America (because you will probably save a hell of a lot of money in the process) but for me, it is. The changes in me doesn’t begin when I hop on that plane, it’s happening now. I’m already becoming the woman that I need to be in that next phase of my journey. Taking action creates the change, that forward motion, is saying fear can still walk beside me, but I won’t allow it to be a backseat driver either.
What else is possible? Watch this space...