Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Why you need a mission statement for your life

Do you have a mission statement for your life?
I've always wanted one. When I started being active on social media (which was 11 years ago on Facebook - I didn't have MySpace like the cool kids, because I'm always several years behind the trends), one of the first hurdles I encountered was the "describe yourself" section. Who was I? If you've read my memoir, you will know that figuring out who the hell I am has been a problem I've struggled with for most of my life. I vaguely remember taking the coward's way out and stating some obvious facts (wife, sister, dog-lover), because I simply didn't know.

Fortunately, with age comes (a little bit of) wisdom, and over the years, a path slowly revealed itself. For me, it was mostly a process of elimination: I would try something, discover (often to my surprise) that I didn't like it, and go from there. It's a tedious process, but effective!
That process taught me the most important lesson of my life:
I didn't know myself very well because I didn't let myself know the true me. I was afraid of who I would find, of the person I was. What if she was as weird and uncool as I feared?

So I spent many years trying to be this person I wasn't, plucking images and personas from books, movies, online and IRL people I admired, hoping to become as amazing as them.
Needless to say, it didn't work. I had to learn the hard way that pretending to be someone you're not will make you feel lonely, unfulfilled and unhappy.
Getting to know the real me - and showing her to the world - has been a mission I've been on for several years now, and that I will continue to be on for the rest of my life. It's the only way to live!
The biggest obstacle I face is myself. Or to be more precise, my inherently fearful nature. It may not appear that way, but I'm a cautious and anxious person. I get scared easy. All my life I've had to push past my fears to take the next step, to move forward, to grow and evolve. If I don't, I get antsy and restless. For a long time I cursed that restless part of my personality, for not allowing me to stay where I was - in my comfort zone. Hidden behind half-truths and masks. In trying to be as authentic and truthful as I can be, I make myself uncomfortable regularly, and sometimes that sucks.

But you know what? I know that I'm not the only one. Many of us feel that way. Otherwise we wouldn't keep so much of our selves hidden from the scrutiny of the world. Being open means being vulnerable, and we are afraid to show our vulnerability for fear of getting hurt.
So we hide, and pretend, and play a part - until we get dissatisfied and unhappy with our lives.
And that feeling of unhappiness? That can be a gift. 

The restlessness we feel does not mean that we are ungrateful - it means that we haven't reached our potential yet.
I believe that deep inside, we already know our path. Our destiny and truth are tucked away deep inside our bodies and souls, waiting to be unearthed when we are ready to dig for them.
Over many years of soul searching and becoming myself, my life motto crystallized itself:

Creating my happy life on the other side of fear. 

It's part of my blog header, but even more importantly, it has become my guideline for making decisions.
Creating something where nothing was before is magic. Be it art, a DIY project, a piece of writing or a cake, being able to create something special that didn't exist before is one of life's greatest gifts. Knowing that I have the choice to make something good even with less-than-stellar ingredients (=life's curve balls and obstacles) is such an empowering feeling!

My happy life consists of things that don't always come easy to me. I love to write, but I often can't find the words and give up. I love to do yoga, but I often don't practice. I like to have people over, but I often don't feel like cooking, cleaning, and entertaining. My motto is a reminder that the things I tend to choose out of laziness - binge-watching Netflix, not working out, drinking wine instead of working on my book - will not bring me lasting happiness.

Everything great in my life has scared the sh*t out of me in the beginning. I used to think I'm more scared than the average person, but I'm not so sure about that any more. I think fear is such a raw and basic instinct, we all have it.
Every time I have to make a decision and I'm scared, I remind myself of everything I did despite the fear. The list is pretty long, and I know that yours is, too!

You would think I wouldn't need a reminder after all this, but I still do. My life motto is like a compass that steers me back onto the right path when laziness, fear, or confusion make me lose my way.  

We all need some guidance and help. Words are powerful - they can help you find your way!

xoxo Miriam


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6 comments

  1. "Everything great in my life has scared the sh*t out of me in the beginning." - SO TRUE!!!! When I went to France for the first time and stayed with my penpal (thus igniting my passion for travel) I was terrified!! When my wallet got stolen and I was stuck on an ISLAND in Greece for an extra 3 days, it took everything I had not to have a breakdown...and it turned out to be such a blessing in disguise (and is a major event in the unpublished book I wrote!). Even certain relationships that have shaped me and the way I connect with others - hugely scary, hugely amazing. Life truly does begin at the end of your comfort zone!!

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    1. I couldn't agree more! But it's scary over and over again (even though remembering how well other scary events turned out helps), which is why I constantly need to remind myself that it's worth it.
      I so hope you will get your book published! I'll be the first in line to read it. Your Greek adventure sounds - well, truly scary! 😂😉 I hope I'll find out one day what happened!

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  2. I use "If you don't run, you rust"....lyrics from a Tom Petty song. It fits me: Always evolving, always on the move.
    I feel like I am on the verge of another evolution just not sure where exactly this journey will take me.

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    1. I have noticed, and I can't wait to see what's about to happen in your life! You seem to be ready for the next chapter - whatever that chapter may be. I'm super inspired by your FB posts about #alignandflow, keep them coming!

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  3. Love this!! It's so true: You know something is worth doing when it makes you scared or nervous. That just means you care.

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    1. Yes, I agree. There's nothing worse than being slightly bored with your life!

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