Welcome to the latest wave of *Fika for Your Soul*!
*Fika for Your Soul* is about connecting with inspiration from everyday situations and conversations. It’s about discovery, reflection, leaning into, and stretching beyond…how we may see, understand, and express freedom, exploration, and leadership (among other things), all in the context of our daily lives. ‘Fika’ [feeka] is Swedish for, among other things, taking a break.
From time to time I watch Marie Forleo’s MarieTV. The other day, she aired an episode with Abby Wambach, a retired US football/soccer player, coach, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, a pay-equality advocate, and much much more.
Marie welcomed us to the episode by saying, and I paraphrase… “If you want to be a champion in the game of life, this is for you”.
My ears perked up.
Something sparked in me when I heard those words. I repeated them to myself.
The vibe they carry is that of growth, confidence, expansion, and freedom. And to me, “being a champion in the game of life” translates to taking personal responsibility, something that is dear to my heart.
Some of the nuggets that stayed with me from this episode include…
…the importance of defying labels,
…stepping off the safe path into unchartered territory, and
…leaving the pack.
Although these three points stand out to me because they’re what’s up for me right now, I’m going to stick my neck out and offer that they are universal; most of us face these one way or another, in some shape or form.
So, a few thoughts on…
No matter how safe they make us feel, labels also have the power to “dumb us down”. Labels make things easy. It’s easy to hide behind them. They help us conform; they help us fit in. And just as much as they can help us feel like we belong…they can also create division.
Labels help organise the world as we know it, so it’s not that labels are pointless or useless, it’s just that they can easily obscure what’s important and make us forget who and what we truly are.
As I’m writing this, I’m reminded that there’s a difference between me giving myself a label and having someone else attaching a label to me. Still, whether added by me or someone else, labels added without awareness can easily create debilitating limitations.
Stepping off the safe path
Labels have a role to play here as well. They create boxes we live in. I think of these boxes as a safe path.
One label or box, in particular, has seemed like an especially difficult one to let go of for me personally—the “employee mindset”.
Historically, the label “employee” or the box “employee mindset” is all I’ve known. It’s been sold to me as the safe, sensible, and sincere option. More or less everyone I knew growing up operated within this same box.
Looking at it this way, it’s no surprise how deep its foundation goes. Yet, I’m still taken by surprise by how solid some of this foundation remains.
Extracting myself from this “employee mindset” box…
…There’s fear, both subtle and not so subtle, of not being safe, of making “unsensible” decisions. And fear that choosing something different means being insincere about my direction and choices in life.
The way I create frameworks or boundaries for myself has been heavily influenced by this box. I constantly have to remind myself that the knee-jerk reaction or choice might not be the whole story. That there is an expanded version available that I have yet to experience.
Leaving the pack
“Successful” people’s stories seem to always have a part where they deviate from the most trodden path. Where they strike out on their own. Where they make choices that are deeply meaningful to them, which in turn take them further than they ever imagined.
A few thoughts on leaving the pack… (notes to self)
…It doesn’t have to look or feel dramatic. It can…but it doesn’t have to.
…Striking out on our own doesn’t mean we’re predatorily competitive.
…By making choices that are deeply meaningful we build strength in following our soul.
In closing, I’ll end with this…
In the conversation, Abby Wambach refers to how she used to cling to labels because they gave her what she thought she was. I can relate to this, and at the same time I find myself feeling like I’ve just woken up from a slumber thanks to a new deeper awareness of how labels play a role in who I am and the choices I make.
What’s your relationship with labels? How would you say that you are championing your life?
If you feel inspired to share, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
…from my soul to yours,
PS! I highly recommend watching the whole MarieTV episode (on Facebook). It contains many good points we can use as we take ownership of who we are and how we show up. The video is also available on YouTube.