It's a new year! And what do we normally do when the calendar turns to January? Make a plan for what we want to change in our lives. We write down resolutions, set goals, and envision a better version of ourselves or our lives. If you think about the things you want to change, I wonder what the source of the discontentment is. As we settle into 2021, I want to challenge you to reconsider if the things you're changing are to align with someone else's expectations of your or your own. What if instead of changing who you are, you entered this new year more aligned with yourself?
This is about the time of year that we start to question our New Years' Resolutions.
"What was the point of this health or discipline goal?"
"Do I really need to wake up for every early Zoom class or read 10 books this year?"
"I guess losing weight & eating healthy doesn't matter if we don't have spring break?"
When we start to question the end goal of the changes we've implemented, we lose motivation to stick with the resolutions themselves.
Have you ever noticed that the language around new years' resolutions makes you feel bad about habits & routines in your life? It seems like every industry capitalizes on the change of the year to convince people to buy their product that will dramatically change their life. As a result, these sales tactics have us believing that something is wrong with the way we've done things in the past. From diet culture to idealized relationships to overworking as a personality trait, we are bombarded with messages of who we should be.
For the past year at least, I have been reconsidering the societal expectations that dictate how I should show up in my life. As a result, every area of my life looks different than it did a year ago... If you're a part of this community, I'm sure you've heard me share that I'm in a season of transition. At times, the discomfort of living in an unfamiliar place with new community running my own business is overwhelming. I can easily get stuck in the past, missing the familiarity & security I loved. But, when I lean in to discomfort I've created, a surreal contentment floods my body. Even though my new reality isn't comfortable yet, I feel overwhelming excitement in realizing I don't have to pretend a situation that doesn't feel right is working. The discomfort I stepped into put my lifestyle in alignment with who I am.
Sometimes when I hear people talk about showing up as their authentic selves, they make it sound so easy! "How hard can it be to be yourself?"
Listen up, sister ~ showing up as your authentic self might be the bravest action of your life. Those in your life who have come to expect certain behaviors and routines from you will be shocked. Most of the consistency that you've created will likely be shaken. Finding alignment in who you are and what you fill your life with can be heartbreaking because it requires deconstructing a life you've created as a false version of you.
So if it requires bravery and can be heartbreaking, you might be asking why it's worth it to reorient aspects of your life to reflect the real you...
The safety of meeting societal expectations will never feel better than the freedom found in fully accepting yourself and allowing everything in your life to reflect you.
Have you ever thought about how finding alignment in your life influences your sorority membership? You might think of your lifestyle as separate from your sisters. If you are fulfilling the expectations of your membership, you could assume that how you show up has no impact on your sisters.
Think of the most authentic sister in your chapter. Describe her in your head!
What are the best character traits about her?
How has she influenced your life?
Do you admire her?
Being authentic creates a safe space for other women to be authentic, too. Can you imagine what your chapter would be like if every woman felt comfortable being their authentic self & supported as they deconstructed the areas of their lives that are misaligned from who they are?
WOW ~ what a chapter that would to be a part of! Competition & comparison would no longer be frequent issues in this sisterhood. The chapter would be well-known on campus for being accepting & welcoming. Is this the culture you want in your chapter?
Then, I challenge you to take one brave step today to get back in tune with yourself. I'm sure as you've read this, there is something in your life that has stuck out to you that is not reflecting your most real self. Realignment does not have to start with a big decision. It can be a series of small redirections.
As you settle into this new year, what will be your first small step back to you?
Want to go deeper? Bring Cassie to speak virtually to your chapter!
"Strengthening Sisterhood Despite Separation" is our engaging 45-minute virtual keynote program that allows sisters to see the vital role they play in their sisterhood.
Through a guided reflection, women process their shared and individual stressors to reconnect with the value & purpose of their sorority membership. Your members will leave with newfound motivation as a member of your chapter or community!
If you're looking to cultivate a sense of unity in your chapter or community, ask about Cassie's availability to schedule at firstname.lastname@example.org!