In search of my ideal self
I have played many roles in my life–daughter, sister, wife, mother, nonprofit leader, volunteer, friend, consultant. Children play dress up and teens often try on multiple identities as part of figuring out who they are. As adults, we can forget that we still have the ability to put on, try out, or discard roles just as we did when younger. Anyone who has quit a job or gotten divorced knows how true this is. Suddenly, one role is gone and there is a myriad of options before you.
Self-actualization is the drive to be our ideal self and realize our full potential. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs puts self-actualization at the pinnacle of human needs. We’re meant to understand that the most important part you can play in your own life is to find and be the person you were meant to be. But this isn’t a one-and-done effort. Who we are now and the roles we are playing aren’t necessarily who we will be in six months or six years. I’m keenly aware that to find this ideal self, it helps to bring a level of intention to the search.
Taking the summer off
And what has that got to do with taking the summer off, Lucy?
It has to do with self-actualization–exploring how I want to move into the next stage of my life and what that new part might be. It has to do with giving myself time to pause and reflect rather than rushing headlong into the future, doing the same things as always. And, it has to do with fun and adventure, two values that I don’t honour enough.
I’m glad to have had some great coaching this year. My coach has supported my big idea of having the summer off and has held me accountable for taking the necessary steps to achieve this goal. For one thing, you won’t find me on social media. I’m taking a break from posting for the next six weeks (except vacation photos, naturally!)
I’ve had to say “no, thank you” to a few opportunities (a really hard thing to do when you’re self-employed!) so that I could say “yes” to time off. I’m grateful to be making the time and space for reflection and play. And, I’m anticipating a rested and relaxed me, full of energy and ideas for the my next role.
I’m curious about where you are in your life right now. Are you noticing that you are leaving behind one or more of your life roles? How are you experiencing the change? What are you doing to find and welcome your ideal self? Or have you found “you”? I’d love to hear from you!