Are you a regular chiropractic patient? My daughter and I are. I am frequently astounded by the difference seemingly small re-alignments make. I find this particularly true when it has been a while and the uncomfortable has become normal. Your body keeps functioning but not quite at optimum levels. Then the adjustment comes and you are reminded of what it is supposed to be like.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this concept of alignment recently. It’s one of those buzz words that is floating around on social media but has also cropped up in leadership training and reading I’ve been engaging in. I am learning to be curious when an idea seems to be everywhere. I am getting curious about my own motives, thinking patterns and actions. How do these align with the values and faith I profess?
The big differences can be simple to spot. I am realising that it is the nuances and slight misalignments that have the biggest impact in my current day to day life and the pursuit of my goals. They sit in my blind spots. The discomfort of them has become my normal, my new comfortable.
So what can I do about it? How do I begin to change these misalignments? It starts by getting incredibly clear on what those values, faith and goals are. We have to know what is true and what we are trying to align ourselves with before we can do anything. This can be a huge part of the challenge- taking these abstract and nebulous ideas and bringing them into concrete language that you can focus on. Have you ever taken the time to really think about this and write it all down? That might be your next step.
When I know exactly what I am aligning with, I then need to be willing to be vulnerable and strip away the image and illusions I create for myself. We cannot acknowledge and make course corrections without the willingness to be curious, be brutally honest and see what is really happening. I am learning to work through this in the moments and in times of reflection. I dig through the excuses I throw up and the default thoughts that rise. I allow myself to look at what is driving them and evaluate how these drivers align with what I actually value and hold true. Sometimes I need others to process this with who have shown care for me but are not going to support me in my self-delusion. They are invested in helping me to be real, honest and to grow.
Then comes the re-alignment. I take thought patterns and consciously replace them with true thoughts that give me the perspective I need to move closer to my values and goals. I pay closer attention to what I am saying to myself. This is an ongoing, moment by moment process. I review how I spend my time and the goals I am working towards and make changes if needed. Sometimes these may be significant changes, but are usually small adjustments or shifting the motivations behind them.
In the midst of launching “Stepping Up In Leadership”, preparing for an overseas trip and the general busyness that this time of year brings, I find myself in the thick of another time of re-aligning and adjusting. It is in the busyness that it is the easiest to overlook this but the most needed. It has been so easy to slip into pride and making marketing and my time all about me and feeling good about myself. It has been easy to slip into stress and a pity party about busyness when these are actually all incredibly good things in my life. My focus has needed to shift. My perspective has needed to be realigned. No doubt I will need to remind myself of these words again before today is even over.
Where are the areas in your own life that you have been living with despite the misalignment to your values and truth? How does your perspective need to shift? You may not have hours to sit and contemplate but learn to be aware and get curious in your everyday moments. Find the ways that you process best- journalling, a mentor, a trusted friend. Imagine what your mind and life could look like if you make those seemingly small re-alignments that have you functioning at your best.