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Define your Shape

By Cheryl Wright • May 7th, 2008 • Category: Personal Development

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Do you sometimes feel as if you’re a square peg trying to fit in a round hole, or you are being forced? In any case, when we know our shape, it is much easier to find the hole where we will fit comfortably enough and still have room to grow. Initially, for expediency sake or because of some unforeseen circumstance, we may have to wedge ourselves in an ill-fitting hole. That’s life; things happen and we have to make the best of it.

Now, defining our shape can be a life-changing event., especially if all we have known so far is how to play the chameleon distorting ourselves to fit in holes of different sizes. Yet even as we shift and change with the passing landscape of people and situations in our lives, we realize that we are not comfortable. We don’t fit. 

If you are ready to acknowledge your shape and find your corresponding hole, ask the following questions:

Who am I?

Frequently, all we know about our selves is what other people have said about us or told us to our faces. We’ve shaped ourselves based on how they treated us and then other people treat us on the basis of the shapes we adopted.

So, describe yourself. You are not alone if you hesitate but it’s a strange feeling isn’t it? It makes you wonder, “Do I really know myself?”

You don’t have to follow a chronological path. Begin with the present, the past or go back and forth. One memory may spark another, which might reveal a unique characteristic or a personal preference. 

Far too often, we take for granted many of the things that are true of us and make us the unique humans we are. They fade into the forest of responsibilities and demands of our lives and consequently, we forget.

Give this stage the time and attention it deserves. Remember too, that a strong spiritual foundation is the bedrock of understanding who you are.

What do I want?

It’s the story of our lives, isn’t it? We get lost in the expectations of others and eventually, disconnect from our dreams. I know it to be true in my own life. I allowed other people to dismantle my goals and dreams and erect their personal visions for my life. Has that been your experience? Is it your reality today?

To some extent, I can understand parents or guardians doing this. Generally, they want the best for us and their best usually hinges on their own experiences as well as a lifetime of conditioning from society and the world at large.

We believed what they said or felt we had no choice but to acquiesce to their wishes. While some might have found their advice to be on target after all, others may still be thinking that their lives are not as full and purposeful as they imagine it could be.   

Once you have discovered or rediscovered who your are, you may decide that you have gone as far as you can or want to, with someone else’s dream. If this is so, listen intently to the song in your own heart and sing. Crank up the volume and dance to the beat of your own drum.

How do I work?

Every day, someone has to do the work that needs to be done to ensure the timely delivery of products and services that make life possible and comfortable for countless others. Are you riding the "work train" knowing although your work is important, it doesn’t cater to, nurture or accommodate your shape?

It may be some time before employers begin pairing employees with the kind of work that suits their qualifications, experiences, natural tendencies and passions. So, meanwhile, create small diversions to ease the stress inherent in your job, do at least one thing everyday to feed your passion and nurture your creative interests.

When you can, prepare yourself to transition to work that accommodates your shape. I know this is easier said than done, but it is not impossible. You’ve read the stories, you’ve seen the people, you may even know one or two who have succeeded at this. Why not you?

How do I play?

Are you still playing only the games that your friends want to play?

I’m a self-confessed “mall rat.” That isn’t to say that I am not willing to play other games with my friends. We give and take. They do the mall with me and I do their “thing” with them.

If you follow your friends around like a mindless puppy, you’re wasting your time and your life. You’re losing yourself or maybe you’re already totally lost. You either need new friends who will function like true friends or you can take the lead and adjust how you play in your existing friendships.

Call a halt to the current practice of always doing what they want to do, going where they want to go because you feel guilty saying no. Is it really worth it to tag along with people and to places that make you uncomfortable? Is it worth it to always play the games that go against your convictions or personal preferences just to maintain friendships? 

The unpredictability of life demands that we be willing to make compromises in order to achieve long-term goals. Knowing your shape makes it easier to navigate the road filled with different shaped holes.

What’s your shape?

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