Hey there rebel!
I've been thinking a lot about making things yours...
Because there's a lot of rules and limitations in life, we sometimes forget that we have a choice in changing and controlling where our life or work is going, and as a result, we fall into a false sense of security that ends up becoming our unbecoming. In the end, we all want to be happy, not just to get by.
So how do you make your life yours? Your career? Your business?
I asked myself this question because it comes up a lot with my clients, and it's not like I've covered it on the blog or anything (d'oh!), so today we're going to get to the bottom of it, in the shortest amount of time possible.
('Cos hey, I have some Friends episodes and a story waiting...)
The elements of YOURS.
I truly believe that anything can be dissected. Blame biology or just my highly analytical brain that likes to "figure things out," but basically, if making things yours was a pie, you'd be able to cut in three juicy pieces.
- What you want to say, or your core message.
- How you're going to do it, or your core strengths.
- Why you're doing this, or your core values.
And when you put these things together with the WHO you want to serve, then you have all the elements you need to make everything you do, yours.
Pay attention because these are exercises I give my clients, and exercises I am prepping for products, and today only, I'm just giving them out for free.
Good luck, and let me know how you get on. :)
1. Your core message.
So how do you know what to say???
Usually, I prompt people with the question: If you were standing on top of a building or in front of a camera or next to a person who's doing all the wrong things, what would you say, again and again, until it holds?
Mine is: Everything you do should be as unique as you. Dammit.
Another easy way to figure out what your core message is to look at your content - your blog, podcast, vlog, whatever, and look for patterns. What are you saying again and again? Are there any repeating themes? If your body of work was a book, what would be the blurb?
And this isn't even the funnest part! That comes when you have it.
Because when you have your core message, you can add it to every tired idea and create something completely yours, something original.
Say I want to write about content strategy. A million people are writing about it. But say I write about content strategy YOUR WAY? See, this is something only a creative rebel would write about, and if you boil my core message down to two words it's your way. So now I can write about social media your way and career advancement your way and passive income your way and journaling your way and branding your way and everything I can think of... your way.
That way, I never run out of things to write and talk about. Yayyy.
Now figure out what yours is and try it.
2. Your core strengths.
So how can you make your life yours with strengths?
Well, think about it. Everything you do is either done really well or really not well, and your strengths make it easier and more enjoyable. Not to mention when you're good at something, you excel at it. So your strengths are a natural way for you to enjoy life and get ahead of your competition.
So naturally, you gotta take advantage of this amazing resource.
As far as I can glean, there are a few types of strengths...
- Natural strengths come easily, oftentimes without any prior training. For example, I am naturally good with children and a friend of mine is naturally good with food. Neither of us has learned about it, it just stems from a genetic predisposition or a deeper - core - strength like empathy and the ability to see patterns and mix things together.
- Core strengths are the most important strengths to know as they will help you excel in everything you do. They’re natural strengths that you are born with (and develop through your life in many ways) and that impact everything you do. For example, my #1 core strength is empathy, and the StrengthsFinder test gives you your top 5. You can also get your strengths from free tests like 16personalities.com.
- Personality traits are the outer expression of your natural strengths. So if you’re funny, maybe it’s because you have a natural ability to laugh at yourself, or because you have a natural ability to look at the funny side of every situation. Or maybe you have a darker sense of humor or you inherited your sarcasm from your mom or dad.
- Acquired skills are what you have learned, and they usually build up on your natural skills. For example, being empathetic means I’m a good communicator, which means that I’d be a good writer, speaker, interviewer, etc, but I chose writing, and so learned to blog (acquired skill) and coach (acquired skill) to fulfill my need to communicate with, connect to, and help people, which I was born to do, basically.
They all overlap with one another and it's not really about dissecting things as it is about understanding that there's one main type of strength that can help you making your life - and work - yours, and that's the Core Strength.
Your core strengths are not mere talents, they're the deepest form of strength that spills over into everything you do and they help you do things in the best possible way. So if you're not using them in your life or your career or your business, you're missing out BIG TIME...
Ask yourself, Am I using my strengths to have the best life possible?
If you're not sure of the answer:
- Take the free 16personalities or the $20 StrengthsFinder test.
- Make a list of your core strengths. Both tests will give you your top strengths, and I have learned different things from either one, and yet, they are 100% accurate, at least in my and other rebels' experience.
- Apply your strengths to your life/career/business. Stat.
Once you do this, you'll be amazed at how much you can enjoy your life, simply by being who you are and using the tools at your disposal.
After all, the Universe knows its job.
3. Your core values.
This is the point most of us forget when we chase shiny new ideas and projects or when we're too busy with career advancement or when we get tempted to take the high-paying job even though we'd hate to actually do it...
If you want your life to be yours, you gotta check with your values.
Otherwise you might find yourself in a life that's not even remotely yours, a life that goes against everything you believe in (something that actually happened to me, but that's a story for another time), and I don't care what people say, money and fame will never be more important than principles and happiness.
Here are my own core values:
If I'm not operating within those parameters, you can forget about it. I'll be miserable or bored or just completely zombified, like most people I know. Instead, wouldn't it be amazing if we did things and chose opportunities that lead to a life that felt... right? Work we love? Business that's aligned?
Not to mention, putting the right vibe out there and attracting the right people? The people who believe the same things are most important? Priceless.
To find your core values:
- Draw a mindmap with bubbles.
- Fill the bubbles with words and phrases and things that mean everything to you. Don't think, just populate your mindmap with everything important - from things you care about to cool quotes to even your favorite movies.
- Now transform each bubble into a value. For example, "forrest gump" could turn into courage, or individuality, or whatever you took personally from the movie. (It's my favorite movie, by the way.)
- Choose the top 5 values you can't live without.
And there you have them! Your core values.
There's one more way to make your life yours, and that's convergence.
Basically, multipassionate people, as much as we try, can't fit into the boxes society, our families, and even we have outlined for us, so we have to stumble in the dark and go around and around until we find a path that fits.
Only to then realize we should have forged our own path.
So if you're interested in a lot of things and you don't see a way out of this pickle, then you need to converge your passions.
Creative convergence means bringing your passions together, and I teach it in my course for multipassionates who are tired of starting over from square one, from being judged as flaky or lazy or indecisive or not serious or whatever, and who are ready to embrace a new life of doing everything you love in one neat package. (Or most everything you love.) I also help clients with it one-on-one.
Sorry, didn't mean to pitch, but honest to God, you need this if you're struggling with the same things I was only a few years back. Back there, I made zero money from my passions because I'd always drop them before they made anything and every project took about 6 months.
Now I am happily converged and never going back.
I have a core brand, on which I can build indefinitely and keep things flexible for when I need to start something new. You can read about it on the blog.
And I hope this has helped you make your life your own.
It was about time, eh? :)
P.S. This post was originally published on The Rebel Digest. If you want to get similar emails, sign up and you'll get the next issue on Thursday.