Many of my clients, when thinking about a change they want to make, talk about wanting to be happy. What does it mean to be happy? Much has been written on the topic of happiness and research supports our efforts to find the illusive happy. But first we have to define what happy means. Part of my happy is honoring my values, one of which is authenticity and I’ve learned, especially in my time living and working abroad, that being flexible or adaptable to a situation while important is sometimes at odds with my desire to be authentic. Authenticity is another topic on which much has been written and it is a word that means many things. For me, being authentic is about being true to myself. When it comes to aligning being authentic with the flexibility a situation requires, I have discovered I need to pause and reflect on the balance between being authentic and being flexible: imagine a teeter-totter.
It is a worthy exercise to define what happy looks and feels like for you, and what your core values are. Being authentic, true to who you are, while you balance what the situation/job/people need from you also requires some thought. I talk to my coaching clients about the place where they are both happy and authentic as standing in their power. Standing in my power is about loving the work I do, having true connection with those around me, and making time for play and self-care. I have pictures, words, song lyrics, and quotes that describe standing in my power. Here are a few: