Sunday, November 8, 2020

Radical Honesty: Escaping Conditional Living

I remember having a conversation with a friend, who in full accountability, called me to see if I’d made a decision to move forward on a project I’d been so cleverly dragging along. In that conversation, I very boldly told her “Well, if this happens, I’ll do it.” I could feel her side-eyeing me through the phone, but I ignored it.

I began noticing I made this statement repeatedly. “If that happens, then I’ll do this.” I was living life based on external conditions. I realized my conditional living had manifested itself in small things -- like how I chose to eat (I'll eat ice cream if I workout), then more grand circumstances like career progression (I'll leave my job if I get a new offer). I was placing conditions on making decisions and worse yet, taking action. 

Doing deep work and a bit of research (self-help junkie & psych nerd here!), I realized that our conditional living is rooted in self-expectations, societal expectations, or fear of failure. Conditional living often manifests or masks itself as:

  • Procrastination or perfectionism

  • Validation seeking (constantly asking for reassurance from more trusted sources, because we’ve stopped trusting ourselves)

  • Delayed decision making

But if we hold on to the false belief that we (or our circumstance) can only succeed if something else (usually outside of our control) happens, we rob ourselves of:

  • Living fully

  • Taking agency

  • Having ownership of our lives.

We end up placing ourselves on a rollercoaster of emotions...constantly waiting for someone or something to decide for us. When in reality, our lives are not group decisions. So my beloved, let’s not wait until we get a groundbreaking sign. Let’s no longer wait until all conditions are perfect. And we definitely should stop waiting for permission.

You get to decide.

The decision comes from being radically honest with ourselves. What do you want? Is this thing congruent with your values? Does it authentically align with who you are?

I’ve discovered that the answer to taking ownership over our life experiences is accepting that you cannot fail. That there are no failures. Only data. And that  data will inform how radically honest you need to be to solely and confidently make your next best decision.


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