This isn’t a trick question from Goldilocks and The Three Bears; It is a bona fide question that can get at the heart of how comfortable you feel in your own skin. How comfortable you feel about who you are will directly impact your ability to create a life by your own design that brings you the success and fulfillment you desire on your own terms. What do I mean by this?
Well, just as in the fairy tale, there is a “right fit” for each of us in terms of who we are and how we show up in the world. If it’s not a fit we feel out of sorts, frustrated, stuck, exhausted, and generally unhappy. This can happen in our work lives, relationships, personal pursuits, spirituality, and generally any part of our complex lives. When we do experience this feeling of “out of sorts” it is just like Goldilocks sitting in the Great Big Bear’s chair (“too big”) or the Middle Bear’s chair (“too squishy”). It’s not exactly painful or overtly awful, just uncomfortable and not quite right. Oftentimes in our lives we stay in the “not quite right” state for years and years — relationships that don’t work, jobs that don’t fit us, living locations that don’t turn us on, and end up rationalizing that somehow we have to make it fit. We force, we acquiesce, we give up, resist, or generally experience dis-ease. Yet, if we only tried the Teeny Tiny Bear’s chair we’d find it fits just right!
Unlike the curious Goldilocks, we don’t tend to give ourselves permission to try different things on for size. We lock onto some belief or expectation we have about how things should be and simply hold on tight whether it fits or not. Sure, we all have times where we make big changes in our lives, but how many of us make the adjustment as soon as our intuition tells us to? How many of us are even listening to our intuition at all? I know for me I’ll hold onto something that isn’t working for a damn long time past when I really should’ve let go or made a change. I’m getting much better at it, but that tendency is still there to struggle and try to make it work. You know the motivational mantra — “Make it Happen!” “No Pain/No Gain” and other nonsense like that. We think to struggle and suffer is somehow divine. That somehow if we stay the course (that doesn’t fit) we’ll be rewarded.
Just like Goldilocks we are frightened to see what is standing right in front of us. When we get a glimpse of our true selves and what we really desire, we panic. We panic because …
- It doesn’t look or feel like our current reality.
- We fear we might not ever be truly worthy of our brilliance.
- We worry that we’re not really good enough.
- We fear we may hurt or disappoint others if we be who we really are.
- We might actually succeed at expressing our unique gifts in the world and be wildly successful — then what?
So, we run like hell, just like Goldilocks did as far away as possible from the truth we see before us or within us. We don’t worry if we hurt or bring ourselves to utter exhaustion because in the act of running we avoid having to look inside ourselves for the wisdom. The ironic part of it all is that we can never outrun all the imaginary bears (demons and fears) and eventually have to stop out of pure exhaustion. Yet, when we stop we find that in our fear we have run back home. In Goldilocks case it was home to her mother. For us, it ultimately means we have to run home to ourselves – our inner world – our self – to find what we’re really looking for and how we might find that “just right” fit.