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Are You A Life Drifter?

Written by: | Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Do you change jobs often? Friends don’t seem to stay long? Never really happy where you are or doing what you do?

Welcome to life drifting – aimlessly rolling through work, life and relationships without any real sense of where you belong or how to live a life that really matters.

My coaching world connects with so many life drifters. Here are the most common causes of drifter behavior I see (do you see you in these?):

1. The “loud and overbearing” family – families that insist on telling how, what and where to live – life is according to their terms, not yours.

2. The “social trenders” – those who live based on the latest trends, fashions, view points and influences – whether they like them or not. Fitting in mattrers more than developing your own identity – whatever that might be.

3. The “no-clue-what-to-do” types – options paralyze them. With out a strong self-concept, they don’t know how to assess what are good and not good options – so they just go with the flow – with the loudest voices or the easiest roads.

4. The “tell-me-what-to-do” types – those who abdicate any personal responsibility for owning their decisions about the things that really matter. Their lives look like a copy of someone else’s life.

5. The “uncourageous” – those who know what they want but are afraid to go after it – they miss out because they hide.

I spent much of my life in the “uncourageous” and the “social trenders” modes – ready to fit in instead of accepting my own personal “stand out,” and lacking the courage to trust myself and live my life, my way. A couple of very tough life events got my attention and made me realize that I was drifting – living someone else’s life – missing the important moments – missing out on what really mattered to me. I was living in a way to be sure others were happy with me, instead of me being happy.

I know I don’t get today, or even this moment, back – once it is gone, it’s gone. So anytime any of us drift out of who we are, what we are called to do, be or contribute, we waste some of the greatest gift we receive – the ability to invent our lives our way and to bring our best to our world. And though we each get this gift, we still have to claim it. We have to choose it. We have to own it.

So to get out of drifter mode you first start by getting connected to the real you – to your unique talents, passions, strengths and interests. Notice what you are good at, interested in and inspired to do. Notice what matters to you. See how you are different. Appreciate it. Develop it.

I was the third of 6 kids; none of us has the same combination of talents, strengths, passions or interests. We are all different. How my siblings live their lives has no bearing on how I live mine. Doing what others do without fully understanding whether it works for you is a sure way to end up on someone else’s road in life. And the more you travel down someone else’s road, the farther you get from your own road. Discovering this is critical to ending drifting.

Connect or reconnect to what makes you different, distinct and unique.
 What are you great at? What are you passionate about? What is a great job, hobby, activity or life for you? Trust your own voice – it knows the real you. Stand up to those who are let you or force you to drift.

So, are you or someone you know not sure what to be, what to study, what job to do, what career move to make? Not sure where to live, who to marry or love, or how to spend your free time? Consider getting The Greatness Zone to get you started on knowing yourself, knowing your world so you can find your fit. Please share this with a drifter…

Life doesn’t wait for you to show up. It presumes every day is going as you want it to go. So if it isn’t, it is up to you to change it. Get on your right road and end the drifting.

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