Freedom and Structure

Today’s post is by guest writer Caleb Nelson. Check out his bio at the end of the post along with a link to his Naked Sunday podcast.

If you are anything like me, the idea of imposing any limitations is akin to being suffocated by an anaconda.

Whenever I feel the semblance of restriction or rigidity, my initial urge is to rebel. Like most entrepreneurs or leaders who value autonomy, the lure of freedom in pursuing my own interests and cultivating life on my own terms is the ultimate in psychological sex appeal. As most who walk this path eventually realize, at some point, the vast ambiguity of complete autonomy creates a glass ceiling on your ability to maintain consistent success.

“You mean I create my own lack of freedom?”…

#irony

When the expansion of prosperity (afforded by said freedom) reaches capacity, a seemingly paradoxical effort of placing “boundaries” must be instilled to continue growth. This might look like changing a delivery format (say 1-on-1 to a group), increasing rates, taking days off, creating cancellation policies, or creating an organizational structure. In a relationship, it might be scheduling alone time, routine date nights, or assigning chores. In health, it might be putting focused routines together, or goal-specific nutritional requirements. And these are just a few examples.

The number one problem that arises during this phase of transition is dogma. Many people succumb to the fleeting notion of “should” as it pertains to other people’s opinions. The structures and “rules” put in place must be contextually appropriate to what YOU want and the circumstances and relationships specific to this situation. Not someone else’s idea of success.

A simple question you can ask yourself before taking someone’s advice is. “Do I want their life?” This is crucial, for if you are not honest with what you desire as the outcome, you will inevitably resist the frameworks put in place to guide your path. It has to be the right FIT for YOU. If not, you will completely reject the system and go back to your previous level of growth (which you will most definitely feel is a sign of failure).

Consider the “crash-diet approach.” A hard, rigid list of tasks, delivered in an overwhelming dose of intensity, driven by an under-current of insecurity to live up to arbitrary expectations from your last swipe through social media, and rushing with an inexplicable urgency to achieve a goal that you don’t ACTUALLY care about in the first place.

That was exhausting to simply write that, let alone having experienced it first-hand in business, relationships, and health endeavors. It is no wonder so many people bounce around unable to get over the hump. Left to fall back to their previous state, except not dragging a deeply-seeded sense of guilt and shame for not being able to uphold some external means of validation.

So, for the ever-freedom-hungry mind, how do you combat this process of becoming the “authority?”…

SLOW DOWN.

You need to love the “box” you put yourself in (don’t worry you still have the power to change it, and inevitably probably will need to evolve it again). It is a representation of defining your values. Taking small steps to instill new habits and frameworks allows you to “feel” each change and properly integrate it into your lifestyle or culture (both at home and at work).

It will be authentic to your identity, and as such, it will “stick.” You will keep the results, as it is part of the fabric of you and your community. Because of the sustainability, you will achieve a new level of abundance in resources (time, $, relationships, etc.), which in turn affords you new freedoms and opportunities that are important to YOU.

Takeaways:

1. Assess – are you at a ceiling of growth? (think beyond $)

2. Reflect – what do you want from making a change?

3. Remove – before adding, what excess do you need to let go?

4. Dose – what is ONE small change you can make?

5. Patience – what is a timeline you will commit to before reassessing?

Until next time…

Love. Every. Body.

Who is Caleb Nelson? Owner of Naked Sunday. As a coach, he helps heart-centered leaders transform their bodies and life, aka: “Look Better Naked Inside and Out.” If you’re ready to take a holistic approach to live as your authentic self and creating sustainable success, go connect with him on Instagram (Naked Sunday – @nakedsundaystudios | Personal – @lebinreallife) or check out the Naked Sunday Podcast (http://anchor.fm/nakedsunday), available on Spotify and ApplePodcasts.

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