As a change agent, is your outer world as aligned as your inner world? You’ve already spent years if not decades healing your inner world. Yet, with the abundance of options in the world today, it’s an even bigger challenge to gain the outer alignment you need to fulfill your purpose.
Outer alignment means that your daily actions in the outer world match the values and purposeful priorities of your inner world. You experience harmony because your life is not at odds with the vision you have for your life.
This could look like making a living in work that express your life purpose. You take advantage of opportunities to live even more purposefully, and have a bigger impact in the world. When you get off track, with activities and projects that no longer feel meaningful, you take action to change your commitments, and get back on track.
Another thing you may notice is that priorities that used to be so important and heartfelt a few years ago no longer resonate. Outer alignment also means that you need to continually adapt your time commitments to match who you are becoming.
You may find now that it’s time to reach a much bigger audience, and learn new skills. One of my favorite sayings, paraphrased, is “Every time you step up to the next level of contribution, you will have to face being incompetent all over again. Get used to it!”
Since we all have parts that want to keep us from looking incompetent, this means we will regularly have to renegotiate with several parts of our psyche, including the inner “image manager.”
Staying in outer alignment also requires certain vehicles to translate your inner calling into work that is not only fulfilling, but meets your financial needs:
- Specific business goals that fulfill your mission as a changemaker
- Strategic plans to meet those goals
- Taking actions to execute those plans
- Support systems to keep you on track
Where does the outer alignment break down for you? Do you:
- Dislike setting goals?
- Enjoy setting goals but dislike making plans?
- Find you’re not good with todo lists – you don’t take actions that you need to take?
- Try to do it all yourself, not getting the support from the people and systems that you need?
This topic is likely to bring up all sorts of emotional reactions, such as frustration, shame, blame, and more.
But it can become comfortable or even fun if you find the parts within your psyche that keep you from focusing and following through with your priorities.
Here are some examples, and what each part’s favorite saying is:
- Procrastinator – “I’ll do it later; I’ve got plenty of time.”
- Distractor – Shiny Object Syndrome: “This other thing is so much more interesting!”
- Structure avoider – “I have to always “be in the flow”. Any structure impinges on my creativity.”
- People-pleaser – “Everyone else’s priorities are more important than mine.”
- Constant Connector – “I need to check my email and messages every 5 minutes because somebody might need something or I might miss something important.”
- Rebel – “I don’t want to do it at all, and you can’t make me!”
Which ones do you have? I know these voices well because they all show up for me at one time or another!
However, there’s an opportunity to change the entire game by shifting your relationship with these inner voices. The important elements of a successful shift in your relationship with your parts, is to:
- Treat each voice with appreciation and curiosity
- Know they really want the best for you, even if their behavior is unskilled
- Find out what they want for you more than anything
- Help them get what they want, with a better strategy that creates a win-win situation.
You can read a story of how one business owner successfully negotiated with his inner rebel by following these principles at How to Balance Your Inner Rebel and Taskmaster. In this example the rebel not only got on board, but proceeded to bring its lost capacity back to the table. That’s the way it always works, as each inner obstructionist becomes a new resourceful ally.
Which voices within you are causing misalignment? What conversations do you need to have with them to regain what you’ve lost?