are you driving?

I have spent years trying to “type” myself…Myers Briggs, Enneagram, DISC…you name the personality test, and I’ve likely taken it. But I have rarely - if ever - walked away with results or explanations that felt wholly accurate; felt like me.

I used to think that was because I was unique so no test could describe me. (spoiler alert: I’m not THAT unique, interesting or complex. )

I’ve come to realize now that I was looking for self-understanding and clarity in the wrong place. I was looking for someone else to tell me who I am, what I wanted and to define why I wanted it rather than defining those things for myself.

To think that I was willing (and so desperately eager) to give up the power of defining myself and my purpose to someone else is insane - mind-blowing, really. Why in the world would I ever want to let someone else define me and my purpose?

Let me tell you why: it was easier and safer.

Allowing someone else to define or explain who I am exempted me from having to do the hard work of discovering my true self, and gave me cover from my shortcomings. It was easier to blame a bad habit or bad behavior on a fundamental personality flaw than it was to accept and deal with the fact that I may have made bad choices.

For example: I can accept impulsivity as part of my personality, shrug it off and continue to allow that impulsivity to wreak havoc in my life OR I can recognize that impulsivity as a behavior that is wreaking havoc on my life, call it out and work to change it.

- One scenario is PASSIVE, making me the passenger and rendering me powerless but safely blameless for my life’s direction as I ride down the road to stagnation.

- The other scenario is ACTIVE, putting me in the driver’s seat and granting me power but the tremendous responsibility of steering myself down the road to growth.

Moreover, each scenario is a different journey: one along a road that is flatter and straighter; the other down a road full of sudden turns, pot holes and maybe even a few road blocks. One road is boring, predictable, but safe; the other is more unpredictable, interesting but packed with risk.

Today, after years in the passenger seat, I am finally claiming the driver’s seat and the road to growth because, while I recognize I’ll never be 100% in control of the outcome, I want the growth that comes from taking responsibility for my actions and decisions as they come together to create my crazy, interesting and unique life.

So, now, I challenge you: which seat will you chose? Will you join me on this risky, exciting and sure-to-be wild adventure or will you keep it safe?

The choice, as always, is yours.

(c) 2021 Richard Barlow Photography. All rights reserved.


Hi, I'm Kate.

Multi-passionate creative.

Professional optimist.

Lifetime dreamer.

Self-development junkie.

Learn more HERE.

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