It was the first week of 2024, and I was mentally challenging myself to find my "mojo" and bring my "A game" to work. After a wonderful, restful, and relaxing holiday with my family, I was feeling extremely Circle and a little bit of "internal resistance" as I drove to the airport. It wasn't that I was dreading work, it was more that I was missing my family, my doggies, and the comfort of lounging around in my "PJs" before I even left home.
I've experienced the "Post-Holiday Blues" before, especially as I take that first flight of the New Year. What I know for sure is that getting back into a routine is good for me, but what I also know for sure is that it's never been easy (by the way, I rarely use the words "always" and "never," but in this case I can honestly say, it's never been easy).
I had a couple of calls to make heading to the airport. Psyching myself up to "pick up my pace," I placed my first call and was relieved to go into voicemail. I forced an upbeat message and instantly felt bad about myself, as if I was being a fake.
Then I placed my second call to a military chaplain, who is a Shapes Certified Facilitator. She had facilitated a couple different Shapes Workshops, and I was genuinely looking forward to getting to know her a little better, even though I was having to give myself a "pep talk" to place the call.
Within just a few minutes, I felt "fake" no more, Shape Flexing with ease back to my primary and secondary Squiggle and Triangle Shapes.
She began telling me about the work she does while on active duty, not only as a chaplain, but as an Army major, and the hospice work she does when not on active duty. She is also a Ph.D., pastor, author, wife, mother, and grandmother.
Regarding her Shapes workshops, she told me how Shapes helps her participants feel less awkward talking about themselves and more comfortable being vulnerable. She then began to talk about imposter syndrome, which can be defined a few different ways, such as someone who feels they are not as capable, confident, or happy as others think and fears they will be exposed as a fraud.
In one of her Shapes workshops, a participant shared how he sometimes felt like an imposter when Shape Flexing to the Triangle. However, as the Shapes Facilitator, she pointed out that it took discipline and courage to be a Shape that you know you need to be for yourself and others.
I agree. Shape Flexing doesn't mean you are a phony. It means you care enough, are responsible enough, mature enough, brave enough, confident enough, and have enough faith to use a Shape, even if you are not comfortable being that Shape. It's just part of the process when it comes to survival, success, and significance in life.
So instead of feeling like a "fake," pat yourself on the back for being aware of when you need to Shape Flex, even if you don't necessarily want to Shape Flex. Talk nicely to yourself for doing what's hard in the moment, like shifting to "Triangle GO mode," when really all you want to do is stay in your "PJs" and cuddle up with your spouse, significant other, kids, pets, or a great book and just "chill."
Thank you Dr. A'Shellarien Addison for the insight, perspective, and reminder that we can still be our authentic selves doing what we need to do, even when we don't feel like doing it!
As always, if you have any questions or would like to provide your perspective and insight, feel free to reach out to me or our team anytime.