Do you temperature check?
In our youth, we are routinely assessed. Can you apply what you've learned? How can you outperform your peers? How can you surpass your own metrics? Can you prove that you are qualified for admission?
Once we leave the days of exams behind, and are relinquished of a forced self-examination, we can often stagnate. It can feel good to no longer need to define yourself with test scores and performance stats. But because of the perpetual stress created around proving your worth for 12-18+ years of our lives, we tend to rebel from the entire institution - a pendulum swing from too much of a demand on calibre. We launch into adulthood with reckless abandon, and amazingly creative things can emerge in this period of timelessness. Then, we find a rhythm that supports us and we begin embracing the hamster wheel.
The wheel, that cycle of motion, may have nothing to do with a career, specifically. It may in fact revolve around a pattern of avoidance: what you focus on to avoid the self-examination that exhausted you so long ago now. The intensity to which you bring to your every day, the escapism habits you crave at the end of the day, the way you always want to focus on the tumult of others or the way you continually put yourself last - these patterns that propel you forward are keeping you from knowing yourself. From knowing how you're really doing. And, ultimately, from making any impactful changes in your life.
This is a reminder to pause. Halt the cycle. Does that bring you discomfort? Good. That means that change is about to follow. Take time for yourself, away from distraction, and just sit with who you are. These are the moments that you're running from. Embrace them and allow yourself the opportunity to grow. You check in with those around you - ask how they are and how you can help. If you routinely check in with your partner, you're already in a leveled up mindset towards balance and wellness. But now it's time to bring that internally. Ask yourself how you're doing and be honest. Ask yourself what you've learned about yourself this month. Find out how you can improve - not for any metrics or validation - but how you can better yourself for yourself. How can you optimize your presence for the world around you?
Throughout my whole life, I've always had one simple initiative: that anyone who knows me is better for knowing me. That statement, that devotion, requires routine introspection. If we all took moments to stop running from ourselves, just imagine what kind of world we would co-create.