Look Beyond - Who You Think You Should Be (And discover who you really are)
As a trial lawyer, I know how powerful questions can be.
The questions you ask can change the path you take and shape the experiences of your life.
Who are you? (Or who do you WANT to be?)
I challenge you to take a few moments to think about that. Think beyond being the roles you perform and what is expected of you (i.e. a mother, father, or daughter, son, or sister, brother, or employer or employee).
The first time I considered this question, I was 5 years into a heavy litigation law practice - a young mother and overwhelmed with trying to find balance. Yet, I thought I was successful. I was winning cases and had more trial experience than colleagues fifteen years older than me. I would have told anyone that I was doing exactly what was expected.
Yet, one morning before dawn, in silence, I asked myself, “Who am I?” and “Where am I going? Who do I want to be?”
The answers changed everything.
It came in the form of a vision in my mind. I saw myself as a nurturing mother and as a joyful little girl. Then I saw myself at my current age of 32, looking as if I was 80 years old. I had deep dark circle under my eyes and this woman I didn’t recognize, asked me to help her. I realized I was looking at a version of myself that was exhausted and losing sight of who she was.
It was turning point. I knew I had to change the path or I wasn’t going to survive.
I had been living according to what was expected of me within the roles I performed - as mother, daughter, lawyer, employer, advocate and wife.
Living at such a fast pace had caused me to lose sight of where the path was leading and whether I wanted to follow it.
Through asking the questions, I began to discover what I really wanted to do with my life.
I wanted to help others become powerful and authentic in who they are. I no longer wanted to be an advocate who fights in a courtroom, but rather an advocate who promotes resolution and harmony. I wanted my “wins” to be about lifting up others to their highest potential instead of winning by defeating the other side.
This is what I felt my soul calling me to do...and I listened.
So now, part of my journey is to challenge others to bravely ask themselves the same question.
Who are you? (Or who do you really WANT to be?)
Here’s what my initial response to this question of who I really wanted to be looked like:
I am a Teacher, a Guide, a Nurturer, an Author, an Adventurer and I want to be excited, helping others, free to explore, open to discovery, gently guiding, and in love with life.
Here are some other big questions you can ask yourself right now to help you discover your true, authentic self:
What does it mean to be alive? How excited am I about my life right now?
If you aren’t excited about your life then you are missing the point. We should be eager to live and excited for what is to come. Yes, there are times, when things will be challenging but there still should be an energy of aliveness that motivates you through the obstacles.
What are the qualities of the type of person that I want to feel and be like every day?
These questions and their corresponding answers teach you about taking actions that support having an intimate relationship with yourself first.
Am I willing to do whatever it takes today to move forward?
If you are not willing to do what it takes to move forward then maybe the path is not headed in the right direction. Or maybe you aren’t seeing clearly the beliefs that are holding you back. Examine what holds you back.
How do I need to show up today?
With these questions, you become connected to purpose and vision and step out of your comfort zone and take daily consistent and even bold actions.
Ask the powerful questions and listen for answers that move you beyond any limits or conditions that have held you in place.
The most important work we can do---and the most powerful is to show up as ourselves. Remember, what you do does not change the world but who you are does.
About the Author:
Lexlee Overton has been a trial lawyer for over 20 years. During her career, she has studied human behavior, at first to better understand how juries think and then to discover how to be better as a lawyer and in life. Drawing from the fields of psychology, neuroscience and eastern medicine practices, Lexlee is now using scientifically proven techniques to help lawyers and executives train their minds to release stress, anxiety and fear to be powerful in and out of the courtroom, and to love what they do –all at the same time.