Be Fascinated With Yourself — Lionesses of Africa

by Safiyyah Boolay-Jappie

Sometimes you just have a good day. Today was such a day!

On the brink of burnout and with a catastrophic loss of confidence after some challenging life events, my client reached out for some support. She wanted more confidence and to be more effective, more efficient, and more organised. According to her, she couldn’t organise a drinks-party in a brewery. She lamented that she had been such a go-getter, but now was such a disappointment … to herself, her family and her boss.

She used to have dreams, ambitions and plans, but now, she just did what she could to get through the day. Days became weeks and weeks became months and she was unsure that the life she was living was a life. She knew it wasn’t the one she had signed up for. She knew it was not the one she had put in motion as a scholar, as a student, as an intern, not as a go-getter professional woman who clinched all the milestones and goals. As she rose through the ranks, the pressure was intense, but she loved learning; and she loved pushing herself. Opportunities were gifts she did not squander.

Now she had what anyone would call a good life. And yet, it all felt so remote; so alien; so pointless. This feeling was followed by guilt. How could she be so ungrateful for all she had. Everyone before her sacrificed so that she could live this dream. Yet, all she wanted, to the extent that she could want anything, was to wake up from this dream. And this left her feeling ashamed. And sad. Very, very sad. And lost. And more alone than she had ever felt in her life.

There is never one thing that gets a person here.
The place she found herself in was like a proverbial death by a thousand cuts. It happens over time. At first there is no awareness that a big catastrophe is unfolding in one’s psyche. And then, it is the new normal. And hey, everyone else is in this same boat, so why complain. And, hey! When one does complain, one is either in an echo chamber where everyone else has their own version of the same complaint, or one is told to suck it up and to remember just how very lucky we are.

In our work together, we sought to restore her connection with herself and to recreate her inner world to one in which she could feel free to be herself, to be safe within herself and to feel connected to her hopes, her dreams, and to the value system that allowed her to trust herself again and to believe in herself and her dreams again.

One of the things I advocated as part of our work was for her to become fascinated with herself. To have reverence for herself. To be selfish and to be militant about making her her first priority every day. For her to step into a conscious and deliberate and engaged relationship with herself. It was a hard sell. But she made the effort.

We’re nearing the end of our programme and today, she announced a radical pivot in her life and in her career. Always accomplished, she had never needed help to be more efficient, effective, organised to even confident. What she needed was to reconnect with her own magic. Her own aliveness. I asked what created the shift.

She cried when she shared that becoming fascinated with herself was a journey unto itself. That it was a big part of reconnecting with the life-force that is her. Her tears flowed as she expressed her amazement that the answers and the cues she was looking for was within her all along.

From a young age, we are trained to be outwardly focused. To seek agendas in literally every place other than ourselves. To be selfless. To not trust ourselves. To pursue the logical next steps on paths carved out by others.

Become fascinated with yourself.

Know that the magic and that the answers you seek are closer to home.

If you’re feeling stuck and lost and disconnected in life and career, feel free to take advantage of a 45 minute complimentary session with me to discover the leverage points to help you move forward with clarity, purpose, meaning and deep connection.…/exploratoryclaritysession Feeling stuck is not a normal you ever have to settle for.

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