Choice. It goes hand in hand with freedom. Most of us associate having a choice with the ability to say “yes” or “no” or some variation in between.
Choice also refers to how we think. The freedom to think in ways that serve us or harm us.
The one trait that all disruptors have – people who challenge the status quo – is the that they dare to create original and new content. They choose not to accept things how they are, and disrupt that status quo with original thought and ideas. They actively, intentionally choose how to think and filter incoming information accordingly.
The freedom to think and choose is about taking all of the incoming data, inputs, opinions and what else arrives from the external world, sift through it and then use what serves and aligns with our values, and discard that which does not. A disruptor is also someone who dares to step outside of the box and offer a different way of seeing things, which is risky, scary and sometimes dangerous.
I choose to be a maternity leave / early motherhood disruptor. I choose to take in information, filter it, choose what works, discard what does not, and I work to be aware of alternate ways of thinking.
A great example is one of the most common things that people say to me every.day. I choose to be a bit of a shit disturber and have them think twice about this common phrase.
Someone will ask me how old my children are.
I reply, 3 and 1.5 years.
They shake their head, pity in their eyes.
“Oh wow. That must be soooooo busy.”
Half of the time, I don’t tell them I work full time as well. I feel like based on that initial reaction, it might be too much! And I’m already not particularly interested in hearing all of the reasons why that is hard / scary / challenging /sucky. Because I don’t see it that way.
Sometimes I like to be mischievous and go for it, and maybe while I’m at it all drop the bomb that I also write and run a coaching business.
Pity sort of, well…. it usually turns to horror.
“Oh my god. How. Why?!?!” something along those lines.
Here’s where the disruptor bit comes in.I choose not to look at things the same way.
If I focused on how busy and overwhelming life with two under three is, it would create some pretty powerful self-limiting beliefs and barriers. “I couldn’t possibly focus on anything else right now.” That’s what I would tell myself. If I worked and focused on childcare costs and the logistics of it all, well, it would be not very… helpful.
“I couldn’t possibly focus on anything else right now. Look at all of these barriers. My lief is busy! hard! maxed out!” That’s what I would tell myself if I listened and bought into external influences.
The thing is though, that doesn’t work for me, my life or my goals. I’m not saying it is a bad belief or wrong, it just doesn’t serve me.
I choose to be liberated in my thinking. I choose to see things in different ways because we do have a choice. My days aren’t busy, they are so ridiculously fulfilling and exciting. I’m not dropping half of my paycheque on childcare and rendering my work futile, I’m exposing y kid to exciting things and a social life and activities, and in turn I’m enjoying professional development growth and adult engagement. It’s a win-win. Not a lose-lose.
As a mother there is a very, very powerful motherhood dialogue out there – in media, advertising, even in mommy groups. Too busy. Too overwhelmed. Unable to balance life (can’t keep up with all of the jobs and roles). Struggle (I’m alone in this). Hardship (isolation, the difficulty of mommyhood). It sucks. (sleep deprivation- how could you possible survive it and work?!) Fear (not spending enough time with my child because of work, quality time, tv time over play time) – gosh all of those dialogues are so, so prevalent.
If I listened to all of those, all of the time, and bought into them, my potential would be wasted. Lost to self-imposed barriers and harmful thinking.
Choose to be an outlier, choose to be someone who sees the positive in everything. Choose to get away from the average or status quo. Disrupt. Know you have a choice in how you think, act and talk.
Then, go and watch this 12 minute video of Shawn Achor at TED talking about the outliers and positive psychology. (he is also incredibly hilarious.)
And go disrupt, mama. March to your own drum. Listen to that which serves your goals. Think for yourself. Set an example for other new mothers, mothers like me that look for “things that are great about being a parent” or “why it’s easy to work and have children” – because I know I have googled those, and I wasn’t able to find the voices or the blog posts that told me all of this is possible. I stumbled around, tried it out and discovered it for myself, but there needs to be more voices out there encouraging, inspiring and disrupting.