When I was a child I use to daydream about living a life where I could be myself fully. But as a little one I deeply feared rejection due to some ‘learned’ experiences from society. I was a charismatic and vivacious little girl who also had a neurological disorder, which inherently made me ‘different.’ I remember being ostracized by schoolmates (including my childhood best friend) after ‘I was found out’ due to having seizures in school. No doubt, it imprinted on me some strong beliefs about myself and the world, that took a bit of work to re-wire so that I wasn’t making choices from this poor view of myself and others.
I open by telling this story because it speaks to what we are all seeking…PURE FREEDOM, the freedom to be who we were meant to be and to live fully in our ZONE of GENIUS.
There are three distinctions of freedom that we all desire and attempt to play out in some way, whether consciously or not. And there are different zones of capacity in which we can potentially operate within. An understanding of these levels of freedom and zones of capacity gives us insight into what drives us, so we can more consciously direct our lives toward what we desire and our potential.
The 3 distinctions of freedom and the zones of capacity:
- Freedom from…constraints of society (the zone of competence)
The first level is our desire to have freedom from the chains of social conditioning. At this level, we tend to be operating in our zone of competence. We are doing things that others can do just as well. It tends to not be a very fulfilling or meaningful existence.
We are all imprinted with beliefs and fears from our early life experiences and education (from family and society) that shape our decisions as adults. I have spoken to countless people who desire this freedom in their life, but fear that following their heart is dangerous, crazy, or unavailable to them in some way, shape, or form. Their social conditioning tells them that if they really want to be ‘secure’ and successful, they should follow the path of least resistance and most treaded. "Do it like we did it." is the mantra here, even if the way they did it, hasn't led to what you consider to be happiness.
When we free ourselves from this first level of constraint, we are no longer operating from societies values. We are operating from our own.
2. Freedom to…do what we want (the zone of excellence)
The second level is the freedom to do what we want to do. This emerges after we have attained freedom from societies values and are operating from our own. In this place we move into our zone of excellence. This is where what we do, we do extremely well and tend to make a good living at it. However, this place can be tricky and hold us hostage from our true potential. It is here that we tend to focus on the end result with too much emphasis. We have gotten comfortable with what once made us uncomfortable and we have found a sort of complacency here. It's in this place that we tend to stop stepping out of our comfort zone as we seek only pleasure (reward/comfort) and turn away from pain (growth). We are driven forcefully by the ego and there still lies a longing within us here.
3. Freedom to be…who we were meant to be (the zone of genius) - pure freedom
The third level is the freedom to be who we were meant to be. It is here that we recognize our ability for choice in all things. You become the decider of your life no matter your circumstances, and you know it is a place to ‘come from,’ rather than a place to arrive. It is here that we enter our zone of genius as we accept and allow for both the end result and the process to be present in our daily choices and actions. There's a release of resistance at this level, yet ambition doesn't die away - it only becomes more powerful as it’s now operating from a place of pure freedom. Social conditioning and fear are not driving here, but rather, You are. It doesn't mean that the echoes of society and the ego do not exist within you anymore, they just aren’t making the decisions. Hope, trust, curiosity, and the willingness to get it wrong, fail, and be rejected are now your values and guides and it’s where your zone of genius resides.
PS. If you are being called to live within pure freedom and your zone of genius, I invite you to apply for The Changemakers Circle. There are 2 spots left and I would love for you to join us. If you can’t join us this year, please send this to someone who you know this is perfect for. What a gift you would be giving them! Be sure to take action now as applications close next week, March 21st.
In honor of building an INSPIRED world that is...
Focused on growing, giving, and celebrating
Free from living a life of 'should's'
Fulfilled personally, professionally, and spiritually