Stand In Your Own Power With The Tiger
Tigers are proud, protective go-getters, with a strong sense of identity. They are fully guided by their instincts and not swayed by anyone or anything. They remain purposeful and strong, biding their time when needed before seizing opportunities that come along. Tigers also know when to rest and recharge. Tigers stand in their own power.
Considering the characteristics of the tiger can help you to reflect on what truly drives us. Are you driven by what you truly want or by what you think others want from you? To what extent do you allow other people to determine your lives and your careers? How much of this is choice, how much is fear-based and how much is based on embedded belief systems predetermined by your experiences and interactions from early childhood?
What do you truly want?
Only you can answer this question and, in all honesty, do you really know? Our deepest desires can become lost in the whirlwind of information, experiences viewpoints and judgements of others. To understand what you truly want can take time and inner reflection, but it is time well spent. Some people discover this through journaling, others through meditation and mindfulness (see Be Mindful With The Owl) and some people have lightbulb moments triggered by experiences. In many cases it can take a significant life-changing event in your life to prompt you to sit down and consider this.
Who are you living your life for?
Life is a series of experiences and choices. To an extent we all live our lives around other people in our lives, whether that be parents, spouses, partners, siblings or children. After all, unless we want to live a life alone we have to make compromises in order to be with the people we love and choose to be with.
However, it is easy to establish routines that become so familiar that you don’t consider changing them because they work. That doesn’t always mean that you are happy with them, it just means that they offer safety and security, so the idea of change seems scary and therefore undesirable. This could relate to any area of your life really – where you live, your career, how you spend your time – even your hobbies. You may even use time and family as an excuse to not do things e.g. I can’t do that because I have to take the kids somewhere, I don’t have time because …
Is that really the case or are they fear-based excuses? Have you talked to the people you love about this to try to get their support and help finding solutions? Wouldn’t you want to help and encourage them to explore fulfilling life choices that offer them happiness? I’m sure they would want the same for you. The key here is communication. Whilst in some cases there will be clashes and very good reasons not to do something at a given time, these may not be permanent reasons and can perhaps be revisited in the future.
In many cases people have a preconceived idea of what others think of them or will think of them, which creates a fear of judgement. See Lessons from the Elephant to learn more about how this may impact you. The factors to consider here are a) whether people would really judge you or whether you just think they would judge you and b) does it really matter what people think? Are you living your life for you or for them?
Other Influences That May Drive You
You may already feel that you are in control of your life and the direction it is taking. If so, well done – great choice. However, your free choice may take you in either direction. It may take you on the path you truly want, or you may choose to stay safe and avoid changes that may bring about the unknown. This is also a great choice – if you are happy. If you’re not totally happy then you have the power to make the changes you want to happen. This can be done in small steps, but the only way forward is to start moving.
Fear of the unknown is a major factor in driving our lives. This often brings up the question of ‘what if…?’ along with a series of undesirable thoughts and images, which result in us wanting to stay safe. The key to addressing this is to counterbalance each negative ‘what if..? with a positive outcome, whilst keeping in mind and believing that you can truly achieve success if you set that intention and follow it up with action.
Embedded Belief Systems
From the moment you are born you are subjected to someone else’s belief systems. Parents choose what to dress you in, what and sometimes who you play with, the school you attend, whether you follow a particular faith, what food you eat and which external influences you are exposed to e.g. TV shows, clubs etc. The community you live in establishes the norms in which you live – how you speak, children you meet, clubs, experiences and opportunities available to you. Friends influence the choices you make, the activities you do and how you relate to each other. The media also has a heavy influence, with their perception of beauty, must-have items and political agendas of the programme we watch or the papers we read.
All this contributes to your experience of the world and what you consider to be a ‘norm.’ It takes courage and strength of character to step out of that ‘norm,’ but where would we be if nobody did that? How could society evolve if people didn’t think out of the box and do or create new things? In what way could ‘norms’ ever change if people don’t push the boundaries and step out of their comfort zone? How would people learn to become more accepting if everyone chose to remain constrained by their fear of judgement?
What Can You Learn From The Tiger?
The tiger encourages you to really understand who you are and what you want from life. It demonstrates inner strength and purpose and encourages you to be proud of who you are.
The wisdom we can take from the tiger is to:
Seek that which you desire, for only by setting your intention on what you
want and by pursuing it can you actually achieve or fulfil it.
Only you can do that by truly knowing what you want and not letting anyone talk you out of it, including yourself.
Pay attention to your thoughts and learn to recognise what is driving them. A part of you will want to stay safe, but in order to seek the life you truly want to live you will need to step out of that comfort zone.
Are you strong enough to stand in your own power?
I’d love to hear about your views and experiences, including any challenges you have faced and overcome in order to live a life you love. Please leave a comment below and let me know.