What Do You Stand For: Defining Your Through Line
What is the common theme in everything you love? What is a common goal in everything you do?
Those, my friends, are your through line.
Finding your through line is the solid base for your WANT journey. Negative talk is simply a filler for uncertainty in purpose and imbalances in your mind, body and soul. With confidence in your purpose or through line, there is less of the negative talk that we use to sabotage ourselves.
Once we find our through line and shift our actions to deliver that through line, success is inevitable.
Notice the little things that fulfill you. Not necessarily the tasks themselves, but the meaning behind those tasks. Not so much the superficial What, but the hidden Why.
We cannot succeed if we do not love what we DO – or if what we do does not fit into the big picture. We are all equipped with a through line; something we are wonderful at and are meant to give to the world.
You might have one through line or a couple. Here are a few steps and questions to help you find yours:
Step 1: Make a list of everything you love to do or experience. I mean everything. The things that you seem to get absorbed by and fill you up from the inside out. Don’t worry about cohesiveness, list as many actions, experiences, and instances as you can think of. Cooking dinner, one-on-one time with friends, business strategy, binging on horror movies – it’s all fair game.
Step 2: Can you find a common theme within the majority of your answers? Try to find a mode and an output. Look beyond the obvious – the fact that you love to bake and you love to have spontaneous dance parties might seem unrelated, but when you dig deeper you might realize what you actually love is the act of creating something that brightens up someone else’s day. You love to bake – but when you’re sharing your treats with friends. You love to have spontaneous dance parties because it makes your husband or boyfriend or kid or dog even fill up with joy and laughter. There’s where your talents lie. That is your through line.
Just for kicks, make another list of everything you excel at. No need to hold back here – remember, confidence is not synonymous with narcissism or vanity. Now highlight the things that you can recognize your through line in. Does this list seem familiar? It should. Many of the things we love to do are the things we have a natural knack for. Pretty cool, huh? These places are where you shine the brightest.
Need an example? Here’s what the first two steps of my exercise looks like:
Step 1: I love writing, interviewing others, singing, people watching, unfiltered and authentic conversations, listening to podcasts, music, running, teaching cycle classes, taking cycle classes, pretty much exercise of all kinds, yoga classes, acting, photography, going to concerts, laughing out loud at movies, spending time with my family and soul-friends, reading non-fiction books or books written in the first person, public speaking, taking small chances, painting, drawing.
Step 2: In most of the things I love, I can see that my through line is using my unique voice to its fullest, in order to bring about the most authentic best in others. I see my “voice” not only in talking or singing to teaching, but in writing, drawing – movement even. Because if I think about it, I get bored or frustrated during exercises or classes in which I’ve got to do things exactly like someone else. I love moving like only I know how. I love listening to podcasts and reading non-fiction or books written in the first person because they spark a discussion in me; I can almost hear my voice chiming in with the author or speaker. If I look closely, everything I love has my through line of authenticating voice running through it. I stand for love – of others and yourself.
Once I first realized this, I made a mental note and carefully placed it in the corner of my mind. And whenever I would feel discontent or useless or squashed down and dull, I’d ask myself…”Katie, are you using your unique voice right now and is it resonating with the best parts of others?” If the answer was no, even if I could not fully escape the scenario that was bringing me down, I would divert my attention and place myself in a scenario in which I could use my though line to its fullest potential, however big or small that might look from the outside.
Now that you know your through line, you can invest your time a bit more wisely. It’s easy to talk negatively about ourselves when we are in those bang-your-head-against-the-wall scenarios. And we’ve all got to deal with those throughout our lives no matter what. Sometimes, things just don’t gel. Try again. Maybe that one won’t stick. Go back and look at your list, see if you can identify a nuance of your through line, or a whole other through line altogether, and try again. Trial and error is part of the deal.
I’m not saying that once you find the ways in which you shine the brightest, you’ll always be shiny and sparkly. Life would be boring and useless without mistakes and missteps and those moments in which we feel the lowest lows. But if you are strategically placing yourself in scenarios in which you can use your through line – whether it be with a new group of friends, a new relationship, a new job or simply a potential hobby you’re taking up – you’ll also feel those highest highs a whole lot higher. Your life will feel a whole lot more cohesive, and you’ll feel your purpose from the inside out.
WANT Yourself Action Plan:
In the comments section below, tell me what your through line is. How do you use it on a regular basis? Did you have an aha! moment that helped you realize what you were meant to give to the world?
Be as specific as possible – this is not an easy exercise, and your insight and experience might be exactly what someone else needs to read to realize the power they have within themselves.
WANT is a testament to the power of our pragmatically positive voice as a community and the impact we can have if we band together. Go for it, WANT peeps…
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