We all have core beliefs that make up the very foundation of who we are and guide the direction of our lives. Several years ago, I was challenged to expand my convictions and open my mind to accepting new ideas. It was one of those challenges that felt unavoidable, so accepting it was almost inevitable. I began to open my mind and accept these new truths, and I was able to rationalize why they fit into my foundational beliefs. I was actually surprised by how easy it was to make room for new truths in my life. I enjoyed my new perspective. Life felt new and just a bit larger. I was recently rocked by the realization that this new life was not a new me – it was a compromised version of me. I changed who I was to fit everyone and everything else. I compromised my convictions. It’s hard to admit this, and it’s even harder to accept this. I’m still shocked that this shift in my foundation happened so quickly without me even realizing it.
Inspired by this realization in my own life, I started to think about the pressures of this world and the burden to fit its mold. I fear that compromising who we are is a practice all too common among women. Feeling inadequate, fearful of not being accepted, doubting about our abilities, and desiring to please others are all catalysts for compromising our convictions. The lure of an easier life can quickly take priority. I wonder, though, if the end is as sweet. Would you be OK reaching the end – whatever that may be – knowing you had to compromise who you are to get there? This reminds me of a scene from ABC’s Scandal. A female Supreme Court Justice is battling terminal cancer, and word is about to break that she received her seat on the high court as a reward for helping politicians rig a major election. She had worked her entire career with the dream of one day being a Supreme Court Justice. With her dream dangled in front of her just within reach, she chose to compromise everything she believed in to get it. In the end, her errors in judgment were revealed, her character was flawed forever, and her compromises killed her soul.
The point is, getting from where you are to where you want to be does not mean you have to compromise who you are. Don’t let the lure of an easier path lead you astray. Following your convictions to the end will likely take you to places no one has ever been.