Youification 101

Posted by | June 25, 2010 | Dharma, On Career Change | One Comment

Note! This is a very general post. It’s a good one, because I’ve been wanting to spew forth these thought monkeys for a long time. But it may raise a lot of questions for you (not always a bad thing).

YOU-i-fied/ You-if-i-CA-tion:

To be more of who you are in that thing you do (or want to do)

Who needs it? Um, everyone. Or, at least, I do, and My People (that’s you!) do, too.

What it is? In a very, very broad sense, it is, “to be more of who you are in that thing you do (or want to do) out there, in the world.”

But that’s pretty broad. If that statement had a comic book, it would be The Super Hero with Some Super Powers. Extremely vague.

Let’s start with the important stuff.

What it’s NOT:

  • It’s not being who Everybody wants you to be.

You know, Everybody — as in, what would Everybody think if I dropped out of school?  What would Everybody think if I took a vacation without my family? What would Everybody think if I quit my job during a recession and started my own business?

  • It’s not (necessarily) doing what I Think I’m Supposed To Do.

I’m supposed to be nice to Everybody! I am supposed to be a good employee, not ask for a raise. I’m supposed to like a very conventional life with a conventional boyfriend and conventional job

  • It’s not copying what other successful people do because it works for them (it may work for you, it may not — but that inquiry piece, “Is this me?”, is a really important part of the formula that is really hard to remember to do sometimes).

Sometimes, what works for other people feels forced for you. I may really think Pam is super cool (which I do, and she totally is), but the way her business-focused blog is very polished, and how she kind of seems to have it all together, isn’t really me.

  • It’s not making Other People happy when doing so doesn’t make you happy.

As in, “Well, I guess we can go to the lake for the Fourth of July because it seems like my parents really want us to, even though we’ve been traveling a lot and feel worn down.”

  • It’s not doing what Other People tell you to do.

I mean, you can do what Other People tell you to do (you need to be more organized! you need to go to business networking events! you need to work out more! you need to put yourself out there more often!).

And, all of this non-Youifying stuff is stuff we’ve been trained to do, all of our lives.

We are basically taught for our entire lives that these are things we must do in order to succeed.

  • We go to school, and we learn what we are told to learn.
  • We are instructed to follow the advice of the adults, even when it’s, “Put on a sweater,” and we are not even cold (I hate that itchy sweater!).
  • If we please the authority figures, we are rewarded with success within the system…. if we displease, we are problems.

We have very little education on paying attention to our own boundaries and honoring our true selves.

  • Or, that we have this thing that is our true self.

I love (most) of my teachers and mentors, but it seems that the majority of our system isn’t geared towards making your life your own.

I can understand why — I am not exactly sure how that kind of system would run, it may be chaotic and fraught with kinks to work out (doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying, but I get that).

The point is that it makes sense that Youification and getting your thing Youified feels a little… foreign. You kind of are a stranger in a strange land. And, that’s okay!

That’s part of your personal process in this life school we all are enrolled in.

Graduation from Life School? Hint: it involves a graveyard. (How cheery….)

Some things that Youification IS.

It’s getting to know yourself.

I like Havi’s Book of You, which I have just started! It’s a Book that you keep writing that records stuff about you, so you don’t forget and get to see interesting patterns in ways you thrive (exercise! water! rest! hugs from sock monkeys!) and things that drag you down (isolation… ignoring my instincts… lack of routine…).

My categories of ME, thus far, include:

  • Things that energize me
  • Food stuff
  • People that I really like
  • My favorite activities

You don’t have to come up with categories, I just really like organization and systems (even though I am fairly bad at making these things into realities). You can just put one thing on each page. Or, do it however you want! It’s your book.

It’s examining your relationships. With yourself, with your loved ones, with your body, with food, with everything that matters.

Kind of like a lot of looking. Intimidation. But  you don’t actually have to do any of this and, if you do, you can choose the relationships you feel like looking at. That is a tremendous place in which to start.

I like working with my relationship with food, because it’s easier for me to access my other relationships.

Like this: Am I eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m full, or do I ignore what  my body is telling me when I’m with others, to do what I think they want me to, to make them happy?

  • … which leads me to my relationship with Other People — do I put their needs above mine? Do I think it’s My Business to bring them happiness?

Am I putting food in my body that feels good?

  • … which leads me to my relationship with myself and my body — am I taking care of myself? Do I believe I deserve taking-care-of?

Am I eating for physical hunger, or am I really emotionally hungry?

  • … which leads me to my relationship with myself — am I identifying and meeting my own needs?

It’s having fun.

While historically a slave-driver of myself, I’ve found that the slave-driving business leads to burn out. The having fun business? It’s a natural pyramid scheme! It only grows, especially when you share it with others.

And when your work in the world and time with people and stuff you do with you is fun, it’s pretty Youified.

Your fun-meter is an excellent Youification-finder.

Final thoughts.

This is a huge subject. It’s kind of all of our destinies, and getting there is a process.

It gets to be messy, and it’s okay to take breaks from it. It feels good to remember that making this important is a good, loving thing for us to do.

In the comments:

  • Any questions on Youification that this brings up for you
  • Aspects of your life that are easy to Youify
  • Places in your life where Youifying feels really hard.

Happy Friday, my wonderful ones!  Have a fabulous weekend.


About Laurie Beard

just another person doing something she loves

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