On Becoming an Authority in My Own Life

It’s ironic that in my last post I was writing about my need for accountability, since for the past several months I’ve had a big shift in my mindset about that. Not that there’s anything wrong with accountability, or setting up situations to make it easier to accomplish one’s goals. But what if I could bypass that sticking point, and change my tendency altogether? If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that growth is more important than what you start with. And studying the Enneagram has shown me that even personality is not fixed; I don’t have to be stuck in any box.

So, at some point this summer, I got angry that I had allowed just about everyone and everything else in my life to be an authority, and given that power away. From parents (and I love them dearly, so not harping on them at all right now), to teachers, to bosses, to church leaders, to professors, to doctors, to “experts…,” I have consistently lived up to the expectations of others while struggling, and often failing, to meet my own goals and expectations. But tendency is not destiny, and I realized that I have as much, if not more right to be an authority in my own life, and to live up to my own expectations and accomplish what I want to, regardless of whether I have someone checking on me or not. Now, I’m not saying I’m a rogue who disregards all advice or outside expectations; I absolutely consider advice and other’s needs. But instead of feeling stuck in a cycle of disappointing myself, I’ve come to a place where I’m much more judicious about who gets to be an authority in my life, and knowing that I deserve to consider myself someone whose expectations I will live up to.