Have you ever felt yourself drifting off the course you set for yourself? Do you find yourself stuck at times and are not sure of the cause? Do you feel an ongoing sense of discontent with your life? If so, this article is for you! This feeling happens to us many times throughout our life. We cannot quite pinpoint where this feeling of being “off” is coming from. All we know is that we don’t seem to be able to reach our goals and that we feel something is off-balance. If you have ever felt this way, the secret to getting yourself back on course and feeling positive is alignment.
What is Alignment?
If you think about the tires on your car, chances are you know they need to be aligned every few months. When you take your car to the shop, the mechanics adjust the inner workings of the car so that the vehicle is connected to the wheels and the wheels can make proper contact with the road. When the tires are aligned, you won’t notice anything because the tires are working together with the vehicles’s body to keep it on the road. What you will notice is what happens when the tires are not aligned. Your car may start pulling to the left or right of the road; you may have to “fight” with your steering wheel to keep it moving properly.
It’s like that with your life as well. When you re-align your outlook on life, you are doing the necessary work of making adjustments so that your emotions, your actions, and your thoughts are working together.
Another way to define alignment is being in a state of agreement with all aspects of yourself. Everything “lines up” in a way so that all parts of you are working together to bring you success and fulfillment in your life. Just as a car has many components, so do you! Some of the important parts of you that must align are:
- body language
- and more
Notice that values is at the top of the list. That is important! Your values are those things you hold to be very important, even sacred, to the way you live. From these values, other things emerge. For example, if you value honesty, your actions will show that. You will communicate with honesty and strive to be truthful in your words and in your work.
When You Are Out of Alignment
Here is where we veer off course: when those important parts of ourselves get out of alignment. That means they do not match up. When we value one thing but our actions show something else, we are out of alignment. Any time two or more of your core components are not aligned, you will feel that something is “off.” Over time, this is what leads you to veer off course. We may try to avoid the alignment issue or rationalize it, but deep down inside we know it’s there. We are not being true to all parts of ourselves.
- If you tell your boss you are confident that you will get the project finished on time but inwardly do not believe it, your words will show confidence but your body language will show otherwise. You may be fidgety, unable to meet your boss’s eyes, or hunched over.
- If you agree to help your friend move his couch on Saturday but really resent your friend for the intrusion to your relaxation time, your words and your emotions are out of alignment.
- If you value physical health but find yourself eating junk food every evening until you are stuffed, your values and your actions are out of alignment.
It is possible at any moment to re-align yourself so that all parts of you are in sync. The first step is to notice when you feel “off” or have a pervasive sense of discontent that will not go away. The second step is to ask: “What am I doing? Do my actions line up with my values/emotions/words?” You will now have a more clear picture of what is not in harmony with what you want for your life. Finally, ask this question: “Now that I know what is out of alignment, what actions can I take?” Then do it.
Hint: If you are not sure what is out of alignment, especially in emotions, check your body posture and body language. Your face, hands, eyes, and entire body show anxiety, anger, tension, dissatisfaction, disappointment, and any number of things that are going in with you.
To keep yourself on track, treat yourself as you would an expensive new vehicle. Check your alignment regularly to see where you are, what needs to be changed, and what needs to be adjusted.
You will be better able to drive your life in ways that bring fulfillment.