Your Best Life Story: Do You Have Clarity, Confidence, and Congruence?
In the diamond trade, the quality of the cut, color, and clarity define the value of the diamond. There are also three Cs in life: Clarity, Confidence, and Congruence. In what follows, I will unpack what it means to live according to these three Cs. Before getting there, I want to consider the power of story, and then we will take a walk down memory lane.
I have long believed in the power of story. My story is more than five decades long. Elsewhere I have written about the incredible gift of editing our story. Throughout the journey of life, we have the opportunity to rewrite our story. We may do so several times. Most of our stories are not straight shots through life. More commonly, our life stories take a meandering route.
Some, like me, have the incredible privilege of growing up in a nurturing home where loving support and nurturing ruled the day. Others come from broken homes where pain ruled. Some of us have personal tragedies that color our stories. We lose the spouse of our youth to death or divorce, we tragically lose a child to disease, or a parent dies prematurely. Perhaps our story includes the ravages of disease, or we suffer from the after-effects of a traumatic experience.
Some have a career trajectory that seems to take off like a rocket, and they've never had to look for anything different. Some of us have lost jobs and had to do the hard work of reinventing ourselves and our career aspirations.
I am old enough to remember writing high school papers on a typewriter and during my first attempt at college (yes, part of my meandering story). For my second go at college, I used a typewriter that allowed me to key in words displayed on screen in a single line of text. Then I upgraded to a word processor that was quite heavy and displayed text on a small five-inch green phosphorous screen. All of my research came from using the card catalog, writing down the call number for the book I wanted, searching for the text from the library shelves, and making handwritten notes on 3x5 cards. By the time I made it to graduate school, I had moved to have an early model laptop PC.
My point in walking down memory lane is to point out the apparent difference in the writing process. When I used a personal computer, it was a great day when I only had to use white-out or the correction tape a handful of times. It was not uncommon for me to withdraw the paper entirely and start over. The wonder of my early word processor and whatever word processing program I use is the ease of correction (just now, I backspaced to erase a misspelled word and type in the correct spelling).
In my template for this post, I have a place for writing an outline. Completing an outline gives me a rough starting point. Whenever I start a writing project, I have a general sense of where I want to go. The end project is invariably different from where I thought I would end up, and many things change along the way. Corrections frequently happen. Sometimes entire sentences, paragraphs, chapters need to be moved around. The ease of doing so speeds the writing process. Still, the general direction of the project guided the way.
The Three Cs
Clarity is clearness as to perception or understanding and freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.
When we don't know who we are in the inner parts, we are not free to fully live our best life and future. We won't live fully into our calling. I have spent the last 25 years seeking this clarity in my own life. During those years, I have taken a variety of personality and skill inventory assessments. Many have been helpful. The most beneficial personality typing tool I have taken is the Enneagram. I have learned my true identity, strengths, and weaknesses, along with my core fears and desires. It has opened space for me to pursue God's transforming power in my life. You can begin your journey toward this same understanding when you book a free 30-minute coaching consultation with me. This free consultation is your opportunity to learn about the power of the Enneagram to gain clarity in the deepest parts of your life.
I have learned to evaluate three areas to assess my clarity toward the connection of I am and my chosen career:
1. Passion: Does my work life fatigue me (not the good kind of tired from a hard day at work, but ongoing fatigue leading toward burnout), or does my work bring passion for my life?
2. Energy: Are the effects of my work energizing to me and others?
3. Contribution: Is my life aligned to make my most significant contribution.
When we are working in our passions, the overall effect of our work is that it energizes us, and we consistently believe we are making our most outstanding contribution.
When we have clarity in our inner being, we can move into the confident pursuit of God's best for us.
Confidence is assurance and belief in yourself and your powers and abilities. A note of clarification is important here. Confidence is presumption and impudence. Dictionary.com includes this example: "Her disdainful look crushed the confidence of the brash young man." How often have I sat with a young man dealing with a broken heart after his first love decided it wasn't love after all. Through the rush of young love, they had grown in confidence that the young lady they had given their heart to did not feel the same. Emotions and feelings bred false. The rush of emotions created a false sense of security in the relationship, ultimately leading to the crushed heart.
Profound clarity alleviates confusion and breeds confidence. When we know who we are, we can step out in confidence. In my younger years, I lacked clarity and therefore lacked the confidence to decide the best direction for my future. I often said yes to the wrong things and no to the right things. When we say yes too often, we take energy away from opportunities to make our most valuable impact.
Clarity and confidence allow us to say no to more things and yes to the right things, meaning we accelerate our legacy.
Congruence is the quality or state of agreeing or corresponding. In a geometric sense, congruence is the relationship between two figures when the angles and sides of two figures coincide and are mirror images. The same can be true in our lives. At GregWoodard.com, I suggest we seek congruence between who you are, why you were made, and what you do.
We are what we do. Instead, when we think of our career, we seek alignment between our internal wiring and what we choose for our work. When we do so, we can make our most significant contribution.
Reaching a place of harmony in my life has at times, been frustrating, exhausting, and confusing. Over the last two decades, I've walked through experiences and hardships. These seasons have refined my sense of identity and vocation at deep levels. I have journeyed through the crossroads of the best connection between my inner world and my career choices. This journey gives me an understanding of how to help you at leadership crossroads to move smartly toward making your greatest contribution.
In his book Leading from the Inside Out, Sam Rima writes that a failure to take care of one's interior world inevitably leads to a disconnect between our inner and outer worlds. To lead consistently, we must consider our internal and our outer worlds (our private and public selves).
We must seek clarity in understanding the inner world that drives us. This clarity allows us to move confidently toward a deeper congruence at the crossroads of the inner world that drives us and the outer world of our career choices.
Reaching a place of congruence between your vocation and your mental makeup can be frustrating, exhausting, and confusing.
But that doesn't have to be your story.
I've spent the better part of the last two decades working to understand myself and my vocation at the deepest levels.
Turns out, that calling was to help other men at Christian leadership crossroads find theirs.
I am a certified Life and Enneagram Coach and a 20-year military veteran serving as a Navy Chaplain.
I hold a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership Renewal & Coaching from Regent University, and most importantly, I am a devoted Christian, husband, and father.
Together, we will discover your true self and what God has for your life purpose and career.
So you can step forward into the next chapter of your life boldly, with:
• Clarity on your path forward
• Confidence in your choice of vocation
• Congruence between who you are, why you were made, and what you do
It's time to take back your life and live out your calling.
I am currently offering a 25% discount on my 5 session Growing with the Enneagram coaching package when you purchase an Enneagram Typing Session. Don't wait. This discount will only be offered for a short time. Book your free consultation today. Mention this 25% discount offer when we talk.
My schedule is filling up fast. I can't wait to walk with you toward greater clarity in your life.