I used to believe I needed help in determining which imperfect flaws of my personality I wanted to work on to walk closer to being the best version of myself. Then a light bulb came on! All I have to do is to be aware of those character flaws that bug me about others! You spot it>you got it! This week I have noticed the inconsistency of friends, associates, spiritual people, conspiracy spouters, parents of children, owners of pets, and more. I have learned to ask myself if this bugs me in others where am I demonstrating the same flaw? More often than not in me it is well hidden or I like to believe it is! Then there is my illusive and sneaky shadow self that I really love but that I try to hide from everyone else and even at times from myself! The flaw of the week: Inconsistency.
Just what is inconsistency and how is it demonstrated? It is not being consistent in actions. It is when we are not the same all the time…when we modify our actions and behaviors according to who we are with and what the situation is. It is when we make promises we do not keep. It is when we say of course I will do as I say I will, but we allow other priorities to creep in…even distractions! It is when we know inwardly the right thing to do according to our values but we either succumb to primal desires or conveniently think we can get away with ignoring what really matters to us. If we were to set intentions and actually follow through with them we would be consistent in our actions. Maybe consistency has something to do with self discipline. Consistency makes demands on us! I am asking myself these questions to get down to the nitty gritty of how consistent I am or am not:
- Do my actions show I am congruent with my principles and values? First I have to know what my principles and values actually are. When I do not consistently align my behaviors and actions with my values, my self created standards, my inner guides for living…I will give a clear and loud message that I am not real, not showing integrity and truth in my personal and business relationships. In other words I am showing up as a fake person….a favorite description of others whom I so often judge to not being real.
- Do I treat everyone with the same attitude, respect, compassion that I want them to treat me? If I treat one group of people one way and another group a different way, what does that inconsistency reveal about me?
- Do I keep and maintain my truth , my integrity, my words as well as my actions, even when things get challenging? Do I have an unspoken rule that this is perfectly fine to do because it is a rationalization and excuse I convince myself of? What does this inconsistent behavior show others ? Can I be counted upon through thick and thin or am I teaching others when the going gets tough, I am consistently going to let others down?
- Do I carry a belief that my priorities carry my personal entitlement to change based on my mood, my self centered wants/needs, or my demands of personal pleasure in the moment? Perhaps I am giving out the message my priorities matter more than my relationships and/or my willingness to follow through and deliver as I said I would.
The bottom line, as I see it, is when we do not cave and make a change in our actions in the middle of a crisis such as the world drastically changing from what it previously looked like, when we feel under pressure due to being judged, criticized, or threatened, or when the circumstances we are faced with do not affect us to the point we change our behaviors….then we can honestly say we are being consistent.
Being consistently consistent can become a targeted goal and intention or does it even matter? In my mind it matters only because I want to be the best version of myself that I can be ; I believe I teach people how to treat me: and, I sincerely want to show others and myself I can be counted upon by being responsible. It is not so much what I say but what my behaviors and actions show. My shadow self can spout glowing platitudes of incredible wisdom 24/7 but if I am not practicing what my Wise Being Within knows is right for me, I will be in conflict with my values….thus creating that restless feeling of being uncomfortable in my own skin. For the moment , yes I admit I am consistently inconsistent in a few areas of my life. At times I am content with these imperfections and other times I know I can do better.