A single acorn can grow into a tiny, twisted bonsai or a towering, mighty oak tree. Both organisms share the same DNA and potential. The only difference is that the bonsai’s growth has been diminished through root constraint and branch pruning.

Even though we might like to believe that we are somehow immune to our environments, we are not. The world around us, and the world within us shapes the expression of who we are.

I have worked with thousands of good people over the years. Sadly, too many of these good people were living what Henry David Thoreau has described as ‘a life of quiet desperation’.

For those of us who work in an organisation, there are many invisible ‘forces’ at play helping and hindering our capacity to really be ourselves. Our experience at work, and our mindset, is influenced by the organisational culture, unspoken rules, our direct manager, our peers and our colleagues and other leaders within our organisation.

Choosing to abandon parts of ourselves under the pressure to conform or ‘fit in’ can become our default setting and, as a result go unnoticed, untested, and unchecked. Over time, small choices can accumulate. Suffering can occur. Potential can be dulled and diminished. Our vitality and sense of agency can slowly drain away.

Given the many invisible forces that influence us at work and in life, it is easy to conform, little by little, only to suddenly realise one day that we no longer remember who we really are or what we really believe anymore

The inconvenient truth however, is that often the most diminishing forces are the thoughts we think. Or more specifically, the thoughts our parts think.

Improving our day-to-day awareness of the forces at plan inside us and around allows us to regain agency and to embody a more vivid, fuller expressions of all that we are.

Whenever we allow any constraining factors to suppress the expression of our uniqueness and potential, without challenge, we are potentially doing ourselves (and the world) a great disservice.

Unlike an acorn, we can all exercise some degree of freedom about how and where we choose to grow. With this awareness and freedom, we can assertively claim the space and the nourishment we need for our roots to spread, our branches to extend and our leaves to unfurl.

Are you curious to explore how the practice of self-fidelity might support you to unfurl into your fullness?

If so, I would love to talk. You know where to find me.