Did you love The Queen’s Gambit? Me too. Intense. Driven. At times, it was a little anxiety-provoking for me. But I also love a good metaphor.
The protagonist, Beth, is a brilliant and troubled young woman, struggling to overcome her insecurities and discrimination through the game of chess. The more she aligns her inner game – to know and believe in herself, recognize how she shows up to the game, and visualizes the outcome she desires – the more intentionally she plays the game and the more success she has. The tables turn so to speak as she steps into her inner power. This is the game of life.
So often, we are simply rearranging the chess pieces in our lives. Trying to control the external conditions – people, events, schedules, jobs, relationships – in an attempt to feel more in control, happier, freer, more fulfilled – only to end up feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, unappreciated, or more generally stuck. But we don’t often give time and attention to our inner game. We keep rearranging the chess pieces when, what we truly desire, is to play a bigger game, a better game, a different game.
In The Power of the Spoken Word, Florence Shovel Shinn writes, “The only person to change, is yourself. As you change, all the conditions around you will change! People will change! When you are undisturbed by a situation it falls away of its own weight.”
I know this to be true. As a recovering people-pleaser with serious perfectionist issues, I’ve spent a lot of time rearranging the external affairs of my life hoping for a better outcome. In fact, when I was married, I moved 12 times for various ‘reasons’. Each time, thinking things would be better. They were. Briefly. But, I didn’t understand the power of my inner game then and how truly liberating it is.
In case you’re wondering. I have lived in my current home for 10 years. This is the longest I’ve been in one place in my entire life (including my childhood). This too may change, but from an inner state of happiness not in the pursuit of.
But here’s the rub. Shifting your inner game requires rest, stillness, attention to your thoughts and feelings. We don’t like to rest. It’s uncomfortable. We’ve learned to associate rest with wasting time and laziness. We like to ‘keep busy’. It’s hard to rest, reflect, be still and listen to the inner voice especially in a distracted world that places a high value on doing, doing, and doing more.
What we yearn for is intangible. A inner connection, a deep desire to know we are worthy. To know ourselves intimately, to live freely and authentically. But our attention is often outward, rearranging the board, in a fleeting attempt to fill a void that can only be filled from within.
Are you rearranging the chess pieces of your life, striving for external achievements, without attention to your inner game?
Shinn also writes (and I take liberty with pronouns) “No [wo]man gives to herself but herself, and no woman takes from herself but herself: the “Game of Life” is a game of solitaire. As you change, all conditions will change”. Giving to ourselves is aligning our inner game with who we want to be and what we want to create.
Taking action is a necessary part of chess and the game of life. But, the most critical part of the game is your inner game. Do your thoughts, feelings and actions truly support what you desire, who you want to be, and how you want to feel? Do you give yourself time to get clear before making the next move?
This is what I teach and help you do as your coach. Get clear on your thoughts and feelings and how they impact your life now so that you can intentionally shift and realign your inner game and create the success you desire, and quite frankly deserve, in life and business.
Are you just rearranging the chess pieces?
The next move is yours.
Ready to get clear on your inner game, and what’s in the way so you can create more of what YOU want in your life? Schedule a Complimentary Clarity Call!