I recently found myself responding to my son in a conversation saying the words, “Be who you are and not what you think you should be”. Be an individual and someone not conditioned to be a certain way; it is all about you being you.

Have you ever reflected on your journey in life how often are you... YOU? Have you ever thought and reflected on you and the changes? Have you ever thought about the differences and why? The conditioning that takes place through life, what has happened to you and are you entirely happy with your journey and who you are?

An example of this, a small area but an interesting preference in me is how different I have been between the organisation, planning vs the last-minute casual, spontaneous me over time. Such a difference in me from when I was 18 compared to me now (not sharing my age). How conditioned I have become over the years with planning and organisation, but what is really me?

I can remember at 18 buying a monthly railcard to travel around Europe, the old western Europe at £126. A month travelling on any train around any of the countries in western Europe. The approach I had then compared to what I would do now or would have done ten years ago is widely different.

At 18 I bought a rucksack and went, no planning, no accommodation no itinerary I just went and went with what happened, very able to improvise, that was part of the fun.

The 18-year-old approach compared to me now is unbelievable. I reflect on the long-haul holidays I now do, the planning I now do down to restaurants I want to try, turning up at the airport three hours before the flight, almost too organised.  Listening to my son who always gets anywhere with two minutes to spare made me laugh when he said I consider anything more than 5 minutes waiting a waste of my life, I could not argue with that.

I smiled so much with this response, this was me years ago and what a nice way to be, relaxed and having the ability to go with whatever presents itself. Over the years how much conditioning has there been on me and then how I have probably tried to push my way on to my son (clearly not worked). I am so curious now he is older how I am going to change again. I am a lot more relaxed about things, and I wonder how much responsibilities in life changes you and how much more draining this may be on you as a person. I have changed again, thankfully being relaxed is a lot less stressful.

This is just one tiny area I have reflected and the change in me. I reflect in a much more intense way and look at all the different directions I have chosen in life and why.  I feel the thing to notice is you and why you have changed.  Then with the changes how much of ‘you’ do people see, who is the real ‘you’. I think the real ‘you’ is the most powerful and the most credible.

Claire Moody is our head coach at Target Training and you can read more about her here.  She delivers training on coaching for managers courses, and you can read more about these courses here and see dates here