A Coaching Power Tool created by Janette Goodall
(Life Purpose & Freedom Coach, AUSTRALIA)
You were born free, but somewhere along the way you lost your freedom. Was it fear? Fear of rejection? Fear of being let down? Fear of not being enough, or good enough, or pretty enough, or intelligent enough? What bound you? What have you compromised? What have you given up or lost? What do you compromise for the sake of peace or security? Do you compromise your dreams, your desires, your identity, your values, your freedom to be you?
How often do we compromise our freedom? How do we know when we are compromising our freedom? We can compromise our freedom in various ways. One way of choosing compromise over freedom is being in an unhealthy relationship for example, and choosing to stay in that relationship for the false sense of security it gives. Another way would be give in to someone else’s expectations of you, at the expense of denying yourself an opportunity to express yourself or to grow personally.
Everyone has the right to be free, to be themselves, to follow their heart, to pursue their dreams, to fulfill their life purpose. Yet so many of us are not free. We have let life circumstances dictate our choices for us. We have given up our dreams, and let our life purpose slip away. Basically, we compromise.
What is compromise?
Compromise is both good and bad. Its good if its good for both parties. Its bad if its only good for one of the parties, but the other has given up more than they bargained for.
According to Wiki, compromise is a concept of finding agreement through communication, through a mutual acceptance of terms, often involving variations from an original goal or desire. In the negative connotation, compromise may be referred to as capitulation, referring to a surrender of objectives, principles, or materials, in the process of negotiating an agreement.
Central to the idea of a mutual agreement is that each person must decide to surrender some things that they want in order to hopefully get the thing or things they most desire. Its when compromise involves a person surrendering that which is integral to them, such as a personal value for instance, that personal freedom is lost. Compromise exists in all aspects of life and can be a useful tool in relationships. In relationships like marriage compromise can enhance the relationship. For instance, a couple might compromise about the share of housework each will do, the husband takes out the rubbish, the wife does the vacuuming.
Couples who cannot compromise tend to have significant troubles. When each party in a marriage sees themselves as entitled to more than the other party, compromises may be very hard to reach. If one partner is adamant about not making any concessions, the other partner must decide to either concede everything and let the other be dominant, or to try to argue it out. If the first option is chosen, personal freedom again is lost or surrendered.
To be uncompromising is not always negative. A person with an uncompromising sense of ethics isn’t easily persuaded to become less ethical. As a human being it is important to decide what areas of your life are most important, and what areas of your life, work, or relationships can handle some healthy compromise.
As you can see compromise can be both positive or negative. When compromise is used it means each side loses something and gains something else in return so that every one is happy. It also means that you are willing to settle for a price, i.e. losing something, for instance your freedom. But is everyone happy?
People compromise all the time, when you are willing to forfeit something in order to achieve an agreement. For example, you would like to see a movie on at the theatre, but you do not have money, so you rent one. Or a wife wants to go out for dinner because she doesn’t want to cook and the husband wants to stay home and watch TV, so they order pizza.
In the movie “To Kill a Mocking Bird”, Atticus asks his daughter Scout if she knows what compromise is. She says, “Bending the law?” He said, “Its an agreement reached by mutual consent.” But is it always by mutual consent? If you give up your freedom for the sake of another’s expectations on you, or through coercion, or guilt, or fear, is that really mutual consent? What is freedom?
Dictionary.com gives this definition of freedom
- the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint
- exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc
- the power to determine action without restraint
- personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery.
Freedom is more than just wanting to do whatever we feel like. Freedom also involves responsibility. In a family for instance, even though we are free, we still must consider the other people in the family and how our actions impact on the other family members.
Freedom is being free to express yourself in your unique way, whatever that looks like. Its freedom to think, believe, speak, and live as you choose – but only until your choices start to infringe on another person’s freedom.
Basically a free person has the legal right to do whatever they want insofar as they do not offensively harm or coerce another people against their will. Yet it happens. People do not always feel they have the right to express themselves or to do what they feel is right for them, because another prohibits or inhibits their freedom of choice.
Freedom means freedom to express who you are through whatever you want to do without any forces stopping you. But so often we are living in an environment where we are affected by everything around us, which is also helping dictate what we do – or do not do – by whatever forces are there, including other people.
Freedom is having a voice, its living your life as you see fit, making your own decisions to the best of your knowledge and ability, decisions that are right for you. When someone puts a demand on you to be different from who you really are, it puts your happiness under someone else’s control, and that’s not freedom. Freedom is being free to be able to pursue your dreams, to be you, magnificent and exceptional, and fulfilling your life purpose.
We’ve looked at compromise, and we’ve looked at freedom. But how do we recognize the compromise that keeps us from freedom? Are you living the life you truly want to live? Are you pursuing a career that you have been thinking and dreaming about for a long time? Do you feel frustrated, stuck, trapped? Compromise can make you feel that you are not in control of your life, that someone else is pulling the strings. There are two main things that can cause us to compromise our freedom. One is fear, the other is underlying beliefs.
Fear – Fear is a paralyzing emotion, it stops us in our tracks, and prevents any forward movement. Fear keeps us bound. We fear the unknown, we fear being alone, rejected. We compromise our freedom for security, or what we believe is security.
Underlying Beliefs – We compromise our freedom to be ourselves because we don’t feel worthy of something better. We are born for greatness, yet our life circumstances have lied to us that we are not good enough. We stay in relationships that hurt us, and keep us from our purpose and destiny because we believe that’s all there is for us.