Five Keys to Escape the Box You’re Stuck in

“Can I tell you what I see? I see someone who has a searchlight on the top of their head. They’re searching for something they love.” 

I started seeing a certified counsellor and life coach about six months ago and the above observation changed my whole self perception. The narrative I shared with my coach was that I was a wishy-washy person who lacked clarity; continuously jumping from one thing to another. While my iteration was overtly negative; focusing on my self perceived haphazard nature, my coach’s version drew me as a seeker on a journey to find something that set my soul ablaze.

I was born desperately creative. As a child I drew endlessly and as a teenager I wrote poetry. Early on I sensed the value society placed on science and business and neatly folded my creative soul into the societal box of security. All was well until a year and a half ago I woke up experiencing an inner turmoil I just couldn’t shake. After attending a number of coaching sessions, I realized my dilemma. I was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. My creative soul in a constant battle with the security and practicality of living in a modern day box of my own design.

The narrative we architect based on our experiences and perceptions of the world create our identity and shapes our life. Have you ever felt lost or like you’re not living your true nature? Maybe, like me, you’ve dimmed your passions to take the road most travelled. If you relate to my experience, here are five keys to get out of the box you’re in and discover your true self again. 

Look back to childhood

As we progress through life our authentic self becomes obscured by societal norms and expectations. A simple way to get to know yourself again is to look back on what you loved during childhood and start doing those things again. 

Branch out

The best way to explore your identity outside of the walls you’ve constructed is to expand your social circle to include others that have different interests and to try new things. There are infinite ways to see the world, it’s incredible how constricted your view can become.

Stop putting people in boxes

When we meet others, the first thing we tend to ask is “so, what do you do?” Occupations rarely define a person and this limiting question places your new friend in a box immediately. Instead of seeing a person as a function of their career, ask questions to get to know them as a whole such as: 

“What are your passions?”

“What kind of books do you enjoy?”

“Tell me about your family.” 

“What do you value in life?” 

Get an outsider’s perspective

What we tell ourselves on a regular basis becomes our identity. Start challenging your self narrative and limiting beliefs by seeking an outsider’s perspective. Whether it be a coach, counsellor, family member, or friend, talk with someone and ask them how they really see you. Compare their perspective to how you view yourself.

Live Courageously

Living your authentic self requires courage. There’s a clear road map on how to become a professional such as a lawyer, doctor, or in my case audiologist, while choosing the road less travelled comes with no guarantees. Before you leap, you must run, before you run, you must crawl. If you have an idea on what you’d love to pursue, test the waters by dipping your toes in first. Start small and build.

Although I’m still trying to escape the box of my own fabrication, I can sense it abating. I taste the dust of crumbling walls and feel the warmth of glimmering light. As I peer over walls, my horizon expands to see possibilities instead of problems. Abundance instead of limitations. Infinity instead of abyss. I wish the same for you friend. Begin to set yourself free, it’s time.

Thank-you for giving me the great privilege of being a part of your life today. If you found this post meaningful, please share, like, comment, and follow my blog. For daily inspiration and guidance on living your best life, follow me on Instagram @miss_susanflynn.

2 thoughts on “Five Keys to Escape the Box You’re Stuck in

  1. Love this article and how you are not scared to be honest and vulnerable in your posts! In one of Brené Brown’s books I also read about “putting people in boxes”, but she referred more to how we put ourselves in boxes… I am NOT only what I do for a living and what I earn my money from… I am much more than that. Like you said, you might be an audiologist, but what you really are is a writer and an artist!!


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