Ever had an outsourcing nightmare? You know the kind of ‘help’ calls that are anything but helpful, and suddenly you hear words coming out of your mouth that would prompt your mother to grab a bar of soap.
If your experience was truly a nightmare, it might have provoked you to the point of issuing threats against the company that limits your future air travel options.
Hopefully, you didn’t go that far. I might have come close a time or two several years ago. Thank God, I’ve mellowed some since then.
Last week I realized how pervasive outsourcing has become. It’s not just large corporations that have embraced outsourcing. Perhaps you’ve jumped on the outsourcing bandwagon and didn’t even realize it.
My discovery came while working out at the gym. I was listening to Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott. It’s a delightful book, written in Anne’s inimitable style overflowing with her wit and wisdom.
There I was in the gym, gliding on the elliptical and listening to the chapter on publication. Suddenly, I heard something that jolted the rhythm of my cadence. I grabbed the phone, hit the rewind button to see if I heard her correctly.
Yep, I did hear correctly. I listened one more time and texted myself the sentence so that I could ponder it later. Pondering that sentence is what prompted this post.
Being enough was going to have to be an inside job.
In context, Anne’s point was that many aspiring writers long for the day when they will have their work published. They mistakenly believe that getting published will resolve their issues with insecurity.You can’t outsource your identity without losing it. Click To Tweet
Five Things You Better Not Outsource
Is there something you’ve attempted to outsource that can’t really be outsourced? Here are five things you can’t effectively outsource:
Happiness. Hopefully, you’ve figured this out. But many people haven’t. When you engage in conversation, you quickly discover they have pinned their personal happiness to an external event — usually something far off in the future and way beyond their control. Not gonna work.
Abundance. When you embrace a poverty mindset, getting more will never be enough. Abundance is recognizing you are enough and already have enough to do what you are called to do.Abundance is a mindset, not a bank balance.Click To Tweet
Authenticity. You will never find your authentic self or voice if you are always copying others. It’s admirable to have heroes and role models, but let them inspire you to be the best you, you can be. Do not attempt to become a cheap imitation of someone else. Be you. Only you can be.
Courage. Ultimately, the courage to act must take up residence inside you. It is true that others can encourage you, but others are not always around and sooner, or later, you have to develop your own internal sources of courage. If you outsource your courage, you will find yourself waiting for someone else to come light your fire or start your engine.
Compassion. It’s awesome to have so many nonprofit organizations in communities caring for people who are struggling. But it’s a mistake to think you can outsource your compassion to someone else. The word compassion comes from the Greek language, σπλαγχνίζομαι (splagchnizomai). It means to feel or be moved in the inward parts. Compassion is something you feel and experience deep inside of you that moves you to action. True, it may result in writing a check or making a credit card donation that funds the work of another, but it also may require you to get personally involved and directly connected with those you want to serve.
The real outsourcing nightmare is attempting to have someone else do something for you that only you can do. If you’ve given someone else the responsibility for anything on this list, take it back, NOW.
It’s your responsibility. As listening to Anne Lamott reminded me, being enough is an inside job. Own it, don’t outsource it.