Walk It Like I Talk It
So one day, I was on the way to work listening to my new Fav by Migos, “Walk it like I talk it”. As I usually do I started analyzing the words and lyrics and then I started to think about how everyone should “walk it like they talk it”. Everyone should be practicing what they preach and walking the walk, how they talk the talk. We have heard/know all of these sayings. Ever wonder why they exist?! Ever think about why there would be so many phrases and metaphors and emphasis on this one thing? No? Ok well I did! I thought about it and I feel that it all boils down to congruence. Congruence and being congruent is key to mental health.
Congruence is defined as “the quality or state of agreeing, coinciding, or being congruent” by Merriam-Webster Dictionary. In the the world of therapy and counseling, ones “Ideal-self” and “Real-self” have to be congruent in order for said individual to be a fully functioning person. This is a significant part of counseling theory proposed by Carl Rogers, the father of the very well known and utilized Person Centered Approach in therapy. The “ideal self” is essentially who a person would like to be, the “real self” is a persons actual behaviors and self-image. If your real self and ideal self dont match up then they are incongruent. Incongruent occurs when ones feelings are not aligned with ones actions.
We all know that self-perception is key. (If you didn’t know, you are welcome because now you know) I will say it again; self-perception is KEY. It doesn’t matter how great everyone else thinks you are if you don’t believe it to be true. Here in lies the point of this post. You have to walk it how you talk it. Your actions, self-talk, and feelings all of the match up. They have to aligned for you to be your true self. They have to be aligned for you to achieve that “happiness” that everyone is out there endlessly searching for (my personal views and qualms with the search for happiness are for another post on another day). When I refer to happiness I mean your own individual view of happiness and what that is for you. To achieve your ultimate potential you must find balance and congruence between the you you want to be (ideal self) and the you that you are.
Part of achieving congruence is being brutally honest with yourself. You also have to be accountable for yourself and your actions. Get to know who you are void of how everyone views and thinks of you. Learn to be empathetic and open to new experiences. Be open to growing and less resistant of change. It takes time and typically takes years to achieve, so don’t pressure yourself. Live intentionally and mindfully. Challenge yourself and throw away the box you’ve placed yourself and that you at this point are making a choice( consciously or subconsciously)to remain stuck in.
I’m not perfect, I’m still on this journey. Some days are easier than others. However, in my profession it’s a lot easier to see and notice when I’m not living intentionally or “practicing what I preach”. It’s also a lot harder to ignore any incongruence because if I dont notice it, my clients will notice it. I pride myself on my work and my ability to build rapport and trust with clients by being genuine and by letting my own personality shine through.
Just remember to put in as much walking (action) as you do talking (feelings).