Straw, Stick, or Brick: What's Your Foundation Made Of?
Do you remember the fable, “The Three Little Pigs?” You may have read it as a child. There are slightly different versions. Here's a popular one:
Once upon a time, there were three little pigs. These three little pigs were sent out into the world by their mother to "seek out their fortunes” and build their houses. The first little pig builds a house of straw, the second out of sticks, and the third of bricks. The pigs hastily built their houses out of straw and sticks. The third little pig’s house of brick was built with hard work and he invested more time making sure his house was safe.
The Big Bad Wolf went to the first pig’s house made of straw. The Wolf huffed and puffed and blew down the house immediately. The frightened little pig ran to the second pig’s house that was made of sticks. Next, the Big Bad Wolf came to the stick house - he huffed and puffed and blew the house down in no time at all. Terrified, the two little pigs ran to the third pig’s house that was made of brick. The Big Bad Wolf tried to huff and puff and blow the brick house down, but he could not. He kept trying, but the house was very strong and the three little pigs were safe inside.
This classic fable links to your story. What is your personal foundation made of: straw, stick, or brick? What or who is the Big Bad Wolf in your life? It can rear its ugly head in the form of a lay-off, break-up, health issue, criticism, undermining boss...any challenge that hinders you reaching your destination.
What makes a person more resilient than another? It comes down to how solid our core is and how we’ve built our own sense of self. How much time and energy have we invested in our own foundation? Is our foundation strong? Do we make the commitment to ourselves by taking the time to strengthen it? Many times, we are seeking validation and recognition from external sources. We are always looking for others to build up our sense of worth. Unfortunately, no matter how many times we are told about our greatness, if we don’t believe it for ourselves, than it doesn’t matter. These acknowledgements will fall upon deaf ears. Take inventory of yourself holistically: your body, emotions, and spirit. How have you built your foundation?
Body: How do you care for yourself?
Evaluate your basic needs: sleep, food, and exercise. Sleep is essential. Now more than ever there is data emphasizing how sleep impacts our entire existence. Without it, our lives suffer. Food makes a difference on the quality and quantity of our energy. How we fuel ourselves impacts our physical nature. Let's not forget exercise. Movement is about being alive and embodying energy; movement equals life.
Emotions: How do you talk to yourself?
The vitality of our foundation is demonstrated by self-compassion and positive self-talk. Constant criticism and feeling that we are not good enough is never productive - especially in the long run. It’s about having self-awareness; leveraging our strengths and understanding our liabilities. Deep down in your core you need to feel value, have confidence in who you are as a human being and what you offer the world.
Spirit: What are your values and purpose?
I once heard, “If you are alive, then you have purpose.” Everyone is here for a reason and has a uniqueness to share with the world. A clear direction and purpose helps you move forward, especially as we face adversity along the way. It is important to know your values and stand by them.
In life, you will encounter the Big Bad Wolf in one way or another. Is your house made of straw, sticks, or bricks? A strong sense of self - body, emotions, and spirit - takes time and effort. It doesn't happen overnight. When your foundation is strong, you are unstoppable. It can withstand any headwind no matter how big or how bad the wolf can blow.