Have you always felt different? Understanding both sides but not agreeing or disagreeing with any of them? Do you fit in almost everywhere and don't feel that you belong anywhere? Have you ever had a desire to "save the world"?
If so, this blog post is for you. I will share a part of my story that I hope will give you some clarity and make you proud to be a "bridge builder" and honored to be a part of the new normal so you can be more of yourself.
Like all bridge builders, I always feel like I have one foot on each side of the river.
Growing up, I started to look for answers to why we humans were here, why I was alive, the meaning of all of this, and how big the universe was. These thoughts made my head spin a bit, and at the same time, I was surprised that no one else seemed to be thinking about these things. I started feeling like I had missed some vital information that other people knew since they could go about their lives so carelessly. So I assumed that they had it all figured out and knew the way to do life.
Without feeling that I had anyone to talk to about this and no one around me that talked about these things, I just felt very alien and different on the inside and way too normal on the outside. Many people perceived me as shy, but I think it was just my need to observe the playing field and understand it before getting into the game. My mum told me how I was determined to follow my bigger sister on some activities when I was four, and that was fine with the leaders because I sat quiet, wanting to observe the activity rather than taking part.
Somehow I did not feel that I belonged anywhere, and at the same time, I observed and could fit in and feel ok almost everywhere. I have always had a lot of different kinds of friends and people around me. My mum has always been amused by the diverse group of people I've pulled together on my bigger birthday parties. I enjoy different perspectives on things and connecting different people and ideas.
I have never really been an expert at anything but quite good at a lot of things, not wanting to specialize and getting bored by too much detail. When it was time to choose which school to go to, I just knew that I needed a broader perspective and adventure and that I wanted to work with people because they are fascinating and life would never be boring. I even choose my old career goal and degree based on the fact that I wanted a little bit of everything and to work with people. And by knowing a little about many things, I can offer perspectives and build bridges of understanding that an expert can't.
The result of my childhood experiences was a feeling that I didn't belong, trying to understand what I've missed, not finding a place where I felt like I fitted in. So except for a couple of adventures, I followed what I thought was expected of me, because I tried to play the game as you 'should' do it. So when I did that long enough, I had ticked all the boxes of what I thought I should have to be happy: education, work, husband, kids, house, Volvo, and so on. Only to realize that this way was not how I wanted to live my life, I knew something had to change.
As a bridge builder, I wanted to know the right way so I could do it my own way.
I started to look for my way, my answers, and how I wanted to live my life, instead of acting on perceived expectations. The process with LifeSpider System helped me realize what I wanted and started me off on the journey I'm on now, and why I decided to become a coach myself. With the understanding and knowledge of my strengths and boundaries in place. I could, even more, step into what was mine and what wasn't. This journey is not a quick fix, but a very interesting adventure that made me explore more of what I wanted and not. Trying all sorts of things and moving to the other side of the world with the family.
One thing I liked about moving from Sweden to New Zealand was that finally, that feeling of not fitting in was visible on the outside as well, in my appearance and accent when I speak English. It was more ok to be different because I was. In Sweden, I felt more like I should fit in as I looked and sounded like it. Except for me being tall, and that's one thing that I almost always liked about myself. If I knew nothing else, I knew that I was tall.
My habit of taking in all the information from my surroundings and the people around me, trying to adjust to everyone else, not feeling 'right,' and trying to find the right way also made me very tired. It made me questioning everything that I felt to be true and the feeling of being alone. I started to get diagnoses: depression, IBS (irritated bowel syndrome), fibromyalgia. All diagnoses based on symptoms that no one knows what the cause is or what came first. And there is no real cure for it in the "modern medicine." My understanding so far is that this is not unusual when it comes to Bridge builders because we can easily fall into the "good girl(or boy)" role and are often quite stubborn, loyal, and action-oriented. So we can need a real wake up call before we realize what is really going on. It can be easy to disconnect from our power source when we look too much in the other directions.
When the insight came that I am a bridge builder when it landed in me, it was like a big hug. I don't have to choose, and It's ok to be in between, it's even a strength.
I have always been "a spider in the net," as we say in Swedish a bit cliche. Connecting people and ideas, leaving myself a bit on the outside, and not seeing the importance of the role I've played. But now I could start to see how important that part is. And I began to talk to other Bridge builders and look into what it meant to be a bridge builder and to see if they felt like I did because I felt very alone. And I was surprised to find how many had a similar experience.
Most Bridge Builders are looking for a place to feel at home.
When I realized more people were feeling like me, it was such a relief, and I could let go of feeling so alone. Now I want all the other Bridge Builders out there to get this insight as well. So you also can stop feeling lonely and divided and see how important we are.
Bridge builders can adapt, understand, and bridge the gaps. We find our biggest strength when we combine that with our inner knowing, ability to take action, and maybe some crazy ideas from an indigo person, or your indigo side. You can see that you do not have to do it alone, but at the same time, you have everything you need.
Are you a Bridge builder? Let me know in the comments or send me a message. I would love to connect and hear your story about being a bridge builder.
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