The foundation of the process.

foundation | kourtney thomas

I tend to be a rather wordy woman. Most of the time, my writing and my conversations are long-form. I’ve never really subscribed to exceedingly succinct storytelling, more in favor of plenty of adjectives and a hefty dose of sassy or silly anecdotes and signature phrases. But one place I’ve never had trouble getting really concise is in articulating my core beliefs.

It’s easy for me to see exactly what these roots are, and how to describe their origins and meaning. Unknowingly, but at the same time entirely aware, I’ve always lived by these beliefs. They’re the foundation of who I am, how I live, and also, how I operate professionally in the Choice Discovery Movement.

At the top of the list is defiance. And listen, this is exactly what it sounds like. I’m likely going to fight you on anything and everything in some way. But I don’t do it to be combative, I do it because I have a deep desire for understanding and truth. I have no interest in going along with the status quo simply for the sake of it. I’ve always gone against the grain, and that boldness is a cornerstone of who I am.

Freedom comes next. To me, this means a million things, but most importantly, it encompasses my freedom to decide what I want for myself. Freedom to define and redefine myself, my business, my life. Freedom to choose. It’s physical, it’s emotional, it’s financial. It’s everything.

Independence. Again, this speaks for itself for the most part. I grew up an only child. I played on my own. I went my own way. I was my own support system. And that has allowed me to always have the confidence and wherewithal to be intrinsically motivated and self-assured. My independence is foundational to the woman I’ve become.

Consciousness. OK, I’ll admit this one is a bit tougher to be quick about. But the gist, for me, is continual awareness and always, always being mindful of multiple perspectives. Blinders off, all experiences are valid.

Finally, there’s curiosity. And this is a belief that makes me smile just writing it down. I believe that curiosity is the thing that allows us to live a rich and fulfilling life. Asking questions, continually learning new skills, ideas, perspectives, traveling, listening. Getting curious, and turning every thought into a question is where it’s at.

Where all of these things typically end up manifesting is around social and cultural conditioning – systems, constraints, ideals. Holding these core beliefs so deeply then shapes my behaviors, which share this general theme.

The chief behavior that I pride myself on is being genuine. Completely, utterly, brazenly genuine. Not “authentic” for the sake of forced or curated public-facing “vulnerability,” but actually sincere and real in everything I do, everywhere. I was once part of a discussion that posed the question, “What mask do you wear most that covers up your true self?” and after thinking about it for a while, all I could answer was, “I don’t.” In every interaction, you experience me just as I am.

And I’m adventurous, which is often how I express my curiosity. I want to see and do and learn everything, everywhere! Macchu Picchu? Yes, please. Learn to ride a motorcycle? Absolutely. Hike a new trail alone? OK, I’m in. Certainly, I’m practical and I like to do my research, but I want to experience the things life has to offer that interest me. Interestingly, I consider myself adventurous in my relationship and business endeavors quite often too.

It never takes long for someone to learn I’m direct. I’m observant, and I’m compassionate, but I am not going to dance around an issue. A trait that can often be considered off-putting in a woman, it’s one I fully and freely embrace. Not everyone can out with it and say what they mean, and I consider it something I’m proud of.

I’m able to combine my ability to be direct with that of being encouraging. To be direct doesn’t mean to be unyielding, nor controlling. I think of myself as a partner, a supporter, team member, cheerleader. I’m a guide with some insight, encouraging you as you make your empowered decisions.

And I am always focused on openness. I’ve spent plenty of time being closed off, and to no avail. I’ve learned that being truly open to all kinds of new and varied perspectives, people, behaviors, ideas, is the best way to enrich all of my own. We’ve got one life to make good use of, and I like to envision mine as always having an open mind and heart for change and growth and experiencing as much as possible.

The intersection of all of this becomes Choice Discovery.

These are the root beliefs and behaviors that have shaped this movement. These are the foundations of the process of uncovering your power to choose. There’s a story and personal meaning behind each one of these things, but the beauty is that they are also yours for the taking. That’s the idea, you know?

You get to choose.


 

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