How many hats do you wear?

It’s National Hat Day and it has made me think about the many hats I’ve worn throughout my life.

How many hats | © Gerdi Verwoert 2018

When I was in college I went through a phase where I actually sported a red beret while I also wore a flowing, marine trench coat. (Yep! I was that preppy!)

While hiking I’ve worn many a baseball cap, a foldable hat that could be made to look like an Australian bush hat (which I thought looked really cool but probably didn’t), beanies and buffs too. I’ve even worn a felt hat that somewhat resembled a cowboy hat.

And of course, there’s the skiing helmet as well.

But there are the metaphorical hats too.

Hats that come with the roles we get to, want to or (feel we) have to play in life. There can be many and not all of them are a great or even good fit!

Years ago I took stock of all the roles in my life and found the list I came up with to be long. Really long!! With roles on it that I definitely did not want to fulfil.

That discovery led to some hard decisions and challenging conversations as I returned certain roles to their rightful owners. I reduced time I spent on others and just dropped some completely.

It not only freed up a lot of time; I also felt a lot better.

Fulfilling a role that isn’t yours to fulfil can lead to stress, anger, resentment and frustration. It can — in a worst- case scenario — literally make you sick.

Have you ever taken inventory of the hats you wear in your life?

Have you then consciously decided whether or not you actually want to wear each and every one of them?

What was the outcome of that process? Or if you haven’t yet taken stock, what would happen if you did so now?

It is important to be aware of the hats you wear in life i.e. the roles you have in life.

To make conscious decisions about each and every one of them, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do they contribute positively to your life / purpose / vision?
  • When yes, do you spend enough time on them?
  • When no, do you need or want to keep that role?
  • And if yes, how much time do you need or want to spend on it?

Then take action in line with the answers.

If necessary, start a conversation with people about the roles you no longer need or want to keep. You may be surprised by their reaction.

You don’t want to — nor do you have to — go through life feeling resentful of roles you have in life.

Whether you do or not is entirely up to you.

As always …

Go dare greatly!