The Gift of Reflection
"Great leaders develop through a never-ending process of self-study, self-reflection, education, training, and experience." ~Tony Buon
This past year has been a year of a lot of learning and growth. I know this because I was given the very special gift last week of being led through a contemplation, reflecting on 2021. Shirzad Chamine, NY Times Best Selling Author and founder of Positive Intelligence offered our group of Pioneer Coaches this opportunity to explore each quarter of the year to identify my greatest learnings ( sage wisdom), get a sense of what I accomplished ( intercepting my saboteurs), and maybe even consider what energy led me into the next three months.
The theme that emerged for me was Transformation. A Metamorphosis of sorts, where I was able to successfully shed layers as I moved throughout the months. Some of these layers were actual commitments I had made, full-filling those obligations, and getting closer to creating the career and life that is in alignment with my values. Other layers included perceptions I had of others or of circumstances, perspectives I had adopted around my own abilities, emotions and feelings that seemed to surface when I was not being true to myself in work and in life. And this was just the first three months!
By the second quarter I could see myself having gained greater clarity on ways that my inherent strengths may have been taken too far for way to long, causing me to self sabotage my own goals and aspirations, many times in service to others. Seeking approval and acceptance through my work and career accomplishments often resulted in me saying yes to things I truly wanted to say no to...if I stopped long enough to really ask myself the question. I could also easily revert to a fear based way of thinking that was a definite contributor to my saying YES to others and NO to myself, for fear of disappointing or for fear of missing out on an opportunity. The irony though that became so clear is that by saying yes to others, I was saying no to giving 100% of myself to what I was most passionate about.
The start of summer marked a BIG turn for me in the high achieving and desire to please categories. I said NO to comfort and security and YES to playing full out in my role as Coach. We traveled and I reconnected. Another important theme of 2021. Reconnecting to a part of my career and life that was, in many ways, made available again as a result of this pandemic. I was beginning to feel whole again could see that the second part of the year would be the home stretch for me.
I have challenged myself each and every day, each week, each month in 2021. A challenge to continue to show up authentically. To face my fears, some I knew existed and some that randomly appeared that I had to address along the way. To speak my truth even when it may not be popular. To go outside my comfort zone and explore deeper parts of myself and the world. To accept that there are things within my control or within my influence and things that are simply not. To be okay with setting boundaries to protect myself and those that I love. To ask for what I need. To be flexible and contribute to adapt to the ebbs and flows of life with a joy for discovering along the way. And to challenge others so they too can experience transformation in their lives, personally and professionally.
I am SO CLEAR on the fact that I am right where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I was meant to be doing. I am a work in progress, a mixed bag of beautiful Sage and not so great Saboteur. I do however have the power to change ( each day a little better than the day before) and BE THE CHANGE I wish to see in the world. To do this I must continue to focus on taking care of myself and CREATING SPACE to be in more of a flow state as I navigate my duties of wife, mom, step mom, business owner, coach, volunteer, friend, daughter... ( just to name a few hats I wear)! LETTING GO of expectations and tuning in to what I know matters most. This clarity in and of itself brings me a sense of peace.
I head into 2022 feeling my own unlimited potential to make a difference in the lives of those around me. To have a positive impact. To focus on continued deepening of my knowledge and training to support others on their journey to self actualization. To create a safe space of non judgement for myself and for others ( much easier) to grow. To be pulled by love ( whatever you are most passionate about) versus being pulled by a deeply rooted fear. This to me will be FREEDOM, success, and the most rewarding of accomplishments.
"Dwell not on the faults and shortcomings of others; instead, seek clarity about your own." ~Buddha