What I Learned This Winter
Suddenly another season is done. I stop once more to reflect on what I have learned. Honestly, this season has been intense and full of good things, hard things and growth opportunities. I have not been keeping track of my learning and reflecting as I normally like to do. That makes this time of stopping and reflecting even more important. I don’t want to rush past this opportunity and overlook the incredible growth, fun and goodness that have occured in the past three months.
Launching a book is fun/terrifying/hard work/takes intention
“Stepping Up In Leadership‘” released in August. It has been a surreal journey seeing the words that have lived on my screen for so long come to life in a book that people have held, read and given me feedback on. The vulnerability hangover has been huge as I simultaneously worked to get it into the hands of more people while not wanting anyone to read it! I have loved hearing from readers, though. I believe in the power of the words in this book and can see it starting to inspire and equip women.
August was not my original time line for the book. I chose to speed up the process of finishing it and releasing it to make the most of some opportunities that came my way. Those opportunities allowed me to reach more women with this message that I initially thought possible. It did mean that several of my thoughts around book launch fell by the way side.
I could blame lack of time due to the increased pace of release but that is not the real reason I did not follow through on my ideas. The real reason was a lack of belief in myself deep down. This drove avoidance patterns and procrastination until it was genuinely too late to act on my ideas. I procrastinated on planning for and putting together a launch team from fear that no one would want to be on it and that it would fail. I frequently didn’t post the content I had in my mind from fear that it wouldn’t be good enough, that I wasn’t good enough. I wonder how many lapsed or buried ideas in your life have the same root cause under the noble excuses we dig up?
Recognising these issues is the first step to changing them. I am working on that as I enter this next phase of ongoing marketing, developing my speaking career and beginning to work on a leadership coaching package. What would your next steps look like if you took that fear off of the table and stopped underestimating yourself?
Calisthenics season is intense but the growth in my daughter is worth it
August held two competitions (her first ever) and a concert for my daughter. This involved extra training sessions, more focus on improving her skills and conquering anxiety, regulation and focus issues. This mother couldn’t be more proud. My daughter showed me what perseverance, hard work and bravery look like over the past few months. Her progress and character growth have been amazing to watch.
It was also a lesson for me not to anticipate and speak out the worst. I was convinced that she wouldn’t cope, that we would have significant meltdowns and that she wouldn’t be able to get all the moves and changes that were being asked of her. She didn’t come close to the meltdowns I imagined and she did persist to learn the moves, despite several changes along the way. I need to stop underestimating what she is capable of too!
My attitude and perspective is key to how our holidays go
I am sometimes ashamed of the ugliness of my internal attitude. This was the case in the lead up to our big road trip from Broome back to Perth (after my daughter and I flew up to meet my husband.) The language I was using served only to intensify my feelings and negativity. I knew that would have an impact on those around me sooner or later.
I had to make the conscious choice moment by moment to change my internal dialogue in order to shift my attitude. I’d love to say I had this mastered the whole time but I am a work in progress. This trip was a reminder that the experience we have is tied up in the attitude and perspective we take. This spills on to the experience of those around us too.
This trip proved to be a time of sweet family moments and exploration, not without struggles, frustration and conflict but not overshadowed by them either. I am taking this way of thinking into our next big adventure- Disney World!
I play the noble victim far more than I realised
The past season has also included some intensive self-leadership coaching through Lead Different’s Ignite program. Honestly, I went into it thinking that I had already mastered most of what would be spoken about but open to seeing areas that I still needed work on. While I can see the progress I have made over the past few years of my leadership journey, some hidden areas have also become glaringly obvious to me.
So many revelations, growth opportunities and straight up slap in the face moments. The biggest of which currently (we still have a few weeks to go) is realising how much I use noble sounding excuses to let myself off the hook for dreams, plans and day to day commitments. Playing the noble victim instead of practicing that intentionality that I am so fond of talking about. Ouch! This is going to take a whole lot more processing and rewiring of my thinking and language to shift. If you hear me pulling out noble sounding excuses, call me on it! I can’t do this alone.
Getting ready for a Disney trip of a lifetime is so exciting but also triggers my anxiety
As I write this, I am on a plane- the first of three flights that will take me from Perth, Western Australia to Orlando, Florida for MOPS International leader training and MomCon. Then my family flies over to join me for a week in Disney World celebrating my daughter’s eighth birthday. After talking about this and planning for so long, the time is finally here.
The past few weeks and days especially, have been filled with alternating excitement, panic, joy and overwhelm. The logistics have been draining my mental and emotional energy. Add in the uncertainty that came with Hurricane Dorian threatening and my stress tendency to think of worst case scenario kicked in big time!
This has been another big practice opportunity for changing my internal language, shifting my perspective to ensure a more positive experience regardless of outcome and using the stress and anxiety tools that I have developed over the years. I can only control my actions and responses. Now it is time for me to release the rest and focus on getting the most out of this time. My attitude will have an influence on those around me.
I don’t know how much I’ll be sharing of my trip but feel free to follow along on Facebook or Instagram for some Disney magic.
This list is really only a glimpse into the last few months. It has been a growth season for sure. I couldn’t really come up with any light, fluffy lessons to add to my list. It hasn’t been that kind of time. Maybe next time will have some fun moments to share.
What have you learned this past three months?