Looking back to appreciate the present.
We often think about what’s going to happen one year down the line. Where will I be? Will I have the same job? Might I leave the city I live in? And it’s exciting to project ourselves, to open new possibilities and consider alternatives. In my work as a coach I often ask clients to do this. It’s an exercise that serves many purposes and I love it.
Today though, I want to encourage you to do the opposite. What has happened in the past year for you? Where have you “failed”? What have you accomplished? What have you learned? What / who have you let go off and what / who have you welcomed into your life?
Just over one year ago, I lead my very first Lead With A Twist workshop. I had one idea: mix up leadership and yoga. I had no idea where it would go, or how it would evolve and I put everything I had into it. First, I spent hours developing the content of the workshop: I did research, educated myself on certain aspects of yoga philosophy, thought deeply about why I wanted to do this and figured ways to make this mission come through. Then, I chose a date, rented a beautiful studio and started inviting people. I got together a bunch of people I knew well and some I knew less well and I just went for it!
I remember the high I felt after the workshop ended, as I read the feedback, positive and constructive. I was so proud. I knew I had something good going and now, I needed to keep developing. I didn’t have a plan, so I just did things! A month later, I had another workshop happening at a different studio. I had refined the content, built in new ideas and invited new people!
You cannot compare what you are feeling inside your heart and body with what others show on the outside.
I created new workshops, from the learning I was doing in my coaching class with the NeuroLeadership Institute, I adapted techniques, tools I liked and mixed them with some of the learning from my yoga teacher training class and of course, I used my experience of being an education leader for 15 years! My workshops started to take a different shape, and look more and more like me. The content shifted from leadership to personal development and I blossomed.
Here is the thing: during this whole year, I worked tirelessly. I tried, failed, tried, failed again, organized workshops no-one came to, rented spaces for nothing, spent my energy planning for nothing… I got great positive feedback, and concrete, constructive feedback. I reflected on all of it, and reflected on my “failures” (I use quotation marks because of course, nothing is a failure, just an idea that didn’t work!)
I took every opportunity I could to educate myself: I learned how to use social media (I am still learning – I really don’t like it!!), I went to networking event, panels, I attended webinars on a crazy amount of different topics. Each time I gained one insight into what might be right for me, or what would help others, that was a win. I applied it and changed my workshops and my coaching too.
I learned to ask for help, reluctantly – I’m still working on that one!
I learned to put myself out there. I learned to own that I am a coach and a workshop designer and facilitator.
I learned to trust that I am an individual and that I shouldn’t try to do what others do. I learned to say no.
I learned to be ok with saying that I couldn’t afford to go out to dinner because I had no salary coming in.
I could keep this list going!
And today? I am so grateful I did what I did.
What I’m saying is this: I know how hard it is to start something new because I have done it. 40 years old, left a 6 figure job in education to start a crazy adventure in one of the most expensive cities in the world. You cannot compare what you are feeling inside your heart and body with what others show on the outside.
Did I appreciate the journey every day? NO! I felt depleted, desperate, scared and insecure. I cried, I got annoyed, I snapped… Did I share that? NO! I shared my wins and successes because they kept me going. And today, with hindsight, I’m glad I did that because it helped me focus on the positive.
Every single one of those actions and emotions brought me to where I am today. And today, I can proudly say that I am exactly where I need to be.
If you are wondering whether you are doing the right thing, investing your time, energy, money into something you’re not sure of but you are absolutely loving what you do and you are not putting yourself at risk financially (that’s important!), keep doing it.
You are also, exactly where you need to be.
Sending you love.❤️