The year 2018 will an empowering and interesting year for me, I can guarantee that! Why you ask? It is because I have made the deliberate choice to free up some of my time to do some self-analysis and self-work. Now why would I do that? I believe we all crave opportunities for personal and professional growth, for new learning experiences and to finish those personal projects that have been sitting on our shelves. I finally made time for them.
Already in just a few short weeks I completed my manuscript/book (fiction), organized clutter in my home and started purging stuff that doesn’t add value in my life. I can’t even tell you how much lighter I feel and I haven’t even got into the heavier stuff yet!
When I speak of heavier stuff what I mean is the more intense personal work I have always been too busy or too distracted to do (maybe it was intentional). Over the last five years I have been coaching, teaching, and mentoring others from clients, staff, friends and my own children the importance of facing your fears, challenging yourself, and identifying and addressing emotional baggage. Although I may be cognizant of what I need to do or have fleeting moments of introspection, I haven’t really given myself the time (permission is what it really was) to put full effort into my own self-improvement.
Most of my self-worth and identity is attached to my work and what I produce. The more I do, the more valued and important I feel. I know this and willing to confess to it. Don’t get me wrong, I love serving others so I am drawn to that type of work – humanitarian work. However, due to the complexity and never-ending pile of social issues and injustices and gaps of funding to address them I can easily get sucked into wanting to do it all. Balance and holistic health will be the theme this year.
So to start the year right I decided to do something drastic and free myself up for a bit for self-development whether this involves formal or informal learning and training. I believe taking chunks of time to do some personal work will improve many things in your life so why not do it? One thing that will be enhanced is my relationships both personal and professional. Many researchers have found that having solid, supportive and positive relationships is strongly related to happiness and life satisfaction. I already have some pretty awesome relationships so that is great news!
So this month I am going to intentionally put myself in a vulnerable place, delve into my own psychological depths and identify areas that may be self-sabotaging, neglected, wasteful and hidden. But also acknowledging my positive attributes and enhancing them in order to reach my full potential. Some of the questions I will be asking myself are:
– What empowers me and disempowers me?
– What depletes and rejuvenates my energy (emotions = energy)?
– Am I satisfied with where I focus most of my energy?
– What learning gaps do I need to fill for professional growth?
– What thoughts limit and restrict me?
– What are my wants and my needs and how do they motivate me?
– What am I avoiding and why?
– Who am I?
As you can see this requires some hard self-reflection. On top of that I need to be prepared that I may not find everything about myself pleasant. But it is about the whole package so good or bad I have to be comfortable with taking good hard look it all. I encourage you to ask yourself these questions too.
Now let’s make it even more complicated – you can’t think your way through this! I love this TEDTalk about how the three parts of your brain makes you a faulty thinker. Before you can explore, you need to center yourself.
We spend so much of our valuable time on others, which is a good thing being it gives the world a sense of community, however we also need to take care of ourselves too. I love challenges and I am never satisfied unless I am interacting, learning and experiencing life. As much as this little self-project doesn’t seem super exciting and fun it is necessary in order to become a better leader, employee, community member, friend, wife, mother and all around human being. This is a year of transformation and taking life to the level. It will be interesting what I think of this blog when I read it January 2019!
Best to all of you in 2018!