A milestone birthday mixed with a longer work engagement left me needing some introspection and reflection. As a coach, I often guide people in focusing on where they want to be in the future. But these last few months I’ve taken a new approach – looking at my past to get clear on the now.
Diving through 40 years of memorabilia, letters, and journals showed me some key themes in my life.
For those that know me personally, get ready to smile…
- I was the “Most Questioning” in 5th grade
- In all of my yearbooks, people thanked me for helping them with their problems.
- I regularly wanted more “space” for reflection and downtime.
- I was always searching and seeking – looking for growth and authenticity at every turn.
Taking this tour of my past helped orient me to who I am. Not what I do. Even if I didn’t coach and consult, I would still be me. I would still question, help, guide, and search. THAT is Jen Spencer.
In the almost 10 years of doing this work with individuals and companies, I’ve recognized that people and companies are both very consistent. We have wiring and habits that we don’t even recognize because they are so reactive and automatic. This is why change and evolution can feel very hard. It’s you working against years of conditioning to change direction, take a new perspective, and try new things.
But every now and then, you get an insight that helps you override habits that aren’t working and create a new path. Where that insight comes from varies. But you have to listen closely, or you’ll miss it.
We live in a fast world that doesn’t slow down unless you demand it. Chances are you have been working your ass off. Take some of that focused energy you pour into your business and career and devote it to yourself. You deserve it. So give yourself the gift of a morning or afternoon this holiday season away from your work, kids, friends, and loved ones to have some time and space to reflect on all you have done this year.
Here are a few questions to guide you…
- Where have you excelled at your goals?
- Where did you fall short of your expectations?
- Where have you surprised yourself?
- Where have you gotten in your own way?
- Where did you authentically show up as you this year?
- Where did you hide who you are — out of necessity or choice?
- How do you want to use this information to create possibilities for 2017 – personally and professionally?
May you relish all the things that define and orient you to your TRUTH and who you are.
And may you have the clarity and gumption to adjust those things – internal and external – that keep getting in the way of you sharing your talents and presence with the world.
You have a lot of gifts to share, including with yourself.
This has been a year of incredible growth for me and for my clients. We have all been doing a lot of brave things lately.
Personally, this year’s work forced me to not skirt around what’s most important and has made me dive deep in order to authentically speak about what I think matters in this world of creative executives.
Any time we set a goal for ourselves, there is one guarantee. You will hit a roadblock as you travel along your path. It’s inevitable when you do big things in the world. If it were easy, everyone would do it.
I wish I could tell you what to watch out for, but roadblocks come in all shapes and sizes.
Perhaps it’s a boss that doesn’t see your “next level” value. Or an unexpected addition to your family. Or maybe an all-consuming romantic relationship that diverted your attention from your career goals for a few years.
Grit, that persevering and tenacious personality trait, is a defining factor that trumps talent in terms of success. We’ve shared some stories, about grit in the face of adversity. You can also read The Highly Evolved Human’s Nick Ross share an inspiring story about the creative spark that came to him amidst his battle with cancer.
What if…. Continue reading
Filed under: Growth + Development
What gets you from A to B isn’t what gets you from B to C. I was talking to a few clients last month about elevating their game.
At first, it sounds like a nice “cheerleader” phrase, but after we got into the session, they got it.
I mean really got it. And the comment at the end of the call was Continue reading
I was standing in the Rome train station renting a car for our Italian adventure when I heard what I thought was an Italian speaking eloquent English. “I thought you were Italian!” I said.
“No, I’m from California, but I’ve lived here for 5 years. And I really wish we could go home. But we are stuck here right now.” This woman was in what most people consider one of the most magnificent cities in the world. And she wanted to go home. Continue reading
Filed under: Uncategorized
I want you to remember the last time you felt really creative.
Perhaps it was…
– an idea you had in the shower one morning that gave you a solution that allowed you to have a win-win with your client
– a conversation you had with your boss where you ‘thought on your feet’ in a way that allowed for the green light to happen on a project you’d been championing for a while
– or maybe it was the experience of working with a team where you felt everyone complemented one another, so the day-to-day experience of of working together felt creative and collaborative
How did it feel? Maybe it looked a little like this: