I was thinking about today’s post, deciding what I wanted to communicate and I started to feel like an imposter. Tempted to simply share my top posts for the year, like a cherry on top of the best sundae ever, I decided to leave that for another day. Instead, I want to share the truth with you, my year was far from perfect. My personal leadership truth is that my year was a messy adventure with ups, downs, success and um, less than success.
I went from blogging twice a week to once a week, books were written, but not yet published and some new programs were launched, but made little splash. I also travelled to five countries on four continents, made many new connections and deepened established relationships.
My year was like an ice cream sundae, overflowing with flavors; hot fudge, whip cream and cherries – today I’m tasting it all. The problem is that at the moment, I’m mostly digging into the mint chocolate chip (not my favorite flavor) that’s keeping the coffee flavor hidden underneath (yum).
Where are you putting your attention?
Today, I am looking back and focusing on what I wish was different despite the fact that I know not one of us can change the past. Not to mention my past year had some moments that I never want to forget.
As humans, we often turn to the dark instead of the light. Learning is what brings even our darkest moments into a new dawn.
I love to advise my clients on how to discover their personal leadership truth, learn from it and accept the past. It’s all a part of their story (or personal sundae), but it’s often easier said than done. Like most people, the more I zero in on my “less than” moments, I obscure my vision of my “greater than moments” and the more stuck I become. Hello mint chip, goodbye coffee.
When it happens with my clients I often help brainstorm and use flip side techniques to get unstuck from the bad and be able to see the good too. Mind you, the goal is not to only see good… just to see the whole sundae.
Discover New Truths Through Your Relationships
In search of a brainstorming partner, I asked each of my children for three things that were awesome about this year; not ten, not eighty, three. I was hopeful they’d help me shake loose from my coulda, woulda, shoulda moment and refocus my attention.
As I immersed myself in their positive perspectives of the year, something happened inside of me. It was as if a weight was lifted and darkness was overcome by the light. There were no failures, only attempts. There were no mis-steps, only learning. There were no regrets, only excitement for the future. My sundae was looking more flavorful and filled with tastes I love by the minute.
My daughter’s words resonated with my own experience. “I really challenged myself,” she said. “I didn’t step away or back down even when it was hard or things didn’t go my way.”
My son’s feelings were also a mirror. “I discovered that I can do more than I thought,” he said.
Personal leadership is learning to look back without regret. To transform your future, look back with an open heart and a willingness to learn.
Flip-Side Thinking Helps Uncover New Ways of Seeing
Thanks to my kiddos, I was ready to look at the flip side of my less-than-stellar moments. I worked with some inspirational clients, did tons of writing and rolled out an eCourse which was totally out of my comfort zone. With intention, I was finally seeing the flip side – the also truth. It’s like realizing that you enjoy the b-side of a record even more than the big hit release.
Flip sides are the best tool you have in your arsenal to turn poop into possibility. Ask yourself: If this is true, what else is also true? If I didn’t publish the book I wrote, what else is also true? I wrote a freakin’ book and the publishing journey is simply yet to begin.
Your truth is not all good nor all bad. It’s found in the also truths… The combination of all of the flavors of your personal leadership sundae make the whole better, more interesting and more remarkable.
Leaders Share Their Personal Truth, Not Only Inspirational Sound Bites
I vow to always bring you my truth on the Break the Frame blog – even when it’s not pretty. I’ve worked for many years in change management and coaching, but my greatest learning comes through living – at the office, with my clients, connecting with friends and adventures with my family. The personal leadership truth I know best isn’t from a text book or a training class, but from real life, everyday experiences and viewed with a learning lens.
I hope that by sharing, you’ll also learn to strengthen your ability to vulnerably look at your life and leadership truth. Instead of living as a corporate zombie or someone who thinks that change is the enemy, my hope is you’re better equipped and empowered to break the frame and create your future.
Break the Frame Tip:
Embrace the messy, less than perfect moments as much as your greatest success. Flip it, flop it, turn it upside down and backwards until you can accept and appreciate it. I promise you’ll discover new flavors and pathways for growth and inspiration.
Zig Ziglar had it right when he said, “Look back in forgiveness, forward in hope, down in compassion, and up with gratitude.”
Here’s to welcoming an unknown future with open arms.
What’s a truth about your year, your life and your leadership that you’re willing to share?
I’d be honored to work with you in 2015 to create a future that honors your quest for a full life and professional success. To jump start your success, start out the year by letting go of what’s holding you back – choose to move and get unstuck!