Let’s face it. 2020 has been overwhelming and you may be ready to put this one in the books but didn’t 2020 also have moments that brought you joy? What if these smaller happy moments came and went and you simply didn’t pay them enough attention?
When I first opened my practice several years ago, my own executive coach issued me a life-changing challenge that has brought a ton of happiness to my work and business.
The simple suggestion that rocked my world (in a good way)
Like many driven entrepreneurs, I came out of the gates fast, strong, and eager to serve my clients. In that first year, I created several ways coaching clients could engage with me: private coaching sessions, group sessions, masterminds, speaking events, blogs, newsletters, social media. (Are you tired just reading this list, because I am!) And that was just for my coaching practice. At the time I also had a consulting practice that went gangbusters in the first six months of its launch. My husband and I had just moved to a new city and I was also working pretty hard to make new friends and get out into the city to network and meet new colleagues too. And all the while, in every coaching session with my coach, I was focused on what was “next.”
At one point she asked, “Tegan, how often do you reflect on your accomplishments?” I didn’t have an answer very quickly, which means it was the perfect question. “At the end of the year,” I said.
“What would it look like for you to acknowledge your accomplishments on a more incremental basis? Because, as I observe you, I don’t think you’re really processing how much you’re doing,” she added.
I remember immediately thinking that the last thing I needed was one more thing to do. (I’m smirking as I type that sentence because she was really challenging me to get in touch with “being”, not “doing”.) She asked me how I might incorporate that practice regularly into my life and work for a little while.
You want me to do what?!
I committed to reflecting on my accomplishments every month when I closed my books and sent my invoices. What a life and work changing commitment that was!
What I discovered from reflecting more often is that it is the smaller things that I am really proud of and that means a lot to me. If we only reflect once a year, those super important things go unnoticed. Some of those “smaller” things for me included: I showed up well and applied better communication practices during that argument with my husband, I exercised four times this week, I kept my social commitments even though I was tired on Friday, I had several, life and career-changing conversations with my clients this week, I exceeded my revenue goal for the month, the talk I gave got rave reviews…(you get the picture).
When I was only reflecting once a year, I would fail to note all of those experiences. And it is those very experiences that add up to us having a great year. Frankly, for most of my life, I was robbing myself of these small, almost daily joys by not consistently acknowledging them as they happened.
I still maintain this practice today. Sometimes I have chapters where I will do this weekly; especially when I’m particularly stressed or stretched. And, if you are one of my clients reading this, you are probably grinning to find that the very challenge I’ve issued to you is also very personal to me.
Powerful Question: What would you reveal if you reflected more often?
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