The last few months have been a whirlwind.
I have been pushing myself to achieve more and accomplish more in the office. Outside of the office I have taken on more responsibilities volunteering at events, trying my hand at public speaking, and trying to learn the skills and traits to be the very best person I am capable of becoming.
It has been so rewarding, but in many ways it has worn me down. I haven’t taken a day off in several months, and I get home each night and am so exhausted, then in the morning it is so hard to drag myself out of bed; and I have to ask myself “is this all worth it?”
I sit and I question what I am doing, how hard I am working, and I wonder if I am actually accomplishing my goals. Am I actually moving closer to the end goal? Do I even see where it is anymore? Or am I running down another tunnel, and when I get closer I will see that the light at the end and it isn’t the place I was wanted to be at all?
When you are tired and worn it is so easy to second guess yourself, and it is in these moments I find my insecurity and vulnerability come shiny through brighter than the morning sun.
But then I started thinking about what matters, I reframed, focused my attention on the positive things and I was optimistic and hopeful again. I want to be the best person I can become. I want to be the person that when people talk to, they leave better for having interacted with me. I want to make people happy and feel good about themselves and their paths in life. Sometimes I can be that person, the one that says all the right things and can make you feel like you are walking on clouds, but regretfully sometimes I tend to have the opposite effect.
Recently in my effort to be better, I enlisted an executive coach. As part of my development process she is conducting 360 reviews with a lot of the people who interact with me on a regular basis. At first I was extremely scared of this process – terrified.
In our meeting she asked me what I thought people would say I did well, or needed to improve – and want to know the scary thing? I really didn’t know. I honestly have no clue what I do well or do poorly in my role at work (and maybe I shouldn’t be admitting this on my blog, but hey – isn’t that what blogs are for?). I know I am a hard worker, and I can get results – but how could I be better? My usual answer: work harder.
One of the great things about this process though, is that I am hoping I will be able to see myself better and learn to be a better leader and team member. It is so funny – I have been managing people for a long time now and it seems like I am still learning how to be better almost everyday.
And so yes, at first I was scared of this process, but you know what I am actually excited. I see this as such a great learning opportunity. Every piece of feedback is so valuable and a chance to be better, and so I am really hopeful that seeing myself through the eyes of other people that work closely with me will give me a chance to improve.
My executive coach did a great talk on taking on accepting feedback, which definitely made me think a little bit differently and be more open to different points of view:
In particular I loved her explanation that people see you through snapshots, so they don’t know the “real” you, and they are biased. However, I also worry that thinking too much about those snapshots could cause you to be less authentic – I know that when I have worried a lot about my perception and image that it actually hurt more than helped – it was like I was always acting like I had something to prove, and that is definitely not in my desrired direction.
For me, the real challenge is how do I be the best person version of me. And I am hopeful I will get there