May 21 2010
I have to be honest. I’ve not actually reinvented myself. Not yet, anyway. My outstanding accomplishment is that I’ve consciously invented myself for the very first time.
What does that mean? For me, it means that I am a person first. I’m a mom, best friend, sister, coach, teacher, entrepreneur, business advisor, avid networker, recovered accountant, athlete and volunteer. I’m living a full and rich life. No longer a ‘nice to have,’ I’ve placed a high value on happiness. What I do is no longer more important than who I am. I’ve begun to hear my own inner wisdom. I’ve reconnected with my common sense. My own answers were within me – I just had to listen.
To get to this place, I’ve had to leave a few things behind. That sounds like I’m denying myself – scarcity thinking. Let me reframe that, because it’s actually a positive thing, rooted in abundant thinking. I’ve released and let go of thoughts and behaviors – and even people – that were draining me of energy rather than fueling my fire and helping me to achieve my potential and the happiness I both desire and deserve. I’ve learned to focus my time and attention on what I want, not on what I don’t want. Funny how so many of us are clear about the former but have no real idea regarding what success might look like, let alone wild success.
So where did I come from and where am I now? I’ve already told you that I am a recovered accountant. Funny, when I was in high school, I wanted to be either a florist or a psychologist. How the heck did I wind up a business major working in public accounting? I followed the crowd. I let other people do the thinking for me. I suppressed my own passions and measured my success by a scorecard that had little meaning to me and instead which focused on external measures – keeping up with the Jones’, as the saying goes. Rather than asking myself “how can I?” I spent my time focusing on “why not.” I let the scarcity thinking drown out abundance.
What started me on the path to my first conscious invention? Like so many others, I was caught up in a restructuring. Funnily, the program was called, “Project Rapid Growth” and that restructuring actually did spur my own rapid growth. While at the time my world was rocked by not having a fancy title and a business card for the first time in my adult life, without it I might not have stopped to smell the roses.
I had help in getting here. When I was let go, I asked a lot of people “If I weren’t doing this, what would you see me doing?” It was one of my mentees in the company that I was leaving who first said, “You should be a coach” to which I replied, “I’m athletic, but what sport?” While I knew about business coaches, that role was so far out of the box that I had drawn for myself that I couldn’t even see myself in it! Until I started to listen. Then it all made sense. How could I have missed it?
Before beginning to retool and train as a coach, I actually hired a coach. Let me tell you, it’s a heck of a lot easier to be a coach than it is to do a client. Fast forward a number of years… I still have a coach (we’re all works in progress!) but now I have my own business, The Hoshin Group (www.hoshingroup.com), a thriving coaching practice, I’m an adjunct member of the faculty in the coaching program at New York University and I’ve got balance in my life to spend with my three year old son. Most importantly, I’m happy.
I am still learning and evolving. A question that I hold near and dear is, “What am I letting myself get away with that I wouldn’t let one of my clients get away with?” I hold myself accountable to set clear goals and to stay the course, consulting my own compass as I progress and proactively making course adjustments and corrections along the way. The compass is a tool which anyone, with focus and a bit of training, can use anytime, anywhere, to get someplace new. Not coincidentally, Hoshin (hō’ shin) is a Japanese word which, loosely translated, means compass. The compass is a tool which anyone, with focus and a bit of training, can use anytime, anywhere, to get someplace new.
Let’s face it. All of our lives are filled to the brim…. Overflowing, even. To allow something new in, we’ve got to create space by releasing thoughts or behaviors that no longer serve us. If you don’t purposefully create that space, you might not be pleased with what splashes out. You are brilliant and resourceful and you have your answers – no one else does! You just may not be listening.
Finally, I didn’t get here alone. I owe others thanks and acknowledgment for helping to find my calling and to stay on my chosen path. In addition to my coach, I’ve had wonderful friends and mentors who’ve cheered me on and who have candidly called me out and held me accountable when I’ve gotten in my own way. That’s no mistake either. While hard, I had to take a look around and ask myself the question, “Who really has my back?” I learned to focus on what I want rather than what I don’t want. Keith Ferrazzi, author of Who’s Got Your Back, and David Rock, author of The Brain at Work, have also become friends and mentors, ever encouraging continued self reflection and growth. If you’re not familiar with their work, check them out. The wonderful and empowering ideas that they teach inspired me to reach farther and take some scary leaps.
As far as reinvention goes, stay tuned. That’s coming. But not for awhile. I’m really enjoying where I am. And while I have no idea what that next phase of my life will look like, I know that it’s going to be amazing.
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