Self-awareness is the starting point for self-improvement. The more you pay attention to how you operate, the faster you'll understand why you do the things you do and how it impacts your life. It's the difference between sleepwalking your way through existence and peeling back the veil of who you truly are and beginning to grow into who you can be.
The more experiences I acquire in my life, the more I realize that the most significant insights are those that take time to unfold. Very often, they appear when the last line of the story is written; or after the projectors are turned off. It is then that we experience true freedom, because we finally understand why it was necessary to go through it all.
The day will come. Someone will disappoint you. Someone will betray you. Your day won't go as planned. Your boss will get angry. Your client will get angry. You'll lose something. You'll lose someone. The list of potential setbacks is never ending. These challenges can make it feel impossible to keep it together, and that's normal.
So what does a mentor do? Mentors are those generous people who are open to sharing their knowledge, wisdom, experience, insight and offering their counsel. The best mentors are great listeners who understand your challenges and offer different strategies and ideas to not only help you overcome obstacles but excel at them. Mentors will often see something in you that you may not see yourself.
We've all heard the phrase 'life is a journey'. What if we took it one step further and looked at life as the ultimate road trip with your Life Map helping you navigate the way. After studying my own life I can clearly see how all the different experiences, events and people have shaped me and have led me to where I am today.
Alcohol problems, drug use, sexual misconduct, financial misconduct, defensiveness, denial, berating of other senior management and directors, litigation, loss of key employees, toxicity and bulling. There is not much I have not seen when I am called in to coach the CEO. And CEO misbehaviour happens in the highest level of corporate Canada. You may be surprised, but I am not.
I realized that while I was willing to take feedback on my weaknesses, I was not willing to listen to feedback on my perceived strengths. Only upon reflection, I was able to shift my attitude and seek and accept feedback on areas I was expert at. I had to get rid of the arrogant self-talk of "I was the best at this."
I can think of many times when I ignored what I saw in a person or a situation. Initially, it seems so much easier to see what we prefer to see, rather than face the unpleasant truth of what's actually there. Still, what I've realized is that no matter how difficult it is to acknowledge the signs of trouble in our relationships or environment, it's always better to do so.
When I decided to start my own social media consulting business three years ago, I felt like I was jumping off a cliff; I could soar, or fall flat on my face. Could I pull it off? What if I didn't get enough business? What would people think? I was terrified. Going from full-time employee to entrepreneur was risky, but the upside was that I was doing what I loved. You can do it too.