As a CPCC I spread the message that self-development is a responsibility, not a luxury. I advocate making a positive difference in the world, by prioritizing your own self-care and self-discovery journey. I think real change happens in the world when people are being authentic, and are honoring their values even when the terrain is unknown and dark. Most often that authenticity and value alignment comes from many months, or years even of personal work.
It’s interesting then, how sometimes I find my own well-being coming second, or third, or even further down the line to other things like checking emails, formulating marketing strategies, supporting others, packing in new projects to an already busy schedule. And because I haven’t maintained the continued self-development work, I wonder sometimes why I feel so fatigued at the end of the week.
I know it’s old habits. In the UK in particular we are taught to underplay the importance of our own needs. Having self-worth and celebrating self-love is verging on big headedness in our culture. To put your own needs above anything else is seen as selfish. Society as a whole is yet to embrace the idea that working on being the most authentic, vibrant, aligned to your values person you can be is actually better for those around you, probably the least selfish and most community orientated thing you could possibly do.
However, when I do prioritize the self-development work, and practice what I preach as a coach, I feel more vibrant, more alive, more authentic and more aligned to my values. A few years ago, I took part in a course called The Daring Way™ for Coaches in London. The course was created by the inspiring Brené Brown, delivered by a fellow CTI CPCC Roxanne Hobbs, and involved a tonne of self-development. The course allowed me to look at the issues of shame and vulnerability. The course made me ask myself deep questions that were about me first of all, but could be applied to my coaching practice as well. A clear example where prioritizing my own wellbeing, could lead to positively impacting the world.
But it’s not enough to do one course, once a year, or to pick up a self-development book every six months. The key is continued self-development work. In a world that wants fast action and quick results I think we expect to be able to do a course, or read a book and be sorted. But in reality this self-discovery journey is one for life. And it has to be prioritized if we are to continue impacting the world in the way we want to.
So I commit here to prioritize my own self-developmental journey. To see it as the key to being a positive change maker in this world.
Here are my five tips to maintain authenticity and alignment to values, personal fulfillment, and joy.
Explore new terrain
Going to a new country gives you an instant alternative perspective. You feel the cultural shifts, you sense the alternative humor, you notice the absence of barriers that exist in your own community (I am particularly thinking of the level of affection Spanish people show each other, which is hugely culturally different to the British social norm of a firm handshake!)
Let go with music
Handing yourself over to music is liberating. It allows your mojo space to move, to dance, to come alive. Your mojo is all part of your authenticity.
Invest in courses/workshops/retreats
I invested recently in The Daring Way™ for coaches, I have my own coach. And I intend on investing in more courses that focus on me as a whole person, not just as a coach.
Hit nature up good and proper
Nature is where we belong. It nourishes us. Yesterday I went for a mountain bike ride in some beautiful hills called the South Downs. Aside from getting so frustrated at one point I threw my bike on the floor (the tantrum felt incredibly cathartic…) I heard the most incredible bird song, I felt the wind in my face, I made my body work, I connected with mud, rain, sunshine. It was natural nourishment for the soul.
Read, read, read
Reading continuously drip-feeds the spirit. If we invest a few hours a week reading thoughtful material it expands our understanding of who we are and who we want to become.
What would you add to this list?