You are the answer to your own problems. Yes, YOU. The answer lies within you and the power to change the course of your life is within yours too.
I felt sick this weekend. I felt like I was coming down with a flu. The week before that, I felt dizzy and light-headed. Last Sunday, I reflected how I’ve been as carer to myself. With my increasingly busy schedule as I am more and more asked to give training and coaching, I wondered whether I am being good to myself or if I am allowing my achievement-driven self to only dominate my day-to-day decisions and thoughts.
2 years ago I had to be on psychotherapy for a couple of months because of depression brought about by work related burn out and of a parenting strategy that proved to be unhealthy for my self-esteem. I was brought up to always aim for the best, 7/10 was never good enough, and I had to literally be the best at everything. It brought me school awards, a team lead position at 22 years old, and a job at 27 years old where I got to manage multiple teams in different parts of Asia and Europe. But when I succumbed to burn out, I also lost my identity as a performer. Who was I without my job, salary and lifestyle that job could afford?
Fast forward to today, again I am a preferred trainer within my clients portfolio of trainers, I get asked for guest lectures and recently was offered a 1 year coaching stint in a job search company. How amazing, right? 2 years after I succumbed to burn out, I have built a career for myself! (I didn’t realize this until a fellow coach pointed this out).
I realized that even with the best intentions of wanting to change our patterns that don’t serve us, we can still jeopardize ourselves if we are not mindful of ourselves. Ourselves meaning how our body and heart feels and our mind thinks. I didn’t know that I was slowly going back into my pattern of Ms. Superwoman and have somehow forgotten what I was doing things for. Ironic when you experience this as I advocate and coach personal leadership.
But that’s part of it being a good and experienced leader – making mistakes in order to learn and having the humility to accept that as a leader, you may not always be right, even when it comes to yourself.
On Sunday I asked myself why do I feel ill. Am I really ill or is it my body speaking to me about how I am doing things. According to my fellow coach Eva Visser Plaza, our bodies are not able to recognize good and bad experiences but it does however reflect our perception of our experiences. So I just asked myself how I feel and answered it honestly. I discovered that despite all the good things that are happening, deep inside I saw myself as someone needing affirmation in order to validate my work. I was working because of extrinsic motivation and not intrinsic motivation. I was forgetting again who I am and what I do my work for.
I took a step back and reminded myself of who I am and why I do what I do. I reminded myself that all the positive things happening in my career was because I have in me what it takes to be successful. I am able to achieve my successes by being Ariane – an empathetic and caring trainer and coach who has the power to create inspiring experiences because of my will to make a positive impact and deliver value wherever I am in. Ultimately, I really want to help people grow and succeed!
By reminding myself who I truly am and what I do things for, I somehow gave myself the space to be just be myself, welcome moments where I may lose control of the situation, and welcome possible negative outcomes. I realized that for the last couple of months, I’ve been coming from a place of fear that I will not be good enough and will not do enough. How could that be when I started with an intention of inspiring even just 1 person every time I speak.
I’ve committed to myself that I will keep reminding myself of who I am at my core and do things from a place of integrity and utter belief in myself. I want to start working with more ease and calm, and with more space to learn and fail without having to take things too hard. I tell you what, that same Sunday, it felt as if I wasn’t sick the day before at all. I didn’t even take any medicine. Except, I took the day off and only did things I enjoyed. As I write this, I feel joy and a sense of hope that I am on the right track towards healthy personal leadership.
I guess I wrote this because I want you as one of my readers to ask yourself these questions: What is currently a big topic in my life that I need to address? How do I want to see this changed? What mindset/habit/belief/driver do I need to change in order for me to arrive at where I want to be?
You see, whatever it is, we, you, are the answer that needs to happen. And you have to allow it to happen.