Personal Leadership is like a See Saw

Personal Leadership is like a See Saw Ride

I have fond memories of my childhood and plenty of them were spent in public playgrounds. Especially during school breaks, I always asked to go to a playground. Back then, public playgrounds in the Philippines where only found in the city centre, opposite or next to the parish church. Unlike here in the Netherlands, public playgrounds are found in about every block. So, imagine how my eyes would light up each time my mom/aunts agreed to take me to one. Aside from the swing and slides, the see saw was one of my favourites.

I always managed to find playmates who’d share the see saw with me. I also usually persuaded playmates to stay as long as possible because I loved the up and down movement. I was obviously always the last one to get off. The longer I stayed the more fun I experienced!

But, I realized as an adult ups and downs in life are not my favorite. Nope, I won’t voluntarily sign up for the ‘downs.’ Who does, right? Especially at the beginning of my journey as a freelance trainer and coach, there are moments when I either can’t wait to get back up again or tempted to step off the see saw. It’s not always fun. There are days when I wake up completely fired up, ready to conquer the world and there are days when I feel frustrated and anxious. “Admin is so cumbersome,” “It takes so long to build my website,” “I still need to blog?!” “Will my efforts pay off?” and lots of “what if” questions dance rascally in my mind.

As someone in service to coach others on personal leadership, I decided this see saw experience is a wonderful and perfect opportunity to reflect and come up ways to cope with it.

First of all, “No man is an island.” I think it and so do you, that you are so special. Only you have that problem. But you also know this already (you just need to be reminded); yes, you are not alone. So if you have a tendency to hide what you feel because you don’t think others will understand. Just try and you’ll be amazed at how others will be able to relate to you even if they’re not in the same journey as you. Letting others hear your story builds bond and perhaps just by listening to yourself, you’ll already figure out your next step.

I love how the Dutch say it as a matter of fact, “Het hoort erbij.” Translation: It comes with it. Yes, secondly, whether you’re making a career change, just got happily promoted, or rebuilding relationships, accept what comes with it. Any undertaking, new adventure, or a new chapter comes with highs and lows. Mentally and emotionally accept the waves. As a mindful practitioner, I try to as simply as I can, notice my thoughts and emotions. I soon understood that by doing this, I also just allow myself to experience the good and bad without wishing it to be different than what it is. Nothing is permanent.

Third, it’s the climb. Results and events don’t make us. What makes us is what we do to get the results that we want. What makes us is what we make out of the events that happen to us. As Carl Jung said, “I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.” So, might as well enjoy the journey. Make the most out of it. Look at the bright side.

And lastly, just like an avid fun ride fan who will brave and endure the queue to experience a less than 5 minute thrill. Stay in line. When you know and believe that what you’re pursuing is worthwhile, detours are just a test to see how much you really want IT, regardless of what it is.

As a result of staying in line, here I am, publishing my first blog. And today, I also happened to have landed my first project! What’s your next step towards your win?


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