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Lessons Learned: 3 Eye-Opening Things I Learned in 2018

mindset purpose Dec 30, 2018

You ever notice how the week between Christmas and New Year is relatively quiet and peaceful? 

I love this time because it gives me space to reflect on the current year and set my intentions for the new year to come.

In so many ways 2018 was a life-changing year for me personally and in my business.

With regard to my business I gained greater clarity and focus, reached some epic revenue goals, and grew Team CPW by two. So as I look back over the year, while I didn't hit every goal, I can still put a big check mark in the win column, which gives me tremendous momentum going into 2019. 

On the personal front, I engaged in a lot of personal development around my mindset, confidence, time, and personal self-care. Like many entrepreneurs, small business owners and superheroes, I had more misses then hits because too often I prioritized business over me. But hey....work in progress right?

While I have pages of notes in my journal chronicling my experiences and feelings, for the first time, I thought I'd share the three biggest lessons I've learned this year.

As with everything I share, my hope is that it provides some great insights for you too!

1. Lesson #1 - Stop Consuming, Start Creating

This little nugget came courtesy of one of my coaches (yes, I have more than one -- don't you?)

What I realized about myself is that when I get nervous, fearful, or overwhelmed I go into my intellectual space. In other words I stop engaging in action and start burying myself in information.

I didn't initially recognize that I was doing this as a coping strategy because I've always loved learning and gaining new insight and knowledge. It's one of the things that makes me, me. However, I started to notice a pattern of revisiting information, books and conversations whenever I was on the precipice of doing something big, different or better. 

As a result, there were some goals I didn't meet because I became immobilized and inactive. As Theodore Roosevelt once said,

It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.

Or maybe Robin Jones Gunn's saying is more appropriate,

When in doubt, chicken out.

Even though I took some BIG actions in 2018, which paid off for me, I realize that there's still some internal fear and perfectionist issues going on in my subconscious that I need to explore and work out. 

This was a HUGE revelation for me!

Now when I find my noise buried in a book, trying to justify my inactivity, I'll remind myself to embrace my inner Nike spirit and just do it and release the need for perfection!

2. Lesson #2 - Keep It Real

I was raised in  the "do as I say, not as I do" generation, so what you saw may not have always reflected the truth. In this age of social media it's sooo easy to play this game of presenting one thing to the world, but living a complete opposite life behind closed doors.

This inauthenticity has become life threatening for many because of the dreaded comparison game we too often play.

I've always been authentic online, but I haven't always shared my internal struggles, my life challenges, where I fall short or what I need to work on to become a better version of me. I shared more of the finished product.

So I recently started sharing more about my journey, the ups and the downs, and how I was able to get to the other side. Not only has that been very well received, it's been liberating. 

My mother was very much in to appearances but I don't fault her that, it's what she was taught. So most of my life I worked hard to always show that I had my shit together. And in places where my "slip was showing" (an old southern phrase), I just knuckled down and worked harder to get it right. 

It's what set me on the path to live an unapologetic life and to be unapologetically me. Good, bad or ugly, this is me. 

As the song goes, 

I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I'm meant to be....this is me!

While y'all don't need to know all of my business, nor do I believe sharing everything about one's life is necessary or helpful, there's still fear and vulnerability that comes with letting your "slip show." 

Now, true confession, being real and authentic wasn't a new lesson for me. The real lesson I learned was that I WANT to share my challenges for two reasons: (a) my true believers, tribe, and crew will rally around me, grow with me and learn with me; and (b) my haters will free me from the energy of their limiting belief and hater mentality.

Overall, it's a win-win.

Ralph Marston said it best, 

You were born to be real, not to be perfect. You are here to be you, not to live someone else's life.

3. Lesson #3 - Always Work In Your Zone of Genius

This was a big lesson in bringing who you are into everything you do. 

Since the inception of my business I've done primarily one-on-one coaching and consulting. While I love the deep connection that comes through that work, I realized that I thrive in group work, in teaching and training, and building communities of sisterhood and support. 

You see feminine power is best harnessed and realized in community. It allows women to tap into their intuitive wisdom and engage in transformation at the deepest level. 

Brené Brown talks about community being a prerequisite to growth and change. She said,

We need the witnessing and reflection from others to fully step into bravery.

What became so evident to me was when I create spaces for women to be open and vulnerable, they are much more likely to get the results they desire, less inclined to make inauthentic decisions, and remain committed to their vision, goals, and truths.  

The funny thing was I knew this from my doctoral studies and from what I loved about a great jewelry party. ;-) However, I adapted a different mode of operation because I thought that was expected or required.

That's not only antithetical to what I teach but also to who I am!

Richard Bach was right when he said,

You teach best what you most need to learn!

So, what you'll be see moving forward is a transition to deep meaningful group and community work and less one-on-one. While I'll still do some VIP client work, I think you'll be excited about what's on the horizon for 2019.

So, what lessons have you learned this year? I'd love for you to share your insights with me!

In closing, I want to share a few more lyrics from my favorite song of 2018, This Is Me! 

Here's to an AMAZING 2019!!

Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies,
This is me.
 
Live, laugh and unapologetically shine,
Carol
 
*Blog image photo credit: https://www.dijanaszewczyk.com/
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