Kick-ass Author #2 Who Writes About Shame, Vulnerability and Wholehearted Living (Who Is Not Brené Brown)

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While the concepts of shame, vulnerability and living wholeheartedly are central to Dr. Brené Browns research and writing, these themes are actually quite common in books. That’s because we are all drawn to ideas of rising up against the oppression of real or perceived limitations, and finding the courage (vulnerability) to radically live life according to our own rules.

My next pick for Kick-ass Author Who Writes About Shame, Vulnerability and Wholehearted Living is a perfect example:

Seth Godin,  What To Do When It’s Your Turn (And It’s Always Your Turn)

This book is for you if:  You’re a budding entrepreneur; you’re thinking of quitting your job to pursue a passion; you want to create art and put it out into the world; or, you long to get unstuck in any aspect of your life.

If I were translating this Seth Godin book into “Brené-ese”, I’d say this book is about showing up, being seen and living bravely. It’s about stepping into the arena, without armour or shame shields, ignoring the critics, the cheap seats and the box seats, while holding the value of courage to light the way.

You need to get this book into your library. Then you need to get a copy for your spouse. Another for your best friend. And then anyone you know who is about to graduate from college or university.

Why? Because this book is a trip.

First of all, Seth Godin is a master of witty, concise and inspiring writing. He is also, in his own words, someone who “mostly creates projects, many of which end up failing.” So he speaks from experience AND knows what is possible. Trust me, his writing will get you fired up, and “taking your turn” over and over, in new and different ways.

 

“When was the last time you did 

something for the first time?” Seth Godin

Secondly, this book is basically a piece of artwork in itself. Bright colours, provoking images and photographs, big fonts/little fonts, historical references and pop culture musings, stirring quotes and big questions like, “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” and “Are you taking it seriously or are you taking it personally?” and “When did you lose your voice?”  It’s part-coffee table/part-self help book, rolled into one.

But it’s the way Seth Godin made this book happen that I love, as its creation is the very illustration of what he preaches in the book. Godin didn’t go the traditional publishing route with this book, which would have been easy for him as the author of 17 bestsellers. Instead, he asked his online community if they would be interested in pre-purchasing the book, sight-unseen (I was one of thousands who said ‘yes’). He got the capital to publish the book from the pre-orders, then published it and shipped it directly to readers. Now there are over 100,000 copies in print.

Godin wanted to challenge the status quo of the “vertical publishing world” where publishers decide what gets published and how it gets distributed, and instead went for a horizontal approach, getting readers themselves involved in the creation of the book.

You may not find the word shame or wholehearted in this book, but the message and the book itself is ALL the stuff Brené Brown talks about:  feeling the fear of vulnerability and doing it anyway.

Get a taste of Seth Godin’s work by checking out his awesome blog. And you can order What To Do When It’s Your Turn here.

Pick up his book and tell me what you think in the comments below or on my Facebook Page!

 

Surrendering Justification

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about taking on my own version of a surrender experiment, inspired by the memoir, The Surrender Experiment, by Michael A Singer. This is what I recall saying:

Practice letting go of my ideas of how things should be. 

Surrender to what shows up and then give it 100% of my attention.

Hold each moment as sacred.

I am practicing all of this, and trust me when I say practice. I notice the crazy number of times my brain goes into planning mode, trying to come up with schemes for this and that, especially when it comes to my work and especially when I look at what others in the coaching world are doing. But I noticed something in particular one day when I caught myself comparing my coaching business to others. My thinking went something like this:

Wow, look at what that other coach is offering to clients. That’s so cool. Why didn’t I think of that? Well, too late now, I guess. Or should I do that too? Wait, no, I don’t have time to do that. Ok, fine. Well, that coach can do it because that’s their full-time gig. Not like me, working a full-time job while also trying build a business on the side. Remember Sabrina, you chose to have this full time job at the same time as building a business. It’s important to you: the security and consistency , especially in terms of the kids. Wait, is it? Hmmm. Yes, it is. Or is it? Maybe I just gave up too soon. Maybe I gave up on myself. Well, no, that’s not true. I’m still doing what I love, just not full time for now. Right. That’s right… I remember deciding that this is a better balance for me, for now. But man I wish I had more time for my business. There are so many things I’d like to do. But I also remember how frightening that could be sometimes. Yes, that’s right. I’m fine to be doing what I’m doing right now…

And I could have gone on and on. Isn’t this how the thought process works for all of us? It’s an incessant back and forth, especially when we’re trying to make sense of something. And that’s when it hit me: I am very invested in justifying my decision to work a full-time “regular” job while also building a business around my life’s work. It’s like my brain NEEDS to know that I made the right decision to work a regular job in addition to having my own business.

There is a reason my brain wants to know I’m making the right decision. Brené Brown talks about this in her new book, Rising Strong. Brown explains that when we go into struggle, our brains automatically make up stories in order to make sense of what’s happening. In fact, our brains reward us with a nice little dose of cortisol and oxytocin when we succeed in connecting the dots and making meaning from a struggle (think of how good it feels when you have an “a-ah” moment).

The problem is, our brains reward us whether the story we make up is true or not. When our brains piece together data to make meaning, there are often gaps in our knowledge. That’s when we start to make up stuff to fill in the blanks. In my example above, I’m making up a bunch of stuff such as a) other coaches can do what they do because it’s their full-time gig, b) I don’t have time to do that, c) I gave up too soon,  d) I need balance, e) there is such a thing as balance, f) there is some kind of strict dichotomy between my day job and my coaching business, just to name a few.

This, I realize, is going to be a huge part of my surrender experiment: Letting go of justification.

I want to let go of all the thinking my brain is doing to justify a decision, since the justification is there only to make me feel like I’m smart enough, hard-working enough, brave enough, thoughtful enough and righteous enough. Reality is, I am enough, with or without the “right” choice. Whether the decision is right or wrong, I’ll never know. When I surrender the need to be right (or smart or hard-working or brave or thoughtful or righteous), I’m free.  And as long as I’m showing up fully and completely as me, with all my values intact, then no decision can be wrong or a waste of time. As I practice surrendering the need to justify my decisions (which, boiled down, looks a lot like justifying my very existence), I embrace my right to be here, just as I am and simply because I am.

 

My Surrender Experiment

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In his book, The Surrender Experiment, Michael A. Singer recounts the events of his life after making the decision as a young man to let go of his personal preferences and ideas of how life “should” be and, instead, to simply surrender to whatever showed up in his life. For the past forty years, he’s basically said yes to whatever has come knocking on his door. He has surrendered to what he calls “life’s perfection” – the natural, amazing and intricate unfolding of life that happens without any conscious acts of will. He’s allowed life to be in the driver’s seat and has kicked worry, anxiety and fear to the curb.

In addition – and, I think, more importantly – Singer also decided to give himself 100% to everything that showed up. He didn’t make one pursuit or event more important than any other. Whatever showed up, he said yes and then gave it is all. He made every task, every action, every moment sacred. He writes,

“…I had thrown myself into the arms of life. From that point forward, all I did was my very best to serve what was put in front of me and let go of what it stirred up within me. Joy and pain, success and failure, praise and blame – they all had pulled at what was so deeply rooted within me. The more I let go, the freer I became.”

His book describes a pretty amazing journey that resulted in abundance in every form. He set out wanting nothing and at every turn was surrounded by wholehearted people, interesting work, meaningful influence, serene environments and a very generous income.

Sounds a little too good to be true. But it’s a memoir, so we’ll have to take Singer’s word for it.

No matter, I still find the premise of his experiment fascinating, perhaps because I spend a decent amount of time thinking and planning and trying to control outcomes in my life. Of course, no amount of thinking or planning or controlling can make things turn out exactly how I think they “should” turn out, so inevitably I also spend a lot of time feeling the unpleasantness of fear, anxiety and worry.

I also rank order my moments, which of course leads to a lot of frustration, blame and judgement. So if I’m sitting in traffic, I tense up because I would rather be at the office. Then, I just want to get through my workday so that I can get home to be with my kids. Then, the kids better not bother me because now I have to make dinner. Then, when I’m making, say, spaghetti again for dinner, it seems like a mediocre moment compared to the roast turkey I made for Thanksgiving dinner a few weeks ago. This puts me in constant battle with what is and results in me not fully showing up for anything.

So what would it mean to let go of my ideas of how things should be? To give up planning and controlling and worrying and fear?

What would it mean to say yes to whatever shows up in my life?

And, what would it mean to show up fully to whatever I just said yes to?

I’m not sure what it would mean, but I’m curious to find out. I’m going to take the next 60 days or so to try my own surrender experiment. I want to practice letting go of control, surrendering to whatever shows up in my life and holding each moment as sacred, as no less or more important than any other moment.

Where do you need some surrendering in your life? What could you let go of? How could you show up 100% to every moment? We have a couple of months left until the end of the year; let’s experiment together and see what unexpected gifts come with surrender.

P.S.  As these thing tend to happen, the universe decided to test me in my own experiment: After finishing my first draft of this post, it got lost in an internet blackhole. Gone, vanished. All that time writing and re-writing…poof! Gone. In an instant, I had to surrender to what showed up: a blank canvass on which to rewrite my thoughts on undertaking a surrender experience. Perhaps life’s perfection was making sure I was serious about taking this on  😉

 

 

 

It’s All Invented

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The rough time I was having in May has now spilled over into June. It’s mostly related to a critical deadline I have to meet in my job as Learning Consultant with the federal government. My time is consumed with work relating to this deadline and all the things I’ve had to move to the back burner – which is almost everything – loom over me. This includes my regular responsibilities at work, things I’d like to be doing for my coaching practice as well as all the regular stresses and frustrations that come with everyday living. Add to this, the beautiful, sunny spring days are reminding me that I should be outside, getting more exercise, more sun and more connected to nature.

I just want there to be a giant pause button that I can press to stop the world, for just 24 hrs, so that I can be all by myself, lying in bed, reading books and eating Oreos. Who’s with me?

These ebbs and flows are all part of living, I know. And just writing a statement like makes me want to roll my eyes. Because in this moment it feels shitty and platitudes like these just make me want to punch a side of cold storage beef.

That said, the words we tell ourselves DO matter. I know it  and I believe it on a core level. So telling myself, “these are the ebbs and flows of life” makes me want to barf but, on the other hand, telling myself “it’s all invented” moves me out of suffering. So let’s go with the latter.

It’s All Invented is the first practice spelled out in Rosamund Stone and Benjamin Zander‘s book, The Art of Possibility (a must-read, by the way). And these words continually bring me to a very basic, simple understanding of why we (choose to) suffer. Each of us has our own perception of the world and we somehow think that’s the perception everyone has. Likewise, we often let ourselves see the world as (we believe) others see it. And against these perceptions and assumptions, we judge ourselves: I’m not smart enough. I’m not kind enough. I should be better at this. I should have my act together by now. I should be happier. I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I should know my next step. What’s wrong with me?

But as Zander and Zander put it, “We see a map of the world, not the world itself.” Our mind constructs the meaning of what happens in our lives; there really isn’t an objective view of the world at all. And, once again, in the words of the Zanders, “It’s all invented anyway, so we might as well invent a story or a framework of meaning that enhances our quality of life and the life of those around us.”

In all the messiness I’ve been feeling lately, my go-to mantra has been It’s All Invented and when I say these words, I instantly move to this thought: “Ok, if it’s all invented, then let go of judgement and comparison and what I think others think and everything else that’s making me feel shitty right now. What meaning can I invent about this that makes me feel better and at ease?”

For some, this may seem like a reckless thought. If it’s all invented and I can invent my own meaning of things, then what will stop me from, well, lying in bed all day, reading books and eating Oreos? What keeps any of us from lying in bed all day, reading books and eating Oreos?

Hmmm, that sounds like the start of a very deep, layered and existential discussion. But the simple answer is, I wouldn’t. And most of us wouldn’t. I wouldn’t even worry about that. I have a deep trust in all of us that we want to get up every day and contribute to the world in some way.

The trick is, of course, to get up every day and contribute to the world in some way with a whole lot less suffering around what we think we should or should not be doing. The trick is not hanging our sense of worth on those comparisons and judgements that keep us from feeling peace. The trick is to figure out what meaning you’re going to give your life – a different and fresh perception, explanation or assumption – that puts your experience of life at ease. One way to do this is reminding yourself that It’s All Invented.

 

P.S. My next Dose of Daring call is on Friday June 19 at 12pm (Eastern). I hope you’ll take a break at lunch to join the conversation! Here are the details:

Topic: Joy Is Hard Work

We all want it, but it turns out that joy is one of the most difficult emotions to really feel. Especially in our culture of scarcity, where we are meant to feel like nothing is ever enough, joy can seem just as fantastical as a unicorn and as fleeting as a fairy. Let’s discuss our cravings for joy, why it’s so difficult to let ourselves feel it, and look at the practices that can help us truly “let go and be filled up” by joy.

12:00pm Eastern Time

Dial: 647-558-0588

Access Code: 693 929 1438

 

 

Dancing In This Moment

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I’ve been a bit caught off guard by the month I’m having. It’s way busier than I thought it was going to be and, truth be told, it’s getting me down.

Like most people, I often live in that place of trying to balance what I want with what I have. It’s like me and all the parts of my world are dancing to a song on the radio, and someone/something keeps changing the station. So just when I finally find myself moving nicely in step with my job, my family, my relationships and my health,  the song changes and the different parts of my life start moving to a new rhythm I can’t quite keep pace with.

Then come the tough choices: what is it going to take to get back in sync? For me, it’s usually a combination of shifting my schedule, realigning expectations (mine and others) and maybe even re-evaluating my short and long term goals. Then I sprinkle in several handfuls of self-compassion and mindfulness so that I don’t to compare myself with others and remember that no one is keeping count, it’s all invented and I get to decide what’s important right now.

But it’s been tougher to practice this over the last few weeks, as I’ve really had to make some hard choices about what gets to rise to the top of my priority list, and what has to be deferred. For example, I regrettably decided to postpone this month’s Dose of Daring call to June, because the week coming up is going to be crazy-busy at my other job (as a learning consultant with the government). And I had to quickly pull back on a bunch of the workshops I had planned for the summer because I realized that between all my existing priorities, I also really wanted this summer to be about relaxing and enjoying the season, as well as connecting more with my family and friends. I’m feeling a bit lighter from these decisions, but the real work is in not judging myself too harshly for not being able to do it all.

In coaching training, we are taught to “dance in this moment” with clients, knowing that we can never be certain what will come up at any given moment and that we need to stay ever-present to our client’s current reality. Of course, this is also a fantastic mantra for dealing with the exquisite tension I’m feeling between what I want and what I have.

The salient point of the concept here is to “dance” in this moment. Notice that it doesn’t say, “stay in this moment” or “be in this moment”? Nope, the instruction is to dance! It may mean different things to different people, but for me this cornerstone is my reminder to stay light, to not take myself so seriously, and to not be attached to any expectation, explanation or story. It’s also one of Brené Brown’s Guideposts for Wholehearted Living: letting go of always being in control.

So as I go into the week ahead with it’s crazy-busy schedule, my mantra will be to dance in this moment. And I invite you to do the same. Truth is, it’s the only moment you and I have, so we might as well dance, right?

P.S. A gentle reminder that there will not be a Dose of Daring call this Friday May 22nd. The next Dose call will be Friday June 19!

P.P.S. There are just a few spots left in my Daring Moms workshop on Sunday May 24th. It’ll be a great time-out for any mom needing to get centred and connected with other moms, reflecting on what it means to let go of expectations and dance in this moment of motherhood! Join me!

 

The Work/Life Lab, Week 32 – Own Your Wannabe

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Welcome to The Work/Life Lab: 52 Weeks of Daring Experiments To Shake Things Up and Learn More About Yourself At Work

Experiment #32 – Own Your Wannabe

Are you one of those people who has a “day job” (the one that lets you eat and have a roof over your head) and then something else “on the side” that you would consider to be your passion, your calling or your life’s work? You know, the “work” that calls forth your creative energy, your aliveness and brings you true joy and meaning?

Unless you are one of the fortunate few who make a living doing what they love, you likely fall into the category above. And, for the record, I would argue that even those who make a living doing their life’s work still have something else “on the side” that calls out a whole different kind of creative energy and another level of joy and meaning, but doesn’t necessarily bring in a paycheque.

I think almost everyone is a “Wannabe-something” (as in, if you could make your living doing it, you would). Maybe you’re a Wannabe-Professional-Chef or a Wannabe-Professional-Drummer or a Wannabe-Professional-Writer or a Wannabe-Professional-Gardener or a Wannabe-Professional-Photographer.

This week, in the Work/Life Lab, I want you to drop the “wannabe” part of your identity and completely own what it is you love to do (whether you get paid for it or not). Don’t be fooled by this notion that you can’t call yourself something unless you get paid for it. Nonsense.  If it’s something you love and something you spend significant time doing, then claim it! You are a Chef. You are a Drummer. You are a Writer. You are a Gardener. You are a Photographer.

You do this because this piece of you – your passion, calling, life’s work – isn’t any less important than the piece of you that gets paid for your “day job”. In fact, I would argue the time, energy and love you put into your life’s work is more important than the job you get paid to do because your life’s work is an expression of your true nature, of who you really are.

So this is your week to OWN it! And here’s how you’re going to do it…

If someone asks you what you do for a living, tell them your title of your paid job … then say “slash” … and then tell them the title of your life’s work. Like this: “I am a Policy Analyst/Cake Designer.” Or “I am a Customer Service Rep/Mystery Novel Writer.” Or “I am a Marketing Associate/Marathon Runner”.

Don’t qualify your “slash career” by adding in the words “aspiring” or “wannabe”. Just own the fact that your passion or life’s work is a true part of what you do for a living. After all, you do these things to live… I mean, really live.

Have fun with this. Don’t be shy. Imagine how intriguing it will be for someone to meet you and hear that you are a “Division Manager/Wine Connoisseur”? Guaranteed they will want to know all about your passion rather than your day job. And the more you start to own that thing you love to do, the more authentic you will feel doing it!

By the way, I am a Coach/Learning Consultant/Daring Way™ Warrior/Self-Help Book Aficionado.  (Hint: You can never have too many slashes!)

 

The Work/Life Lab, Week #31 – Don’t Prioritize

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Welcome to The Work/Life Lab: 52 Weeks of Daring Experiments To Shake Things Up and Learn More About Yourself At Work

Experiment #31 – Don’t Prioritize

You have lots of things on your to-do list. I understand.

You have, like, 20 competing deadlines. I get it.

There are not enough hours in the day to get it all done. I know.

You need to prioritize… WAIT. No, don’t. Don’t do it.

In this week’s Work/Life Lab, I want you to experiment with your own approach to task management. Most of us begin our day by making a list of things we need to do. Then we spend time prioritizing that list. For this experiment, instead of creating and prioritizing your tasks, try to think of your to-do list in more simple terms: the things you will get done today and the things you won’t get done today. That’s it. Just make a list of the things you will get done today. Some of these might be sub-tasks of a bigger project, and that’s ok. It is still a task in itself. Your list should simply reflect those activities you will get done today – no priorities; just done.

Why do this? Because, in the end, that’s what will happen anyway. Today, you will have a bunch of tasks you will get done, and a bunch of tasks you won’t get done. So, instead of prioritizing your task list knowing that you won’t be able to finish everything today (and then having the stress of feeling like you will never be “done”), just make a list of the things you will commit to doing today. You will get each of those tasks done, and you will enjoy a sense of accomplishment. DONE! And then you can go home and relax.

Another reason not to prioritize: because you are likely wasting a lot of time prioritizing and then re-prioritizing that list of tasks, especially when something urgent and important comes up (and there is always something urgent and important coming up, right?). Just make your list of things you have to do, and do them.

Do this with your personal life to-do list also. And when you’ve completed all the activities on your personal to-do list, then you’re DONE! Sit back and relax.

There’s no trick here; it’s simply a different way to approach your day and alleviate any pressure, guilt or stress you put on yourself for not finishing your to-do list. Try it for this week and see how it feels to think of your activities as either “getting done” or “not getting done” today.  If it works for you – that is, it gives you a proper sense of accomplishment and relieves your stress – then go with it for good!

 

 

The Work Life Lab: Week #27 – Pivot or Persevere?

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Welcome to The Work Life Lab: 52 Weeks of Daring Experiments To Shake Things Up and Learn More About Yourself At Work

Experiment # 27 – Pivot or Persevere?

We are officially half-way through the Work Life Lab! If you have done all or any of the experiments I’ve posted to the Work Life Lab in the past six months, then bravo! It takes courage to get playful and try something new, and to potentially uncover something new and interesting about yourself in your work life. If you haven’t tried any of the Work Life Lab experiments… well, you have another 26 chances ahead of you!

Mid-year seems the perfect time to review, reflect and reassess. A few weeks ago, for Experiment #20, I asked you to consider what things in your work life you needed to quit. This week, as you look back on the last six months of work and consider your role, your responsibilities, your life purpose, your organization, your coworkers, your work/life balance, your paycheque… basically everything that makes up your job… I want you to put it all against this framework:

Pivot? or Persevere?

What do I mean by this? Well, if you look at a part of your job – let’s say it’s your work/life balance – and you think you need a little shift from the status quo, then it’s time to pivot. Ask yourself, “what small change can I make to this part of my job to make it more satisfying?”

If you look at a part of your job – let’s say your level of responsibility – and you think either a) you’re satisfied for now, or b) you’re not satisfied but you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, then it’s time to persevere. Tell yourself, “This is going well, so I’m going to keep on going!” or “This could be better but there’s nothing I can do to change it now, so I’m going to persevere!”

I’ve been doing this very exercise with my coaching business lately and one of things I’ve landed on is a desire to make a pivot… to this very blog! (Actually, I have been considering several pivots for my coaching practice, so keep your eyes peeled for updates coming soon!)

So back to the pivot I want to make with this blog… As you know, I love the idea of trying out some fun and daring new things in the workplace, to keep things interesting and to learn more about yourself in your job. But here’s the thing: our work lives are so inextricably linked to the rest of our lives that I kind of want to explore experiments OUTSIDE the workplace too, and I want to consider how an experiment in one part of your life impacts the whole. So I’m pivoting The Work Life Lab (as in, playful experiments in your work life ) to… The Work/Life Lab (as in, playful experiments in work AND in life. For the rest of the year, I’m expanding the focus of our fun and daring experiments to reach outside work to include things to try in other realms of your life like relationships, health and wellbeing, personal growth and parenting. I’ll be pulling a lot of inspiration from Brené Brown’s The Daring Way™, which has become the new love of my work and life 😉

So that’s one pivot I’m making with my work. Where in your work (or life) is it time for a pivot, and where is it time to persevere? Share with me by leaving a message below, or by leaving a comment on my Facebook Page. And if you have any great experiments you’d like me to post about here, let me know!

P.S. The inspiration for this post came from a fantastic podcast by The Fizzle Show called “Know When To Quit, Pivot or Persevere.” Totally worth a listen! And, for any of you out there thinking of launching your own business, you MUST join Fizzle.co. It’s an absolute gem of information and resources for entrepreneurs!

 

The Work Life Lab, Week #25: Your Last 15 Minutes

Welcome to The Work Life Lab: 52 Weeks of Daring Experiments To Shake Things Up and Learn More About Yourself At Work

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Experiment # 25 – Your Last 15 Minutes

When I recently read this article on increasing self-efficacy and success at work on BusinessInsider.com, I knew I had to include it as an experiment in The Work Life Lab. Basically, the article highlights Harvard Business School research showing that deliberate reflection at the end of your day can make you feel more confident and lead to greater performance at your job.

When employees spend 15 minutes at the end of each day reflecting and writing down the things that went well in their day, they felt more confidence in their abilities and put more effort into their work and learning. So, for this week’s experiment, I want you to follow what the participants in this research study did: Carve out 15 minutes at the end of each day this week, take out a note pad or journal, and write down your reflections of the day you just had. Where did you excel in your job today? What problems did you solve? How did your attitude and mood improve the lives of your coworkers and clients? What progress did you make on a project? What lessons did you learn from your set-backs or failures? What did you learn about yourself in how you reacted to the good and bad today?

The trick here is to WRITE IT DOWN! As the article explains, it is not enough to just think about your day. “Writing helps ‘codify’ the things you’ve gone through”, the article states, helping you identify what worked and what didn’t work in your day.

So, take a moment – right now! – to set a reminder for each day this week to go off 15-minutes before your quitting time. When that alarm goes off, start reflecting and writing. Then, take notice of how it makes you feel to review your day – your wins & your lessons learned – and pay attention to how this impacts your work the next day, and the day after that. You may even want to give this experiment a try for a full month to see the benefits. There is definitely nothing to lose in reflection, as it can only serve to enhance your self-awareness and future impact.

 

The Work Life Lab, Week 11 – Your Arena

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Welcome to The Work Life Lab: 52 Weeks of Daring Experiments To Shake Things Up and Learn More About Yourself At Work

Experiment #11 – Your Arena

This week’s Work Life Lab is a reflective one, so get ready to dig deep. Consider this a little like a pre-spring cleaning of your work-soul.

I want you to answer this one simple question: where in your job or career do you really want to show up and be seen this year? 

In the Daring Way™ work that I facilitate, we begin by identifying a part of our life where we know we are holding ourselves back; an area where we know we want to live more fully, bring our whole selves to the table and reap the rewards of being “all in”. This is our Arena. 

The metaphor of the Arena is a poignant one: choosing a part of our life where we really want to show up and be seen usually means that there is considerable risk and exposure, just like it would be to stand there in the centre of the arena floor. Looking up into the stands, you are sure to come across critics, non-believers, and social constructs created to keep you small. It’s not comfortable to walk into that arena. In fact, it takes a great deal of courage and heart to do it. So why do it? Because, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena…who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly…”

So, what’s the Arena for you in your work life? Is it speaking up at meetings? Is it your relationship with your boss or co-workers? Is it taking the lead on a project? Is it trying for that next level? Is it landing a new client or account? Is it stretching into an area of work that’s unfamiliar to you? Is it quitting your job to start your own business? Is it trying to stay authentic in a job where your values are constantly jeopardized? Is it setting boundaries so that you can leave at a decent hour every day?

I have a two Arenas in which I’m trying to show up this year. The first is in marketing my business. This is a huge Arena for me, because it’s unfamiliar to me and it means putting myself “out there” in a big way. Deep breath.

The second is this blog, and wanting to bring more of myself into what I write about each week. I want to find that sweet spot where I am sharing more of me in my blog while keeping the content relevant for you, dear reader. So… in sharing my Arenas with you, I have actually taken my first step into this second Arena!

I would love to hear a declaration from you about your work-related Arena. Where do you want to show up, be seen and live more bravely this year? Please share below, on my Facebook Page or by sending me a private email (sabrina@sabrinaguerin.com). Your declaration will be like standing at the Arena door, with your hand on the door, ready to push your way in. It may be scary…but, trust me, it’s also thrilling and totally worth it!