Quote of the Month
“The greatest journey is the one of self-discovery.”
Instead of starting your year with a resolution, consider starting it with a question. And not just any kind of question (like will the Eagles win the Super Bowl this year? Gosh I hope so!) but a powerful question that both scares and delights you – one that can’t be answered with a flip of a coin or in an Instagram post.
It takes courage to pose a question to yourself without an obvious answer. It takes patience to tolerate not knowing the answer immediately.
Though my coaching clients often resist it at first, much of our coaching is
devoted to exploring a question they are wrestling with.
- How can I use my voice to influence meaningful change?
- How can I live my values more concretely even when there are tradeoffs for doing so?
- Who would be if I didn’t listen to my inner critic so much?
It’s a privilege to hold space for them as they explore these questions fully and slowly discover answers – not the answer and not my answer but their own authentic answer.
Question for the New Year
As you step into 2024, consider these questions as worthy and provocative companions to a rich and purposeful year.
- What matters most in my life now?
- Am I spending my time in ways that honor my response?
- What might I have to give up or do less of to focus on what matters most now?
- How might I step out of my comfort zone?
- How can I bring more play into my life?
The Power of Self-Reflection
Self-reflection has emerged as a foundational practice to thrive in the workplace. In addition to empathy, communication and emotional intelligence, the habit of self-reflection stands out as a key differentiator in exceptional leaders.
The practice of self-reflection is about turning inward, without judgment, for contemplation. It requires dedicated time sitting in stillness, and thinking about what did or do not work, and what more can or cannot be done. It’s a courageous, deliberate, and intentional. In this article, Harvard Business Review asked 400+ executives to reflect on what experiences most advanced their professional development and made them better leaders. Three distinct themes arose through their analysis: surprise, frustration, and failure.
Reflections that involved one or more or of these sentiments proved to be the most valuable in helping leaders adapt, learn, grow, and thrive.
When you’re experiencing one of these emotions at work, integrate these practices into your day-to-day:
- Keep a journal. Identify the why behind each emotion — without judgment yourself for the feeling.
- Set an hour aside each week to review your notes. Block it out in your calendar. Do it now. I will, too.
- Don’t just re-read your journal entry. Add to it. Has your reflection changed since your last journal entry?
All of these emotions that arise in the workplace, if reflected upon, improve our ability to lead others with greater empathy.
My Questions for Self-Reflection
This year I will celebrate a milestone birthday (gulp!) and the question that I’m living with as I prepare to enter a new decade, is what is the very best use of my time, talent, and money? There’s so much need in the world right now and I know I want to be part of the healing.
Every day I’m asking myself:
- How can I best serve?
- What might I have to give up to make a bigger difference?
- If my life ended today, what will I have not tended to?
Big questions for sure. But I’m beyond grateful to have the opportunity it marinate in them.
Check out this list of over 70 questions for self-reflection. I just might bring a few of them to the next the next party I go to.
“Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
~Rainer Marie Rilke
In Case You Missed It
“Any woman raised on a diet of people-pleasing, and fairy-tale-believing will adore Rice’s memoir, Where Have I Been All My Life?” – Caroline Adams Miller, Author of Creating Your Best Life, My Name is Caroline, and Positively Caroline.
If you enjoyed the book, tell me or leave a review.
Connect with Cheryl
Join me in my journey of sharing my insights to purposefully interweave mattering into our lives and others.
Until Next Time
“Ask the right questions if you’re going to find the right answers.”