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September 1st. Back to school. Summer break behind us for most of us. New projects on the table. Work and life. Challenges ahead that might excite and scare at the same time. Big plans for what’s left of the year.
September 1st. Perfect day for some new beginnings. Finally hitting that gym again. Paying more attention to work-life balance. Saying no to extreme work related pressure for once and for all. Or to your boss. Enjoying more of the little things and living life in the moment as time (and the year) flies too fast. Promises made to yourself and/or your family on the beach?
As most of you, I am not any different. Summer break allowed me as well to take some time off and to do some beneficial self-reflection. Celebrated some successes. Lived some losses. Being content but always striving for more. Still struggling with my own pitfall of wanting too much too fast. Finding new ways to accept that – sometimes – good enough is simply good enough. And that all I can do is my best and to be myself.
September 1st. What I would love to share with you today is based on a collage of text clippings hanging on my wall at home. It is made of small words with great personal meaning to me. I’ve collected them over the years. As I look at them they enable me to reconnect with the things that I value. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I don’t want to know. People that come to my house often take one or more words with them after looking at it as well. I guess you see whatever you need to see that day.
Today is September 1st. And this is what I see today (picture below).
I’m a thinker. Sometimes I wish I had a little button in my head that could pause the thoughts for a few moments. Of course I am a woman, all wired and driven by emotion, and I guess most of you are familiar with the theory of the boxes (or drawers) which seem to exist only in a men’s brain. But then again, I meet several male clients that are facing the same issue. Although physically they should have a “nothing box” in their brain (even when they are not fishing ;-)). But some of them have lost touch using it. Or their boxes touch and overlap anyway.
Tell me, whether you are male or female, how do you de-wire and stop the thinking?
If you want to know more about the theory of the boxes (in a funny way), watch this video by Mark Gungor, comedian and international marriage expert.
Back to basics
When wanting too much too fast, this is my number one rule. A dear friend of mine went to visit Nepal and India a few years ago and she told me the most important goal a lot of the people she met there had was having something to eat on the table at night. Although most of us probably can’t imagine how that must be like, I often think about those people when catching myself in needless stress for things that are in no way to be compared.
The biggest take away for me is that it is okay to just live the day. Breathe. Work. Laugh. Love. Eat. Sleep. Back to basics. Just being. Human.
Read more? See: This is it. You are already there
Collecting miracles. It is one of my favourites. They don’t have to be big, they can be the tiniest thing ever. A beautiful smile. A mighty rainbow. A touching song. A thank you. Someone laughing out loud. An amazing view. Kindness you witness or experience. An inspiring talk on the radio. The enthusiasm of a colleague. A funny insect. The innocence of a child playing.
Can you remember your last miracle? I’ve learned that collecting miracles enables you to live your life as a lucky bird. Spoiling yourself with some of the most wonderful things on earth. Don’t let them pass you by without noticing. Life is beautiful.
The right to be yourself
For many years I’ve tried to be perfect. In everything I did. Being a professional. A daughter. An expert. A mom. A business leader. A lover. How liberating it is when you can let go of that unrealistic need to fulfil every expectation. Realising it was nothing but your very own unreachable standard leading the way. And that showing guts as well as vulnerability makes you perfect just the way you are.
Next to that it gives us the permission and backing to kick out the proverbial vultures (on the collage as well). Allowing us to put our energy in whatever and whomever makes us happy in return. I’m not saying we should all stop investing in our own development and behaviour. Sometimes we need to adapt. Or to compromise. But as long as we are no longer denying our true self in order to impress people, we all benefit.
Read more? See: Coaching to perfection might be a bad idea
Don’t wait until tomorrow
You could say this is in contradiction with the back to basics from above. Living the day. Not wanting to solve or achieve everything right now. For me it isn’t. As Bløf mentions so beautifully on my collage, how far you go has nothing to do with distance. If you want to make a new beginning, do it today. Live your authentic self and allow yourself to be anything but perfect. Find ways to skip the thinking. Go back to basics. And collect as many miracles as possible. I guarantee you that you will not only be happier, but that it will also enhance your performance level as a professional.
Remember, it is scientifically proven that the most successful people aren’t the ones working the most hours in a day.
This is my new beginning. My September 1st. And whether you read this today, next week or in a year, every day is a new beginning. And I will keep looking at my collage and take my little daily message from it. Who knows, if I would have written this tomorrow, it could have been a whole different story ;-) For those of you interested I’m adding a picture of my collage below. Although most of it is in Dutch, I’m curious. What do you see today? And what is your new beginning?
As always, your comments and ideas are highly appreciated, online as well as in person. Feel free to share this post with people that can benefit from reading this. Thanks for sharing the moment!
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Wishing you many miracles today!
About the author
Sofie Varrewaere is the founder of BigFish4.me and a certified Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coach. After studying a Master in Psychological and Pedagogical Sciences, she ogled into the magical world of Recruitment, Selection and HR Services. Working for the world leader in HR, she has always been in an advisory role in relation to the larger goals of several multinational organizations. In 2013 she started her own company in International executive Coaching. Doing what she is good at, challenging others as well as herself