Here it is… my first blog post. I have spent so much time trying to find the right topic, the right words-all to no avail. Finally, I stopped trying and just started writing. I will focus on family because that is what my mind is constantly focused on.
In life we spend a great deal of time just making it through our days. We do not leave time to reflect, appreciate, or try to grow into more successful individuals. Of course, success can mean different things to different people. I know that my definition of success has changed as I have spent more time thinking about it. I will spend time writing a series about these changes that I have seen occur in myself. The first area that I would like to focus on is my personal growth journey. Previously, before my husband Jimmy and I became involved the leadership development industry, the idea of looking at myself and analyzing myself was TERRIFYING! I would find myself getting defensive, sensitive and unable to take any suggestions, or critiques without freaking out and having an emotional breakdown.
Fast forward 12 months and now I am able to sit and listen to critiques, and suggestions without such a dramatic outburst. Now, that does not mean that I embrace hearing or working on my blind spots; rather that I now realize that in order to grow myself I must become ok with being uncomfortable. By nature I tend to be more of a glass half empty kind of person. The process for me to grow outside of that has been quite difficult. I knew that if I wanted to become a better leader in my family, I was going to have to change. I began reading books by successful individuals, such as Frank Bettgar, How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling, How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, and Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. These books helped me to see the world in a different perspective, to understand myself more and how to relate to people in ways that they understood. One main concept that was present throughout all of these books was to be generally interested in other people, to focus on their needs. Huh? What a concept, why didn’t I think of that?! It is so easy to become focused on ourselves, and so hard to focus on others that reading about it was the slap in the face I needed.
Here is where I get excited- this past weekend, Jimmy and I were driving back from meeting with a really nice couple. I was telling him about a conversation that I had with a friend the other day. Call her, Lisa. Lisa was saying that she was filled with doubt, regret and a deep sense of failure and was not sure what to do. I explained that the past is done, we cannot change it and feeling sorry about it or negative to the current situation would only hinder our future. The best option was to make a plan to address going forward and keep a positive attitude. This is the moment when I realized that my glass half full outlook was changing… I was floored. By making a conscious decision to improve myself, I was able to offer hope to a friend that was in despair. That felt great but the moment that really really felt great came from what Jimmy said next, “wow, I am proud of you”! Woo hoo!!! This was the confirmation, validation that I was indeed growing as a person. He went on to say, “In the past you would have been unable to look at a situation such as Lisa’s and be positive”, (true statement).
Moral of the story – change can happen to anyone at any time, all it takes is a CHOICE.
Until next time…