It is understandable that we find comfort in the familiar. The route we take to work everyday, our daily routines, the people we hang out with, our certainty that we are right on any given topic. Familiarity allows us to master our surroundings so we can feel safe, confident and competent. But constant familiarity, doing and thinking the same way, starts to close off our world to new possibilities and new connections.
In my coaching work, I spend a significant amount of time helping my clients find the power and beauty of who they already are. It’s only with embracing their core strength that my clients can utilize the new tactical skills (communications or management) to develop to their fullest potential.
Yesterday was a holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, a person who enabled so many to believe in and eventually live their dreams. I’ve learned of his work and the civil rights movement through books and documentaries. But I’ve had the honor to understand this through the stories of my mother-in-law, who is a heroine of the civil rights movement and embodies the spirit of Dr. King’s work.
Dreaming is an act of faith and courage. Making dreams come true is about perseverance and passion. Dare to be a dream trekker.
Yet during these holidays, when a year is about to end, it is such apt time to reflect on the year that has passed. Its moments — big and small, the ups and downs. To understand the current that flows. To draw learning and meaning from our life this past year,our personal and professional. To be present with these 365 days that have passed, that make up who we are, yet will never be, again.
As I advise executives, professionals and business students, it’s clear that each individual possesses a personal brand, even if (s)he has never given it a second thought. Being oblivious to our brand can be the single most overlooked area of our professional development.
Sometimes, the most terrifying aspect of change arrives when we are ready to be at one with who we really are. When we dare to accept the grandness of who “I am” and actually live that truth.
I can’t say for sure about the outcome of this leap I’m taking at this point in my life. But what I know for sure is that fear is not something to be managed or kept at bay. Fear is one of the experiences to be lived through as we take actions towards becoming our dream. To be in flight, to continue to take action, even as we feel intense terror. For our terror does not predict outcome.
Creating something we long for starts with believing. It starts with faith that we have the ability to create based on our imagination and hope. It’s a quality so different from willing our way towards an outcome, doing, doing, doing. Quite the opposite.
There is something magical about the beginning of every year, when we know we can start anew, create a vision for an ideal year and commit to making our goals into reality.