Dearest ones, As we approach the darkest months of the year - here in the Northern Hemisphere - our bodies slowly transition to a more reflective, inward-looking and quieter state. The perfect time for taking stock and evaluating where we are, how we got here and where we are going next. As a hyper-achiever myself, I find extremely difficult being still for too long. I crave movement, action and fluctuation. And still, when there is too much action, I oscillate towards seeking a more stable ground. I other words, we all need both: the drive, the action and the supporting ground. In a thought-provoking manner, I have been challenging the "goal-oriented" frameworks that coaches and mentors have been overusing for years, or at least, I like to question the definition of growth. It's deeply ingrained in our minds that growth can only happen upwards, vertically, and we collectively struggle when that growth is not visible enough for us to feel recognised, validated, useful, successful. What's the value in growing if it's not transforming us, if we aren't learning anything from it, and we aren't integrating those learnings? What if growth can also happen within stillness, as we integrate what we have learned, and then evolve? What if growth can also expand sideways without necessarily having to aim "higher", "up the ladder" - specially within corporate structures?
This month I want to challenge you, us, to collectively think differently. Not only to explore what growth means to you, without judgement, shame or guilt - how you measure growth (success, money, status, fulfilment, recognition...) and also what drives you to that growth: what is the ultimate motivator that keeps you going. This is a very frequent conversation I have with clients and that I have with myself, as a way to stay present, grounded and check-in that the direction of travel is the one I need right here and now. What drives you to grow?
Some of us like to feel the pressure, that fire in our bums - specially if we have procrastinating tendencies - that sense of urgency that pumps adrenaline into the body to get cracking. But in the long run, is that the most effective and efficient way you can operate - both personally and professionally? What if we used that "final destination" factor as motivation instead - pressure can be extremely taxiing on our bodies and mental health (increased stress levels, hijacked immune and nervous system, reduces productivity, deprives sleep...) What if we could use an alternative that didn't account for the "lashing out" or "beating ourselves up" punitive methods to dwell and fuel our motivation from? What I find most valuable of this reflection is to slightly tweak the equation, bringing the focus onto the "final goal" - aka happiness, fulfilment, joy....instead of the growth. Growth can be an enabler of those ultimate results, but if we want to grow for the sake of it, it becomes a variable that can't be measured. Are we conditioning that "final goal" - the happiness, the health, the wealth, the fulfilment, the joy - to accomplishing growth? What if we could embed and soak some of those wonderful qualities that we want more of, by appreciating what we have already around and within us? How could you bring more of that positive motivation into your day to day?
Things like visualisation (in the morning before your start your day to connect with that essence and at night to reflect, celebrate and be grateful)
Schedule time throughout the day to check-in: are your actions, thoughts, emotions aligned to your vision for the day? if don't, what needs to change?
Time to integrate the learnings, so you can keep applying them and developing further
When your "lashing out" inner voice arises, ask yourself if there could be a kinder way to view and learn from what's happening right there
Comment and share your favourite ways to connect to that positive motivation, we would love to know! As always, continue reading for the activities coming to you this month. With all my love and gratitude, Monica x