I am enough

I am enough

I, too, yearn to live a wholehearted life, and according to Brené  Brown, that means engaging our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage and compassion and connection to wake up and think, no matter what gets done and how much of it is left undone, I AM ENOUGH.

The achiever in me often thinks I HAVE NOT DONE ENOUGH, therefore I AM NOT ENOUGH. I’ve worked hard to set boundaries. The coach in me talks to clients often about not just “doing enough”, but “being enough” – choosing how to be as often, or more often, than choosing what to do. This is hard. This requires me to be vulnerable and not just do it to check another thing off my list.

Rising Strong was another affirmation for me that I can STOP. I can PAUSE. I can be. I can say I am enough and I’ve had enough. Being mindful and vulnerable is a journey. Many times I fail at it. That’s often my First Attempt In Learning.

Here are some of the tenets discussed in the book that I have been able to start or continue to focus on that resonated with me as I read the book.

Be a badass

I always wanted to be a badass. I love the words.

Badasses don’t blame others when things go wrong. I need to be less judgmental and do more of that.

I have to share the story I have made up and have those tough conversations that describe how I am feeling. I need to get curious about it and focus in on the assumptions that I have made that probably are not true.

I have learned that I can start a conversation by saying, “The story I have made up is… ” to better check in to assumptions versus blame.

Focus on compassion and cultivate trust

Dr. Brown’s research shows that compassionate people ask for what they need. They set boundaries. They ask for help and support. They give help and support to others.

They recognize that “no” is a complete sentence.

My high achiever often puts me in a state of “over functioning.” I won’t feel, I will do. I don’t need help. I help. I’m a mentor and a coach to many. I have started surrounding myself with mentors and coaches for me. I need them to help me move forward in my life.

I am learning that we don’t have to do it all alone, and I don’t think we were ever meant to. There is value to say what I mean and mean what I say. There is value in being part of a tribe.

I have started building trust by recognizing and owning my mistakes and apologizing. I give thanks more and catch people DOING THINGS RIGHT instead of catching them doing it wrong.

Reflections

Many years ago I intentionally made the decision not to focus on regret or jealousy, two emotions that I thought I could live without.

What I have learned is that living without regret is living without reflection. Sure, I said I learned and could move on, but maybe that was just the story I was making up.

I have found that there are amends to make. There are opportunities where I could have been braver and more courageous in my life. There are times I choose to be liked versus defending someone or something or taking an unpopular position. There were times with classmates, friends, and strangers that I did not stand up for someone being berated, bullied, or abused.

I have done lots of work with my own values, and that is helping me to learn that living outside of my values is no longer for me.

“People who wade in discomfort and tell the truth about their stories are real bad asses.” Dr. Brown states that people learn how to trust based on how they see us treating ourselves.

Set boundaries and be good to yourself. Shit happens and I AM ENOUGH.

Communicating as an introvert

Communicating as an introvert

I attended one of those milestone high school class reunions last night. Let’s say I was anxious about going to see a group of people that I have had no contact with since I left the last class reunion 15 years ago.

As a class officer, I had reached out to the reunion committee to let them know that I would be happy to be a master of ceremonies. I knew that making a commitment to be there would help me to show up. For years, I did the morning announcements at school, excelled in the speech and debate club, and was the English department award recipient of the bunch. Everyone knew of me or knew my voice, which gave me some security.

The committee did reach out to me to see if I would do a welcome after dinner was served, and perhaps lead the group in making introductions. I was told that “no one on the committee can speak in front of groups”, and that they were all introverts. So my introverted self said no problem.

Let’s be clear, introverts are often overlooked and misunderstood

Many systems, workplaces and their cultures are built around extroverts. We are all too busy in our too busy places of work and life to give introverts the time to think through things before we want them to respond. We don’t have time to put out agendas before meetings to give introverts time to read it and think through what is being discussed and how they can contribute. We hold pop up brainstorming meetings where the extroverts will naturally dominate. Facilitators don’t stick to agenda and time-frames because we don’t want to cut extroverts off that go off topic, or never stay on topic in the first place. I don’t like to interrupt, but often find I cannot get a word in unless I do.

It’s my mission to show that introverts can be great communicators. When we know our subject matter, we can be maestros in delivering dynamite trainings. We can be inspirational speakers, and great facilitators, great actors and most importantly, probably the best leaders.

When an introvert opens their mouth to join the dialogue, listen. They have thought about what they are going to say, and have something important to offer the world. They generally don’t think as they speak.

I had a great time at the reunion. I loved reconnecting with everyone, and I made a point to connect with each person there. I intentionally talked about being an introvert and said that there were no rules for introductions. Of course, the extroverts standing took the lead. Everyone participated when they were ready. Some said too much, some very little. But in the end, this introvert could create an atmosphere of caring and acceptance, to make everyone feel special and happy that they showed up. It’s too bad that some had to wait many decades for this group of people they grew up with to allow them to be who they really are, to be listened to, to have the spotlight, and to literally applaud their contributions.

Introversion and extroversion is all about where you get your energy

Introverts generally have a tendency to be more sensitive to stimulation (noise, barking dogs, crowds of people, etc.). I know after a night like this, the best thing I need to do is to be by myself to gain back some energy and recharge. We all have challenges in managing our energy, but in very different ways. Introversion and extroversion lies on opposite ends of a continuum, and we are introverts or extroverts by varying degrees. It affects the way we communicate to others. It affects the way we see the world. It is something that can change over time, through the many phases of our life.

I am not as introverted as I used to be. Those pictures of me crying and screaming at my 2 year old birthday party or sitting on Santa’s lap, would be a good indicator I was over stimulated. The picture of me using my doll only as a prop for being by myself and reading my book would be another indicator of being an introvert who just wanted to be left alone.

The beauty of it all is that we can still all learn how to be great leaders. We can learn how to focus on each other’s strengths and personalities, while being mindful of our natural tendencies. The world demands that we must learn how to live with diversity. We must learn how to adopt our communication style and personality style to best meet the needs of others. We must create work environments and cultures that allow all people to thrive and be fully present and be heard. We can learn to listen more, to establish clarity, because my friend, despite all of this, we are still more alike than we are unalike.

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