Peeling the onion, of me
Updated: Oct 29, 2021
As the world was shut down, many people, like myself have taken a step back and evaluated their life and how they are spending their time and who they are. Just like me! Anyone with me? In fact as it relates to careers, over 52% of US Workers are considering a career change in 2021 (Fast Company-Harris Poll in Feb 2021). So yes, we are all digging deep and trying to figure it out.
As I took a leadership group through these questions over the past 6 months, it made me reflect back on myself and how I answer these questions. What did I want to be remembered for? What was the legacy I was leaving? And how was I spending my time to honor that? It honestly took me back to 8 years ago when I was given a second chance at life (more on that in future posts). The same questions popped for me now as they did then. How can I be making more of a difference with the time I have left here on earth? And I was asking myself why was I revisiting these questions again. Wasn't the wake up call 8 years ago enough to jar me into action?
Nope. Just like everyone else things change and evolve. I got busy into motherhood and lost track of who I was, what I enjoyed, what filled my cup. I was so consumed with being a mother I didn't do ANYTHING for myself. That's really what I expected though. I knew that being a mother was, and still is, hard. And that most of my "free" time was going to be spent responding to the many emails from school, signing them up for activities, making sure the bags were packed for the right activities on the right night and figuring out who was going to take said kid to said activity, and the list goes on.
And in the midst of it all, my husband and I decided to make a move for our family to be closer to our extended family. It was very intentional and made a lot of sense for our family. The kids were young when we moved, ages 3 and 1, so we had our hands full to say the least. And moving to a new city prompts new questions - now what should I get involved in? Who did I want to spend my time with? Who even am I anymore?
At almost 40 years old, how can I possibly still be asking myself those questions? Lucky for all of us, we change and evolve over time. At any point we get to decide when we want to reboot and recalibrate to ensure our core values are in alignment with our priorities and where/who/how we are spending our time. It was definitely that time for my husband and me to do just that - reboot for us individually and for our family.
So that we did. Took a step back in ALL aspects, including our careers, schools, home, finances. What did we want to do? And WHY did we want to do that? That in my mind are the utmost questions to answer. What gets you up in the morning and inspires you to be your best? WHY was I getting up? Inspired by one of my favorites Simon Sinek, I went through my own “peeling the onion” exercise to get to that deep rooted WHY.
Where I landed? My why! I want to be a profound example for my kids. I want to raise them to be authentically themselves in all ways so I have to model it by doing that for myself. I want them to feel power by leaning in and staying true to their gifts and core values. I want to find my true power and passion so I can lean into that and fire on all cylinders - showing them what's possible when you do that. Living authentically, which at times means challenging the status quo.
How could I show them that in what I was doing? How could I lead them by example through that? The first major step for us was moving to a city that aligned with who we were. Did people question why we did that? Absolutely. Did that stop us? Absolutely NOT. I always remind my kids that people will have an opinion of what you are doing - both good and bad. Most people don't see below the surface of your life, including your core values. You decide what decisions and choices you will make based on you, and your core values. Don't let others do that for you.
The next major step for me was aligning how I was spending my time. I have 40+ hours a week focused on making a difference at my job. The rest of my time is mostly spent investing in the future generation, aka through my kids, and being my best self while doing that. Was I living into my true self and capitalizing on my God-given gifts? Or was I living a life that others wanted me to live? I know prior to giving birth to my son, I was absolutely consumed in the hamster wheel of Corporate America. I spent way too much time consumed with what others thought. Was I drifting back into that space? Perhaps, but things were different.
I know now where I am passionate, where my gifts are and how I can leverage those in the world. I had more experience now to know what it feels like to "lose track of time" when working on things. I GET to get out of bed in the morning and inspire people to live courageously with their time left on earth. So the question was - how was I going to use those gifts every day in my 40+ hours while the kids are at school?
I wanted to fully capitalize on that and took the leap. I started my own business (Core Strategic Solutions) and partnered with another (The Restoration Project) to lean into my gifts. Back to my why and being that example for my kids - this was another way to show my kids how, where and why to lean into your core values. Were people surprised? Absolutely. After 18+ years of being in a corporate setting with comfort, stability and (some) predictability, why would you do that? Read all of the above. I have one life to live and those 40+ hours a week WILL make a difference for me and for my kids! All while having more energy and excitement because I was closely aligned with my gifts and allowing that to flow. Giving my best self at work, and giving my best self at home.
Life for me is so much better with that balance, with that courage. It’s living differently though which isn’t always welcomed in a lot of ways. Some people don’t understand. That’s okay. They may not like it. That’s okay. I am living authentically into myself - how God made me. Hopefully that’s shining a light so others feel okay shining theirs. Bringing my gifts to the table unapologetically to make our world more human AGAIN. And it's a constant evolution that never ends.
Follow along as I take you through some of the journey I’ve been on and how I apply it in the work I do. Vulnerably me, continuously learning.
Check out a few of these resources that have helped me "peel the onion". Not limited to these, but a good place to get you started. Go own your day, my friend!
Simon Sinek "Start with Why" Book and exercise
Brené Brown – The Gifts of Imperfection + assessment on her website: www.brenebrown.com