Spring reminds me of one of the new chapters of my life when travel was normal. I took a flight to Tokyo to co-facilitate a leadership workshop. The workshop had a strong emphasis on self-leadership as a crucial first step. Being in a situation where I was surrounded by very experienced people often challenged my capabilities and hence my confidence. Prior to the workshop, I told myself “prepare and practice and you will be great”. I did that, yet the worry was still lingering. I have a moderate level of self-awareness, but that month has stretched me to another level.
Listening to the stories shared that month triggered me with two “wow” moments. I sometimes post pictures or texts on Facebook and consciously keep checking to see how many reactions, how many likes I receive. Sometimes none, sometimes one and sometimes many. I ask myself, why do I post things? I rejected to face my own answer. It was not until this month when I heard the questions “who do you want to please? And whose acceptance are you seeking?” that I decided to face my own answer. Sometimes, when looking for praise – through jealousy and when I received no reaction on my post, I started having all the negative thoughts about myself. The truth is, it is not about my posts not getting reaction, but it is about me trying to resist the true purpose of me posting in the first place. How much acceptance dose one need? Is acceptance from the person who truly knows you, respects and loves you not enough?
Who do you want to please? And whose acceptance are you seeking?
This leads to my realisation of my second “wow” – why I have self-doubt after all the preparation and practice I have done. It was my fear of not being accepted, praised and good enough! I opened up to my fellow coach and she shined a light on that blind spot! She told me a positive angle of being young and less experienced and reassured my ability to do the job, not because she believed so but she knew so from seeing me in practice. Here it is, my one trusted acceptance that is more than enough to make me realise all I need to do now on the stage, after all the preparation and practice, is to be myself and trust my intuition. Let all the tools I have been practicing be my support and not my control. And that was right, when I no longer seek praise, acceptance or act to please others, I have all the confidence I need.
There is always a beginning. We all have to start from somewhere and it doesn’t matter if that spring is repeated within the same season cycle. What matters is you respect yourself, trust your intuition, respect others and never be afraid to “spring” again. One step backward and two steps forward is a healthy spring of self-leadership and my self-awareness this month has definitely just sprang again!
Happy Spring and Happy New Beginning or Restart!