My what a year it’s been!
Christmas is over, the last of the turkey and trimmings are finished. In this weird middle space between Christmas ending and a New Year dawning, I find myself contemplating all the challenges I have faced head on and conquered in 2016.
The past year has been one of great “learning” for me.
- I consciously pushed my personal boundaries to develop new skills
- I took on projects that would normally have had me running a mile
- I kept pushing myself way out of my comfort zone to try and do new things :
- Embracing Public speaking en mass
- Writing considered thought leadership articles for industry publications
- Creating a new Affiliate event
- … and mastering stand up paddle boarding! (SUP)
Having always taken a very considered approach to doing new things , and usually acting quite very risk averse, by dedicating myself in 2016 to LEARNING – it taught me to overcome my fears , changed my mindset to positivity and helped me to grow both personally and in my professional development.
So – I thought I might share what pushing the boundaries has taught me in 2016:
1) Know your limit – be brave but , also be realistic
In my dedication to follow a year of learning I ended up taking on a bit too much.
Once I make a decision I have no issues following through, (learnt this about myself in the past year) … but having an “all or nothing” approach, isn’t always the only answer.
By all means take time to learn new things every day, but don’t pressurise yourself to do everything you’ve ever wanted to do in one day or try to take it all on at once.
I had great intentions but forgot the moderation of work life balance and ended up having some crazy months working very hours at my job, then spending nights and weekends tied to my desk focussing on completing at the learnings I’d signed up for – leaving little time for my family or myself.
The dedication you put in to reach your personal goal is not measured by the hours or days you put in to reach it but – rather by the results of your labour and effort throughout the learning period.
2) Timing is everything
Patience, is really the lesson that came to the fore for me in 2016 – probably as a result of the point described above. If you know me you will know that I have none.
I have approached anything I’ve ever taken on with 110% effort but somehow always seemed to be lacking in having the stamina to persevere and reach the bitter end. Being a strong acquisition marketer (getting new) is the challenge I tend to relish, but the importance of keeping incoming clients happy and engaged has never appealed to me more than it did this year, as I learnt a completely new set of skills taking on retention marketing and business development activities as part of my new role.
The parable of the tortoise and the hare was a recurring theme in my work life and personal life in 2016. Patience to keep going through tough times, patience to see how hard work blooms into positive learnings in a strong year end of revenue results. Sometimes you can’t just leave something that is becoming difficult – because if you do, you may never have the patience to learn the next skill, or work with to mentor someone that will eventually take you up to a new level.
3) Actions speak louder than words
For a long time I felt that the work I do is not making an impact on anyone or really helping anyone to achieve greatness. Maybe as you get older you want to think that what you do is useful to someone and this is how I felt this year….
Until someone close to me shared their personal story with me – and explained exactly how my work and the things that I did have made a significant impact to their business and their life. I felt so privileged to have achieved just this in the past year, and felt happy knowing that what I do each day has had such a positive effect on others. (If you are interested, you can read his story here)
Feeling value in what I do every day and having the ability to feed that back to others made me feel that I have achieved something I could be proud of.
4) Surround yourself with positive people and positive things happen!
As the year has progressed, I met a lot of positive people doing positive things to change the world around them. I learnt some valuable things.
- I learnt to believe in myself
- I learnt to close down the internal voice of self doubt
- I learnt to embrace new challenges head on (No fear)
- I learnt to make a difference
- I learnt to take time for myself. (I learnt to SUP – that’s Stand Up Paddle boarding)
It wasn’t easy.
I read a lot of books about changing to a positive mind set and retraining my brain to take on challenges head on. The best being: The monk that sold his Ferrari – a short parable by Robin Sharma.
It’s about how a man changes his life by consciously changing his attitude, his actions and the path that he is following to try something new. In doing so – he learns to live a better life.
Make no mistake – changing the way you do things, and learning from this process takes courage. It’s a daily battle with yourself but you do it because inherently you know it’s right.
Make 2017 YOUR BEST YEAR YET!
I encourage you to make this YOUR YEAR OF LEARNING
Open yourself up to new challenges and see what interesting opportunities they might bring. Feel free to get in touch and share your journey of learning with me, I’ll be more than happy to hear from you and share your joy in it!
I’ll be having a year of discovery in 2017 – as I make some big changes to the way I work and mentor the people around me. I’ll certainly be continuing my learning but will start to put what I learn into action – to share my digital and business knowledge and expertise in order to give back to others as my point of focus.
2017 BRING IT ON!