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On New Year’s Day, I attended Growth Day, a personal development session hosted by my coach and mentor, Brendon Burchard, and I wanted to share some of my key takeaways from the event.
Brendon started by acknowledging that “you made it,” through one of the most challenging years we’ve ever experienced. And I want to offer the same to you. However bruised and battered you may feel at this point, you did survive the year. Maybe you even thrived in some way. But, let’s face it, it was a test! And you passed. Go ahead, sigh with relief.
We learned a simple framework for continued growth as we start a new year. It includes three components: aliveness, connection and meaningful pursuits. The important point is, you can't expect them to just show up; you have to summon them into your life.
Aliveness or, as I like to call it esprit de corps, is that sense of vibrancy, awe, inspiration, energy, excitement, and spirit. One of the best ways to tap into this, according to neuroscience, is through novelty (new stuff), which is one of the highest drivers of mental health and well-being. The spirit of aliveness propels you to explore new things, new habits, new adventures, new opportunities, new skills and hobbies. The question is - what will be new for you in 2021?
Connection includes building depth into our relationships, even though that may be a bit more challenging in a pandemic, stay-at-home kind of life. You can build stronger relationships with those with whom you share your home, including spouses and children, and pets. You can also tap into your own connection with spirituality or your creativity. Where do you want to strengthen your connection in 2021?
Meaningful pursuits are important to provide grounding and inspiration. Slightly different than "purpose," which can change over time or get derailed when other priorities come into play, meaningful pursuits can be smaller pieces that provide joy and a sense of well-being. It is possible, for example, even in a job you hate, to focus on the aspects that are positive - maybe some good friends, or opportunity to build new skills, or just get through a day on an even keel.
Facing a challenge and overcoming obstacles can also be meaningful, in that you become stronger as a result, more competent for the next time, and more confident overall. It all depends on how you look at it, but being intentional about the pursuit of something meaningful in your day can make a big difference in your overall outlook, as well as your personal growth and development.
The first guest was Jamie Kern Lima, founder of IT Cosmetics; her message was about the importance of tapping into your "knowing." With authenticity as a throughline to your life, learning to listen, believe in yourself and trust yourself will make the impossible, possible. Jamie is living proof of that.
Judge less, feel better! Is one of my favorite Mantras, courtesy of Brendon.
Jamie identified her need to release the expectation that people in her life are as committed to personal development and growth as she is. A better approach is to love people for who they are and continue to grow yourself, recognizing that not everyone is on the same journey. Just make sure you have a community of like-minded friends for support. As for others, allow their own life choices to be their educator. Who will be your support community in 2021?
The next guest was Gloria Atanmo, a digital media star, who shared her childhood story of a career day during which none of the traditional paths appealed to her and she realized she needed to create her own lane in which to thrive. I love that idea!
She spoke of the need to release the illusion of control: do the work but surrender to the outcome. And she shared the POP method - pick one person, pick one problem that person has, and pick one product that you can offer to solve that problem. She recommended the book Essentialism.
Gloria made the distinction between happiness, which is the result of things going well in your life, and joy, which is something you choose.
She also spoke about the importance of showing up when you're needed and where there is a void. Rather than using Perfectionism as a standard; try just showing up. The willingness to show up even when you don't have all the answers, and to figure it out along the way, is what builds confidence over time. Be your own biggest fan.
Recognize that resistance builds character, it builds backbone, it builds thick skin, it builds endurance. Your friends owe you nothing! How will you summon the energy, encouragement, and expert guidance you need in 2021?
I hope you find this as helpful as I did and take time to reflect on the questions I posed as you continue to think about your own development in 2021. And, as always, I appreciate your feedback, your questions, and your comments.
Stay tuned for Part 2.