Updated: Dec 29, 2020
The theme for Day 2 of the 7 Days of Discomfort Challenge is Shine. And, whaddya know, I’m a day late posting about it. That seems fitting for this year though, right? I might be a day late, but I’m still going to continue participating. I think that’s probably the most that many of us felt like we could do this year—just show up. Showing up is a feat worthy of celebration these days, in my opinion.
When I look back at 2020 and think about where I found joy or how I feel I shined, it’s kind of hard to say. Most days, I felt like I was just sort of “getting through” or “treading water.” But as I reflect more, I realize there were a lot of special and unanticipated things that were a part of my year, too.
A lot of those things came about because I connected with a lot of wonderfully supportive people around my love of writing, coaching, personality psychology, and personal development. Through those connections, I had opportunities to write a few articles, facilitate a few workshops, be interviewed on a few podcasts and videos, and coach incredible clients both individually and in group coaching sessions.
Though it’s deeply uncomfortable for me to list out what I see as my achievements, I’m grateful for this chance to reflect on all of these things because I think it’s been easy to feel like I’ve just been spinning my wheels at home. However, this made me stop and acknowledge that I’ve still been making progress even when it may feel like I’m standing still. By just continuously showing up whenever and however I can, which sometimes didn’t look or feel like much, I’ve gradually carved out a place for myself that feels right.
Years ago, I shared with an authority figure that I had a dream of shifting my career coaching business to focus on self-exploration and shift away from doing work with resumes and cover letters. They discouraged me from doing that because they didn’t think it sounded like a business model that would work very well.
Perhaps they were right to an extent, but, as I discovered, there are almost always ways to make things work. There are almost always other possibilities to be considered.
What I did, which seems much clearer in hindsight than it did at the time, was: 1) put it out into the world what my focus was, and 2) find people who valued that.
I edited my website to reflect the direction I wanted to go (sort of a Field of Dreams approach—“if you build it, they will come”).
I showed up for things like workshops and networking events to connect with communities full of kindred spirits.
I sent messages to people to thank them for the work they do or ask questions or even just connect over a shared interest.
I took chances by applying for opportunities I didn’t always think I could get (and sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t).
All of those small decisions and actions added up to my finding the people who have supported and collaborated with me every step of the way to make my accomplishments (no matter how large or small) possible. Pretty much nothing I did could have been done in a vacuum on my own.
So yes, maybe the work I wanted to focus on didn’t seem like enough to create a business. But by working together with other people also building out their own dreams, it’s slowly but surely becoming a reality. None of us has to be perfect at doing everything; we just have to keep doing the things we feel drawn to and connect with the people with whom we can achieve things together.
A special thanks to just a few of the people who made it possible for me to share my light this year, whether through publishing something I wrote (no matter how small), recommending me for opportunities, having me on your podcast or YouTube channel, participating in a Facebook Live video panel with me, facilitating a workshop together, and/or collaborating with me to coach clients along with you, etc.: @truity @heidipriebe @quarterlifejoy @joycemeng22 @theartofspeakingup @sarahmikutel @tasteflorence @life_rebalanced @talliadeljou @alexacrozier @creaishons @kidrasa @crystalxduan @meghanlevota @susiestorm984 @thereelanna (some of these things I’m referencing may have been from 2019, but still—thank you!)
Also, a big thank-you to all of the wonderful people I’ve met in some of the communities I’ve been a part of, such as MBTI Twitter, B-School, Podcast Launch Academy, Power by Purpose, the Inner Work Book Club, the ENFP and INFP Soul Bootcamps, the London Writers’ Salon, and on Facebook and Instagram! (Surely I’m probably blanking on something big I should be including right here, in which case, I will edit this post when it inevitably pops into my head later!) You’ve all encouraged, supported, and inspired me in more ways than I can even begin to describe.
Thank you to everyone who has read anything I’ve shared and/or encouraged my writing and coaching work. It means the world to me. I appreciate you so much, and I can’t thank you enough for taking time out of your day to pay any mind to what I have to say. Without any readers, I’m not sure if my writing would mean quite as much, sort of like a painting with no one to contemplate it or love with no one to reflect it back.
Thank you to my family and friends who have made it possible for me to physically be able to show up for all of these opportunities.
Thank you to every client who has trusted in me (and themselves!) enough to spend their time and money investing in working with me and sharing their story with me. It is always nothing short of an honor to have a front-row seat to what lights you up and makes you the wonderful person you are.
We’re all in this world—in this life thing—together. The more we each share our lights and our gifts freely, the more we will each feel we can do the same. So, thank you for being a part of my feeling like I can finally do more of that, and I hope you feel free to do the same.