This year has not ended how I had hoped. I have not increased my paid coaching client base. I have not launched any programs. I haven’t started writing the book that I would like to write. My dream of working full time as a coach and facilitator still feels a long way off. In the past, I probably would have said of this year that I have failed.
However, what is failure?
As I was reflecting on this year, I realised that I started 2019 hoping that I would develop my coaching business. I had hoped that I would have a client base of about ten clients and growing. I had hoped to have written a number of online programs that were being willingly purchased by people from all over the world. I had hoped that my leadership blog would go viral.
I had hoped for a lot. But what had I expected?
The answer came to me quite clearly, and I was shocked to hear it: I had expected to fail. I had expected that I would not know how to achieve any of my goals. I had expected to become caught up in the uncertainty. I had expected to give up.
And that was the moment I realised that, for much of the year, I had stood in my own way. I had been my own obstacle. I had wanted to succeed, and I had expected to fail. With that kind of support from myself, I suddenly felt incredibly proud that I had managed to achieve the many outcomes that I have achieved. It would, I think, have been understandable if I had given up. Yet, I am still working my way towards this dream, creating my own path, continuing the journey.
It is interesting that, when I look at the difference between what I hoped to achieve and what I did achieve, I still feel proud, grateful and content. I feel as though what I have achieved was more useful for me than what I had hoped to achieve. I feel as though I have created a solid foundation on which I can now keep building. I feel as though I have grown and developed in a way I never felt possible. I feel ready to move forward. I feel as though I now have goals, not hopes. And I feel as though I will achieve those goals.
I was fortunate enough to be a part of many wonderful outcomes this year. I have had amazing conversations with people from all over the world. I have been one side of the development of many amazing working relationships and friendships. I have increased my visibility throughout the world. I have developed two blog sites that, although I would like to increase their following, are actually being followed by amazing, committed readers who have given me so much. And I have had many amazing and unexpected opportunities to learn.
If I could only select one achievement to be proud of for this year, it would be this:
I have started to see what is possible.
The beginning of year mismatch in my hopes and expectations is, I think, a fairly solid pattern of mine. I see possibility and then I become convinced that the possibility is not possible for me. Often, I don’t even allow myself to fully see the possibilities. Rather, I simply expect and accept that I can’t achieve something. I might “know” that there are possibilities out there, however I assume that they are not possibilities for me. I know that it is possible to write a book, but it is not possible for me.
And so, this year, I have learnt to be curious about what is possible. I have learnt that possibilities don’t discriminate against me. Through my own way of being in the world, I discriminate against possibilities. I have also learnt that possibilities can be anywhere. For example, I have been having some amazing conversations with people from all over the world this year, conversations that I never expected to have. Yet, I haven’t looked at the possibilities for expansion in those conversations because I was worried about “taking advantage of” my newly found contacts. What if I allowed myself to stop stressing about taking advantage of people? What requests and offers would become possible? What opportunities would become possible?
This year, I have not failed. I have created a foundation for possibility, and I will build on that foundation.
Points to Ponder:
- Where are you seeing failure when it might be helpful to see success?
- Where might your hopes and expectations be misaligned?
- Where would it be helpful for you to become curious about possibilities?
My passion lies in coaching people to become the most resourceful version of themselves, and helping new and upcoming leaders who may be struggling with everyday life as a leader. I believe that the ability to be whatever we want to be lies within each of us, and sometimes it is useful to have help in finding what and where that is.
Curious? Book a quick, no-obligation call with me now and discover how we might work together