The Coaching Dept. Blog
Several years ago I heard of a woman who lost her adult son to an illness. She took a four day journey across the country alone in her car. In her words, she wanted to have an extended period of uninterrupted time to look in the rear-view mirror.
I always thought of that as a wonderful metaphor. We spend so much time driving forward and although we do need a focus on where we are going; there are times when it is prudent to look at where we are and where we have been.
There are no bad times for reflection but there is something about this time of year that seems to initiate reflection for me. Perhaps it is the holiday season and all of the emotions and memories that the season seems to conjure up. Perhaps it is the fact that we know that at the end of the month we will end a year and begin another. Maybe for me in a month when everyone is so busy I get a bit of time to slow down and think about me, my life my family and my friends. Regardless of the reason if you are taking some time to reflect, I think it could be time well spent.
Some people avoid reflection because it brings up bad memories. It may remind them of some hurts, some mistakes or some regrets that they just want to leave in the past. Some people are reluctant to reflect because they might see a brilliance in them that they didn’t use. Some may see the process as onerous or a luxury that they just don’t have time for.
It is a personal choice to reflect or to not reflect.
If you have goals for your future some reflection might help you get there more quickly.
But reflection is not just about the past. When we get up in the morning and go to a room where it is pretty hard not to look in a mirror we get a reflection of what is true in that moment. Some glimpses might be better than others but all they are is feedback. It is what we do with that feedback that really matters.
During this past week I hit a significant reflection landmark. I celebrated the 3,000th day of a practice of recording ten things each day that I am grateful for. More than eight years ago, I did a 28-day study of gratitude. Part of it was the habit of writing down 10 things each day that I was grateful for. On Day 29 I had a decision to make. It was a decision between noticing the wonderful things that happened during those 28 days and being grateful for the experience or continuing the habit and the experiences. It is sort of a habit of daily reflection.
Every day we have the chance to reflect on and relive the most Extraordinary moments of our lives. We can relive accomplishments, experiences and memories.
We can reflect on who we have been and how we have changed.
We can reflect on things that happened in our lives and the meaning we gave to those events. We may realize that the way we interpreted something that happened when we were 7 or 14 or 21 may be completely different than the way we might interpret the same event now with more understanding, information and maturity.
If you would like to spend some time in reflection it might be a good time to connect with your coach. Coaches can ask you some key questions that might support you in your time of reflection? Leaders use coaches often to ask the questions that support them in coming up with the solutions.
Coaches have coaching tools.
Determining Where You Are
To have the best plan to get to where you want to go it is important to know where you are right now. Coaches have tools to help you to take a snap shot of what you and your life is like at this moment. This process can be helpful when three months later you take another snap shot and see the progression you have made. Sometimes the progressions you are making are subtle and if you feel you are not seeing them you can get discouraged and question the efforts you are taking.
Coaches have tools to help you identify what is working and what is not working for you. They give you the chance to address the little things that might be affecting the bigger things.
Coaches have tools to help you identify your needs. Coaches can then help you understand how to get your needs met. When you get your needs met you are energized, inspiring, productive, engaged, fun and attractive. When you are not getting your needs met you can be irritable, anxious, short tempered, lethargic, isolated and unattractive.
Coaches have tools to help you to identify your values. When you are living your life in alignment with your values it feels effortless, joyful and fulfilling.
Coaches have tools to give you a clear picture of you. This is metaphorically like looking in the mirror. When you can see that something is out of place or not the way you want it you can change it.
Determining Where You Are Going
Coaches have tools to support you in dreaming and planning your future.
Determining the Standards You Will Live By
Coaches have tools to build the foundation that will support your goals and the life you design for yourself.
Determining What Has Been Getting in the Way
Coaches have tools to help uncover things that may be limiting your effectiveness in getting to where you want to go.
Like the woman looking in the rear view mirror we can decide to reflect. Although the desire to do so can be brought on by a big loss or change in our lives, it can also just be a decision or a habit that we choose to support us in our journey.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can be of support.
Kevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA. They can be reached by calling 1-866-822-3481 toll free.
Kevin MacDonald and Shelley MacDougall are the coaches for CMAA. CMAA offers coaching as a benefit of membership. To set up a coaching session you can call 1-866-822-3481 toll free.