In the last 45 days, the opportunity to “Just Go See Them” has come up over and over. What do I mean by “Just Go See Them?” Some very important people in my life have recently faced some very serious health challenges, and I realized in the past, that maybe I was “too busy” to go see and visit friends during these challenging times. That wasn’t going to happen this time around.
A very good friend had survived nearly 10 surgeries in the last couple months. We felt he was nearing the end of his life. So we jumped on a plane, flew to Houston, visited with him (and his wife and daughter). We were able to connect: look at each other, smile, nod, and touch hands. He died the day after we left.
My girlfriend just had some surgery. We allowed her to rest for three weeks. On our drive to see her, we bought some flowers, visited for a couple hours to get all caught up on her healing and squeezed her new puppy. She was full of life again!
One of my best girlfriends was caring for one of her best male friends. He didn’t have many visitors at the hospital. My exhausted, care-taking girlfriend reached out to me for a much-needed lift. I quickly made a stop, picked up some fun items on the clearance aisle, and visited them both in the cardiac- care-unit hospital room. We laughed, we listened, we prayed. Together, that visit made the three of us better and more aware of each other. He is now back at home and working again. She is vacationing with her family. Both full of life.
My parents were at Mayo’s in Minnesota for some medical check-ups. Knowing that this could be some complicated news that would be difficult for my parents to hear, I flew to Minnesota to be with my parents. It was one of those moments that a mother and daughter discuss life, each other’s existence, the next steps, and the potential gameplan. Being there further strengthened our incredible bond as mother and daughter.
In the last 45 days, every single person that I have met is “BUSY.” We all are busy. I was busy. Every one of these precious friends and family members was even busier. But, what I have learned is this: Just Go See Them. It Matters. We All Are Busy. Have No Regrets. Just Go See Them.
Keep staying connected with friends and family.
Keep listening well.
Keep staying curious.
Keep giving very little advice to others.
Keep being faithful.
Keep embracing kindness.
Keep resting and recovering.
Keep striving to be a better you.
Keep on keeping on.
Are you a Woman in Leadership in a corporate or entrepreneurial setting? Or do you have a desire to become one? We work with women like you. Women who aspire ‘to sit at the table’ confidently; to run the financial side of business; to lead, collaborate with, and facilitate others; to let ambitions go hand in hand with a good work life balance; and to turn ‘hard work’ into ‘heartwork’, as this propells their leadership.
Our passion is to support/coach women, helping bring out their full potential and taking their leadership to a next level. We focus on the whole person, both work and private life, as we don’t see these as two separate worlds. With our monthly blog, (leveraging examples from our coaching and consulting practices), we provide tips, advice, and new outlooks which will encourage you to move forward. In our blog ‘What’s your top priority?’ we focussed on the importance of putting yourself first (#1), as leadership starts with you. What’s next?! Let’s start with a test.
Test your outlook (Self-Assess)
Answer the following questions with yes or no. We recommend you just follow your heart with your answer, not thinking too long. Tip: why not share your answers with a trusted friend or partner? It may turn out to be the start of your heartwork ‘support-team’.
1. When I wake up, I usually think ‘yes, this is going to be another good day!’.
2. When I receive a ‘bad’ comment, I typically view it as a learning opportunity.
3. I truly believe that not all people have to like me.
4. When my boss wants to have a talk with me, I don’t expect ‘trouble’.
5. When things go wrong or not as planned, I look forward to find the best solutions.
What’s your score?
Did you score four or more yes answers? If so, then there’s a big chance you are the optimistic type who sees the glass as always half-full. With mostly no’s on your list, you are probably the type who’s glass is half-empty or as a person with a pessimistic outlook. Did your answers ‘split’ with 2-3 yes’s or no’s? Then you first have to do some work on self. With a coach, you can explore what makes your answers a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, what’s getting in your way, and find out more about your outlook.
Does it matter?
Yes! In our practice, we see that optimism facilitates women with their heartwork. Optimists stay focussed, action oriented, and keep moving ahead instead of spiraling down when things do not go the desired way. Optimistic ‘framing’ supports women to sustain themselves on their path to leadership.
If optimism does not come naturally to you, the good news is that it can be learned. You can train yourself to be more optimistic, use less energy on negative thoughts, and prevent yourself from spiraling down. In our practice, here’s what we have learned as some tips from other women:
1. Reflect on what’s really meaningful for you. Listen to your heart and make ‘adaptations’ in your (whole) life, if needed. It ‘brightens up’ your outlook.
2. If you are a ‘worrier’, list all things you worry about. Which ones can you truly influence? Think of specific actions that will help you influence & solve them, and then do it!
3. When something goes wrong, do not think of the worse-case scenario. Instead, reverse it! As a practice, sketch the positive scenarios first.
4. Do you often have a little voice in your head that amplifies and/or dispapproves of every mistake? Talk back and move forward!
5. Are you an ‘approval junkie’? Then reflect on ‘What makes others opinions more important then my own?!’
6. Do you avoid conflicts? Remember that conflicts are part of life and not the end of the world. On the contrary, they often lead to the long sought-after solution! Embrace this solution.
7. Is your environment a bit ‘gloomy’? Then step out of this environment regularly. How? By meeting new people and doing new things. Like siging up of an art or fitness class, doing community work, reading inspiring books and articles…….
8. Go the appreciative way: look for what works, instead of what does not work. It ‘opens up’ new possibilities and changes your worldview.
Just do it
It is this ‘simplicity’ which will make the tips effective. At the same time, this is the ‘difficult’ part. It requires letting go of old habits, exploring new territories, and adapting your framework. Yes, this is a challenging process and it may take some practicing. Where do you start? It all starts with a choice: choosing yourself and engaging in heartwork. Once you have taken this leap, practice is the key. Take many small steps (instead of one big step). Be aware of ‘overdoing’ it, as being too optimistic often leads to excuses. With all that in mind, just imagine what could happen if you go the optimistic way? Do not stop there, just do it!
Note: Authors Maleene de Ridder and Jen Wilfong are passionate about developing women as leaders. They embrace purposeful balance, wellness and ongoing learning, as well as leveraging global trends to further their coaching & consulting businesses. Both are certified coaches from the Hudson Institute of Santa Barbara, CA. For more information, check them out on the web at www.maleenederidder.com and www.jenwilfong.com
Now that I’m less that two months away from hitting the half century (50) mark, felt it was time to reflect on what I’m so grateful for during these last five decades.