Potential.

This past week, I was asked to intentionally reflect on what my best self might look like both to me and to the world. It was a remarkable experience to take a week away and share with colleagues how I might make more of each moment, in showing up as more...as my best self...to realize my human potential.  

While we centered the discussions around our work, the conversation held deeper implications for everyone. Let's face it, we can't always leave "home" at home when we come into work. And with the ever-increasing rate of virtual work, home and work blur. While many might argue that boundaries are necessary, I am a believer in the power of bringing your whole self to your profession. I am also a firm supporter of eliminating the term of "work" from the vocabulary. Why? ...We all seek to do what we're passionate about to some extent. When you are passionate, focused and centered (your best self), what you do is no longer work.

In reflecting on my human potential (loosely defined as the "self" open to limitless possibility, the "you" that provides both inward and outward the most satisfaction, optimism and joy), a series of questions and several personal truths rose:

1. What is my energy demand?

2. What is the foundation of my best self (in terms of physical, emotional and meaning)?

3. What are my strengths? Where do I need to grow (respectful of those same terms)? 

4. How does my energy supply meet my demand (assess fuel, moves & recharging mechanisms)?

5. What is my experience? How does my perspective influence the experience? Truths: my interpretations impact the way my body responds; every thought, feeling and action is controlled by the brain.

6. What beliefs and values drive me? What inspires? What motivates? What can I do to sustain my connection to purpose (proposing here that my meaning is derived by this connection)?

7. What is my sentence? Am I better today than I was yesterday? (Drive by Daniel H. Pink). Truths: the only constant is you; autonomy, mastery and contribution (meaning) form my satisfaction.

8. What are my habits, patterns & practices? How do they help or hinder my potential? Hint: Tiny habit format (kudos to BJ Fogg). 

9. How does this all integrate for me? What insights impact my essential intent (which should technically align to "my sentence")? 

10. How can I move towards my best self? How can I access renewed energy? (proposing here that moving to my best self requires a moment in recovery/renewal).

Our brilliant guides throughout the week mentioned several times that "You can't separate the dance from the dancer."

Translation: Start with your own dance.

Johari Window

Indeed the use of a 360 feedback assessment was most helpful (particularly in attending to question #3 above). A proposed method to consider such results is the use of the Johari Window. I have flirted with this 2X2 many times prior and agree with its value. If you've not used it or simply want to try it on, I've added a personal visual spin to this post. Check it out.

Give a shot at working through these questions for yourself. Spend time and reflect on your potential. Use the Johari Window to think about what areas pose personal growth, and what strengths you should be maximizing! Questions, or seeking accountability? Me too!

Let's co-create. Cheers!

 

Energy.

ENERGY. It's a POWERful thing!

Our energy level affects us and how we show up each day.

Explore that with me:

You walk into your meeting after a sleepless night, the expectations on the discussion outcomes are high, and the personalities in the room are unpredictable. How is your energy? 

Flip it.

Time to enjoy an hour of happy after work, and in whatever shape that takes for you (sipping, sweating, swinging, sky's the limit). How about your energy now?

I don't know where you stand, but the second scenario leaves me lighter: a sunny forecast and excitement in my veins. I am ready for anything in that hour. With a positive outlook and high energy, I am more likely set up for stronger performance. Take it further: I am set up for a better experience and it's more likely that those around me are too. 

Somewhat obvious, yes? Yet how often do you take an inventory of your energy? If so, what do you do with that knowledge to serve you best in the moment?

        

During a facilitation last year, the Emotional Quadrants were informally introduced to me as a technique for taking inventory. This 2X2 matrix offers a way to assess your outlook and energy.  

Based on where you land, use strategies to shift in order to make it an hour of happy rather than unpredictable.

Simple, proven strategies include breaks for walking, hydrating, breath-work or coloring. And don't just take a break, I mean TAKE THE BREAK WITH INTENTION.

Do that by disconnecting through a physical action (like a short walk) to HIT RESET. Then try drawing your attention inward with your breath, lengthening it; as thoughts come up, use your breath to acknowledge (inhale) them and release (exhale) them out, coming back to deep breathing for a few minutes. Actually allow the break to restore and rejuvenate you.  Build these breaks into your day, your week, month and year. Give yourself the space to truly be your best self.

For me, the middle of the month can land in burnout or survival state. The annual high from January resolutions may leave us in a lull too. Today as I work towards fresh air, I'll not be taking a short break. I am hitting reset towards recovery with a few days away.

Sometimes we have to take inventory to realize a short break won't cut it. It's not easy to untangle yourself and take a longer reset, I understand that fully. But it's much harder to stay in the pit of low energy + negative outlook. Don't do that to yourself, you are worth more.

Consider your energy throughout this year. Use this 2X2 or another tool you might have to gain perspective and greater awareness on where you are energetically. Let that learning guide your steps to your best self, always. Interested in exploring more strategies? Be in touch!

Finally, this post would be incomplete without recognizing the Human Performance Institute for their brilliance, and to Billy McMillan for sharing last year. Inspire #hummaninnovation.