Updated: Aug 4, 2019
Ok, this one might get long. This entire experience has been the culmination of choices I've made and realizations about myself that I'd forgotten.
Think of a time that you looked back and could actually draw a line between a series of events that lead to an event that changed your life. Can you do it? Have you ever stopped to try? I think perhaps it is because I am so hyper aware these days of every choice I make and how it plays into another that I can see this one clearly. Now, that is not to say that I know exactly how my life has played out or what plan God has for me, however I can at least see what has happened until now.
Ok, let's string together the events. I am going to be a little vague on some of them because I am still figuring them out. So bare with me.
September, I made a choice. I made a choice with my career that kept me on the East Coast. That was on a Friday. On Saturday I got a phone call. Now, this phone call was weird, because it came on a Saturday. It was a call from a friend and fellow colleague and 8am on a Saturday was not a normal time to call.
After about 10 minutes of rambling, yes he rambled and yes I gave him grief for it, he said "I have a point for calling you". The point, he had an opportunity that he couldn't take because of life events. So he was offering me the "chance" and when I mean chance it was just a chance at the opportunity. Nothing was guaranteed. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity.
The opportunity turned into a connection. That connection turned into a trip. That trip is what I am on. That one decision in September led to a lot of realization and personal growth.
Lesson: Every decision has a result, so decide wisely
I've fallen into a pattern. A pattern of making decisions that seem easier in the short run. We live in an instant gratification society and when we make a decision we expect a result, right? Well I fell prey to that mentality. So much so that I was about to make a decision that wouldn't serve me in the long run because it would feel better in the short run. Thank heavens I didn't make that mistake.
How often do we step back and say how will this serve me now and how will it serve me down the road? Which decision would you make?
I know in the past I've made both. The easy now decision and the long term decision.
My MAPS Coach and I worked on this for a long time this past summer/fall and he asked me to envision my perfect day. What did I see myself waking up and doing in 5 years? Of course I said I don't know for about 2 months straight. I couldn't see past the pain of the now. So I kept chugging along looking for reasons to go an easier route, not the best route.
It wasn't until I figured out what my perfect day looked like that I realized I was about to make a choice that would only serve me in the now and actually make it harder for me in the long run. The day I realized that, the day I made the harder decision. The next day I got the call that lead to the opportunity, that turned into a connection, that put me on a plane to France.
What I never realized is I put all of this into motion because as the BOLD Law states: "What you focus on expands."
Lesson: Stop using others as a buffer
I wanted to put that more eloquently, and yet I think it serves its purpose.
Since my trip to Oregon, I think I forgot the strength I have when alone, maybe it was because this time is was a foreign country and I was about to present to over 500 KW France agents... I'm not sure what it was, but I brought a buffer. When I say buffer I mean I brought a friend with me to help me feel not as "out of place". Remember, I told you I'm still learning that one. I think the thought of going to a foreign country alone for the first time since I was 18 frankly FREAKED ME OUT! So I brought a buffer.
About two days into the trip I realized that a buffer is the exact opposite of what I needed. It actually kept me from fully experiencing and growing. Growth happens out of your comfort zone right? I can't grow with someone right there beside me.
Because here's the thing, I'm what they call a DS on the DISC profile. I accommodate. I tend to slow down or speed up to match the pace of others so they don't feel out of place. I'm not talking about walking or running, I'm talking about matching comfort level. In this particular scenario, I kept pulling myself back to match a pace that wasn't actually mine. I didn't want to outshine or overstep. So I pulled back.
It wasn't until this trip that I realized just how important it is to surround yourself with powerful people who pull you upward instead of having you fall in line at a lesser pace.
Note to self: You're powerful alone, don't bring a buffer.