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My Lessons Learned from Stepping Back

Today I thought it would be fitting to write a little bit about why I started my own business.

My Journey

I spent almost 20 years in the corporate world and had some amazing experiences and learned a LOT – about the world, business, myself, and what I most value in life.

Many of my best lessons have come from the more difficult experiences and people I have encountered, each of which have tried to teach me super important lessons I needed to learn – mostly around setting boundaries, standing in my own power, speaking my truth, and recognizing and honoring my needs to be as important as other people’s needs.

Over the past two years, I have stepped out of the busyness of my working life to stop and reflect, and really put into perspective what I needed to learn from all of my experiences to date so that I can consciously manifest more of the experiences I desire as I move forward.  And so I can show up in the ways in which I know I am meant to more often.

I have given myself the gift of time and stillness to really figure out what I want to do next and who I want to be and what I want to create in my life holistically, not just in my working life.

I have realized that when our work drains us more than it lifts us up (even when we are doing good work and making a good living), it is a sign that we are not in alignment with ourselves and our gifts and our purpose and we need to make a change, even if difficult to do and even if we are fearful of it, in order to live the life we are meant to live and to make the impact in the world that we are intended to make.

My Key Learnings

One of the best gifts from this journey is coming to the realization that I am enough, even though I am far from perfect (thank you Brene Brown!). I have spent my whole life trying to meet the expectations of others, which were sometimes reasonable and sometimes not, but almost always about them and their agendas or fears and rarely about me and my worthiness.

During this reflective time I have learned to listen to my inner voice and trust myself. I have learned to have compassion for myself. I have begun to learn how to love myself.

I have learned that it is possible to work in businesses and create businesses that have heart. We don’t have to choose between our heads and our hearts in business, we can use both together and that doesn’t make us weak or deficient. It makes us human and better humans at that. And that it is only by finding our own individual voices and the unique gifts that only we can bring to everything we do that we tap into our power and can really make a difference in the lives of others.

Discovering My Passions

Through this work and this reflection, I have discovered a passion for helping others find their voice and stand in their power amidst all of the criticism and negative feedback that we can often find in the world at large.

Today’s Tweetable: “You are good enough, just as you are, to reach for your dreams now, without waiting another day.” @HCCoker

I have discovered a passion for social enterprises – businesses that have heart, and joint profit and social motive.

I am passionate about living a balanced life, where work is only one aspect of my life and there is plenty of room for significant relationships, family, fun, and travel.  And I am passionate about encouraging others to also create their lives from a holistic and balanced perspective.

I have come to realize that my purpose is to use my 20 years of business experience to help others, who may or may not have a business background, create sustainable social enterprises that are profitable and make a difference in the world and in the lives of others.

From all of these influences, Wholehearted Business Consulting, LLC was born.

A Compassion Exercise

I believe that one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is the gift of greater self-compassion, so I am sharing with you today a Compassion Exercise that was recently shared with me.

This exercise is especially effective if you tend to be hard on yourself, or if you ever wonder why “other people have it easier” or “are able to figure things out more quickly than you can” or “what is wrong with you” or any other comparisons that you tend to make.

Go to a place where people congregate and sit in a location where you can observe others. Find one person to focus on. With attention on the person, repeat to yourself silently:

  • Just like me, this person is seeking some happiness in his/her life.
  • Just like me, this person is trying to avoid suffering in his/her life.
  • Just like me, this person has known sadness, loneliness and despair.
  • Just like me, this person is seeking to fulfill his/her needs.
  • Just like me, this person is learning about life.

Try it out (on as many people as you wish) and then come back and let me know in the comments what shifts you experience!  Would also love to hear about your experiences taking a step back to gain a broader perspective in your own life.

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