Importance of Reflection

Reflection. Retrospect. As someone whose life motto is GSD – “Get sh*t done,” these words and practices are things that I forget to do as often as I should.

Have you considered the concept of a personal board to help guide you professionally or personally?  Perhaps it’s a mentor or coach. Whatever the case may be, it’s someone you can call for wisdom or advice, and in return, he/she can say the things that you need to hear.  Even if their words aren’t what you want to hear, having this truth spoken into your life is critical for your growth, personally and professionally.  

I was walking through some life transitions recently and had a check in with my business coach.  She specifically asked me if I had taken the time to retrospect on my last season of work.  This exercise allowed me to pause and be present in what had been accomplished and gave clarity to what I wanted to do moving forward.  

You might wonder why all this talk about reflection and retrospect.  Well friends, I’m turning forty this month, and this seemed like as good a time as any to exercise these muscles in my personal and professional life.  As I look to what the future holds, I want to be sure to hold space and gratitude for what these first forty years have brought.  There have been seasons for everything: laughter, tears, joy, heartache, growth, regression, but whatever life has thrown at me, I’ve learned that it’s important to BE.  We live in a world that is constantly looking to DO the next thing, but we forget to reflect and also tend to forget to BE in the moment.

I was recently interviewed for a magazine article, and the reporter asked me what three character traits were needed to be successful.  This gave me a great moment to reflect, and throughout this month, I’ll share with you those three most instrumental character traits in my journey.  

  1. Be your true authentic self.  Regardless of how uncomfortable the situation is, I’m still going to be myself, and I’m going to get the job done.  I don’t conform to stereotypes or preconceived notions about how women should or should not behave in a corporate atmosphere.  I am unapologetically myself!
  2. Humility–know that you are not the smartest person in the room.  As a program manager specialist, I’m often leading large teams as we execute corporate wide initiatives.  The size and scale of these projects means that I have learned to rely on the specialists and experts in each and every department impacted.  Having confidence and humility in roles like this are keys to success.  
  3. Perseverance–knowing that this journey will not be easy, but we can turn the negatives into positives.  My career has afforded me lots of experiences in the area of perseverance, whether it’s returning from maternity leave to a new role or being given an impossible audit deliverable that had to be completed in less than six weeks over three major holidays.  In each of these cases, I was successful. More importantly, the lessons I learned were invaluable, and my perseverance muscle grew that much stronger.