It was a wonderful night to celebrate Halloween with our kids and neighbors. This year I chose for the first time, to stay home after the neighborhood gathering and hand the treats to the neighborhood kids. I sat in our front yard with a glass of red wine, next to me glowed my first admirable carved pumpkin in the shape of a witch, and to allow myself to get into the spooky groooove I put some scary music in the background.
While sitting there watching the candlelight shading some dark shade on the witch I had carved the idea of Dare to Boo.
If you heard me speaking or read me, you have heard about my message of Dare to BE which is how do you dare yourself to be the person you want to be? How many times didn't we dare ourselves to be the person we want to be? And how many times we struggled with who is the person we want to be? Think about it, so many times that we scare ourselves, so many times that we let our thoughts become intense in such a way that we can hear the inner ghost whispering: "Boo!" This BOO is so clear that we don't even need to read the sign, this is the Boo, that makes us stop immediately.
I have to tell you that the more I explore dare to BE with clients the more I am fascinated with the paradoxes we hold in our life. So let’s get together on another messy spooky journey and explore another paradox I was holding for a long time without even noticing it…
A few years ago I asked people in my life to assess my leadership skills and how they see me as a leader, team member, friend and a coach. This assessment is called: 360 assessment. The reason why they call the assessment a 360 assessment is that you ask different people in your life to share their observations/experience with you (anonymously): your supervisor, your team, friends, clients, partners, and I even asked my daughter.
When I received the feedback I have noticed one word that repeated multiple times, that word was a big surprise to me, but it was there, repeated again and again: Courageous.
I am still amazed when I think about this feedback; Why was I so amazed? Maybe it is because every time we go to an amusement park with the kids I can’t even go on the little kids’ roller coaster (I did try an adult one, once, and hated the feeling so much that I wasn’t able to scream, it is not an excitement only pure nightmare), and maybe it is because I felt as I am living in fear for too long since our move to the US. There were so many things in my life that I didn’t refer as scary before our move, but in this new reality, many things that were so simple before became so challenging afterward. I can’t even tell you how many times these experiences made me freeze until I was able to move again. And maybe because of my obsession with fear? Having such a close relationship with fear for such a long time made me want to know everything I can about fear until I got to the point that my obsession became my best friend.
So how come that when you see yourself in one way, others see you differently? Well, sometimes we can be very good at hiding what we don't want others to know about us, we can master this skill so well that it feels as if it is part of our true self. And sometimes we are just not as conscious of how we are being, how we hold ourselves as we think.
So here is a cool nugget that showed up for me while I was sitting in our front yard and being inspired by young kids who are focused on negotiating the number of candies they can take out of our bowl. What I have learned is that I was so obsessed with understanding what is preventing me from doing what I want, I was obsessed with understanding what are my fears, and mainly my focus was on being upset with myself for not showing up to my full potential, I was upset that I was not giving myself the space to shine.
So, here is the paradox, while I was focusing on my fears and mastering everything related to why people and I included, don’t show up and serve their fears I lost a track of all the ways I was showing up courageously in many other areas in my life every day. Isn’t that amazing that my focus was 100% on the fear that made me miss all the areas that I did show up entirely and moved forward? I was so focused on what I am not doing or accomplishing; I was so focused on how sad it is that I don't show up, while other saw me at my best as a leader, while they saw the courageous leader within, I fed my researcher of fears.
In Paulo Coelho's book, the Alchemist, Santiago, the main character wants to make the pilgrimage to Mecca something every Muslim would like to achieve one time in their life, but he fears that once he’s made the trip, he will have nothing else to live for. Isn’t that astounding how Santiago’s thoughts are all focused on after the excitement rather than the probably once in a lifetime experience?
Back to Halloween and dare to BOO, where is your focus right now? Are you focusing on what the things you haven’t done on your list? Here is the thing, judging yourself, being upset about procrastinating or not showing up doesn’t create your impact in this world. If you want to create your impact, no matter if big or small, ask yourself what is possible If you changed your focus? What if you find that you already have what you were looking for?