2022 Reflection and Lessons Learned

I began 2022 with a fully thought-out plan for the year to come.  Keeping it 100, I began carrying out my plan in October 2021 because the manager in me likes to plan my moves in quarters.  My goal was simple: To create a space where I could be emotionally and physically present for my kids, financially stable, and content in my career.  The notion was that if I can create that space then I will finally be content, bringing balance to my life.  Contentment and balance are two emotional states that I have never felt.  I imagined sleeping through the night, smiling more often, and attending my kids’ extracurricular activities without it competing with my 9-5.  As a single mother, the option to tag team emotional and tangible parenting responsibilities isn’t present.  Operating in this space for over 2 decades it became apparent to me that I needed to begin making some risky decisions that would position me in a place of balance – Even if those closest to me thought my choices were too risky or reactionary.

Well, 2022 began with the reality check that I don’t control a damn thing in my life!  My household had COVID and we needed to recover.  The month of February held an incident that caused a major rift in my family.  Granted, we were already in a tough season, but that incident felt like (and still feels like) the road to reconciliation is going to be a longer journey than I had hoped for.  Plus, I was still recovering from a different heartbreak – Truth is, I’m still recovering from it but with my chin held up high.  Surprisingly, it cut me deeper than I expected, and I had to figure out how to deal with the gaping hole that it left.  The year ended with more family drama that just added miles to our reconciliation journey.  When it comes to relationships 2022 was an extremely difficult year.  I’m grateful for the people that God has placed in my life that knew exactly when to check-in on me.  You know, those friends that know when to give you space but if you drift too far, they always send the raft to bring you back to shore.

So many of my clients share the difficulty they have maintaining their careers while life is kicking their butts in the background.  Their roles require them to show up poised and ready to lead no matter what.  Our sessions often begin with setting career goals but lead to a discussion about internal and external distractions and guess what?  Most of the time, the distraction is caused by a strained relationship.  This is why my coaching focuses on 3 pillars:  Relationship with self, others, and your purpose.  Although it would be acceptable for me to add to the idea that as a coach, I have it all figured out, I won’t.  My truth is that I am human.  Life kicks me in the butt too and relationships affect me too.  What I do have as a coach is the tools to get to the other side and stay afloat and because of my own experiences and seeing the outcome of sharing with others, I know that my tools are effective.

How did I deal?  Well, God has this amazing way that He works in my life.  He has graced me with the ability to see His goodness even amid pain.  He kept showing up in ways that only I knew meant that He was seeing me through.

My coaching clients were the best.  They had no idea how they blessed me during our sessions.  With each of them they would say or teach me something that I needed right in that moment.  My business grew but not in the way that I drew out in my master plan.  I was blessed with an opportunity to return to a 9-5 while keeping my business open.  None of this was in my plan so I had to make changes in my service delivery and quickly.

There was one relationship that had been paining me for over 10 years that was redefined and restored.  That brought healing to my heart because it was a long time coming.  There was so much trauma attached to that tumultuous relationship, but the time came where we both had to take accountability and say, “this ends now.”

So, what were my takeaways from 2022?

  • Leading and Lifin’ is normal – Be kind to yourself. You are still an effective leader even when you are feeling vulnerable, disappointed or hurt.  I know, you can’t break down into a pile of sadness in front of your team, but you can use the tools to get you through the moments: Take a vacation, use a sick day, reschedule a meeting, seek therapy, hire a life coach, journal, etc… Not only are you a leader for others, but you are also a leader for yourself.
  • I’m not and don’t need to be the Master Planner – This year didn’t go as planned but all the goals that I prayed about came to fruition. All of them.  The same is true for previous years.  So, I didn’t need to map out this intricate plan rooted in perfectionism and overcompensation.  Instead, I needed to set the goals, do the work to get it done, and trust that the outcome will be even better than I expected.  Why?  Because I’m gifted and talented enough to make it happen. Just do and expect great things.  I can’t even begin to count the unnecessary sleepless nights of worry or overextending myself to meet a moving target that I had subconsciously set for myself.  No more of that in 2023 – Boss Lady Balance is what I’m striving for!
  • I don’t get to dictate what someone else’s response to conflict looks like – As a leader, my job is do my part to share a concern with truth and kindness and be a good steward of the other persons response.  Sometimes we have a tendency to require someone to meet our timeline or use our approach. Some may even become insulted when someone chooses a response that doesn’t align with what they had hoped.  I’ve learned that I must allow people to do things their way.  The leader sets the tone in ensuring that the tools and training are given, and a safe space is set appropriately.  In my personal life, if there is someone that I’d want to remain in my life, when they are ready, I am here, and the door is open.  I know – I make it sound so easy.  I believe it’s easier to deploy in a professional conflict versus a personal one. I’m still growing in this area, but I’m committed to it and looking forward to January 2024 when I can share some experiences and my growth.

So, this year, I didn’t develop one of my intricate plans for each quarter of the year. Truth is that I have the same goals that I mentioned for 2022. I plan to write more posts this year to connect with my clients and new followers. It’s only the 8th day of the new year and I’ve already been presented with some wonderful opportunities.  More than ever, God continues to show me that He’s got me and I’m the apple of His eye.  So, I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts to carry with you into 2023:

  • Take the time to heal. Really heal. Not this thing where we acknowledge that its needed but don’t do anything about it.  Listen, we all need it.  Do the work or will bleed into your leadership interactions and decisions.
  • When you make a poor decision as a leader, be transparent about it and bring the solution.  Your team will appreciate the transparency.  They don’t expect you to be perfect, but they do expect self-accountability.  Any good leader has this in their back pocket.  If you offend someone then apologize. You aren’t responsible for their healing/response but trust me when I tell you, it matters and can potentially liberate them while they embark on their own professional development.
  • If your team wants to show appreciation towards you, let them.  Find a way to communicate how valuable your team is to you too!
  • You’re not in anything alone. Find your people (a mentor at work, coach, friend, etc…) that will send you the life raft when you drift away.
  • Set your goals but chill out.  It will happen and the timing will always be perfect.  Your plan should be reasonable with room for course correction. Don’t use it a punitive tool to measure what didn’t get done.

Can I just let ya’ll know one more thing?! I’m so proud of me and the woman that I have become.  Truly, I am almost unrecognizable from who I used to be.  I’ve been blessed to create a space for my life where I get to choose what is best for me.  Angie’s Suite, the work we have done and planning this upcoming year is a true reflection of my heart. I don’t take my journey for granted and I’m grateful that I have been able to take a new breath each morning with another chance to become a better version of me. I have so much more to learn but I truly embrace the authentic me that has sprung forth. I will keep evolving but my core values will remain intact.

Whoever is reading this, know that I see you and it’s not by accident that you’ve been led here.  Until next time, continue to inspire, relate, and create. Welcome 2023!

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