If you follow me on Facebook, you might be aware I spent the past week in St Lucia on a retreat. It was not a vacation, as I didn’t spend any time at the beach, go snorkelling, or doing other tourist-like things. This retreat was work I was doing for myself to find something I knew I needed.
I’ve heard several times now how lucky I was to go to St Lucia last week. Given the definition of luck is: “success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one’s own actions”, I can assure you there is no luck associated with me being in St Lucia. I have worked very hard on my own crap the past few years, and the result of it is the extreme freedom I now savour in my life. So being there last week, is not luck, it was a choice.
Now, if you happened to be one of the people who said I’m lucky, don’t worry as this post is not about you. I assume you’re just poking fun, or perhaps you wish you could be there too as it indeed is beautiful.
This post is about my patterns and behaviours as a result of those comments. Not long ago, I would have let those friendly jabs and comments guide my actions. I would have been so concerned about my image, and worried others would judge me for taking such a trip. I would have been worried people would look down on me, so I couldn’t possibly go on such a retreat.
In my working life, I show up and work with people who are doing the work they need to do to go after a more expansive version of their life. I coach them, mentor them, and help them see how they’re getting in their own way. Sometimes I champion them, other times I challenge them, I always love them. It is difficult to describe in so few words the experience of having an impact on someone’s life as I’ve witnessed.
Lately, though, there’s been a blocker in front of me. I knew there’s an even bigger impact I could have and frankly it was scaring me. It seems like no coincidence I’ve been talking about fear and acceptance recently, as without even knowing it I was pushing up against something big.
In hindsight, this retreat was exactly what I needed right now in my life. It is because of this retreat I was able to see what was blocking me. I now see I was not taking credit for the impact I know I have in a room, and that was causing me to hold myself back and shrink away from things.
I see my impact through the way in which I lovingly and courageously support a person’s growth. I also know I’ve inspired numerous people by merely doing what I do best; showing up fully and authentically as me. Whatever the impact though, I just know I’ve got this.
Imagine for a moment if I didn’t choose to be here this week. It’s possible the blocker would be firmly in place for a long time to come, and I would still be playing a smaller game, and not having the full impact I am able to have. Instead, it’s out of the way and I know I’m heading to something even more significant in this world. It’s time to turn up the dial!
So, once again I’ve proven how I need to stop making up stories about what other people say about me. My being in St Lucia last week is not lucky; it’s a choice for the sake of freedom and the impact I can have in the world.
Thought of the week
There was a time; I too would have told someone they were lucky to be on such a trip. When you think of my story, I hope you can see the unintended impact such words can have. There was a time they would have stopped me, and thankfully that’s no longer true. So, please be careful where you place your words, as you never know the type of impact you will have.
Think of the places in your life you hold yourself back out of fear of what others might think of you. That’s called playing small, and I’m somewhat of an expert at that game. Playing small does not serve in my life, and it certainly does not serve in your life either.
It’s time to get up, get dressed and show up as the biggest version of yourself. The world is waiting, so please hurry. You never know where you might find yourself one day.
Great point Mike. Thank you for articulating this so well.