Did you manage to catch the first part of Louise’s Breakthrough Experience yesterday? It was a powerful story of how she is learning to open up not only to others but also to her own potential and find more meaning and passion in her life. Check it out here in case you missed it – it’s a powerful reminder as to why steadily moving forward is better than darting ahead too early out of the blocks to achieve our goals in life…
Today Louise expands on how she is learning something many of us find challenging to appreciate ourselves! Appreciation is such a vital practice that enables us to see and take advantage of the opportunities we have in our lives, so be sure to take 5 minutes to answer the questions below – I’d love to hear your thoughts and perhaps share my own too…
“I must say if someone met me a few years ago when I first started being mentored, I would have seemed quite different to now. I had just moved to a new country and thrown myself into a very challenging and overwhelming work situation after suffering from low self-esteem for some time. I was at a complete loss as how to deal with my own sensitivity.
Learning to Appreciate Myself
I remember how Chris talked with me about where I was, my view of myself and my life as a whole and how my ability to appreciate was so weakened. I still remember how he sat with me kindly, gently, firmly and slowly explaining things – giving me space and little nudges until I was able to articulate some things I genuinely appreciated about myself. I became aware of how this felt so uncomfortable to me, something that ‘ought’ to be natural, but wasn’t… So much negative thought and emotion had built up unconsciously around my perception of myself and what I should be doing… Afterwards, I felt incredible gratitude as I felt the care that went into this and for me as a person.
The Way Forward
Now, as I am breaking through to new levels in my life I can see more interconnectedness and possibilities… I can appreciate how slowly and steadily I have been able to understand myself and others better. It’s been really precious to be able to make a meaningful difference in someone else’s life too… If I can play a role helping others start to believe in their dreams… and that they can make a difference in the lives of others, then that would be just phenomenal! I know now the type of work I want to do and why (the values behind it), although I’m still working on the hows and specifics. I realise that where I am now is one of the most exciting periods of my life – where I can really work on myself, reflect, discover, appreciate… For a while all I wanted to do was jump ahead to the ‘finish line’ and have everything figured out. I feel increasingly at ease with the idea that things may take a bit longer and will challenge me more at times.
Also… I’m feeling a rising peaceful driving force within. Thank you to Chris and everyone at Lighthouse International for their care, guidance and commitment that continues to be invaluable.”
Appreciation – Finding the Diamonds in the Rough
By Chris Nash, Director & Senior Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International
Without a doubt the greatest insights and breakthroughs come for both me and those I work with when we have started to truly appreciate the challenging person (often ourselves!) or situation we are confronted with. Now please remember that to appreciate doesn’t necessarily mean that it feels all nice and warm, fuzzy and dreamy….!!
To appreciate means to find the value in something, to search for it…
Especially in challenging experiences, there is a treasure trove of opportunity for us to not only learn about our personal gaps in relation to the challenge and how best to deal with it, but also about the person or situation we are dealing with.
Value creators throughout the world (like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey etc.) know how to appreciate, they know how to see the diamond in the rough, to find the seed of opportunity among the most challenging problem. Indeed those whom we hold in highest regard in this world in life and business are Master Appreciators.
So here you go with something practical to get you started…
1. What are the 5 things that you are most resisting about your life right now?
(Let’s take not having enough money for example – or perhaps it could be your boss’ attitude, or wishing you were better than you are at something)
2. What 3 things are there to appreciate about where you are with each one of them? Where is the value?
(One could be, “there is an opportunity here for me to learn to be more resourceful so that I can earn more money more easily without being dependent on my job”)
3. What are the 5 things that you are most enjoying about your life right now?
(“My partner, my kids” – or perhaps things like your health etc.)
4. What 3 things are there to appreciate about where you are with each of these? How can you value each of them even more?!
(“My partner is very caring and really does her best to help me when I’m struggling – I’m very fortunate to have someone like that in my life.”)
Image courtesy of Nerissa’s ring @ Flikr