WHAT WERE THE CHALLENGES?
We all know that our goal as managers in the restoration field is to get stuff done, and we are working to find the best ways to manage effectively. Our lists are endless, we are always putting out fires and trying to find a balance between working IN the company versus working ON the company, but where does working on yourself fit in the mix? As the saying goes when you fly the friendly skies, “You must first put on your oxygen mask before you can help others.”
I am sharing some of the personal challenges that I face below. These challenges come first even before I get the next big job or goal to complete.
• Managing Ego. I constantly have to fight my pride and my ego can get in the way at times.
• Challenging my programming from childhood. There are behaviors, such as always wanting everyone to be happy, that I learned as a child. This can often prevent me from being a leader when confrontation is needed.
• Battling with not feeling good enough and lacking self-confidence. This causes me to avoid situations and be resentful of myself when things don’t go the way I want; especially when I knew I needed to do something but decided not to because I convinced myself I was not good enough.
• I struggle with not being organized. I lose things and forget stuff and then my ego and lack of self-confidence take over. I then beat myself up for looking “bad” in front of others.
• Working on building better communication skills. Sometimes when I get stressed or frustrated, I communicate in a manner that causes more problems.
HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES?
The first and biggest step for me is getting into the self-awareness seat: focusing on noticing the feelings that I am having when challenges arise that trigger me. This is when I take time to examine where the thoughts and beliefs from the past come from. This awareness is helpful to get my mind and true intentions in front of snap reactions or habits that cause me to not rise to my fullest. For a long time, I worked through life in a state of unawareness of these habits, beliefs, and reactions.
Here are some examples of how to use self-awareness to overcome personal challenges:
Every day I have to get up and examine and question which of my long-held beliefs still serve me and are they working for or against the life I want to live. Beliefs like it’s bad to be scared or I am shellfish for having ideas and desires that other people may not agree with if I share them.
A powerful resource is having the humility to admit that you need help and support and seeking out counselors and coaches. Their objective viewpoint and ability to help you examine how you’re getting in the way of yourself and point out patterns that are causing pain and that are keeping you from being your best. This is a great way to fast-track self-improvement and help you overcome your challenges in healthy ways.
Self-awareness allows us to step back and be in the moment. This is like getting your conscious thoughts into the driver’s seat rather than your unconscious reactions that don’t represent who you really are and want to be.
WHAT LESSONS DID YOU LEARN THAT COULD BE APPLIED TO FUTURE PROJECTS?
The list of lessons is long; most have been learned through a lot of failures and the gift of shared knowledge from friends and mentors.
• The world is always going to beat you up.
• I am my own biggest enemy and beat myself up even worse than the rest of the world.
• We all make mistakes and that’s ok. What really matters it’s how we deal with them that counts.
• You always need to push yourself to be your best even though it’s the hardest thing you will EVER do.
• Don’t compare how you feel inside to how others show up on the outside.
• Being open and honest with yourself and others always turns out for the best.
• Don’t treat people who truly want to help you like enemies, even though they are pointing out your failures and that hurts sometimes.
• And #1: Sticking to my guns and who I truly keep me in my own personal integrity. When I do this and not let other people’s ideas and opinions of me force me to do things that make me miserable.
In conclusion, there will always be new horizons and personal challenges that will come along in life. The continual process of evaluating what your personal truths and beliefs are is the most important thing you can do. Do these still serve me to help me reach my highest potential? What needs to be started, stopped and what should I keep on doing? If you can truly look into these areas of your life and improve yourself, you will be ready to take on the next big project in life – wherever it may come from.