I was recently considering the idiom, “It’s time to face the music.” Some say the term references a military ritual of being “drummed-out” as a consequence of one’s behaviors or actions. It seems an appropriate term for taking stock of my own personal development, a ritualistic drumming-out and retiring of the old me, as a way to make room for the ideal me to emerge. I rather like the symbolism...rat-a-tat-tat…of facing up to the consequences of my actions.
Richard Boyatzis, a renowned Emotional Intelligence researcher, outlined a process that is at the crux of leadership development that he calls self-directed learning. Boyatzis answers the question, what is self-directed learning with the following definition. “Self-directed learning is intentionally developing or strengthening an aspect of who you are or who you want to be, or both. This is the basis I use for a powerful model of Individual Development Planning (IDP). The first step in successful adult learning, according to Boyatzis, is for individuals to have a strong image of their ideal self - and managers beware, it’s not about the ideal self you want for the individual, but rather who the individual sees as his or her best possible self.
What I know for sure about my ideal-self is that she’s congruent with her values. I began working on my own plan recently, and this need to create a plan grew out of a sense of disconnection to my ideal-self. I “faced-the-music” and realized that there was an aspect of myself where I felt incongruent. The tension that was created between my real-self and my higher-self became too much to bear. Once I gained clarity and a sense of urgency, I put together a personal development plan that would close the gap.
I have been working consistently on this plan in various ways for the past two months. While I don’t have a formal Individual Development Plan, I do have a documented set of activities that I am engaging in every day. Like anyone who has an IDP that is a living document, there is a price to pay. The cost associated with making this shift in my life: time, tolerating discomfort, self-examination, letting go of pride, being extremely intentional, consistent study and reading, and extreme vulnerability.
What am I gaining? I feel more rooted and connected to myself. I am deeply aware of standing strong but with my heart wide-open. I am more optimistic about the future. I’m paying attention and seeing my patterns of behavior, but not from a place of judgment, rather from a place of love and compassion for myself. I’m making more of my choices consciously; deciding what works and what doesn’t based on who I want to be.
The soul searching that is necessary to identify ideal-self - taking stock of who I am today and deciding what I am willing to do in pursuit of being the best version of myself - is not for the faint of heart. I feel challenged every day. I cringe some days when the alarm goes off because in those moments I want more sleep and less study, more unconscious time vs. self-reflection. It may not be easy, but it is deeply satisfying. I feel liberated, as I pursue the freedom to be more of me.
If you like this blog, I think you will like my book The Cycle of Transformation. Available now!
Deb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.
Deb Siverson is passionate about helping organizations drive results through connected and transparent conversations in the workplace. She is the author of the book, "The Cycle of Transformation: igniting organizational change through the leader coach." Deb's expertise includes organizational performance consulting, design and delivery of leadership development programs, customized team development, and individual and systems coaching. Deb holds a BS in Business from Regis University and an MS in Organizational Leadership from University of Colorado-Boulder. She serves on the board of the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce.View All Articles
Topics from this blog: Leadership Development ,BACK