by Pamela Burks
It's been a busy week! I'm in the final stages of my move. WOW! what a "wild ride" this move has been! One challenge after another! I'll share more about that later this week. I'm finally fully packed. My furniture is on its way and I'm meeting the cleaning team today to clean the house. To get to this point, I had to pack what I planned to keep and clear out "stuff" that I no longer wanted. That also meant revisiting past documents to determine what I need to keep and what I need to shread for permanent disposal. It's much like closing out the year for tax purposes...but MUCH bigger! And it involves a review of MUCH more than the last 12 months. Here's where the validation begins!
How I become a packrat of sorts!
I developed the habit of gathering, storing and maintain documentation from my corporate profession. As a result, I keep a LOT of files. For legal reasons some paper documents/documents with signatures must be kept for 7 years. I was at the 7 year mark for the documents from my prior businesses.
Evidence of my past successes
To scan and then permanently destroy documents is a s-l-o-w process! It involves reading, evaluating and making decisions about every piece of paper. That's when I found evidence that what I had developed in my mind about my past businesses was NOT true.
We create "stories" in our minds as a summary of our past experiences. Some stories we create about ourselves are not always true. The "story" I created about my past business was this summary: "dismal failure". That was based on
the expectation of what I wanted
in the time I wanted to achieve it
and the financial results that occured
during that timeframe I expected
My assessment of past documents showed that my business was growing! But I GAVE UP and QUIT on it! I didn't achieve the level of success I wanted in the timeframe I expected and I gave up, thinking I had failed. The REALITY is my business was growing, slowly, but it was growing! I was looking through the "lenses" of my expectation of financial growth and couldn't SEE my business ACTUAL growth! The timeframe I gave the business to grow was too short, and I quit! I went back to my corporate career and created the summary story of failure.
I wasn't looking for my actual success, I was looking for my expected success!
I've always said, it matters HOW you look at your challenges, EXPECTATIONS of your desired outcomes and the DECISIONS you make about your challenges. Looking back at my client contracts, the evidence of payments received and the customer surveys of satifaction for work that met and exceeded my clients expectation were overwhelmingly exciting to read! How could I have missed this 7 years ago!
The answer is I wasn't looking for my actual success, I was looking for the expected success! I missed looking through both sets of lenses. Have you ever done that? In professional and personal assessment, you need to evaluate how you are progressing and what you are actually achieving. We get so caught up with one that we forget the other. We make our assessmen then create the summary story and live with the summary whether it is correct or not!
Getting it straight
Reviewing the acccuracy of your "story" can reveal a truth overlooked or forgotten. That's what happened to me. After 7 years I now realize that my past business was NOT a "dismal failure" it was growing very slowly, too slowly for my needs or desires and the decision I made to move on was still a good one but would have been a better one if I had not closed the business, but instead continued to nurture my growing business while I worked my corporate job.
It's been an enlightening "walk down memory lane". With my documents now scanned or permanently destroyed, I now have a more accurate view of MY success, but it's too late for my past business. I've learned enough however, to move forward with more clarity on how to look at the present, plan for the future and move forward with my next goals.
If your "story" feels like a "dismal failure" maybe a more objective view - hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20 - is an option for you as well!
Next year is actually 2020. My focus for the entire year will be CLARITY. I can't let 2020 go by without getting 20/20 clarity for my steps forward personally and professionally.
In the months to come, as I unpack my furniture, clothing, dishes and my business, I will share with you blueprints, roadmaps, templates that show you how to take more control of your plans and actions so that your "story" will be evidence of achievement of your Optimal Outcome and how to "see" your progress so that you don't make the mistakes I made.
In 2020, I will bring to you opportunities to see your goals, plans and next steps with 20/20 CLARITY. No more actions from incorrect perspectives. Instead, your decisions have the clarity of clear perspective with a blueprint to achieve what you go after!
I'm excited about 2020 and 20/20 Clarity! When you receive your invitation, don't hesitate to join quickly, I may need to set a limit on the number of folks who can join at one time! If you want to save your spot early, reply with your name, email address and the words 20/20 Clarity.
I'll keep you posted on my move! You can start writing the "story" of what your optimal outcome will look like. I'll share a template for your story next time.
All my best....