This post is not about B2B marketing, brand, content, data, or digital. This is just about me, being authentic with you. Because that’s my brand, after all. And I’d like for you to know me. And my journey toward embracing grace.
While I was still working as a corporate marketing leader, earlier this year, a younger female colleague approached me with a sincere question: “What are your big personal goals this year? What is driving you?”
This colleague reminded me so much of myself, ten years ago. She had earned a senior role in the business through her intelligence, commitment, work ethic, grit, and solid interpersonal relationships. She worked hard, she played hard, and failure was never going to be an option for this gal. She was an absolute go-getter in life and business. And she was looking to me for wisdom and inspiration.
I’ve never had a problem being a goal-setter. I’ve always dreamed big, and worked hard pursuing my plans. And more often than not, I’ve been successful. Successful, but perpetually unsatisfied. I’ve been upping the bar on my goals year-over-year, usually focused in the area of my career, as this has been the place where my talents and passions are most naturally applied, and where outcomes are most readily measured. A few years back, I developed a professional bucket list, outlining all the role advancements and career milestones that I was committed to achieving before I retire, and then I got to work, making my dreams a reality.
But my greatest area of growth in recent years can not be measured in achievement, but in attitude. There was a time, not long ago, when I fought hard against disruptions to my plan. Any obstacle was considered something to be overcome. I wasn’t going to let myself down.
But life has a way of teaching us, if we are willing to learn. Despite our best laid plans, life interrupts. Things change. Relationships evolve. Businesses pivot. Children grow. Responsibilities increase. Priorities shift. And sometimes, the plans and goals we laid out no longer fit the lives we’re in, or the lives we want for our future. Sometimes (often) those obstacles are opportunities in disguise. They give us a reason, a moment, to re-evaluate, to re-align, even to completely renovate.
I no longer want to fight against obstacles. I want to embrace them. Leverage them. Learn from them. Be inspired and redirected by them. I want to give myself the grace to reshape my goals, however and wherever needed, so that I can be my best self, and achieve my truest potential. I’m not going to stop making plans and setting big goals, but I’m going to be open to adjusting along the way, appreciating what each experience teaches me, and soaking up the joy of the journey.
My answer to my younger colleague was simply: “My goal this year is to give myself grace.” I hope you can give yourself that gift, too.