Happy February 1st!
Are you excited to embark on the second month of 2021, fresh faced and bright eyed?! This weekend I wrote out February goals and revisited my 2021 kick-off. After making changes to my vision board, I’ve found there a benefit to make a digital one!
What are some of the things you are most looking forward to in February? My top 4 are:
- Heart Health Awareness Month
- The lunar new year
- Valentine’s Day
- Ash Wednesday: The beginning of Lent
Originally planning on writing about something different, this post is instead inspired by a conversation with a good friend this past weekend. So thankful to have her in my life for many reasons! We are similar in disposition – goal setting, mostly confident, high achieving women. Our conversations are fluid and we can respectfully disagree while opening our minds and exploring topics.
The story of how we met is rather funny. She loves to exaggerate it more and more each time she tells it. Here is my version:
Our company had gone through a small reorganization, prompting my department to host a global meeting in Amsterdam. While my department would be there all week, her department was simply consulting for an afternoon. Therefore, she was flying from the United States to the Netherlands and back in two days. (I promise this is the non-exaggerated version!)
Because of the changes my department was experiencing, her department was presenting on the principles of change management and continuous improvement. Toward the end of her presentation, she prompted for questions, to which I raised my hand. When she called me, I stood up, introduced myself (probably made a joke) and then said something, “You’ve presented to us all the things we should NOT do, but could you give us some guidelines on what we SHOULD do?” (<– this is the part she loves to exaggerate, every time it makes me laugh.)
Afterward, we had the opportunity to sit next to one another at dinner. It was this point she called me out on my question. This interaction allowed a strong foundation for an honest friendship. We make a great team whenever we work together too! There is something so refreshing about the relationships in which you can truly be your self. We have provided one another a listening ear, tough love (we call it as we see it), support, advice and perspective and most importantly lots of laughter.
This story time brings us to today’s topic: Self Awareness.
Hello, It’s Me.
My question that day, in beautiful Holland, was intended to focus forward and discuss the positive. However it came across as a critique of the presentation. The setting and tone I used asking it (especially with my east coast accent) calls for a face palm emoji!
Thankfully my (now) dear friend was the only one in the room who did not yet know me. The other folks in the room knew me well enough to understand where the root of the question and were genuinely interested in knowing the answer (even seconding the question). Even though others were interested, I used this experience and her feedback to check myself and reflect on:
- How could I have rephrased the question?
- Was it the right time or even forum to ask the question?
- Could I have turned my more neutral accent on to ensure the sound of my voice didn’t come out like a prissy mean girl? (okay this might be a bit too harsh on myself but I do realize that is how it sounds to people that didn’t grow up near me)
Self-Awareness > Self-Love
Over the years of studying spiritual topics, faith, new-age philosophies and modern thinking, the topic “self-love” is tossed around as almost a solution to every problem. In this particular case, I could have easily told myself, ‘It’s okay rose you did your best and its okay.’ If I had brushed this off and simply given myself a hug, I would missed a huge opportunity for self-awareness and improvement.
Loving yourself is super important but first, KNOWING yourself should be the higher priority. Really being able to look in the mirror and KNOW who is looking back in topics such as core values, typical behaviors, motives. Those HEART type topics that can sometimes be glossed over or easily distracted from if we simply ‘love’ ourselves in our current state.
True self-love only comes about when we face the uncomfortable parts of ourselves and work toward the person we really want to become. Each time we make a better choice we empower ourselves! What you don’t like about yourself you don’t have to accept. You CAN change. One small day, habit, choice at a time.
In addition to planning for the following month, I typically take the time to look back over the previous month and see where I grew as a person. Honestly asking myself, ‘How did I do this month, really?” Hard as it sometimes can be, the long term result of self improvement creates stability and conviction for the foundation of a healthy and deep love for self.
One small step
Today, I urge you, to take one small step toward a character trait you are wanting to build or change you are hoping to make. Maybe it is:
- Eating more vegetables
- Journaling your thoughts before bed
- Pausing a second more before speaking
- Learning new technology
- Exercising one more time a week
- Cleaning out a closet
Would love to hear both the things you are looking forward to in February AND, if you want to share the one step you will make toward self improvement this month! Please comment below