These key lessons are a continuation of the post titled ‘Ten Key Lessons from Ten Years in Business | Lessons 1-5.’ Because there are ten key lessons, I split them into two posts to make them more manageable to read.
6. Own your voice
When I started UnglueYou® and coaching with collage, I felt like a voice in the wilderness. Creative coaching was rare, and when I described my work, most people thought it was a vision board. As a result, for years it was challenging to be heard. It didn’t help that I lacked the confidence to speak with authority about the Collage Coaching Technique™ (which at the time was nameless). While my core message remained unchanged, I diluted my voice to ensure people couldn’t disagree with my view. When I owned my voice and wrote – without apology – what I know to be true about the Collage Coaching Technique™ it was incredibly freeing and empowering. Significantly, in doing this, I found my voice resonates more with like-minded individuals, and it has been wonderful connecting with you.
7. Embrace all of your knowledge
This powerful lesson was learnt through the collaging process that drew my attention to the range of knowledge we have available at any given time. But accessing it involves accepting that your emotions, body, intuition, unconscious and spirituality are as valid a source of information as mental cognition. With our diverse ways of internalising and storing knowledge, I fail to understand why we emphasise mental cognition above all else. I believe we do this to our detriment. The lesson here is simple. I passionately believe that tuning in and expanding awareness of your knowledge acquisition increases your ability to draw on these sources of information.
8. Practice unlearning
I use the phrase unlearning because it recognises that biases, ways of seeing and experiencing and certain behaviours are learnt. Effectively, how we think about ourselves and other people is taught and influenced by society and those around us. Ask yourself this:
- What behaviours and/or thoughts don’t feel right or serve you well?
- Which of these did you learn? (including unconsciously).
- What was spoken about you that you internalised as your truth?
Review these, seeing whether there’s scope for you to unlearn something to enable you to move towards your goals and intentions more effectively. When I consider my personal development journey, I can see how unlearning has played a vital role in my transformation. My money story is a good example. Whenever your focus is entirely on learning, consider if there are also opportunities to benefit from ‘unlearning.’
9. Be happy now
Essentially, I’m a ‘doer’, ‘unlearning’ busyness and embracing the joy of stillness. I’m pleased with how much I’ve changed while maintaining my energetic drive to continue reaching people and offer more services. But there was a time when this drive dominated my perspective as I focused entirely on what next for UnglueYou®. In this headspace, I lost sight of my achievements and forgot to celebrate as I forged forward. Instead, my frustration and disappointment at not being where I wanted to be with the business caused deep dissatisfaction and a sense of unhappiness.
When I recognised what was happening, I heard a voice say, “If you’re not happy now, you’ll never be, because there’ll always be something else you want to do with UnglueYou®.” As a woman of faith, I believe it was God’s wisdom gently pointing out an obvious truth, enabling me to shift perspective. So now, I remember that while we still develop and grow, me and UnglueYou® are great just as we are. If this resonates, perhaps those words are also meant for you.
10. Remember to reflect
Since I was introduced to reflective practice 17 years ago, I’ve loved the process of taking the time to review and explore my feelings and behaviour. It’s a valuable tool to help my personal and professional development, raising self-awareness in every area of my life. My favourite ways to reflect are, of course, collage, but also journalling. Both allow for exploration and expression with a tangible outcome to review in the future. Furthermore, in my opinion, when combined (i.e., journalling about your collage), this is the optimum reflective process. When I consider the lessons from 1-9, the common thread is my reflective practice. Undoubtedly, it enables self-awareness that improves my decision-making and behavioural responses. For that reason, if you’re choosing one lesson to try, I’d recommend this one.
You’ve now finished reading all of my ten key lessons. You can always return to 1-5 for a reminder.