After an amazing, heartfelt fireside chat by Arianna Huffington at the Dreamforce conference, I decided to finally take the time to reflect and express who I am from within instead of using my driven go getter character.
Arianna's chat revolved around captivating points about what happiness means to you... and it's not all about success. When those words come from one of the most influential people in the world, you listen.
Key Points I took Back
Arianna mentioned: "Choose happiness over being #1." Easier said than done. As for this brainstorming, this is how I looked at my life.
Let go of the need to play a role -- let go and be who you are. Not an easy task either for a lady who was running, alongside her father, sister and brother a third generation family business.
Who you are in your heart/your center is more important than anything else you are in the outside world. That point resonated with me. I tend to feel the way I think people perceive me and I am hard on myself, thinking I could always have done better. Better as a boss, as a business woman and as a mom of an 11 year old boy who is my pride and joy. As I get older, I realize that this pressure is actually coming from me, not others.
How I See My Inner Happiness Unfold
Aside from my ENTJ Myers Briggs preferences, my will to be the best or the fact that over the last 10 years I almost destroyed my creative side due to my overdrive and managerial style, I AM A PASSIONATE WOMAN who loves life, dreams big and gets excited at the thought of thinking outside the box. So putting aside the constraints that pop up in my head when I dream, here is who I wish to be at all times, in my personal and professional life.
I am most happy when I feel that fire in my heart and my belly. I am content when I am not anxious and feel balanced. I am not hard on myself all the time; I forgive myself.
I want to live in that peaceful, grateful inner space more often than not but how can I achieve that?
I understand stressful situations but I do not let them control me; I meditate most mornings and start off feeling balanced. I understand that to be happy starts with the way I feel inside, not the way I let outside events, people or false impressions affect my inner being.
I start being more creative and dare to go for it -- without thinking "what if I fail" but just doing through my being, my beliefs, my strengths, my passion and especially by trusting my intelligence and drive. I paint to develop my creative side, I create and I escape. I give myself the space to believe I can achieve whatever I want.
I am happy when I give myself the space and flexibility to live, to feel and to dream. My inner self is confident and I don't determine my self-worth by trying to guess what others think of me. I don't need every everyone's approval to believe and love who I am. It's about feeling balanced and worthy in my own eyes, not the whole community. I forgive myself if I try an fail. I express my thoughts without self-judgement.
My screensaver contains words that I want to live by. They come from Nelson Mandela: "I am the master of my faith and I am the captain of my soul". Truly, I do believe in my strengths, I graduated from an MBA a few months ago with some of the highest marks in the class. I know I can achieve if I just believe. So from within, I need to trust who I am, what I believe in and how I express my thoughts. Outwardly, I want to reflect who I am and how I feel inwardly.
Linking My Inner Happiness With the Outside World
About a year ago, I left the family business. I left because I felt the need to explore what made me tick. That business, as amazing as it was, wasn't it for me anymore. The timing was good as we were starting the succession planning process.
So here I am, more than a year later, equipped with an MBA and having recently worked as a BizDev Director for a hi-tech start up (short lived as it got bought out). I am currently working as a manager for a college in our nation's capital. I am still searching what it is I want to do. I love business and I need to feel like I can make a real difference. I feel I can do and become much more.
I often think of starting my own business and I actually built a business model for it. I would be a consultant working with companies to build their long-term business strategies or those needing help achieving consistent customer experiences. I believe this could be my longer-term business goal or maybe it is to become a director or a general manager again but in a different industry.
So here I am, wanting to accomplish greatness with my inner drive and beliefs but feeling trapped at this time because my work isn't fulfilling. I have an amazing husband and son and I want to continue growing as a businesswoman. I know I can. I just need the proper fit or the courage to start my own business.
If you are reading this and have some stories, insights questions or even some ideas of where you would go from here, please share.