Two years ago, I was crying at the beginning of December because it was time to write my Christmas newsletter and I couldn't find it in me to do. Try as I might, I couldn't get into it. I was already feeling the Christmas Blues start to wash over me, that just made it 10 times worse.
Have you felt you've been "failing" at Christmas? Keep reading to switch that feeling up fast!
Have you felt you've been "failing" at Christmas?
The year before I'd sent out my letter during the week after Christmas. I didn't want to do that again. I was feeling like I was "failing at Christmas." Maybe you've felt you've been failing at Christmas too!
When I feel that sense of failure or inadequacy hit me, I turn to self-reflection. What the heck is going on Kathy?
This is how I deal with the "ugh" feelings
I did what I always do when I'm struggling and can't find a way out. I journaled about it. Not just once, but for several days. After some deep soul searching, I finally gave myself permission to stop writing a Christmas letter. What a relief!
That decision took a huge weight off of my shoulders! Following that, I made a few other decisions:
It took away my Christmas blues!
Since that first decision and subsequent others, I've found that Christmas feels less heavy, in fact, maybe not heavy at all...perhaps even joyous!
I don't know if you can read between the lines, or perhaps are seeing some parallels in your life, but more than finding "the meaning of Christmas" I found my values.
I was wrong about my top value
I used to think family was my top value. It's not.
So what has?
Values are not just words...they have meaning
Let me back up a minute and tell you about values. We often think of values as words. I value my family. Honesty is important to me. I place a high value on security, respect, fun etc. The list goes on. But what do those words MEAN to you?
An example of how you might define your values
Let's look at security for a minute:
Can you explain what your values mean to you?
You must define what your value means to you. That means understanding how your values show up in your life. You need to know when you are aligned or not aligned with your values. Then, you also need to know what will get you back into alignment. Because see, it's when you are not aligned with your values that you feel crappy.
Back to my story!
My top value:
As I've explored my values over the last few years, I've come to realize that my top value is not family as I indicated earlier, although I was sure it was! Instead, my top value is excellence.
Here's the thing, when I was trying to "do it all" I was excelling at nothing! My physical health deteriorated almost as quickly as did my mental health. I was short with people because of the pressures I placed on myself. However, when I cleared the clutter of everything I was doing, I could focus on being my best; as a mom, wife, daughter and in my work for you and in my service in my community. The ugh is gone, because I am now aligned with my value of excellence!
What this means for you
As you finish this year off and begin 2019, I encourage you to do the work of exploring your values. Not 3 words on a paper, but paragraphs and bullet points and lists. This exploration needs to include feelings and body sensations. When do you know that you are out of alignment with your values and what actions or in inactions will bring you back?
I don't have time to tell you how this corresponds to your leadership, but let me tell you the brief version: HUGELY! More on that in the New Year!
When you do this work, you'll spend more of your life living from your values and more of your life feeling the inner peace and joy from knowing you are honouring what is truly important to you!
I'll be writing 2 or 3 meaningful letters to meaningful individuals in my life after Christmas...that feels excellent to me!
Have a very Merry Christmas my dear! I hope you find time for yourself to be your best!
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.