I was speaking to my coach yesterday about the work that I do, planning out what the next period of time looks for me in my role developing people in Local Government.
As I was speaking to her, I could see how I have developed incredibly over the last two years of working with her – growing more in my ability to use my intuition and emotions to guide me and reading what my body is telling me to inform my actions.
An example of this is when I feel a knot in my throat when I’m talking to someone. This often happens when I am disagreeing with them. Knowing that this knot means something, I have increasingly started to use this information to explore what actions I need to take.
Is it that I need to surface my thinking more?
Is it a sign that I know the person isn’t going to be receptive to my thoughts and I need to take a different approach?
Is there something else my body is telling me about how I need to go about my work?
But when we met yesterday we spoke about my brain and how I can better use my intellect to make progress in my role. We spent 90 minutes looking at what data and information I need to look at, what research I need to do, what facts I need to have clarity on in order to decide my best course of action.
It was hard work – after the time, I felt like I’d had a massive brain workout. It was hard to do, not because I’m lacking in this area but because I haven’t done a lot of this of late.
I’ve got such a lot of emotional and physical awareness but I have less experience looking at what my intellect is telling me. I’ve been less diligent in analysing the facts and gaining expertise doing that.
And she said to me something which resonated so strongly and is continuing to resound in my brain and this is it –
The next years ahead of you are less about responding to what other people tell you to do, being brilliant at answering their questions. This is about setting your own exam question and answering that.
And as she told me that, I got it.
I can see that for so long I have been brilliant at responding to the question other people set me – you tell me to do something, and I will do it well.
But I haven’t gone further than that very often.
But I know how to do this as I’ve set my own exam question with my emotions and my reading of how I am through physical wisdom.
I’ve not being willing to confine myself to what I’m told a woman is meant to be, what a mother is meant to be, what a daughter is meant to be.
Instead of that I have set my own exam question.
II’ve challenged and gone beyond the structures to create my own sense of self.
I am me.
I am angry and wild and gentle and loving and impatient and expansive.
I don’t confine myself to what other people say I should be, because I have set my own exam question.
But I have not done this intellectually yet – looking at data in depth to set out my own course of action, and so I felt scared.
Until I saw the possibility of setting my own exam question. Holding the reigns. Being my own creator.
And so I challenge you, dear friend, to think about what this might mean for you.
Is it a challenge for you to set your own exam question of what a family should be? What a woman or man should be? What a mother or father should be? What a relationship should be?
Is it listening more to what shows up for you in your body and using that to inform your next steps?
Or is it learning – like me – to consider things differently on an intellectual level? Taking data, facts, information – to decide your next course of action?
Because as I think about writing my own exam question for looking at my next steps at work, I see that the possibilities are endless and I feel excited at the level of mastery I will be stepping into!
I can’t deny though, this intimidates me as it’s a new way of being.
And I can’t say that I’m relishing the thought of looking at data and facts and information. Leaning less on my gut and on direction from others all the time and instead gathering and distilling information to firm up a logical next step forward.
But I know it’s for a purpose.
I know this work is to define my own exam question.
And that makes all worthwhile.