When we are in a hairy situation that brings up a lot of feelings, we usually stuff down those feelings with something along the lines of, “Oh, I’ll just think about that when I am done.” But what if there is no end in sight? What if you don’t know when you’ll be done? What then? Sometimes (and let me be honest here and say that I really believe that this should be almost all the time with very rare exception), you need to be able to process on the fly but when you are in the midst of feeling all those feelings, it is sometimes hard to know where to go with your processing.
A couple weeks ago, a dear friend wrote with this conundrum. She’s at a milestone point right now in her work, and it has brought up a lot of feelings for her. There are no imminent plans for a work change (she doesn’t want to just move from one thing to another without really thinking through what’s the right fit) and so she wants to unpack some of the stuff she’s thinking so she can use it as a guide. Sound familiar? Try these prompts as your spark this week to help you process mid-stream.
It has been X amount of time. That’s incredible. What celebrations do you have both personally and professionally?
What are some of the most valuable lessons you have learned over this time?
Describe yourself at the beginning of this opportunity. In addition to any longer descriptors, include five words that describe how you felt at that time.
Describe yourself mid-way through this experience.
Describe yourself now, including give words that describe how you feel. How are you different from the woman you were when you started?
What have you lost in this experience? What have you gained?
Do you have any resentments or anger from this experience so far? What are they? How can you internally or externally resolve them? Are you ready to do so? Why or why not?
What do you want to be doing more of in your life- personally and professionally?
What do you want to be doing less of in your life- personally and professionally?
What did you say yes in this past year that should have been a no? Looking back, why did you say yes? What can you learn from this?
What did you say no to in this past year that should have been a yes? Looking back, why did you say no? What can you learn from this?
What advice would you give the woman you were when you started?
What advice do you have for yourself right now?
What gifts do you have to offer the world? What is special about the way you offer those gifts?
Make a list of words that resonate with you. Then, write a mission statement—even if it is just a draft to get you started. Need a formula, try something like Through (adjective that describes how you are in the world), another adjective, and another, I (verb that sums up your core offering- maybe offer, empower, inspire, teach, etc) and then your impact with any necessary descriptors. How can this mission statement serve as a guide to you?
What do you believe your mission is in this space for however long you hold this position?
What do you still have to gain, learn, experience in this position?
What rules do you have for yourself moving forward?
What does the next right opportunity need to have in order to be right for you?
What will you give a sense of peace right now? Can you give that to yourself?