We hear it a lot - our greatest lessons come from our greatest hardships. This year proved that to be true more than a few times. The silverlining? Maybe sharing what I've learned can help you avoid some pitfalls or make you feel less alone. None of us go through our life journey without some hardships. So, we might as well support one another and learn from each other!
Lessons Learned (in no particular order)
You Can Do The Most + They Will Still Betray You - OK, I know betray is a pretty dramatic word, but I'm not sure what else to call it when someone works for you and you pay them in advance but then they disappear and don't complete the job. Only to eventually email you and share, "I had to work on myself". Trust me. Now I see how foolish I was in paying before completion, etc., but I thought we had built a trusting working relationship. Upon reflection I see where I did that thing I do where I try and make someone else happy at the expense of myself/my business, hope that if I do a lot for them they will reciprocate, blah, blah, blah. Now I never try and make someone like me. I'll also never betray myself for someone else.
Just Cause You Would, Doesn't Mean They Will - Do you ever catch yourself thinking, "of course they will do _____" because that is what you would do in the situation, but then they don't and you feel disappointed? Yup. Me, too. This happens a lot when I write about people. I'll share articles and ask them to promote them or spread the word and they won't. I still get frustrated, but less than I used to. Instead I let myself be surprised, like "Wow, great they shared it!" or if they said they would but don't, I'll follow-up with a respectful email asking them to follow through. Some still don't respond or share. But here's the thing, we can't control what people choose to do, we can only choose our responses. Plus, maybe we need to be honest with ourselves when we are giving ... is it being done freely or in hopes of getting something in return? If it's the latter, I think it's important to be super clear about that expectation.
Shut Up + Keep Showing Up - There were a couple times this year when information about me was circling online that wasn't true. Lies were being spread and online bullying was in full force. I was sooooooo tempted to start naming names and calling people out on an instagram live, but I didn't. Instead of speaking out, I shut up and showed up. I kept focused on the work. It wasn't easy. Thankfully, I had friends who listened to my rants and allowed me time and space to vent. Upon reflection, I'm so glad the venting stayed offline. The idea of verbally righting wrongs can be tempting, but oftentimes actions speak louder than words.
The week in between Christmas and New Year's is such a wonderful window of time for reflection. It's also a time for me to take ownership and responsibility for my part in the setbacks and hardships. I want to learn the lessons and gather the takeaways, so I can leave the rest in 2022 and arrive lighter and happier in 2023!
What lessons did you learn in 2022?
( p.s. 2022 was a doozy of a year, so there will be a part 2 coming soon)