Believe: my word for 2020

It’s that time of year!

So many of you choose your own words for the year these days, and I loooooove hearing about them.

It’s also a delight to reflect on not only the past 12 months but the last few years, the journey of words I’ve been on.

Anyway, I thought I’d share a little reflection on last year (my word was grow), as well as introducing my word for 2020: believe.

Growing in 2019

In 2019, I wanted to grow: my business, my belly, my family, my integrity. You can read about my intentions here.

And I did grow, in lots of ways. I grew a tiny human. I grew in confidence, and I certainly grew in clarity. Something about becoming a mother has made me very clear on what I’m doing and what there isn’t room for, which is honestly pretty amazing.

This was part of growing in 2019! Taken by @girl_behindthelens in June 2019.

What I couldn’t anticipate is how much 2019 would show me the depth of my own resilience. A lot happened in 2019, including a lot of hospital visits, and that required a lot of strength – strength I didn’t really know I had.

From a business point of view, I knew it would be challenging to grow my business in a profit / turnover sense while taking maternity leave. So my expectations weren’t exactly huge from that point of view. But I did grow my client list in the first half of the year, which is a key growth indicator for me: I want to help people in their businesses, and I did just that.

I still think about feeling good, feeling bad and feeling right in an atmosphere of growth. This phrase from Gretchen Rubin has really stuck with me, and I’m not done with the concept of growth at all. I think that’s one of the magic things about choosing a word: they stay with you beyond the year.

2020: the year of believe

Our beliefs influence our actions, consciously and unconsciously.

If I’ve learnt anything over the last few years, it’s that what we believe has a significant impact on what we achieve, how we feel and how we think about ourselves and our work.

This year, I’m ready to review and redefine my beliefs. I want to work in a way that’s aligned with what I truly believe, and I want to weed out some of the unhealthy beliefs that hold me back.

I want to do work that I really believe in. I want to share my beliefs openly, honestly, so that they reach the people who will find solace, inspiration, support in them.

And, at the simplest level, I want to believe in myself. I could do with some specific care in this area, especially as I shift into balancing work and motherhood.

I’ve started asking myself big questions, like “What do I believe in?”, “What do I believe about money, work, motherhood, creativity?” and “How would my to do list change if I believed in myself fully?”

And I’m loving getting started…

Using radical honesty to support this journey

While I was reflecting on the year past and the year ahead, the concept of radical honesty came springing out.

I think I have to be radically honest with myself, so that I can get to the bottom of my beliefs.

And I have to be radically honest about my beliefs and, well, pretty much everything as I get back into work, back into being The Jenny Pace.

It does feel a bit edgy. And to be clear, it’s not that I haven’t been honest in the past. It’s more like another stripping away of the layers that I might have been holding on to.

How’s your year (and word) going?

Have you chosen a word? Or made a resolution? Or set an intention? How’s it feeling to you?

I’d love to hear!

Until soon,

Jenny x

PS If you’d like to get blogs via email each week, you can sign up here.

PPS I have two coaching-mentoring spots available right now, for three or six sessions. Read more here and get in touch if you’d like support creating and achieving your business goals in 2020.

My current identity crisis

I mean, truthfully, I’m not feeling as dramatic as the title suggests…

But I am having an identity crisis of sorts.

First of all, I’m a mother now, so there are changes in how I think of myself and my purpose in the world. If I’m honest, there’s no crisis there – it all feels really right to me, which is amazing and a relief.

It’s the professional identity that is going through a shift.

I started my business over 5 years ago, back in 2014, and my identity then was a 26-year-old, with very specific experience working at Notonthehighstreet, and a very specific offering to a very specific audience. Which was great – I can honestly say that being specific allowed me to hit the ground running.

In the years since, I’ve tried different things, expanded my business, trained in broader areas, and grown as a human and as a businesswoman. One of the things I changed a couple of years ago was referring to myself as a coach and my work as coaching, rather than as a mentor/mentoring.

Now that I’m returning from the biggest break I’ve had (nearly 8 months!), I’m wondering about this change. I chose to call myself a coach because I got some training and practice as a coach. The majority of the methods I use in one-to-one and group work are coaching. The ethos of coaching appeals: that I’m here to create a positive space for you to discover more about yourself and your way forward – not to dictate it based on my own (limited) experience.

With a broader view of things, I’m looking at my business and seeing that “mentoring” is a word with a more business-focused edge to it. While there aren’t industry-approved definitions, it somehow seems to say “I’ll help you with your business, to help you be the best you can be,” in a way that “coach” doesn’t. Perhaps there are so many coaches around. Perhaps this is just my view right now.

It’s funny: whichever word I choose to use doesn’t actually impact the work I do.

My ability to share experiences and expertise, to encourage, to ask pertinent questions, to share my ethos of business and life – they are all definites. Unchangeable.

I suppose really it’s about marketing: how can I explain what I do in the most effective way?

Perhaps you’ve had similar struggles or thoughts or ideas yourself.

I’m not quite ready to make a decision either way yet. I am ready to experiment with both “coach” and “mentor” in the things I write and share for a little while.

And, of course, I’d love to hear your opinion, too!

What about you? How do you describe your work and role and business? Comment below or join the conversation on Instagram.

Business book recommendations

Just in time for Christmas, here are some of my most-recommended books from recent weeks:

Flow: The Psychology of Happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

A wonderful book – now a psychology classic – on how to create more of that great creative feeling.

Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger

A fascinating memoir by Disney’s CEO. I love reading about how Iger was passionate about maintaining the unique creativity of Pixar – inspiring for even small creative businesses.

Simple Abundance by Sarah ban Breathnach

The most important book of my day-to-day life, I read this pretty much every day. There are short chapters to encourage, inspire and delight, and the new 2019 edition has wisdom on surviving and thriving in the modern world. Love!

optin-cup

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