“Congratulations, you are now promoted to Director. Let’s talk about our plan for your next promotion.”
These were the words of a friend’s manager. There is a lot here that deserves unpacking and I want to start with celebrating that this manager truly cared for and believed in his direct report. The manager not only did his part to make the promotion happen but more importantly believed in this person’s potential and to grow and get to the next level. Oftentimes, that’s what a good manager and coach can do – help you see your own goodness and potential in ways that you may not have seen for yourself.
And here’s what leaves me unsettled about this story.
I still remember when my friend called to share her news, I could feel her excitement and pride for her accomplishment which was so beautiful and inspiring yet I also felt a sense of rushed and frantic energy as she thought about what was next to make sure she can get promoted again in the next 2 years.
That left me so sad – Here I was witnessing an immigrant who had worked incredibly hard to achieve so much in her career but wasn’t giving herself permission even in small ways to truly savor what was already in front of her and was already told to jump to the next rung of the ladder.
We live in a culture where we celebrate the hustle, the speed, the intensity of our career growth over taking a breath to honor our milestones and take stock of what’s calling us next whether that’s a promotion or a pause, a sabbatical to pursue a long lost hobby or a reset to improve our heart health or dare I say to simply enjoy the fruits of our hard-earned labor. We live in a culture where fear and scarcity are often the most commonly used motivators to keep going on the well-trodden path whether it’s the right one or not. Pausing and tapping into a space of abundance and enoughness (not forever, just for a few moments) is so counter-cultural, and in the process, we find it so hard to give ourselves permission to replenish, tap into our creative energy, reflect and integrate the richness of our experiences and in so many ways nourish the tree that bears the fruit.
I notice this in my coaching practice too where we are so quick to explore and want certainty and clarity on what’s next vs. taking a moment to savor what we have, trust our intuitive wisdom, and celebrate what’s given to us before taking a dive into what’s next.
My point isn’t to settle for less or not aspire for more but to do it in a way that sustains us in the right way for the right reasons. Creating seasons where we are more intentional about savoring and integrating whether that’s for a week or a month or longer can open doors in ways we can’t often see at the moment.
As you wrap up the work week today, I’d invite you to take a few minutes to reflect on what was already beautiful about your work, your team, your strategy, and your accomplishments. Yes, there will be more to do and ways to improve but for a moment, see if you can give yourself permission to savor and notice the impact of that energy (and welcome to share below too!). And if you notice some resistance, take a moment to practice some curiosity around that as well!
Pic Credit: Tim MossholderHire