Reflect and Act: The end is only the beginning

A purple blue sky with an orange yellow sunrise appearing at the bottom - three leafless trees are illuminated.Today I’ve got to answer ten questions, and they are all big ones. Questions about reflection and action – what has the last year meant for me and what am I going to do next as a result of it?

So here we go – and I really recommend taking the questions to heart and seeing what you come up with for yourself. I found it both revealing and  extremely useful.

1.Reflect: Reflect on the three big things you have learnt about ‘you’ this year. 

  • I’m not just ‘deaf’ or ‘disability’/ diversity isn’t a separate subject – breaking down silos/siloed thinking – all is part of everything, which means everything is possible (I can still have specialist knowledge but I don’t need to tether myself to one ‘theme’)
  • I have big ambition (and quite a big ego)
  • I deliver. I have high standards, and deal with pressure ok. On occasion I truly excel. Also on the odd occasion I under perform, but its not that often.

2. New Habits: How will you behave differently as a result of your learnings? What new habits do you want to create/continue?

  • I enjoy writing this blog about how I feel/what I do/etc. I find it a useful discipline playing with the boundaries around it. It makes me feel connected too. Some people find some posts useful. It’s not comfortable with everyone, that’s ok, they don’t have to read it/engage with it.
  • Importance of lunchtime – stopping mid day is very useful for me. An extension of this is making lunch dates with people too. If it’s in my diary I am much more likely to make it happen. Hoping to extend this thinking to spa breaks soon…
  • Accepting my non-perfection – I’m not perfect and can’t be. I will get things wrong. I am starting to develop habits around owning up sooner, rather than trying to ‘fix’ things invisibly so no one knows. Results so far are good, most people are kind in the face of it and some say they prefer a more vulnerable, human me (I didn’t realize that sometimes come across as impermeable and scary)

3. New Behaviour: what 3 things you have learnt about the ‘world’? How will this shape your behaviour in the future? 

  •  The world isn’t that scary. People in power are just people.
  • Everyone’s big picture is different – don’t assume because something is important to you that it’s important to others. Take a step back to see the bigger picture, then another step, and try and see the picture others may have.
  • It’s very exciting! There are infinite possibilities and each connection could spur, spark, seed something new. No one can do everything – that’s ok, no one needs to. Plans are good and so is seeing what happens… a balance is good too… Try and have a rough plan, but also give space for what emerges.

4. Potential: If you are firing on all cylinders and decided to push the boundaries of what you know. What three things would you start to do right now? 

  • More study of how people think, feel, process, work.. I’m becoming increasingly fascinated by how people feel and act, starting with myself – its like putting me/them under a microscope – also interested in how open about this can I be/do I want to be? Really enjoying exploring lines and boundaries…
  • Actually write something…
  • Seed more work – like PUSH ME/The Space commission – I’m interested in maybe doing something linked to digital/gaming/play/fun… adore Zombies Run app… wanna work with people I love spending time with, want to explore, push and explode.
  • Oh – also going to do a fire-walk next year

5. Plan: What is your plan for the next 3 years? Where do you want to be? Who do you want to be?

  • At the beginning of last year I wanted ‘to have more impact’, to maximize the potential of what I do. Inside me, I wanted to be recognized as someone with expertise, humour and life-force.
  • I feel larger now, and also freer. I feel I have a base of expertise, but that it’s not the limiting base I thought it might be, it’s more of a springboard. I want to keep ‘growing’, but not be consumed by it – its kind of nice by-product if you like.
  • I am increasingly getting exposure – I feel my profile has risen.

Ok this is about plan… I like the pirate code, (code? it’s more of a guideline…) ok, struggling now with this. I know its more, I know it includes digital and think/act stuff and people I want to work with. And I know it will come and doesn’t need to be forced. Trust me, it’s emerging…

Also I know I want to take time off, read the stack of books I’ve bought but not read yet, meet people more and socialize, bake cakes and generally walk the dog.

6. Vision: what is your vision of yourself now? What is your vision of yourself in 3 years time? How are they different? How are they the same? What support do you need to realise your vision? Who do you want to be in this? 

  • NOW: I am someone who will be asked to speak at things, chair things and facilitate things because she is both a safe pair of hands and also knowledgeable, passionate and fun
  • IN THREE YEARS: I am someone who has written a book or a play or a something at some point. There is creation brewing.

7. Momentum: how will you stay in track? What support do you need? What does staying on track look like? 

  •  I need to build in more rest – periods of time and space and people with whom to work, rest and play.
  • I can use my own blog to maintain momentum as well as to check in on myself – I can set myself questions and let myself answer
  • The power of networks – I have a powerful network as a result of last year. I need to keep giving it attention.
  • I want (after a short break) to continue my coaching relationship.

8. Options: What else? What questions do you have for yourself?  What other options do you have, that you have not thought of? 

  • Everything is possible, therefore making choices may be taxing…

9. Now: what are you doing now that you are proud of? What do you want to let go of? How will you do that?

  • I am proud of my work and what I have achieved – PUSH ME is a huge achievement as is maintaining this blog!
  • I have let go of work that, to me, is dull and boring and only about getting in money
  • I have let go of feeling guilty (a bit). Life is short and you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do sometimes.
  • I have let go of the sense that I’m not ‘proper’ in the art world – that’s tosh, I’m not an artist in one narrow sense of the word, but I am creative and complex and have a right and a place here, oh yes.

10. Celebrate: what do you want to celebrate about you this year? How will you celebrate?

  • I have masses to celebrate and I have a ready-mixed gin and tonic and a party popper in my bag – what more do I need?
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