This past weekend I attended a coaching retreat with six other people in Breckenridge, Colorado to focus on strength building. What an amazing experience! Everything about the entire event stirred emotion and growth in every part of my heart and soul.
Going to Colorado was truly a leap of faith for me. I had been participating in a coaching program with this group of people since last January. Through the wonders of the Internet we had all become friends, colleagues and a wonderful support system for one another. Still, it was going to be different to be locked away with this group for three days on the mountainside in Breckenridge, Colorado.
In addition to that, I had never flown by myself before. Sure I’ve taken lots of plane trips, but had never done it solo. I’m not a terrible flyer, but I’m not the best either. Thanks to a gentle, (but sturdy), push from my husband I booked the plane ticket and never looked back.
Once I arrived in Breckenridge I knew I had made the best decision ever. My new friends were warm and welcoming and I understood right away that I was in for a weekend that would change me forever. The time away gave me a whole new perspective of myself. My intention today is to share some of my insights and newly acquired perspective about my business and myself. Hopefully some piece of my adventure will resonate with you.
Prior to attending the retreat each of us were asked to take the Strengthsfinder test. I had received my results and forwarded it on to one of the hosts of the event. Unclear to how my results would play into the topics of the weekend I went to the retreat with a blind faith that it was all for my own good.
We spent most of our time last weekend talking about our strengths, each of us with our top 5 out of 34 to focus on. Each of us had a very unique set of strengths that made for the most dynamic and uplifting of conversations. We all participated in a multitude of activities all geared toward helping us accept and appreciate our strengths.
Lesson #1 – Your strengths can be good and they can be not so good depending on how you choose to manage them. I need to manage mine wisely.
In my particular case 3 out of 5 of my strengths are: Discipline, Achiever and Responsibility. (Ahh… that explains so much about me right there.) This is a terrific combination if you are building a business, planning an event, or just trying to get anything done quickly and efficiently. However, the flip side, or not so good side, to those strengths is that I have a very difficult time turning them off. I am always in, “get it done” mode.
As the weekend progressed, each of us began to share more and more about our personal lives and personal feelings. In short, we were sharing the journey that had brought us to where we are now. As the walls for each of us came down the growth increased. It was just an incredible experience to participate in. I knew I was learning and growing, but witnessing others having their own “a-ha” moments was like watching a baby take its’ first steps.
Some of my colleagues had been struggling with questions about their businesses for years. Some of them weren’t even sure what questions they needed to ask coming into the weekend. It was only by the process we were taken through that it was possible for so many breakthroughs to occur. Quite extraordinary really!
Lesson #2 – My other two strengths of the five, Relator and Connectedness, give me the exact balance I need to be an excellent coach and teacher. The confirmation and validation I received about my particular combination of strengths solidified why I am so drawn to coaching and why so many of you feel such a strong connection to my philosophy and me.
I have almost a sixth sense when talking with people. I have the ability to tap into their feelings and emotions, which allows me to dig a little deeper when necessary. I have a knack of leading people at a time when they need leading which helps them have breakthroughs of their own.
My plane trip home was uneventful. I wasn’t nervous about flying and was actually quite proud of myself as I made my way through the airport and onto the plane without any trepidation. The time on the plane allowed me the ability to reflect on the past three days. It was really challenging to take in the magnitude of what I just experienced.
I know that this retreat was something that I was meant to do. It was something that I needed to do for myself. There was no one to rely on for those three days but myself and that made it extremely liberating for me.
Lesson #3 – I will ALWAYS have a mentor in my life from now on. The business concepts that were taught during the 7-month coaching program leading up to this retreat were important and my business has grown substantially. But even more important than that, I have grown as a person and as a woman, which is extremely important to me. I know that I want a mentor that will consistently challenge me and call me out when I need calling out. It will be the source from which I will continue to have my most profound growth.
Lesson #4 – I know that my five unique strengths are mine to claim as my own. No one else has that exact combination of strengths, (especially since discipline is the rarest of the 34). I will forever embrace my strengths by managing the traits associated with each. I will use them for my greater good and the greater good of my clients and give myself permission to place boundaries around the part of each strength that doesn’t serve me well. I understand that this will be a work in progress and I’m excited to get started.
Lesson #5 – My last lesson comes down to acceptance of others and their strengths. Leading up to this event I believe I have been very accepting of others. Whatever they brought to our relationship was fine with me. But now I have an enhanced lense in which I see others. I can view them through the lense of recognizing and appreciating their strengths. It is extremely liberating for me. As I continue to hone my skill of recognizing the strengths in others I will continue to gain respect and love for their talents. What an incredible gift.
I wish for each of you an experience of this magnitude that just rocks your world and makes you a much better person because you were there. It would mean so much to me if you would share your thoughts about this article below in the comment section. If it touched you in any way then the time it took for me to write this would have been worth it. Please don’t be shy. Take a leap of faith like I did and share your thoughts. You have the potential to impact the lives of so many others.
As always, it is my honor to connect with you.
To your success,