The Incentive for Excellence
The Importance of Self-Trust
As a Corporate Meeting Planner, VP of SITE SoCal, and a single mother of one amazing 8-year-old boy who is FULL of energy, I’m constantly running at the speed of light. My time, energy, creativity, and planning skills are always in high demand. This usually means that I put my son and my work first, and myself somewhere way down the list. Given that Forbes rated Event Planning as the 5th most stressful job in the world in 2017, that can quickly become a recipe for disaster. But if you’re reading this, you’re likely in the industry, so I don’t need to tell you; you’re living it too.
At our July SITE SoCal luncheon, we had the pleasure of enjoying 3 informative and dynamic speakers who all touched on the subject of “trust” from very different angles. One speaker hit me more than the others, as she was speaking to the subject of personal trust. Deb Gee of lululemon shared her own story of running herself to the brink of hitting rock bottom early in her own Planning career. She shared how working at a company like lululemon, as well as implementing some new tools into her own personal and professional life, has helped her to become mindful of not allowing herself to go back to that place.
As she guided us through a short meditation practice, the room full of 140 people fell still and silent, eyes closed, maybe for the first time ever. It was an incredible feeling to know that all of these people, wired like I am to “go, go, go”, were sitting mindfully, quietly, together. It was powerful.
After that lunch, I’ve made an effort to reflect on Deb’s message. I’ve spent some time making a commitment to myself to ensure that I can practice self-care, and create trust in myself as a planner, volunteer, and mom. Admittedly, the idea of trusting in myself is a new way of thinking for me that will require some practice. So I’m going to share some of the ways I’ve come up with, and hope that you, as a participant of this industry, might incorporate some self-trust into your own life as well.
- Make lists of goals that are small and attainable.
I am one of the few and proud people who keep a paper calendar, and I love it. It’s color coded and full of tasks and to-dos, phone numbers I need, appointments, and even a bucket list. However, I often make lists so lofty that there’s no way I can keep them. I write them down, knowing I’m going to break that promise to myself in a few days when my week progresses, and busyness takes over. Then, I flip the page to the next week, disappointed that I didn’t accomplish these tasks, and the cycle starts again. So instead, I’m going to shorten my list to small, attainable tasks with promises to myself that I can keep. I’m going to be aware of the time I have to give, and be realistic about what I can accomplish throughout the week.
- Be more mindful.
That means I’m putting my phone down. I’m not going to turn on the TV or music as soon as I walk in the door. I’m going to make an effort to stop “multitasking” (which we all know doesn’t work, right?!). I might not take photos at every little league game so that I can enjoy the moment. I’m going to take note of how I feel and trust that my body is giving me signs. Am I yawning all day? My body is telling me to sleep. Are my legs feeling stiff at my desk? My body is telling me to get up and walk around the block.
- Spend more time alone.
I am an introvert. If you know me, I’m sure you’re shocked by this because I’ve learned the behavior of being extroverted in a crowd of my colleagues. However, I know deep in my soul that I need time to myself to regroup and recharge. So I’m going to build in time, slowly at first (see #1) to be alone, in my thoughts, to learn the practice of trusting myself.
- Be honest and “say no.”
How many times do we commit to something because it sounds worthwhile but when it comes around, we are exhausted or overcommitted? I don’t want to bear the guilt of breaking my commitments. And frankly, I want to be able to trust myself to follow-through on every commitment I make. So I’m going to say no. I might say no to things I really want to do. I might say no to things that I will have a crazy amount of regret over. I will check in each time and ask myself:
“Do I WANT to do this?”
“Do I have the ABILITY to do this?”
“Do I have the TIME to do this?”
I hope that you’ll find ways to build this practice into your own life, and hope that these tips have helped. As we grow, we’ll discover that personal trust benefits all of us.