This summer, I discovered a personal development programme called ‘Visionary Women – The Awakening’. It’s quite a name, and I wasn’t sure if was the kind of gal they were after. I dusted off my Oxford English Dictionary and found:
“Visionary (adj.) Thinking about or planning the future with imagination or wisdom.”
Being a keen advocate of using analysis and insights (wisdom) to come up with a strategy, I signed right up. It’s a good thing I did, because what I’ve learned these last few months is that vision isn’t just key to meeting your business goals, it will make you happier.
Such revelations don’t come easy. The programme took our little group on quite the emotional rollercoaster. Down into our past to resurface hard times we’ve overcome, up into our hearts and heads to discover our values and strengths, and round all the important people in our lives who affect and are affected by the personal and professional decisions we make. There were tears, biscuits and lots of walks in the venue grounds. What emerged from the experience, thanks in huge part to the phenomenal facilitation by Pauline Stewart, were clear ‘blue prints’ for our real aspirations. What we wanted to achieve, by when, and what we’d need to do between now and then to make it happen. I was shocked by my own ambition and resourcefulness that I uncovered – I hadn’t realised my own goals.
The discovery came at a serendipitous time. While on the course I started my work with Ivy House, who are also coaching people to realise their potential, albeit at a much earlier age (very wise). Their message reinforced what I was hearing at Visionary Women – that it is only really through knowing yourself, and clearly recognising what you want, that you will be successful and happy, rather than settling.
As my friends and I moved into our 30s, I saw many of us question our choices. We’d lazily lumbered along the career/relationship travellator for so long, and couldn’t quite figure out how we’d got to where we were. So many of us had kept our heads down, working away to a goal we didn’t really understand, that we hadn’t looked up to see where we were going. We’re lucky – some of us realised early, looked up and made a change. I think some of my friends at Visionary Women wouldn’t mind me saying that they would have liked an earlier wake-up call.
To avoid that regret in the future and start pursuing the success and the happiness that we want, it’s time to act now. We need to start asking ourselves exactly what we want, putting plans in place, then constantly challenging ourselves and course correcting until we make it happen. A bit like a marketing plan, then!
Visionary Women – The Awakening is a course offered by Beyond2030. For more information, visit their website at www.beyond2030.co.uk