I almost didn't post this. Even writing that honest statement makes me second guess if I actually should. UGH.
My professor asked me if he could use my paper as an example in class.
BAND-AID #1: CLASS??!! What class?! So…I am getting a master's in Coaching and Consulting. I LOVE the program. It has already grown me so much. As much as I love speaking, working with school districts, and helping businesses create a focus, I might love one-on-one coaching MORE! I didn't tell many people about this "back to school" adventure because I was worried I would fail, and everyone would have watched me fail. P.S. You still might watch me fail, but I am passionate about growing myself in this way, so I am trying. Juggling it all is super challenging. There is a lot of 1:00 to 2:00 am work nights behind me and ahead of me.
BAND-AID #2: I have been coaching individuals in the realm of confidence, goal-setting, and how to present your best you. I love it, but just to be transparent, I still struggle with my own confidence. I am super good at filling fuel tanks for others (always have been) but I struggle to fill my own. EEEKKKKK. I am working on it! I promise. Maybe it helps that I get it!? Perhaps we all need someone to coach us up now and then. I can totally get on that bus! It is important to take care of yourself and sometimes that means letting someone else help you with that. Talk about a direct path to putting our own thoughts and mental health on top of our to-do list each day.
Now that I have shared my deep dark secrets, let's get back to the topic you thought you would be reading about: my paper. My professor asked if he could use my paper as an example. Insert shock, then excited-happy dance in my chair, here. I told him, of course! Then I re-read the paper again. It was in those moments that I found more mistakes and decided to ask if I could edit some spots in this already graded assignment prior to his using it. I hadn't pushed send on the email before I thought, "Wait! Maybe he needs it to use as an example of what NOT to do. That's probable." This thought prompted me to also add to my email that I totally understood if he needed an example of what not to do. I know what you are thinking and the answer is, I'm not sure why I do that.
His reply was not only affirming but thought-provoking. He said, "I wanted to use it as an excellent example of a model paper for future students to emulate. Your work is exemplary, and you can be proud of the work you've accomplished here and in so many other areas of your life Julie! I'm curious, and if you don't mind me asking, what's that like to step back and see yourself in light of that perspective? "
That last question...ugh! He's good at his job! It took me two weeks to respond. I am still working on stepping back and seeing myself in that perspective. The perfectionist in me has a hard time with growing pains that lead to a product I am proud of. My mind instantly hears voices that have pushed me down. I have played them in my head so often that their voices have become my voice. Maybe we should label that as BAND-AID #3. It is so easy to say, "Well, don't do that!" If you have ever struggled with self-doubt, you know that is easier said than done. So I am giving myself the tools I give to those I coach. I am pushing myself to squash those negative voices and clean out negative people in my life. That truth brings up the most impactful question. Ready? If I am squashing negativity and surrounding myself with positivity, why would I not share this positive thing of going back to school with those in my circle? Why would I not try to soak in the positive words?
All this to say. I am still working on me, but aren't we all?! Isn't that part of life? In every area, we should seek improvement… improvement in our jobs, in relationships, as parents, and as people! A need for constant growth is why I have opportunities to work with school districts, businesses, and individuals!! So in the name of honesty, I AM also STILL GROWING. I am doing that by getting this master's degree that I love pursuing (and pray I can finish). There, now you know. The other way I am working on myself is by being authentic, honest, and accepting of my wins. Oh yeah, and patience. I am always working on that. Lord knows it takes patience to make all these pieces work together for good. Thanks for reading this far. If you did, I know you are someone who is helping me see my wins, so thank you! I hope being honest with you helps you grow in some form or fashion. In the name of personal growth, here's to hoping you can rip off a few band-aids of your own!