The Progress Continues

The work in progress continues. Last weekend I started oil painting. This weekend I’m still at it. Not a quitter here. I have had no formal training and haven’t oil painted since high school. This was a whole new territory for me. It is a little scary and intimidating. 

You probably can identify with the excitement and doubtful feelings of trying something new – looking for a new job in a different industry or with a different title, trying to stick to a daily exercise routine to get in shape, committing to better relationship skills such as listening and pausing. 

You have the best intentions. You tell yourself you will do whatever necessary to get the outcome you want – a new job, a healthier lifestyle and better physique, a closer relationship. And the first day you find you have already fallen off plan. Now, you feel even worse because not only are you discouraged, but you don’t see any hope because although you want change, you can’t even stick with it for one day. 

I see my journey with painting in a similar way though I figured some things out along the way. I painted all afternoon on Saturday. I didn’t see it as something productive I was doing. I chose to make it fun. I let myself go and just went with it. Somehow, I became completely drawn in by artistic creation and let everything else go. It was just me, the canvas, the paints, the thinner and the brushes. 

Painting, like many creative endeavors, is a mindful activity that brings peace and fulfillment. I had to accept that perfection was not the goal. I had to release any assumptions or judgments on my talent level. I chose to consider this playtime not productive time. 

I had hoped to finish this painting on Sunday. It didn’t happen. Why? Because Sunday I felt differently. It was starting to feel like work, not fun, and I changed my mind. I made a conscious choice not to paint because I prioritized physical activity and time with my daughter instead. I made a commitment to get back to the painting after Memorial Day weekend. 

Know the difference between procrastination and changing your mind. Procrastination is an avoidance of something because of fear – fear of failure, fear or responsibility, fear of judgment, fear of self-judgment. We change our minds because of a choice. This does not leave us feeling like we let ourselves down. 

We might de-prioritized a former plan or reroute or delay something in exchange for something else. Don’t beat yourself up because you change your mind for an important choice. Accept that it is the right decision at the time.

I’m having fun with painting. Not sure how it will turn out. But it made for a very rewarding pastime after a very stressful week at work.

Self-care matters. Follow good health guidelines. Do things you enjoy. Start by making a list of things you like to do. Spend time with people who make you happy. Don't waste time on people who don't treat you well. Wishing you a creative outlet you enjoy today.

*This is Your Life* Are you tired of the work treadmill to nowhere? Are you working hard while others get promoted? Is the disappointment affecitng your personal life? Now might be the right time to work with me on your leadership, executive presence and career goals. Don't wait until you are in crisis or have allowed too much negativity to set in, hijacking your power and your future. I have a short career survey that helps me understand your situation and if I can help you. Then if you're interested in coaching, we can get on a call to discuss. Get the short career survey here so we can discuss if coaching is a good fit. Request they survey now.

If you are feeling age discrimination when your company should be putting your expertise to good use, this link to the strategies I share with my clients might help >>> 10 Tips When You Fear Age Bias

Your coach,

Mary Lee 

P.S. Feel free to forward this email to someone who could benefit from it. We are all walking down the same road in life looking for a hand to hold. Sometimes we must be the hand that reaches out.  

Mary Lee Gannon, ACC, CAE is an executive coach and 19-year corporate CEO who helps leaders have more effective careers, happier lives and better relationships. Request the short career survey here.


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