The phrase “Trust Your Compass” started as a personal mantra when I was struggling to find my way. Personally, I was going through some major personal growth work, and professionally, I was starting my business. (This combination of circumstances happens to be very common among my clients these days, too! 😉
After a couple of (slightly embarrassing) hiccups, it hit me hard: I was waiting to act until I found some kind of external validation to say, “Yes, Jenny, you are on the right track. Keep going.”
While we can all agree that perfection is impossible, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t hold myself to very high standards. You see, my career before coaching was in public relations and communications. I’ve written press releases, keynote speeches, communications plans, pitches….so many messages that were furthering my company or organization’s message. I was especially good at tapping into my executives’ “voice” and writing from their point of view. There was an approval process for everything I wrote, to ensure we were “on message” and of course, to avoid the dreaded typo.
Once I had the approvals from the director, a handful of executives, legal, finance….I knew I was ready to go. It was a process designed to eliminate all errors, consider all angles, and ensure we’d covered all our bases. Getting a message out of a corporate communication department is a team sport.
And so now as coach and writer, I’m solo. No team to bounce ideas off of. No review process to vet out the best plan. When the voice I am tapping into is my own, and when the only approval I need is me, I freeze. SOLID. Because writing from a point of personal vulnerability is a whole different animal. For real.
Researcher and storyteller Brene Brown, one of my heroes, has inspired millions with her message that we have to be brave in order to grow and change, and the path is through vulnerability. Her words ring true to me as if she is talking to me directly. The message I’ve received is: I have to walk this path — and invite others along with me — to get to where I’m going. It is okay to share yourself in writing.
So, there may be typos. Like here; typpoo.
There, we did it.
Are you still reading?
Good, I’m still here, too.
And there may be tough conversations that will hurt, but it is a part of the journey we are on. Like, answering the question: what does it feel like to set a boundary with a long-time friend, knowing that the stakes are high, and you may not recover together?
The compass represents inner wisdom. We all have a purpose. And for many of us, our lifetime will be spent listening for, and acting on that purpose. Living a fulfilling life — however you define that — requires your own unique mix of trusting yourself, knowing (or finding!) what you want, and being brave as you set out to live YOUR life.
So for me to trust my compass means being willing to move forward, even when I’m vulnerable. Especially when I’m vulnerable. Even when I’m afraid. Especially when I’m afraid. So this first newsletter is my movement forward on my journey. Writing and connecting with you in new ways and on topics that matter to us.
We’ll go there, you and me, and we’ll use our compasses as our guide.
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They already know what you truly want to become.”
– Steve Jobs