As I have explored emptying the nest and filling the life, I have done some life coaching exercises, both individually and in a group setting.
Rediscovering ourselves after a long period of mothering is an exciting process! It is an opportunity for us to do something we are unaccustomed to – spending time thinking about ourselves! After spending a lifetime in service to our family, time gives way to a season of self-exploration.
One exercise not for the faint of heart is to ask your loved ones to give a few words that describe you.
I did it via text. I asked each of my kids, a few siblings and a few friends to give me words that they felt described me.
Some of the response made my heart sing. There is great joy in hearing your adult child say you are loving and passionate and brave.
A couple of the responses were thought-provoking.
Yes, indeed, I am stubborn. While that can be a negative trait, it can also manifest as a determination to see things through, or to stick with something to finish it. Yes I am stubborn, but I’m also committed! (Or maybe I should BE committed….)
Another thought-provoking word was opinionated. Indeed I am. I have opinions and deeply held beliefs. I don’t, however, impose them on others, but I’ll give you a run for your money if you want to have a good discussion.
I’m glad I did this exercise. If you ever wonder what people think about you, give it a try.
When you can look at a personality trait, especially a perceived negative one, and not have an emotional reaction to it, you have entered into the realm of the wise woman.
It is always good to get a perspective on ourselves from people ‘s opinion you value!
I’ve done this exercise too, I texted ten people to describe me. I was humbled and awed by what they said. I love your word cloud- I should do that with my results! MLSTL
I think most friends and family members will be kind with their words… as you point out, debatable words like stubborn and opinionated have definite upsides. I have appreciated (good) strong words from my children – that they have seen the type of person I wanted to be, not just the grump I sometimes remember being. To have them call me a role model is a great compliment!
Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
Well that was a brave move on your part – fortunately you were confident enough to know that their responses would be truthful and complimentary. I agree that the ones that sounded less positive still show your strengths – and to be described in opposite terms to stubborn or opinionated would make you weak and vacillating – no thanks!
Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂
Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
Hi Christine this is a great exercise and one that I give to my clients. Of course, you have to be brave and accept the answers because sometimes they may not always align with how we see ourselves. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and have a great week. x
Hi Christine, What an interesting exercise, and you are so brave for following through with it. The life-couching sounds like something I could use. Thanks for sharing.
Janet Mary Cobb
Great post! Not sure I’d do the exercise though – while friends would be happy to oblige, my family might think I’m crazy.
p.s. I just realized your last few monthly emails have gone into my spam. I un-spammed them, but I hope that I don’t have trouble getting alerts of your future posts.