As 2017 is coming to an end, I am reflecting on all that happened this year. This was, by far, the most challenging yet exciting year ever for me. I started it angrier and more unbalanced and impatient that I realised, and it didn’t put me on the right path for the first few months. I got a reality check before the summer, and the following six months were a whirlwind of discovery and learning. Looking back, I can say now that it was the year of

building the foundation.

This applies to so many levels of my life, like my relationships, my personal growth, or even where I think I want to go in my career. So what contributed to this foundation? I want to share here what happened and what I learned.

My milestones in 2017

  • I went to the UK to complete two 10-day courses on coaching
  • I also completed two online courses on psychology at work and mindfulness
  • I attended a one-day training on public speaking to be more confident in front of a crowd and speak in a microphone
  • I was coached for the first time ever, and I loved it
  • I started coaching people in 1:1s and groups
  • I delivered my first training ever on something I knew and was passionate about (guess what it was) (yes, coaching)
  • I started a diary to write down the things that make me feel good every day
  • I have practiced meditation and yoga every day since October and tracked it in an app
  • I turned 30!

The 10 things I learned (a lot) about

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness
  • Leadership
  • Coaching
  • Positive, cognitive and social psychology
  • Listening with empathy
  • Personal boundaries (mine and others)
  • Balance
  • Myself

This focus on personal development has had a greater impact on me than I imagined. I am more aware of myself and situations I am in. I am in full control of my reactions. And I also know how to empower and support others who want to do the same, which gives me so much energy.

What has helped me be more grounded and mature is to find mottos that meant something to me. More than mottos, I can say they became my mantrasa word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs” (source) “believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers” (source). I repeated them in my head a few times whenever I needed a boost.

My 2017 mantras and how I found them

  • Patience rises inwardly, not outwardly – it was said during a meditation session on the “Patience” track of the Headspace app. I already talked about it in this post. I needed to hear that I am the only one who can control my impatience.
  • Repetition is important, because repetition is a learning process – another great one from Headspace (I don’t recall what track). Whenever I feel lazy, I repeat myself this sentence to be reminded of the purpose of doing something again (yoga, meditation, you name it): to learn.
  • Practice makes perfect – this applied to yoga, when I saw after only two weeks that I was getting better at it. For the impatient person that I am, knowing that I will not only learn, but I will also get better at something if I keep practicing, is very empowering.
  • That’s yours – it would “the” mantra of the year if I had to keep one. It stuck in the group I was with in my coaching training in September, after our trainer said it to someone to create boundaries between the person’s issue and the others. Since then, if I see someone expecting me to solve their problem, I always ask myself: “is it mine or is it yours?” – is it my problem to solve, or is it the other person’s responsibility? If it’s not mine, I gently push it back the ownership to them by asking questions.
  • The whole is greater than the sum of its parts – at the end of the year I started to focus on mindfulness and I just completed a course on Udemy. I am getting familiar with the idea that the interaction between individuals or elements makes these individuals or elements greater than what they would have been on their own. It’s not about the quantity of interactions, but on their quality. I’ll probably write about it on the blog once I take ownership of what it truly means to me.

Long story short

With coaching and meditation, I learned how powerful metaphors and visualisation are. And the more I think about 2017 as the foundation year, the clearer the image gets. It’s like having house plans: I know what it’s going to look like and how to get there, I just have to get it done.

2016 was the preparation.

2017 was about the foundation.

2018 will be about the structure.

Let’s see now how I’m going to do that.