Reflections on Optimism

I’ve been reflecting over the last few weeks about where I’ve grown or shifted this year as a business owner, a facilitator and coach, a person. During this process, five words have kept resonating with me

Courage, Optimism, Uncertainty, Instinct, Hope.

Here’s what Optimism has taught me this year:

It’s tightly connected to my ideas, creativity and drive.

To me, optimism is that belief that something positive is around the corner; that a risk will pay off; that I ‘can’ do the thing that feels like a massive stretch of my abilities.

It helps me grow and move past what I think is possible, to feel more fearless.

It’s me at my most energised and I’m at my best when I have it in abundance.

It can run out if I don’t nurture it

There’s been times this year when I’ve called on my optimism and it’s fell silent – all I’ve heard and felt was worry and doubt.

Things that would normally be an exciting   ‘stretch’ were overwhelming and I became increasingly and unfamiliarly risk averse.

This year I’ve learned to nurture my optimism. To rest and reflect where I can,  so I can hear its voice more clearly. To see and value it as a strength (which benefits from maintenance and attention) rather than a given.

This year optimism has helped me:

  • Approach situations with energy and openness, trusting that I’ll get something from them.
  • Step into uncertainty and help my clients feel comfortable and confident to step into it too.
  • Stay true to myself and my business values and approach, even when I sometimes feel ‘less’ on social media.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences of optimism.

Kirsten x

Photo by Matheus Bertelli from Pexels

…and breathe

Soothe [verb] gently calm (a person or their feelings).

It’s the first word I think of when I remember this moment. Soothed by the space, the rhythm of the waves, the breeze. Soothed by the freedom to let my feet and my mind wander where they choose. Deeply relaxed, uplifted and inspired all at the same time. It’s a place where I’m at my most creative, decisive, purposeful – perhaps the place where I feel most like me.

There are times when the gap between these moments is too long. My body feels tired, my mind cluttered and restless, my actions less fluid, less instinctive. What I need most is to pause – to breathe out. Instead I push harder, further, longer.

Until I get here.

There’s something about this landscape – this space – that encourages me to pause. Gently quietens, soothes, restores me. Some of my best ideas have started here and on the beach above. I’ve made some of my best decisions here. I’ve regained my confidence and energy here.

For a long time it felt self-indulgent to take these pauses. To step back when there was work to be done, rather than push on. I’ve learned to feel more at ease with this now, to cast my glance onto other things for a while. I’ve realised that it’s the space around things that is just as important as the thing itself – with space comes perspective, clarity, room to breathe.

These are the landscapes that inspire and soothe me, the spaces that help me pause and make sense of things. I’m a better facilitator, coach and person because of them.