It was a Friday night, November 9, 2018, to be exact and I was standing on the balcony of my hotel room overlooking the lights of San Francisco. I was there for work (again) and as I looked out at the lights of the city, I thought: This is a beautiful scene before me. I’ve worked hard to earn my role as a top consultant at a premiere sales and leadership firm in the country.
My next thought was:
“I can’t do this anymore. I’m missing out on my life.”
I went into the shower, turned the water on hot, stood under the streaming water and I cried.
I cried for what I was missing out on at home.
I cried for feeling like I was trying my very best in every aspect of my life and yet I felt I was coming up short.
There were roles in my life that I knew I wasn’t being fully true to who I wanted to be.
Was I being the loving wife I wanted to be for my husband?
Was I being the daughter I wanted to be to my aging father?
Was I being the sister, aunt, and friend that I wanted to be?
Was I contributing to my community and causes the way I wanted to?
In my heart, I knew I wasn’t. And it was eating away at me.
And there was a voice inside me that kept asking: Are you creating a legacy? Are you really contributing in the way that you were created to contribute?
On the outside, I was a success. On the inside, I knew that was only a part of the story.
I wanted the whole story. I wanted a whole life.
I wanted to flourish in every part of my life that was important to me. Not just my career.
But even though I knew that to be true in my heart, the moment I thought it I felt the guilt seep into my soul. And even though I was standing in a hot shower, I felt the chill of that creep through my veins.
How could I give voice to what I wanted? Wasn’t that selfish?
I still had a mortgage.
I still had student loans from graduate school.
People depended on me.
Maybe it wasn’t so bad.
And shouldn’t I feel grateful?
I had a successful career. I had clients who loved me.
I got to use my strengths every day. I was very good at what I did.
I was paid well.
I lived in a beautiful place.
I was loved.
I was healthy.
Who was I not to be grateful? Now that was just something else that was wrong with me.
I doubled down on gratitude and told myself to suck it up. There were a lot of people worse off than me.
I reconnected with my purpose and my vision
I tried meditation
I became even more efficient with the time that I had at home
And while all these things helped a little bit, I still felt incomplete; and a little bit like a shallower version of my former self.
As I started seeing that in myself, I realized how many times I had heard that from others. In my roles as a sales coach, I’ve coached more than 3000 sales managers, leaders and reps over the years. While my work then was to help leaders and managers become effective coaches for their team, they would often mention how they felt successful in their career, but not always as much in their personal life.
When my experience clicked with what I’d heard from so many others, I knew I had to do something.I knew that I had to find a new way forward. I had to find something that worked.
That quest led me to the Positive Intelligence program (also known as mental fitness). Without hesitation, I can say that this program changed my life and I do NOT use the words lightly.
I have time for ALL the important things.
I know who I am in the roles that matter the most to me.
I have great clarity on what matters
I am present and connecting with others at a deep level again
My performance is at an even higher level — and I feel joy in it again.
And my stress and anxiety – that have bitten at my heels for decades – is gone. I finally understand what it feels like to be at ease and peace.
That doesn’t mean though that I’ve retired to a beach or something.
I still work hard. I am still busy – but busy on the right things and in the right ways. I contribute in meaningful ways.
My answer was to build mental fitness also known as Positive Intelligence.
What is mental fitness? It is the ability to respond to life’s challenges and opportunities with a positive mindset versus a negative, neutral or stressed mindset.
When we build our mental fitness, we can
- Take our performance to a new level
- Bring more of our best to everything we do
- Improve relationships at work and at home
- Increase our sense of happiness and well-being
- Become a better leader at work and at home
Because of the results that I experienced, I have become a mental fitness coach. The results that I’ve seen our clients achieve blows my mind and I’m completely delighted for them.
I believe that this is something that is extremely important in today’s environment. Over the next several newsletters, I’ll dive into the 3 mental fitness muscles that we need to build so that we can thrive in life.
If you want to learn more, faster, here’s a link to a 1 hour event I recently did on Mental Fitness and how to use it: https://www.bobbikahler.com/mentalfitnesslivereplay