Creating Alignment: 6 Lessons I Learned From My Sick Child

by michelecorey on March 31, 2011 · 0 comments

in Why Set Goals

When it comes to creating alignment you may be surprised which lessons you can learn by paying attention to what is right in front of you.

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Being that my chosen work practically has me preaching, goals + alignment = success, it never ceases to amaze me how easy it is to “preach” and the awareness it takes to “walk your talk” in both your everyday and professional life.

The last three weeks has been filled with constant change.  Not the kind of change most of us are accustomed to like when I meeting goes longer than expected, or the highway is backed up and you didn’t quite leave enough time.  In both of these instances even though your feathers may be ruffled, a phone call generally clears the path and the day continues.

Rather, my change has been cause by my seven year old son’s continued minor illnesses.  Two weeks ago he missed three days of school with a nasty stomach bug that’s been floating around.  It took a bunch of juggling between my husband and I to make it all work.  And I have to admit I wasn’t being fully aware, rather, I was in the mode of “make what needs to happen, happen” and I complained a bit.

Today, we are once again on day three of another bout of what now seems to be the flu.  I thought I could sneak him back to school because he seemed “well enough” and did so yesterday because I have a long list and his illness was being more of a nuisance than anything else.

He came home wiped out and last night the fever and flu came back.  The school informed me this morning that he’s not allowed back in until he’s had no fever for 24 hours and looking at my son curled up on a chair feeling really sick it clicked.  I was not aware and walking my talk.  I had been on autopilot.

These are the lessons I’ve learned this round of my child’s illness:

Stop Being On Autopilot

I went back to the drawing board and began to get clear. Even though my work seemed to be a bigger priority; his continued illness as created a need to make new decisions that I am choosing versus decisions I am doing because I feel like I “have to.”

Focus On What You Most Value

What are your core values?  One of my top 3 core values are “family happiness.”  That means I create alignment by creating the space to put my family first.  Even when it means I need to cancel an appointment – again, and shift my consulting workload.  Like you I often hear the voices in my head saying things about how my choices affect my career I dare not print.  These voices are not real and are driven by fear; my child is real and in need.  When I look back in 5 or 10 years he will be there – it’s pretty doubtful what I’m working on this week will hold the same importance.

Ask Big Questions

What is most important?  And what REALLY needs to happen right now?   What can wait (even if it is a bit painful)?

Am I Walking My Talk? Aka Creating Alignment

Are you boots just fashionable but make your feet hurt or are they fashionable and made for strutting your stuff?  Walking your talk is an analogy for creating alignment.  It means you take actions and live what you most value.  When you create alignment you feel more ease and have a sense of knowing you are on the right path.

I have an entrepreneurial client right now that is juggling between 3 different businesses.  When we met last week I noticed a significant increase in anxiety.  I asked if she thought there was an increase in anxiety because she is not in alignment with her core values and her big picture vision.  As she answered this question about her choices and actions she visibly looked different – more relaxed and then had an eureka moment.

Notice Synchronicity

When we create alignment the path to our goals reveals itself in ways that is sometimes unexplainable.  For instance I was meeting with a gentleman I’m on a board with that is currently self-publishing a book and has a team of people helping with promotion. These were people he mostly didn’t know a year ago.  He shared his story of how easy it’s been and his own amazement at the number of people that are showing up that can and are supporting his path.

Ask For Help

You may notice that when faced with change you find yourself complaining.  Reaching out for help may be what you really need. Although we could have canceled there were appointments we wanted to figure out how to keep.  A neighbor we trust called back and offered to stay home from work for a few hours and watch our son so that both Tim and I could keep a commitment with two individual clients.

It’s been good to get reconnected to what matters most and trust that it will work out – in fact about an hour ago I got the thumbs up for some work to co-facilitate a team vision building day for 30.  So I’d say that my choices for creating alignment and focusing on what is most important are perfect this week and of course I do look forward to my son being healthy and back in school.

reprinted from a post Michele Corey wrote on Forbes Women

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