Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.
As a little girl I would lie in the grass behind my childhood home staring at the clouds above. I may have been recovering after spending 10 minutes trying to get as high as my legs could pump before leaping from the swing. Or I may have just created a whole world of imaginary people, buildings, and beaches in the sand box before my beloved black lab came running through to bring that poor new world to a quick end.
Lying in the cool grass, feeling the sun beating down on my skin, and gazing into the clouds I dreamt of what I would become later in life. Maybe I would be a teacher, helping to grow the next generation. Maybe I would become a poet. Maybe I would be a professional basketball player!
Oh, the options were as varied as the shapes I was seeing in the clouds.
One thing was consistent as I lay beneath the birds and the big, blue sky – I was confident that no matter what I became I would be the very best I could be. I would take myself to new heights no matter how much work it took.
Sadly, children grow up. What’s even sadder is that friends, parents, teachers, and society all begin to chip away at the magnificence that is a child’s perception.
Thanks to the lack of kindness some children exude, mixed with insecurities I picked up along the way, I grew up never really thinking I was beautiful. I compared myself to other girls and the rates they progressed into womanhood always led to more fear that I would never be “like them”.
As the awkward years finally came to an end, the dreams I used to have of what I could be were met aggressively with what school considered “a reality check”.
If my reality is that which I perceive it to be, how much of this so called “reality” adults always talk about is only perpetuated every time they convince another child: “that’s just how it is”.
It was during these reality checks that I began to become even more uncomfortable with differences I saw between myself and those that surrounded me. I began to question why I didn’t care about experimenting with drinking, instead I preferred to work, I became addicted to not having to rely on my parents when I needed something.
It was all of these things that built to become the problems I would first confront when I entered this program. I can’t say I had lost the child inside, but I am positive that I had become pretty good at covering her up with the dirt of becoming an adult.
Here is the sad, but somewhat cool thing about all of that; we all have our own version of this story. We all have our own pain. We all have a pile of dirt we piled upon ourselves in the transition from child to adult.
The only reason I consider this “cool” is because it means we aren’t alone. The even more exciting thing is that Christopher and Bill have created a tool that helps all of us shake the dirt off and embrace the essence of a child again.
As I learned and continue to practice intention, I began to slowly dig out from under all that dirt. One shovel-full at a time I started to see me again and see the world through my 7 year old eyes.
The reflection I saw in the mirror growing up resembled a carnival mirror, all distorted, but through this new clarity I saw the real me again.
The possibilities became limitless.
The only difference between then and now is that the confidence I had at 7 was blind faith in my ability to do whatever I put my mind to. The confidence I have recently rediscovered holds so much more weight for me as I have seen what I am capable of.
Just a few months ago I sat cross-legged on the floor of my empty new living room sharing a picnic with a friend. The big windows that scaled the 20ft wall seemed to be the perfect frame for the spring blooms just beyond the glass. As we talked about life and intention I could feel my own power grow and before I was even aware I made the statement,
“I intend to be at the top of my industry one day.”
When I trust in my capabilities the level of confidence I find I have in myself is borderline arrogance. I surprised myself, but instead of worrying what my friend might think of my statement I chose to listen to what my heart had just said.
This wasn’t an intention based on a desire for recognition or authoritative power. I don’t need those things, it is a desire based on the awareness that I can be as free and powerful as I allow myself to be, and I want to be as free and as powerful as I can be.
I wasn’t lying in the grass this time but my mind was as uninhibited as it had been all those years ago.
I am forever grateful that I found this program to enable me to clean all the dirt off before it could really set in and leave permanent stains. An intention I set a long time ago to spread this tool to as many people, of all ages, as possible is quickly becoming more aligned the more I rediscover my inner child.
What would be different today if as adults we viewed the world with the wonder of a child? What if we not only practiced self-actualization but also taught it to the next generation?
I don’t want to see the world just as it is; I want to see the world as it can be. I don’t want to see myself just as I am today, I want to see myself as I can be when set free.
Jessica Soroky, CSM
Jessica is a Certified Scrum Master with over three years of practice in agile delivery and seven years of team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of non-profit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.
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