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Reflect, Evaluate + Grow: The Secret to Personal Success

Reflect, Evaluate + Grow: The Secret to Personal Success
How many times have you heard someone say “I have a lot of experience in that area.”? How much experience do you think they really have? Is it the length of time that they’ve been doing something that gives them the experience? Doing something for a long time does not guarantee the quality of what they do is good. Do you agree?

What really matters is the depth of their skill that evolved out of the experience they endured, went through, or achieved. I suggest that experience alone is NOT what we learn from. It’s more about reflecting on and evaluating the experiences we’ve gone through and digging for gold in those experiences about the lessons we learned from going through those experiences.

We go from experience to experience every day. We can pack in so many things all week long, day after day, month after month, year after year. We are so busy going from one experience to the next that we don’t really stop to think about our successes or even those failures or harder situations we had to work through. What was the good that came out of those? Was something learned or did you merely endure, rush through it, or enjoy it? Truly, pausing to reflect and evaluate the experiences at the end of each day is where the jewels of life are found. If we can learn from our experience – if we can take time to sit down with a pen and paper and write out what we learned; what the good things were – that’s when we gain momentum and empowerment to repeat those successes or identify the pitfalls. We can look for patterns in our lives, what did I do that brought success to me? In that process, you’ll see a pattern of behavior that will bring you success. We each have our own patterns. That’s why we need to reflect and evaluate.

We all go through negative situations or hardships. There is no reason to feel ashamed for going through a hard time in life, it doesn’t define you. It can certainly grow and stretch you, or it can just burn you out. You can become angry, depressed, and resentful. Or you can learn from those experiences and put measures in place not to repeat them. It’s your choice.

You have a choice in how you live your life, you have a choice to be intentional with what you are doing; how you’re spending your time; and how you’re reflecting on the things you go through; what those things mean, and focus on the good things. Ask yourself: What did I do well? What didn’t I do well? How did I respond to that person? What could I do better the next time?

Take some time and look back. I’ve been through several things in my life. More specifically, I’ve been through a divorce. What did I contribute to those relationships? What part of that was my responsibility? In every situation, we have a part we play. It’s important to reflect on the part that you played. To be successful and avoid being a victim, it is important to identify your responsibility however small. You can only change what you can control. What you can control is what you are responsible for.

What is the part that you are playing? How are you showing up?

I’ve been through family illnesses and there is an impact that these illnesses have on the individual who is ill as well as the people and family around them. The struggle is real. Whether those illnesses were physical or mental in nature, there are ramifications. How we respond to those situations is critical. When we have someone we love who has substance or alcohol abuse, the impact goes far beyond just that individual addict.

Those are some experiences many go through in life. They can be defining life moments. How we respond and react, and how we relate to others matters. People Matter! You Matter! There are more people in life who are affected in similar ways. If you are feeling alone in right now, please realize you are not alone. There is help. Celebrate Recovery; Al-Anon for family and friends of alcoholics. Alcoholics-Anonymous or Narcotics-Anonymous for the addict. It’s worth taking time to reflect. Reflect on your life, reflect on the experiences you have. Just going through experiences alone does not necessarily teach us.

It’s evaluated experiences where the growth really kicks in.

I recommend you spend some time jotting down some questions about what you need to think about. Everyone is in a different stage of life. You could be in an early stage of adulthood. You could be single. Maybe you’re married; or you have young children, teenagers, or grown children: maybe some of each! Many have been married for many years: e.g. 20-47 years. Everyone is at different stages of life, and each stage of life is a wonderful place to be. Right, where you are is where you’re supposed to be and it’s a wonderful place. Find gratitude for where are: even in the rough spots. Take 10-15 minutes at the end of each day to think about what is it that’s happening – what’s good and what can I learn?

Merely 10-minutes at the end of your day to reflect can change the trajectory of your life. Take some time quarterly to look at your life and values. Are you living out your values? Have you identified your values Do you say family is important to you? How much time are you spending time with your family? Who is your family? Is it just you; an immediate spouse, are your children at home, or grown? What about your parents? Do you have multi-generations in your home? Do they have a place in your life? There’s no judgment: it’s your life – you get to design how you live. Carve out time to reflect. Are you so busy you don’t have an opportunity to really sit and look at how your values are played out in your life? STOP – carve out the time!

How are you growing daily? Is there someone in your life you need to forgive? Who is that? Whom do you need to give grace to? Could it be yourself? Who in your life do you need to take time and thank? Who in your life should be receiving more, or less, of your time? Do you value the people in your life? Are you tolerating toxic people in your life? If you value these people, do they know you value them? How are you showing up in the eyes of others and in your eyes? You can’t give what you don’t have: so take the time to take care of yourself too!

These are interesting questions. For those of you who are approaching the second half of your life, such as myself, it’s really important that we understand what we want the second half of our life to look like. Unless we take time to reflect on where we are at this point, we’re not going to be very deliberate in the second half of our lives.

Do you understand what you want to do with the second half of your life? Can you identify that goal or purpose in one or two sentences? What’s your passion? Now that your children are grown and much of life’s demands are passed, what do you do uncommonly well? What have you done really well or achieved? Do you know how you’re hard-wired with your personality; your communication style; your skill sets, and other tendencies? All of those are important: and you can leverage your strengths – when you know what they are – so that you can really make the most of the rest of your life.

Again, I encourage you to schedule a time to pause and reflect. Ten minutes at the end of each day, maybe an hour or two every week. Maybe every 6 months take time to reflect on the first half of the year and where you want the second half to go. Make the time: just do it!

Think about where it is you need to grow right now: is it in self-management and getting disciplined around yourself? Self-leadership is the highest form of leadership.

I am available to help you if you want to reassess your values, dreams, and goals.

Are you ready to spend time designing your life? What are your plans? I can help you revive your dreams and help you with the courage to take steps to reach those dreams.

You’re not alone. I’m here for you.


Candace MaeCandace Mae spends her days steeped in connectedness with Christ's Spirit to allow her the Divine insight and guidance on personal and business growth. Whether she's working with her staff, or coaching women in leadership, executives, and business owners – or serving as a Marketplace Care Partner, her sole focus is on integrating love in the workplace to better herself and her clients.

She is developing people-centric, value-based, compassionate servant leadership that CARES. These are the tools she teaches: Communication, Attitude, Relationships, Equipping others, and Sales.

By helping leaders who struggle with a toxic environment - unengaged employees, high absenteeism, and turnover, constantly putting out fires, and internal conflicts – transform it into a warm and welcoming environment where high trust, morale, and productivity. As a result, people look forward to coming to work.

When Candace Mae isn't developing curriculum, coaching, and training, she's practicing speaking or spending time outdoors in nature with animals, family, and 3-beautiful grandchildren in a rural setting where she lives in North County San Diego, California.

I am most excited about my Upcoming Book: Heaven Within: Restoring Wholeness for Better Leadership.”

You may also contact Candace at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule her for speaking or leadership engagements.


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