Looking Backward, Learning for Growth


At the beginning of 2014, I set an intention for a year of peace. When I look back on the eleven months that have passed, peace is not the word that immediately comes to mind.

What characterizes the year 2014 for you?  

My biggest growth this year has been as a result of stepping into new and bigger challenges at work. Taking on a new job involved facing a number of fears head on – fears I didn’t always know I had or understand at first. Sometimes it was energizing and exciting, and other times it was downright hard.

Here’s what I took away:

  • The essence of who we are matters, greatly. Life offers infinite possibilities every day in the simplest of ways for discovering how we can bring who we are to what we do.
  • When we truly listen with our hearts and minds, seeking to understand not only facts but also feelings, we open the door to powerful connection. Honoring the voice of another is an incredible gift to give.
  • Allowing things to be messy along the way and being OK with the messiness requires letting go. Being vulnerable and asking for help are signs of strength that enable us to create a sense of partnership and community which is required to overcome great challenges.
  • Feedback is a great way to check in with how we’re moving toward what we want to be creating. Others’ perspective offers a great read on our personal impact.
  • Coaching is a way of being of service, of bringing out the best in others. It requires empathy and a willingness to truly be in relationship with another person.
  • Finding refuge in our personal sanctuaries and taking care of ourselves is essential to making the valuable contributions we want to make, to opening our creativity, and thereby allowing ourselves to soar to great heights.
  • To make a difference, it’s best to be brief when sharing our ideas. This requires having clarity about what’s important and being intentional about what we put out there.
  • So much is possible if we allow ourselves to embrace differences and appreciate diversity, not only that others are different but also that what makes us unique is worthy of celebrating.
  • What someone is feeling and what they are focused on can be as visible as the clothes they are wearing. To create what we want, we are invited to make conscious choices about our thoughts and actions. Clear intentions set the guidepost for confidence to move toward our biggest goals and most daring dreams.

What insights will you take away from your experiences this year?

I am awed by the ways that life invites us to grow and stretch and better ourselves. I am filled with satisfaction for having tried my best most of the time. Hmm…maybe I have found peace after all…

As we pause to celebrate a year of growth, may our learning strengthen us and embolden us to step out on the skinny branches and lean into possibility!

Favorite Quotes from 2014 posts 

  • What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • These are holy moments [when] we come out of hiding and allow ourselves to simply be truthful…~Rolf Gates
  • It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling the space. ~Pema Chodron
  • When we pretend that we can avoid vulnerability, we engage in behaviors that are often inconsistent with who we want to be. Experiencing vulnerability isn’t a choice – the only choice we have is how we’re going to respond when we are confronted with uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. ~Brene Brown
  • I have to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism. ~Charles Schwab
  • Sometimes asking for help is the bravest move you can make. ~Unknown
  • Coaching is not just about achieving goals. It is about revealing the magnificence of who you are at your core. ~Chris Lucerne
  • Creativity…is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea. ~Lou Dorfsman
  • We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion. ~Max de Pree
  • Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. ~Steve Jobs

What quotes inspire you? 



19 thoughts on “Looking Backward, Learning for Growth

  1. “If we settle for tolerance, we have failed. Our goal is love.” – Yvonne and Rich Dutra-St. John, founders of Challenge Day.

    • Yvonne, I believe you are going to find more abundant love than you ever imagined possible. Life is inviting you to re-imagine your dreams. I suspect it will take time. There are so many people here holding your hand and heart along the way. I know that with the brilliant light that you are, you will ‘shine on’ all the way.

      • Oh Vicki, thank you. My light dims at times, but it is still strongly burning in my heart. I just need to hold a friendly hand and I put mine in yours as I move forward. Thank you for your loving comment. I appreciate you! ♥♥♥

  2. My all time favourite quote is ““When you argue with reality, you lose, but only 100% of the time.”
    ― Byron Katie. This has so many meanings. It could mean not being in the present moment. It could be the wasted energy of thinking “what is” should not be. I love this line in your blog – so poetic! “step out on the skinny branches and lean into possibility!”

    • Sunita, I so love Byron Katie. She is so wise. What is – so simple yet so complex and tough! Perhaps stepping out on the skinny branches and leaning into possibility is a way of agreeing with reality – and partly why you like that line! 🙂 Thanks for being here and sharing!

  3. This is a beautifully written post. My insights this year are about the same as yours. Something big for me has been fully embracing who I am as a product/child/being of creator energy. Seeing this truth has enabled me to more quickly identify when I have walked away from myself.

    • Thanks for sharing, Brenda. Embrace, Creator, Energy…such delicious things. I love the imagery of seeing when you are walking away from yourself. I, too, am getting clearer about when I do this and better able to feel when that starts to happen. Here’s to an amazing year of embracing the creator energy in 2015!

  4. Hi Vicki, I am going to be a wet blanket on your usually great blog .. I have just listened to the news and the “hottest year on record” is now confirmed – and it will get hotter “they” are saying .. So, my words for the 2014 are:- “we have to look after the planet and think about all those times we have driven, turned on the air conditioner, turned on the heater, etc – when we didn’t need to. Every little action we take needs to be considered in respect to this great planet we live on and what we are going to leave our children/grand children.”
    And whilst I am at it, we need to cure cancer – as you know, I have someone close to me who is suffering from this insidious disease. I am hoping 2015 will be a better year. Have a great Xmas and Happy New Year. gb

    • Geoff, great to have you here. Given it’s below freezing here, it’s funny for me to hear you talking about the heat. I promise to be even more thoughtful each time I am chilly and want to turn on the space heater or crank up our heat. You know I’m completely with you on finding a cure for cancer – and holding you and yours in my heart, hoping 2015 is indeed a good year. Wishing you a lovely season…

  5. Thank you Vicki for your inspiring words and advise. I know I can always count on you to point me in the right direction. I am going to start mentoring someone in about 30 mins and I will certainly share with her some of your wise words and of course point her to this blog and follow you in connections!

    • Cheryl, so great to see you here and wonderful that you find the blog helpful not only for yourself but for those you guide and support! Thanks for pausing to let me know that you appreciate the ideas I choose to put to ‘paper’. 🙂

  6. Great post, Vicki!

    Two of my favorite quotes:
    “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
    — Sir Winston Churchill

    “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t; you are right.”
    — Henry Ford

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  7. Pingback: Leap toward your dreams | Leading With Intention

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