February 1, 2023
I hit the wall this past month. I had had it with the grey days and the rain here in Northern CA, had it with my feeling sorry for myself that I hadn’t been accepted to present at a conference, had it with my comparativeness with others and their Facebook postings of fabulous goings on in their lives, had it with my boohooing about gaining weight over 2022, blah blah blah.
And as I was walking out of a workout that I didn’t particularly enjoy and yet was glad I did, my inner voice to me, “You are getting tired of your own bullshit.” Yup. That was the truth.
So now that I have come to this moment where I am going to grow (up) (again), now what? Now I work on my insides – to get over petty stuff faster, to eat that apple and not the potato chips, to move forward in ways that a pro would.
Yes, there is emotional labor behind being a pro. And if you want to be a pro, you do the work. As my former supervisor and fabulous colleague, Becki Cohn-Vargas, said to me once, “You are going to have a feeling about what I am going to ask you to do. You aren’t wrong and yet we don’t have time for the feeling. I just need you to do it.”
And guess what? I did it. Like a pro. (If you want to read a cool ‘take’ on being a pro, check out Steven Pressfield’s Turning Pro.)
Much of what is stopping me from acting like the pro I know I am is me. My limiting inner voice, my fear of what I put out there not being received well (again), my frustration over the unfairness of life, blah blah blah. My resistance to what it takes to be a pro won’t go away. So I acknowledge it, step over it or work around it, and just be one. I need to do the work and be the pro I know I am. (If you want a cool take on just doing the work, check out Seth Godin.)
So I have decided to write the email, start the next publication, design the new workshop, and keep creating. Get over my inner limiting voice and act like a pro. Stretch at my edges and grow up.
People in my workshops have often said to me, “What you are asking of us by stretching at our edges and being an even better professional is a lot. We are just coming out of years of teaching online and our school is worried about teacher recruitment and retention. We need to be working on well being and this work of developing as a professional is too much.”
I don’t disagree. It takes a lot to be the professional we want to be and we can be. It takes a lot of emotional labor to look at how we show up in ways that are good for the collective and sometimes not good. It takes energy and emotional maturity to look within and realize we haven’t been flexible in our thinking, or responsible for our side of communications, or emotionally healthy for ourselves and others as we ooze a little too much drama into the meetings we attend.
It isn’t easy to be a pro. And boy, do I find it so cool to know I felt my feelings and did the work anyways. And boy, wouldn’t it be so cool to work with others who were working on being an even better value add and professional as well. I think I’d feel a sense of well being and health that was powerful.
You might be asking yourself “What if I am on my own in this thinking and those around me don’t do the work to be a pro? Can my development alone help the collective? Is it worth it to try to grow (up) when your team cannot be asked to work on themselves?
Boy, I sure think so. The ‘I’ influences the ‘we’ and even more importantly the ‘I’ influences the ‘I’. We know when we are playing small and it affects us and the team. We have a bigger sphere of influence than we’d like to think we do and we should act as if our moments of behaving like a pro matter, cuz they do.
So enough with being tired. Tired of playing small. I would love you to join me in leveling up. If you are interested in being a part of an ‘enough already’ group that is working on upskilling as professionals, I am offering workshops on having hard conversations, on stretching your learning edges and growing (up) at work and more. Please let me know if you’d like to join me in
- An ‘open to all’ group that would be created with folks ‘turning pro’ from all over the world – a new Stretch cohort is starting in May (as well as a 4 part workshop with Principal Center in March and a 2 week sprint version in May with NoTosh to suit time zones in Asia – write me if you want information.
- A personal just for your school/educational organization set of workshops we can co-create on your time zone and at a time that works for you and your colleagues.
Together let’s turn pro and grow.
If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.
Cultural Reads “We live in a more international world than ever, yet we constantly find reasons to divide and judge others. Instead of being ignorant about our differences, why don’t we try to see what they teach us? I strongly believe that we can enrich our lives by learning from others and especially those who are further removed from us (whether physically or culturally). However, it can be difficult to know where to start. This blog is an attempt to compile the best works of each country in a consumable format.”
International Intrigue “Each morning our team of former diplomats scour 600+ sources to bring you the most important global news and analysis, with a cheeky twist. Join 10,000+ leaders & get the free global affairs newsletter you’ll actually look forward to reading.”
Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work by Steven Pressfield. “Turning pro is free, but it’s not easy. When we turn pro, we give up a life with which we may have become extremely comfortable…. Turning pro is free, but it demands sacrifice. The passage from amateur to professional is often achieved via an internal odyssey whose trials are survived only at great cost, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. We pass through a membrane when we turn pro. It’s messy, and it’s scary.”
The Power of Professionalism: The Seven Mindsets that Drive Performance and Build Trust by Bill Wiersma. “In this groundbreaking book, Wiersma outlines the seven key mind-sets of trusted professionals, offering a blueprint for both individuals and organizations interested in fostering a culture of professionalism.”