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2022 was a big year. I took some well-deserved downtime, got married (whoop!), and celebrated Just Jaz’s fifth birthday. I decided to celebrate this achievement by revisiting my archives. Some people decide to visit Harrods champagne bar, others – a holiday to Greece; I like to keep it humble.
So, off I went, to the depth of my Google drive, blew off the cobwebs and there they were. You may be picturing some Harry Potter-esc setup here. Let me assure you, this is how I envision the moment in comparison to the reality that was me, logging into Google and scrolling through my colour-coordinated folders.
As I sat there that morning, tea freshly brewed, I came across my first-ever Impostor Syndrome workshop. It was all there, the slide deck, material notes and all my research. I think about circa 2018 Jaz in comparison to Jaz today. Did she ever think that in 5 years, she would be delivering the same workshop? That the need would still be there? Did she realise the number of people impacted by the material shared? That creating a space for people to feel seen prompted others to start their entrepreneurial journeys? It was just such a heartwarming moment.
High achievers have a few things in common, the main thing is that we don’t take the time to stop and smell the flowers or give ourselves the time to acknowledge how far we’ve come. This is because we are so laser-focused on the next big thing. The next achievement. By taking my foot off the gas, I have recognised that things don’t just fall apart. And it’s such a great feeling.
Whilst searching, I came across my takeaways from 2019. That magical pre-pandemic year that I had planned meticulously for in 2018. It was an exciting read because it cemented my idea that in many years when I look back at this reflection, it will continue my learning and highlight how far I have come and how much I have achieved.
Let’s dive in and review my 2019-2022 lessons, shall we?
Flexible goal setting
Goal setting and having a 5-10 year plan have always been important to me, but if the last few years have taught me anything, planning can only get you so far. You can have a whole strategy planned for your year ahead and have all the right tools and support in place – but if something like a global pandemic hits, you will need to be flexible with your planning, with your business and with yourself. Hold those plans loosely. Don’t harness yourself into something you can’t control. Staying open with my career, life, relationships, and experiences allows for growth and possibility.
Learn from yourself
Our primary focus in life is to become more and more ourselves. Yearly reflections are an excellent way to hold yourself accountable for this. My goals are mine; they make sense to me because they are my lived experiences and still are. Ultimately, in many ways, they stay unchanged, regardless of what I go through. I hold all these things still to be true. I’m relearning over and over in new circumstances and unique spaces.
I see this a lot in coaching. If we were to pause and condense our own wisdom, if we were to wait to encapsulate it, gild it, or emboss it somewhere within our lives, whether that’s a sticky note on the mirror, in a journal, Whatsapp message, voice note or remembered conversation with friends. It would be the most insightful advice you will need to hear.
However you do it, I encourage you to gild the wisdom you have shared with others and collect those jewels and gems that are very, very likely to carry you through.
A lot of coaching pulls this type of awareness to the surface, collecting those gems that will then carry you through.
This year, I learned more about the space of human design and myself as a manifesting generator. But also my strength as a connector. I’ve always known it was there. And this year, I saw how it comes so naturally to me, but also how much I sometimes take it for granted. At the Ambitious Weekend, for example, a bunch of us went to Liverpool. I sat there and looked around this room, all five of us, primarily new friends I’d met over the last few years. We’d met online, stayed close, and decided to spend this weekend opening up to one another and dissecting the most vulnerable parts of our lives by listening to and challenging one another. It was a beautiful realisation to me that these people were the closest to me. We weren’t acquaintances, a few I’d met through work, yes, but we dove in deep, and those connections were formed instantaneously.
Many people are going through significant life changes, so I have been channelling my energy into understanding the power of empathy in certain relationships and being entirely intentional with them. I get so much energy from being around people. I am continuously leaning into my strength as a connector to enrich my life and those around me.
Get your house in order
I don’t remember what I meant when I noted that down in 2019. But as I step into 2023, this is about cleansing. I have recently had a spring clean for my personal life, and I’ve realised I’ve got way too many clothes and just things for the sake of having things. In my business, I have been decluttering, so to speak and have figured out that if I were to do a few things excellently rather than a lot of things well, my mission and impact would go further.
I would feel more lit up; I’d feel lighter. There’d be more space for my creativity and more space for my humanity. There’d be more space for me to go a little bit deeper into the things I support my clients on. That requires me to get my house in order. That requires me to go through the documents, the decks, and the Rolodex and pull everything together into a semblance of order for myself and my business.
Some of you have communicated with my Ops Lead, Sophia. She is fantastic and can quickly turn chaos into peace and clarity. But when she joined the team, it made me realise I had to get my house in order for her to do her job most efficiently. If I think of it as an anecdote – when you invite someone over to your house, you tidy it up before they come in. That mindset has allowed me to step into 2023 with a clear direction because my house is now in order.
The mission and the message
When I sat down and thought about my mission to empower 10,000 people to embrace ambition, I didn’t know the impact of that statement. At points, I had too many strings to my bow, but one thing that has always shone through – the mission.
By now, you will know that I’ve launched a membership called the Vault, which is my secret weapon for high achievers.
It is a space designed to be powerful, to build a community of high-achieving people, a place for me to teach, a space for me to coach, and an area for me to work with a more significant number of people. The membership is designed to allow you to plug in when you want and when you need to. Whether that’s by attending a monthly group call, accessing private podcasts, or listening to audio workshops that will advance your career and enhance your life. This space will allow you to achieve your mission without burnout or overwhelm.
As I go into 2023, my mission will be at the forefront. It’s not going to be a whisper. It’s not going to be an afterthought to the introduction. Coaching is an experience of community and connection, which is at the forefront of everything I do. It is an experience, it’s curated, and it’s intentional.
Keep showing up
In 2019, showing up was doing the absolute most on Instagram and attending all the events to network, network, network. That has shifted for me in 2023. This year I am focusing on being present and growing the visibility of my work. Increasing the visibility of the clients I work with, developing the visibility of the impact, and showing up consistently.
As yourself, when things get busy, how can I make it easy for folks to enjoy and inhale as much resource and content as they want to without me burning out? How can I be visible alongside this mission more consistently? Does that take shape as enhancing your personal brand, prioritising your visibility and releasing things that aren’t picture-perfect? That’s a part of it. But really, the main crux is asking yourself, what is the focus? What do I have to have in place? Which boundaries do I need to set to keep showing up but on my terms? 2023 is about not overthinking. It is about understanding that the first draft sometimes is more than enough. Take Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, for example, and the notion that someone is waiting for you, somebody is ready to take value from your first draft, needs to hear what you have to say, and needs to feel it.
Don’t be afraid to create
Some of you know me personally and know that my partner is creative. He is a musician, an artist and a poet. He is a writer; he’s all of these things. He was the creative one in our relationship, and I was not. But the more we got to know each other, the more I established my creativity. You’ve met me as a career coach. But I do things differently. I love to create experiences. I am involved in the visual representation of my brand; I have a perspective on things. I love colour, and I love creative expression. That’s one of the ways that I’ve been filling my cup with this year and will continue to do so going forward.
My creative expression has always been writing. I’ve had the time of my life building my community with my email newsletters this year, which will continue next year. There’s going to be a sprinkling of live events. I will be hosting an immersive weekend for members, clients and the public, where I will hold space for those to work on their careers and crowdsource the wisdom, connection and enjoyment that comes from ambitious people being in the same room as one another.
You can’t do it all at once
That is the biggest lesson. If you’re reading this and identify as ambitious, this is one of the lessons you learn year after year because you want to do everything at once. Recognising that you can’t has been very humbling.
Sophie Thorne, a coach I have worked with previously, once said, “when you do your planning, and you finish something earlier than you thought you did, or you check off things a lot earlier in the month, do not pull things forward. Enjoy the space that it provides.” Stop to smell the flowers.
We rob ourselves of that when we try to do everything at once. We rob ourselves when trying to do everything in the first quarter, the first month, the first week. Savour things, do not resent the fact that certain things take time, and open up that curiosity to understand what could happen if you gave yourself more space than expected instead of trying to underpromise and over-deliver.
I have so many exciting opportunities that are happening in 2023, which stem from people asking. As we become more senior, we can’t ask people for help (or think we can’t!). We can’t ask people to collaborate. We can’t ask for a mentor or extra support.
I want you to know that that’s not the case. 2023 is the year of asking. Whether that’s asking more questions to get clarity or asking for the thing that we truly desire, not the thing that sounds palpable and sits underneath it, the actual genuine thing that we want.
The out-of-the-box request that has been in our hearts and minds for the longest time.
This mindset has already transformed my outlook and what I have planned for the next couple of months and will continue for the rest of the year.
Reflecting and observing your yearly highlights and takeaways can set you up for the year ahead, so I encourage you to see what you have in your archives. Blow the cobwebs away and see what you have been learning continuously and consistently over the past few years. It may surprise you!