As I was painting the walls of our house a few weeks ago and working on some of my DIY projects, I thought to myself, “I’m glad our house is still a work in progress.” Though we did not get the privilege of building the house from scratch, I am grateful that there are still spaces and corners that aren’t completely done yet. I still have items on my Pinterest board that have yet to come to life, and our evolving family will have different needs in the future. I find so much joy in constantly working on it.
It reminded me of how we too as human beings aren’t also fully done yet. We are works in progress. There are still spaces and corners in our lives that need cleaning, renovating, fixing or furnishing. There will always be. But sometimes, we find ourselves frustrated, disappointed or doubtful because we’re not yet how we envisioned or dreamed ourselves to be. We diagnose ourselves to have the imposter syndrome and then find ourselves stuck and unable to move forward.
My own journey as a coach has taught me many lessons and as I reflect on it now, I realized that all boils down to accepting and embracing that I am a work in progress.
I could vividly remember that time when I had a coaching session with Cecilia Schrijver and in tears, I was telling her about how scared I was to fully step out of the closet and tell the world that I am a coach.
I also vividly remember my first session with my Book Writing Coach, Karren, when I bared my long-forgotten dream of writing a book and inspiring people.
But just the same I remember ever-so-fondly those days when I found the courage to be vulnerable. To admit failure. To face my fears. To take off my mask and be truly and authentically me, wounds, scars and all.
Unmask. it’s liberating. Our flaws, failures and fears make us who we are. These remind us that we are works in progress.
Empty Your Cup
Just when I thought that things were smooth sailing because I’ve been coaching for a few years, I decided to pursue my International Coaching Federation (ICF) Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credential. To be honest, I thought it was going to be easy. I was wrong. I realized that there were so many things I had to work on. It hit my pride really bad. That’s when I realized that I must empty my cup and be ready to unlearn, learn and relearn. I put in extra effort to make myself better, and that’s probably one thing that I did not focus on in previous years.
That experience inspired me to constantly work on myself. Even before officially earning my credential, I enrolled myself in the next level coaching course, with an empty cup in hand. I was excited to be nourished and filled again because I know, I am a work in progress.
An empty cup is one that can be filled again with new learnings, new discoveries, new skills and new experiences. An empty cup reminds us that we’re not full yet, we’re not complete yet, we’re still works in progress.
Pause, Pace and Peace
I was all pumped up and excited when I started the course. I even had to put other projects on-hold so I can fully devote my time for learning. I was like an Energizer Bunny (if you’ve seen that commercial decades ago!) giving it my 101% but half-way through the course, I was already tired. I went on and on and on until I was just exhausted, frustrated and at some point, I even thought about just giving up.
It was only at the tail end that I realized the importance of pause, pace and peace. Pausing and pacing both reminded me that my quest for growth is not a race. Knowing my own triggers helped me step back, reflect and re-strategize. And finally, peace. Though I do love challenges and see them as opportunities to grow, I have also learned not to do them at the expense of my own peace.
When we pause, pace ourselves and honor our peace, we are also acknowledging that there isn’t really a finish line. There are only milestones and pitstops. Like I said in my book, the journey never ends. It’s not about being the best, it’s about being better.
I’m glad to be a work in progress.
If you’re in this space now where you feel that your life or career is like an unfinished, unfurnished house, know that you are in a good space. The possibilities are endless. Progress is always something worth celebrating no matter how big or small.
Keep going. Someone out there needs you.
Congratulations, you are God’s wonderful work in progress.