There are no perfect parents. We're going to make mistakes. And when we do, we need to show ourselves (and each other) compassion. *Purposeful* parenting embraces imperfection, builds upon our strengths and integrates our core values.
I launched my life coaching and facilitation business in March, 2013. The mission of Purposeful Growth, LLC is to cultivate personal growth in myself and others through connection and community. I provide coaching, facilitation, resources, and tools to help people increase their self-awareness, clarify their strengths, core values and priorities, and use this higher self-awareness to determine what they really want their life to look like, feel like, and be like. As they take inspired action toward the vision they have for their ideal life, they find moments of true happiness that so many of us are seeking.
Coaching helps people identify their best self. As they increase their self-awareness, they are able to think more clearly, see new and different options, and make more informed and intentional decisions. Through the coaching process, they identify and then let go of old ways of thinking and old behaviors that get in their way. They become more of who they were meant to be.
My clients don't come to me for help with their relationships, but through the coaching process, some of them have strengthened relationships with people in their life as an unexpected benefit. As they learn more about their own values, priorities, and needs, they naturally become curious about the values and priorities of their spouse or significant other. They open new lines of communication with the most important people in their life and as a result, they end up strengthening their relationships and increasing overall satisfaction with their life.
As career-loving parents, it can be hard to balance our time and energy between professional and family commitments. We cram our calendar full, manage our household like a project, and sprint from one commitment to the next. We strive for perfection in all that we do, and are much happier when we are in control....which means we don't delegate and try to do too much ourselves. We set high expectations and high standards for ourselves, our spouse, and our kids. When things don't go as expected, we may be overly critical of ourselves or of others. We fear failure and ruminate on our mistakes. We wake up one day wondering why we feel so scattered, stressed, and exhausted. We love our family dearly, but for some reason, we feel alone and dissatisfied with our life.
I'm speaking from experience.... I used to have a checklist for everything: work projects, home projects, and even vacations. There was always one more task to do. I didn’t know how to rest, I couldn’t relax, and I couldn’t stand being “bored.” I wanted to be perfect in every aspect of my life: the perfect professional, the perfect friend, and more recently, the perfect parent. I feared failure and when I made a mistake, I beat myself up for it. Worrying about something I said to someone, or something I forgot to do earlier that day would keep me up for hours at night. I pushed myself and others too hard. My desire for perfection and control, coupled with my achievement mindset, have created stress and strain in my relationships for years.
Becoming a mother in 2011 was literally life-changing for me. During the four months I spent at home with my daughter, I learned that there was more to life than completing the next to-do list. I slowed down for the first time in my life and realized I needed to make some significant changes. With that awareness, I started my own journey of growth and transformation. I've become more aware of how my natural tendencies impact those around me, and how my quick reactions make me feel about myself. I'm finding more productive uses for my strengths and building my life and business around my passions and values. I'm rediscovering who I *really* am and what I want my life to look like. I'm practicing self-compassion and forgiving myself when I screw up.
I applied for Dream Big Grow Here because I want to help busy parents transition away from trying to be "perfect" parents, and move toward parenting with purpose. I will provide coaching, programming, tools and resources to help parents clarify their core values, identify and leverage their core character strengths, and determine their priorities so they can focus their time and energy on what matters most. They'll be empowered to use this information to have conversations with their spouse and to create family values, leverage the strengths of the whole family, and ensure that as a family, they carve out quality time together.
Perfectionism and control tendencies have their place, but do not serve us well as parents. I will recommend approaches and resources to help people find more productive uses for their natural talents and tendencies. These approaches are are research-based and practical. I will complement my current coaching practices and techniques and my personal experience as a perfection-seeking parent with specialized training in the areas of self-compassion, positive psychology, appreciative inquiry/living, and character strengths development.
Self-compassion is associated with greater emotional resilience, more caring relationship behavior, and less reactive anger. Through self-compassion, we become kinder and more forgiving with ourselves. We learn that no one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes; it's human nature. (Learn more in Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff or at www.self-compassion.org).
Positive psychology interventions increase well-being and happiness and changes people’s lives by focusing on meaning, love, gratitude, growth, and better relationships. (Learn more in Flourish by Martin E. P. Seligman)
Appreciative inquiry is a positive, strength-based approach that focuses us on images of what we want and builds on our strengths and successes. (Learn more in The Joy of Appreciative Living by Jackie Kelm)
Character strengths have an impact on our quality of life and our relationships, careers, and growth. Applying our strengths increases our life satisfaction and well-being as we contribute to a better society and humanity. (Learn more at www.viacharacter.org)
I’ll bring all of this together in a comprehensive research-based suite of offerings for my clients. This will 1) enable me to offer specialized coaching, tools, and resources that will better support high-achieving, perfection-seeking, busy parents and 2) help to differentiate me and the services I provide from other local coaches. As my clients leverage these tools and interventions, I expect their level of dissatisfaction and stress to decrease and their level of satisfaction and happiness to increase, which should also positively impact and contribute to stronger relationships with their spouse, children, extended family, friends, and professional associates.
This grant will be much appreciated and used toward the investment in this aforementioned training and other related expenses such as materials and travel. The investment for the training programs I've researched is estimated to be around or just over $4000.
In order to create a more sustainable business model, it is also my intention to invest in a resource this year to take over some of the administrative functions of my business. Any leftover grant money will be applied toward the investment this resource for tasks such as record keeping, bookkeeping, paperwork, calendar management, and more. By delegating these administrative tasks (which do not leverage my strengths), I will have more time to work *in* and *on* my business, connecting with people, coaching people, and designing and delivering workshops and programs.