“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
Have you ever practiced writing a journal of thoughts and ideas you have about yourself? Or have you made a motivational letter describing your talents, aptitudes, and desires to express your interests and ambitions about achieving something?
To begin a process of self-knowledge, we must begin by recognizing who we are today. It implies the act of looking where we are at, how we see ourselves and who we think we are. This process of observing ourselves in the present moment must be honest, unsweetened, raw, no hiding, no pretending, no lying to ourselves. Writing is a practical way, and according to Neuroscience a very effective one on promoting retention, comprehension, and helps us to keep the focus on the important things. Besides, there are studies such as the one carried out by psychologists at UCLA which confirms labeling our emotions with words has therapeutic effects on the brain.
In this article, I want to invite you to capture the emotion that comes with the reflection of looking inward. In this exercise: My letter of motivation, you will be able to release through writing what is going on in your mind, your heart and your spirit, and open your eyes to see it. You will observe “YOURSELF” in the present tense, and the uncertainty next to the possibilities that tomorrow offers to your life.
I invite you to keep reading how I elaborated My motivational letter, and take from there whatever you may think will help you to write down your own. Creating your letter of motivation to initiate a process of change will be the first action in the reunion with your inner self. When writing, all your thoughts, beliefs, interests, talents, abilities, emotions, needs, desires, storms you live daily, (even if you may not notice them) will express themselves. So, before you start, I have one more request. When writing your motivational letter, please keep going till you finish. If you feel the desire to make corrections, wait until you believe your letter is complete. Once you finished, read your motivational letter as many times as you need. You will experience a shower of self-awareness. The moments of consciousness will make your time spent on this first exercise so much worth it after all!
The first task before starting my master’s degree in Coaching and Self-leadership I was asked to write about: who I was, what I was carrying with me, what my expectations were, and an image that represented the change I was about to live.
For anyone who identifies herself/himself as a perfectionist, practical, and rational person, he or she will understand that it was not the task I was expecting. What about concepts, graphics, facts, bibliography? Nop, I was asked to describe myself, describe my life, and my expectations not only about the master studies but of my future life. It felt weird, I was uncomfortable. Now I wonder, why did it make me nervous to talk about myself? Why did I feel committed to my wishes If I dared to express them out loud? After going around and around in my mind on what to say, and looking at dozens of images on the Internet I decided to start writing.
For a moment, I was blocked, like I had nothing to say. But, once I started to answer the first question, my thoughts and feelings arrived with a flow. I wrote so quickly and with such content that it seemed like I had a lot to tell. It felt as if I was telling my story to a friend I had not seen in a long time.
The question that brought out to my attention the many roles I perform today was, who am I? It opened the space to get honest about my personality, what characterizes me, what bothers me, and what motivates me.
Below is an excerpt from what I shared:
Hi, I’m Edith. A few of my roles today are daughter, sister, wife, mother, and immigrant. I was born in the most fabulous and generous border in Mexico. According to some articles, I’m included in the “X” generation. Some of our characteristics are working and producing as a priority, independent, adaptable to changes and committed to interpersonal relationships. In other articles, they refer to me as part of the “Y” generation. I’m classified as flexible, entrepreneur, individualistic, who values motivation and social integration, and rejects absurd impositions which provoke the desire to change the world. To my luck or misfortune, the characteristics of both generations resonate in my way of being. They lead me to have overwhelming expectations about how I live my life, decisions I make and don’t, my search for personal growth, my interactions with others, and my impact in the world. I consider myself an empathic, a respectful person, and a self-learner with a genuine interest to gain knowledge every day. I value my family and focus my life on their well-being. I work on being aware of my weaknesses and enjoy motivating myself and others around me. However, I’m also my toughest judge. I’m always questioning myself. Questions like, what else can I do? or what can I do better? push me to be always critical with myself.
Two more questions followed and prompted reflection. What have I experienced that led me to a process of Coaching and Personal Leadership? What was in my backpack when I reached for a process of self-knowledge?
To answer I had to express my fears, the decisions I made and those I didn’t due to insecurity and attachment, along with my desire for a different future.
I come to this master today eager to learn and practice what I will learn and have learned so far. Traveling from my current residence is already out of my comfort zone. This is the first step to what I have been wanting to do for years, and I had not dared. I am very excited to redirect my professional life and create a new career based on the knowledge that I will receive in this master’s studies. I am excited to test myself and rediscover my identity that has been somewhat lost in recent years because of my expat status, and being a mother of three in a country with a language that I have not yet mastered. I stopped myself to share opinions beyond my close circle and decided to listen. Now, I want to change that decision and show up for myself. I am excited about the awaiting changes but also about my contribution to the group learning with my professional and personal experience.
The third and final question invited me to question how important it was for me to initiate a process of self-knowledge. Which were my motivations and expectations? Therefore, implicitly required me to describe the commitment I had towards what I wanted to achieve.
This master I see it as a means of transition and evolution on a personal and professional level. It is the path that shows me where I am in the present and who I want to become. I expect from these studies to guide me on how to regain confidence in the way I communicate (verbal and corporal expression). Secondly, I expect by gaining new knowledge my field of work will expand, hence the impact I might have from a corporation to a world of greater possibilities. Third and finally, it will provide me with tools to integrate for a fuller, more conscious and connected life within my main three circles: family, social life and professional environment.
I spent hours writing without me noticing. Once the three main questions were answered, I was able to visualize what I wanted to express with images. The following illustrations of the Dixit board game came to complete the message I wanted to accompany me on my path of self-knowledge. The images represented me as a solo traveler. A voyager accompanied by her dreams, curiosity, limiting thoughts, experiences, and loved ones. A woman about to undertake an uncertain journey, and sowing seeds with acquired learning.
Illustration «Dixit» by Marie Cardouat
The above images created an automatic visualization of the commitment I decided to take when embracing the path to self-knowledge. Since then, they have stayed in my memory and remind me in an instant my commitment to action.
The learning I had with this simple exercise and I want to share with you is that putting in writing what so many times went around in my head was a moment of full clarity. I saw coherence and the possibility between my words. I could observe the total honesty of my emotions: what breaks me and what excites me. I realized once again that the universe listens and silently my decisions had taken me along the path that I had long wanted to travel. It was the ideal way that I exposed my responsibility with my past, with my present, with my future, and my constant impact with the outside world. It gave me the inspiration to move forward.
And you, have you written a letter of motivation with the intention someone knows you through it? Are you inspire to write yours? What did you write that took you by surprise? Do you dare to share your letter with a person you care about? What image would represent you? Have you ever wondered, how do you see yourself in six months, one year, five years? What do you see, comfort zone or scope for expansion?
Here you have a reader in case you decide to share your motivational letter!
Thanks for reading.