Brian and I started focusing on ‘self-care’ when we first came up with the Agile Best Self Principles. After steady and intentional self-care practices, some pretty unexpected things started to happen…things beyond a daily mediation practice or drinking enough water. Yes, all of the self-care habits helped us be balanced and intentional, but at a certain point amazing things beyond our control started to happen. Family members started interacting with us differently. Job opportunities and speaking gigs started coming out of the woodwork. Recognition from multiple areas started pouring in. Our ‘inner critic’ voices faded away and our ‘inner advocate’ voices started speaking up. “Of course you can do this!” and “You got it” self-talk opened up some doors.
One paradigm shifting example: We got an invite to speak, but it wasn’t great timing and there were a couple of caveats. We decided to say no. That was a hard phone call. Our ‘inner critics’ took over the conversation. They said: “This may be our last chance. This engagement would give us a lot of visibility. What if the person inviting us never talks to us again? We really need this to get the word out”.
Luckily, we went back to our own framework and said: “Let’s bump this up against our cornerstone principle”:
Agile Best Self Principle #1: Our highest priority is to be our best self and enable others to be their best selves.
No matter how we approached the question, we could not find a way to fully honor our highest priority. The opportunity at hand did not allow either of us to truly fulfill our personal philosophies. The situation would not allow Brian to fully “be a light” or me to fully be a “connector and a catalyst”. We would have had to take too many shortcuts and change the overall message too much. We were also dangerously close to chipping away at our authenticity, which no doubt an audience would have seen.
That moment taught us an Agile Best Self litmus test:
If it isn’t a ‘Hell Yes’ it is a ‘Hell No’.
*Thank you to Terese Sparby from Radical Leadership for introducing me to this phrase at a Radical Leadership event. http://radicalleadership.com/about-us/team-radical/
Copyright © 2021 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson