Face-to-face with fear, ego and family

2021 was a year that saw me come face to face with fear, ego, and family.

I feared for my life and the lives of my loved ones. Our frailty and the thread by which the balance of our lives hangs on became so very visible to me. Staring at it did not help. Trying to protect it and strengthen it did not do the trick either. Living each day to the best I could, with intention and care seemed to be the only remedy that made me feel that I squeezed a little more lemonade out of the lime. The power of an ordinary day and the value of valuing what I have, come home to me.

My ego got further polished away. Luckily when the ego gets polished it does not shine but dulls. It helps me break things down to the core and see what is underneath. Hard lessons learnt at work are a reminder to me, to be honest with myself about my worth. Questions I asked myself included “Where am I of service?”, “How do I truly help?”, “Who values me and for what?”. A deeper reflection of this helps to hone my focus and bring my skills to bear on areas that I enjoy and that create joy for others. It was not an easy ride. A bearing of my soul through some deep inner work helped guide me forward and helped me get my bearings on where my soles would lead me in 2021 and beyond. The path I chose. More importantly the paths I chose not to venture down. They defined me and shaped the days and weeks of my life.

The importance of family to who I am and what I want to be was underlined this year. I got a chance to reconnect with mum and dad and get a flavour of the days of their lives. They got to look in on mine. Technology played the glorious role that it can and helped connect our lives. A daily rhythm of calls stitched together the fabric of our family, in a way perhaps no other year had. The fabric of my family of origin strengthened and took a new shape.

The family of creation experienced a sudden spurt of growth. The one I adventured into (family) and created when I left home to make my own home went through growing pains that accompany periods of sudden and fast growth. As wifey and I confronted being empty nesters, we had to get reacquainted with each other. I also had to recalibrate my parenting style. The transition from being a dad to a 20-year-old has had me doing some growing up too. I miss my little boy who is now a young man. I also miss the young man I was and am struggling to get acquainted with the milestone of hitting half a century on this planet.

I remind myself to be grateful for so much I have. For the blessing of being alive. For having a wonderful job, doing things I love. For having found a passion project in coaching that promises to fill up the hours and weeks of years ahead. For the gift of family and the hours and days, we have got to spend together in person and connected by technology.

It’s been a hard year. A scary year. A tiring year. A year where I lost much of who I thought I was and yet it was also a year that I had a hard look in the mirror and found myself again. Saw parts of myself I did not like. Saw others I loved. Learnt to accept the man in the mirror, and then choose which part of that man I want to see staring back at me in 2022.

What were the new year’s resolutions you made? How are you feeling about them? It is that point of time in the new year, where resolutions made just a few weeks ago, get tested. So, this year, I choose intentionality over good intentions. No resolutions, just a resolute determination to make the choices that feel right. I will trust my intuition more and go with the flow. I had never heard the phrase “heart-based business” before. I heard it in 2021. I want to build on this knowledge, knowing with certainty that leading with the heart can and does make great business sense.

Making choices that I know work for me. Choosing which ports of call I want to spend time at and more importantly choosing those that will not get my energy or intention. May my heart win in the debate with my head more often this year. And may we all be filled with heartfelt gratitude for what we have. Cheers to walking into the new year with kindness and living with intentionality.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Nikhil Dey
Nikhil Dey is Executive Director, Adfactors PR.

A trusted coaching and communications professional, Nikhil Dey is a certified life and leadership coach (International Coach Federation - ICF). Nurturing talent and helping clients achieve their goals is what makes him happy. He loves learning from students of communication, teaching courses and guest lecturing at various educational institutions. When he is not working you will find him on the tennis court or out for long walks with his family and four legged friends.

Previously he has held senior leadership positions at Weber Shandwick and Genesis BCW.

He can be reached on twitter @deydreaming

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