What is Your Frequency?

“Check in with yourself before you check in with the world”

– Matthew McConaughey

How do you operate most days? Are you a morning person or a night owl? Do you enjoy bursts of activity, or quiet spaces? Do you like to live in the moment or are constantly planning for what comes next?

The truth is, we ALL operate on various frequencies that don’t always sync up with those that are around us.

I have realized that I am a morning person. I naturally wake up early (some days earlier than others), but don’t necessarily like to have to be put together early. I like my quiet time in the morning to get a cup of coffee, check the news / emails / social media and get organized for the day. I feel the most at peace when I have some space in my morning routine and don’t feel rushed to get out the door. But when I’m ready, I go all in. I thrive on the hustle and bustle of my day. I love meetings to create strategies and solutions, and most importantly provide value to my clients. I am charged up by moving the dial a little more and a little more towards the finish line.

At the end of most work days, I am ready to crawl back into my cocoon of home and surround myself with just my immediate family.

My frequency is a mix of quiet and calm and high energy and collaboration. I find myself thriving in both, and too much of one frequency can leave me pining for the other.

Our firm hosted a guest speaker at an event we had a few years ago. She traveled to our area from out of town, and was scheduled to fly out the next morning. Her hotel was about an hour away, and at the close of the event that evening one of my colleagues who was scheduled to drive her to her hotel had to cancel due to another commitment. I offered to drive her, and she politely declined (and reserved an Uber instead) telling me that she actually would prefer to ride with a stranger, so she didn’t have to be “on.” Needless to say, I was surprised to hear that she wanted to be able to turn it off. She gave a presentation on stage, and mixed and mingled with a large group of professionals for several hours and didn’t skip a beat. I admired her ability to recognize her own frequency, and how to give it a rest.

How many times do we push our own frequencies to the limit just so we can feel included? Or not let others down?

This year, especially, has tested our own frequencies. I think many of us have realized exactly how we operate on an even deeper level that we originally thought. My motive here in writing this post is to get you to think about how in tune you are with your own frequency, and that it doesn’t have to match others.

Game Changer

This past week, I made a major career change.  A  year ago, I would have never thought that I’d be making the switch, even though I have always been the type of person who likes to plan ahead and think bigger.  When the invitation to join a thriving partnership came along recently, I was honored and excited for the opportunity.  My internal process of planning for more was put into motion with this invitation, and I was ready to get started.

So, this brings me to a question for you…are you open to engage in new opportunities?  Making changes involves risk.  The risk that the change won’t work out, the risk that you’ll be leaving something solid for something unknown, and most importantly that the risk that you will discover things about yourself that will move you far outside your comfort zone into a place of optimum exertion.  As I was working through this process, I discovered a few things.

1) Opportunity won’t come knocking all by itself

If you are looking for opportunities, whether it is within your current job / lifestyle or for something new, doing nothing and hoping for the best won’t get you anywhere.  You are never a victim of missed opportunities, but instead the instigator of creating them.

2) Successful changes take work

A good work ethic, in my opinion, is the most valuable trait you can possess.  If you are unsure of what to do next, put your nose to the grindstone and do what you know well.  Think of things outside of your day-to-day activities that you can engage in to grow personally and professionally.  Volunteer your time with others to learn new skills, and be both a student and a teacher to balance the give and take atmosphere that you will most definitely create.

3) Pack your own parachute

Planning appropriately for new opportunities helps get you through the “what ifs” of the new risk.  Doing the prep work ahead of time (i.e. researching and understanding the risks involved, creating some possible solutions to how you will overcome these risks) will allow your mind and your heart to fully engage and overcome those new obstacles with ease.

Hot and Cold

Did you ever play the game “hot and cold” when you were younger, where someone would hide an object and tell you that you were “hot” when you were close to finding it and “cold” if you were far away?

I met a woman recently who shared with me that she is wanting to make a career move.  When I asked her what she wanted to do, she didn’t have any idea.  She was well educated, had a resume full of excellent experience, and could be flexible enough to work in a variety of fields.  That age old question of “what do you want to be when you grow up” had stumped her big time.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could use the “hot and cold” game to direct us to the right career path?  Finding your hot and cold doesn’t need to be as hard as you think.

To get started, take a look at the things you do well.  Are you good with numbers?  Are you organized? Do you thrive in team environments?  Then, think about what you are passionate about.  Are you motivated to support the less fortunate? Grow a small business? Work with children?

My Dad has his Masters in Economics.  He utilized his education and love of solving problems to have a successful career with major corporations.  Upon his retirement, he switched gears and looked to use his strengths from his business, and merge them with his passion: teaching.  Looking back, my Dad always had a passion for teaching.  He was a soccer coach, scout leader, and avid reader.  He was able to combine what he does well with what he is passionate about to have a second career, and even work in time to engage one of his other passions – travel.

The perfect combination of your “hot and cold” is not always easy to find.  Experimenting with your talents, and testing to see how they can fit into a rewarding and fulfilling lifestyle is the best way to achieve a balance.  There is no set template for finding your perfect job, and sometimes switching things up can make your “cold” feel a lot warmer.

Time Crunch

I visited our area zoo this weekend, and was told when buying my tickets that the zoo would close in an hour and a half.  Needless to say, I was actually thankful for the condensed time frame to see the animals (and also screaming children, sticky fingers and interesting smells).  We didn’t get to see the entire zoo, but experienced some great highlights and left with a strong desire to come back for a visit soon.

When you are faced with a time crunch, do you jump in and make the most of it, or shy away for another time?  Some of my most productive moments happen during time crunches.  For example: you find out on the way home that some friends are coming over for dinner.  Other than getting the food ready, you probably make the mad dash around your house picking up toys, laundry and other clutter to make your house more presentable.  What you were able to accomplish in 5-10 minutes on this time crunch day, would most likely take you an hour or more on a normal “clean up” day.

Even the most organized and motivated person experiences procrastination from time to time.  To keep up the momentum of our positive actions, throw in a time crunch.  Create a deadline (real or fictitious) that is imminent.  If you are dreading putting together a regular report (that may not be due until the end of the month) set a timer for 30 minutes and crank it out.  Pushing yourself against a time deadline will put your brain and your body in motion to focus your energies on that specific task, and complete it.