Being seen by others

Sometime this summer, I had this idea or need of an intimate meet-up, a combo of an accountability group and mastermind mash-up, delivered in an online setting and comprising of similar-in-view, yet different-in-perspective folks. I sat long and thought hard about who and what and when, because bringing people together is always a feat and a torment at the same time – it depends if it’s a responsibility or an opportunity; in this case, it’s a bit of both.

I’m a(n) (closeted) introvert, which can be translated as I can come across as exuberant and full of life in social settings, but deep down I’d rather curl up with a book and sit alone. So, I chose as carefully (read selfishly) as I could; my goal was to meet up regularly with these folks, run through what I’ve done or intend to do, have them challenge ideas or assumptions or plans, go, revise, redo, repeat. As I’m not as selfish as to meet up just so I can be listened to, this is reciprocated — we spend together some sweet 60 to 90 minutes quickly running through our work and offering feedback.

Some would argue that these bi-weekly meetups might be *too* short and sweet and not enough, to which I will say *au contraire*. Hear me out: when you use time as a constraint and hindsight + self-reflection as close friends, you manage to touch on the stuff that really interests you and get to the bottom of it succinctly, because you only share what you want, thus the others are fast in offering the mirrors with your blind spots. And so, the magic of a-ha occurs in such settings.

In one of our recent meetings, I realized that despite them not holding me accountable per se (I’m a rebel, even in my own stories), they help me a lot because I learn so much from the others. And another thing: there is no hiding. These meetings made me realize that there is no place to hide if you haven’t done the work. There is some sort of magic in being seen full stop. I mean, sure, I could pretend I was busy and fill my planner with stuff, but I would only be lying to myself. And it was super useful to voice these thoughts and flip this accountability story I was telling myself.

So, instead, I’m looking at how I’m spending my time and

a) jot down the things I want to achieve (because being realistic about having 24h in a day is crucial)

and

b) occupy my time with the stuff I thrive doing.

And you know what? Reading and coaching and working on a project may not seem like much, but they add up in the long term. Pages and hours and thoughts and tensions and belief in the work I’m doing are adding up, that compound interest is working in my favour, bit by bit every day.

Oh, and about the hiding: it’s cool to be with people who can help you become better without going down on a productivity shame route. It’s awesome for folks to take the time and be present and listen and see you. Just by doing these things, they contribute to your learning and growth.

I’m not hiding, it’s just great to be seen ğŸŽ‰

Now, turning this mirror back to you, what if you look at how you *actually* spend your time, without making excuses or feeling bad? What if you add house chores and pampering on your to-do list, and mark them with as much satisfaction as any other task? And last, but not least, what if you flip your story of productivity and make it work for you, not against you?

Onwards & upwards 🔥