Reflections at 50: Lessons from Life and Business

Jul 03, 2024
The Self Trust Coach logo and image of Dawn Ledet, The Self Trust Coach over image of number 50 lit up to celebrate turning 50 and sharing reflections

Recently I celebrated my 50th birthday and have been filled with both gratitude and a profound sense of reflection. This milestone offers a unique opportunity to look back on the journey that has brought me here—from the hustle of the hospitality industry to creating a business centered on healing, peace and intentionality. Today, I want to share the lessons I’ve learned along the way.  Maybe you will resonate with some of these or want to share some of your own.  I'd love to hear!

The Fruits of My Introspection

  1. The Power of Surrender Over Control
    In my earlier years, I believed that the key to success lay in controlling every aspect of my life and work. The more I pushed and the tighter I held the reins, the more I thought I could achieve. However, this approach led me to burnout, especially in my final years in the hospitality industry.
    Over the last five years, as I embarked on building my own business, I discovered a profound truth: Surrender, though scarier than control, is far more effective. Letting go of the need to control every detail allows me to embrace the natural flow of opportunities and challenges. This shift taught me to trust both the process and myself, leading to a more peaceful and productive existence. Surrendering isn’t about giving up; it’s about finding the balance between effort and ease; resisting and allowing; forcing and evolving.
  2. The Difference Between Criticism and Evaluation
    In my quest for improvement, I often confused criticism with judgment. I thought being my harshest critic would drive me forward. Instead, it led to demotivation, defensiveness and a fear of making mistakes. The turning point came when I shifted from harsh self-criticism to evaluation driven by curiosity and a desire to learn from and about myself.  Instead of trying to prevent mistakes, I leaned into trying to create results.  Knowing some results would be wanted and some would be unwanted and every single one would give me data I need to move forward.  Evaluating my actions without judgment allowed me to grow and adapt. This approach transformed my self-dialogue from a source of self-doubt into a wellspring of constructive growth. By becoming my best evaluator rather than my worst critic, I opened up new pathways to success.
  3. Embracing Misunderstood Strengths and Finding Fulfillment
    Throughout my life, many traits I perceived as flaws turned out to be misunderstood strengths. For example, my persistence was often labeled as stubbornness. However, it’s this very persistence that has been a driving force in building my business and demonstrates the unyielding dedication I have to my clients and their goals. Often, the view from weakness or flaw to strength is a matter of perspective, shaped by past mistakes or negative comments we've internalized. The traits that others might criticize or that we might see as burdens can actually be our most valuable assets when seen through a different lens. This is especially true when our actions or qualities are framed by the words of others, which can sometimes cast a negative shadow over our true potential.  Consider how a comment like "You're too stubborn" might discourage someone from seeing the value in their persistence. This trait, when reviewed and understood in a broader context, can be seen as a powerful force for resilience and determination. The key to shifting this narrative lies in revisiting these perspectives, challenging the negative context, and reclaiming these so-called flaws as strengths.  By re-examining how we perceive our traits, we can start to own our strengths and harness them to their fullest potential. This shift in perspective is crucial—not only for personal growth but also for finding fulfillment. When we begin to view our qualities not as flaws but as misunderstood strengths, we empower ourselves to leverage them in ways that drive success and satisfaction.  Persistence, in my case, is not just about sticking to a plan; it's about a fierce stance for my clients and their goals, especially when their own belief wavers. This dedication ensures that, regardless of any setbacks or doubts, we push through to achieve the results they seek. It's this unwavering commitment to reframe and embrace our strengths that leads us to truly thrive.
  4. Create Moments of Silence
    Over the years, I've come to understand the profound importance of moments of silence in connecting with myself and tapping into my inner wisdom. In our fast-paced lives, we are constantly inundated with noise—some of it beautiful and uplifting, and some of it overwhelming and distracting. Regardless of its nature, this ceaseless noise often drowns out the incredibly valuable wellspring of knowledge and truth that resides within us.  For a long time, I sought to silence this inner voice, fearing what it might reveal. My apprehension was rooted in past experiences, where that voice often echoed with self-criticism and doubt. The tone in which I heard it was harsh and unkind, shaped by years of internal and external negativity. I was afraid that if I stopped to listen, I would only find more reasons to doubt myself.  However, as I began to explore the silence and truly listen, I discovered something transformative. The voice within carries the tone we choose to give it. By creating space for silence and approaching it with openness and compassion, I was able to shift how I heard my inner dialogue. Instead of a harsh critic, I found a voice that was gentle, nurturing, and full of wisdom.  This practice of embracing silence has become both loving and fruitful. It allows me to tune into my inner guidance and uncover insights that are otherwise overshadowed by the constant external noise. These moments of quiet reflection have become crucial to my personal growth and decision-making. They provide a sanctuary where I can reconnect with my true self and find clarity in the midst of life's chaos.  Learning to value and cultivate silence has been a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. It has taught me that within the quiet, there is a loving voice ready to guide me towards my most authentic and fulfilling path.
  5. The Source of Fulfillment
    I've learned that true fulfillment doesn't stem from external accomplishments alone. While achieving goals and milestones can bring temporary joy, lasting satisfaction is rooted in self-love and acceptance. When we pursue our aspirations from a place of inner fullness, the journey itself becomes profoundly enriching. It's not just about reaching the finish line, but also about how we feel along the way. Approaching our goals with a deep sense of self-worth and contentment transforms the process into a joyful and fulfilling experience. It’s in this state of inner harmony that accomplishment becomes not only easier but also far more enjoyable. By loving and accepting ourselves as we are, we cultivate a sense of wholeness that makes every step toward our goals a celebration of who we are and what we’re capable of achieving.

Reflecting on Your Own Journey

As I share my reflections, I invite you to consider how they might resonate with your own experiences or inspire you to connect more deeply with your personal journey. What hidden wisdom lies within you, waiting to be uncovered or affirmed?

Think about the power of surrender, the practice of constructive evaluation, and the embrace of your unique strengths. How can these guiding principles be integrated into your life? Reflecting on these ideas can help you transform the way you approach your goals and your day-to-day experiences.

If these insights resonate with you, feel free to connect and share your reflections. 

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our Self Trust email community today and begin receiving tips, tools and challenges direct to your inbox.

🔒Privacy Policy: We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe.