• Julie Edge

Getting Personal with My Mission

In an interview with a company that matches board members with paid boards, I was asked “Do you have a personal mission statement?” I had to say "No, I don't have one." 😳

I have a vision and mission for my coaching company, but not me. And there is a clear distinction between the two, even though my coaching practice is a "me, myself, and I" operation.

So I got busy doing research on how to write a personal mission statement and then thinking about my touchstones in life. There was a lot of advice on the internet. I took some and disregarded others. After more than a few drafts, I came up with this:

"Always approach uncertainty with curiosity, adaptability, and authenticity."

It felt the truest of my drafts and the most applicable to my life. It articulates how I've learned to deal with the only thing certain in my work, family, and health—CHANGE. And it's what I want to remind myself of every day.

This personal mission statement is a reflection not only of what I've learned in my 30-year career, but what was put to the test and reinforced in my recovery from a spinal cord injury over the past 2.5 years. Not knowing whether I would ever walk again taught me deep and enduring lessons on how to handle uncertainty.

When I met the unknown with curiosity over fear, I was able to stay positive and motivated.

When I celebrated the tiniest return of movement, I was able to focus on my adaptability instead of my disability.

And when I asked for and received help instead of armoring up, I showed up as my most authentic self.

When I was willing to be vulnerable, improvements in my body and my mind followed. When I focused on what is, I was able to embrace the gifts of reality and reduce my suffering. All influenced my attitude, which became the key to my recovery as I progressed from a power wheelchair to a manual one, then a walker and forearm crutches to a hiking poles (and sometimes a cane).

My progress in recovering my ability to walk unaided is much less obvious as I approach my third spine-aversary, but there are still gains in steadiness and speed when I look back even a couple months ago. I've adapted to my surroundings and get around independently. I can even drive with a left-footed accelerator adaptor in my car. While my expectation for full recovery has changed, rehabilitation medicine has been making exciting advancments of late and may have solutions for me in the future.

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