My day at a Possibility Retreat
Note: This post contains no sponsored material or affiliate links and is based on my own opinions, views and experiences of carrying out the personal development activity described below.
Ever since I had heard about Pete Mosley’s work as a writer, speaker and coach who champions introverts I was intrigued to find out what kind of guidance he could provide to me, a self-confessed introvert, who, as far back as I can remember, has always struggled to be heard and has found self-promotion and networking all very daunting.
When Pete announced that he was delivering a Possibility Retreat in Manchester I did not hesitate to book my place! I was at a point in my life where I was finally taking some risks, tentatively putting myself out there in the big wide world, and in a good position to start pursuing my goals. However, I desperately needed some clarity on the direction I should take and wanted to create a plan that would work for me (and well because I just love a plan!) so the Possibility Retreat sounded like the perfect place to start.
How is the Possibility Retreat delivered?
Pete runs the retreat using a series of incredibly thought-provoking questions and illustrations that serve as prompts to encourage you to discover what you want from life and to look at how you are going to make your goals a reality. The event was held over a period of 6 hours and delegates were sat in small groups of about 3 or 4.
Refreshingly, Pete was very conscious of us introverts in the room and from the offset said that it was ok if you wanted to work alone or if you needed some time to get up, move around the room and just simply think. The retreat is just that, it’s a quiet, safe and dedicated space where you can just think through your goals and direction in life and, if you want to, you can share your ideas with others. In fact, perhaps surprisingly for an introvert, this is what I found to be one of the most valuable things from the day. When I started discussing my ideas for my coaching business (and this blog) with the other delegates the areas that I was unclear about suddenly became very apparent and therefore I was able to come away from event knowing where I needed to be more specific. The conversations that I was able to have with the other delegates convinced me that taking the plunge to voice my ideas to others was actually really useful in helping me to achieve clarity (rather than always relying on thinking ideas through in my head).
What do you do at a Possibility Retreat?
Well, be prepared to explore answers to the types of questions that have the potential to transform your life! l was given the space and time to really think about what my purpose was and what kind of legacy I wanted to create. Through the exercises that Pete introduced during the day I was transported to my future self where I was encouraged to visualise where I wanted to be and what I wanted to be doing. I also had to realistically consider the personal barriers that were present in my life. However, Pete equipped us to deal with such barriers by sharing some clever tips on how to overcome common obstacles such as perfectionism, imposter syndrome and your inner critic.
I was also able to identify what motivates me and what would give me the energy I needed to pursue my goals. I learned how to draw upon the support of others to help me to achieve my goals, to discover what networks I needed to engage with, and explore the exciting prospect of just how far I wanted to go (i.e. was I aiming at a local, regional, national, or global reach?)
At the end of the session I not only had some useful insights into myself I was then given the time to develop an action plan that I could use to take me step by step towards my goals.
My key takeaways from the Possibility Retreat
- Be specific about why you are pursuing the goals you have set for yourself and be clear about what kind of outcome/s you are hoping to achieve. Taking the time to think about your values and purpose, the life you want for yourself and your family, and the results or benefits you are expecting your goals to deliver will provide you with a better focus and the motivation you need to persevere with your goals.
- Talk about your goals! During the group discussions I realised that my ideas were still quite vague (I couldn’t quite explain what exactly it was that I wanted to do and who I would be aiming my services at) so it became evident that I needed to spend more time defining my target audience and niche so that I could market myself more effectively. If, like me, you tend to be more of thinker just have a go at explaining your ideas to the people you trust. They may be able to provide new insights and ideas, words of encouragement, accountability, and help you to clarify your own thinking.
- The relativity of expertise – I have always had a bit of an inferiority complex to contend with and, unsurprisingly, this has held me back in my career. I felt so much reassurance from Pete’s advice that you will always be able to help someone up the ladder no matter what your current level of expertise is (there is always something that you can give back to others). I think that is such an important and empowering point to remember whenever the feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy creep in!
Further information on the Possibility Retreat is available here. I’d also like to add that Pete’s book, The Art of Shouting Quietly, is a great follow-up to the workshop. Once I had attended the Possibility Retreat I started to read the book, which covers a range of topics essential to setting and accomplishing your goals such as finding out what you really want (and don’t want) from life, defining your own success, overcoming barriers, promoting your work and getting support from others. I could relate so much to the experiences that Pete covers in his book and often found myself smiling along in recognition of the traits of introverts that Pete so accurately describes and clearly understands.