We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)
Over the summer I took time off from writing my blog posts. I certainly had a lot of information I wanted to share, but more importantly I wanted to spend the time focusing on my two daughters. Encouraging Teens came to fruition because of my daughters. I wanted them to grow and find the success that they were striving for. I really made it a point to try and not live vicariously through them. I will admit I had my moments when I did, but I always managed to recenter myself and remind myself that this has to be their goal; they have to work to achieve it. I was also fortunate enough to have other teenagers come into our lives, and I eagerly provided the same coaching to each of them. Having more teenagers to work with allowed me to realize the value in having teens explore who they are and where they want to go from a young age. This exploration of principles, perspective, bias, values was empowering for every teenager I worked with. They enjoyed finding their voice and being able to articulate the things that were important to them at any given point in time. The reward for me was watching teens gain critical thinking skills and question their own perspective which allowed for amazing personal growth. Communication is the relationship, and I was able to develop relationships with numerous teens that encouraged them to grow into the person they wanted to be. One of the benefits is hearing from the once-teenagers as they embark on careers and grow into adults that will leave their mark on our world. I reflected on where Encouraging Teens started and wanting to share some of my insights.
I enjoy working with teenagers over the course of years. Sometimes it is a quick check in, a refocus of goals for a semester or defining a new personal mission statement as they enter the workforce. Focusing on what the teenager valued and how their perspective from a thirteen year old to sixteen year old and then twenty-one year old has changed and shaped their development is an opportunity I am gratified to be a part of. I realized that writing personal mission statements in the early years was not so much a call to action for their entire life but more a well crafted statement that reflects their positive attributes and what skills they were wanting to acquire in the course of the next year. I enjoyed reading powerful mission statements that were an immediate call to action, to build on the strengths they could see in themselves and to grow or learn new skills that would help them to grow into the young adult they wanted to become. I have developed a very specific set of tools to help teens craft their personal mission statement. We review the personal mission statements once every six months to year. It is impressive how they have developed their strengths and acquired the skills that they identified they needed to work on. As their coach, when we would reexamine the personal mission statement, it was exhilarating to rework the call to action and find out what new skill the teenager felt they needed to acquire. As the life coach, I could ask those challenging questions to get them to dig down deep and discover what they want to or need to develop in order to gain the success they will need for their future.
So, as I took this summer off, I reflected on the many teenagers, parents and young adults I have had the opportunity to plant a seed or help grow in their journey. It allowed me to realize that my work here is only beginning. I have so many ideas on how to reach out and help more parents and teens to engage with a wider audience through zoom, Facebook live, and IGTV. Look for more from me. I am challenging myself to do more, be better, reach out to more people. I want the engagement to be organic, to share the knowledge I have and continue to gain momentum through working with clients. I share with every client something that they teach me, because I learn something from every engagement I have. Each client helps to change me and shape me into what I hope is a better coach for them and for the next client.
My passion is to do more, be better, do better, and of course build strong relationships through communication.
I have read numerous new books and engaged in fierce conversations on teen life coaching with others. I have reimagined and updated my programs, which must always be changing to meet the ever changing landscape of being a teenager today. All of this has rejuvenated me and encouraged me and I look forward to this journey of expansion and growth. WIth much love.
Desiree Panlilio, BSN, MA Counseling; Life Coaching,
Writer of Encouraging Teens Blog Posts
Owner Encouraging Teens LLC