On my recent Inner Circle retreat we enjoyed a beautiful walk through a forest in Byron Bay. During one of our sessions we undertook an experience called forest therapy. Not fully knowing what to expect, my curiosity pushed me to explore this experience that promised to challenge me mentally and spiritually. Little did I know that it would hold valuable insights not just in my life but in my business as well.
The forest therapy session involved walking through the lush rainforest in silence, with occasional guiding questions to encourage reflection. At first, we simply observed our surroundings. Then, we were asked to spend the next 10 minutes “looking through the trees.” It was during this exercise that something profound happened—I noticed a world I had previously missed.
The forest was teeming with life—diverse trees, various shapes, and a symphony of birds and wildlife. Surprisingly, I had done this same walk for the past three days, but in my preoccupation with talking and the details of everyday life, I had been completely absent. I had failed to see the bigger picture and appreciate the beauty of the forest as a whole.
It reminded me of a saying that I hear thrown around quite a lot in the business world, “Can’t see the forest for the trees,”. Have you ever felt this way? When you become so engrossed in the details of individual tasks or problems that you lose sight of the overall purpose or significance of the venture? Often, we forget to step back and take in the broader perspective, missing critical insights.
How often have we found ourselves overwhelmed, spinning in circles, unsure of the right direction to take?
In these moments of overwhelm, it is crucial to pause and ask ourselves some important questions. Here are just a few that I think might help you see the forest.
What am I not paying attention to right now?
Taking a moment to step back and assess what aspects we may be overlooking can provide clarity on the bigger picture. It allows us to recognise potential opportunities or challenges that might have escaped our focus. I can guarantee there are opportunities that are being overlooked in your business right now and I have a tool that might help, it’s my focus finder and you can take the quick assessment here.
What could really be going on here?
Digging deeper beyond the surface can reveal hidden patterns or underlying issues that might be affecting our decisions and actions. Understanding the root cause is essential for making informed choices. This is not only an important reflection to do for yourself but also when other people around you begin acting in a way which is not congruent with who you know them to be. It’s an opportunity to get curious instead of getting frustrated.
What are the people around me really worrying about?
As leaders, we need to be attuned to the concerns and perspectives of our team and stakeholders. By actively listening to their needs, we can create a more inclusive and successful business environment.
What are they not saying that needs to be said?
Sometimes, people may be hesitant to voice their concerns or ideas openly. Creating a culture of openness and trust can encourage honest communication, leading to valuable insights and innovations. This is why it’s important to ask open questions and dig a little deeper, or encourage someone when you can see them on the verge of a breakthrough.
By incorporating these reflective practices into our business routines, we can elevate our decision-making and leadership skills. Embracing moments of stillness and introspection can foster clarity, innovation, and a stronger connection with our business vision.
As women in business, we are often consumed by the day-to-day operations, yet it is crucial to intentionally step back and look at the broader landscape. Just as I discovered the magnificence of the forest when I paused to observe, our businesses can flourish when we pause to gain a wider perspective. Still feeling like you don’t know which way to turn or which way will lead you out of the forest? Then let’s have a chat, book a call and we’ll discover what opportunities exist in your business right now to help you see everything just a little bit more clearly.
Which question do you need to ask yourself the most right now?