Lately I’ve been thinking about courage. It amazes me how much courage it takes for some people (myself included, some days) to just get out of bed. But most of the time, it is the simple, small hurdles in life that have me calling on my reservoir of courage. I recently wrote to a friend about a class I am considering taking, telling her I know it would be a stretch for me because it scares me. Anytime I feel the need to muster up courage, that is a neon sign that tells me there is a learning opportunity ahead. One of my favorite quotes is from Maya Angelou and it is right on my desk: “Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue consistently.” And we certainly cannot find our voice without a big dollop of courage.
A couple of months ago, my pals in my Poetry Group persuaded me to attend my first poetry reading. It was at our local community college, and I figured there would be a few people in a small classroom and I might hop up and blurt out my little poem. Imagine my horror when I realized that it was in a theatre setting, complete with stage, an audience of some 50+ people, and a microphone. Did I mention that it was also videotaped? Before I knew it, I was standing in the spotlight reading my poem. I lived. Actually, it was fun.
Whenever I have a work situation that brings up feelings of fear, I stop and ask myself “What is there to learn in this?” When I show up on a tough coaching call with curiosity and courage, things seem to go much better. I tap into what I “know” and have faith that the rest I will learn and explore alongside my client. Over the years, I’ve identified what situations, behaviors and types of people make me want to run for the hills. Those often have the most to teach me, so I pay careful attention. And have plenty of courage on hand.
Recently I was challenged by an opportunity to be videotaped talking about coaching and how I approach my work. If you would like to see how that turned out, please visit my website home page at www.CoachingConcepts.com to view the three minute video. I would love your feedback. And, in case you are wondering, no I don’t have the video of the poetry reading. Perhaps you can catch me live at the next one. I’ll be the one with the knocking knees.
Sharon Keys Seal