This past week I ran my first of three Cultivating Courage workshops. The funny thing is, if you’d told me just two months ago that I’d be running a workshop, I would have laughed at you. In fact, I would have told you I had no idea how to run a workshop. Even though I know better, I had been comparing myself to some colleagues who were posting on social media about the workshops they had successfully organized. “What would I do a workshop on?” I asked myself. My normally overactive brain got absolutely no response. Crickets!
We are constantly invited to be who we are.
Henry David Thoreau.
Strangely enough, a few weeks later I got a request, out of the blue, to do not one, but three workshops – an invitation to step into this new part of myself. I found myself in a bind. Saying yes to this opportunity checked all the values and life purpose boxes for me. Being courageous. Check. Personal growth. Check. Making a contribution. Check. Walking my talk. Check. Summoning potential. Check. Inspiring others. Check. It felt like a personal invitation to challenge my freshly adopted belief that running workshops was not for me. I know from experience, that not honouring your values – who you are at your core – not giving voice to them or allowing them to flourish in your life, does not turn out well in the end. Slowly, those choices to deny our values, our essence, our purpose, hollow us out until we feel less alive. Our lives become a kind of flatline. I’ve been there before, and I have no desire to return.
The most common form of despair is not being who you are.
So, even though I was nervous and did not know what I would do a workshop on, I said yes. That “yes” changed something. It opened a way that was closed before. I found myself dreaming that night and the next about the content of my workshop. Those dreams formed the core of my Cultivating Courage workshop.
As I said, I did the workshops last week – with 34 participants! I got great feedback and a wonderful reference letter from the organizer. What did I learn? Resistance and fear have used up a lot of unnecessary energy in my life, and in the end, using these as my frame of reference means my life feels like it remains mostly unlived. Using my values and life purpose – who I am at my core – as a basis for making choices (instead of using my fear-filter) invites joy and meaning into my life.
Will you accept the invitation to be who you are?
If you’d like help figuring out who you are and what matters most to you, I’d love to have a conversation with you about coaching.