(Estimated reading time 3 minutes)
A few weeks back, I started asking myself, “How will you step in today? How will you step up today?” I felt stuck in this waiting game, and I wanted that to change. I felt like I needed to wait for the pandemic and our house construction to end before I made any moves forward. I realized that even in the middle of all that is going on, I could find a way to step into my life more fully and step up my courage, my contribution and my connection to God, myself and others. Stepping in and up has something to do with acknowledging, accepting, allowing and adjusting.
Stepping in is about not missing what is going on right here, right now. It’s about trying to live this moment and not wishing away the present, not being too busy to notice. Stepping in is about slowing down and not rushing onto the next thing. It’s about breathing and being still and allowing whatever is here now to be here. It’s about letting go of resistance. At times this is about pausing long enough to recognize what is going on physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. At other times it’s reminding myself of my values and asking how I will live into those values today. The broadness of asking myself how I will step in each day is encouraging me to take notice of all the different areas of my life and be more accepting of myself and what is happening around me. It also issues the challenge for me to adjust and adapt.
Stepping up is about focusing on courage and contribution. What will I contribute? What will I do that feels courageous? Asking, “how will you step up today?” has made me say yes, where I otherwise probably would not have done so. There are quite a lot of examples of this in the past weeks. Some of those examples are about taking on something additional, but others are about doing less and allowing myself to just focus on one thing when I felt overwhelmed – in a way, saying “yes” to less.
Here’s one example of taking on something I would have said no to if I wasn’t asking myself how I would step up. Towards the end of last week, I received an email from our Toastmasters group. The email stated that we currently had no one scheduled to speak at our meeting a few days later and asked if anyone wanted to do a speech. I usually would not have responded positively to that request as it feels like a few days is not enough time to prepare effectively. This time I said yes because it was the opportunity that presented itself for stepping up that day. I’m so glad I did. I ended up preparing something I’ve wanted to put together for a long time. (Stay tuned for a Coping When Times Get Tough virtual workshop!) Stepping up to this challenge enabled me to try presenting in an online format and practice creating a visual presentation to share with a group. It pushed me to trust myself more instead of relying so heavily on preparation. In the end, I walked away, having built confidence and trust in my abilities. That’s one of the gifts of stepping up – building confidence. Stepping up is also about willingly leaning into stretching boundaries, personal growth and letting go of resistance.
Take some time to step more fully into your life today. Acknowledge what is present. Allow it to be there. Let go of resistance. What does it feel like to just accept what is here and adapt accordingly?
What does stepping in and stepping up look like for you today?
Sue Das, Courage Coach, CPCC, ACC, B Soc Sc (Sw)
If you’d like to explore stepping more fully into your life or what it means right now for you to step up, I’d love to have a conversation about coaching.
Thank you to my colleague Paul Karvanis for the coaching session that helped me focus on stepping in and stepping up.