Keep Showing Up

October 27, 2014 at 5:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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“The danger of venturing into uncharted waters is not nearly as dangerous as staying on shore, waiting for your boat to come in.”  – Charles F. Glassman

We are always left feeling inspired and grateful when we reflect on the feedback provided by the participants and accompanying teachers after they take part in our L.E.A.D. with Courage™: Stage 3 Leaders Program. This year I have noticed a certain response that keeps popping up in the feedback in regards to what the participants most enjoyed about the experience. Of course many students list certain activities, games or reflections that they loved but jumping out to me is the amount of participants who write something like ‘spending time with people I wouldn’t normally hang out with’, ‘working with other students who I don’t usually work with’ or ‘getting to know more about others in the grade and seeing what their strengths are as a leader’.

“My friend, leaving one’s comfort zone is no small chore! Trust me, I’ve learned this first hand. I can say that when all’s said and done it’s worth it!” – Josh Hinds

We would all know intimately the feelings associated with expanding our comfort zones. How many times have your daily thoughts, words or actions moved you to somewhere along the scale of slight discomfort to full blown fear? One of our biggest comfort zones is our friendship group/s. Within them we experience feelings of comfort, connection, safety and belonging, having shared various parts of ourselves, expressed certain beliefs and ideas, and not been turned away or rejected. So choosing to keep showing up as we interact with others can be confronting, accepting that uncomfortable feelings may be present and that our ideas or beliefs may be challenged in various ways. But these ‘keep showing up’ choices provide us with opportunities to continue stretching and growing, ultimately creating new awareness, appreciation, connections and space for us to make a difference in our own and others lives.

“As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.” – Robin S Sharma

What I love most about the feedback examples that I listed at the start of this post is that the lens of connection is becoming a new normal for each individual. In a world that can focus on highlighting difference and what/who/where we should be fearful of, these students are choosing to see a deepening connection to self, others and the world around them as the thing they most enjoyed and are taking this away with them from the experience. This is a theme that we are very purposeful about in the program and why our vision remains ‘informed, connected and empowered individuals believing deeply in their own and others potential’. A powerful tool of a leader is embracing connection as the glue that holds our humanness together.

“Anything you to do to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone will ultimately enable you to take larger risks and grow.” – Leslie Evans

So as I read another set of feedback forms from a school community that we support I am left feeling inspired and grateful again. We believe so strongly in each individuals and our shared journey of potential. This potential is heavily influenced by our interdependence, connection to and interactions with self, others and the world around us. Our ability to form supportive and inspiring networks and communities helps keep us engaged, challenged and motivated to make a difference in our own and others lives. A strong sense of connection and purpose is such a powerful energy source if we choose to view life through this type of lens. Good luck as you continue to explore the possibilities, discover potential and act authentically, ‘being the change you wish to see in the world’.

“If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” – John Maxwell

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