Last month I attended a dinner with a group of coaching colleagues. All the attendees had transitioned from lengthy careers in other fields to the coaching profession.
During our conversation one of the women described her experience preparing for a mini wellness presentation.
“I was so stressed and anxious. I kept going over and over what I would say,” she recounted.
Her family had been puzzled.
“You’ve done much bigger presentations to much more important people in the past. What’s the big deal with this one?” they said.
The woman seemed puzzled too.
I’d been quiet for most of the evening, but at this point I chimed in.
“It’s because you cared about that one.”
Tears immediately began to well in her eyes.
Yes, she did care about that little wellness presentation. Really. A lot.
All those presentations she had previously hurdled through were nothing compared to her wellness seminar because the wellness seminar was the only one that reflected her true heart. She was putting herself out into the world. That’s a scary proposition. If no one took her seriously it could hurt.
My job is to help people bring work that is close to their heart out into the world, so I’m quite familiar with the related fear and discomfort.
There’s a strong tendency with this kind of fear to put a lid on our true desires in an attempt to avoid rejection. The ironic thing about this is that when you do it you’re setting yourself up for the worst kind of rejection- you rejecting you.
If you go after work that reflects your heart and soul I can confidently tell you that you’ll get a few bumps and bruises from the world around you.
Know what? You’ll survive those no problem.
Know what else? The reward of being willing to endure those feelings is tenfold. You’ll meet people who like you for you. You’ll feel on track. You’ll grow in confidence and capability. You’ll be making your own unique difference in the world.
And one day you’ll look back on when you were first starting out and say, “Thank goodness I kept going even when it is was scary. It was so worth it.”