Starting something new – a new business, a new phase of life, a new project – can be a pretty intimidating process. All kinds of worries and negative thinking can crop up – Will it be good enough? Am I good enough? How do I do this? How do I cope with overwhelm? What AM I doing?? Will anyone like it…or me? What was I thinking?!?
To have the courage to create something new, to become something new, it helps to have two things – a shining, inspiring vision for what you are creating… and a lot of support for that vision from those around you.
In our household, the Universe has provided lots of need to create anew in the last couple years. After our house fire in 2013, we had to rapidly envision a lovely but very unexpected and involuntary renovation of our home. When my dad died, the last of his generation, suddenly we faced a vision of being the elders of the family. A search for new careers came after both of our previous careers ended – one expectedly and one not. Becoming a social entrepreneur and small business owner was a radical revision (and I mean really radical) of our career plans!
We remain incredibly grateful for all the help we have had in creating new visions and a new reality for our home, for ourselves, and for our careers. And I walk in gratitude for the amazing support this fledgling business has received from my friends and family, most notably my ever-patient, steadfast, and delightful husband who agreed to become Business Manager for the new enterprise.
I have a new role also, as Whole Learning CoachTM , honoring the holistic nature of my work with kids and the wide range of skills, knowledge and experience I bring to that work. My clients are bright young people (ages 9 – 22) who struggle with their learning because their learning styles don’t match the usual teaching style.
When I have asked young people what is the most important thing I offer, overwhelmingly I hear these responses:
I see them as real people, respect them, and collaborate with them instead of talking down to them.
I respect and honor them for all of who they are, and I coach them how to use all of their talents to shine.
I see the best in them and help them to step into that vision of themselves.
I see and celebrate their amazing strengths that deserve to be honored but all too often have not been.
I believe in them. My experience is that these young people are radiant beings, that the world needs their gifts, and that the key to helping them shine is to focus on and use their strengths to build the skills they need, rather than perpetually dwelling on their challenges.
In short, I have aradically different, brighter, strengths-based vision of them and their wholeness. My coaching may indeed be dramatically transformative, but it’s a new vision of themselves that begins their growth process. It gives them hope and inspires them to work hard with me, to learn the skills they need, so they can step into their potential and bring their gifts to the world.
Sadly, most of my clients have not been given a hopeful vision for themselves. From psychology and personal experience, I have learned two unflinching realities:
Whatever we pay attention to and envision, tends to increase. Focusing on problems reinforces a negative self-image, which fosters negative behavior. Focusing on the positive encourages even more positive behavior.
Our children tend to grow to fill the vision we have of them. Limited visions foster only limited growth, if any. A big, shining vision can catalyze amazing growth.
Some years ago, a teen confessed to me, “My brain is defective. I can do nothing right. There’s no place for me in this world.” These were his core beliefs about himself, formed because he had heard only negativity from others who only saw his learning challenges (aka “disabilities”) but not his strengths. It broke my heart because I could see what amazing gifts he has. So I was delighted that he chose to work with me. I offered him a new vision for himself, helped him to understand how he learns best, and coached him to use his strengths to master his challenges. Over time he discovered he’s a born actor, vibrant rock-and-roll singer, and dynamic science teacher. He went on to thrive as a community college student, and now runs two very successful businesses doing what he loves. His story, which you will read more about over time, was a vital motivator for me to begin Lotus Learning Power.
In the meantime, I encourage you to consider:
In what way might your vision of yourself be limiting your growth?
How might your perception of your child or children’s capabilities be
unconsciously limiting their growth?
Do they have limiting visions of themselves?
What would happen if you, and they, thought of them as already whole and radiant?
What would happen if, instead of problems dominating the attention of you or your family members, your family became a team focused entirely on what is already going well… and building on that?
In this New Year, may your vision for yourself, your children, and our world be a bright and shining one!! If you would like help creating a new vision and new possibilities for your children, please do contact me at Deb@LotusLearningPower.com.