Monday, January 26, 2009

Guest Post: Courtney Parks

My dear friend Courtney and I went through coaching certification together. She's a wildly supportive, deeply intuitive friend and colleague, and I'm blessed to have her in my life. With talking about risks and courage this week at The Next Chapter: 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, I thought that it would be great to draw on her wisdom. Courtney was kind enough to say I could share with you an excerpt of a recent article she wrote on the topic. I hope it leaves you inspired!

by Courtney Parks of Courtney Parks Coaching

Here are some thoughts that I hope will inspire and support you as you take your leap into your personal and professional vision this year:
  • Your body tells you where the leap is - for me, it's a deep sense of knowing or calm that gets followed by excitement and sometimes even panic. You already know what this feeling is for you. Trust it.
  • Once you leap (or just at the thought of it), you'll often experience backlash - doubt, anxiety and, sometimes, a powerful sense of shame (my biggest opponent to change). If it doesn't feel good, you know that your fear is running the show.
  • The bigger the leap, the stronger the backlash - the strength of your fear is commensurate with the power of your decision. But remember, your joy and excitement are what's real. Your fear is just doing its job by lovingly trying to protect you from harm. I've had lots of fear lately, so I know I must be on to big things.
  • Work WITH your fear - notice it, thank it for trying to protect you, let it run through your system, love it as best you can. DO NOT change course or make decisions while in the fear - your sense of power and peace will return.
  • Ask "how" not "if" - there are many "realistic" reasons that you can't take your big leap. The reason I say "realistic" is that these barriers are often just manifestations of our fear. So instead of questioning your decision (the "if") ask how you can make it work.
  • Stay grounded - as a result of the leap, your vision has to expand to include bigger steps to make it happen. For me, it's really important to stay grounded when taking bigger action. So I have to pay special attention to self-care. Another great way to help yourself with the details is by asking "How can I make this easy?" and "How can I make this fun?"
  • Get support- friends, partners, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues, mentors and coaches are all there to help if you ask (I have a whole team of supporters). Tell as many people as you feel comfortable with about your leap and get help by asking for accountability, brainstorming and support.
  • Incorporate the leap - give yourself time to get used to your decision and get excited. Remember that this is something you actually want to do! Play with the idea of it. I like to look at pictures of Santa Monica and imagine myself lounging and even coaching on the beach!
  • Most of all, know that your leap is both a process and an adventure. So enjoy being excited and being scared and being completely calm - depending on the moment. And know that I am right there with you!
Thank you, Courtney! You can find out more about Courtney here or by emailing her.

And I'm here for you too. I want you to have all the support you need for stepping into your dreams. I wrote about what nurtures my own courage here. And the wonderful Jessie talks about being brave in an interview with me here. And check out all of the thoughts and explorations of participants in The Next Chapter: 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women. Most importantly, check in with your spirit. She always knows when it's time to leap.


Anonymous said...

This was indeed inspiring!

Tori said...

Thank you for posting this! It is an inspiring way of taking the fear of change and making it work.

Ananda said...

Wonderful. I totally agree with this one: Y"our body tells you where the leap is - for me, it's a deep sense of knowing or calm that gets followed by excitement and sometimes even panic. You already know what this feeling is for you. Trust it." Thank you for the continuous flow of inspiration, information, and innergy!