Thursday 27 October 2011

Finding your courage – Elephant Style by Becky Armstrong

Everyday in life we face questions, challenges and dilemmas of all different shapes and sizes. For a lot of these we just deal with them in the moment often without having to give it much thought, the answer often just slips off the tongue- ever wondered why that is?

The answer lies in our filters – have you ever been to the theatre and seen the stage lit up with lots of colourful lights, yet every one of those lights is the same colour it is merely the filters that are placed in front of them that creates the difference. That’s true for us, we build and create filters and it is these filters that feed into our life and affect the decisions we make and the steps we take.

So, what would happen if we changed the filter? How would that feel? What might be possible?

So where does the elephant fit in? Every month I join Jamie and people from across the world to create dreamboards (join us next month – contact Jamie for details) and all year on every board has been an elephant, symbolising for me the need to tred my own path and make an impact ‘the unstoppable elephant’ but this month he has had a little change of appearance an is pink! So as I journal about that I get a real sense that he is the same but with a different filter - the filter of authenticity, he is changing and breaking the rules, and his grin tells me that there is fun to be had there.

Courage for me is all about being who you are, completely, utterly and shamelessly who you are. We often go through life conforming, being who others want us to be or who we think they want us to be , that might be a parent, a friend, a employer or even society on the whole. If you peel away that filter of who I should be and replace it with who I am, what happens, it can be quite a scary place … for me it started my journey to self-employment and every day I consciously choose to be me, sometimes this means taking the harder option but that’s ok as long as I get to be completely authentic. I found that following my dream took me away from the ‘sensible option’ of a goo, well paid job that I was very good at and into running my own business building that up from scratch.

People noticed a difference, in fact one person called me eccentric, which really hit me and I felt myself retreating back behind my safe filter but then I realised am eccentric and I am proud to be that because eccentricity is simply a label for uniqueness, for creating the direction rather than following and for a place of curiosity – all of which are wildly more appealing than conformance.
So far, I say so far because it’s a journey and I am still very much on it, I have found the impact has been amazing, I relate to people easier, I can choose what I do and more importantly what I say no to and above all I get to be me.

So I pose this question to you – if you peel back the filters of expectation and are just completely you what is possible … why not be the pink elephant and make a statement .. change the filter, most importantly choose the filter and who knows where you might end up!

Rebecca Armstrong (CPCC) is a professional coach who helps people across the world find their SPARKLE … working to help them connect and achieve their dreams and potential through a range of workshops and individual coaching sessions.

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