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Corage: Stepping Into My Power II - Change or Opportunity?

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Times of change can be hard and frustrating, but those are usually the ones most necessary.

By Sally Eames

From all indications October is starting out to be a bumpy, change-filled month. What a horrible time to step into an entirely new way of being.

Actually, it’s a great time to be doing just that.

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I’m choosing to see October as a month of opportunities; I get to stretch and learn and grow into so many things. I’m already uncovering long-held beliefs and fears that are getting in my way. I let go of a lot in the last month – relationships, ideas about who I am, expectations – but there’s still more work to do. And the obstacles still there, still hanging on, those are going to be harder to release and shift (and to identify). They’re the stubborn stains on the floor that need some elbow grease. September’s releases and changes were swept away with a broom. October’s blocks require some scrubbing. And some will be a surprise because I thought they were part of the pattern on the tile.

For instance: I made a HUGE discovery earlier this month. I’m taking a class about owning my power. There’s a Facebook group where we can discuss our plans and “aha” moments. Let me make one thing clear: I ASKED for feedback. I got it. Very useful and compassionate feedback from a woman whose history inspires my respect. And my response was to close up like an oyster.

Part of stepping into my power involves looking at those places where I am not helping myself, and this is a big one. I took a good, long look at this reaction on my part and realized I tend to respond to feedback as though it were a slap upside the head rather than as rays of sunlight shining through on cloudy days.

I’m sure some of this is because I have run into people who tried to shut me down with their feedback because they were threatened. But that wasn’t the case here. This was someone being generous and helpful, providing me with information and insights I needed and requested. Taking a step back from the situation allowed me to recognize that the slap reaction is my default, learned or not, and that I don’t want to meet the world that way any longer. If I am standing fully in my power, I can ask for and accept help. And should it come my way again, I can spot cruelty for what it is: someone else seeking a release. I can have compassion for those people, even while disregarding their comments.

I’m also aware that with everything going on in my life this month, I’ll need to keep focused on my self-care. One of the old habits and beliefs I need to let go is the idea that caring for myself comes last. I can’t live by that any longer. I can’t be my best for my clients or anyone else if I’m not taking care of myself. I need to get enough sleep, eat the right foods, get enough exercise, continue to work toward my health goals and take the time I need for myself so that I can give my best this month. October’s going to demand it of me.

I’m choosing to look at all of this as opportunity rather than change. One of the opportunities I have this month is to see what happens when I look at change as something I choose, rather than telling the story outside of my control. I think I’ll reap big rewards from following that tactic.

Other opportunities October holds for me:

  • To grow and change and step even more fully into myself and my power
  • To fail and learn
  • To take aim at Big New Ways of Being and do everything I can to achieve them
  • To be boldly even more myself
  • To love myself completely and take care of myself in the same ways I take care of the other people in my life
  • To meet some big goals, goals I would never have thought possible a year ago

So welcome to the Opportunities of October. I’m looking forward to seeing how they shape me.

What opportunities do you see heading your way this month?

What big goals are you stepping into?

What are you doing to take care of yourself?

Sally Eames, CPCC, ACC operates Corage Coaching. She is a Certified Professional Co-Active coach and a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute. She is also an International Coach Federation Associate Certified Coach. For the full text of this column, please visit her blog. For more information on her work as a Co-active coach, please visit her site at havecorage.wordpress.com.

Justin Shimko

Justin Shimko is an award-winning writer and political analyst. He began as a reporter in his college days at the University of Oklahoma, writing for The Oklahoma Daily (rated as one of the best collegiate newspapers in the nation) and The Oklahoman, the statewide newspaper, winning awards from the CSPA and the Society of Professional Journalists. He later moved on to research and writing work for a number of political campaigns. His email is [email protected]