As I was grooving along on an unseasonably warm day on Thursday, I thought about the other voices that I crank up or sometimes turn down in my life. Let me introduce you to a coaching tool that I will call ‘Voices’.
If we think of ourselves as a ship that is navigating its way through our life, it is easy to imagine that the ship has a crew. Each crew member has a very specific role and can be called upon at any time to help steer the ship. Our ship, if it is a good one, will have a Captain. The Captain holds the most important job of making choices about where the ship sails, deciding what routes are safest, or most scenic, or most interesting or fun. The Captain decides how long we will stay in any one port and she decides when we might need extra crew members aboard. The best Captains, sail their ship with confidence and integrity. The Captain of your ship is wise. She knows that your life is, at this moment, exactly as it should be, and at the same time she holds the paradox of wanting more for you. Your Captain believes in you completely and she has all the skills needed to make sure that you have the best life voyage possible. Although she may take opinions from other crew members, ultimately, she knows what is best and she acts accordingly. The voice of the captain is sure, clear, reassuring and supportive. The Captain never steers you into danger.
There are many other crew members aboard your ship. In previous posts, I have introduced you to one of your crew members - your Saboteur. He is a crew member who can have a VERY loud voice. The Saboteur delights in coming up on deck when we think about making change. He is the voice telling us that our idea is bad, that we could fail, that someone could get hurt, that we don’t really want something. If we let him up on deck and turn him up loud enough he will happily take over the steering of the ship. He doesn’t have to steer for too long before we decide that the change we had considered really isn’t wise. And we abandon it. And the Saboteur voice becomes quiet and he goes below deck and back to sleep. His work is done. The ship sails on in the same way it always has.
In addition to the Saboteur, we have many other crew members, all of whom also have voices.
One voice that can be very important and powerful in our life is The Appreciator. When the Appreciator is on deck, her job is to look around and to notice everything that there is to appreciate about our life. She can find the gifts in even the most difficult situations. She helps us realize that there is something to be appreciated in everything. She does not always steer us away from heartache and challenge, but she does help us to find and appreciate the gifts within these situations. Her voice is kind and caring. She is full of wisdom.
A crew member who may be needed in your life could be that of the Doorman. This crew member opens doors for us in our life. Sometimes she opens them only wide enough for us to peek inside; other times she encourages us to walk right through the door as she holds it wide open. If you invite both the Doorman and the Saboteur on deck at the same time, the Saboteur may run about closing as many doors as the Doorman was trying to open! The Doorman has a voice of encouragement and confidence. She believes that opening doors is easy and important work.
There is an endless number of possible crew members that can be found on our ship. Your crew members may include The Curious One, The One Who Takes Action, The Listener and The Rebel. While each of them can have an important voice, it is up to us to decide which of them we want to invite up on deck and which of their voices we want turned up the loudest at certain times in our lives. Each of them is available to us all the time. No doubt, as you examine your life, you will notice that you have made better friends with some of these crew members than with others. Some, who have had the potential to be wonderful crew members for you, you may have kept below deck for too long.
During this week, I challenge you to notice which crew member is steering your ship. Which voices do you choose to crank up, and which you choose to turn down. Only invite crew members onto your deck who are willing to work with your Captain on her mission of creating your best possible, fulfilling life.
My inquiry for you this week is, ‘Whose voice am I cranking up?’
Learn more about the power of your Captain and Crew during group or individual coaching. Check out my coaching video and my group coaching video and then contact me to help you get started. Your voyage awaits!