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  • Regina Stafford

​Where’s Your New “Arena”

​Where’s Your New “Arena”There are “arenas” in our lives that we excel in.  We know we are good at what we do, and others recognize it. We flow easily through the tasks and feel confident about it. Being the confident, creative people that we are, many of us have yearnings to do things that are new for us as well. We toy with the idea of how great it would be to do something totally outside of our box; only to take that thought and shove it back down since it seems too risky for us. Some of us wouldn’t even dare share what we’re thinking for fear of seeming foolish to someone else. What stops us from unlocking that part of ourselves? Inside every adult is still a “child”, a part of us that will always be there. It’s considered the “child” because of its characteristics. It has a sense of wonder and curiosity about everything in life and it’s not afraid to dream or imagine. A child imagines what it would be like to fly or be the boss and make the rules. They can freely color outside of the lines and use any color they want until someone comes and tells them they can’t. As adults, we often tell our “child” the same thing; “you can’t go outside of the lines”. Our inner child brings the fun to the adult. It brings the challenge and the excitement, the fun of learning and exploring to our necessary routines of life. The adult in us, having experienced failure, ridicule and shame, causes us to squash any idea the child may bring to the table. Since along with the idea comes a feeling of vulnerability, and we don’t like that feeling. We then start to think of all the reasons (excuses) why we won’t even consider it. Being an adult keeps us from getting into trouble, it uses good judgment and helps us to live good stable, and productive lives. There is also a delicate balance of allowing the “adult” to be too controlling and keep us stuck inside of a box when our heart wants to explore a little. I’d love to challenge you with a few questions, which can open a whole new world for you.

If what is stopping you is based on good judgment and care for yourself and others, you may be correct in not doing it. If what’s stopping you is fear of failure, ridicule, or shame, you may want to challenge those feelings to see what’s on the other side. Sometimes how we view vulnerability just needs a little reframing. Brene Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, who spent over ten years researching shame and vulnerability, wrote in her book, “Daring Greatly” How The Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead. A wonderful quote from her book, by Theodore Roosevelt, that changed her life, mine, and many others, It reads: “ It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man, who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood: who strives valiantly… who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly”. I believe that it is not a good thing to become so much of an “adult” that we miss the fun, sweetness, and vibrancy one experiences with new endeavors - big or small for your career or personal life. Question yourself and listen to your heart to see when you can let the child come out and play.  Silence your inner critic if it’s fear based, and don’t give much attention to anyone else who is afraid of stepping into a new  “arena” as well, they will be the outer critics who want to keep you from it. Commit yourself to live a full rich life integrating your child and your adult; you will both benefit from it. #rewardscoaching, #lifecoachinghelpsovercomefear, #whatareyouwaitingfor.

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