Prior to university I remember taking part in a local charity fundraising team quiz. A question on history came up and I recall saying to one of the other older team members – “you’ve got a degree in history, what’s the answer?”
Looking back I’m pretty certain that my belief system was that to get a degree in history you would need to know every single historical fact. It didn’t seem to have crossed my mind the number of facts that are associated with the entire billions of years that the Earth has been in existence!
At some stage of studying more history myself I changed my belief and expectations about having that specific qualification meant I would know the answer to any history question. In fact the more I studied and learnt the more I became aware of what there was still to explore.
As Socrates said, “The more I learn, the more I learn how little I know.”
So why am I talking about history in a post about coaching? It’s prompted by the number of conversations I have with people who are putting off coaching and assisting “real people” because they don’t know enough.
A proportion of these individuals will “keep moving the goal posts” as they learn more and identify other areas they would like to know more about and develop more skills etc. As that happens they put off using the skills and knowledge they already have.
It means that there can be very knowledgeable individuals, who often have been able to demonstrate skills in a training environment, and yet won’t share this with people and groups they could be assisting now.
Before I go any further I want to make it perfectly clear I am not in any way shape or form suggesting that you immediately stop looking to increase your skills and knowledge. I’m also not suggesting that you don’t bother learning them in the first place.
What I do encourage you to explore is any underlying beliefs around knowledge and not knowing something. Let me ask you a question, would you be OK with not knowing everything and still using the skills and knowledge you already have?
Notice what your response was to that question.
Being comfortable with not knowing something does not mean that you cannot choose to gain that information. It just means you don’t have to feel bad about not currently knowing it!
You may also notice what you imagine “using the skills and knowledge you already have” would mean you would be doing.
Did you interpret it as asking if you have set up your own coaching business coaching lots of paying clients? If that’s what you want to be doing, then personally I think that’s fantastic.
However, that’s not the only way that you can use your existing coaching knowledge and skills. How can you use what you already have in your every day life?
- If you are a manager how can you use your coaching knowledge and skills to benefit your team?
- If you are a sales person, how can you use your coaching knowledge and skills to benefit your sales figures?
- Perhaps you may even be able to use your knowledge and skills in your personal life, to assist you as a parent or as a partner.
Personally, I think it is such a shame and complete waste when individuals have knowledge and skills that won’t start using because there is still more to know. I invite you to consider how you can be using your knowledge and skills to be making a difference now.
I also am going to end today’s post with one of my favourite quotes:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It’s our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of the universe.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There is nothing enlightening about shrinking,
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We are born to make manifest the glory of the universe
that is within us. It’s not just in some of us: it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
And as we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.”