Today was rough. Generally, when my husband asks “How was your day?” I respond with a simple “Good. The usual.” He doesn’t want to hear the mundane details of the teacher’s life. After all, he has been listening to me for over ten years. While my students change, most of the frustrations stay the same.
Until today. Today I sighed and replied, “Long and stressful.” We all have those days – the ones where challenges pop up – new challenges that require us to take on new roles and move beyond our comfortable little bubble worlds.
Challenges like today’s create fear in me. I have never been the most courageous, the most outgoing, the one everyone turns to for help. I would never classify myself as a leader. I don’t think many of us would be comfortable with that label on us. Yet that is where I found myself today.
Here is what I learned through facing the challenge:
- There are always people who have your back. When your path is rough or the line you must walk creates a precarious position for you, friends will come alongside you to be sure you aren’t walking that path alone.
- Humility and honesty are always the best policies. Your listeners may not like what you have to say. They may not agree with you. They may not even like you very much, but the truth, spoken in a true desire to help, coupled with acknowledgement that you don’t have all the answers, will open doors to forthright conversations.
- We all have the ability to lead. Listen to everyone with the intention of truly hearing what they are trying to say. Take the first step towards resolution, even if it means facing a fear you don’t feel like facing.
In her book A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson argues that “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” I do believe that there is a powerful leader in each of us. Those challenges that might seem like roadblocks are really designed to refine us, to help us find inner strength we didn’t realize we possessed.
Today, I was able to refine my inner leader just a little.