Uncertainty and unsettledness can be typical by-products of learning a new task or job. Few adults enjoy being in the “not-knowing” stage, especially if there are witnesses to early fumbles and mistakes. Parker J. Palmer has one idea about how to approach those early days. Although he is speaking about teaching adult learners, his words could easily apply to any new challenge we are facing.
“Each time I walk into a classroom, I choose the place within myself from which my teaching will come…I need not teach from a fearful place; I can teach from curiosity or empathy or honesty, places that are as real within me as are my fears. I can have fear, but I will not be fear—if I am willing to stand someplace else in my inner landscape”.
Likewise, we can learn to do something from a place of fear or a place of honesty or empathy or curiosity. Fear may journey alongside as our awkward and unwelcome companion for awhile but we can choose the place from which we act and speak.
We are aware of fear—but we will not be fear.
Peace be to you and your household,
Shari van Spronsen, MC, RCC
Second Story Counselling
Palmer, P. J. (2004). The Courage to Teach.