All talk and no action

Oct 9, 2015 · 4 min read

The past couple of weeks have seen little action as I have felt stuck. I’ve not really known what direction to take to help move myself forward. I was hoping that once I delivered another creativity and innovation workshop for my employers, I’d get the approval my mind was looking for.

The workshop was an opportunity to test my offering, but to my surprise, although I was good at it and I really enjoyed designing the day, I didn’t feel elated at the end of it. I got some excellent feedback — people really enjoyed it and they rated my facilitation skills as excellent, but I was left feeling somewhat down in the dumps. Don’t get me wrong, I was pleased with how it went, the problem was that I still didn’t feel fulfilled.

What was different?

I compared it to some other sessions I’ve held where I have come up feeling completely elated. What was different? The difference was the content and the audiences — The workshop I enjoyed most was with a group of young people. I ran an ideation workshop to get ideas about what kind of fundraising product works for them, based on their interests and desires. It was a user led session with them telling me what interested them, what was important and the level of importance. The workshop was also about skill sharing, so I was teaching them about methodology and the importance of the different stages. We refined ideas by running a rapid prototyping session. It was highly energetic and loads of fun. The undergrad students I was working with really engaged and were highly interactive. This session left me feeling really energized and I was literally buzzing afterwards.

I enjoy designing and facilitating workshops but I seem to get more out of some than others. I guess it is the solution I am working towards that makes the difference. So where does this leave me?

Fear, Vulnerability and Shame

I’m pretty much in limbo as I have been trying to get to the bottom of why I may be feeling stuck. I investigated fear and vulnerability and having watched Brene Brown’s TED talks on The Power of Vulnerability and Listening to Shame. I’ve come to the conclusion that my barrier is a shame issue.

I am concerned about credibility. When I viewed my feedback forms from the most recent workshop, the scariest part of the form to look at was how people rated my expertise in the area. I didn’t immediately look at the forms because I was worried they were going to be bad. I left them on my desk for two days. When I did eventually seek them out, I found that no one had said poor, or even average, instead they all said either good or excellent. However, I am guilty of comparing myself to others.

Rate your trainer

I will rate myself against other people offering similar services and then a little voice in my head pops up and says, ‘what makes you think you are as good as them?’ This is a new thing, which only seems to have come about through wanting to go freelance.

In the past I have stopped managers paying for an external consultant to provide the training as I've said that I can deliver it. I did this without hesitation in order to save the organisation thousands of pounds. I was also confident at my ability to deliver the training despite initially knowing less than I do now. So why is it I am now questioning my ability? I've made so much progress from when I did my first session and I've also learnt so much more but why do I now feel like I'm not worthy?

I honestly have no answer to that but it is a fear that I need to overcome. No fear ever gets the better of me and least of all a little voice.

No Regrets

It was therefore timely that ESC’s latest email linked to Alastair Humphreys blog Escaping towards where you want to be.

It is here he talks about not needing to be an expert to do whatever it is you want to do.

“I had no right, really, to turn my hobby into my career. I’m not entrepreneurial, I don’t have good ideas or business savvy. I know nothing about money or accounting. And yet I’m doing it! I’m not the best adventurer out there, either. In fact, I’m not the best at any of the things I do for my ‘job’. So why listen to me? I’m not rich or famous or a genius at anything in particular.”

All the successful people we look up to were once the same as me, they didn't become successful overnight, they probably faced the same fear and charged on ahead. Years later, they have something to talk about because they did it. They pursued their dream and now they are living it. No regrets. That’s what it should be about, making decisions that you will not live to regret later, it is for this reason I am going to explore something a little bit different but still allows me to use the design and facilitation skills I enjoy. The idea of adults learning through play has been on my mind for a while so now is the time to explore it further.


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Writing about career change, well-being, health and fitness and personal development

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