December is a stressful month. It always seems busier and more frantic than any other time of the year. The pressure built up by the impending festivities, as I mentioned in a previous blog adds to the stress. This need to have the best time at Christmas, seems to hang over people for the whole month. It seems that during December it is more important than any other month not to experience anything negative. That for some reason tunes us in to all things negative in the world around us. When I turned on the news this morning, all I seem to hear is about backpackers and holiday makers either being found dead or going missing, old people being murdered, riots in France and the impending doom of Brexit. Now I have not tested this but I imagine that from a news point of view December is no more doom laden than any other month. My theory is that because we are conditioned that Christmas must be a joyful occasion that we end up being more sensitive to tragic news. I find myself saying when I hear this news, ‘oh that is awful and just before Christmas as well….’ These terrible things happen all year round and are devastating not matter when they occur. Then you add in to that, the short days, bad weather, more traffic on the road due to people going shopping and then the general spread of winter illnesses, such as flu, colds, and vomiting bugs. December is pretty miserable.
Gosh that got dark very quickly. What I really wanted to talk about today was that I have had a really good week, and that this sort of flies in the face of that December feeling. It has been one of those weeks where I have just enjoyed being present. I have enjoyed what I was doing and more importantly I have really enjoyed being around some wonderful people. I have been delivering content and been a participant in training. I have spent time with people I know well and I have met new people. I have coached and been coached. I have laughed, cried, got excited, been stressed and anxious and felt calm and relaxed. I have shared knowledge and learned an enormous amount, about myself and others. Most importantly I have learned what more core values are. I have discovered that courage is my core value. Being courageous drives all the moments and activities that add value to my day, week, month, and year.
There it is, the reason my week has been so good. It has been a courageous week. A week where on the whole I have lived up to my core value.
So what is courageous about the week I have described? If you know me well, you will now that I am naturally introverted and it takes a lot of energy to behave in an extroverted way, so delivering content to groups of people I do not know, which I did twice this week. On Tuesday I held a workshop on Insights and teamwork to a group of Advanced Practitioners, and yesterday I delivered a very similar session to around 20 staff from different backgrounds. Both sessions required me to think on my feet and adapt my approach for different reasons. Wednesday and Thursday required courage for different reasons. On Wednesday I was working with Anthony on the coaching course we are delivering internally. Anthony delivers the content and I co-ordinate the course from an internal point of view. With that comes a feeling of responsibility for the success of the day, from the candidates point of view and Anthony’s point of view. When the day is in full swing I am happy, but I do get nervous before the day, and it takes quite a lot of courage to turn up and be positive. Thursday in the end was the best day of the week. However I was dreading it. As I mentioned I am naturally introverted so meeting new people and going to new places makes me really nervous. So on Thursday I went along to a training day on resilience for coaches with my colleague Becky in Leeds. Now I knew Anthony was delivering the day, which was great, but I was going to meet new coaches, and that scared me. But I did it, I stole myself and went along. I am so glad I did. As soon as I walked through the door (well actually the second door, as the first door I went through was the wrong one and I did gatecrash a meeting) I felt I was at home. What a fabulous bunch of people they were, and of course they were always going to be. I had a great time and had the opportunity to be coached by an amazing coach.
In spite of the month I had a pretty great week, being courageous in my own way.