What is holding you back?
What’s getting in your way?
Have you got amazing ideas, wonderful plans, but don’t seem to be able to see them through?
There are always really good reasons why not to do something. And they’re genuine reasons. Time is short, resources limited and it can become so overwhelming, where do you start?
But what’s it really about?
Well, let me tell you about the Court Jester. The court jester, often known simply as the fool, had a very important role. You see, with all his clowning around, all his entertaining, he was the one who told the truth. The court jester was the only one who dared to tell the King the truth. Throughout history, the clown or the fool has always had the gift of clear vision, of understanding truth despite his simplicity (or perhaps because of it!).
I want to tell you one of my favorite stories about Hodja Nasraddin, a famous character in Middle Eastern culture, known by all as the wise fool. One day, Hodja was walking down the street. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, he yelled and jumped to the side of the road, panting and sweating. The people said to him “Hodja, what’s wrong, what did you see, why did you jump aside?” And Hodja replied, “There used to be a huge hole in the road right here. It was terrible, every time a person walked here, he’d fall in. So many people got hurt, you couldn’t possibly avoid it, it was awful.” “But Hodja,” they replied, “they filled in that hole long ago.” And Hodja said, “Yes, the hole is gone, but the fear is still there.”
I found myself telling this story these last few days during my trip to the wonderful Coaching Summer School in Bucharest, Romania where I introduced Story Coaching. I told it as an example of how stories can really capture some of the most powerful coaching principles and reach people in different, exciting and enormously compelling ways.
Fear is often the basis for our inaction.
But fear is also a dear friend. You see, while fear can keep us stuck and unable to progress, it can also support and protect us. Without fear we would more easily make bad decisions and get hurt. Without fear we would forget danger and the consequences of recklessness.
But of course, I’m not going to tell you to stay in fear, how could I. The opposite, I think we should all seek out fear, so that we can push ourselves beyond it. Our fears may have good intentions but they keep us in hiding. And this is no time to hide. Now, more than ever, you need to do what you were meant to do in the world.
We walked through the Village Museum of Bucharest and saw cottages and churches, hundreds of years old, displayed in their traditional simplicity and beauty. Stories kept coming into my head; stories of maidens and spinning wheels, thatched cottages, farmers and kings, stories of witches and goblins, of love and loss. This is where so many of those wonderful fairy tales come from. I watched the Coaching Summer School attendees drink in these stories and get excited about Story Coaching. I was honored and blessed by the sharing of their stories.
And I was reminded how the stories themselves are what help us get beyond the fear. They are the greatest inspiration, the greatest guide. How do you get beyond your fears? What stories inspire you? Why not share yours below!
Best wishes and best stories