Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Second hand courage is still courage

Have you ever felt like you might not be able to face it? Sometimes you just don’t have all the energy that you need to get through. It is OK not to have all the answers. There are times when we fall short of the line or just lack that spark we need. That’s OK. It was during 2010 and early 2011 that I realised I was suffering just such a deficit.

My career seemed to be happening to me and I felt helpless to some of the issues I was facing. I tumbled from one urgent/important item to another. I was out of balance. During my time in schools I had never had to deal with compromise. And here it was. With such an energy deficit I had to ration where I put my efforts. I wanted to be the best classroom teacher I could be and at the same time develop as a school leader. But compromise stretched its tendrils around both endeavours. This toxic time eroded my mental health and I suffered.

There were days when I had to stop the car on the way to work and take a few deep breaths.

It wasn’t my own courage that pushed me on. It was the second hand courage of people close to me. Their unwavering support help steady my nerves, their energy topped me up. Also through some teary discussions I managed to get some distance and realised that it wasn’t me. It was OK. The situation I was in could change and I could change it.

If you are in that struggle consider these things I learned. Surround yourself with people who can share their energy and courage with you — their courage is still something that can carry you. Find perspective by discussing things with someone who will understand your experience. Plot your way out, find a course that puts you back making decisions about what is next.

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