One of my favourite songs is ‘The Rainbow Connection’ (Megan Hilty’s version is one that I listen to endlessly). It is magical. It transports us, even as adults, to a world that most of us wish still exists – a world that is filled with endless possibilities; where everything you touch turns to platinum.
If you haven’t heard this song, my interpretation is that the rainbow is a metaphor for visions and dreams. It is a reminder that those who do believe, do achieve – anything! The lyrics remind us to ignore the doubters who say that you can’t achieve your dreams. It explains that if you keep your gaze (focus), you will achieve what you set your mind to.
As adults, we become jaded. We let the past hurt us and we don’t heal. We allow people to treat us poorly. We allow careers to become chores. We stay in roles that we hate and work for bosses who are just that, bosses and not inspiring leaders. We do this because we think that we aren’t good enough. We do this because we haven’t identified, or connected to, our rainbow – our potential. We do this because we may have lost our view of our rainbow.
I am the type of person who thrives on positivity, as well as, the belief that anything is possible. This belief was inculcated in me by one of the greatest leaders that I have ever worked for. He wouldn’t allow the word ‘can’t’ to be said in his presence. He is also the leader that introduced me to the belief that, if you push yourself, even a little, even that 1%, you can achieve all your dreams.
Is it always easy to stay at this high energy level? Nope! Is it easy to derail? Yep! I am the first to admit that, as an Italian-blooded Scorpion, my emotions can take over and I can lose track of my vision, potential and value proposition (I am proud to say it, I have potential and I am passionate about my potential). When I do forget this, and derail in a whimsical way, I remember that I need to shift, just a bit – just that 1%. Dr Martin Luther King’s quote supports this, “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase. Just take the first step.” And when I recall this, I step back into my wholeness.
The longest that I have taken to step back into my potential was 3 years. 3 whole years. What a waste of my time to lead an unfulfilling and admittedly, fear-filled life. This is why I developed a coaching model ‘Step into Your Brave Shoes’. I personally use this model when I derail and lose sight of my potential. Once I have stepped into part 1 of this model which is ‘realising your potential’, I develop courage.
When I have courage, I unashamedly, own my worth and speak my potential. A couple of weeks ago, I had a debate with a client. I felt that we both left the conversation deflated and frustrated. I lambasted myself for this. I reminded myself that the client is always right, and I should not have held my dogmatic views. And then, that moment happened – the moment when I realized my potential – thanks to recalling a part of Dr Brene Brown’s talk ‘A Call to Courage’.
Dr Brown explained that a great leader is brave to step into that arena and have those conversations. At that moment when I felt like I was derailing, I had stepped into my brave shoes and held my view. I didn’t need to go into that moment that we all get into – lambasting ourselves. I had good intentions for this client and, in the end, as it usually goes, they didn’t interpret the same outcome as me. They acknowledged my input and did agree to my points.
We all have our doubting moments. We all have our dreams that we think can’t be fulfilled. Trust me – the minute you step into your brave shoes, you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.