Having the Courage to Stay Steady

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I have come to believe staying steady should be our highest aspiration.

To this end, I have added a new question at the end of most of my coaching sessions, “If what you are planning to do doesn’t turn out as you hope it will, what will you do next?”

A woman asked me if this question takes the energy of the conversation down. She said most people feel good about committing to take a step forward. Many are eager to implement their plans right away.

She wondered why I would bring attention to the possibility of failing when they just envisioned winning.

I thought it was interesting she used the word, “failing” to represent not executing perfectly or not getting the hoped for reactions from others.

I said, “That is why I ask the question. When people try out new behaviors, they have an expectation of themselves and others that may not be totally met. Because they don’t consider this possibility, especially when they give 100% to their effort, they judge themselves as failures when they don’t act or receive as they had imagined.”

Between optimism and pessimism, there is realism. What is realistic may not be the most inspiring idea to consider, but it encourages seeing each step forward as a learning opportunity instead of a performance measurement of pass or fail. You can learn and grow instead of drowning in regret. You can choose to stay on the path when disappointed. The realist is less likely to give up than the optimist. The realist has the courage and perspective needed to stay steady.

Staying steady doesn’t mean you have to complete goals that no longer serve you. Staying steady means you are serving your higher self and life purpose, so the goals you set can change. You can set new goals that better fit who you are becoming and what you are learning about yourself and your values if your path is to fulfill a purpose instead of complete an unrealistic or unfulfilling goal.

Steadiness is not weakness

Dan Rather writes a blog called Steady. He said in a post written Oct. 19, 2022, “Over the course of my career, I have found that many of the fiercest fighters for truth and justice have been the steadiest. Dr. Martin Luther King was steady. Nelson Mandela was steady. So was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” Making steady headway accepts times of agitation, anger, and doubt. Staying steady also means you adapt to change keeping your purpose in sight.

Consider how you got where you are today despite your faults and mistakes. You are still becoming the person you hope to live into. You will get frustrated. You might get discouraged. But if you considered what you need to feel to keep going toward your envisioned future, including courage, passion, and gratitude, you will stay steady on the path.

Ask people what they need to stay steady

I would rather take the energy down a notch in the coaching session to ensure growth than to support fertile ground for cultivating limiting beliefs. Making decisions with a clear view of the big picture leads to wise choices. It is better to ask people what they need to stay steady as they move toward their desired outcome instead of asking them what they need to succeed.

Mystic and healer, the Ba’al Shem Tov said, “Let me fall if I must. The one I will become will catch me.” Every mistake has a gift to offer if you choose to look inside.

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