Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Say yes chipmunk! Say yes!

Unlike other hibernating animals, chipmunks do not develop a layer of fat to provide them with energy during their dormant periods. Instead, they store large caches of food underground for use during winter. Those cute little cheeks of theirs have internal patches that let them carry food.

If you’re anything like me, you’re a chipmunk too. Really. I’ve recently started coaching people going through transitions and I’ve noticed that we all do, in fact, exhibit some chipmunk behavior. We go through life acquiring all sorts of experiences. We store them somewhere in the underground of our minds. But unlike the chipmunk, when winter comes we look in our empty cheeks and find nothing. We ask ourselves, how in the world can I start my own business, write a book or take on a new position when I’ve never done it before? If we look a little deeper, we’ll be amazed by the large caches of experience we’ve stored.

I distinctly remember that turning point for me. Earlier this year, before I completed my coach training, I decided to develop a website to begin promoting my creativity workshops and coaching services. I didn’t have a Masters in Fine Arts or coaching certification. But what did I have? I started digging. I slowly began finding the nuts. I started by remembering every single art, creativity and writing class and workshop I’d ever taken. I was surprised at how many there were and how much I’d learned. More nuts: the number of writers I’d managed, pieces I’d written and painted, people I’d coached, personal and business transitions I’d successfully mastered over the years. This is what made me qualified to do what I wanted to do. And this is what gave me the confidence to take the leap forward.

How many times have you said no to a job or project because you didn’t think you had enough experience? How many times have you seen someone with a fraction of your talent and knowledge say yes and fumble along? I can remember several times in my own career. The only difference between that person and us is that he or she had the confidence and audacity to say, “Yes I can do it!” If you don’t have that audacity built into your genes—and most of us don’t—find your inner chipmunk and start looking for those nuts. I promise they’re there. You may not have done the same exact project or job before, but you may have done something similar. Remember that all of our skills are transferable.

Moving towards our dreams means saying yes with confidence. It’s definitely scary at times. But the more you say yes, the easier it gets and the more confidence you amass. Start with the nuts, chipmunk, and before you know it, winter will be over and you’ll be running around in the sunny days of your new life.


Alexis said...

Ri, I'm very proud of you! I see that you've expanded your vast knowledge to rodents too! Did my hamsters, gerbils and guinea pigs inspire you throughout the years? :-)

Kidding aside, you're totally right about having a cache of "nuts" to draw upon. Fortunately our "nuts" - experiences, education and knowledge are NOT perishable and can stay with us intact forever.

Lisa said...

Very nice! Congratulations on finding the courage to break out and follow your passion! I am also looking for those opportunities, but have not made the jump. I look forward to following your stories of encouragement! Take care! Lisa C.

UGoGirl2 said...

Great! I have a new appreciation for nuts :-) I am also in the middle of transition. I know there are a lot of things I would like to do. But as you pointed out I have questioned my qualifications. My crutch has certainly been I don't know enough or have the required education. But after reading your story I know that I shouldn't let that stop me.

It feels like flying! said...

Excellent! Thanks for sharing. I'm so glad this story encourages. Keep going!