Have you ever loaned someone a car? A jacket? A pair of warm boots? A book?
In times of transition we don’t always have what we need to navigate the challenges associated with change. We might not have the right tools, knowledge or experiences. One thing is certain that people in transition seem to find each other and often ask for support; a loan of ideas and knowledge. What happens when a wise friend asks….”Do you loan hope?”
I found this question so profound that it made me stop and reflect on my relationship with “hope”. What I soon realized was that I indeed have a deep relationship with hope. After the tragedy of 9-11, I decided to start asking people what gave them hope. I found very few people could answer that question and I soon began a hope journal. I collected quotes of hopeful inspiration, images, stories writings, news, and historical reflections. I’ve kept the hope journal since 9-11 and regularly use it in my group facilitation, writing and teaching.
When my friend recently asked me if what I actually did as a coach was loan hope I stopped dead in my tracks. She had nailed it. It’s exactly what I do, I create a space to listen to people, to help them explore their greatest passions and fears, and to discover their deepest talents. While people are exploring they can feel vulnerable and often lose hope that they will not find their purpose, name their goals, and start moving forward on their professional journey. As a coach, I loan them a little hope.
Slowly, as I offer a space and time for them to sift and sort through their ideas, talents, and experiences they begin to be hopeful. I can feel the energy climb. As their spirits start to lift, their direction becomes clearer, and they start achieving their goals; they start generating their own hope.
And then, the most beautiful thing of all… they start giving hope to others and the cycle begins again. We are all connected and when hope is the thread that weaves us together it is a powerful theme for making a difference in the world.
When was the last time you borrowed hope? When was the last time you loaned some hope? How are you using hope to make a difference in the world?
As Emily Dickinson writes
“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –
Tell me about your transition. I’d like to learn more about your story. What tools and strategies have helped you navigate through your career transition? Please contact me.