Last month, I had the opportunity to present at a conference with a dear friend and colleague. We have talked about sharing our learning for a long, long time, as we have been and continue to be inspired by the many people that do so. In our presentation, we shared our synthesis of learning around vulnerability, change, innovation, and how they relate to leadership and our educational context. Near the end of our presentation, we provided time for participants to reflect on the idea of change, something meaningful that they’ve always wanted to do in their educational setting, and why they haven’t done so yet. During this time, I found myself deep in reflection. I was wrestling with why it took so long for us to have the courage to submit the proposal for something we feel so passionately about. What if some of the people that have inspired and impacted us the most would have waited longer, or never took the leap at all? How many other people are out there with ideas and questions that can help others learn and grow?
One of the things that stopped me were the “what if” questions. They consumed me for a while. What if I fail and the proposals are rejected? What if people don’t find value in what I’m sharing? What if no one shows up for the presentation? At some point in my learning journey, the “what if” questions and ideas shifted from a negative connotation to a more encouraging, positive frame. What if these ideas help others? What if people are inspired to try something new? What if I learn and grow from this experience?
We do not grow to pat ourselves on the back. We grow so that we can help grow the capacity of all of us.
Why do we learn at all if not to share? Who benefits from our ideas, questions, knowledge, and passions if we are the sole proprietors of them? We have the ability in our wonderfully connected world, now more than ever, to grow personally and collectively. Sharing our learning connects us. We do not grow to pat ourselves on the back. We grow so that we can help grow the capacity of all of us. We come together so that we can go back to our setting, share the learning, and make an impact. about someone that has brought a message of hope and inspiration into your life by sharing their learning. Learning and growing is a risk we must be willing to take, not knowing exactly how it will turn out. We can be the hope and inspiration for each other when we stop worrying about the negative “what if” questions. What will you share so that others can grow?