Linda Heeler

Be Bold – Save a Life!

During my coach training, the leaders of our program urged us to say the thing that will get us fired.  When I first heard this, I was horrified.  You see, I was always the “nice” one.  I prided myself that no one could get to me.  No matter how anyone reacted, whether it be anger or arrogance, I would be “nice.”

Then it was pointed out that my “niceness” was simply a manipulation.  At first, I became incredulous.  How could they say such a thing?!  Me, manipulative?!  Never!

Once I calmed down and took a look, I realized they were right.  I used my “niceness” to get what I wanted and to make myself feel better than those who couldn’t control their egos or their temper.  Wow, was that a wake up call!

From that one powerful reflection, I also realized that if I was always “nice” with my clients, I wouldn’t be providing them with the best coaching I could offer.  I would only be getting my need to be liked met.

I began practicing saying the bold thing everywhere.

I recently had a friend call me out of the blue and tell me that she needed me to come and be with her because she could not breathe.  I immediately suggested we call 911 but she was resistant.  She finally agreed and I met the ambulance at her house.

It turned out that she was having a panic attack and from what I understand, they really can make you feel like you’re going to die.  I ended up taking her to be checked out by her doctor and they said that she was physically okay.

My friend, Kelly (not her real name), had been self destructive in the past and had cut herself off from her friends, me included.  I always told her that I would be there if she needed me.  And that morning, I had been. And Kelly was extremely grateful.

However, I found myself telling her that she got lucky that morning.  I travel for work and am out of town on occasion and I sometimes have early morning client calls.  I told her that I am not always able to drop everything to come and be with her.

I reflected her self destructive pattern and I told her that I cannot make her live.  I told her that I would be heartbroken,  that I would carry my love for her in my heart forever should she die but my life will go on.  I couldn’t believe these words were coming out of my mouth.

Her reaction was to give me the biggest bear hug and thank me.  She said she felt free in that moment because of my honesty.

We met a couple of weeks later and Kelly thanked me again.  She said she finally realized that it was up to her whether she lived or died and it was her choice what kind of life she lived.  She thanked me for my boldness because she said it saved her life!

So consider the practice of saying the bold thing.  Yes, you may have to apologize and clean things up with some.  With others, you may change their life forever.  And who knows, you may even save a life!

START SINGING!

I remember a children’s song from long ago and the lyrics went something like this:
Sing! Sing a song!
Sing out loud, sing out strong!
Don’t worry that it’s not good enough 
for anyone else to hear.
Just sing! Sing a song!
The message in this song is one we teach our children- be yourself, live your life the way you want and don’t worry what other’s judgments may be.
We teach our children this but are we living and modeling this message?
At church, a few months ago, I happened to sit in front of a young woman visiting our congregation.  When it came time for the first hymn, she burst into song.  She had a loud, bold and beautiful voice.
I noticed, however, she did not hit every note perfectly in tune.  I might not have ever noticed the notes that were out of tune had she not been singing out “loud and strong.”
I caught myself starting to judge her for being so loud and not “getting it right.”  I quickly noticed my judgment and I decided, instead, to relish in all the notes this woman sang. 
After the service, I turned to her and told her what a beautiful voice she had.  She apologized for not hitting every note and stated she had not sung in quite a while and was not familiar with the hymns.
I realized that this woman could have hidden her gift because she was afraid of not being perfect or getting it right.  She could have been stuck in her fear of judgment, ridicule or scorn.  Instead, she chose to sing out loud.
How many of us live our lives hiding our gifts because we’re afraid of what others will think?  And if we’re truly honest , who’s judgment is it that’s holding us back from what we want?
It’s usually us.  And, truth be told, most people are so caught up in worrying about what others are thinking about them, they don’t have time to worry about anyone else!
So what’s the song you’d like to sing out loud, sing out strong?!  Let’s start singing and not worry if it’s good enough to sing, let’s just sing!

Coincidence? I Think Not!

About 3 years ago, I read the book A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle.  It was one of Oprah’s book club selections.  This book was so powerful for me that I knew I had to talk to others about it despite my fear of being in a room full of strangers.

I went back to Oprah’s website and found a book club in Rochester.  I was so scared to go to the first meeting, I took a friend with me.

This group of people became a very important part of my life every Wednesday evening as we read each chapter and discussed how the concepts translated in each of our lives.  And little did I know what a profound effect each of those people would have on my life as we spent those evenings together for over a year.

I met my best friend, Darcie, in that group.  The facilitator of the group was a life coach and it was, in no small part, because of him, that I chose to become a life coach.  Another member and current friend, Luz, recommended her life coach to me when I decided that I wanted to work with a coach to decide if I wanted to be one.  That led me to Gregg and Accomplishment Coaching.

I graduated from the AC training program in New York in July 2010.  I have a whole new group of friends and colleagues all over the country.  And now Luz is going through the training as well.  Is all this a coincidence?  I don’t think so.

I believe that when we put ourselves out there in spite of our fear, the universe conspires to bring us what we want even if we don’t know what it is that we want.  I knew I was looking for something in my life but I wasn’t sure what it was.  Looking back, I couldn’t have planned this journey any better.

I now look at life differently.  Not wondering why things happen the way they do but having wonder at the way life happens.  What do you see about your journey called life?