Who said so?
I wonder how many people go through life believing this?
It’s often hidden, mind. What brings it to the surface is change: new possibilities, new places, new people.
I can’t do this.
I could never go there.
I wouldn’t be able to meet them.
We have to beware handing over our sense of worth to others and their systems, making them sole judges of our performance.
One of the joys of my work is to uncover with the people I work with how they are better than they allow themselves to believe: they are more than capable of not only welcoming but also being creative with the kind of change life is full of.
I sometimes describe this as future-mentoring, which sounds like an oxymoron as the future hasn’t happened. How can mentoring from the future happen?
In the words of a student to missionary Vincent Donovan, “do not try to bring them to where you are … as beautiful as that place might be to you. Rather invite them to go to a place neither you nor they have ever been before.”*
I often travel to places with others I’ve never been to before. Along the way, we discover we can do this. We change. We become antifragilistas**
Fragile people are more reactive, feeding their self-preservation; robust people are more responsive, maintaining their sense of self-worth under stress – even seen as the unflappable ones; whilst antifragilistas are more likely to seize possibilities and begin new things, go to new places, seek out new people.^
I’ve used the word believe a couple of times because it can be the problem. What you believe and how you think can get in the way of what you are really capable of. The world will be changed by people who are prepared to believe something different about themselves and about others, in order to make the journeys which see the transformation their lives are capable of.
You are good enough; just give me an hour and a coffee, and you’ll soon have me convinced you are.
(*Quoted by Brian McLaren in Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?)
(**Using Nassim Taleb‘s idea, we can become people who grow in response to stress, up to a point.)
(^Pride, greed, and foolishness are reactive traits; humility, gratitude, and faithfulness are more responsive; and, when they lead to integrity, wholeness and perseverance, allow for the antifragile traits of courage, generosity, and wisdom to be expressed.)