Courage To Raise Your Hand

Feb 10, 2024

No one knew…

Not a soul.  Not a single person.  Amy didn’t know. My team at the office didn’t know.  My mentor didn’t know. I didn’t share it with my inner circle, which was much smaller at the time.  But the bottom line is that no one knew what I was going through.  Because I kept it to myself. I suffered in silence.  All of it.  Sleepless nights.  Panic attacks.  Paralyzing fear.  All of it.  On my own.  Because that is what I chose.

Wouldn’t it have been nice…

At the peak of burnout, to have been able to share the depths of the pain I was going through? Wouldn’t it have been nice to know that I was not, in fact, all alone in my struggles?  I had people in place that I could have talked to.  I had every opportunity.  So why didn’t I share the depths of what was going on?

If you want to know the truth…

It was all about pride. Yes.  It was a very toxic pride.  But that voice inside me told me that I couldn’t share it.  I was strong enough.  I could get myself through this.  Just suck it up dummy.  Quit moping around and freaking do it.  Step forward.  But how?  Stupid pride.  Sound familiar to anyone?  To those who live in my small town in Iowa, I bet you can relate.  We can’t share our weaknesses, right?  We have to keep up the appearance.  And it is stifling and suffocating.  Can anyone relate?

So how do you overcome pride?

It takes COURAGE my friends.  Courage to name it.  Courage to raise your hand and admit that you have some crap in your life and you don’t want it to hold power over you anymore.  When I had kept my struggles in the dark, they had power over me.  All it would have taken is some courage to get the ball rolling.  To start the conversation.  To get it out in the open with someone I trusted.  It wasn’t that I didn’t have anyone to trust.  I just chose to keep it to myself.

What changed?

Enough was enough.  The pain of change became less than the pain of staying the same.  I knew I couldn’t do it anymore.  And I finally realized that I wasn’t meant to do it on my own.  I had these people in my life.  It was time to lean on them as they had leaned on me.  So I opened up the conversation.  In tears and pain and shame, I admitted where I was.  It took insane courage.  Was I terrified to raise my hand? You bet I was.

So why did I do it?

Again, the pain of staying the same was greater than the pain of change.  I want you to think on that.  Has it gotten that far for you?  Is it time to raise your hand and say it is all too much?  Recently I had a coaching call with a client who said it had gotten to the point where it was all just too much.  She raised her hand to someone she could trust.  And we are working through it and finding tremendous hope for her. Hope and a path to move forward.

This last week I was in Utah…

To lead a retreat for an amazing group of business owners.  Before the retreat I was enjoying some skiing with a great friend.  We saw that there was a double black diamond run that involved some hiking to get to the summit and then skiing down a really steep mountain with more than a foot of fresh powder.  I am a blue and green skier.  If I get hurt, I don’t see patients.  So I am a bit cautious.  Ok.  A lot cautious.

But my friend challenged me…

Come on Recker… you are a motivational speaker.  You are leading a retreat this week.  Go grab some more content to share with them.  So, with an insane amount of courage for me, I raised my hand. I hiked up that mountain in my ski boots.  By the way, it sucks to hike in ski boots!  Especially when it is over 9,000 feet above sea level!.

And I stared down the mountain…

Holy crap.  What did I do?  I promptly fell about ten feet into the run down the mountain.  And then I got back up, took a few deep breaths, realized there was no way I was hiking back down, and I let ‘er rip.  It was nothing fantastic, but I made it down.  And I felt amazing.  Because I had the courage to try something new.  To raise my hand and say I’ll go!  And now I get to enjoy the feeling of no regret.

Do you need to raise your hand today?

What is that thing that you need to get out of your head where it has power over you?  What is that thing that has been tormenting you and holding you back?  Could today be the day that you make the call, set up the coffee, raise your hand, and ask for help?  Don’t have anyone to talk to?  Just like my coaching client, you can reach out to me.  I would love to talk it out with you.  But whoever you reach out to, just know I am proud of you for having the courage to raise your hand.

Don’t let this opportunity pass you by…

We get one chance at life.  Don’t live it with an anchor dragging behind you.  Raise your hand.  Step forward.  And step into a new day.  If you need a little more inspiration, check out this song from For King and Country, one of my all-time favorite bands.  And then step into a new day!  You got this.  I believe in you!  It’s high time for you to believe in you!


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