What are you missing?

How many bits of acknowledgement, encouragement and empowerment are we missing because we can’t really hear them?

Recently, I shared something on FB that prompted a former elementary teacher to comment “Leah… I’m not at all surprised by your dedication, sensitivity and compassion. I observed these same traits from the time you were ten years old.”

Really, those traits showed when I was ten? Why didn’t anyone tell me?

Or did they?

In my early twenties I had such deep yearnings to be an actress, but barely knew how to recognize them or respond to them. I had been a dancer, and that part of me wondered how to become equally alive on stage through words instead of through music. To ease my insecurity, I wanted proof that I was a good actress, that I had talent, and that I could be competent at it.

This is why, when I found myself sharing a subway ride with the leader of an acting intensive that I was doing over the weekend, I had to ask. Did he think I was any good? He answered that acting was 90% communication, and that I was a natural communicator. His answer left me only slightly encouraged. I translated his words to mean: “Eh, maybe you have some potential”

Only in recent years, I have come to really understand how well he perceived my talents and potential and what a gift that was for me.

Just a few weeks ago, I heard from a former principal of the elementary school where I taught in Texas. She commented: “You were, are and will always be the most amazing kindergarten teacher I ever hired and had the joy to get to work with!” I was floored.

How had I come to think the opposite was true? That we had just learned to respect each other nonetheless?

In all these stories, I had been so busy focusing on what was going wrong, listening for what I wanted to hear, and caught in my own narrative, that I couldn’t recognize the acknowledgement or empowerment around me. I totally missed the recognition of my strengths and the positive reflections of how I was showing up in the world.

What acknowledgement, encouragement and empowerment are you missing because you aren’t really listening?


Coaching can help you listen. Get in touch with me for a complimentary session.

2 Comments on “What are you missing?

  1. The art of listening is underrated and I would not think of it as something a coach might help with. But on reflection, it is a natural subject for coaching!

    • Thanks for that thought!

      Many of us deflect and dismiss positive comments and focus only on the negative. With coaching a client can become more aware of her strengths and what already shows up in her life.

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