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Is it just me, or have you noticed that the word courage coming up a lot these days?

I recently re-read a book that has been recommended to me by two people I admire greatly. The first time I read it was many years ago when I joined Jewel & Esk College. I borrowed a copy from the College library and it had short notes written in pencil in the margins. If I’m totally honest, interesting as the book was, I was more intrigued by those notes and the insights of the previous reader, than I was by the author’s text.

Then it was recommended to me again, many years later, when I started to learn NLP. This time I bought the book, so it was crisp and fresh with no notes in the margins. And I was at a different time in my life, doing different work, and with a new and very different, “hat,” on. I truly read a different book.

Yesterday I downloaded the book on audible and started to listen, and this time I’m thinking about how it applies to me as an NLP Trainer and Coach, with my latest, “hat.” Listening to the book being read to me, I’m hearing it spoken for the first time and it’s again crisp and fresh.

The book is The Courage to Teach, by Parker J Palmer.

The word Courage originated from the latin word Cor meaning heart. Circa 1300 this developed into Corage which is described as the seat of emotions, innermost feelings, state, or frame of mind.

When I read that on, I had an aha moment. I am sure you can remember your favourite teachers, leaders, and sports coaches, I certainly can. Whilst many of mine were skilled, accomplished and expert, those I remember best, most fondly, and those who influenced me the most, were those who did it with courage, with their whole heart.

I think it takes courage to learn and to be coached too.

I think it takes courage to take the first step. To be a beginner, a learner, to be vulnerable and accept help. To experiment, and fail, to try again, and again, and again, and persevere. To accept feedback, encouragement, and recognise progress. And learning can be emotional. It can be easy, and it can be hard. Just as in the origins of courage, I think state, and frame of mind are key.

And having a trainer or coach that has courage, who puts their whole heart into what they do, for me that is the difference that makes the difference.

When was the last time you were truly courageous?

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