Pleased to welcome another guest blog from Jordan today who is sharing with us about his vocational search process and the coaching process. It is an absolute pleasure to walk alongside him and cheer him on. He brings a lot to the table and demonstrates that well in the preparation he did for a recent job interview.
Who are you not to be?
A Reflection on Courage & Community
by Jordan Walker
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God...” —Marianne Williamson
As I look back over my sessions with Linda, I think the prompt that stands out the most is when she asked me about limiting myself by only applying for jobs that I already knew how to do/already had been doing. That set off a chain of events, which resulted in a complete overhaul of my professional assets and how I wanted to start putting myself out there in the job search. I remember her saying (I believe in the same conversation), “As your coach, I believe you have unlimited potential.” In tandem with reframing this whole experience as “a journey, not a destination” (Linda, again), Linda’s greatest gift to me has been her unconditional positive regard for both me and my journey and, as I see it, nurturing me into exploring a more holistic and compassionate way of being with myself. For that, I am eternally grateful.
In our most recent coaching hour, I requested that she specifically help me in preparing for an upcoming interview. This ranged from exploring the best way to approach my skill set to how I speak and answer questions to how to let my own distinctive qualities shine through. At the close of the call, she told me, “I hear excitement and hope in your voice about this. That’s a significant difference from when we first spoke, and you said you felt as though you were just spinning your wheels.” Such an affirmation meant a lot to me as well, and I feel more prepared for this interview than any one before it.
“…Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone…” —Marianne Williamson
I also feel a need to thank David Hutchens , a speaker and author who has built a curriculum around Leadership and Creativity which has raised interest nationally and globally. David and I connected through my current role, and he generously agreed to meet with me to discuss his work and just offer some wisdom. I spoke to him about the personal and professional work I was doing and also discussed the upcoming interview; the next time I saw him, he gave a set of his Leadership Story Deck: a powerful tool that includes prompts and insights about ways to elaborate on one’s personal story and give concrete examples for the behavioral interview questions that have become standard in most interviews. I brought the deck with me to my session with Linda, and we unpacked the cards David specifically recommended for me, with Number 18 being my favorite—the content for this one focuses on one’s natural gifts and how that translates into professional skills.
Counting both David & Linda as those cheering me on from the stands, among the many other amazing souls that Higher Powers who have led me this far brought onto my “team,” I feel a depth of gratitude and a foundation of support for which I wouldn’t have even thought to ask for not that long ago.
Community is a gift—even if it’s a hard gift for an introvert to unwrap. It’s essential, and it helps awaken the courage that we all need to ask for more when we have been afraid to do so up to that point. I think, too, about Rollo May’s book The Courage to Create, a psychoanalytic study and meditations on the Creative Process; even as I near finishing it, I know it will be one of those works that has changed me on a fundamental level. As such, I intend to take his understanding of courage with me, not only into this interview but beyond…“Courage is not a virtue or value among other personal values like love or fidelity. It is the foundations that underlies and gives reality to all other virtue and personal values.”
The preceding text was written in anticipation of my interview. I’ll also be including a post-game wrap below…
I just completed my interview and overall have a sense of peace about the experience. From my own perspective, everything seemed to flow well. Nerves were to be expected, but I felt present and open to the conversation that happened. From there, I am just releasing the outcome, because I have to. Holding on so tightly hasn’t ever helped me get anywhere.
But again, I’m just grateful to know whatever happens I have a great team of people who are magnanimous enough to support me. That’s really all that matters. That, and the courage to keep going.
“…And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” —Marianne Williamson
I am a Nashville-based nonprofit professional with experience across Human Services, Community Engagement, Hospitality, Development & Marketing. In tandem with this employment experience, I also hold a B.S. in Human & Organizational Development (with a concentration in Health & Human Services) & a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University.
I bring the drive to take initiative, to solve problems collectively & efficiently, to continue pursuing lifelong learning, to embrace challenge & growth as an employee & person, to tell the story of organizations & stakeholders in honor of the Hero's Journey that lives in both of these narratives & to align myself with work that is both practically addressing social issues, as well as honoring the process of community formation in the process.