Cast your mind back to schooldays. Your teacher has an errand to be run and needs a volunteer. It sounds like a great opportunity to escape from your desk and saunter along the corridors during lesson time on your way to the staff-room. ‘Hands up if you’d like to volunteer,’ says the teacher, ‘No calling out.’ You put up your hand, using your other hand to push your arm even higher, keeping your lips firmly buttoned but all the time silently wishing ‘Pick me! Pick me!’ as you implore the teacher to notice you.
Perhaps you remember waiting on the sports field. You’re standing there in your gym kit, trying to look like you might actually be quite good with a rounders bat as two of your classmates pick their teams. No-one wants to be the last one picked for a team.
It seems that we all like to be chosen. We see it on TV – will Mary Berry say that your chocolate cake is the best she’s ever tasted? Will the Dragons invest in your new product? Have you got the X Factor?
Does being chosen by someone else validate us? Does it somehow grant us permission to get on with things? Is it humility – either genuine or a less sincere version – which makes us want to wait for someone else to select us? Maybe we don’t want to look pushy or like we think too much of ourselves.
What’s wrong with waiting for someone to pick you? Only this – what happens if no-one does pick you?
If no-one picks you, what will happen to the great idea you have? If you’re frustratedly thinking, ‘shouldn’t someone do something about that?’, what if you are the ‘someone’? If you’re waiting for someone else to ask you to go travelling/suggest you apply for the job/invite you for lunch/knock on the door to ask if they can buy your house, how long are you prepared to wait?
If you know what the issue is, you know what resources you need and you have a desire to make a difference, why wait? What would it be like to just pick yourself?
Today’s pebble for you to consider: are you waiting for someone else to pick you?
What do you think?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
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