The Road Most Nurtured
How did you get here?
How did we get HERE? I’m not asking the big existential “how did we get here” but rather, how much did you consciously choose your path, or did your path just happen to you, and what was the environment that nurtured you most on that journey?
How much do you think you get to “weigh in” and influence the direction of your life? And what do you think might be the key influences that can get you to where you want to be?
I was only 12 years of age, but I remember it as the happiest time in my tennis career. I had a female coach, Deanna, whom I very much loved and admired. She provided me with modelling, mentoring, knowledge, love, support, care, kindness and fun – I was happy. She helped me get in touch with a love and enjoyment for the game that I hadn’t yet found. I distinctly remember modelling my slice backhand off hers. That backhand stroke stuck reliably and effectively with me for my entire tennis career. It was the makings of the perfect environment for a 12 year old to thrive in. I had a no-doubt shot that never went off and that I could always rely on. That’s an amazing feeling as a player, or anywhere in life, to have something that is so solid.
Whether 12, 25, 35 or 44, a nurturing, fun, connected and safe environment translates into optimal conditions for positive change to occur.
One of the many things I love to speak about is the environment, and how this is often the missing key in helping us to develop ourselves with greater ease and reliability. For me, in my story above about my supportive female coach, this meant I developed my tennis skills with ease rather than needing to push hard. When we feel safe, we feel open, and when we feel open, we become more ready to grow and change, or what is known as change-readiness capacity. Our environment therefore, is an important factor in helping or hindering our change-readiness capacity.
Change through positive modelling
YES, Deanna, taught me the backhand technique, but I also remember watching her intently, and learning through modelling. I SAW! In Native American terms, I literally shape-shifted; I embodied her way of being on the court, and as a person.
In everyday psychology terms, you could say that I learned through modelling. Yet, the depth of this modelling experience was not just a watch-and-adopt method; there were many other levels that solidified this change in me so powerfully. Her love, admiration, lightness of being, emotional care and strong belief in me.
Seek out female models
I have continued in my psychology career to surround myself with female mentors, who help sustain my connection to myself and keep me in the change-readiness zone. I would like to encourage YOU to put at least one female model or coach in your entourage and support team. Why? Because no matter what skill-set you are trying to develop, a female model is usually more relatable to and therefore it’s often easier to absorb the learning. For many women, they prefer a female coach or mentor because it feels safer, more relaxing and less frightening. And as we know from the research, this creates a more nurturing environment and successful path for change.
SO, who is your person to help nurture you along your path?
If you’d like to talk with me about my women’s mentoring services, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org