The fragility of Championing

Through my work, I absorb myself in various groups, blogs, facebook pages and movements and I am frequently inspired by the positivity and championing that naturally occurs.  We all know the benefits of championing someone to believe in themselves or reach for their goals.

I absolutely believe in the power of positive thinking, goal setting, commitment and accountability.  However, I am also aware that we maybe loading the scales towards the light and not recognising the dark.

Can too much positivity be damaging?

Parents are often guilty of over championing, helping little Johnny believe they can do it if they just try.  I am not saying there is anything wrong with that.  It is essential.  My point is that championing alone can cause damage.

As a Co-Active coach I work with clients to see their strengths, passions and awesomeness.  I feel truly blessed to be part of that awakening in people, and when they start to believe in themselves, championing helps clients to lock in and own that vision and belief.   However we are complex animals.  With the positivity is negativity.  With the light there is darkness.  With action there is procrastination.  With change there is fear.  To only focus on the light, positivity, action and change is to not address the person as a whole.

I have witnessed  group members tell their stories, opening up dark secrets from their past and engaging with the group.  Every time I am inspired by their vulnerability and courage.  However, I also connect to the energy, body language and vibe coming from the room.  This is a time of acknowledging the story-teller, maybe naming the emotion or being curious about what has been said, or not said.  A trained or experience facilitator or coach,   may reframe or use metaphors to draw on the information given.

However the sessions may end with championing alone, which may appear contrived and disconnected.

I have also witnessed others who have been subjected to over championing taking great bold steps, but then becoming dependent upon the championer, almost believing they can’t do it without them.  Their strength and power comes from the championing.

We know that children brought up in homes where there is no championing have confidence issues, and lack of self belief.  The opposite it true for over championing.

Life is all about balance.  We are complex, with a huge range to our hearts, body and minds.  Over using one tool, method or behaviour with be at the detriment to all.  So if like me you live in the world of positivity, remember to acknowledge that the negativity is equally part of you too, and that’s ok.