From time to time, many of us feel frustrated, and we know something needs to give. However, we just don’t know how to make a change. That is the place in which James Mears of Salmon Swimming found himself eight years ago. He is passionate about others finding the liberation he has found by embracing change.
James writes… “Eight years ago, I was a burnt-out teacher and thinking of leaving the profession. Having spent too long doing things that don’t come naturally, I was bogged down in the administration, paperwork and management of the role. But a good friend suggested I see a coach before I jumped ship. I spent a remarkable 24 hours with Steve who helped me understand my wiring and personality (ENFP), nearly the direct opposite of the stereotypical teacher (ESTJ)”
James realised he had been faking it for a long time. In trying to teach like a Guardian, he was spending too much time doing things that didn’t come naturally. He had become rather good at it, but it was draining him and he didn’t know how to make a change. What he realised during that coaching intensive, was that whole-scale change was not needed. By identifying himself as a Connector, James realised that he had some skills that he wasn’t currently utilising.
So he made a few tweaks.
He “traded-up” a classroom-based activity for a community action project, bringing together pupils and local people to run an after-school club on a local housing estate. He also converted his teaching style to a coaching approach, utilising motivational techniques and giving the pupils more opportunity for reflection and emotional engagement. The results have been wonderful, evidenced in the feedback from students: “You have always gone the extra mile to make sure we got the most out of our tutorials, and it has really helped me get through a difficult couple of years”. From another student: “Thanks for always supporting me when I felt disappointed in myself. I would never have achieved the grade I got without your help and kindess”.
For James, the key to knowing how to make a change, was knowing himself. Getting alignment between his wiring (personality) and his calling (work) has totally transformed James’ daily experience. And as his coaching role within the school expands, he is feeling bright about continuing with his career in teaching… for now!
So where are you feeling dissatisfied? To overcome the resistance to change, you may just need to identify the natural next step. This will set you on the path towards the vision of the future you have in mind. Check out the Change Equation tool from GiANT
Salmon Swimmers intentionally set their eyes on the fruitfulness of the waters upstream, and they pivot, weave and leap, ducking and diving to find their way to the place where they can flourish. They also go together. Is there someone who could help you to process what changes are needed in your circumstances?
Keep Swimming Upstream!
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