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Question from Marco Matera:
Hi all, I'm organizing an Italian meeting as Italian Constellations Association. Our thema is "Courage".
I and Riccardo are preparing a workshop on "The courage to be oneself in the company".
what you can say about?

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Hi Marco
just dropped in and saw your question. The first thing that comes to mind for me is the following piece from Marianne Williamson:

"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. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do... And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Marianne Williamson,
From “A Return to Love”

I think this says a lot. I don't have time to write much now - but I'll come back soon and add some thoughts.
Marco's reply:
Yes Sue, what you say is true and I agree very much.
I also believe that fear is essentially linked to lack of knowledge. It is the unknown to make us afraid. As most know the more we are sure. So the more we trust our not knowing all the more increases our confidence.
I believe that a good way to contain the fear is more Dialogue: first with ourselves, with life and then with the other. the question is: "how we can improve Dialogue using SFA?", "how we can improve the capabitlity of our client to trust in not knowing?"
This is really connect with SOUL-sol-orient-ed.
Marco, "how we can improve the capability of our client to trust in not knowing?" is a really interesting question. We know from SF that being sure in our knowledge can be unhelpful, and that non-knowing opens up many more possibilities.

Following this line of thought, one way that is very helpful is for people to find reference experiences of 'successful not-knowing'... Examples of times when they haven't known what will happen, or how something they say or do will be received by others, and they've acted anyway, and found to their pleasant surprise that it was a most positive interaction and everything turned out well.

I have many examples of this from my own life, as I'm sure you do too. We can develop our 'courage muscle' when we are willing to take a risk and speak our truth with authenticity.

There is much more to say on this, but I can talk more easily than write, and I have other things to go and do now!

What do others think?
Wow, how interesting questions... My very first comment was that there is nothing like the "instructive interaction" therefore none of us will ever be able to improve the capability of others to do anything...
Later I changed my mind as my thoughts started to be more Soul oriented... Marco's Q about the fear remained me the narrative approach and its work with externalization. And, I am affraid, I have no answers, only new questions...
Perhaps it could be more useful to our clients if we will strive to understand, what courage and fear does mean to them... Could the fear be possibly useful to anybody? If yes, which way? And how does it happen? And which way it could be utilized by the client?
What do you think? Could anything of above mentioned be possibly useful to you? :)
Kamila
I think there are some great similarities between being courageous and being optimistic. The common factor is hope! One thing that could be interesting to discuss is how people always look for good reasons to do what they do, ie what makes them hopeful enough to go ahead with their plans.. The search for good reasons is the search for hope and courage! / Per
Dear Per, dear All
well I belive that optimistic way it's a form of focalized point of view. Solution Focused point of view is for me different from "the opposite of problem focused". For me is Only (simple but not easy) be open to the possibility that the solution can occur. Without intention. Itis stay with not-knowing, with the curious to know what is changing as I related to the purpose of my exploration. Very different from thinking positive. It is not judgement but judgement's suspension . To do that we need confidence in system in which we entered and flow with it. It is this flow that, for me, was born on courage. the issue is how to facilitate managers in this attitude.
What do you think about?
marco
I agree that we who think in a solution focused way should stay not knowing and curious and we don´t need to be optimistic. But I also believe that the difference we can make by exploring other peoples strategies is to sort out their good reasons for doing what they do. Sometimes this will encourage courage and hence create a change. And maybe I have to be more precise when I use the word optimistic. To me optimism is not being overly positive in any way, but more daring to believe in something when others don´t and at the same time having good reasons for it.

If we train managers to become SF then it´s another story. I would say that the greatest issue then is to make them let go of their ideas that are hindering them from being curious and courageous.

I don´t know if I´m making any sense at all? So if this sounds crazy maybe it is, or maybe I just need someone to ask me more about it for anyone to make any sense of it.. / Per
Yes I agree with you. I think that it's more simple using curiousity to create a more soft atmosphere. Enjoing and Smiling we learn More.

I buy your "having good reasons for it" as optimistic mode.
Hi Marco,
my experience has taught me that some people could percieve words like "courage", "fear", "optimism", "confidence in system", "control" etc. being too "big".
Anyway, they could quite well understand "the neccessity of choice", or (in managerial slang) "the decision making"... Perhaps could be easier for them to decide "to support something that is important to them" and later to do more of it, then "to be courageous"... Perhaps this could work with "your" managers as well.
Simply said, my suggestion then is - try to start with small easy-to-do steps... Who knows, maybe later they become interested in "courage" (or another "big topic") as well.
Kamila
In general I can agree with you, for istance we have a client who asked us to help to develop their courage to be theyself.
We (Riccardo and I) want use the thema of Courage also as BIG Thema.

Sometimes I also need to recognize my courage to go deeply into the essence of things and do it with my client being a step backwards.

Just yesterday we met and we have created an up-grading of our scales for miracles to work on this theme in the company.

Once we have sufficient data to validate I'll tell you how it works.
Hi,

if you want to go for the BIG theme of courage, I'd recommend Peter Koestenbaum's book "Leadership. The inner side of greatness" in which courage is seen as one of the four central pilars of leadership:
* courage = to go where the fear is
* anxiety = how it feels to grow, to become who you truly are.

If you approach your fear mindfully, you discover that it is pure energy pointing in a certain direction. Anxiety must therefore be valued (and not denied of avoided). Courage is about taking yourself seriously. So I connect strongly with the words of Marianne Williamson & Sue.

We, humans, tend to be afraid to be free... At least I do. One year ago my career took some kind of U-turn. It took a lot of courage. I kind of escaped from a golden cage. This bird has flown now. I jumped. Flying freely now (still!). Luckily, there were a lot of social resources around me: people who showed me the way (thanks again, Anton!), people who trusted in me unconditionally, people who saw my talents more clearly than I did, ... I'm still kind of proud of it. In my experience acting courageously makes you feel free. Recommended :-) And there are small acts of courage everyday (when people speak up; say "no" or "yes; ...). These small acts are huge in the sense that they honnor what we stand for.

Making valuable sense?

Sven
ps. Tillich wrote "the courage to be" and also Savater wrote a book about courage.

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