Pilot Lights

Finds what sparks youOver the last few years, I’ve had a saga with my air conditioning. I’ve called my home warranty to fix it every year. A couple years ago, someone came out and whatever was going on led them into the attic. After hours up there and even more time at the unit outside, like magic, I had cool air again. I didn’t think twice about it until the cooler weather rolled around. Something didn’t seem quite right. It was the time of year that was dark outside and cold inside, without the air on, and my heater was not performing up to par. My son and I couldn’t figure it out and I spent a good amount of time on the phone with support trying to make sure my thermostat worked. Finally, they agreed to send someone out. First place the guy went? Attic. When he emerged a short time later, I found out I’d just paid $60 to have him relight my pilot light. Apparently, the guy over the summer put it out during the air fiasco and it doesn’t magically relight itself. Once on, the heat fired up and life was good.

It’s amazing to me that a small spark lights the pilot and it leads to heat throughout the house.

Some of you have followed my coaching journey which has basically been…go through coaching class…get fired up…pass my exam and become a certified coach…watch the fire dwindle. I use it at work at times and don’t get me wrong, it’s enormously helpful. But other than that, my passion to launch into that arena has fizzled somewhat. I think to some degree it’s been self-preservation. Continuing to yearn for something I couldn’t seem to wrap my brain around, launching a coaching practice, just made me feel like I was a failure. In my head I thought I had to be in business for myself to be legit. Again, coaching at work fills my passion to some degree, but not entirely.

While I don’t have a coaching practice, I do coach people here and there and after a year had accumulated the hours necessary to apply for the next level coaching certification. I did, but before I could be awarded the certification, I had to take an exam. Boo! Not a fan of tests but Friday, I sucked it up and took it. After more than two hours and losing internet connection twice (leading me to relocate to Starbucks for their reliable internet – and iced green tea, I’m addicted), I got the screen “are you sure you want to submit and be scored?” No, not really. But I did, and I passed.  ACC – check.

Afterwards, I reflected on the feelings I experienced during the exam. It challenged me and excited me at the same time. As I worked through the different situations, it reminded me of the passion I have for coaching. Working with people and helping them find their answers so they can more forward in life. Oddly enough, the exam was like that pilot light in my attic. It sparked the passion I’d put on the back burner.

So now here I am, more letters behind my name – for whatever that’s worth – and a renewed passion for the field I found later in life, but that I think life prepared me for. How I keep the passion engaged is a bit unknown to me right now, but I don’t want to lose the spark, the pilot light, that fires up the whole thing. I’ll keep using it the way I am now, but I’m looking for more. If I’m being authentic, I have to be honest and say I’ve likely been a bit fearful and that’s held me back. Fearful of failing. But I’ve also learned that failing is ok because I’ll learn from it.

Even though I don’t know what’s next, what I do know is that I’ll be brave. I’ve held myself back on many things in life and I’m about done with that. Are you holding back? Stopping yourself from living out your gifts and talents, your passion out of fear? Come along with me then. If we fail, we fail, but we can say we step out and lived bravely.

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