I believe young women are the hope of the world.
And my heart goes out to them—especially to those in college today. Our collective future is uncertain. Our world is in such turmoil: fear dominates our conversations. Trying to figure out your individual future in these times must be mind-boggling, if not depressing.
What can we as coaches give young women today that can help them create a positive future for themselves—and for us all?
Recently, I was coaching a policy advocacy student on her career choice. When we first met, the uncertainty and doubt she had at the direction she had chosen was palpable. Clearly, something was missing. Knowing how challenging it is to land a job, let alone fund a higher education today, I committed to helping her make the best choices she could now to have a future she would love to live.
Asking her “What do you want to do when you grow up?” made no sense. She was already on a path towards a specific “doing”.
Asking “Who do you want to be?” would probably be even worse. She would likely to come up blank—or respond with, at best, an example of a public figure that is someone like who she thinks she wants to be. Perhaps the next Hillary Clinton. Or another Lynne Twist.
Neither line of inquiry would move her forward. And both would subtly imply that she, as herself, is not yet a resourceful and powerful woman in her own right.
I believe she is.
There are two questions I asked her to cut to the heart of the matter.
- “What and who do you care about most in this world?”
- “What commitment are you willing to make to take care of that?”
This line of inquiry led her answers that were unique and intriguing to us both. And they revealed to me—and to her—her multiple talents, who she is here to serve, and what will feed her soul.
She realized that her current career path had a very distant connection to what she cared about and no connection at all to whom she cared about. So she researched what kinds of activities and people did connect to her “cares”. What emerged was a new vision of herself as an entrepreneur using her power in a variety of different ways. Through our coaching conversations, she began to see herself as the blue pearl I see her as and to take actions that have led to a good-paying job and access to the education she needs and wants.
I see young women like her as potent human beings. Given the right support, they can develop their innate capacity to consciously create our collective future. An ability that will stand us all in good stead as the systems that have given us the world we have today break down.
This blog post by Shae Hadden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Image by Rizal Deathrasher from Pixabay