04 May What’s a coach without a voice?
I woke up today with laryngitis. It’s been coming on for a day or so.
Never in my whole career have I been so dependent on my voice for my livelihood. My voice has always been an extra…I am a persuasive speaker and have good presentation skills. But my voice has never been the whole enchilada! But now, in this incarnation of my life, it is. And today I don’t have one.
I began to realize how dependent I was on my voice after attending those big networking meetings where I would find myself shouting much of the time in order to make myself heard. I would leave with a sore throat…that was my clue that I’d been there long enough. It was a minor injury that would be healed by the morning, but because my voice is my livelihood, it’s enough of a problem to make me think twice about attending one of those.
The last time I got laryngitis it lasted for three days. And so I say to myself I can’t do this for three days. I’ve calls to make. Clients to talk to. People to see. What’s a girl to do? The only answer I could come up with was to breathe.
And so I take a very deep breath. And I realize that the universe has given me a gift. A gift of freedom. A gift of time. And an opportunity to overcome a challenge.
My dear friend Rayda broke her right wrist a few months ago. Managing with a broken wrist is always hard, but it’s particularly hard when it is the wrist of the hand that you are dependent on. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, Rayda looked at every new challenge she faced living with a broken wrist as an opportunity for learning and growth and accomplishment. And so one day a bunch of us are having lunch in a Thai restaurant and there is Rayda using chopsticks with her left hand. This was the first time she tried it. She was so smooth that had I not known she was a right handed, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. Following her lead, I tried to hold chopsticks with my left hand but found I was incapable. But Rayda had programmed herself to meet each challenge presented to her and to learn from it. And so she did. Easily.
And so today I vow to meet the challenge of not having a voice. I will remember that I still have a brain and hands and a computer. I will reschedule my clients. I will write the blog I have been meaning to do for three weeks. (Here it is, folks). I will organize my calls so that when I do get my voice back I can just bang them out. I will not waste time with conversations that are merely work distractions. And most of all, I will not get cranky about the laryngitis. I will just get on with it. And remind myself of this wonderful quote from Kahlil Gibran.
“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”