How will I decide? Will I be okay?
In my post on Part I, I suggested that college students and working adults ponder these same questions. Many struggling with the same fears about the future. In my work coaching students and joining with colleagues to help college students find their way, I have found that we sometimes linger too long considering the wrong questions.
What if instead of trying to help students look out in to the great world to find their place, we instead invited students to turn inward. To look deep inside them for the truth — the wisdom of their very nature that would unlock the answers they desire?
At the heart of decisions about major and career plans is this question – will I be okay?
Am I enough? Do you see me fully?
During my time at a Jesuit institution, we invited students to consider these three key questions:
- What are my gifts?
- What brings me joy?
- What does the world need?
What a difference it makes when we begin by asking the right questions. Rather than dedicate time dwelling in their fears about what could go wrong, students begin to open up to a new sense of freedom. Maybe we are not just good or bad? Maybe we are each here to share some spark of creativity, some twinkle of a strength, a perspective not yet considered? Perhaps greatness does lie within us all?
Reframing the questions to invite students to consider the possibility that they may already be perfect just as they are tends to open students up to far greater potential for meaningful contribution through their work. Their aspirations extend beyond surviving, to thriving.
There is an aliveness about them when they are invited to grow their wildest dreams beyond the most stringent limitations they have outlined for themselves.
This moment, when it happens, is magic. What a privilege it is to see the wisdom and spirit working deep inside these students as they search for who they are, and the ways in which they are uniquely needed in our world.
What might it be like to accept a deep sense of trust in ourselves?
To have a faith that in the end all will be well… and all will be well…. and all will be well.