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There are days we feel we run alone. Travel solo. Unencumbered. Some days this feels completely exhilarating; other days it’s downright terrifying
We have been subtly or quite overtly encouraged to be an individual – independent and unfettered. We have this vision of wind in our hair (or in our sails), head thrown back with contented smile on bronzed face, climbing a mountain or riding the wave. After all, aren’t these the Instagram accounts we follow?
I have those visions, too.
But, let me be a fantasy disrupter for just a moment by simply asking the question:
How long can we maintain complete independence and autonomy before we reach out for something?
A job or assignment?
A connection with the Divine?
Some form of community?
Something that represents stability for us?
Recognition or appreciation?
Someone to come alongside?
I love the concept of freedom and autonomy. We need those elements to be well rounded people. I believe, however, that some form of community is better tailored to who we truly are as humans.
Today I am not here to advise you on which group to join or which community is worthy of your support. I simply want to talk about pacesetters.
What is a Pacesetter?
Trendsetting usually refers to fashion or optics; pacesetting describes a role of (not surprisingly!) setting the pace or taking the lead in a race, organization or for a cause.
One morning as I was out for my brisk, pre-dawn walk (the days were still shorter then), I thought about the characteristics of a pacesetter, and why one is so critical to running a race well, finishing a project professionally, or managing a cause with wisdom and integrity.
……….A Pacesetter …
- is other-oriented. His / her sole function is to help an athlete, group or team reach a specific destination.
- keeps an overview. While individual athletes or team members focus on completing their task, the pacesetter keeps the bigger picture in view at all times.
- knows those he / she sets the pace for. Each person has weaknesses, capabilities and limitations. It’s critically important for the pacesetter to be aware.
- knows when to push those in his / her pack, and when to ease up. People are not machines; there is always rhythm and flow.
- looks ahead to keep the goal in view.
- takes careful note of the path. This means the pacesetter needs to be slightly ahead, be aware of obstacles, and know when to take a break.
- is flexible. If there is an injury, for example, plans change immediately.
- changes course, if necessary. There may be a storm brewing which will endanger the athlete or team, if shelter isn’t taken. Companies will suffer losses if market plunges are not anticipated.
- encourages those they set the pace for. There is communication, course correction and affirmation. And, all of the above must be accompanied by warmth and wholeheartedness.
A Coach is a Pacesetter
Every one of these characteristics of a pacesetter aligns with how coaching works. Coaching is completely other-oriented – it would not exist if the wellbeing of the client were not important to the coach. Like a pacesetter, a coach keeps an overview, looks ahead, is observant and in touch, knows when to push and when to encourage
Imagine what could happen if a pacesetter were to come alongside to help set and keep the pace in whichever area you are experiencing challenge at the moment.
Imagine encouragement, new insight, strategic paths, and communication tailored to your needs and your situation.
Imagine being able to push through the barriers that usually cause you to give up or change course.
Imagine having someone to offer support in the devastating disappointments dotting the course.
This is Life Coaching. This is Spiritual Coaching.
I would love to get to know you and help set the pace where you long for and need it! Reach out here for your complementary session.
I’m convinced that a pacesetter is more valuable in the world we live in today than perhaps ever before. We waken each morning wondering what the day may hold.
What happened while I was asleep?
Where will violence break out next?
Is my neighborhood, child or parent safe?
What will change and will I be affected adversely?
Is my job secure?
Will this relationship survive?
Professionals tell us anxiety is at an all-time high. We need pacesetters to help us stay the course. To focus on what we can and cannot change. To find or re-discover where our hope lies.
Pacesetters in Our Own Right
We can all become pacesetters in our own right. Though important services have a professional side to them – coaching, in this case – there are elements of that professional service that we can all help to provide for others.
Take another look at the characteristics of a pacesetter. The key criteria for being a pacesetter is the ability to focus on others. Is that you? Where are you naturally gifted to offer support? Possibly you’re an encourager, or someone who can see the bigger picture. Or motivating others may come naturally to you.
Take some time with this list to determine where you already are or could become a pacesetter for those around you. In order to be an effective pacesetter for others, it’s crucial that your “own house is in order”. I’m not talking about perfection or having attained some superior level; I’m simply referring to knowing what you want to pass on. To hone that skill, I invite you to reach out for your own coaching opportunity by clicking here.
photo credit 1: unsplash.com
photo credit 2: pixabay.com