Don’t Be So Quick to Run From Darkness

October 24, 2010 | By | Add a Comment

I was surprised to see how much coverage the rescue of the Chilean miners received.

Then it struck me how hungry we are for a good old-fashioned success story. Thirty-three people trapped 2,300 feet below the surface of the earth without adequate oxygen and food until a rescue plan was developed and executed.

Thank God for a problem that had a clear solution. And just in time, because drillers and energy companies were getting a bad rap for a while there.

Yet on a personal level, many of us feel trapped in problems without a clear way out. Those who are on the sidelines in their career and don’t have a clear pathway to get back into the game. Those who lost a chunk of their nest egg just as they were about to retire and don’t have a clear pathway to living the dream retirement.

Then there are the systemic problems for which there is no apparent clear solution: global economic uncertainty and stagnation, political gridlock in the US, the impact of climate change, terrorism, among others.

No wonder we wanted to watch thirty-three men emerge from the ground one-by-one. A happy ending for a change.

Yet the most interesting stories are the ones that came as a result of the time the miners spent in the darkness. Many did powerful things while underground, some were transformed by the experience.

I know when I hit dark stretches all I want is a break. I want the fear to go away. All I want is a piece of lucrative business or an investment to increase in value, a friend’s health to improve, or my son to remember to turn in his homework three days in a row.

Pain is unavoidable. It’s part of the cycle of life. Being in the darkness is unavoidable yet our instinctive response is to move away from our discomfort. Yet that’s where the learning is.

What dark hole are you frantically trying to dig out of? It may be that the darkness is the place you will find the growth and meaning you are after.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Executive coach, top team facilitator, author and speaker. I work with individual leaders and their teams to help navigate personal and professional transitions and to increase leadership capacity and improve communication and relationship skills. I founded my coaching firm in 2001 following 12 years as a CEO. Check out more on me and my coaching process in my book "The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don't"

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