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Crew Coach: Belief, interest key to learning, succeeding

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Crew Coach: by Capt. Rob Gannon

Navigating change in our careers or in any area of our lives often involves learning new skills. To help us in our transition, we need a belief in ourselves and a belief that if we take the steps needed and stay on course, we will see and live the dream. I’ve also found that an intense interest in the new subject is critical. These two forces — belief and interest — can carry us a long way.

Let’s start by looking at believing. Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there”. I believe that. Without belief, we’re kind of floundering or spinning our wheels. Our big dream is in non-starter mode. There is no wind at our back, no following sea to roll us along. It’s like we’re in the doldrums just waiting for something to happen.

I often ask my coaching clients if they believe they can do the thing we discuss. If the answer is yes, we can feel the shift into higher gears of possibility. If the answer is no or “I don’t know”, things tend to slow down and other issues usually need looking into.

My thoughts on this subject and most of what I write and speak about come from a combination of research from various sources of psychology, philosophy, and spiritual and personal growth writings and materials. I also draw from personal experiences. As I write this, I can recall clearly how lack of belief and interest affected my younger years.

When I was in school, I was an average, pretty disinterested student. I loved and excelled at sports after school but, in class, the subjects did not interest me. I had some interest in science but not much beyond that except for making other kids laugh and staring out the window, wishing I was elsewhere.

Naturally my grades reflected my level of non-interest. It led me to believe maybe I just wasn’t a good student or maybe I wasn’t as smart as those “A” students. I came to realize later in life that it was just my lack of interest and belief.

When I was young, I believed that to be a doctor or lawyer or any prestigious person meant to be way smarter or on some different level of human being than I was. But it was nonsense and a myth that didn’t serve me well. I proved it years later when I went back to college with an interest and a belief, and I got my degree and teaching certification with the best grades of my life.

At the same time I decided to get my captain’s license. With my interest in the subject, I aced the exam, blew right through it like a man on a mission. Later came the life coaching certification, which I immersed myself in with belief and interest.

I only mention these steps of mine to share personal references and experiences, just to show examples of how, when we move toward what we want with interest and belief, we will get there. Unless we are not fully functioning cognitively in some way, we can all be what we want to be. This includes all those professions I once thought were above and beyond me.

There are also different kinds of intelligence. Emotional intelligence has been shown to be of great importance and comes from a different part of the brain than “book smarts”. We all have a gift in some area, and I believe we can make that gift shine with belief and interest. If someone would ask me now if I thought I could have been a brain surgeon or a scientist, my answer would be “absolutely, if that’s what I was really interested in doing”. That’s not some sort of grandiose delusion or braggadocios claim, but rather truly what I feel and know from the power of belief and interest.

When one figures out what they are passionately interested in and follows the path, always taking the necessary steps to move forward, the journey is underway and it’s a fun journey of discovery and becoming. With a great interest and a strong belief, our sails are full and the wind is at our backs. We know there may be some rough seas; we also know we can adjust our sails and carry on. Enjoy the voyage.

Capt. Rob Gannon is a 30-year licensed captain and certified life and wellness coach (www.yachtcrewcoach.com). Comments are welcome below.

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