Episode 86 Who Decides If We’re ‘Qualified’ ?

July 19, 2023

Constance: Good morning from Martha’s Vineyard. What I’m noodling this morning is the word qualified. What does it mean to be qualified? Feeling unqualified or under qualified often stops us from trying something new. It can also be an excuse. In the way I’m thinking about it today, it’s that I don’t have the socially acceptable or commonly accepted accolades that one needs to conduct a workshop, in my case.

I was very inspired last week in the Chilmark Writers Workshop. In case you didn’t hear the episodes that I did about that, the Writer’s Workshop is not about becoming a writer or lessons in editing and composition and sentence structure. It’s about getting the story on the page, but that’s not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about is the workshop experience really moved me and prompted me to start unpacking it.

I love being in the room with people who have come together to examine their lives, or basically to get real and honest about a desire, a gift or an ambition that they have, I’m very moved by the stories, as well as the process and the people who lead us on the journey. I came away from last week’s experience thinking I really want to do this. So, one evening I brainstormed an idea for a workshop, but the next morning I woke up and thought to myself  hh, you must’ve had too much to drink because you’re not qualified to do that. So that’s why I’m noodling this word qualified.

What makes you qualified in many cases in life is an accolade or a certificate or a qualification you get from third parties. Yet in the case of creating the type of workshop I think I’d like to do, I’m the one that gets to determine whether I’m qualified, and I’m the one that gets to decide if I’m willing to take a risk, if I’m willing to show up with a beginner’s mind, if I’m willing to invite people into my world.

So, I guess I’m sharing all this because I’m going through the process myself of questioning what is important, what are my values, and am I willing to  be uncomfortable and walk my own talk? Here I am – as I record this – looking down on the notes for my 2023 goals and what’s important to me. I’m going to read directly from my page.

2023: Breathe in more creative stimulation. Experiment and make space and time for my voice to emerge. Keep promises to myself. Put myself in the way of interesting people. Filter decisions, choices, language, and writing through my values – and high on my values is connection, courage, curiosity and trust.

I don’t need to be qualified to create a workshop. I need to be courageous. I need to bring a beginner’s mind. I need to be willing to bring conscious incompetence, which is what experimentation is all about. So all this to say, my note to self is you miss a hundred percent of the things you don’t try. Stay tuned for more. I truly have no idea if I leave the island and this whole idea goes away, but I’m sharing it with you because I’d hate to see you not do something that feels important because you feel air quotes unqualified.

That’s all for now. Until next time from my heart to yours.

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dear Listeners,

Friends say I live my life out loud. That’s because I’m a curious, adventurous person and, as an appreciator, I simply love to share what lights me up. Consider this is your invitation into my fun, multi-faceted world.

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