Learning from K Street Coaching’s Gideon Culman
Rockville, Md., Sept. 18 – Gideon Culman runs and operates K Street Coaching®, an executive coaching firm that supports business, government and nonprofit sector leaders as they weave their ingenuity and influence into a visionary legacy. Basically, Culman helps people get to where they want to go in their careers.
Culman’s discussion with all of the RespectAbility Fellows was similar to his coaching sessions with business and government executives. As a group, we began by making a list of the things we need to succeed.
The list contained some of these words: goals, vision, determination, patience, planning, support, guidance and passion.
Then Culman asked us to start calling out obstacles that get in the way of our success: Self-doubt, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, self-criticism, lack of outside support and lack of resources.
These lists allowed us to identify the main obstacles we face and realize how we tend to view them in our lives.
“The way people tend to respond to obstacles to success is to get rid of them,” Culman said. “Trying to get rid of obstacles just reinforces them.”
Culman wanted us to change the way in which we view our obstacles. And he taught us how to view them in a new and less scary way. To change our perception of obstacles, we must humanize them and take away their power.
“Self-doubt doesn’t want you to fall flat on your face – it doesn’t want to see you in anguish for something you’re trying to do. It is simply trying to remind you to be safe; protecting you from failure,” Culman said.
Culman claims that when we internalize, dwell and fight our obstacles, we are actually fighting against our success. We hold ourselves back when we cannot accept obstacles or anticipate failure.
Often times there is a great desire to get rid of problems in our lives. Culman, however believes that “it’s all about dealing with each set of problems as it comes because there will always be a new set that will arise.”
In order to move forward in achieving success, we must fail and accept our obstacles as part of our journey. “If we don’t fail, how are we ever going to learn anything?” he posed to us.
Obstacles don’t need to hold you back. Instead they should be recognized and treated as normal and no big deal because no matter how hard we try to be free of them, they always are going to be around.
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RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Learn more about the National Leadership Program and apply for the next cohort! Contact BenS@RespectAbility.org for more information.
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