Beautiful Trepidation

OK so I “borrowed” the title of this post from David Whyte, interviewed here by Krista Tippet as part of her podcast series ON BEING, which I love as my weekly source of inspiration.

In this interview they are talking about conversation and questions and it really resonates with me when David uses the phrase “beautiful trepidation” to describe that moment when we might hesitate to ask a question that wants to be asked. It’s a mixture of fear – that you are going to hear an answer you don’t want to hear – and hesitation – that you are going to hear exactly the answer you anticipate, the answer that is going to call you to the bigger action you’ve been avoiding.

As a coach, and a mentor to other coaches, I will often say that the question you are afraid to ask, is exactly the question that needs to be asked. Asking a question is, of itself, a process for moving beyond a fear or hesitation point. The question shifts your focus and opens you up to what’s next, rather than being stuck in what’s holding you back.

Ask the powerful question, feel the trepidation and see it as the invitation to step into what’s next.

Where are you currently experiencing a trepidation point and can you look more closely into it, seeing the beauty for growth, courage, possibility, excitement and action it is offering you?


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Aileen Gibb
My work has taken me around the globe and to conversations with people from many different nationalities, cultures and organisations. Wherever I've gone, the power of real conversation, founded on intentional listening and enlightened questioning, has been welcomed. It’s a core piece of our humanity to create the space for conversations that matter and to build connection and meaning with members of our family, our business and our communities.