When I was doing my work in the coaching program with the Handel Group, I worked a lot on my character traits. Character traits are those parts of ourselves that we get from both of our parents, and that can show themselves in positive and not so positive ways. I had many traits that I worked on, and one of my biggest was being an arrogant know it all.
There were certain times when this was most apparent. At work, I would often put myself in the position of the expert and believe that the way that I did things was the best and only way to do it. I would also be that way in my personal relationships at times, and believe that I was the one that was doing the right thing in them, and the other person was to blame for any problems we were having. Yucky, but true.
Most recently in my life, my arrogant know it all trait has become most apparent in an area that I do have a lot of expertise in, that being, the needs and risk factors for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths. Over the years of my adult life, besides my own personal development, I have done a lot of research and created and conducted many trainings on this topic. Coworkers often came to me for help in working with persons that were LGBT identified, and how to best help them. I was always willing to offer up my knowledge to others that needed it.
And, on top of offering my knowledge, I was certain of my role in being the expert in that area. I believed that I knew all that there was to know. And, of course, I was completely wrong in that regard. There was much more to know.
A year ago, I got the opportunity to be a trainer, here in Pennsylvania, that was developed to educate mental health professionals, and other human services and educational persons, on how to best identify and meet the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, intersex, and questioning persons. I knew that I wanted to be part of it. I knew that I would be a great addition to the training staff. Yet, I didn’t think there was much that I needed to learn.
What I have found out, several times in the last year, in this area and others in my life, is that I have so much to learn, so much that I don’t know yet. And, it used to create a feeling of insecurity in me to think that I didn’t actually know something. Now, I feel grateful for understanding that there is much in this world that I don’t know, which means, I have countless opportunities to keep learning. When I keep learning, I keep growing, stretching, evolving, and having fun.
I know today that I don’t know much. Yet I get to keep learning more every day.