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  • Ricka Robb Kohnstamm

How can you show up, more consistently, for you?   

This week, as people in Washington are focused on digging down, taking apart and reworking, it is an important reminder that showing up with deep courage and integrity is rarely the easy way out. Not for them and certainly not for me.

The roots of principled leadership, whether leading a classroom, a medical clinic, or a huge organization, begins with how we show up for ourselves...

  • Can I trust myself to have the difficult conversation without minimizing?

  • Can I trust myself to step in and complete the challenging commitment I made to myself without deflecting?

  • Can I trust myself to make the really difficult decisions that will lead to something (hopefully) better?

  • Can I trust myself to take a calculated risk to get over this hump?

  • Can I trust myself to hold the course, based on nothing but my own intuition?

  • Can I trust myself to put down the fork or the wine glass?

  • Can I trust myself to say "no"?

Self trust, like most things, is easier said than done and takes daily practice.

Here are three notes-to-self to support your practice.

Increase your awareness of feelings. Feelings are sparks that remind us we are alive. Notice them - they are neither bad nor good, right nor wrong, they are simply important information. Consider the story you are creating about those feelings and pause again to consider what else might be just as accurate. Then connect the feelings to needs. Created story: "My colleague is ignoring me. She didn't return my phone call when she knew how important this project was to me." Feelings: "I feel resentful." Needs: "I have a need to feel seen and heard by my colleague." Now, with self trust, move into your higher mind, realize that your story may not be accurate and create new ways to get your needs met. Or, become aware of repeating behavior patterns and partner with me to explore behaviors that will more closely align with your values. Make awareness a keynote of your day.

Make a commitment to yourself. Others needs are important, and so are yours. Notice how much easier it is to honor commitments to others than to self. Practice showing up in ways that align with your values to increase self trust. Show up with courage when your Board member does her 3rd end run around your agreement. Show up with kindness when your child is whining and lying on the floor and won't let go of your ankles while you are trying to make dinner. Show up with curiosity when your partner suggests something that seems so totally off base. Show up with integrity, especially when you feel vulnerable. Keep your top five values close at hand so you can walk your talk. Not clear on your top five values? Contact me and I'll send you an easy exercise.

Note and appreciate your own growth. Life is full of lessons. Some lessons fill us with ease and gratitude, others leave us tattered with battle scars. There is something to learn from every lesson. Take time to slow down and gather the learnings, to appreciate where your path has taken you. What do you notice about your self-trust skills when you look back over the past twenty years? Where might it be helpful to strengthen those muscles? You will be presented with more lessons over the next year - how do you want to trust yourself to show up for yourself and others?

Self trust takes regular, consistent, aware practice. It is not easy, nor is it intuitive. One step at a time.

Journal prompt to consider: What will self trust look like for me this week?

Actions, aligned with values, support optimal health.


Hello, I'm Ricka.

Ricka Kohnstamm Executive & Physician Coach Profile Photo

I'm a Nationally Board Certified (NBC-HWC) Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coach. I specialize in working with physician leaders, corporate leaders, non-profit executives and their families to navigate complex work and personal issues so they can strengthen their relationships, heal, and feel hopeful about the future again. 



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