Author: Coach Jenny
Who doesn’t like to be inspired? How great of a feeling it is when we do inspire others! At InJOY Life Resources we often try to inspire our members and are inspired by what our members teach us. This is a unique job because we get to utilize our talents to enhance the experiences our members have. We also learn every day from the abilities and talents the members share with us. I have had a beautiful season here at InJOY for over a year now and I find myself pondering on this question often: “In what ways do we inspire our members?”
It seems like it would be such a simple response, yet in trying to answer that question I came up with so many possibilities. Let me share what my heart and this past year has taught me and continues to teach me about inspiration. We inspire our members by:
1. Expecting the utmost of them.
It actually starts with the members walking through our door and showing up each day. It is a revolving door of their expectations for us as coaches and our expectations of them. They come to this program to enhance their life skills and foster positive relationships. We as the coaches just guide them in this expectation. We encourage them to try new activities, meet new people, go out in the community, and experience life to the fullest each day. We inspire our members to grow as individuals by expecting the most of them every day. They inspire us to be better because they too expect the best from us as coaches and as their friends!
2. Challenging them.
Think about someone in your personal life that challenges you in the right manner. To have somebody challenge you and make you a better human being is one of the most inspiring experiences a person can have. We inspire our members by challenging them in everything they do at program. We want the best for each member and that is achieved by pushing the limits and thinking outside the box.
3. Taking a stand for what you believe in.
When I first started here I watched a video that had one man dancing by himself at a concert. There were many others that sat around and watched, but as time progressed people started joining in one by one because it was so much fun. This one man was not trying to lure anyone else to dance. He was dancing because he wanted to and did not care what others around him were doing. Sure enough it caught on and by the end of the video almost everyone was dancing and laughing and enjoying the celebration. I will always remember that video because it is an excellent example of taking a stand for what one believes in. It may have just been “dancing” but this particular person took a stand. I believe in our members and I try every day to inspire them by taking a stand and being the first to join them and share this life with them. It is an honor that I walk along side of our members and have the opportunity to advocate for this community. We inspire our members to take a stand every day by staying true to themselves and who they are. In this lifetime I encourage everyone to take a stand, have a voice, and fight for what you believe in.
4. Having the courage to change the course.
This job for me was new and uncharted territory. I was very nervous that a situation or behavior may happen and I would not know what to do or how to handle it. Our members have taught me that the course you are on is not always the course you should follow. There is so much love and beauty in every member at program and in every staff member at program. I believe that this job has encouraged all of us to change our course even if we did not know that when we started. We inspire our members to change their course, yet the irony is they actually have inspired all of us to change ours.
5. Being vulnerable.
I cannot recall anyone who enjoys being vulnerable in front of others. Every day we ask our members to be vulnerable by encouraging them to try new things, step outside of their comfort zones, and trust us as their coaches and friends. We inspire our members by showing them that vulnerability is a quality and a characteristic that many admire! I know I admire our members for their vulnerability every day.
6. Practicing integrity through words and language.
To have integrity means to adhere to moral and ethical principles. I believe the principle behind these words: treat and speak to others as you would like to be treated and spoken to. To show another human being integrity at any cost through the most adverse situations it to be a good person. I am proud that InJOY’s atmosphere promotes just that. We offer a safe environment that allows staff and members to be themselves and grow. In my experiences here I most definitely can say that the members have a beautiful integrity and that encourages me to improve my own. We inspire the members to treat everyone with respect and equality because they have taught us to do that first!
7. Sharing the credit.
As father time continues to tick, I have learned that there are many things we accomplish on our own, but the most rewarding things in my life I have done with others. Take the time to share the credit and reward with others. I am inspired by our members because they always share the credit. I have experienced more than not that most of the time they are giving the credit to others because it brings them so much joy. We inspire our members to experience life to the fullest every day at program, yet the reality is they share the credit with us therefore allowing us to feel their joy!
8. Sharing your influences and talents.
There is so much talent at InJOY. I am absolutely amazed at the gifts that our members share with us. I feel blessed and lucky to experience people in this manner every day. There are few that go to work and love the time they are there. I can say I am one of those few people that is privileged enough to have a job that feels nothing like work.
9. Listening to our members and show them that they matter!
We encourage differences, individualism, personality, and uniqueness. InJOY is an environment that inspires every member to be exactly who they are.