Living the Masteries

by Alison Davis, IAC-CC

Living the Masteries is a regular column where we invite coaches to share their experiences of Living the Masteries in their everyday lives. As we become aware of the Masteries and really understand and use them, we realise just how powerful they are and how, used effectively, they can truly make a lasting difference to the world.

This month Alison Davis shares her insights into Mastery Two: Perceiving, affirming and expanding the client’s potential.

How would all our lives be different if others helped us perceive, affirm and expand our potential on a regular basis and if we did this for others as part of our natural way of relating to each other?

This is a question I often ponder over, especially when I experience this magic myself. Take last night, for example: My daughter phoned me just before dinner to share some successes she’d had during the day. She’d just given a corporate workshop for a new client. It was a fantastic success and she’d been invited to do more. As I believe in celebrating successes every step of the way, I suggested we go out for a pizza at our favorite local Italian restaurant. Sometime during the meal she turned to me and said “I think I’d like a ‘Star’ moment!”

Just like when a performer is on stage at the end of a performance and the audience applauds, she wanted and needed that kind of acknowledgement in order to be able to really take in her success and feel it in her body. She wanted to take time to breathe it in and be witnessed as a success, so she could reap all the benefits of her hard work and preparation. Celebration and acknowledgement are necessary for this to happen.

We listened as she told us about the workshop, how she now felt as a result of the experience, what it meant to her and why it mattered. She shared the fear and doubt she had had before doing it and the relief she felt now that she had done it and it had been a success. As she shared bold dreams about the trainings she wanted to lead in the future, she expressed her joy and excitement. We offered our encouragement and belief in her. My husband reminded her of the strengths and talents he saw in her and shared about how he knew she would now go from strength to strength. As he spoke these words of acknowledgement, his enthusiasm ignited too and he began to point out how he saw her making a lasting difference to others and to the world. As a result she began to have a new appreciation of her capabilities and potential and her self-belief and excitement about the future were palpable.

So why don’t we always celebrate and acknowledge naturally and automatically? Why are some of us better at it than others?

Affirmation and acknowledgement were not modeled to me as a child. My parents never learnt how to do it and no one had done it for them. Indeed, my memory is that I was more often judged or criticized than applauded. My parents were both trained as scientists and had been taught to look first for what wasn’t working in order to put it right. Coming from that place, they missed the joy of noticing what was working and building on that. They also missed the joy of celebration! I find it difficult to actively celebrate successes and to take time to have fun and enjoy the moment, but thanks to Mastery Two these days I remember more and more! Now I realise that I have been missing out on so much joy and fun for a large part of my life! Since I’ve begun perceiving, affirming and expanding my own potential, as well as creating exercises to do this alone and with others, I’ve noticed many wonderful things: how my confidence has grown, how much better I feel about myself, how much more satisfied I am with my lot and how excited about my life I’ve become.

This is your column, it can only continue if you share your experiences of Living the Masteries. Please send us your stories—you will inspire others by your sharing, and by talking about the Masteries, we create an echo chamber where their power takes on new meaning in the world.

Please send your contributions to Alison Davis at, so she can share them for you in the Living the Masteries column in the VOICE each month.


Alison Davis, IAC-CC, is a certifying examiner at the IAC, coach, mentor coach and founder of the IAC–licensed virtual coaching school Foundations for Living. Discover more at

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