A Coaching Power Tool Created by Ginger Beehler
(Business Coach, UNITED STATES)
There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills. Buddha
How many times have you approached life challenges with a sinking feeling of doubt? You might know in your heart what you want but that voice of doubt in your head tells you that what you want isn’t possible. When this happens, you are faced with an inner struggle of which voice will prevail, drive you and move you. Webster’s dictionary defines doubt as a state of mind
to be uncertain about something; to believe that something may not be true; or is unlikely; to have no confidence in it.
Another meaningful definition of the word doubt is a
lack of conviction in something.
Maybe you are stuck in a place where you fear change. You want to make changes and improve your situation but the security of what’s familiar pulls you back in and makes you question if you can really achieve the things you really want out of life. Or the possibility of failing holds you back from even trying.
Being stuck in two minds can be a conflicting and frustrating experience when you feel you are not happy where you’re at but the idea of venturing into the unknown scares you as well. Your doubt makes you feel stuck between a rock and a hard place and for some, it leads to a place of feeling lost and unhappy. Not knowing which way to go but knowing you can’t stay where you’re currently at can start make us doubt our abilities and over time, we may lose our way.
How does this word doubt apply to your life? How has it prevented you from going after something you’ve wanted for yourself? When faced with a life challenge or change what is your approach and mind set? Is it coming from a space of doubt or trust? Do you lack conviction in yourself? The thoughts that you carry in your mind become your reality. If you doubt that you won’t reach your goal, surely that is exactly the outcome you will get. This often is referred as
the self full-filling prophecy.
The average person has approximately 50,000 thoughts per day. If most of those thoughts sit in the space of doubt, eventually those thoughts become a part of your foundational core belief. Once a certain thought pattern is established repeatedly, your brain rewires itself so that the neurotransmitters actually fire to automatically go straight to the place of doubt easily, until it becomes a habitual way of thinking. Our quality of life is often parallel to our quality of thinking.
Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement. Golda Meir
Some men see things as they are, and say Why? I dream of things that never were, and say Why not George Bernard Shaw
Trust is defined as
a firm belief in the integrity, ability, effectiveness, genuineness of something; to be confident.
Trust comes from a place of belief in oneself and believing in something that our physical eyes may not be able to see or have evidence of at the moment. It is the space of trust where faith, belief and confidence all come together to push us past our doubting selves. When we use our convictions as the fuel to move forward and back that up with action, it is then we can move towards greater achievements. Step by step action, moving toward our desires makes magic possible and what we see in our mind’s eye can become our reality.
History shows that anyone who achieved noteworthy success where able to do so through vision, trust and conviction. Thomas Edison before creating the light bulb was unsuccessful over thousands of times. His response to his repeated failures?
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
What motivated Thomas Edison was trust, trust that he could and would invent the light bulb through a vision he created in his mind. In another example, Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Disney also had a number of businesses that ended with bankruptcy and failure. However, by using fantasy, imagination and trust he realized his dream of building a magical amusement parks for families and children, which are well known as Disney Word and Disney Land and is wildly successful. Through perseverance, faith, conviction and trust he is now a successful business man worth billions of dollars. Disney found a way to make his vision of imagination and fantasy a reality for many people to experience around the world.
How can we incorporate trust in our daily lives? We can practice relying on trust to serve as the cornerstone of our thoughts and feelings to go after what we want in life. Trust is also the very thing that keeps us motivated to move confidently in the direction of our dreams in the face of adversity or setbacks. After disappointments, it takes even more strength to keep our trust and maintain our confidence in our purpose. When doubt creeps in, we must make a conscious effort to quiet that doubting voice and let our trusting voice prevail, drive us and lead us. If we can do that on a consistent basis our brains again rewire itself to fire and connect to our trusting part of our brain and it will eventually become habitual. It then becomes a part of our core belief and drives us to make things happen, even when what lies ahead of us is unknown. Trust then becomes a powerful tool that propels us to reaching our goals and with it; we can be true to our life purpose by turning our dreams into our reality. What a wonderful way to live!
- If I think about my dreams or personal goals, what would they be and how has my doubting mind stopped me from taking action to improve my life?
- What type of words and beliefs do I use in my head or to others when talking about my goals?
- When was there a time I was successful when I took actions steps from a place of trust and how did that feel?
- What ideas and attitudes feeds my trust and what feeds my doubt?
When clients come for guidance and support, they may know what they want but something is blocking them from move achieving their goals. Many times, the block can stem from a place of self doubt that they cannot be successful. An effective coach needs to help the client discover what is the client’s underlining beliefs and how that influences their actions. I believe it’s important to let the client explore both their doubts and trust. This is a way to acknowledge that doubt is part of the human experience, gives the client an opportunity to explore that doubt and determine to what degree that doubt dominates their lives? The second step is to explore trust, how has that played a part in the client life and to what degree does that influence the client?
As we shed light as to where that doubt stems from we can work to address those fears and create awareness. It may be that a client had a bad experience, perhaps they misinterpreted the situation or they belief that all situations will have the same outcome. It’s a opportunity to challenge a client on their perceived realties and also explore new perspectives and highlight alternative outcomes that are more beneficial for the client. A coach may want to highlight that many successful people had some doubt in their endeavors but in spite of doubt, they pushed pass that and mainly used trust to move forward.
We can go further by exploring with the client, how will holding on to your doubt help or hurt you in this situation? How will being in a space of trust help or be beneficial to you? Another powerful question to ask is think of a time that you used doubt as your mainframe to approaching a problem. How did it turn out? Now time of a time when in spite of doubt you used trust to guide you, how did that turn out? Having clients verbalize their own successes is a powerful reminder to the client of what can be achieved with the right mind set.
Another powerful exercise is to use meditation. When clients get stuck and are at that place of doubt, mediation can take them out of their heads and into their heart. Have them mediate and take them to a place of relaxation and peace. They can picture what they want in their lives without any fears, doubts or limitations. Have the client express how their thoughts, visions, and feelings were impacted by being in a loving, peaceful and trusting place. How were those positive happy feelings different than those feelings of self doubt, fear and unhappiness?
Lastly, I want to point out the importance as coaches that we empower our clients. We guide and support them to see possibilities and not impossibilities. We may have to use many tools, such as, understanding, empathy, powerful questions, acknowledgements, celebrate successes, and encouragement. Basically, whatever it takes to help clients shift their perspectives and core beliefs. Change only occurs as the clients, thoughts, beliefs, words and actions change. Here are some questions that coaches can ask to help bring about a deeper understanding, awareness and help to invoke change in the client’s perspective to help them meet their goals.
Reflect back to the client the words they use to describe a situation and address trusting or doubting language used by the client.
- Does the situation itself have meaning or do you give it meaning? What meaning are you applying?
- How would you think and behave if you came from a place of doubt and acting as though you are powerless?
- How would you think and behave if you came from a place of trust and empowering yourself?
- How do you let trust and doubt effective your life?
- What has helped you personally overcome doubt and how can that help your clients?
- Have you ever let doubt prevent you from getting something you wanted and how did that feel (reversely how did you feel when you followed your trust and got something you wanted)?
- When a client thinks of a goal what are their first initial thoughts of the probability of accomplishing that goal?
- What mental or physical steps can you do or practice on a daily basis that deepen your trust and stay in that space of trust?