A Coaching Power Tool Created by Brittany Andreaggi
(Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
Perspective is everything in life. Two dollars to one person is abysmal while to another person it means another day above water. The value of changing your perspective can change the whole outlook on how you cope with a situation and choose which action steps to take next. When a client feels like they are drowning or at a stuck point, usually it means that they have only been living in one perspective. However, when you zoom out and look at the many angles that the same situation can be approached or perceived, it gives everything a new meaning. When we are in the thick of a situation it can be very difficult to look at it from any perspective other than the one we have been living in. A coach listens with a neutral perspective and can aid the client in taking a view from a different angle through digging deeper and empowering the client to see past the single vantage point they have been living in.
One of the main parts of what makes coaching so beneficial is the incorporation of shifting perspectives within a session. A perspective shift is a moment within a session when the coach sees the client’s eyes light up as if they can almost visualize the light bulb pop up above their head. Suddenly their tunnel vision of living in the same narrative has opened up into the open road where they can choose another lane to approach the situation. Power Tools are the perfect example of perspective shifts; many times switching from a disempowered perspective to a much more empowered one. As I contemplated and researched many different potential Power Tools, it became very clear to me how important a change in perspective can be for a client and a Power Tool is a perfect catalyst in those revelations.
After considering many different perspectives that would have all been greatly suited as Power Tools, I eventually landed upon Desperation vs. Surrender. I resonated so deeply with this specific Power Tool because it truly embodies a shift toward empowerment. From my perspective, empowering the client is what makes coaching so magical. As a coach, it is not our job to be anyone’s guru, teacher, or expert. It is our job to assist the client in realizing that they are all of those things for themselves, plus so much more. Embodying trust in yourself and your soul’s journey is the most empowered place you can be in and that is what true surrender looks like.
Desperation vs. Surrender: shifting from a space of fear to a space of trust. When we are living in a state of desperation we are living in fear fueled by a lack of trust. Desperation is a mindset of lack that what you are seeking will not come to you easily so you have to control and/or manipulate the situation to ensure you get what you want. This thought process stems from the fear that if you do not control the situation you will not receive what you are seeking because you subconsciously believe that you are not truly deserving of it. Desperation is also rooted in low self-worth beliefs. When a client is living in this viewpoint, many times they are unable to see how tightly they are gripping and clawing to hold on tight to the outcome they believe they are looking for, so afraid to relinquish any control so that it doesn’t slip through their fingers. These actions stem from lack, fearing that one particular situation is the only option or opportunity, so if it doesn’t work out there will be nothing left. Lack leads to settling; settling for a circumstance out of fear nothing better will come along. All of which are encompassed by desperation.
However, when the client can shift their perspective to a state of surrender they move into a state of trust and realize that the control they are so desperately holding onto is further perpetuating the lack in their life. Surrendering is when a client releases expectations about what, when, who, or how they believe something or someone “should be”. When we release expectations we switch into a state of abundance, realizing that what is meant for us cannot be meant for someone else. Just because we believe that we know the right answer or how a situation should be handled does not mean that is the only answer. We see situations through our unique, individual perception and that perception is only one point of view. When we surrender to what we cannot control and harness that energy into a trust we move into a state of abundance. There is not just one way a situation is meant to go, there is not just one answer. Why limit yourself to one outcome and try to squeeze and manipulate it to ensure it works in your favor when you can widen the lens to limitless possibilities that can then come with much more ease?
Applying the Desperation vs. Surrender Power Tool within a coaching session is dependent upon if a client is appearing to be living in a state of desperation or not. Many times this can show up as clients presenting their need for control in a situation and their life or expressing fearfulness regarding potential outcomes. When a client is expressing himself or herself from a place of low self-worth, the Desperation vs. Surrender Power Tool can be very beneficial in shifting their perspective. Many times clients will be unaware that their actions and thought processes are stemming from a place of low self-worth. Holding space for the client to create awareness around that can be extremely beneficial. Once the awareness is created it is then a very seamless transition into aiding the client in shifting from a disempowered perspective to an empowered perspective that will be able to serve them abundantly; taking their power back from external factors and in turn placing it back within them.
For example, a client may address a situation by saying, “It feels that these things just keep happening to me and I feel powerless.” In this example, applying the Power Tool would begin by addressing the world powerless and digging a bit deeper into what that means and looks like for the client. In that statement, the client expresses that things are “happening to them”, which exhibits feeling out of control and overwhelmed. The client then further confirms this by describing it as feeling “powerless”. After elaborating more on that, a sense of what “powerless” truly means to the client can be found and the shift then begins. What would it look like for the client to be powerful in the situation instead of powerless? What steps does the client need to take to achieve that? When this shift happens it is the magical part of coaching where you can almost see a new pathway open up in their mind as they switch from the state of desperation and disempowerment to a state of surrender and empowerment. Together, the client and coach can build upon this perspective shift by asking further questions to elevate the client’s newfound perspective as they cultivate what it looks like for them to live in a state of surrender and trust instead of a state of control out of fear. This Power Tool assists the client in taking their power back.
This Power Tool works very well with almost any client however, some specific clientele that has shown to benefit greatly from the Desperation vs. Surrender Power Tool are clients with anxious or avoidant attachment styles, perfectionists, people-pleasers, and clients struggling with hopelessness, low self-worth, or financial stress. Once it is determined if the Power Tool will be appropriate for the specific client, the coach’s subsequent questions are crucial to shedding light on where the client can then potentially shift their perspective.
Example Questions Around Desperation:
- What is making the client feel the need to control the situation?
- Where is lack showing up in their life?
- What do they fear will happen if they do not control the situation?
- What makes them feel that they need to control the outcome to achieve what they want?
- What about the desired outcome does the client not feel truly worthy of receiving?
- What does the client feel the desired outcome will bring them?
- What is the worst-case scenario if the client does not achieve the desired outcome?
- Which of the client’s actions is being taken out of low self-worth and/or fear vs. which actions are being taken from a place of high self-worth and/or deservingness?
- What does the client not trust about himself or herself? / The situation? / People in the situation?
- What does the client feel they will receive on the other side of this outcome that is making them so desperate to have it?
Example Questions Around Surrender:
- What would it look like for the client to trust that what they are seeking is going to come to them?
- In what ways does the client not feel deserving of what they are seeking?
- What about the above answers makes them undeserving/unworthy?
- What would it look like for the client to live abundantly in each aspect of their life?
- How do placing expectations on a situation serve the client? / In what ways does placing expectations on a situation serve the client?
- What would it look like to release those expectations? What would that mean for the client?
- What would it look like for the client to explore other potential outcomes or ways of achieving the desired outcome?
- What does worthiness/deservingness feel like to the client?
- What action steps would the client take if they had no fear?
A shift in perspective in one situation can many times become the first domino in a chain of new perspectives across many facets of life. When a client has been viewing a situation through one lens for a long period of time and then that changes, it can expand our mind to see that other situations in which we felt stuck have the ability to shift as well. When a client gains awareness around how they have been living in a state of desperation in one area of life, they begin to acknowledge the other areas where they are also living in desperation and apply that same Power Tool. When living in a state of surrender a client can have things they desire to flow to them with much more ease as they know that what is meant for them will be and they can have trust in themselves that they will do what is required to achieve this goal and the rest will flow as it is meant to.
Reframing Perspectives. By International Coach Academy. Published 2020
Surrendering Volume 24. Lacy Phillips, To Be Magnetic. Published 2018 (Podcast)