A Coaching Power Tool created by Chanel Flores
(Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
Watch a toddler as he begins to explore and interact with the world around him. He seeks to test his abilities and try new things. When he discovers that he can climb, he will climb on everything over and over testing his limits. Then there are those moments when he realizes that he is unable to do something. Not every toddler will respond the same way. Some will cry or scream because they are frustrated or angry. They may feel that they can’t do it or that it’s too hard. Other toddlers might avoid doing things they feel they are unable to do. They may feel scared because they don’t know what to expect. Still others will try to get close to doing something, but decide not to follow through because they feel they don’t know what to do or how to do it.
Although we are far beyond the years of a toddler, we can find ourselves having a similar perspective about the things we feel we are unable to do. Holding a very rigid view of our abilities can limit the possibilities we allow in our life. We will disregard potential relationships, career paths, goals, hobbies and more based on what we believe we are unable to do. This can leave us feeling empty or unsatisfied. We experience feelings of yearning or envy for what could be, what we believe things should be. How can this be the life that we were meant to live if the things we feel we should do we believe we cannot do, and the things we are capable of doing don’t quite feel meaningful?
Life is dynamic and there are ways in which we can be enabled to do the things that are beyond our current capabilities. The toddler who wants to navigate stairs can learn how to hold the railing, practice, reach out and hold someone’s hand, modify his approach by crawling rather than walking or simply allowing himself time to grow and strengthen the skills he needs to go up and down the stairs.
Think about the dreams you have for your future. Reflect on whether or not you have discounted your ability to realize any of those dreams. Being aware of how you have been limiting yourself will open the door to finding what can enable you to reach those dreams.
As the saying goes, where there’s a will, there’s a way. You can find a way to achieve the things your desire in life. Take inventory of what you find is holding you back and counter the negative thought with a positive alternative.
Some examples can be:
|“It’s too hard”||“I need some help”|
|“I don’t have enough money”||“How can I earn or save more money?”“What options are available for funding?”|
|“I’m not smart enough”||“I need to improve my knowledge in this area and need more support”|
|“I’m not good at that”||“I’m going to practice that more”“I will find someone to show me how to improve”|
Remember the Source
Improving yourself and seeking help from others can go a long way, but in some cases it’s likely that it will not take you all the way. When pursuing passion and purpose, you must remember where that came from. If God is the source and reason for the goal you are pursuing, allow Him to fill the gaps and enable you to do the things that He has called you to do.
But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
When you are facing insurmountable obstacles it doesn’t automatically mean that you are not meant to take that path. It could just be that there is a space for you and others to realize that only He could fill. In those moments when you feel you are unable to take the next step He will enable you. The key is remembering that you don’t need to be able to do everything on your own.
Some things that you can incorporate into your life to support you with remembering the source are journaling, a totem, memorizing a certain passage of scripture and prayer.
Journaling—This can take the form of a prayer journal or a diary of sorts, where you can have a record of your journey. You will be able to see the times God has shown up in your life and the bigger picture of how things work together.
Totem—Something that you can keep with you that represents a time in your life when God has brought you through a certain situation.
Scripture—A passage from the Bible that you are able to recite can be a helpful reminder that allows you to move forward in faith.
Prayer—Sharing your true feelings of fear, uncertainty, etc. can deepen your relationship with God and provide you with more clarity, strength and peace.
There may be times in a client’s coaching process where she is paralyzed from moving forward or is hitting a wall with the goals she is pursuing. As a coach, it’s important to be able to pick up and point out where she is holding a perspective of being unable. Take note of the client’s emphasis in her abilities or resources, especially when expressed as a lack thereof.
When using this tool in conjunction with the Follow the P.A.T.H. coaching model, you will most likely be able to implement it during the last two steps. During this part of the process the client will be exploring what his purpose is based his personal characteristics. To best serve your client during this step, provide structure and encouragement to help him expand his options. What you don’t want is for your client to narrow down his options and exclude things that he feels he is unable to do.
If you sense that your client is struggling in this area, have your client generate ideas during session. Create a space for him to be open to all ideas and refrain from filtering them based on bias or criticisms. Continue to work with him during sessions as he narrows down his options. Challenge him to focus on the options that fit him as a whole and that energize him as he thinks about it. Your role as a coach is to help your client to see what he would otherwise not see on his own.
After narrowing down his options or selecting one to pursue, your client may still lack confidence or feel doubtful about his ability to see it through. At this point, it is important to remember as a coach and to remind your client, that there is no right or wrong answer. The goal is for your client to begin living a life that feels complete and meaningful to him. Before ditching any ideas, have your client consider all possibilities that would enable him to reach his goal.
Remember to support your client’s decisions. Once you have mirrored back any limiting beliefs and provided opportunities for your client to shift her perspective to feeling enabled allow her to move forward in a way that feels right for her. In the end, where she decides to be is where she is meant to be.
- In what ways has your view of your current abilities and resources prevented you from realizing your potential?
- What could you have done differently to have achieved or be closer to achieving those goals?
- What are some ways that you’ve been enabled to do something that you thought you couldn’t do?
- How would you rate your faith on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being absolute faith in God? Do you believe He will step in to meet your needs for what He has called you to do?
- What are some dreams you have now that you feel are out of your reach? Are there ways you might be enabled to reach it?
- Where do you think the line is between the realistic and unrealistic? When should we accept that we are unable to do something?