A Coaching Power Tool By Steve Sankar, Transformational Coach, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
Fear and Faith have something in common. They both ask us to believe in something we cannot see. Joel Osteen
Faith vs. Fear Definition
Faith has been defined as “Complete trust or confidence in someone or something” by Dictionary.com. Collins dictionary includes “strong or unshakeable belief in something, especially without proof or evidence” in its definition of Faith.
Changing perspectives from Fear to Faith can help clients shift from a deep feeling of uncertainty and despair, and give them feelings of hope, courage, and a new lease on life where life’s possibilities seem endless.
In the context of Faith vs. Fear, Faith is to be uniquely recognized as the belief in three areas that we can rely on for support at any moment in our lives: the Self, God – Beloved Supreme Father, and the natural mystery of life – let us call it the Drama of life.
The belief in the self is based on the recognition of myself as resourceful and creative with energy, wisdom, ability, and genius waiting to be set in motion. My innate nature is a bundle of divine virtues, qualities, and competencies. This recognition of the self includes the belief that we already have all that it takes within us to make the right decision and take care of ourselves at any given moment.
The belief in the Beloved Supreme Father is based on the understanding that there is this One, Beloved Supreme Father who is the universal spiritual Father of all of humanity, who is loved by billions of people around the world, due to their experiences of receiving help in difficult situations, provided for in times of need, and receiving strength in times of uncertainty.
The belief in the Drama of life is based on the understanding that all that exists in the world naturally interact in ways that allow for seemingly magical moments, memorable experiences, and great success to materialize in the lives of ordinary people around the world daily. It is important to become comfortable with not knowing what is coming next, with the belief that whatever it is that comes, we will be okay.
Let your faith be bigger than your fear. Holy Bible, Hebrews 13:6
Fear is defined by Dictionary.com as “A distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid”. Cambridge Dictionary defines Fear as “An unpleasant emotion or thought that you have when you are frightened or worried by something dangerous, painful, or bad that is happening or might happen.”
Fear is being stuck in your own beliefs (similar to significance) and not being able to see beyond a limited perception of reality. Fear has a debilitating effect on human beings that colors our thoughts, attitude, and behavior – words and actions. Fear can restrict our development and progress and also diminish our mental and physical health. Thoughts and feelings of Fear can become a vicious cycle and have a cyclical negative impact on our lives which can possibly lead to depression and anxiety.
People can experience fear in every aspect of their lives – when there is uncertainty in the internal environment (mind, thoughts, and feelings), and the external environment (family, nature, economy, community, country, or world). The covid-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for an increased level of fear in people in many countries of the world. Fear is a debilitating emotion that gets in way of people achieving happiness in their lives.
Fear can be experienced in numerous aspects of our lives, including, fear of being hurt emotionally by others, or physically by things, of doing the wrong thing at any moment or making the wrong choices, of making an already ‘bad’ situation worse, of losing your self-respect, of losing yourself in situations and people, of placing yourself in situations that allow others to deceive you, of letting people into your life who possess negative behaviors, and this list can go on and on depending on the individual. Human beings find it difficult to create happy, successful lives when stuck in a position of fear.
The Vicious Cycle of Fear draws from the esteemed Vicious Cycle of Anxiety (Williams and Garland 2002)and shows how Fear affects the way in which we approach life and our goals and how it negatively affects our feelings.
Changing perspectives from Fear to Faith enables clients to create new awareness and perspectives in their lives and challenges being experienced, to allow them to create happy, successful lives.
Applying the Faith vs. Fear Power Tool
The prescribed steps to follow when applying the Faith vs.Fear power tool are:
- Exploration and identification of the various areas/challenges in the client’s life that the client experiences fear or anxiety about.
- Exploration of the concept of Faith with an explanation of the 3 sources of Faith – Self, Supreme Father, Drama of life, and the releasing of the limiting underlying beliefs about the identified areas/challenges. Some recommended techniques for increasing the faith and confidence in the self can include – Being open to new possibilities and experiences, Master Creator Mindset, Beneficence, Mindfulness, and Raja Yoga Meditation.
- Application of the use of the 3 sources of Faith in each area of the client’s life/challenge and identifying the best possible outcomes for each area/challenge.
- Client’s commitment to actions that serve to move the client toward the achievement of their goals.
Releasing Underlying Beliefs
There may be underlying beliefs that are contributing to the fears and mental obstacles, preventing the client from moving forward with the necessary actions to achieve their goals. These need to be identified and explored as these can effectively serve to hold us back.
Being Open to New Possibilities and Experiences
When you open your mind, you open new doors to new possibilities for yourself and new opportunities to help others. Roy T. Bennett
Allowing ourselves to be open to newness and possibilities and experiences outside of our imagination is a powerful practice that can allow for beautiful moments and life-changing experiences to take place. This allows us to remove mental limitations on what can, and cannot be, in our lives and fortune.
Developing the Master Creator Mindset
The Supreme Being is known as the Creator of a perfect, new world of happiness. We have the practice of communicating with the Supreme Being in various ways that are personal, sincere, and heartfelt. Developing the belief that we can create a happy future through honesty in our thoughts, words, and actions with others, and ourselves can create deep feelings of empowerment and enthusiasm to support us in creating a future of limitless possibilities.
Beneficence – Benevolence in Our Thoughts, Words, and Actions
Theories suggest that beneficence – the sense of being able to give, inherently improves well-being and is an independent source of human wellness. Genuine acts of kindness to the self and others can improve our overall level of wellness. This enables us to naturally have a positive outlook on life and act with confidence in our day-to-day activities. The practice of utilizing positive affirmations can contribute positively to the overall feeling of wellness. A daily practice of expressing gratitude can also improve the overall positive outlook on life. Being compassionate with others also has a natural way of improving our self-esteem and good feelings for the self.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not become overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is going on around us. The opportunity to be mindful is available to us at every moment. While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it is more readily available to us when we practice daily. Mindfulness can be used to put a “mental full-stop” to past events, allowing us to focus on the present – allowing the past to remain in the past. There is growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you are actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain – neuroplasticity.
Raja Yoga Meditation
Raja Yoga meditation is an open-eyed meditation technique that can be used by anyone, anywhere. Whether you want to learn how to relax, need to be more concentrated and creative, or are searching for personal enlightenment, Raja Yoga Meditation can satisfy each of those needs. Raja Yoga gives you a clear spiritual understanding of yourself and helps you re-discover and use the positive qualities already latent within you. It helps you to create new attitudes and develop new responses. Like any skill, this requires practice. Doing a little meditation every day soon becomes a natural and easy habit, which generously rewards you for the effort it involves.
Example of Using the Faith vs Fear Power Tool With a Client
Client Joshua entered a coaching session 5 months following the death of his mother, who died from cardiac disease. Joshua sought the support of a coach to assist him with completing an MBA program which he began 6 months prior to his mother’s death. He said that following his mother’s death, he felt there was neither sufficient time in his day nor physical energy to move forward with pursuing the MBA program. In the sessions, he developed the awareness that he had more available time in his day since the passing of his mother. He could now dedicate this time to his study since he no longer had the responsibility of caring for his mother and supporting her through her period of illness. The energy he spoke of turned out to be a lack of enthusiasm, that really turned out to be feelings of insecurity about not achieving success in the program. Joshua recognized that he felt fearful and insecure since the passing of his mother. She was a big part of his emotional support system, and they shared a special and close relationship as friends, separate from their core relationship of parent and child. She was his source of encouragement and his main cheerleader throughout his life. Joshua said that the absence of his mother felt like “someone had stolen the sun from his sky”. He felt lost and scared, despite holding leadership roles in other areas of his life.
Joshua explored the Faith vs. Fear perspective during the coaching sessions and rediscovered his innate qualities of having internal peace and happiness. He reflected on moments he had achieved success in his life through his own efforts, despite challenges. He reflected on his relationship with the Supreme Being and recognized how he felt supported by God during difficult moments in life and especially during the time of supporting his mother through her period of illness, her death, and the months that followed. Joshua had the recognition that the world was full of challenges, however, he believed that good things happened every day to people all around the world, despite the existing challenges. He explored the natural harmony and mystery of life and saw how wonderful experiences had come to him during his lifetime through no effort of his own. Joshua was filled with confidence, enthusiasm, and faith at the end of the coaching sessions and went on to achieve success in his MBA program through the shifting of his perspective from a position of fear to faith.
Choice and Choose Faith vs. Fear
We all may have had experiences in our lifetime that left us feeling fearful, anxious, vulnerable, exposed, hopeless, and destines for failure and misery. There are gifts hidden in many of the bad experiences, and when discovered, these gifts can serve us for the remainder of our life. Our perspectives matter deeply and so too our vision of ourselves. These are important factors for success in life and coaching can assist with unearthing and developing both. Growth and development can be achieved by releasing our fears, surrendering our expectations and concerns, standing in the present, and having faith in the self, the Beloved Supreme Father, and the Drama of life. Life is filled with many beautiful experiences just waiting to happen. These experiences can be achieved by choosing to live with faith. Make that choice and choose faith today.
Qualities of a good person
Vicious Cycle of Anxiety
3 Sources of Faith - Referenced from teaching from the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University, of which I am a student
Raja Yoga Meditation