A Coaching Power Tool Created by Karen Somers
(Development Coach, UNITED STATES)
Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. Marie Curie
Fear can either motivate or immobilize. We all react differently when confronted with our terrors. From a young age, our environment, the people that raised and guided us into independence, our friends, and allies, our education and vocations have all contributed to our ability or reluctance to manage and move beyond our panic and miserable apprehensions.
Do we consistently step up to the plate of life and take a full, hard swing or do we step back, unwilling to test the limits of our abilities? For many, it’s a bit of both, but for those that are finding themselves “stuck” or immobilized, unwilling to test themselves for a variety of reasons, this anxiety proves to be an unyielding block for realizing lifelong dreams. However, knowledge is power. Our relationship to our fears, our understanding of what causes them, what fuels them, and what can be done to manage them will create a life of movement, of forwarding momentum into the realm of personal and professional victories.
Fear is not what stops us after all if we bring a bit of knowledge to the party, it is just a trigger to greater success.
He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Everyone has a fear of something but all too common anxiety is that of the unknown. Our ability to manage the stressors of everyday life in tandem with the willingness to pursue our dreams around work, our family life, our partners and the laundry list of adventures many have imagined since childhood, become lost in a haze of fearful stagnation.
By acquainting ourselves with the triggers manifesting the fear, embracing the often unpleasant feelings that threaten to overwhelm us, by taking steps into the unknown and keeping an eye on the prize that is being pursued, we can build the critical self-knowledge necessary to push past our internal terror. It is this knowledge that can be used as a weapon in the day to day fight to overcome our fears, embrace the unknown, and give our dreams an opportunity soar.
Fear is not the pathway, it is the trigger to knowledge and our manifest destiny if used as a motivator instead of a block. Fear is a door that knowledge can unlock to access our dreams, our hopes, and our desires.
… If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. Sun Tzu/ General/Philosopher /The Art of War
A client’s fear can be accessed by focusing on their goals, identifying what is important to them, and having them articulate the challenges they are experiencing or anticipating. It is in the articulation that a client can recognize possible solutions to keep moving forward:
What does success look like?
Daydreaming of the possibilities is often the spark to action for many clients. Revisiting their vision of success reminds them of the joy that inspired them in the first place.
What is the most important thing in the world to you right now and why?
This question is a deep dive into a client’s truth. It is the “true north” on the compass of a successful life but many people have lost their way in the complexities of living. An awareness of what is important could be the course corrector that transforms a client’s life.
What is standing in your way?
If you can name it, you can claim it. Once a client can identify barriers holding them back, they might find that they aren’t barriers at all and finding a way forward is much easier than they imagined.
What will happen if you don’t take this step?
This is where the fear lies. If they take a step they may fail, if they don’t take the step they are guaranteed to fail.
What does your fear feel like? Keep going.
By vocalizing the feelings and physical reactions that kick in when fear steps up to the plate, clients can start talking about how they can become more comfortable with the presence of fear in their consciousness. This is not about becoming fearless, it is about knowing where the fear is created and why. By coming to recognize the physical manifestations of personal terrors (heart palpitations, lack of appetite or binge eating, headaches or dizziness, etc.) clients can start making more informed decisions with their lives instead of trying to outrun the manifestations of their discomfort.
What are you most proud of?
This reflection helps to boost confidence and self-worth fostering all the warm and fuzzy feelings of their successes. It inspires action to build on the elements in a client’s experience that gave them such positive feelings in the first place.
What are you doing to NOT achieve your goal?
This question asks a client to look at the choices they are making day to day that is either helping or hurting their efforts to achieve their goal.
What do you need most right now?
Prioritizing is part of an effective success strategy. This question enables the client to rise about the morass of what are often pages of needs to start the ball rolling. It also takes the mountain out of the molehill of fear by tackling one unknown at a time.
What will things look like once you are successful?
This future-forward question gets clients to dig into the feelings of success, it makes them feel like the goal has been achieved so that in reality, the goal is easy to do having been completed in their imagination already.
To keep yourself in a place where you avoid feeling fear is to resist the very nature of being human – growing, learning, feeling and ultimately creating. To be human requires you to feel fear. When you keep trying to make it go away and you are still alive, you can experience tension.The goal is to be in a long-term, committed relationship with fear. Only by accepting that fear will always be there for you can you become curious about what it has to teach you. (Samira Far)
Fear can be a profoundly uncomfortable companion. It can keep us up at night, stops down our appetite, and turns our bowels to mush. It can constrict our hearts and fog our minds. However, the more we can forge a relationship with this relentless antagonist, the more we will come to understand and embrace our greatest enemy to happiness and peace of mind. It is in the intimate knowledge of our tag-along terrors that we stand to experience our greatest victories.
“Seventeen Inspiring Quotes To Face Your Fears
Sims Wyeth, President, Sims Wyeth & Co
“Sixteen Powerful Questions Coaches Ask Their Clients To Help Achieve Their Goals”
Forbes Coaches Council Post
June 21, 2018
The Art of War
Sun Tzu/ General/Philosopher
5th century BC
Inc. com/ Magazine
“Twenty Questions To Ask Yourself When You Feel Fear”
Samira Far, Entrepreneur, and writer
January 2, 2016