A Coaching Power Tool Created by Kevin P.John
(Life Coach, UNITED STATES)
Quite often you will encounter clients who appear to remain stuck in some aspect of their lives due to complacency. In some instances, there are a variety of ongoing circumstances occurring simultaneously that contribute to this state of immobility. Otherwise, singular events revolving around life’s daily challenges are responsible for client inactivity. Maybe it’s working the last few years at a job that has been less than unfulfilling yet it pays the bills. At times, spending a great deal doing something that you see no permanent value or gratification in has the potential to induce feelings of hopelessness. Limited finances may also play a significant factor in not moving forward, eventually resulting in clients giving up on their dreams altogether. Lastly, lack of energy, confidence, focus, and direction are possibly the most influential set of components that serve as detriments to goal attainment and balance. Hence, it is essential within the coach-client relationship to explore the effect that being complacent in life versus actively participating has on the achievement of desired results.
Working with the client to create a picture of what someone else’s complacent life may look like, provides an excellent opportunity for the client to view things from the sidelines. As an observer of events, the client is able to track how a period of an approach to life laden in complacency can lead to negative consequences. Furthermore, the client can observe common defense mechanisms operative from the perspective of a bystander. The coach and client can then draw parallels to the client’s own experiences and those within the observation exercise. Utilizing the following penetrating questions can be beneficial in collaborating with clients to identify areas of complacency:
- It appears as though something is holding you back, what are some of the things that you believe are hindering you from achieving your dreams?
- If you somehow disabled the limiting effect of certain perspectives, what would life look like?
- Imagine that you are able to time travel and have been given the opportunity to dialogue with your future self. What advice do you think would be given about your current circumstances?
- If you met an influential leader today who was willing to invest in your future, what immediate moves would you make in preparation for that future?
- Recall a time in life when you managed to overcome complacency. What was your methodology or strategy for successfully moving forward? Do you believe this same strategy can be applicable to the current challenges you face?
To participate in something indicates that there is some form of association between that thing and you. Either you are a part of something solely or as a member of a larger collective body of individuals. Frequently association is by choice due to a particular affinity to a situation. However, there are other moments when we are thrust into association on the coattails of destiny without a clue of what got us there. Regardless of the reason behind participation, one must be present in order to experience a true sense of fulfillment. Specifically, participation requires consistent activity towards the intended goal. Thus, if your intent is to live life to the fullest extreme, you must actively participate in the process of life to make it a reality. Of course, this means shaking off any frustrations, feelings of inadequacy, and hopelessness, in favor of an alternate perspective of limitless possibilities. The following questions can be used to assess a client’s willingness to actively participate:
- If a recent visit to the doctor revealed that you only had five years left on this earth, how would you fearlessly approach your dreams and aspirations?
- As you observe your teenage children, you notice that many of their actions reflect your years of complacency. What methods would you employ to demonstrate that you now actively participate in life with minimal complacency?
- In what ways do you believe your circle of friends, family members, and associates have contributed to your inability to actively participate?
- If issues such as time, energy, and stress were non-factors, how would you utilize your current potential to actively participate now? What about in the distant future?
- What are some purely fun and exhilarating activities you can incorporate, or re-incorporate, into your lifestyle?
Complacency can keep anyone from moving forward in life for a significant period of time. Additionally, individual complacency has the power to become contagious and rapidly spread to loved ones and others around us. Therefore, understanding the underlying reasons behind the complacency is a valuable weapon in breaking the cycle. Although distractions can be found around every corner, we are all ultimately responsible for our own governance. Recognizing natural tendencies to utilize defense mechanisms in validating complacency is also essential to the process. Finally, refusing to remain complacent and instead choosing to live life in a state of active participation is the only way that we can expect to show up to each experience fully engaged. Don’t ever hold back on allowing the world each day to see what you have to offer. Take the first step, and by all means, just live!