At other times, the very thing that keeps people from claiming what they want is fear of desire itself. Fear is a powerful emotion, and clients can benefit immensely from taking the time to explore the various elements of that fear. It may take several sessions or be an ongoing focus of coaching, but a willingness to explore fear can have an enormous payoff. Some powerful questions to jumpstart this inquiry are these:
- What are some beliefs you have about what it means to want things?
- Do any of these beliefs help you? If so, how?
- Do any of these beliefs discourage or otherwise hinder you? If so, how?
Often, clients are so used to settling for things in their life that they do not know what it would mean for them to shift to a position of claiming. In this instance, it might be helpful for them to observe someone else who they feel does this admirably. A coach might challenge a client to identify someone in her life who has a special knack for getting what she wants. The client could then observe that person, noticing how she carries herself physically, how she speaks, what her mannerisms are, and how she spends her time. The client could even interview this person to find out what her take is on getting what she wants. With this accumulated information, the client could then identify a few changes she, herself, could make to imitate this person’s “claiming” manner. She could notice how it feels different from her usual way of being and observe the results of the experiment in order to figure out what elements would be best for her to adapt for her own use.
Powerful Questions to Guide the Shift
- How could you gain more power in this situation?
- If you knew you were capable of getting what you want, how would you act?
- Are there any ways in which you’re currently committing to settling for less? What are the payoffs of maintaining that commitment?
- What do you want?
- In what ways will getting what you want be better for you?
- In what ways will getting what you want be better for others around you, and/or the rest of the world?
The shift from settling to claiming might not be linear for clients. This is a large, multidimensional issue, and one that influences many different areas of a person’s life. As with all coaching approaches, it needs to be tailored to the particular client. Additionally, it is helpful for a coach to remind a client that progress isn’t always linear, and to celebrate small successes while keeping the larger goal in mind.