A Coaching Power Tool Created by Lim Siew Siew
(Life Coach, MALAYSIA)
Fear + Holding Back = Failure
Courage + Determination = Success
Definition of fear : An unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm
It has been known that fear is the major source of our emotional conflict. It has driven us with conflict not only with others, but mainly with ourselves. We are all brought up in this world for a reason. We have learn from varies occasion that sometimes, things don’t always go the way we have plan them to be. It is however a choice of perspective to look at our situation either to our advantage or to hold us back from moving forward.
There are many different fears that we encounter through out our lives. However, it is important to know that fear is a choice. When we are afraid of something, we pull ourselves back from what we initially wanting to achieve or experience. It could be fear of failure, fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of supernatural events, fear of losing and the list goes on. Wouldn’t it be great if what we are actually afraid of, we take it as something we really are eager to experience instead? Most of us wish that we don’t have to deal with things that we are afraid of. But the reality is, if we are not dealing with what we are afraid of, the fear will always be with us, unless we overcome it. What if I tell you that you can actually deal with what you are afraid of as an exciting experience in your life? It is just like playing a video game. We are so anxiously afraid of going through this stage of the game, but we choose to keep playing because we enjoy the experience of going through it, because when we finally manage to go through the stage, we feel accomplished and awesome! Once we decided to step out and face our fear with courage, we have already won!
Sue has just joined a new company. She really wanted to do well as she has been looking forward to work in this company for a while. However, she was extremely nervous and she was somewhat worried that she might not be able to do well in this company with the new environment.
Sue is fearful that she might not get along with the co worker, that she might not be able to cope with the job, that what if she made mistakes, that if she messes up she might get fired. The truth is, she is a very capable person in handling this job. She could actually manage thing very well because she has all the information she needs to take care of all the task. She even made a lot of research prior to entering this company so she has all the resources she needed. All she has to do is to experience this job without fear.
After the first few weeks of working in the company, Sue starts experiencing what she was fearful of. Her fear has driven her. She is so afraid of doing mistakes that somehow she started doing mistakes. She has unconsciously put all her focus on the mistakes she made. Mistakes over mistakes makes her confident level drop. She starts believing that she is not capable in managing her job because she constantly messes up. Sue starts thinking that she should quit this job because she is incompetent. Somehow she still really wanted to keep this job because she sees opportunity to grow here. Sue believes that this job is very challenging for her and could improve her life. She also believes that she could actually do well in this job if she wasn’t doing that much of mistakes.
- What could have happen if she is not driven by her fear?
- What if she has the courage to do what she has to do without thinking about the ‘what if she couldn’t’ ?
Sue starts talking to a coach about her issues at work. She says she has no confident in doing well in the company after what she experienced lately. The coach ask her who or what gives her confident. Sue says ’she’ was the only one who could give her the confident. She also stated that if she could gain her confident back, she believes she could manage everything so much better. The coach then ask her, what would a courage look like in her situation? Sue says courage means she has no fear, that she could encounter anything that is blocking her way. Sue also realises that if she has the courage to acknowledge that she is not a victim of her circumstances, she can be in control of her situation.
Sue understands that all she got to do is to overcome her fear. The coach then ask her who attracted the fear? After thinking for a few seconds, Sue replies that she was the one who attracted the fear. She realises she was the one who has attracted all the fear in her. She has been so driven by fear that she made every actions base on it and start making more mistakes because of it.
The coach ensure Sue that we all can choose to learn from our experiences, including our mistakes, so we can grow, so we can do better. It’s okay to do mistakes as long as we acknowledge them, learn from them and move forward from them.
Sue starts to straighten herself up by telling herself that as long as she has courage, she can stay strong and nothing is going to stop her from getting better. She understands that every mistakes is a step forward to improving herself to get better.
With courage, Sue knows that when she messes up, she will be able to endure them, as there are always opportunity to grow from them. She starts doing so much better in her job. She minimises her mistakes day by day. She takes every challenges as an opportunity for her to grow. She gain more strength through her courage. The more she learn the more confident she gets. She starts to love her job more and more. She even improves to the point where her manager acknowledges her in front of her co worker for her achievement in the company.
Fear comes from prediction or assumption of the future or experience in the past. We know fear from our past painful experience or negative prediction about what might go wrong in the future. When we fear we are not spending our time in the present moment.
When our mind is distracted by stress from fear, we would have trouble focusing on what we are doing in the present. Fear block us from our sense of present moment, to experience our growth with an open heart.
It is however important to know that fear is one of a basic human emotions, programmed into our nervous system and works like an instinct to respond naturally when we sense danger. That being said, know that physical danger where it causes damage to our body is real, but fear of circumstances that is not occurring in the present moment predicted from our emotional state is a choice.
The first step of dealing with our fear is by acknowledging it. Courage will not able to play it’s role if fear is not being acknowledge. By acknowledging fear, we are taking a step forward in gaining control over our situation. We can use our fear as a source of our growth. Learn to understand ourselves better by confronting our fear. Ask ourselves why does the fear hold so much power over us. What can we learn from it? Would it feel different if we approach our fear with a different perspective?
We will start seeing opportunity when we brave ourselves to confront our fear. Realise that we can learn so much about our situation and about ourselves when we have the courage to deal with our fear. Whenever we experience fear, we can always take it as a sign, knowing that we need to get to know something or our situation better.
Imagine how fascinating it can be when we start exploring what we are afraid of, having the excitement of experiencing different approach to overcoming them.
The moment we fear of losing, we already lost. – Kadena Lim
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear – Mark Twain
Self Application :
Courage is the ability and willingness to confront fear. Having the courage to acknowledge that we are responsible for all our problems, is the key to start dealing with our fear. Courage is about putting ourselves in a position where we are uncomfortable, because the next time we attempt to it, it wouldn’t be as uncomfortable as before. The more we put ourselves out there, the more courage we will have in attempting to it, and the more less afraid we will be.
Most people that we know of have a stage fright. If you have ever experience being in the stage for the first time, most of us can relate to the overwhelming feeling of anxiety and fear when we are being watch by a lot of people under the stage. What if we put ourselves out on the stage, where we have the resources needed all prepared and skill we needed before hand? All we got to do is just to do it. If we take the time to observe the experience, we will be amaze when we realise that the more we step up the stage, the more confident we are gaining each time.
Confident is like a loop. We gain confident from our experiences, we get experiences from attempting to the task, the more we attempt to it, the more confident we will get.
Imagine if we let go of all the fear that are holding us back, and just do what we initially attempt to do. After our attempt, we will thank ourselves for not overthinking the outcomes of the approach. Remember that even if the attempt did not turn out as we thought it would or should be, we gain a valuable experience from it, and those experiences are where we will grow. The next time we attempt to it, we will think to ourselves, what were we so afraid of at the first place?
We gain strength and confident through courage, by every experience in which we really stop and look fear in the face. We are able to say to ourselves that we lived through that fear, so we can take the next thing that comes along. We are taking responsibility when we are living in courage. We are deciding that we do not want to let circumstances control us, instead we are the ones who are in control of our destiny in our situations. There is a saying, “we are where you are in life because of the choices we make”. If we don’t like what we see, change it. One question we can always start asking ourselves, “is this the life I want to create?”. When we have the courage to take responsibility on ourselves, we are bringing freedom to our lives.
We live in integrity when we live in courage. Integrity make sure we stay true to ourselves. When we are having the willingness to do what is right above what is convenient for us, that is when we are living in integrity. It is about wholeness and alignment between our deepest values, what we are doing and who we are being in this world we live in. We are calling forth greatness when we have the courage to live with integrity.
Having courage lets us open our mind to alternative perspectives, as it takes courage to question our beliefs we have been living by up until now. We open up new possibilities for ourselves and our lives that we otherwise may never have seen when we have the courage to challenge our beliefs. Courage unleashes us to experience live in a whole new exciting and meaningful way.
Dreaming big requires huge courage. Would you ever live your dream life if you haven’t find the courage to dream big enough to identify what it is? When we are courageous we dare ourselves to create bigger visions in all areas of our lives. Our lives are as big as we dare to dream them. But without courage to dream big, we will only be living for the sake of living them.
To most people confronting our fear seem like a difficult thing to do. Think about a time when we were so afraid of something at the beginning, but feel so great after confronting it. We will think to ourselves, what were we so afraid of before? Confronting those fears that we have requires courage. When we decided that we do not want to let fear hold us back, there is when courage is taking over. Courage leads us to accomplishing every single thing in our lives. Even the little things that we do daily.