A Coaching Power Tool created by Lynda French
(Executive Coach, UNITED STATES)
We’ve all felt it. That time when fear has us in it’s grip. Your heart beats faster, your breath quickens, blood rushes quickly throughout your body, muscles tighten. Many things can make us fearful such as a near accident in our vehicles or a large animal rushing towards us. Those types of fear responses protect us by helping the body move into action to keep us from harm.
While that type of fear can actually help us, the other type of fear, the fear of a change in our lives, financial concerns, the fear of not being successful or relationship concerns can have long lasting negative results to our minds and our bodies. In today’s world fear can also come in the form of stress or anxiety. Fear seems to be the deeper root of worry. Long term stress and worry can cause high blood pressure and lower our immune system. If left unattended, they can do undo harm and have long term effects.
Now let’s take a look at what most want and long for. Peace. It even sounds nice, doesn’t it? What so many want and desire but at times it seems to elude us. Peace is a state of serenity and tranquillity. A freedom from disturbance and a mental calm. At peace means to be untroubled. The body’s response to peace is relaxation for the brain as well as the physical body.
In my practice over the years, I have found that in many cases, the goals that my clients have desired have eluded them because they have not been able to deal with the fears and worries that have held them back. Many times there are barriers that they may not have recognized were there. They seemingly come from nowhere but will dramatically have an impact on them as well as their business. Sometimes it is the fear of not reaching our goals. Other times it’s the fear of judgement from those around us, i.e., clients, family, colleagues. etc.
Molly was the president of her own company. She was approximately four years in to her practice when I first started coaching her. Her hope was that she would be able to continue with her practice but after several years of obtaining a certainly level of success, she began to fear that she would lose clients and fail at her business. As she explained, she wasn’t sure when the fear started but she was continuing to feel that she wasn’t going to succeed. She felt that she was in need of a coach that could help her to overcome her fear and worries and move through it.
As we began, I asked her about how she got started in the business. She began her practice after a colleague suggested that she could go out on her own and start a business. She was very excited and started the research on how to make it successful. I asked her what she felt her biggest challenges were. She felt the biggest challenge was gaining new clients. As we talked further, I asked her what she really wanted in her practice. She said she really wanted the peace that would come from knowing that she would be able to stay in business instead of fearing that she would fail.
I asked her to describe to me what she felt when she feared not succeeding. She described it as an overwhelming feeling of dread including a panicky, heart racing experience that just left her down for the rest of the day. As our coaching sessions continued, she mentioned what she thought was such a waste of time worrying about failing, especially since she knew that her strength was in gaining new clients. I asked her what she thought she could do with the time that she spent worrying about not succeeding in the business. Prior to our coaching sessions, she never thought about how time consuming it was to worry about not succeeding. She began recognize that the fear of failure was using up her energy when she really needed to use it to succeed.
The fear of failure was moving her towards failure, even though there weren’t signs of failure in the business. She knew it wasn’t helpful to be fearful, but she didn’t know how to move towards peace.
During our coaching sessions, we explored deeper in to some of the meaning behind the fear. I asked her where she thought the fear of failure was stemming from. When she decided to leave her employer and start her own business, her former boss unfortunately told her in an unkind way that she would never succeed. She felt that in part that was contributing to her fear. She began to realize that she was playing the tape of his unfortunate words in her mind over and over and it was really affecting her business.
We talked more about what her peace would look like. She went into detail a time when she just felt confident that she would succeed. Through our coaching sessions with discovery questions, she discovered that she was already successful. Her business was showing a steady growth and she knew that her strength was in gaining new clients.
She was beginning to recognize that when she started to worry and become fearful, she needed to come up with a plan to mitigate the fear by making a decision that she was not going to allow the fear of failure to be part of her day. It was a slow and tedious process, but with time, she began to train herself into fearing less throughout her day by looking at the things that made her successful. The voice of her former boss began to be less of an impact on her every day experiences.
The Fear vs Peace Power Tool is a tool that I have used on many occasions throughout my coaching practice to give my clients a space to create an awareness of some areas that may be holding them back. This Power Tool will often help them move from where they are to where they want to be.