A Coaching Power Tool By Bettina Salzmann, Life Coach, FRANCE
Which One Are You Choosing to Be Passenger vs. Driver
What Comes to You Your Mind if You See Yourself as a Passenger?
As a passenger,
- I can relax
- I am not responsible
- I am not deciding which way to take
- I do not need to know how to drive
- I follow
- I can be lazy
- I am depending on someone else, or I am dependent
- I am accepting what others do
- I can blame the others
- I trust the driver, maybe not always
- I put myself in the hands of the driver
- I am a passive participant of the drive
- I can support the driver
What Comes to Your Mind if You See Yourself as a Driver?
As a driver,
- I decide what to do
- I take responsibility for my decision
- I believe in myself
- I decide on where I go and which way I take
- I learned how to drive, even if I was not perfect at the beginning
- I am responsible for the passengers
- I have to consider the conditions I’m driving in (traffic, weather, etc)
- I need to understand the rules (e.g. if I drive in another country, the driving behaviors, etc)
- I need to be present
- I am accountable
- I am independent
Would You Rather Be, the Passenger vs. Driver?
And now ask yourself in which situations in your life do YOU like to take one or the other role? Do you prefer being a passenger vs. driver?
Where is this comparison coming from? Why did it pop up in my mind?
I was looking at my work life and I was wondering why I’m just not getting into the “driving seat”. Oooh, believe me, there were plenty of reasons.
Was it laziness? To be honest, not at all. I worked my ass off for a job I didn’t always like.
What struggled me was, that after deep reflection, I realized, that I should not believe, that I was never in the driving seat, there were rather circumstances where the system around me did not allow me to decide just for my own. I, therefore, avoided having “big dreams”, instead I “limited my dreams, to fit into the system I was living in”. I therefore never tried to understand deeply my own goals – as I wanted to avoid being disappointed that I can’t follow or reach them. I felt like a passenger (a very active one, but a passenger of the system around me).
I started with “my” concept: “make the best out of the situation”.What this means is that for example at work, I accepted situations I got into, even if it was originally not my choice and unfortunately not always aligned with my values or even strength and I tried to make the best out of it. And I was lucky, there were still a lot of things I enjoyed – the BUT is that I could have chosen a place which would have fit myself, my values, my interests, my strengths much more. Instead, I fought to fit myself into what was given and tried still to give the best – showing that I can make it, that I can succeed… a lot of effort – I can tell you.
I think I also inherited another belief “pay attention – do not fall” – if you start thinking about not falling, the consequence may be that you are not taking risks.
Please keep in mind, such thoughts or beliefs may not apply to everything in your life. For example, I started with sculpting (in my free time), and really, here I have big dreams and I do not fear falling. I took the “driver seat”. I am proud of what I’m doing, it’s me who decides to create, it’s my imagination.
Not everything in your life is necessarily following the same “beliefs” and that’s a great thing, as you can use this awareness to help you to change your perspective in other parts of your life as well.
If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life. Abraham Maslow
How to Use This Awareness to Make a Change in Your Life?
It’s all about our core beliefs. Core beliefs guide us in our life. If we understand our core beliefs, and especially those we call ‘limiting beliefs’ we can start to understand the reason for our behaviors and our reactions. And especially if those beliefs are not even ours but were introduced by the circumstances we grew up with, by our culture, by our families, by ourselves to protect us, or we created them based on one negative experience. Sometimes they were valid in earlier years, under different circumstances, but they may not serve us anymore in our current life or for what we want to achieve.
The great thing about this awareness is that once identified what is in our way, we can change our beliefs.
The beliefs we have were created by us, it’s our story, therefore it is as well us, who can change them. The concept behind this is, that the subconscious part of our brain can’t differentiate between reality (physically experienced) and imagination. So, instead of experiencing a situation 10 times in real before we can accept a new belief, we can train our subconscious brain. We can change the view on how we look at things, we can train our brain to see things differently. In addition, seeing things with a positive mindset will allow us to attract the result (law of attraction/attractiveness). This is not a “one” effort exercise and requires a lot of awareness, willingness, and commitment to make a change.
How Can It Be Applied in Coaching?
Methods to do so are for example “Flip-it” or “ Visualisation“(you can read more about this in my Research Paper.)
The following questions can help a coachee (Client) to understand his/her underlying beliefs and to flip them.
A. Questions to Support the Coachee to Understand His/Her Underlying Beliefs (Understanding Underlying Beliefs/Creating Awareness)
- What holds you up from following your dream? What is in the way? What feelings come up when you describe this? What feelings come up if you assume there are no limitations?
- What prevents you from having a goal in life (short/mid/long-term)?
- What part of yourself is holding you back?
- What beliefs are keeping you in a passenger role?
- What is in your way to take a “driver seat”?
- What picture about yourself comes up if you see yourself as a passenger?
- What values do you link to a passenger?
- What values do you link to a driver?
B. Helping the Coachee to See What Happens if Those Beliefs Would Change or Not Exist (Changing Perspective)
- What would be the opposite of this belief for you? And how does this feel?
- What picture about yourself (What feelings) come up if you see yourself in a driver’s seat? How is your mood or energy changing if you are in a driver’s seat?
- If you are in the driver’s seat – what would you do differently in this situation?
- What feelings come up if you suppose that there are no limitations?
- What would happen if you just go for it?
- What’s the worst thing that could happen in this situation?
C. Helping the Coachee to Change the Perspective Step by Step (Action/Accountability)
- What is your learning out of this?
- What can you do to keep this awareness alive?
- What is the first step for you to apply this? What are the next 3 steps?
- What other support structures do you need to allow you to move a step ahead? What or who else you can think of?
- What would support you to keep this awareness alive?
- What could get in your way?
- What is happening if you remain where you are today?
Using the above questions within coaching can support the coachee to create awareness of his/her beliefs, identify the limiting beliefs and allow to work on alternatives and new ways to look at things, as well to use this learning to apply to other aspects of her/his life.
The following core competencies are related to the above:
- Evoke Awareness
- Facilitate Client Growth