A Coaching Power Tool Created by Sybille De Klebnikoff
(Executive and Career Coaching,CHINA)
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Having faith is like being optimistic, thinking that everything is possible. When someone has faith, they look at each opportunity as a real possibility, they will step out of their comfort zone, with confidence. Resignation can be compared to pessimism, it prevents us from moving forward or taking risk, because the result is already written, whatever you do.
How do we become who we are?
We are defined by many factors:
- our family: the way our parents live and behave, how they communicate with their environment, how they are committed to our education, what principle, rules, they convey, whether we have siblings... All that will have a great influence on whom we will be. This influence can be different according to each person, even with the same history. Each of us reacts their own way: we absorb, reject, select, accept...
- our education and our studies: some ideas are commonly conveyed on how profession and personality are linked. Do we believe them or not? Can a job mould someone’s character?
- Our environment: whether we live in a small town, a big city, in our native country, abroad, in different countries or cultures..., we will be influenced by our environment. Also some people we meet, job environment, or discussions we have don't leave us unmoved.
- Our personal history: some situations we have encountered, whether we suffered loss, accident, job struggle, family issues, or on the other hand had great opportunities, unique experiences, it will impact our behavior.
Do I accept who I am? Do I resign myself to it?
How, as a coach, do we identify that pattern on a client ?
Based on these observations, some clients consider that this is who they are, and they have to deal with it. They tend to complain about what happens to them, saying that there nothing they can do about it, that it is not their fault. This way they refuse to take responsibility for any misfortune that occurs to them.
Accepting each situation as if they were already written, and nothing could ever change their outcome, is like being fatalist. It can only lead to failure. Why would you apply for this job, or try this new experience if you are convinced that a person like you cannot succeed? There is no point even to talk about it. Think of how many opportunities you are missing because of this belief.
For example, Laura has been told since she was a child that she was slow, therefore she would not be able to have better than average academic results. She has taken it as a fact, having bad results at school and barely succeeding in her studies. She accepted this statement that put her in the “slow” box. It became her own belief. Her thought was: I am slow, there are many things I won’t be able to do because of that. Whatever happens to me is not my fault. But having this thought was not empowering, all her life was a struggle.
Also sometimes heredity can be a heavy burden.
In our family we all behave this way.
We accept parts of our personality because they are part of our genes, like a poisoned gift. How can coaching help?
When we feel that the client is on this resignation mode, we need to take them on a new path, to change their perspective, following several steps:
At first, it is necessary to acknowledge who the client is, and the change that they want to achieve. Another powerful tool is to ask the client to visualize themselves as they would like to be, and tell what it feels like to have faith. Being able to feel the change can be a real motivation for the client to commit to this change, to take the responsibility for this journey.
To try to help the client know themselves better, the coach can ask them to go over some significant events of their life and analyze them. This brings the awareness, and should lead the client to stand back to assess the situation, and start considering that they can do something about it. This will also help the coach to uncover some of the client’s underlying beliefs. These underlying beliefs do not leave any space to faith, stopping the client from moving forward and believing they can do it.
This step is the most important one. As a coach, we should not rush the client. With our questioning, we need to help the client challenge their beliefs in order for them to reframe their perspective. The aim for the client is to get rid of that bad habit of acceptance, and start growing their self-confidence. Self-confidence is the key to having faith. It doesn’t happen overnight. It requires practice and commitment.
Thanks to coaching, Laura realized that she was wrong about herself. She made a discovery that changed her life, gave her confidence and opened her to new perspectives.
Here are some questions that can help shift to faith:
- How would you feel if you were faithful?
- What are the aspects of your personality or your behaviors your struggle with?
- How could you change who you are and how you live for the better, and feel confident about the future?
- What would you do if you had your faithful hat right now?
Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe. Saint Augustine