People come to me as a life coach for a multitude of reasons. They hate their job. They feel stuck in a bad relationship. They are crippled by fear and social comparison. They know that they are not living an authentic or full life. They make decisions based on what other people think and expect of them. One client recently told me, “I feel like a shadow version of who I know I really am – I just don’t know I got here.”
Hey – we’re all much more similar than we realise.
1. I’m scared of doing X. How do I get over it?
Ah, fear. Wise Mr Shakespeare famously said, “Our doubts are traitors, and would make us lose the good we might oft win, by fearing to attempt.”
Fear never, ever actually leaves us. If we had no more fears left than we would have nothing left to do here on earth. Before your first kiss, job interview, apartment, public speech, time you drove a car, took a vacation without your parents — anything — you were scared. But you did it. And it was easier the next time. And even easier each time from then onwards. To experience fears is a part of growth and life. The assignments get bigger but our fear remains. That is normal.
Fear is a natural response to you moving closer to your truth. You can allow fear into your life, acknowledge it but don’t let it make the decisions. You can say, “Yes I am afraid, but I am doing it anyway.” Action cures fear. And the action part is entirely up to you. So take some. Immediately.
2. Is it OK for me to just do what I want?
The answer is yes, you do have permission — but you need to give it to yourself. No one can give it to you. So don’t wait! The wonderful part is that you can decide today, right now, that you have full and complete permission to follow your dreams. This does not mean be reckless — quit your job, buy a round the world airline ticket and abandon your responsibilities. It means you can clear on what your dreams are, what you have the flexibility to do right now and then take action on that path. Momentum creates momentum. The journey starts with your very first step (and hey, even a Google search counts – I am doing them right now, short-term apartment rentals in Europe)!
3. Am I talented or just lucky?
People who seek coaching are typically high producing and prolific in their field. They have experienced a good level of success and want to get further, faster. It is also no secret that most C-Suite Executives have career coaches.
The answer is simple. You attract what you focus on. Your natural gifts, energy and attention are your currency. They materialise into form once you get busy. Life works with you when you believe you are capable and focus on what you want — you meet people who can help you, opportunities arise out of the blue and your confidence naturally grows along the way. If you want to write, act, become a VP at your company, no-one is going to come to your home, knock on your door and say, “I believe a talented writer/actor/business leader lives here … Follow me please to your destination.”
People who get what they want must believe in the first place that it is possible, that they have what it takes to excel and let their actions align with their goals. And they work their butt off. Ain’t nothin’ lucky about that. Its called living your life by design, not by default. You earned every inch of your success, smarty pants.
So remember this. Fear is natural but your dreams are more important. You give yourself permission to succeed, no one else can. And only you know what success means to you. And nothing, nothing replaces the power of action. Get busy doing what makes you happy. And watch the rest unfold as its supposed to.
When all else fails foster a little perspective. This is what the Ancient Greeks used to do — what they called “practising death every day”. In 30, 40, 50 or so years from now you’ll be dead. So will I. What does our doubt, need for permission and delay matter then?