Yesterday, as I turned my phone notifications off, and crammed 5 days of work into 4 hours, I realized something. I am damn efficient when I create space for myself and ask for what I need. While we all embark into these unprecedented times together, there’s also something very isolating about the state of the world right now. I am lucky in the fact I have a tribe of women I can turn to, a community of intelligent people around me, and a partner that embraces all of my feels. Surrounding yourself with people that aren’t afraid of your feelings is a huge win for a feeling person.
As a coach, I often spout off pep talks in my insta-stories, occasionally flexing my muscles but rarely get into my formal coach role and share what I’m trained to do. The community of women that show up for me everyday, are often an important piece in how I show up for myself these days. They are warm, encouraging, compassionate, and people I wish I could invite into my home for wine on a Wednesday night. During my heads down hours yesterday, I continued to come back to a question: How can I better serve my community right now? The answer was clear. Equip them with tangible tools that they can use right now, that they can make their own.
A common coaching method I use with clients, friends, family, and even myself is one that removes fear from any task at hand. So often, fear creeps in and quite literally stands in front of us, holding us back from experiencing it with joy and confidence. If you’re feeling something similar right now, I can promise you, you aren’t alone. Keep reading.
Name your task, and name your fear.
First things first, identify the task at hand where fear is present. It might be this current quarantine and home schooling call to action. Maybe it’s a new job, an interview, or a new school. Perhaps it’s a hard conversation with someone you love, or a big meeting with a new client. It could very well be months from now; child birth, or the day you meet the baby of your dreams through adoption, or fertility treatments. It could be a break up, a resignation, or scary decision. Whatever it is, identify it clearly.
Now, name the fear. Is it the unknown? Rejection? Failure? The fear of being judged, your own capabilities, or perhaps the fear of actual success? Maybe it’s the fear of physical or emotional pain.
Visualize your outcome.
Next, sit back, close your eyes and begin to imagine your ideal outcome. When this task is complete, and you can wash your hands of it, what does success look like for you? Visualize yourself succeeding, and give yourself permission to experience that outcome.
Name your feelings when you imagine success achieved.
Now that you have clearly identified your outcome, name your feelings when you imagine that outcome achieved. You might want to close your eyes again when you do this, and truly allow yourself to experience the feelings associated with that result. Are you happy? Proud? Content? Maybe you are feeling relief, joy, or clarity. You might even be feeling a strong sense of gratitude, or peace.
Why is this important to you?
This next step is critical. Don’t deny yourself the opportunity to connect with yourself deeply here. Ask yourself this question twice. Why is that outcome important to you? Why is experiencing those feelings important to you? You might discover yourself feeling some emotion when you truly give yourself the space to connect to your why. That’s a good thing, trust me.
How might you begin to achieve those outcomes?
Grab a pen, a paper, or open up your notes section on your phone. Begin to explore how you might begin to achieve the outcomes you have identified for yourself. List out the possible ways you might be able to move closer to those feelings of success. Don’t hold back, or limit yourself here. You haven’t committed to anything, yet.
Take a hard look at that list and make sure, that if all things were possible, nothing is missing. Then circle, highlight, or tick three of the things on that list that you can commit to doing TODAY. What three things can you do that will remove the fear from the task at hand, remind you what is in your control, and give you the confidence to begin moving towards your outcome? These things should allow you to begin to image and experience success, and trust that your outcome is possible.
I hope you found this helpful, especially during these times of vulnerability, and begin to trust yourself, in spite of the fear. Removing the fear might truly be the first most important step you take.