Say what? Befriend a fear? I know. I know it sounds crazy. But stay with me here. Because the truth is, that fearful voice in you may be for you in a way.
Think about it. Imagine it. Then step on into the game this friendly neighborhood life coach is encouraging you to play.
Yes, befriend your fear. Try it here.
After all, we each have our own version of Aunt Agnes Who Made Us Nervous, Professor What’s His Name who demanded perfection, or that jacked-up little league baseball coach whose rants you internalized. So let’s get strategic.
How often? Well, basically, again and again. As needed.
Try hearing the fear you want to tackle in a voice you know you can dominate. Have fun. Give your fear an image, a name, a long green nose. A theme song! Let the conversation play out to a dreaded Worst Case Scenario.
And if you haven’t held your own in the past, here’s your opportunity. After all, it isn’t live TV. Keep workin’ it like Groundhog Day until you come out on top. For example:
When’s the last time you got a surprise from someone, or from life itself? And I do mean in the good kind. Can’t remember? Ready to change that? Well, then it’s time to invite some surprise into your life.
Because the truth is that often, for all our talk of wanting more of this or a different that, we tend to travel the same well-worn paths over and over. We “soldier on”, acting out habits that have grown stale. And those habits can include putting off casual daydreams—or rich fantasies—of adventure or change. Instead, we stay in our well-worn lanes.
We tend to travel the same well-worn paths over and over, acting out habits that may have grown stale.
Change may not be the most natural thing
Basically, we humans fear change. There’s often no real reason why not to make one. Besides our natural fears, it’s just that we’ve perhaps always lived the way we’re living. Or it’s how we’ve watched the folks around us “do life.” Besides, our routines are comforting, right? They work.
Or do they? Hmmm. Maybe the truth is somewhere between yes and no.
First, some truth from me to you: there was a time when I regularly asked myself why life coaching? Because, honestly, I cringed at the term. Despite my passion for the profession, I tap-danced all around that particular phrase when describing what I feel privileged to do. It was funny, really. Life coaching just felt cliché somehow.
But then one intense day, a very special lady in my life, my elderly mother, unexpectedly ended all that. She got down to the essence of things the way moms do, saying, “Why beat around the bush? You’re a life coach.”
Great big wave of her little hand. Great big emphasis on life while—more truth here—at the end of her own. So, instead of feeling annoyed by her opinion, it was instant goose-bump city for me. Then I surprised myself with a wave of energy that I used to re-frame the work that I love.
So what is life coaching, really?
A few weeks ago I happened onto an insightful article about coaching. The author provided short definitions for different types. But her take on life coaching felt narrow to me. She described it as being about personal change, with niches within it like youth, addiction, and divorce.
Of course that’s all good. Just not quite integrative enough in my book. Instead, I see life coaching as a powerful context in which to support the growth and goals of committed clients. It’s a much broader context than just the “personal”, whatever that actually means.
For me, life coaching is an opportunity to develop the whole person who we each are, toward maximum effectiveness and fulfillment. Here’s more of what I mean:
In thanking veterans, the truth is that such quiet greatness, such discipline, such sacrifice, in lives during and beyond years of service, defy words that can do any justice to them. With that truth acknowledged, I can also acknowledge my own eternal gratitude. My eternal admiration and awe. Though I do understand the discomfort many veterans feel receiving it.
So how beautiful that, as I walked in from the parking lot of my neighborhood grocery store yesterday, wondering what the group of guys wearing chef’s aprons at the table outside were selling, I was thrilled to find they were doing a food drive for student veterans at a nearby college. The goal was to stock an on-campus pantry so no one goes hungry during finals. Such a small way to help. Yet so wonderful.
I took their list into the store, found my way around to fill a basket of items for them, and noticed several other obviously energized folks doing the same. The cashier seemed uplifted, too. Later, in my regular FaceTime call with my 84-year-old father, I shared my unexpected elation. We both shed some tears.
What’s more, in thanking veterans today, my gratitude extends to whole families and communities in which such unsung service is a way of life. Thank you. May peace be with you. And best wishes for all the beauty and goodness you and yours deserve in this life—and beyond.