Many times following my coaching sessions with my coachees, the same question keeps going around in my head: Why do we tie up our own hands?
Regardless of the circumstances or the context of the coaching I would be working on with my coachees, a truth always stands out before my very eyes.
A one-sided humiliating relationship mistaken for a loving two-way relationship; a client who thinks just because she’s been away from the work market, she would not fit there again despite the fact that she’s been receiving non-stop job offers during her stay at home; another guy who thinks he is not as good as others, and therefore, cannot possibly compete with his rivals, and so on. The examples are diverse, but they highlight the same fact that I discern over and over again: We are tying up our own hands with a pair of non-existent cuffs. I use the word ‘exist’, because in most cases, they are intangible, and may not even exist in their day-to-day reality. They’re mostly driven by the fear of the unknown. I too am guilty of holding myself back every now and then, because of fear.
One of the blessings in life is that people come from different backgrounds, as this allows them to see other people’s experiences from a totally fresh point of view. If I had the same fears towards their problems as they did, I would not be able to motivate them in anyway. However, the mere fact that every person has a unique perspective towards what they hear and see, reinforces my sense of confidence in that I can help more people every time, which renews my sense of life purpose, and re-ignites my passion to help others.
Coaching is the best career step I have ever made in my life. It ties in together all my previous experiences, and allows me to align with my values and goals. It feels so great when you’re able to achieve a shift in perspective for your coachees. There’s nothing more worthy than to invest in human beings. I choose to do this, as opposed to investing in money as a life purpose. In return for work, I am gaining friendships, and in return of a fortune, I am gaining enough money to make me feel the achievement I am attaining every step of the way.
When I listen to these people’s stories, a voice in my head says: Regardless of the context, we limit their actions towards our goals, due to the strategies of fear that only we know their details, and we do that in prevention of a probable danger (criticism, bully, losses, etc.), mostly an unknown and a non-existent one in the external reality (as opposed to our internal sense of reality).
Byron Katie talks in one of her seminars about the culture of fear that parents and caregivers plant in children’s minds, thinking they are teaching these young souls to be more careful so they stay away from danger. Yet, they don’t teach them that getting hurt and falling down is part of life, and that danger is just as realistic as the floor they’re jumping on.
However, the difference between what parents teach their kids earlier in their lives, and what they (kids growing up into adults) suffer from eventually is that earlier in their lives, the source of instilling those fears was present and dominant, i.e. the parent/ caregiver was mostly standing around the child, and taking care of him/her.
Yet, it seems that as people grow older, they stop needing that teacher of fear to be physically present around them to remind them of those fears. Adults practice what they had learned as kids automatically. This is what I call “tying our own hands with non-existent cuffs”. Whether consciously or subconsciously, these fears are valid and existent (at least in the person’s mind), and because I may have a unique perspective on things, I can’t see these threats affecting me. Not feeling threatened by what threatens other people can help one feel grateful and more confident that I can help them. Simply by hearing a different insight, the listeners may achieve a major shift in their views to certain matters. They start to see how their fears are inside their heads and hearts, and they had been inflicting pain, stress and anxiety upon every part of their bodies. This applies to me. Helping others helps me realize my own fears and feelings, and that’s the beauty of investing in people.
When people create different understandings of pain, hurt, fear, pessimism, rage, anger, disappointment, etc, as the destinations they never wish to get to, in most cases, they end up dwelling there anyway.These people go on their lives carrying their loads of negative emotions toward things that had happened to them in their lives, or toward people who had caused them. However, the difference between this and adult fear is that when one is young, there’s somebody nagging him/her with such negative thoughts.
Despite the painful period of anxiety and stress, it can be undone, mainly by gaining more awareness around them and acting upon motivation. A heightened awareness can lift those invisible cuffs and worries off of our hands and minds. Coupled with a willingness to overcome those fears, it can have a major effect on our lives.
Byron Katie goes on to describe the sheer joy kids experience upon overcoming an adventure. Kids thrive upon delving into the unknown with a completely fresh mind and an energized soul, yearning for more life and adventure. If protecting ourselves from danger is the guarantee of happiness and success, then most cautious and long-living individuals must be the happiest people on earth.
Dr. Suzan Jeffers talks in her book, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway, that a good way to combat a feeling of imprisonment or blockage due to some fears we have, we can say to ourselves: “I’ll handle it”. So, when feeling afraid of committing to a certain action, we can say to our brains: If this (failure, hurt, disappointment) happens, I’ll handle it. The brain takes on whatever we tell it. So if we consciously overcome our fears around some things, then our brains can translate that into action in many cases.
We are born with an innate passion for adventure and experimentation as the result is mostly fun. Yet, as we grow older and are required to act and think in certain socially acceptable frameworks, we may well allow our personal fears turn into cuffs that we accept as limitations to limit ourselves and our potential, in prevention of some unobservable danger.
Remember the image of these two kids jumping into the deep blue sea with total eagerness, energy and optimism. If these kids stop to think of the dangers, they would never experience the fun of such exciting dive. They may get hurt or they may not, but that wouldn’t stop them. That wouldn’t have stopped us when we were their age.
Think of what happened that made you change. Gauge if adventure is needed sometimes to gain some real success in your life. Prepare, plan and prevent danger, but don’t let it stop you from fulfilling your passion.
Free your hands from your invisible cuffs, and take a dive into the unknown. You can only expect more learning and more excitement.
- What Are You Afraid Of? (selling4aliving.com)
- Don’t let and fear get in the way of your dreams! (discoversuraiya.wordpress.com)
- How to build better confidence: 5 effective steps! (theselfloveblog.com)
- Self Sabotage!! (themodernhippy.wordpress.com)
- Fear (possibleself.wordpress.com)
- There’s Nothing to Fear, But…Aw Heck Aren’t We All Afraid Sometime?? (ltrs2mom.com)
- Achieving Success: Top 6 Steps in Overcoming The Fear of Success (achievesuccessacademy.wordpress.com)