I have always loved the philosophy that says we must do something we are afraid of every day… For years I kept a quote on my desk that said, “The very thing you are afraid of, is the very next thing that you must do!” As coaches, we are always supporting our clients to “feel the fear and do it anyway!” so what about our own fears?
These seem to come in two categories for me. There is the place that pumps our adrenaline and gets us going like getting on stage, or striking up a conversation, jumping out of a plane or ziplining in Costa Rica, which I did this past summer. Facing those fears shake us up.. loosen the grip and once we face them, somehow we feel a bit more confident. It puts things in perspective.
The other kind of fear drains us. It is the kind of fear that erodes our confidence because is it with us every day. We know we can choose to face or not face the Thrill and Chill kind of fear.. BUT we Live with the kind of fear that says we are not good enough or don’t know enough and never will never make it… Those kinds of fears have been with us since we were first experienced that we were “less than” or for being bold or for not being perfect.
Sometimes these two fears feed off of one another… When I was in Costa Rica this summer, teaching at an Institute for Integrative Nutrition conference, I had the chance to go Ziplining. I could have not gone… but on the last day to register, I woke up and said to myself, “You just spoke to 60 coaches about facing your fears… you have to walk your own talk.” It was time. So I trundled down to the desk and as luck would have it.. the tour was still open. I did not think about it.. I just figured when the moment came, I would put one foot in front of the other….At the appointed time, our small group, got into a cab… and off we went. It was raining… and in Nosara in August, it is often raining. You get used to being soggy. Interesting zipline conditions…but we went and signed our waivers, got suited up and got in the truck on the way up the muddy mountain. With all the rain, we occasionally got stuck in the mud and we got out to push. The Universe always has ways of testing you once you make a commitment to some course of action. Have you noticed that?
Way, way up we went. The view from the tree tops was gorgeous… We got our instructions on what to do and what not to do and as I was trying to take it all in (in my head) the first instructor who had to get to the other side…pointed at me and said “we are going first!” And that was the moment. My inner voice said- “Time’s up.. get out of your head… and surrender… just let go and trust.” It was beautiful, fast and loud. Fun would not enter into it for some time. These guys who take you, do this every single day…I figured they can spot someone who is nervous, less agile or athletic or older…I did not want to be any of those things.. but it was a moment of acceptance…so going tandem was a humbling moment but I accepted the grace of it.
There were 8 jumps altogether… and in the end, the instructors each took a turn or two and went tandem with me.. and occasionally with others. When it was all said and done… on the way down the mountain, I was feeling a real sense of disappointment in myself. I had wanted to conquer this.. and I noticed my internal process. That old perfectionistic Inner Critic who said.. “You chickened out! You let them take you… you were too afraid to fail and you did not get the full experience.” I was feeling a lot of old shame that needed to be healed. Sitting with this for a while.. I could see that it was the perfect opportunity to work with these old wounds.
In the end, I learned once again that beating myself up got me nowhere! I faced my fears by simply getting to the top of the mountain… my reward for that was seeing all the help that showed up once I simply trusted. By allowing someone else to hold a safe space for me for a change.. and by accepting help…. by the last jump, I rode backwards and was laying flat on my back.. WHAT AN AMAZING GIFT he gave me to fly through the air like that! The instructor spun me around too -things I never would have done for this first time! He pointed out the waterfalls far below which many others did not get to see….
And oh, I also had fun. Go figure.
I took some big steps toward facing my fears… next time who knows what will be possible…what is more important now is the zipline I face every day!
So my dear Coaches, how is your ziplining going? What are your fears doing with you? Are they really the ones in the driver’s seat? Are they running like a program in the back of your mind computer? Our jobs here are to feel them, face them and fly with them. Your fears can set you free… Just wanted to plant these seeds with you so that we can continue the conversation. Tell me about what is scaring you… and I will show you the road map to your success!
(You are HERE! Check out the Quantum Coaching Live EVENT just for health coaches! October 16th-see details below)
Going quantum with you!