Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Would you rather listen than read the post? Perfect, let me tell you the story.

Click play below and it will be as if you and I are sitting across from one another, hanging out, over a cup of coffee.

A Coaching Case Study — Respect

“I don’t know, I just can’t seem to stick to a schedule, it doesn’t work for me,” she said. 

An entrepreneur and a kickass consultant and designer, we were half way through our coaching session as she sat with her head tilted and a half frown on her face. We had been discussing her lack of focus when it came to working on significant projects to move her business forward. To enable her (and her bottom line) to grow and flourish. Instead she had been generating shiny new ideas, writing them down, getting excited by them and then stalling out when it came to implementation.

“I just don’t have respect for the schedule. Even when we map it out and I walk away with a solid plan, I just don’t follow it. I feel trapped scheduling in advance. I don’t want to do it.”

I looked at her and said kindly, “Then you don’t have respect for your business nor do you have respect for yourself as a business owner. So let’s talk about that. Because that’s really what’s going on.”

She nodded slowly, the truth settling in. I recognized the look on her face I’ve felt myself many times before over my own revelations. Haven’t we all? It’s in dealing with my own truth that I’m able to see hers.

Oprah calls it an a-ha moment. I call it oh fuck. As in “Oh fuck, that’s what’s been going on.” Eyes get wide, pupils dilate, and sometimes your mouth lays agape while your brain is processing with the speed of a Maseriati doing 185. Digesting the truth behind the actions.

I’m retelling this here, with her permission, for all of us. It wasn’t about the schedule or feeling trapped. It’s not about most of the things that we tell ourselves, it’s about the fear of feeling not good enough. Of not believing with your guts that what you’re putting out in the world is worth anything.

It’s so simple to identify someone else’s shine, their contribution, but when we look in the mirror, ours can easily be obscured in a veil of doubt and self-criticism. Lost in a tangle of imposter syndrome whisperings of how we’re not qualified to write, make, discuss, or create the thing.

Fear bombards us in the form of distraction

Social media, shiny new ideas, getting wrapped up in doing tasks for the sake of staying busy. Overthinking, spinning out, cleaning our house, you name it and we do it. All to keep us from doing things we actually want to do. We need to do. The work. Our work.

If this sounds a bit too hippity dippity for you, my calling it “Our Work,” I don’t care. Because we all have a version of it. And if we’re not doing it, it’s because we’re fearful. If we don’t start, we don’t fail. We don’t risk failure. Fear + failure so closely entwined I call them sisters.

Other people can tell you until they’re blue in the face how over-the-top fabulous you are. But if you don’t believe it, the words float by like a slim, trail of smoke from a freshly blown out candle. A flame to nothing, in moments.

How does knowing it’s fear help the situation? Great question.

1. It helps us to know the underlying truth and then identify when it’s affecting us. Allows us to see what’s really going on.

Try This — When you feel like walking away from a project during a block of working time, rather than distracting yourself and picking up the phone to scroll through someone else’s achievements, take a deep breathe and ride it out. Finish it out. And then go for a walk, or pet your dog and then get right back in and start the doing again.

2. For the moments you don’t believe in yourself, rely on the structure you’ve already set up.

Try This — Lean into it. The most effective way I combat fear is in the nitty gritty of doing. Creating new videos. Writing an Ultimate Guide on How To Bust Through Fear. Coaching clients through a stumbling block and giving them a much needed “Oh fuck” moment.

And where does that leave her, my multi-talented client? It leaves her with the truth of what’s going on and the tools to dig down and do her work near and dear to her heart. To focus and create and regroup when necessary.

And for that matter, me too. Because helping to uncover what’s really causing her to stumble is all about my work.  Which I hope, in turn, inspires you to do your own.