Stepping Into self-confidence, Vail
Vail, CO Colorado
VAIL, Colorado – “A couple of months ago, it seemed like things were ‘normal,'” Michael began our coaching session. “But lately I seem to be ‘off’ in every area of my life. I’m not sure what is going on.”
“Give me some examples of being off,” I said.
“I’m off at work,” he said. “My boss has asked me to observe our management team and figure out what’s impacting our productivity. I have some ideas on how to begin, but question whether it is the best approach. I’m afraid to ask others for help, but am feeling pressure to do something … anything!”
“Where else are you feeling off?” I asked.
“I recently had an argument with my friend, Dave,” Michael said. “Every once in a while we have disagreements like this and usually get over it rather quickly. But this time, I have no inclination to talk to him. I’m afraid we won’t be able to solve it and so I just avoid it, which is not like me.”
“Is there anywhere else that you feel off?” I asked.
“My father is not doing well and my mother has asked me to help her look into assisted living. I know she needs my help and I keep making excuses,” Michael said. “I just can’t face what this means.”
“Anywhere else?” I asked.
“I could keep giving you examples – with my wife, our kids – the list goes on and on. I just can’t figure it out.”
“You said things seemed ‘normal’ a couple of months ago. What does normal feel like?” I asked.
“Normal is when things are in order. Nothing huge is happening, and, if it was, I’d have the confidence to handle it,” he said.
“If you could rate your level of confidence in each of the areas you mentioned, what would it be?” I asked.
Michael thought for a moment and said, “A two or three.”
“When things felt normal, what was your confidence level?” I asked.
“An eight or nine,” he said.
“Let’s do an experiment,” I suggested as I stood up and invited him to stand as well. I put a pen down on the floor in front of us and said, “Let’s pretend that on this side of the pen, we are at a two confidence level and on that side of the line,” I said pointing to the other side of the pen, “is an eight. Tell me what it feels like to stand here in the two.”
“A two feels weak, unsure, and shaky,” he said.
We stepped across our imaginary line and I asked, “What does an eight feel like?”
Michael stood up straighter and his voice seemed more powerful.
“An eight feels strong and sure. I can handle anything that comes my way.”
“From the perspective of an eight, let’s talk about each of the situations you mentioned above,” I said. “How would you handle each one?”
We proceeded to talk about each of the situations, including the scenario at work, with his friend, Dave, and with his parents. He easily came up with action steps to move him forward in each area.
When I asked if he’d like to step back across to the other side of the pen, the two level of confidence, he refused.
“During the week, as you come across situations where you feel weak, unsure and shaky, what can you do to help you move forward?” I asked.
“This has been so helpful for me,” Michael said. “By imagining a line between a two and an eight, and having the ability to choose which side to stand on, it really helped me to see how powerful I can be when I consciously choose my approach. When I feel a two coming on, I may throw my pen on the floor and step to the other side, just to remind me,” he smiled.
Coaching challenge: When you feel your self-confidence waning, try to imagine what it would feel like to have a high level of self confidence. How would you handle situations from this higher perspective? If you need to physically step across a line to embody this new energy, do so. It’s amazing how powerful you can feel when you simply shift your mindset.
Sheri Fisher is a life coach who lives in Grand Junction with her husband, Tom, and their three sons. Her practice, Living On Purpose, focuses on personal and professional coaching. The situations and characters in her column are fictional to maintain client confidentiality. If you have topic suggestions, Sheri can be reached at email@example.com. For more information, visit http://www.coachwithsheri.com.
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