Certified Life Coach
Coaching To Clarity
What are you struggling with today? For me, it is in writing this article. The pieces aren’t fitting just yet. What would you do in a situation like this?
I find myself asking questions like:
“What’s the use?”
“This really isn’t that great of a topic now that I think about it?”
I’m picking up steam now,
“forget it, maybe I should just try a different one?”
Hmm, that feels a little better.
“You know how this works, you’re thinking too hard just go off and it will come to you”
“Yeah, actually that’s a great idea! I will just drop this and see what new ideas come up throughout the day and start again tomorrow?
Now I’m laughing. There it is again!
That exact dialogue is just what went through my mind. I was sitting here knowing I wanted to write an article about how the questions we ask ourselves sabotages our ability to have the life we want but all I could muster was one paragraph.
As you read my thoughts you witnessed firsthand two of the three stages of “fight, flight or freeze.”
Stage one happened when I “froze” because my brain could only generate one paragraph. I froze because I knew the only way this could be written was if I exposed my inadequacies and I sure as hell didn’t want you to see that.
In response to freezing, instinctively, like a child at bedtime, I became sweet and perfectly manipulative so I could stay up and play. I seduced myself with the thought that if I just dropped it, the “Gods” of writing would shower me with divine inspiration. That is stage two, create a fantasy so seductive that it further masks the true reality, I was feeling inadequate.
Luckily for me I leaned back and right there above my desk I began to laugh as my eyes found the sign I have taped on the wall which reads,
“If I don’t want to do something it means I need to do it.”
That sign was born out of a lifetime of moments like this and it is to remind me of three important things.
One, that if I feel the urge to flee it means I am afraid and the sign serves as a reminder of the first defence against my fear, get grounded and get back into the reality of what is truly going on.
Getting back into reality allows me to see point number two. ANY AND ALL fear is born from a feeling of inadequacy, start looking for it now! In this case, I was afraid to expose what happens to me, I did not want to risk being vulnerable because the image I want you to see of me can’t include that!
Finally, after years of running from that fear of being inadequate my unconscious response is to create a fantasy to divert me away so I don’t have to face it. Being in reality helps me see that.
There is a time and place for distance and perspective when writing but that time is never when you are looking for an excuse to ignore what needs to be said.
The day I made the choice to stop running and lean into my fears, one of the first things I recognized was that these negative rhetorical questions had to be changed. There wasn’t any option or any grey area. They had to be confronted continually, immediately and at all costs.
Throughout my personal life, my time as a professional athlete and in my time as a coach, the single most common way I see fear expressed is through these negative rhetorical freezing type questions and the resulting fantasy flight like answers.
These type of questions are so prevalent that most of us don’t even register them. They are powerful, subtle and so so seductive. So seductive that they have become as automatic and unconscious as breathing. Unlike breathing, they are killing us.
Think of what could have happened had I given into those insidious questions. I’m pretty proud of this article. In fact, I am really proud of it. I always feel better when I am transparent and authentic. Had I gone back to allowing fear to lie to me I would have never had this moment, this… gift!
In part two (which will feature in the next Personal Effects) I will discuss just what questions I asked to get things turned around.
In the meantime, pay attention to your questions, your feelings as you ask yourself those questions and notice how you want to respond to them. See what patterns you have created to avoid your fears (another word for feeling inadequate) and in the process, avoid the gift that comes when you lean into those fears and inadequacies!
Contact Kenny on: [email protected]