Tag Archives: Fear

Help! I Am Lost In The Dark Unknown

4.22.15One of my clients came to his coaching call completely despondent.  He said, “I need a double session today—I am totally upset and completely confused.”  Somewhat surprising, given that this client has turned his business around since we began working together.  He has had enormous sales, and has the concrete potential for tripling his income over the next few months.

“Goodness Gracious!  What happened?”

Once we got clear about his concerns, we were able to distill them into one overriding worry—it was going to cost him capital to reach the next level of sales.  He didn’t know how much but he was certain it would be thousands of dollars.  Really?

We began by getting clear about the next step he was to take in order to fulfill on pending orders.  Once that step was done, we began to itemize the costs, one by one, including the minute details that worried him so much.  When we finished he was astounded by how little capital he really needed to use in order to achieve the next sales goal.

I am not minimizing the fear that the client was experiencing.  I think it’s very human to react to our fears.  The important lesson from this experience is: When you are worried about achieving something, and the worry gets blown out of proportion, talk with someone who is committed to your success, but is not invested in achieving the result.  I am recommending that you get a second or third opinion about what is really holding you back.  This client could have stopped the progress that he was making by letting his fear overtake his momentum.  Instead he admitted to his fear, communicated about it, and then together we could make it doable and achievable.

Promise yourself that the next time you are stopped by something in your path to success that seems overwhelming, you will seek another opinion.  You have people who can assist you to look at things from an alternate perspective.  They can help you in developing a workable way to achieve your goal.  Solutions abound if you let them occur and just ask.


You Want To Quit? Why?

4.8.15One of my clients just realized one of his biggest intentions.  He has been accepted to show his work in a prestigious art festival.  It is a juried show; has hundreds of applicants from across the United States; and fewer than 20% of the applicants are accepted.  He sent me an email announcing his win with a cartoon doing a happy dance.  Indeed!  Time for celebration!

This intention has been on his list of things to be accomplished for several years, but he has never been selected, or judged by this show panel—not because he isn’t a good artist, but because this was the first year he applied for acceptance.  You see, he always quit before he tried to enter.  He didn’t think he could ever make it in so he just didn’t enter.

So, what are you holding back from doing?  What is it that is on your to be accomplished list that has been there forever?  What is it that you don’t think you are good enough to accomplish even though you would be thrilled if you did?  Why?

I am not being bad with you when I ask the question Why?  I would really like to know and I think that your answer to that question does beg to be examined.  In fact, usually your first answer to that question is never really the answer.  It takes asking that question 5 times, always going deeper with each answer, to really find out what is happening with you that is keeping you from moving forward toward that bright dream you are afraid to reach for.  Usually what you find out is that what is holding you back is so small and doable that you will then forge ahead.

Try this Why exercise for yourself, with something that you really want to accomplish, and see what happens.  Most likely you will discover that what is holding you back disappears.  You might even discover an easy way to win just as my client did.


Five Reasons Why We Procrastinate

Procrastinating72314“Why do we procrastinate?” asked one of the readers of last week’s newsletter—the one about defining your target market.  (http://susanjamescoach.com/what-if-youd-know-shirley/)

Indeed, I wondered, why do we procrastinate?  Then I immediately procrastinated.  I waited to answer his question.  You see, we all do it—but why?

Procrastination has plagued mankind for a long time.  Philosophers thought about it and wrote about it.  Writers, speakers, thinkers, humorists, public figures, Presidents—all have thought and talked about procrastination.  One of the key figures in Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O’Hara said it well:  “I’ll think of it tomorrow, at Tara.  I can stand it then.  Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back.  After all, tomorrow is another day.”

So what is procrastination actually?  Merriam-Webster Dictionary has a very strong opinion about procrastinators and says this in the definition: to be slow or late about doing something that should be done: to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it, because you are lazy, etc.  Well there, they said it…you procrastinate because you are lazy, etc.

My observation about business owners is not that they are lazy, etc.  It is something deeper, and it is worth examining a little more closely.

Having worked with hundreds of business owners, I have found that people usually procrastinate for the following five reasons:

  1. They are afraid that their action will not turn out.
  2. They don’t know how to perform the action and they don’t want to take the trouble to find out.
  3. The human condition called “dominate avoid domination” kicks in.  In other words, “No one is telling me when to do something.”
  4. They have no real vision of their company’s future.  They don’t see the point of doing it.
  5. They are defeated and have given up entirely.

Generally speaking, when procrastination shows its head in coaching I want to examine the why of the procrastination with the client.  In most deeper discussions, we end up with one of the above five reasons.  Once the reason is clear, then you have an opportunity to solve the challenge and move forward.  Suddenly, something that had stopped them is now moving them forward to a business goal that they did want to achieve.

I don’t think the five reasons listed above are the only ones.  I am very interested in knowing why you think you procrastinate.  Please give me your answers below.  I look forward to hearing from you.


Photo courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net


Nelson Mandela

Please join me in celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela and the contribution that he has made to our world.Mandela candle

Our Deepest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness
That most frightens us.

We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small
Does not serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine,
As children do.
We were born to make manifest
The glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us;
It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we’re liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson