What would happen if we flipped the script? The What if becomes a positive. It becomes a question full of possibility instead of limitations? What if? What if I take a chance and fill my calendar with clients? What if I try a new tool and it really resonates with my client? What if I craft a vision for my business and it inspires me and those around me? What if I find a community of like-minded coaches to offer support and collaboration?Dr. Moira Hanna
I’m Dr. Moira and I’m a college professor, instructor, coach, and passionate mentor to health coaches around the world, but I haven’t always been that confident and committed to my coaching career. I wasn’t sure if I could make it work or even what the best approach was to success and fulfillment. I decided to step up and step into my dream of guiding health coaches on their journey from Hesitant Health Coach to Committed Health Coach. With a unique approach to coach growth, the Health Coach Catalyst program creates a strong hexagonal effect. The Coaching Hive podcast is your glimpse into the concepts, ideas, and approaches that underscore the Hexagonal Effect while giving you the opportunity to implement tools and tips along the way. Are you ready to dive into today’s podcast? Then let’s go and remember that this podcast is family friendly so go ahead and play it through your speakers!
Welcome to Episode 11 of the Coaching Hive Podcast!
After coaching conversations, emails, and just sitting in the silence, it feels like this month should stay in the trend of mindset. This might be because our Coaching Hive MasterClass for May will be all about mindfulness and I’ve already got that on my mind or it could be that I’m just really loving mindset and mindfulness as spring arrives and everything blossoms and blooms. It feels like a good time to be mindful and set a growth mindset in place.
Let’s recap quickly. Last week we spent time talking about progress over perfection and you had the opportunity to really start thinking about what you’d like to accomplish to just get started. We discussed the idea that if we wait for perfection, the chances of never even taking that first step are exceedingly high.
Let me walk you through a concrete example of this concept. Think about a baby taking their first steps. Do they wait until they know they can successfully and confidently walk across the room and back before they try? No! They take those toddling first steps and fall. The adults all cheer at the effort and the excitement of trying something new. And what happens? The baby gets back up, or some adult picks them back up, and the process begins again.
No one looks at that baby’s first attempts at walking as anything less than a success and worthy of celebration. This builds the baby’s confidence. They squeal with delight and try over and over again. They don’t know to be disappointed in their efforts. They know that they are doing something important and they want to get it right. They love the cheering and the feeling of movement.
What if we applied that same mindset to our business life? What if we chose to celebrate each small step, however wobbly, and have confidence in our ability to walk across the room even if we have never before accomplished the feat? What if we committed to being confident about our forward movement?
That sounds nice, right? But you are thinking to yourself. Ok, but where do I get the confidence to get started? The confidence to keep going in the face of challenges and success? The confidence to embrace the doubt and say this is worth it and I am worth it? This kind of confidence that innately allows a baby to try those first steps is something that we often lose along the way to adulthood. And you are probably shaking your head yes right now. You can think of at least one instance where the doubt crept in and influenced your decision.
What happens is that we experience setbacks, we go through that sometimes-awkward phase of adolescence and early adulthood and along the way we stop asking “What if” in a positive, confidence boosting way. It really takes time, patience, and, of course, support to break out of the limiting “What ifs”.
Although re-kindling this kind of confidence doesn’t happen overnight, I’m passionate about cultivating this commitment and confidence in each coach I work with. And we have fun getting there. In fact, if you’ve been around me long enough, either in a psychology lecture hall or a coach training, you have heard me talk about Jonathan James and the What if Monster. You may have even seen the stuffed “What if Monster” that lives in our home, but let me backup for a moment.
As kids, we developmentally ask a LOT of questions, particularly a lot of Why questions. Why? Why? If you are a parent, grandparent, or have ever babysat for a preschooler you remember that phase of “why” questions that seemingly never ended. They went from sunup to sundown. And if you are lucky enough to have a sleep talker, you heard those questions at night too.
And I’ll tell you, these preschoolers get it right. These preschoolers who ask questions get it right. Asking questions, searching for the answers, and continuing to try new things, and learn. They get it right. They are confident that their question is important and needs to be answered, often right now. They are inquisitive and curious. They are open to the possibilities that the answer provides. They get it right, even if their adults feel tired from that inquisitive nature.
Ok, rewind to a few minutes ago when I said that doubt creeps in and confidence lessens a bit. So, what happens? Well, as we get a little older and things like self-awareness develop, we stop asking so many questions and work to fit in. This isn’t true of everyone or in every circumstance, but it is a developmental milestone to become more aware of how you fit in the world and there is even something called the spotlight effect. This is where children and young adults, and even adults feel like the spotlight is on them. They feel like the world is watching and that can be daunting. What happens in that moment is that our confidence is going dormant in a way. We aren’t as confident that our questions are important, or our ideas merit discussion.
The “What if” monster begins to take a more negative mindset. The monster starts to worry about what others will think, about how their ideas will be interpreted or accepted, and even if they have what it takes to become successful. These “What ifs” are powerful and can be limiting.
As coaches we see this all the time with our clients, right? The client says that they want to make a change, but they don’t believe they are capable. They are worried about failure. Sometimes they aren’t even sure if they are worth the effort and process of change. As we work with clients through this process, we start to uncover why the change is important, what they need to be successful, and then we work to help them get those small wins early and often. It boosts confidence.
I talk to coaches who feel the same way about growing their business. They are worried about failure. They aren’t sure if it is possible and the “What if” monster creeps in.
So, just like the “What if” Monster in the book by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt what would happen if we flipped the script? The What if becomes a positive. It becomes a question full of possibility instead of limitations? What if? What if I take a chance and fill my calendar with clients? What if I try a new tool and it really resonates with my client? What if I craft a vision for my business and it inspires me and those around me? What if I find a community of like-minded coaches to offer support and collaboration?
What has happened here? These what if questions are now filled with forward movement and hope. The possibility of growth. This is exactly what we are doing with our clients when we take a positive approach to change. The same things apply. When we use Compassionate Communication, Appreciative Inquiry dreaming, and Motivational Interviewing techniques we are helping our clients build a vision of the future. And we owe it to ourselves to do the same for our business as coaches.
Are you starting to see the connection between confidence, mindset, client success, and coaching success? Hopefully you are thinking about how you can work to uncover your hidden confidence to create forward momentum.
What will you do this week? Tell me what you are going to do. I want you to send me an email. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you could comment on the podcast at coachinghive.com, or you can even DM me on Instagram or Facebook. I want to know what you are going to do to take action this week. I will hold you accountable even as you hold yourself accountable. I’ll stand up and cheer just like that proud parent. I’ll be there with you every step of the way to support you. Tell me what you are going to do.
And as you are taking these steps. Baby steps. Big steps or somewhere in between steps, if you need to feel inspired, I have some amazing episodes coming up highlighting the possibilities that exist in building your coaching career. So keep your eyes and ears open to stay updated.
But, in the meantime, I can’t wait to hear what step you choose this week to grow and uncover your confidence. Maybe it is as simple as posting on your Facebook wall or Instagram feed that you are enjoying working with clients as they make shifts to their health and wellness. Or that you have become nationally board certified as a health and wellness coach. Maybe it’s something even bigger. I don’t know what it is for you. Maybe it is creating a new community contact. What I do know is that with each action you take, your confidence will grow. Just as each success for our clients builds their confidence, the same is true for us as coaches.
Find a buddy to work with on this confidence boosting endeavor. If you know someone who might benefit from this message, I invite you to share the podcast. Share it with your friends, your family, your colleagues. Share it on your social media channels and find an accountability partner to work with this week. And of course, I still want you, even if you have an accountability partner. I still want you to share your steps along the way. Reach out. I cannot wait to hear from you.
I hope this podcast inspires you to re-discover your positive “What if” monster and start asking questions, trying new actions, and getting excited about the possibilities that await and while you do that, I’ll be here waiting for you next week with another episode of the Coaching Hive podcast, but don’t be a stranger. Keep in touch with your progress until then.
~ Dr. Moira