What an incredible time of year. Warm sunny days are mixed with
cloudy and cold ones. Leaves have turned and fallen to the ground,
leaving trees barren, and I've already had the first frost on my car.
Winter is right around the corner.
Halloween, too, with its rich history, is in the air. Often,
Halloween is connected with fright, which is why I thought of writing
about fear this month. How can fear be useful and how can we learn to
work with it?
Fear, as we know, can be many things, such as phobias, reactions in
threatening situations, or something that shows up as resistance.
Resistance, as a fear, can be subtle. Behind the question of whether
one is procrastinating or trying to avoid a task altogether, is a
deeper question: what is the real fear? And how might we grow from
This topic is incredibly broad, branching out into limiting beliefs,
values, past experiences, etc.; hence I'll focus on using fear as a
competency. In my reading, I came across an interesting article about
fear in a German magazine, ManagerSeminare,
from which I would like to share a few key points. The article is
directed at higher-level managers and the examples used translate
well into other situations, like those our clients might experience.
The article introduces five steps to turn fear into a competency:
Discover the fear
Observe yourself and search for hidden signs. How comfortable are you
with criticism? How well can you let go of tasks or responsibilities?
Do you work too much and too many hours? These could be signs of
social or performance related fears.
Accept the fear
Allow the negative feelings to surface. Acknowledge and face the fear
rather than running from it. Fear shows us where we need to make
changes and where we can grow. Affirmations help in this process as
does having a conversation with the fear. What is it really trying to
tell us? Ask why it is surfacing, and what it will take to solve and
master the situation. Listen for an answer.
Analyze the facts
Once the fear is identified, approach it with rationale. View the
current situation, examine the facts, and accept what cannot be
changed, for example, a presentation that needs to be given, or the
possibility of losing a job. Analyze what these things really mean to
you. What is the worst that can happen? How bad could the
presentation go? How bad would losing that job really be? Picturing
the worst can help; sometimes the worst possible outcome is much less
scary than what we initially perceive.
Check in with your values
To put fears into a more tangible context; look into your values and
wishes. What is your goal in life and what is really important to
you? Aligning with your values can help you reevaluate a situation
and possible scenarios. Would one hold a presentation for the recognition
and future opportunities, or decline because one is content where one
is, avoiding the shaky knees in the process? Does one fight for the
job because it is fulfilling, or might one actually be better off
looking for a new one? These are questions worth considering.
Get active! Think of what would help to achieve your goals. To
deliver a great presentation, prepare for it. To secure a job, get
more education, discuss options with the next level up, or start
searching for a better position. Focus on the possible rather than
lamenting over the unachievable. Be prepared to leave the comfort
zone. It will be worth it.
These steps are all about identifying the fear, facing it, and then
using it to grow. To me, fear is the question that is unanswered. It
is the link that is still missing. It is the voice telling me to
pause and reevaluate. Once I listen, understand the positive
intention of it, and answer the questions, the fear can be turned
into something constructive and motivating. I can then create a shift
from hindrance to competence.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Do one thing everyday that scares
you." I don't do that everyday, but I certainly did at the
beginning of the year when I took on the role as ICF Michigan Chapter
president. That was quite daunting.... It is a role with many
responsibilities. But it is also a role that is extremely rewarding,
which is something I was able to feel again at the ICF Michigan State
Conference in Okemos.
The ICF Michigan State Conference on October 23rd was a wonderful day
of connecting, learning, sharing, and celebrating the 10-year
anniversary of our chapter. We had great speakers and I am positive
that each participant - from new to coaching to Master Certified
Coach - walked away with something for their continued journey in
professional coaching. Thank you to the members of the conference
committee for putting on such a successful day. ICF Michigan once
again has an annual must-go-to event.
ICF Michigan strives to offer many must-join opportunities to
connect, share, and learn. See below for all updates on TeleClasses
and Coach Cafés. Elections for the 2015 ICF Michigan Board of
Directors are coming up. Mahatma Gandhi said, "In a gentle way
you can shake the world," and this is your opportunity to join
this fabulous, talented, and truly dedicated team to shake the
profession of coaching in Michigan, in a gentle way. Stay tuned for
Until next time, face the fear and stay energized,
2014 ICF Michigan President
UPCOMING EVENTS AND OTHER NEWS
Michigan and the Michigan Business & Professional Association
(MBPA) have an affiliate relationship that allows our members to join
and receive the benefits of their many services and programs offered
to individuals and businesses. In addition to supporting businesses
through Business Knowledge, Facilitated Networking, Legislative
Influence and Health Care Reform Connect™, MBPA partners with over
100 companies to offer Financial Savings on products and
Michigan members who join MBPA will receive $25.00 off a one, two or
three membership. To take advantage of this
offer, just mention that you are a member of ICF Michigan on the
application submitted to MBPA. For more information about this
organization, visit their website at www.michbusiness.org
"Women for Change Coaching Community" -
you interested in making a difference in the world by using your
coaching skills to help others? ICF Michigan is partnering with
"Women for Change Coaching Community" (www.Women4ChangeCC.org) to provide
volunteer coaches to help financially challenged women make powerful
changes in their lives. If you are looking for an opportunity
to provide coaching by telephone, this may be a great fit for you.
Better yet - you will receive "paid" coaching hours toward
ICF certification! ICF Michigan coaches (men, you are welcome as
well!) who have completed or are currently enrolled in coach training
are invited to apply. Be one of the first to apply and receive a
special benefit! Want to learn more? Contact Sandy@MarshallLeadershipGroup.com
ICF Michigan's Scholarship Program
In a demonstration of ongoing commitment to
the coaching community, ICF Michigan is launching a new scholarship
program for current or prospective ICF Michigan coaches. The
scholarship program is designed to support and promote the highest
standards of professional coaching in Michigan and serve our vibrant
community where coaches connect, learn, grow, and succeed to best
serve our clients.
Scholarships will cover the membership fee in part or in full and are
available to individuals who are studying to become a coach or
continuing their coach education. Applicants must be actively
involved in current ICF or ICF Michigan Programs, events, or
committees and be willing to support the ICF Michigan mission,
vision, values, and community. Please see the ICF Michigan website for more
information about this exciting new opportunity!
November 17th Teleclass with guest Karen Cappello
Clients You are Seeking are also Seeking You"
Time: 12:00 noon ET
Click here to register
November 19th Core Competency Teleclass
Learning and Results: Managing Progress and
Time: 12:00 noon ET
Click here to register
Want to grow your network, apply your skills in fun
new ways AND make a difference? Plug into exciting new projects
now underway at ICF Michigan. Interested in learning
more? Contact Sandy Marshall at
Please don't hesitate to contact
our dedicated Board members with questions, observations or
Rebecca Kraus, Vice
President; Education & Development
Lori Kerlin, Education & Development (Chair)
Education & Development
Sandy Marshall, Outreach & Volunteers
Deb Voyt, Membership & Affiliations
Kathy Vlietstra, Administrator
Come and join us for Collaborative
Click Here for more information about locations and
meeting dates for Coach Cafés.
Check us out on Facebook!
SUSANNE'S QUOTE FOR THE MONTH
"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather
the judgment that something else is more important than fear."