October 2014


“Look at the circumstances of your life: what’s holding you back and what can you do?” – From The Perfect Moment by Andy Andrews

In the last blog, we looked at one method for calming your Inner Protector’s fears about what could happen if you try something new, especially if you pursue a significant new goal.

As we discussed, your Protector’s role is essential to your well being and success.   This part of your psyche is always on alert, performing inner risk assessments about new people and situations to help you decide whether they are reasonably safe for you to engage with.   If it weren’t for your Protector, you would unwittingly take all kinds of risks that could result in mental, emotional, financial or physical harm to you.

Unfortunately, young people’s Inner Protectors aren’t fully developed and they also lack life experience, so they are more prone to taking excessive risks. We “mature” adults have the advantage of broader life experience and more experience with how to effectively evaluate an “appropriate” level of risk. (It’s amazing we survived our teens, isn’t it?)

Still, there’s a wide range of “normal,” when it comes to risk tolerance, even among smart, mature adults. We all know individuals who seem to leap out of their comfort zone with ease and others who respond with trepidation when attempting something new.

Why Your Protector Sabotages your Dreams

When you contemplate pursuing a Big Goal like getting your boss to give you a raise, gaining new clients, purchasing a new home, taking on a new business partner, or finding a new romantic partner, your Protector’s job is to make sure you don’t sacrifice your mental, emotional, physical or financial well-being in pursuit of your goal.   Your Protector’s default advice is usually, “Don’t try it!” That’s because it sees ANYTHING new you want to attempt as risky, since it can’t identify the likely outcome in advance. Its go-to method for stopping you from making a possible Big Mistake is to hijack your imagination to conjure up vivid, negative scenarios that will make you reconsider pursuing your Big Goal.

Although you might think this makes your Inner Protector the “enemy” of your success, you must know that it was installed in your unconscious mind for a good reason. So, rather than trying to simply squelch it (which is actually impossible), you would be wise to instead examine your Protector’s dire scenarios for the nuggets of sage advice they contain and turn your Inner Protector into your Success Partner for reaching your Big Goals.

Last week, I showed you how to use the Worst Case Scenario method taught by my True Purpose Coaching ™ mentor, Tim Kelley, to examine each of the fears your Protector presents to you. Working step-by-step all the way down the “risk ladder” to the WORST possible outcome for each fear your Protector can imagine, you can assess if you believe that outcome IS a real possibility, or if you know that fear could not possibly happen to YOU.   If you decide that the worst possible outcome IS a possibility — however unlikely — you can then collaborate with your Protector/Partner to create a STRATEGY to avoid letting things ever get to that point. Your strategy plan is a list of specific CONDITIONS that spell out exactly what steps you will take to make sure that the dire outcome your Protector/Partner fears never happens.

A New Approach to Partnering with your Protector

Next, I want to teach you a different method for dealing with your Inner Protector’s fears that can sabotage your success. This method does not create a strategy for avoiding failure. Rather, this method is designed to allow your Protector to recognize and release any unconscious Limiting Beliefs it holds that could block you from taking the actions that will help you reach your Big Goals.

This method, which I learned from the JTS Advisors ™ training I took early in my career to become a certified Strategy and Accountability Coach, helps my Practical Prosperity Coaching clients successfully pursue a specific, measurable Big Goal, we call an Intention. (You can review STEP ONE of the Worst Case Scenario method in Blog #171 for details on how to create an Intention).

After they have identified their specific Intention/Big Goal and the deadline by when they want to reach it, I interview their Inner Protector and invite it to identify all the reasons why it thinks my client won’t reach that Big Goal. All the reasons it can possibly come up with are now out on the table, so we can identify the one that seems to be the Core Limiting Belief— most basic and MOST limiting – that they hold about their Intention.

The Difference Between Fears and Beliefs

But before we get into the details about how to use this method, let’s pause and distinguish the difference between a FEAR and a LIMITING BELIEF: A fear is something bad that your Protector thinks could happen. Once it has what it considers concrete “evidence” that the fear is actually “true,” your Protector solidifies that fear into a BELIEF. Despite what your Protector may think, Limiting Beliefs are not the “Truth.” Rather, they are simply our interpretation of the facts, based on either our own or someone else’s experience. Beliefs are neither “good” nor “bad.” However, our beliefs either empower us to reach our goals or limit our ability to reach our goals. Our beliefs are never neutral.

Once a client uncovers their Core Limiting Belief that applies to the Intention/Big Goal they want to reach, they quickly recognize that this same belief stops them from having what they want in other areas of their life, as well.

A Core Limiting Belief is usually formed at a young age, as your Child-Self’s Inner Protector tries to make meaning out of a painful “wounding” you experienced. For example, if you were ostracized by your peers for behaving outside the “norm” or scolded by a parent or teacher for doing something you didn’t realize was considered socially inappropriate, your Protector makes up a rule for living it believes will help you avoid experiencing further pain in that area. It could create a Core Limiting Belief for you to live by that “If I let them see the REAL me, they will reject me.”

Your Protector likely formed other unconscious Limiting Beliefs at an impressionable age by heeding the well-meaning advice of some parent or authority figure, trying to persuade you to use their personal experience to avoid the same fate yourself. A parent proclaiming “Having lots of money makes people greedy and selfish” could convince your Protector that it’s really not good for YOU to have a lot of money. If your new Big Goal involves financial prosperity, that unconscious belief will present a real problem!

It’s Hard to Do it Alone

It’s very hard to recognize our own Limiting Beliefs because they are unconscious and we don’t realize they are our interpretation of the facts; we just think they are “the way it is.” And Limiting Beliefs are further strengthened when something negative repeats more than once. Like a good trial lawyer, your Protector gathers “evidence” to point out to you that supports its point of view, while contradictory “evidence” that doesn’t support its Limiting Belief is either overlooked or discounted. Even one repetition of the “evidence” convinces your Protector that it is inevitable and it needs to protect you from it at all costs.

This is why it’s invaluable to have an objective third party work with you to identify your unconscious Limiting Beliefs before you go after an important goal.   I start by asking my clients (I am actually interviewing their Inner Protector) to tell me everything they imagine could possibly stop them from reaching their Big Goal/Intention.   This gradually draws out their Core Limiting Belief in a way that doesn’t make their Protector feel judged, but simply listened to. I can be objective and stand back from their belief and ask without attachment to a particular point of view, “Is that really true?” or “Is that really inevitable?” Because we can’t see our own Limiting Beliefs clearly, it’s useful to ask an objective third party – a friend or another coach – to help us identify them with good questions.

In the third and final blog in this series about how to transform your fears into allies, I will share with you the specific tool you can use to turn an old Limiting Belief that stops you into a new Empowering Belief that will support you in reaching your Big Goal more quickly and easily than you might imagine. Stay tuned!

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What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your big dreams and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!

 

 “You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk.” – Louise Smith

Last week, I described the two categories of fears that keep me busy as a Personal Success Coach, as I try to help my clients to successfully reach their Big Goals: Fear of Success and Fear of Failure.

The second type — Fear of Failure — is more widespread and is often tougher to overcome because it involves some deep-seated fears held in your subconscious mind that you don’t even realize are there. The Inner Protector part of your psyche believes it is dangerous for you to stray too far outside of your current comfort zone to pursue your goals because it doesn’t know exactly what changes it could bring into your life. In order to keep you “safe,” your Inner Protector hijacks your vivid imagination to conjure up a variety of dire “What Ifs?” in hopes of persuading you to not risk pursuing your dreams.

I promised to tell you exactly HOW to “look these fears in the face” as Eleanor Roosevelt said we must, and free yourself to move forward. I have learned two very effective coaching methods that I want to share each with you in detail this week and next.

I was trained in the first method by Tim Kelley, a great coach and founder of the True Purpose Institute ™.   It is a critical step in the coaching process we use to help clients find their Purpose. Your Purpose is essentially made up of your “Essence” (who you are at your core) and your “Blessing” (exactly HOW you go about sharing your unique gifts with others).

True Purpose Coaching ™ offers clients a variety of methods for accessing the part of their unconscious mind that knows their Purpose to get details about their Purpose that their conscious mind is largely unaware of. But in order to access this “Trusted Source” part of your psyche, you must get permission from your Inner Protector part, which is the gatekeeper to the unconscious mind.

Your Protector’s role is vital to your well-being: It assesses risks to keep you safe and it tries to make sure that all your Ego needs are met — including material needs and psychological needs. Your Protector wants you to be healthy, successful, approved of and rewarded with all the goodies that will keep you happy and comfortable. So your Protector is quite invested in convincing you NOT to try things it deems risky.

Fortunately, True Purpose Coaching also offers several effective methods to help my Purpose clients get their Protector’s permission to connect to their unconscious mind, where a lot of Purpose information is stored. The quickest and most effective method for most is what Tim Kelley calls the “Worse Case Scenario” exercise. Happily, the WCS process can also be used to uncover the fears that your Protector holds about pursuing your Big Goals. Here are the step by step instructions for how you can do this:

STEP ONE:   Create your Intention: Try to describe your Big Goal in one sentence, including the date by when you would love to reach it. Make sure it is stated in a way that is specific and measurable, so both you and your Protector will know that you either got it or you didn’t. For example: “On or before December 31, 2014, I sponsor four new business partners onto my network marketing Team.”

STEP TWO: Uncover your Protector’s fears about this Goal: Ask yourself: If that became true, what bad things could happen? List EVERYTHING that comes to mind, big or small — even fears that seem highly unlikely to happen. Know that if you can imagine it, that means your Protector is afraid of it. Examples of fears about reaching this Big Goal of sponsoring four new business partners by December 31:

  • 1) I have never trained more than one new person at a time. I won’t be able to handle training four at once.
  • 2) I am new to the business myself, and I don’t know all the ropes yet. I cannot be a good Leader for them.

ETC. ETC. ETC. There can be 5, 10 or 50 potential pitfalls that your Protector will suggest to help keep you “safe” from making the big mistake of sponsoring four people in such a short time! Don’t judge them or laugh at them, just write them ALL down.

STEP THREE:   Deal with each of these fears separately, ONE AT A TIME. Starting with the first fear above, ask yourself ,“If that happened, what is the WORST thing that could happen?” and write down whatever comes to mind next, such as:

I will be overwhelmed trying to train four new people at the same time. (Then ask yourself the same question about THAT answer: What is the worst that could happen if I am overwhelmed?)

If I am overwhelmed, I will stop answering their calls and just hide out.  (And what is the worst that could happen if I just hide out?)

Everyone will think I am a coward and not Leader material. (And what is the worst that could happen if everyone believes I am a coward and not Leader material?)

I will be mortified. (And what is the worst that could happen if I am mortified?)

I won’t want to show my face at any meetings or talk to my own Leader. (And what is the worst that could happen if I avoid meetings and hide from my Leader?)

I will drop out of the business. (And what is the worst that could happen if I drop out of the business?)

I will lose my best hope of ever having financial freedom. (And what is the worst that could happen if I lose my best hope of ever having financial freedom?)

I will feel like a complete failure. (And what is the worst thing that could happen if I feel like a failure?)

I could become isolated and feel suicidal. (And what is the worst thing that could happen if I become suicidal?)

I could kill myself. (And what is the worst thing that could happen if I kill myself?)

My family will be devastated. (And what is the worst thing….ETC.)

Whew! OK, let’s STOP at this point — I am sure that you get the idea! But when you actually deal with each of YOUR fears, you must push yourself to KEEP GOING DOWN the “risk ladder” until you absolutely cannot think of anything that could possibly be a WORSE outcome than the last thing you wrote down. Your Inner Protector should feel mighty uncomfortable at this point if you are doing this right!

Eventually, you will reach a bottom level that will seem either completely absurd – you know in your heart that it would never come to THAT – or so dire that you would NOT be willing to sponsor four new people onto your Team if it meant your kids would grow up without a mother!

When you hit the lowest, WORST Case Scenario that your Inner Protector can imagine, stop and ask yourself, “If I knew for sure THAT was going to happen, would I still sponsor four new people?” The answer could be “Yes” but it is more likely to be “Heck NO!”

If the answer is NO, then you simply walk back up the risk ladder to the point at which you would STOP pursuing your Big Goal if it were going to lead to that WCS. (It might be the point when you found yourself wanting to hide from your Leader and not show your face at meetings.)

STEP FOUR: Once you have identified that rung on the risk ladder beyond which you would unwilling to go, you can now collaborate with your Protector to identify the specific CONDITIONS that need to be in place in order for it to feel safe for you to sponsor four or more people by the end of the year.

Think of these “Conditions” as the Action Steps that you promise to take in order to ensure you do NOT go below the last acceptable rung on the risk ladder. They should always be stated in the POSITIVE – i.e. what you WILL do, not what you will NOT do.

Examples of Conditions that your Protector might suggest to make it feel safe to pursue this Big Goal:

1) If one or more of my new Team members needs help when I am busy, I will ask my own Leader to help them until I can step back in.

2) I will get all four of them together for small group training calls, so I can give them the basic information each of them needs in a short time. This will free me up to spend more time with them individually. It will also give them a chance to get to know each other quicker and support each other as “Team.

3) I will ask them to communicate through emails and texts whenever possible, so I can quickly tell them where to find whatever they need.

You probably will need just a handful of these conditions/strategies to handle each individual fear. When you have worked through all the fears, gather all the Conditions for all the fears into ONE LIST. I recommend that you keep it handy and re-read it at least weekly. This regular practice will help your Protector to continue to feel safe to let you pursue your Big Goal!

Next time: I will share with you another method that really works to help you recognize your unconscious Old Limiting Beliefs that have been sabotaging your success and replace them with new Empowering Beliefs that can help you reach your Big Goals with speed and ease!

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What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your big dreams and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You gain strength and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

Since Halloween is on our minds this month, I thought it would be fun to address the pros and cons of fear. Yes, fear can be FUN!

While not everyone’s cup of tea, creating ways to scare ourselves seems to be a widespread phenomenon among human beings worldwide. Why else would millions of us devour Stephen King novels, flock to horror movies and pay big bucks to be scared silly at terrifying amusement park attractions?

I was blessed to be friends with the iconic science fiction author Ray Bradbury (Farenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, etc.) for over forty years. Halloween was his favorite holiday and I always cherished receiving a hand-drawn Halloween greeting card from him every year. Most of his books contain some deliciously frightening elements. Ray said being frightened is something we can only enjoy because we know it isn’t REAL. We are thrilled by the adrenaline jolt we get because part of our brain knows we are actually safely sitting in our seat eating popcorn, not being chased by a crazy masked guy with a chain saw.

When feeling afraid is NOT fun is when we believe the thing we dread could happen to us for real. Unfortunately, that is a widespread phenomenon, too. As a coach, I spend about 25% of my time helping my clients strategize about how to reach their Big Goals and 75% of my time helping them overcome their fears about what terrible things might happen to them if they do (or don’t).

Fear of Success is real for many of my clients. That’s because the human Ego tries to protect us by warning us via our imaginations about all the negative outcomes it can conjure up that might happen from pursuing our plans. This causes our Inner Protector’s negative “What Ifs?” to become unconsciously entwined with our Big Goals.

Many success-oriented people feel torn inside because, while they passionately want to pursue their dreams, they fear that means they must miss out on precious time with their families. They worry that their spouses will become estranged from them and their children will grow up resenting them. Yes, that does sometimes happen for real, of course. But it does not mean that it is INEVITABLE.

What is the antidote to Fear of Success? Developing specific strategies in advance can help you handle the potential problems your Inner Protector’s fertile imagination conjures up to stop you from pursuing your goals. Instead of fighting it, you can acknowledge your Inner Protector for sending you an early warning signal and then go about setting up your strategies to help you handle success when it comes.

One easy and surprisingly effective strategy is to take a few minutes each weekend to plan and schedule ALL your upcoming weekly activities into your appointment planner. Collaborate with your loved ones to include a balance of work and personal time in the week. That way, they know that you are drawing firm boundaries between your work and personal time and that they will have your focused attention when you are not in “work time”. Planning your balanced weekly schedule demonstrates to your loved ones that they are important to you and allows them to participate in creating the family’s future prosperity and happiness together. Contrary to some people’s fears, you CAN enjoy quality time with loved ones AND passionately pursue your Big Goals.

On the flip side, a number of my clients have a Fear of Failure. Their Inner Protector’s worries are all about what might happen if they give it their all and then FAIL to reach their goals. Often fear of failure is something they have carried inside them since childhood, rooted in some painful experience with judgmental parents, teachers or other authority figures. Their Inner Protector warns them that they will disappoint those they love and be judged harshly or even punished by those they respect. Worst of all, if they try and fail, they will finally have to admit that they simply aren’t “good enough.”

Their Inner Protector tries to stop them from going after their Big Goal by pointing out the many ways they don’t stack up against others who are succeeding — in their abilities, experience, knowledge, even their courage! There’s a great Catch 22! They are made to fear that they won’t be able to break through their fears in order to take the required actions for success! No wonder they feel paralyzed and stuck — It seems so much safer not to try in the first place.

What is the antidote to Fear of Failure? Trying to run away from it only makes you feel like a greater failure and a coward to boot. In order to overcome a fear of trying and failing, you must “really stop to look fear in the face,” as Eleanor said. When you do, you will very likely recognize that your fear isn’t based on FACT, but rather on an Old Limiting Belief that was created by your Inner Protector to explain some unpleasant experience you had in the past.

Next time: We will discuss exactly how you can look a Limiting Belief “in the face,” dismantle it, and stop that crazy masked guy with the chain saw from chasing you away from your Big Goals!

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What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your big dreams and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!

 

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you; they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” – Bernice Johnson Reagan

Have you ever found yourself wanting to do something that will bring you great rewards but you can’t seem to get motivated enough to pursue it? You hate hearing yourself making the same old excuses, but you just can’t seem to get going. You feel stuck for no real reason. Why is that?

Well, there IS a very real barrier standing between you and all that you really yearn for. In my 10 years of professional coaching, helping hundreds of clients reach their Big Goals, I have observed that their self-paralysis inevitably involves a limiting belief buried deep in their subconscious.

What is a “limiting” belief anyway? Well, all “beliefs” are the same in one sense: A belief is not the truth; it is simply your personal interpretation of the facts based on your own experience or someone else’s.

Beliefs form when an event occurs — especially when similar events recur and you notice an apparent pattern — and the Protector part of your Ego immediately tries to interpret what it means. It tries to figure out, “What caused this bad thing to happen? What does it mean about me? What does it mean about other people? What rule can I make up so I don’t let this painful scenario happen to me again?”   This is a normal risk-minimizing defense mechanism the human psyche is hard-wired for.

For instance, you have a bad romantic breakup and your Inner Protector decides, “This relationship was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me! I am NEVER going to get involved with someone like that again!” So months later, when you are introduced to a potentially great partner whose political opinion (or eyes or laugh or moustache) reminds you of The Heartbreaker’s, your Ego tries to protect you from re-living the same painful scenario by telling you, “This person is going to break my heart just like that other one did! I can’t let myself get burned twice –I have to run away NOW!”

I recently coached two clients whose personal Limiting Beliefs were holding them back from taking positive actions that could help them reach their Big Goals.

The first client’s #1 goal was to have a happy marriage. He and his wife of just a few months were caught up in endless bickering over petty issues that neither of them really cared about. He couldn’t offer a rational reason for why neither could refrain from arguing, but attributed it to his wife’s “stubbornness.” When pressed, he admitted he was similarly inclined to dig in his heels when his opinion was challenged.

As we talked, he recalled that as a boy, whenever he was shown to be wrong, some of his family members would mock him and call him “stupid.” As a result, whenever he had to give in to someone else’s authority or opinion, he felt disrespected. He even lost jobs by arguing with supervisors, trying to prove himself “right.” His wife voicing her opinion that a particular TV show she wanted to watch was “better” than what he wanted to watch felt emasculating to him.   Their petty fights soon turned into bitter yelling matches.

In a last ditch effort to save their marriage, they went to family counseling. There, his wife recognized that she also had the experience of feeling put down for her opinions by her ex-husband. Although she submitted to all his wishes just to placate him, her Ex expressed only contempt for her and eventually left her. So her Inner Protector created the unconscious Limiting Belief that whenever her new, loving husband requested anything contrary to what she wanted, she MUST stand her ground or she would lose her sense of self again and have her heart broken once more.

As soon as they both recognized that they were arguing with each other because of Limiting Beliefs each of their Egos created in response to past relationships, they were able to let down their defenses and relate to each other as the loving, giving individuals they truly are. They no longer yell and fight, but calmly discuss their differences of opinion and work together to create solutions.

In her first year in a successful network marketing company my second client’s team of business partners grew very quickly. But over the past year, her organization has been shrinking, along with her paycheck and dreams of eventual financial freedom for her family. In fact, she hasn’t sponsored a new Team member in over a year. When I asked her why, she said that a year ago, her strongest business builder left for another opportunity and took most of her best people with her. Even worse, the former Teammate was a close personal friend who has now has broken off all contact with her. “It broke my heart,” she said.

The Limiting Belief stopping her from re-building her earlier success was obvious: If she sponsored another go-getter who could make her Team a success, they might leave and break her heart all over again. That potential pain was just too much for her Inner Protector to risk, so she stayed mired in excuses about being too tired and not having enough hours in the day to re-start her business, although she had built it before under the exact same conditions.

But here’s the great news about Beliefs: Since we make them up ourselves, we have the power to CHANGE them whenever we want! We can simply choose a new, more empowering belief that does not drag the Past into our Future. Beliefs are not “good” or “bad” — but neither are they neutral.   Every belief you create will either hold you back or empower you to pursue your Big Dreams. Your past experience cannot doom you to future defeat – only your FEAR of recreating the past can do that.

Remember, real “prosperity” involves  much more than just financial riches.   At church today, Rev. Margaret gave a great definition: “Prosperity is living in a state of TOTAL well-being, which includes being happy, healthy and enjoying great relationships. To create true prosperity, we must let go of what no longer serves us so we can move toward the greater good that God has waiting for us.”

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What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your big dreams and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!