Very often, I see clients experience feelings of fear. For many of them it can be very challenging to recognise the core of their fear. As human beings, we carry fear within us and overcoming fear can take some time. Fear can stop us from doing many things in our lives, such as achieving our goals. From my experience of a process coach, I have noticed that two polarities cause a feeling of fear, success and failure. But how can success create a sense of fear?
I have worked with one of the top directors in the city, she was seeking my help in regards to fear. It wasn’t clear to her what kind of fear she was experiencing but based on her feelings, she chose to proceed with processes related to fear. After the first session, it was evident to me that she wasn’t facing the fear of failure. This was quite surprising for her as she was mostly expected to fail with her new project. However, that was not the case. Why? Let me explain.
When she came to my coaching space, we talked about her project. She was very clear that she is seeking high achievements, and that her previous job was within her known field. On the other hand, something in that project caused her to experience different emotional states that she didn’t experience before. Firstly, she thought that maybe the new company’s expectations were too high and that she would face difficulties in achieving those. She was afraid to fail, but this wasn’t the core reason for her fear as she expected.
Yes, we could say this was a visible indication of the feeling that she experienced. But what we need to remember is that “obvious is not always obvious”. But what does this mean?
It means that if we look at something presented by the client and it seems very likely to be the core, we have to remember that this is only one layer of the problem. Other methods sometimes do not correspond to the nature of cause. Thus, the client may get their answers and feel happy for a moment, because they have received the information they were seeking -ish. But after a while they go back to the feeling of fear, which might be experienced with different symptoms. This indicates the same problem but that it is evolving from a different angle, to seek more attention. I like to think that this one layer was necessary to help discover another more critical one in the process. This way of looking at the issue helps me to navigate to the core reason, which may be covered in many layers.
Let’s look at this from a different perspective for a moment. The client is changing her job to a different field and was expressing a lot of worries in regards to achieving set expectations. The client was aware of her talent and possibilities. However, she was communicating with me that this will bring change to her life. Thus, a new job means more significant commitment and less control over the household, but it was people’s criticisms that she was afraid of the most. If we look at this again from another perspective, we can sense a lot of different symptoms of fear that become confusing for the client. Thus, it is crucial to identify this to move forward to the core reason. How do we know it is success that she fears?
Firstly, this woman’s life will change if she becomes successful. Secondly, something that she got used to before is gone. Also, she is transforming into something that she always wanted to do. However, it was difficult to reach at times. So, becoming so close to it creates in her feeling of fear that she cannot identify. With this in mind, we looked at a deeper level and went back to childhood and family. To understand her concerns, we needed to look at her background and upbringing.
The client’s mother always wanted to be independent, but she had to raise her and her siblings. All her time and effort she put into raising her children. When her mother became free form family responsibilities, she felt it was too late for her to do something else. She experienced a fear of change. In theorists’ opinions, we become very loyal to our parents by staying very close to them, not by the physical body but unconsciously and emotionally, and so we carry their fears and doubts. The loyalties to our parents are so strong that when we decide to take a different path than them and do better, it starts paralyzing us and we may not know why. It is crucial to recognise that feelings and family entangle when we try to move forward. For my client, unconsciously not accepting her mother’s destiny fully, she became trapped. By acknowledging her mum’s struggle and showing her gratitude and love for her life’s commitments, she was able to free herself from loyalties that didn’t serve her any more.
In some people’s opinion, success is not for everyone. I tell them, they are wrong. I believe that every human being has the inner quality to become successful. The reason why they might not reach a success lies within themselves and their life story.
I believe that to overcome the feeling of fear, we need to seek professional help. Deeply rooted issues are not always so visible and easy to master. If you are interested in finding out the core reason for your fears, as well as how to overcome them, don’t hesitate to contact me.