Overcoming Your Resistance to Coaching (Fear of Rejection, Failure, Success and Work)

By Natalie Rivera

Part of you is probably excited about venturing into the world of becoming a life coach! You’ve got some darn-good empowerment to give and wisdom to share and you’re eager to get it out there! And, the idea that you can make money doing it—even better!

But, part of you resists it, too. When you think about stepping forward part of you thinks “eeek!” What if no one signs up or they don’t get results or I choke? What if I fail? What if it takes, gulp, a lot of work? What if I SUCCEED? Then what!?

Fear is a natural part of life.

Fear can hold us back, but it can also be our driving force. If we have a big enough reason why we want something than the fear of not getting the outcome will drive us. For example, if your biggest fear not living life to the fullest, your decisions are going to be very different than if your biggest fear is death. Both fears will motivate you—just to very different things. If you fear death, you’ll be motivated to avoid risk. If you fear not living life, you’ll take risks.

The emotion of fear evolved to help us survive. Without fear our ancestors would have perished in the jaws of a saber-toothed predator or suffered another untimely fate. However, in today’s society we rarely face life-or-death situations. The things we fear aren’t usually threatening at all. They usually don’t even exist—they’re imaginary. Often what we fear is something that might or could happen in the future. It’s not real and it isn’t happening now, yet we fear it. Our fear is no longer for survival or even based in reality. It’s strictly psychological. And it doesn’t always feel terrifying—it can feel like anxiety, nervousness, apprehension, resistance. Today our fear isn’t caused by running from certain death, it’s caused by how we perceive our world.

This is why we have to put fear into to context and realize that there really isn’t anything to fear. We can re-frame our fear and resistance as simply a sign that we’re pushing ourselves outside of comfort zones and remind ourselves that this is what it takes in order to expand and grow.

When it comes to becoming a life coach, we have found that there are several fears that are common. It is important to asses these fears to make sure that they are not impacting your ability to take the next steps. Keep in mind, there may be other areas in your life that cause resistance for you and that this list is not intended to be inclusive of all possibilities in everyone’s individual experience.

Fear of rejection: Many people wait to put something out there until it is perfect because they fear that if it isn’t perfect they will be judged, disapproved of and rejected. But there’s one really big problem: it will never be perfect. Second problem: if you wait for it to be perfect it will be too late.

“If you aren’t embarrassed by the first version of your product, you waited too long to launch.” –Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn

The perfection problem is especially true when you are trying to share your knowledge or passions. Not only can’t it be perfect—but you’ll never THINK AND FEEL like it’s perfect, even if it was. Ever met an artist that loves their own work? Nope. When we’re sharing of ourselves, we feel vulnerable. We’re putting ourselves out there. Just the thought of someone giving us a bad review or asking for a refund can be paralyzing for some.

Rejection comes with the territory of making a difference. You will NOT please everyone all of the time. In the same way, not everyone who comes across your coaching offer will buy sign up. Instead of feeling terrible over the 95 percent of people who do NOT hire you, it’s important to focus on the 5% who do. In the same way, rather than focus on the 1 bad review or the customer with a complaint, focus on the many other raving reviews and how good it feels to know you’ve helped someone’s life.

One final note about rejection… It is also important to keep in mind that not everyone is going to agree with your coaching strategies or messages. It’s okay for others to have different opinions and experiences in life. Even if a lot of people don’t like what you have to say, you cannot allow that to knock you off course of following your path and purpose. The people who need you NEED what you have to give. Not only do you not want to censor your message to make it acceptable to the general population, you want to say it BOLDLY because when your ideal clients—your tribe—hear it they’ll say “look, he/she is talking to me… yes!”

If you want the raving fans you have to be willing to ignore the pack of haters.

Fear of failure: It is normal to fear failure, we all do it. But the most successful entrepreneurs, visionaries, and creators understand that the best way to get where you want to get is to fail and do it often. Bravery isn’t about having no fear, it’s about DOING IT ANYWAY. What do you actually think would happen if you failed? Will you die? Will you be publicly flogged or burned at the stake? No. Really, fear of failure is just fear of rejection in disguise.

In life and in business you will have many failures, but each of them will teach you what is not working, which allows you to make the necessary changes and continue to adapt and improve. Therefore, the faster you can learn what does not work the faster you can learn what works. So get failing quickly!

The biggest reason most coaches FAIL is that they never get started.

The question should not be “what if I fail?” but “what will I learn from this journey if I fail?” Ask yourself, “how many times does a parent let their child fail at reading or walking before they say, ‘well they tried but it’s just not going to work’”? Of course you keep working with them until they figure it out, no matter how many times they fail because you understand that it is just part of the learning process. The same thing goes for you and your dreams.

Fear of success: Did you know that people fear success just as much as failure? Why? Because success leads to CHANGE. Eek. Success leads to us living differently. It may mean that we have opportunities that require us to change where we live, how we spend our time, who we are around, what we value. How we see ourselves changes. WE change. The people in our lives see us differently and sometimes they don’t like it. Our success threatens their excuses. Our belonging comes into question. We will no longer be able to complain about our failures… what will we talk about!? Ultimately, we fear we’ll be rejected once again.

You deserve success. You are worthy of living your dreams. In fact, you were put here to live your dreams because if you do—and you share what you have to offer this world—you help other people in the process, not only because you share your knowledge and wisdom but because your example gives others permission to do the same. And, if you don’t go for your dreams you rob them of the benefit you could have offered.

Fear of work: You may feel like you’re already busy and adding more to your workload seems like a burden. Or maybe you’re simply overwhelmed at the thought of all of the things you’ll have to do. However, if you learn how to CHUNK the work you have to do, it won’t feel overwhelming.

Overcoming overwhelm: When you feel overwhelmed it is because what you have to do has not been broken down into small enough bite-size goals. Just like you cannot eat an entire meal in one bite, you cannot create and market your coaching packages in 1 hour. With both, you only have to bite off one piece at a time. You can start small. You don’t have to create an empire, just create your program outline or work with one practice client. Once you’ve got that down, move to the next step, and over time it will expand. You’re not trying to start a Fortune 500 Company. Don’t overcomplicate it.

For example, when we started our magazine the thought of all the moving parts could have driven us into an inability to follow through. However, we took the smaller steps trusting that as it grew, we’d get the help we needed to tackle the added workload brought about by expansion.

Making time: So, you might be thinking, “how will I find the time to achieve all the things that need to be done?” You make it. People make time for things that are important. But, they also waste a lot of it. That wasted time can hold the secret key to successfully creating your life coaching business. Remember, you’re not just creating a business—you’re putting your years of passion and wisdom into a program that will transform people’s lives. You’ll be creating an income for yourself that can transform your life. This fits into the category of things that are important. And so, if you lead a busy life and you need to make time, SOMETHING’S GOTTA GO. You’ve got 2 choices:

  1. Organize your life to free up time
  2. Eliminate lesser important activities

“Work” is not a dirty word: And finally, many people have a negative association with the word “work” because in their lives they’ve had to do work that they DID NOT LIKE. Work felt like something they HAD to do, like a chore. But, as life coach you’re doing work you WANT to do. It feels good! And, you’re doing it for YOU, not for someone else. It’s your choice.

Regardless of the reasons you feel resistance or fear about putting yourself out into the world as a coach, you owe it to yourself and your future clients to GO ALL IN!

If you could help your clients create real transformation in their lives, it is your moral obligation to do so. To succeed is the least selfish act.

Natalie Rivera is a firestarter, speaker and entrepreneur. She is passionate about empowering others to GET REAL and live authentically. Aft er a decade of living a life that wasn’t hers and developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Natalie let go of everything and completely transformed. Through her journey to healing she rediscovered her true self and greater purpose—to inspire others to transform their lives. Natalie “retired” from the rat race at 24, put herself through school as a freelance designer, created a non-profit teen center, and later created Transformation Services, Inc., which offers motivational speaking, curriculum development, life coaching, event management, and publishing. She is also the Publisher of Transformation Magazine. Visit http://www.transformation-academy.com.

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