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Posts archive for April, 2010

Flying out of our comfort zones

April 19, 2010

One of my favourite poems Christopher Logue’s ‘Come to the edge’, really captures the essence of flourishing through embracing risk, feeling the fear and stepping beyond our limiting beliefs and out of our comfort zone, and as Jeremy Irons said of the poem ‘it deals with risk and trust and the magic that occurs sometimes when you do either’.

For the full poem www.sarah-fenwick.com/about.html

Learning to fly (metaphorically) helps us to flourish and achieve beyond what we thought possible, whether through pushing ourselves over the edge, encouraging others to step off the edge or leading others over the edge. 

My role as a coach is to challenge clients to find the courage to step off the edge and  fly, so that the discomfort of your fear zones becomes your comfort zone.  We then work on the next edge, and the next and the next and so on, expanding the comfort zone and pushing the boundaries of the fear zone, pushing ‘beyond belief’.    

 As one client, with a fear of abseiling, once said to me ‘Just the thought of talking about it with Sarah sent me over the edge!’ 

And I’ve been there on the edge many times myself (e.g. stepping off the edge with clients,  using new coaching tools/techniques for the first time, wing walking, white water rafting).   When I embrace my fear and ‘fly’ I feel so much more alive, excited and fulfilled, it’s a real buzz.  And when I haven’t quite got it right and have to pull the parachute there is always a learning to help me fly even better next time.

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Behavioural change top tip: visualise how you want to be

April 6, 2010

I’ve recently been working with highly academic/scientific delegates to develop their capability in creative thinking and facilitation.  This has been a really interesting journey, which has reminded me  about how knowing about something doesn’t necessarily mean we can do it.     I can think about many things I am knowledgable about and can talk about what to do and how to do it. However the challenge is to actually do it.  Clients often report ‘I feel uncomfortable’, ‘it’s not my natural style’, ‘I’m concerned as to what others might think if I change the way I do things’ and I also experience these thoughts and feelings.  These are normal anxieties when we come to changing how we do things.

So when you start out changing how you do or think about something, it is normal to feel that it is ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘un-natural’.  However the more we practice, (and we do need to practice, practice, practice!)  the new behaviour the sooner it will become automatic and you will feel more comfortable and with time it will feel like your natural style. 

There are tools and techniques available that help us to practice and learn new behaviours. One powerful technique is to practice visualising yourself doing the new behaviour how you would like to do it, and to keep refining and practising your visualisation.  This can be done from both the video/observer perspective of watching yourself and/or through being in your own body, and experiencing what you are seeing, thinking, feeling, hearing and doing.  Remember also to include visualising the impact you are having on others around you.  Done well this will really help you improve how you do things when it comes to real life, whether that is a  business, sport, performing arts or personal life situation.

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