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  • Writer's pictureAnnette Nilsson

The darkest hour...

Coaching is a forward looking process and a short term intervention. However, most of the time after 1 or 2 sessions, we find out that we need to dig a bit deeper as we discover that it is not their lack of willpower, discipline or ability to dream but that limiting beliefs keep them from pursuing their goals, dreams, visions. Therefore, it might be necessary to visit the source of those limiting beliefs, and that source often lies in our childhood.

It is there where the seed of fear, of believing not being good enough, imposter syndrome and other limitations has been sown, unfortunately. Mostly not with bad intentions, but it still can keep us doing from what we want to do, from pursuing the job in which we would thrive, in living in fulfilling relationships.

Often, to look at those limiting beliefs can resemble the darkest hour of the night, where nothing is heard, nothing moves, nothing seems possible. I lately had some of those really rough nights, in which I woke up between 2 and 3, where thoughts come to mind which cause a strong emotional response of fear, sadness, loneliness. The nasty thing is that you cannot do much in this dark dark hour of the night. You cannot jump into action so you have to live through this, you have to endure it unless you find means to ease your racing mind. A good way is to write down your thoughts, and the accompanying emotions, or to record a voice message. Breathing or listening to soothing music is a good way to calm down your nervous system, to tell your limbic system that you are ok.

The next morning, when you read or listen to your own thoughts and emotions, you can carefully assess them: are these thoughts realistic? What can I do to get rid of them? What is necessary to change my thinking, which actions can I take?

This way, you gain agency and can feel more empowered, and self-efficient. You realise that you are able to do something about the thoughts, the beliefs which cause you distress at night. This is of course where the real work starts, to dive deep and questions your own thoughts, limiting beliefs.

To engage with yourself in this way can be challenging, threatening or almost impossible as you spin around in your own mind. Here, it is very helpful to engage with a friend or a person you trust. Who questions your thoughts, who challenges you to take a closer look, and supports you in smashing those thoughts and beliefs.

Only when you identified what holds you back, and you found a way to either control it or ideally get rid of it, you can move forward towards your actual goal. Coaching is an excellent way to engage in such challenging yet very rewarding process, always focused on getting you stronger, empowered, close to your very nature, enabling you to live your best life.

So, remember: You do not have to do this all alone, you do not have to be in this dark place. Working with my clients on those challenging topics, it is of utmost important that we together find the light, that we know that after the darkest hour, there is a bright future waiting to be embraced. Seeing my clients leave with a smile and an attitude of confidence and courage is utterly rewarding.

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