Friday, June 22, 2012

Dating Fears: How To Identify and Overcome Them

What is life coaching? 
Generally speaking, life coaching is a practice that helps people identify and achieve personal goals. Coaches can help clients set and reach these goals using a variety of tools and techniques. 

Who can be coached? 
Well, anybody CAN be coached, but in order for it to result in beneficial change, the client has to be WILLING to be coached. 

To determine if you’re a good coaching candidate, answer the following four questions
1. Are you willing to take on a challenge? 
If you’re already feeling overwhelmed by your professional and personal obligations, are you willing to make the time to take on a new challenge? 

2. Are you willing to accept feedback? 
Coaches can offer feedback, but in order for the client to hear it and implement change, he/she must release self-protective mechanisms such as rationalization, justification and blaming others. 

3. Are you willing to be emotionally honest? 
A tendency exists to tell others (and ourself) what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear. 

4. Are you willing to be innovative? 
Rather than just trying a variation on your usual method, are you willing to risk feeling “unsafe” while you look for new ways, or out-of-the-box methods, to accomplish your goal. 


There is a lot of fear around dating, so a good exercise to complete is one that identifies the specific fears around this activity and allows you to release them. Normally, you would be led in this exercise by a coach, but you can try it yourself

1. Imagine a fear you are harboring and how it is keeping you from your goal. 
2. Clarify and describe the fear/obstacle in detail. 
3. Take several deep breaths and release any physical and emotional tightness you’re experiencing. 
4. Close your eyes and focus on your fear/obstacle. 
5. As you’re focusing on the fear, can you imagine that there is some way for you to become aware of your goal, which lies on the other side of the obstacle? 
6. With this visualization in place, continue to see that your goal is waiting for you on the other side of the fear/obstacle. It’s your job to figure out how to get around it, get beyond it, or move through it. 
7. With your eyes closed, imagine a way that you can remove this obstacle. 
8. Once you have opened the space, imagine taking the necessary steps to move closer to your goal. 

Additionally, it can help to clearly identify your fears on paper. You might find out that you’re getting tied up in your head and listening to negative or defeatist self-talk. Once you hear it outside of your head or see it in black-and-white, you might realize it isn't really the truth.

Here are some open-ended statements you can use to start this process. 

1. I am afraid that __________________________________ 
2. If this happens, I believe that ________________________ 
3. If that happens, then I believe that ____________________ (this can have multiple responses) 
4. The truth is ______________________________________ 

Of course, a coach can help you with these types of exercises and make you accountable once you commit to an Action Plan to accomplish your goals.

Visit me on my website, if you're interested in relationship coaching.

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