Earlier today I was chatting with one of my coaching clients. We were discussing what holds him back, the things that limit his life. They limit his professional success, his happiness, and his relationships. I love sharing these journeys of curiosity and appreciate when I talk to people that are open. The context of our conversation was the idea of the Upper Limit problem as described by Gay Hendricks in the book The Big Leap. I frequently use the ideas described there to assist friends and clients in their investigation of finding more purpose and building more joy in their life. For him we focused on fear. Fear of not being good enough and fear of not meeting expectations of others. Both of which are also very familiar to me, and likely many of you. I will avoid going into depth on the Upper Limit problem here, though I highly recommend the book.
That conversation reminded me of a recent LinkedIn post made by master sales coach to financial advisory professionals, Amy Parvaneh. Amy eloquently posted about her own anxiety and how she has turned that commonly perceived “bad” emotion into fuel. For her it provides motivation to succeed, in her words: “I have found that anxiety is, in essence, a deeply powerful pool of motivation”. She celebrates anxiety and how it has become her ally.
My perception is that she, like all of us, recognizes, in her head, the challenge and obstacle of the anxiety. Next, unlike many of us, she consciously decides to reengineer her perception. It is not a threat; it is an opportunity. However, none of that logical jiujitsu would be possible without the powerful inspiration and clarity created by her feelings. She appears to harness the feelings provoked by her anxiety as a road map for her brain. First, they influence her perspective, then they build her thoughts and finally they prompt her action. Again, in her words: “The very sensation that may have held me back has become the catalyst for me to push boundaries and follow my aspirations wholeheartedly.” We all want to solve problems by figuring them out. Though our brains are powerful, when we engage our gut and our heart as well, we become powerful beyond measure.
Back to my coaching client and his challenge with fear. We all have these obstacles that limit our growth, our success, and our joy in life. Going beyond listening to our brain, and warmly welcoming the feelings in our gut and our heart provide us a road map to the root of these obstacles, and there lies the buried treasure. The clarity, peace and ease that arise from embracing our feelings and self-love will illuminate the opportunities life is offering us. As individuals we are far more powerful than we realize when we feel our feelings. As leaders our example of embracing feeling and encouraging it our team members builds the muscle of vulnerability, trust, and much stronger more effective teams.
Do you not only allow your feelings, but love and welcome them?
As a leader do you set an example by allowing others to see you feel your feelings, and do you encourage others to do the same in a safe environment?