I remember last year when I was coaching with David Neagle as part of his Mastermind program, and he issued us a challenge:
“Make more money this month than you ever have before in your business.”
At the time that was one of the biggest challenges I had ever been given by a coach, and it quite honestly scared the crap out of me. It became an inner roller coaster ride of thoughts, fears, obstacles and such before I was able to accept the challenge.
Having just issued the same challenge to the ladies in my coaching groups this week, I was reminded of my own personal journey – what I like to call the cycle of accepting (or resisting) a challenge from your coach.
So here is the sequence of thoughts that I went through with that first challenge, and yes – this essentially happens to me pretty much every time I look at taking my next big step. Perhaps you can relate?
Thought #1 – “There is no way I can do this now!”
“I have too much going on already, the timing is totally wrong. If you had asked me last month, or maybe next month, then I would be in a better place to do this… “
I like to call this first phase the “I can’t” phase… because it never feels like a good time to tackle a big challenge. And whenever I find myself faced with a big challenge or opportunity, my mind first goes to all the reasons why I can’t do it. Be it timing, money, energy, other commitments, etc. (It’s amazing how many excuses my mind can come up with!) And yes, I feel a bit angry/annoyed in this stage.
In the example with David last year, I was in the middle of creating a brand new program and planning a big launch for the next month – and was essentially planning for it to be a lower income month. And then he issued that challenge, how dare he! 😉 Totally threw me for a loop.
Thought #2 – “But I would really love to do this…”
“The timing totally sucks but I would really like to do this. Hmmm, what if it was possible? I hired my coach to push me, and if I’m not going to accept these challenges then what the heck am I here for.”
Once the initial shock calms down a bit that gives some space for desire to sneak in. And for me it becomes a matter of really acknowledging that yes, if it was possible I would REALLY love to be able to achieve this.
With my challenge last year, I had already had some really great 5-figure months. And my brain started to wonder – “what if I could have MORE great months and continue to increase my income? Why the heck not!?”
Thought #3 – “What if I try and I fail?”
“I don’t know if I can do this… yes, I would love to, but I really don’t know if I can. What if I suck? What will people think of me if I don’t reach my goal?”
The anger/annoyance has settled, desire has crept in and now fear rears it’s ugly head. This is where I really start to doubt my ability to make stuff happen. This is where I start to worry about what other people might think of me. This is the point where I want it, but it all seems impossible. Basically this part sucks… and it is REALLY easy for me to get stuck here for a long time if I’m not careful.
Thought #4 – “I’m going to make this happen”
“Alright, enough is enough. I refuse to be ruled by fear, so I need to just suck it up and decide that I’m going for it.”
This may sound weird, but when I’m in this stage, I always get a vision in my mind of standing on the edge of a cliff and falling backwards. I have to trust that someone/something/someway will show up to make it happen. This part is all about faith – in myself, in my coach, in my team and in God.
Thought #5 – “So how could we make this happen?”
“OK, so if I’m going to operate on the belief that I can create what I want in my life, then that means there must be a way. I wonder what some options might be?”
Curiosity creeps in and this is where the challenge starts to feel lighter, more fun and actually possible. When I shift from “I can’t do this for A, B, C reasons” to “I’m going to do this now – how can I make this happen?” then the entire thing changes.
I can tell you, with that first big challenge last year we did find a way. I reached my goal of making $25K that month and we did it in a way that would have NEVER occurred to me had I not been issued the challenge and accepted it. In fact, it’s still something that we do today and has made a big impact on the business overall. (Curious what it is? Just ask me and I’m bound to tell you. ;))
Oh, and as a final note. I believe that a coach should really stretch you… and throw down a challenge every once in a while that really makes you go “eek!”. If you are a coach to your clients, what are you doing to really stretch them? If you are being coached, do you feel like you are being stretched enough?
(And I’m happy to say that we are only half-way through this month and a few of the ladies in my coaching program have already met their goal of making more $ in a month than they ever have before. Woo hoo! So we upped their goal even more. :))