One role of a coach is to understand a client’s perspective about a particular situation. To sit with a client in any form for which they show up, and get curious about their current viewpoint without judgment. Once a client is really seen in that view, a coach can facilitate a journey to visit alternatives for the same situation. How else might you see this situation? An opening. Once a client can see different possibilities and identify how they relate to each one, they are catapulted to make a conscious choice around the perspective that best serves them or most resonates with the person they want to be in the world.

Being witness to clients’ willingness to hold choice is a gift that I unwrap when navigating the uncertainties of creating my own business. The experience of pursuing my own business is a lot like standing on a seesaw where one side represents hope and the other fear. It’s near impossible to stand anywhere between the vast difference of those emotions because gravity feels impossible to fight and everything is at stake. I am logical and know that both emotions will greet me, but fully being in each emotion can feel suffocating.

This week, I was reminded that I am not alone in this experience. The words of two fabulous female authors created hand holds allowing me to climb to the other side of the seesaw with less struggle (or at least see the path for doing so).

Tara Mohr, in her book, Playing Big, gave me two perspectives on fear. Tara introduces two Hebrew words for fear from her study of Rabbi Alan Lew. The first version, pachad, is the worst case scenario fear that we imagine, without reason. It is the things we tell ourselves will happen out there, in the future, if we don’t do the right things now. The things for me that will eventually make my business fail. The second word, yirah, is a necessary component in any change moment. It is a signal of expansion that comes from a life designed for growth.

Tara highlights 3 different meanings for yirah.

  1. It is the feeling that overcomes us when we inhabit a larger space than we are used to.

  2. It is the feeling we experience when we suddenly come into possession of considerable more energy than we had before.

  3. It is what we feel in the presence of the divine.

Similarly, Angela Duckworth, in her book, Grit, gave me two perspectives on hope. One version relies on something outside of ourselves to make something better. “My business will succeed because people are cheering for me.” The alternate version of hope includes me in the responsibility. “My business will succeed because I am determined to make it flourish.” My actions in running my business may not fundamentally change, but my attitude and how I show up for clients and the world will be different from the latter. Magnetism.

With choice comes power and we are all capable of choosing.