This was it. It was really happening. I remember just before my first time, feeling deep fear in my stomach as I sat scared.
What if I make mistake? What if it goes terribly?
I took a deep breath as my finger glided over and pressed the Call button.
This was my first... Coaching Call.
I can proudly say that I was, shockingly AWFUL. It was October 2014 and I sat in my bedroom at my parents house. I called my Client at the agreed time on Skype. She answered, but with audio only. I had called her with my webcam turned on! Doh. So for the next 60 minutes I could only see myself on the screen, fidgeting nervously as I fumbled to coach this stranger.
I was frozen so much with fear that it didn't occur to me to turn my camera off. This was the first mistake (lesson). I forgot the Coaching model and questions that I had learned and was literally reading them from my training book. I felt completely out of my depth. I had practiced with friends before but this was different.
To my surprise (perhaps the woman was being polite), she thanked me for my time and told me it had helped her, and we hung up the call. I took my pen and paper and began a list under the heading,
LESSONS. It was a long, long list.
Whatever it is that we are doing for the first time; Ironing, Dating, Coaching, driving a Car, there is an element of Fear. We're dealing with the unknown. We may have expectations, we may have preparations but we've never tested the water in real life.
Something interesting happens before we do anything for the first time. And It happens in the Kopfkino. Kopfkino is a German word, it literally translates to 'Head Cinema'.
It's not uncommon to rehearse the scenario in our heads before doing it for real. This can either work for us or against us. The Kopfkino plays all sorts of movies, including Tragedies.
Have you ever had to accept an award in front of a large crowd before?
Ever seen yourself (in your Kopfkino) tripping up and falling over as you walk to collect the award? And because the mind doesn't know the difference between a real experience and an imagined one, when you play this movie in your head, you experience those associated feelings of embarrassment and nervousness?
It's no wonder then really, that many of us feel Fear when experiencing a First time!
Like my first Coaching Call. The first time is likely to be messy, exciting, terrifying and far from perfect.
What is most important to remember is: It's a step. For me, I had made so many mistakes during my first Coaching call that I was quickly able to iron out what hadn't worked and leverage and repeat what had been successful.
The next time you are faced with a Frightening First, use this simple tool to lessen those negative feelings.
Imagine that as well as being the spectator in your Kopfkino, you are the director too. Visualize your first time going exactly how you would like it to. Create PERFECT. Pay attention to not only how Perfect would look but also the sounds and feelings too. Make the images in your head, bigger and brighter, as if the screen has grown in size and has become High Definition. Turn up the sounds and strengthen the feelings. Repeat this until you feel how you want to feel about the upcoming situation.
Additionally, just remember how many 'Frightening Firsts' you have overcome in your life time.
We have to start somewhere.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. - Lao Tzu
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