A Coaching Model By Bastian Harth, Students & Young professionals Coach, GERMANY

LEAP of Faith

Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith – Margaret Shepard.

When you directly ask people about their aspirations, they often have goals and dreams that they would like to pursue. Some may be vaguely formulated such as “I want to shed some weight,” or “I’d like to learn Spanish,” while others are too rigorous: “I will study Spanish every day for 30 minutes.” It can be hard for us to articulate these desires sometimes, especially as many of us do not know exactly what they want! And yet there is often an underlying urge inside demanding transformation. This emotion brings about both anticipation – when you know this year will be different! – as well as feelings of disappointment and sadness during other moments.

What all of us usually want to feel in life is being loved and accepted, achieving our dreams, and leading a meaningful life. All these wishes require us to permit ourselves to put ourselves first. When we allow ourselves the freedom to be authentic and follow our passions, we can start creating a future that feels right for us. When we actively seek out joy, fulfillment, and purpose in life, every decision will become easier and more rewarding. “So don’t be afraid – take that step towards your deepest desires today! Let yourself be guided by your heart instead of letting other people dictate what you should do or how you should live your life. You are in control of your own destiny!”…Well, unfortunately, this is easier said than done.

When it comes to goals, we can easily feel stuck. Stuck in a mindset of “I’m never going to achieve this,” or “this is too hard.” We have all experienced a sense of being “stuck” at some point in our lives. We may want to give up and be overwhelmed with the idea of reaching our goals. Luckily, I am a coach, and I am here to tell you that there is a way. I hope that this coaching model shows you how.

What Usually Stands in the Way Is Fear

When goals are so monumental that they could alter our lives, and even the lives of those around us, fear can quickly set in. A husband with two children may have a dream to explore the world but it evidently is easier said than done. Or perhaps an individual has worked diligently their whole career just to realize one day that this is not what they truly want – the idea of transitioning into an entirely different career can evoke immense fear and trepidation.

Fear can be paralyzing, leaving us feeling stuck and unable to find our way out. When we are overwhelmed by fear, it feels like the only options are to freeze or run away. But there is another option: facing the fear head-on and dealing with it productively. Taking action instead of running away gives us the power to confront our fears and create positive change in our lives. We can choose to take control of our destiny and see our situation from a different perspective, allowing us to confidently move forward with courage and determination. By pushing through fear, we gain insight into ourselves and learn how to better manage difficult emotions in the future. Fear doesn’t have to keep us stuck—it can propel us toward bigger and brighter opportunities. This is where I’d like to make my coaching model shine – inspiring individuals to confront their fears and pursue their ambitions as Susan Jeffers highlighted in her book “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway”. All it takes is careful consideration, planning, inclusion, patience, and most importantly a LEAP of faith – courage so to speak.


“L” for Liberate

To assist the client, this initial step is all about inspiring self-reflection. Asking meaningful questions that help them analyze their motivations and feelings toward achieving a goal will give them better insight into why they want it, not just what needs to be done to attain it. Through taking this first step, the coach can establish trust between themselves and their client while also providing an atmosphere of candid exchange. The initial step is to, for now, liberate the client from the fear and allow them to delve into what they would like to attain. Questions could be:

  • What is your biggest goal or dream?
  • What would make you feel most fulfilled as an individual?
  • What matters most in your life?
  • If this were the last day of your life, would you have the same plans for today? Why?

“E” for Explore

The next step of the coaching model focuses on exploring options and possibilities available to move the client closer to achieving their goal. The coach can ask further probing questions and suggest ideas or resources that could be useful in pursuing the chosen objective. This stage involves looking at potential barriers as well as opportunities while being mindful of possible risks.

At this point, it is important to stay open to the possibilities. It is possible that the client might uncover something unexpected and new, something which they never knew was available or even thought of before (This may also happen already in the previous step). The exploration can take form in numerous ways – for example, brainstorming ideas with you as the coach, seeking out mentors in different areas, and reading up on personal development books or articles. Whatever way it takes shape, the ultimate goal is to gain clarity and insight into where they want their journey to go.

It is crucial throughout this process that the client remains focused and honest with themselves. They should be prepared to take risks, and look at potential options closely but remain mindful of what truly resonates with them deeply. Potential questions to start and continue this phase are:

  • How could achieving this goal positively impact other aspects of your life?
  • What do you think has been holding you back from pursuing this goal so far?
  • What are the reasons for you to believe that now is the right time for focusing on this goal?
  • What are you really scared of?
  • What worries you most about the future?
  • Are you holding on to something that you would need to let go of?

“A” for Align

Now it’s time to ask the client: What options can you choose from? What external opinions or input do you need to take into consideration? How will your decision affect those around you, and how can you ensure that everyone is taken care of?

Thinking through all the perspectives and possible outcomes is a difficult yet necessary process. But this is also an opportunity to be creative — what solutions can they come up with that would work for everyone involved?

By taking the time to consider these questions, clients can make a more informed decision, one that considers not just their own wants, but also the needs of those affected by their choice. This will help create a win-win. Potential questions to ask are:

  • How can I (as a coach) best support you in facing these obstacles?
  • What are the factors or variables that could be influencing your goals?
  • What resources exist to overcome any barriers that you may encounter?
  • What strategies have been successful in dealing with similar issues in the past? Why have they worked?
  • Are there any underlying issues or beliefs that might be preventing progress?
  • If not now, then when?

Especially the last question is powerful. Many are “stuck” but not for their whole life. They are stuck at the moment. Allowing them to reflect and see potential opportunities in the future brings them closer to leaping.

“P” for Plan

With a specific goal in mind and all factors considered, it’s time to break it down into smaller, achievable steps. Make sure each step is something that the client can do to get closer to achieving their overall objective. Creating a timeline with deadlines for completing each task or steps along the way may help. This will help keep them on track and motivated throughout the process. As part of this timeline, they should include milestones or rewards when certain tasks are completed—this can provide further motivation and encouragement.

When it comes to setting this plan in motion, timing is everything. Careful consideration must be given to the availability of resources, other concurrent events or activities that may influence their decision-making process, and any pertinent details they deem necessary for a well-informed judgment call. When all things are considered – patience is key. The optimal time will reveal itself when the conditions are right.

Do not let them jump into anything with both feet until they are certain it is the optimal choice. Allot some additional time to allow them to ruminate and gain a clearer vision of their prospects before deciding. When everything is considered, then they can leap forward! Potential questions to ask can be:

  • How can you develop a realistic plan for accomplishing their goals?
  • What needs to be done to ensure that you will stay motivated and on track throughout the process?
  • What steps will you take to reach this objective?
  • What resources or support do you need to reach your goal?
  • What other challenges might come up during your journey toward this goal? How do you plan to overcome these challenges?
  • What are some specific milestones or markers that you’d like to attain on your way toward the goal?
  • Are there any deadlines or timeframes associated with this goal?
  • When things get difficult, how will you stay motivated and accountable?
  • What is one thing you can do today to move closer to achieving your goal?

And finally, usually, things do not happen as expected initially. Acknowledge that throughout the process by reminding them that this is a journey. What did not work correctly this time around— does not mean that they have failed to achieve their goal. They have gained valuable insights to craft an even better plan for the future so that they will never become stuck or fearful again.

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