My Selph health coaching journey - Week 8

In Week 8 we approached the theme of Courage, which helped me make an action plan to tackle fear and doubt head-on.

I’m going through Selph’s Coaching Programme and recording my journey as I go!

My name’s Sarah-Lizzie, and you might have seen my other articles on our Learn page! Like everyone, I have my own goals and challenges to overcome. I can admit my health needs improving. Holistic health coaching sounded like the right place to start. A few weeks later here I am - looking back on the eighth week of my Selph coaching journey.

You can read about my first week to find out why I chose to start my coaching journey. If you missed last week’s instalment, you can read my thoughts on Week 7 here.

Week 8: Courage

During the course so far I’ve realised that my biggest obstacle is fear. Fear of failure, judgement, the unknown, pushing my boundaries, looking foolish, being out of my depth... Fear can really take over anything if you let it - our brains are hardwired to focus on it. I’ve let it hold so much power over my decisions and actions.

Before starting the course, I hadn’t been exercising because of fears that I wouldn’t achieve my goals and I wouldn’t enjoy doing it. I also wasn’t eating enough nutritious foods. I feared I would fall down at the first temptation, or return to my overly-restrictive followed by binge-eating tendencies.

So having courage is a big step for me. But with the gentle encouragement from my coach and the supportive resources from the Selph coaching course, I have been tackling these areas already!

Gentle encouragement

I’ve been keeping up with a regular yoga practice which I love and look forward to. I have seen improvement in my flexibility and I’ve challenged myself by upping the intensity of my practice. Not only this, I’ve also been dancing in front of the mirror for fun.

For my meals I’ve also been picking out more vegetables to cook with, avoiding processed foods and mindfully choosing to snack on nuts and fruit instead of crisps and chocolate.

I can see a lot of courage in my actions already. I’ve chosen to make these small, healthy changes and I plan to keep building on them. They’re already steering me down a path towards better health. I’m not afraid that I won’t be able to keep walking down it.

Fear or courage

It isn’t just conquering our goals that can be daunting - it can be scary to be vulnerable with our loved ones. It takes courage to deepen those connections and open ourselves up. It takes courage to say “I love you” to people you don’t usually express those emotions with. But actually doing it feels amazing.

If I can recommend one small thing this week, tell someone you love them. If there’s a friend or family member that you haven’t said “I love you” to in a long time, or ever, try to let go of the fear of what they’ll think or how they’ll react. Whether or not they’ll say it back. Just tell them you love them because you do, and it’ll feel great to conquer any apprehension or fear you might feel. I certainly felt a release when I did.

Saying “Yes” more often

I decided that one of the ways I could cultivate courage was by saying “Yes” more often - or at least, not saying no unless I had a really good reason. Luckily for me, when it comes to saying “no” to people I tend to struggle.

Being a people pleaser, I will feel most comfortable saying no to something if I can’t afford it or I’m afraid of something outside my comfort zone. Even then, I always have a moment of hesitation where I can remind myself “say yes unless you have a good reason not to”.

For example, saying no to prioritise spending money on other things is reason enough for me. Saying no because I’ve never surfed before and I’ll be terrible at it isn’t giving myself a chance to try and change that.

Everyone is terrible at first and afraid of the waves. What’s important is facing your fears for the chance to feel something else.

Facing fear

What Courage did for me

With a helping hand from my coach, she helped me realise that I have control. Life isn’t happening to me, I can have autonomy in my decisions and control how I feel about them. I can bring a childlike wonderment and curiosity to new experiences. I can choose to face my fears and areas where I lack confidence.

Making those choices can be scary, but I’ve started practising saying yes to more experiences. Even the ones which make me nervous, where it would be much easier to just say no and put those uncomfortable feelings out of my mind.

By bringing more courage into my life, saying yes more often, and being vulnerable and open with loved ones, I can get closer to being my authentic self. I can call in more confidence to replace fear.

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