etc’s Marie Westmoreland meets a life coach and learns to tackle her phobias head on
Hartlepool-born life coach Lisa Empson believes pushing through fear is less frightening than living with it. She said: “The biggest fear of all is that people worry they can’t handle things.”
After a personal life crisis, Lisa turned to the self-help book, ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ by internationally renowned author Susan Jeffers.
Feeling the fear, doesn’t mean you have to go and skydive from an aeroplane or swim with sharks. It’s about taking small steps towards overcoming something you’re apprehensive about.
For some, it may be speaking in public, changing jobs or learning to drive. For Lisa it was displaying her artwork, which she went on to overcome.
She said: “The book is just brilliant. I’ve always worried people might not like my art, but I put it on show and now I have a number of commissions and it’s going really well.”
Following this, Lisa trained to become the only licensed ‘Feel The Fear’ trainer in North Yorkshire.
Now she runs Balanced Right workshops which are based around Susan Jeffers’ principles which provide a selection of tools to help people handle fear, whatever the situation.
Tools range from dealing with your saboteur (internal thoughts created by your subconscious mind that tell you ‘you’re not good enough’) and reprogramming the way you visualise certain situations to creating positive affirmations.
One Lisa uses is ‘I’m in control and I can handle anything’. She said: “Saying this out loud ten times a day really helped me grow in confidence, hearing myself say the words helped me believe it.”
Lisa has also trained with The Coaches Training Institute and is qualified to level two in co-active coaching, which aims to empower individuals. Such coaching complements her workshop really well.
She said: “Through coaching I can find out what’s holding people back and handling that fear is key. If you don’t overcome your fears, you will never move forward.“
Overcoming fear and gaining confidence is a lifelong process but one worth working on.
A session of coaching with Lisa helped determine my saboteur was holding me back. Negative thoughts and anxieties about particular situations meant I was missing out on experiences.
For example, I’ve always been scared of heights, so when I was invited to Go Ape to zip line across the tree tops with my friends my instant thought was ‘no chance!’.
All I could think of was ‘what if my harness breaks’ and ‘what if I fall and die’. But using Lisa’s tools I managed to ignore these thoughts and think positively, visualising a day filled with excitement and laughter.
Although I was still anxious about jumping off a tree, I felt the fear and did it anyway … and it felt amazing. Lisa was definitely right when she said: “Experiencing fear gives a sense of achievement. Don’t let your fears hold you back. Go and feel your fear.”The next Balanced Right workshop is on September 22 and will be held at The Novotel Hotel, in York.
It’s £85 per person to attend the one-day course. Co-active coaching is £60 for a 45-minute session which can be arranged directly with Lisa.