I always talk about letting your intuition lead. But what happens when our decisions are rooted in intuition, but eventually our actions lead us to a place of fear? It happens, and it happened to me. In this episode, I’ll talk about the 4 Fs that showed up when I experience hardship: fear, force, frenzy, and fatigue.
Then, I’ll give you four counteractions to combat those fear-based experiences.
The good news? I don’t believe in failure, and I don’t believe in mistakes. Whatever you’ve been through in the past, it’s teaching you a lesson. So let’s dig in and see what you’ll learn today.
Today, we’re talking about what happens when our intuition leads to fear-based actions. I know that we have spent many episodes talking about rooting into our intuition and allowing it to guide our decision-making process. But what happens when we make decisions rooted in our intuition, but eventually it leads us down the path of fear?
It can happen, and it happened to me.
That’s how I discovered each of the Four Fs that show up when we’ve moved away from intuition and into the valley of fear. Then, we’re going to talk about how to counteract each of them.
From Couch to Coach
(2:00) As many of you know, I run a small group coaching program called From Couch to Coach that I designed for mental health professionals, therapists, helpers, and healers who were interested in becoming coaches. As I worked one-on-one with clients, I began to see commonalities in my clients’ struggles. My intuition told me that I could make a greater impact in the lives of my clients by serving them through a group.
As I listened to what my clients wanted, many of them said they didn't know how to start or build a business, how to find clients, how to take clients from prospective to paid – all of these “how-to” questions. I initially designed From Couch to Coach to answer those questions.
During that first cohort, as the group evolved, I realized that underneath those “how to” questions were deeper questions: Who am I to be a coach? Do I have what it takes? There were many limiting beliefs at work, holding them back. For me, the first cohort helped clarify what the client said they wanted, coupled with what the client really needed: talking about the art of coaching and how we can coach ourselves through moments of self-doubt.
Launching the First “From Couch to Coach” Group
(4:15) From Couch to Coach started as a very small Facebook community. For those who joined me, I showed up and served them powerfully. I created a free five-day challenge focused on starting a coaching practice and marketing a business.
The five-day challenge was such a dynamic experience that when it came time to launch From Couch to Coach, it seemed like the inevitable next step. I didn't feel nervous, and I didn't feel awkward or salesy. I just calmly invited people to take the next step. They had done all this great work during the challenge and if they wanted to move forward, I had a path that they could take.
I was thrilled to have five women join me in the first cohort. It was a phenomenal experience. I learned what it felt like to launch from a place of calm confidence, being service-oriented, and focusing on what these women needed. Of course, I had some jitters; it's scary the first time you do anything. But underneath those nerves, I knew that I was serving my people the very best I could.
Looking back, I can see exactly how my intuition informed my decisions. I relied heavily on making personal connections, personal invitations, and if someone was uncertain, I didn't push them. My intuition told me this was not the time to push. This was the time to invite and to trust that when people were ready, they would come. And that’s what happened.
I had five people in that cohort, and they were exactly the five people who needed to be there. My intuition led the way as I checked in with my clients and showed up to serve them, providing whatever support they needed. That ultimately shaped how I moved forward with future From Couch to Coach groups.
Cue the Gremlins: Failing on My Second Launch
(8:25) Fast forward a few months to my second launch of From Couch to Coach. I knew that if it went well the first time, it had to go even better the second time. But I worried that I was a one-hit-wonder. Did I really have what it takes to succeed?
The inklings of fear crept in. My motivation no longer came from a place of service. I wasn’t being guided by my intuition. Instead, it was that little Gremlin inside saying, “okay, you did it once, but a real entrepreneur – a real coach – will be able to repeat it again and again.”
It’s no surprise that the energy behind my second launch was completely different from the first. I was still present, but not as engaged. I had five times as many participants, but I was not getting as many views and comments on my videos and posts. I started to realize that this cohort might not happen.
My motivation came from a place of needing to please other people and convince them that I knew what I was doing. This is where I started to let fear run the show. I had just one person sign up, and it's really hard to run a group program with one person. I'm going to be perfectly honest with you; when that second cohort failed to launch, my initial reaction was relief. I think it's because I knew that there was an energetic mismatch between the program and my readiness to run it. I was scattered, I was unfocused, and I was people-pleasing. I knew that I had not approached this launch from a good headspace or from a good heart space.
Lessons in the Failure
(12:30) After my second cohort failed to launch, I took a little time to reflect on what went wrong and what I could do differently next time. I knew that there was a lesson in this failure. And I also knew that it was going to take time for that lesson to make itself known.
When I looked back on what went wrong, I realized that there were four elements, the four Fs that showed up in force. Any one of them could have taken me down, but all four of them showed up in that second launch.
The Four Fs
(13:30) When I finally recognized the four Fs in my life, I realized they really blocked my success. That’s why I’m sharing them with you. I think when we can identify them, we can also learn how to mitigate their effects and counteract them.
Deep down, there was a part of me that worried I didn't have that magic quality a true entrepreneur needs to have success. I was so scared that I didn't have what it took to be successful, I created my own lack of success. I allowed my gremlins, my inner fear, to run the show. I was coming from a place of fear. I certainly was not coming from a place of intuition.
I knew in my gut that this program was strong, that it was vital, and that it would serve my people. It had worked once before! I didn't understand how something rooted in intuition could lead to fear. I needed to separate the program from the process. The program was absolutely based in my intuition. It still is. But the way that I went about implementing my launch process and marketing it to others was rooted in fear.
I suspect my energy had a lot to do with influencing those in my Facebook group not to sign up for the program. They might not have said as much, but I believe energy attracts like energy. So while they might have said “now is not the right time” or “I have too much going on,” no one is going to commit to something if they're feeling uncertain or fearful. The energy I was putting out influenced how others felt.
Looking back, I see how I tried to force the launch to happen. I had to make it work. I needed a successful second launch to validate my success as an entrepreneur. When you couple fear energy with a sense of force, it is not a good combination
For me, fear and force went hand in hand. Together, they led me to the third F…
I was in a frenzy. I had this frenetic, anxious feeling that was so pervasive. It stayed with me the entire week, beginning with the five-day challenge and then moving into the program launch. I felt unsettled, I felt disconnected. Everything felt out of my hands and out of my control.
And so yet again, when we come back to how we show up energetically, that frenetic energy does not feel good, and people pick up on that.
Fear and Force went together, which led me to Frenzy, which then culminated in Fatigue. By the time that challenge week was done, I was exhausted. I had spent the last week in a very draining, energetic state.
As a coach, I'm trained in something called Core Energy coaching. In that training, we talk a lot about the types of energy that show up in our lives. Catabolic energy tends to be very draining, very disruptive, very destructive. When we are feeling fearful or combative – that fight or flight mode – that’s catabolic energy.
Catabolic energy can serve as powerfully in short doses. It’s the fight or flight response in the face of a threat, protecting us and keeping us safe. The problem with catabolic energy is that when we experience it as a chronic stressor, it drains us of our physical, mental, and spiritual energy.
That’s what was happening to me. I think part of the reason I felt so relieved when the second group didn’t launch was also because I felt so exhausted. I honestly wasn't sure I had what it took to run another group given that energy that I was bringing into it.
There is No Such Thing as Failure
(22:00) Here’s the beautiful thing: I don't believe in mistakes and I don't believe in failure. I do believe that everything that happens has a purpose, and we have a lot of control in ascribing that meaning.
I could have looked at that failed launch and given it the meaning that I am a failure. Instead, I chose to look at the importance of creating a solid energetic foundation from which to offer things to my clients. In many ways, this experience allowed me to build my empathy for my clients who have gone through something similar. I can stand next to them and say, yes, I know this feeling, I've been there. I know the shame that comes with it. And I know the way out: to find what counterbalances each of those four Fs that I talked about.
How to Counteract the Four Fs
Counteract Fear with Love
For me, what counterbalances fear is love. When I open my heart and make connections, it drowns out fear. I had to ask myself, “what does a loving launch look like?” I’ve launched other cohorts – yes, I did go back to From Couch to Coach – but I don't think that would've happened had I not had this experience of a failed launch. I could come at launching the program instead from a place of love.
Counteract Force with Flow
The energy behind my actions was one of force: needing to convince, needing to please, needing to be seen as an expert. The opposite of force is flow. Instead of forcing my work or my programs on people, I try to create a flow space where people feel welcome and invited. I open a channel so they can flow into my work. This idea of flow counteracting force is something that I come back to many times, not just with my business, but any time when I feel like I'm stuck or I'm pushing. I come back to the question, “what would it look like to meet this with flow?”
Counteract Frenzy with Calm
When I approach my business with love and flow, it immediately grounds me and brings me to a very calm yet powerful place where I know that I don't have to push and strive and convince. I can stand rooted and grounded in who I am and what I have to offer the world, confident in myself, and calm because I know that the right people are going to come to me at the right time.
When love and flow and calm are leading the way, then that fourth F, fatigue, doesn't happen.
Counteract Fatigue with Restoration
What counterbalances fatigue is rest and restoration. When we restore ourselves, we rejuvenate our energy in such a way that we can move forward and we're grounded, we're aligned, we're calm. We can connect with people and with ourselves from a place of love.
I hope this story models not only models what not to do but also gives you some guidance on how to counteract those Fs. If you find yourself falling into one of those four Fs, make room for love, open yourself to flow, anchor yourself in calm, and to restore your energy.
If my failure can help you have a different experience moving forward in your business, well then it wasn't a failure, was it?
Make it Work Moment
(29:00) In this week’s MIWM, I asked you to reflect on a situation that didn’t work out as you had hoped. Which of the four Fs were showing up for you during that time?
Conversely, think of a time when things completely went your way, when something happened so easily, it felt like divine intervention. Which of the counteractions was present? Were you operating from love? Were you in a flow state? Were you calm? Was your energy restored?
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Finally, I want to hear what you thought about today’s episode. Head over to the Work Your Inner Wisdom Facebook community and request to join. I look forward to talking about the 4 Fs and their counteractions with you.
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