5 Keys to Overcoming Feelings of Inadequacy as a Christian Coach
Many of us have experienced feelings of inadequacy at some point in our lives. I could share many reasons why or the root causes of these feelings. However determining the root causes of feelings of inadequacy is not my goal here. My goal is to help you overcome these feelings so that God can use you optimally. Remember coaching is about moving forward and not being stuck in the “why.”
I remember my first job as professional trainer with the State of North Carolina. My job was to conduct trainings on various professional and self-development topics. Before being blessed with this job, I had never presented in front of a crowd. Not only was I intimidated but I was scared to death. I was excited about the job because I knew that this job was where I was suppose to be.
One of the topics I was assigned to present was Basic Grammar in the Workplace. What! I was not an English major in college nor did I get A’s in English. However, I was determine to be successful in this position. I remember having so many Moses moments. I can recall a thought I frequently had as I was preparing for the class. I would say to myself, “Nanette, are you kidding? You teaching a grammar course to professionals. What a joke!” I felt so inadequate. What added to my feelings were the fact that everyone else on the training team were seasoned trainers and I was the youngest. I did not want to fail.
I had made up in my mind in spite of the fear and the intimidation I was feeling that I was going to climb this mountain. I refused to let fear or intimidation defeat me. I was not about to let God down either. So I came up with a game plan to conquer the fear, intimidation and feelings of inadequacy. I observed the other trainer who actually designed the course conduct the class. I then co-facilitated with her which allowed me to solicit feedback from her on what I could improve on. During this whole time, I researched and studied the topic as if my life depended on it. I practiced and practiced and practiced. I would go into one of the empty classrooms and present the entire course to empty chairs. I even had a co-worker video me presenting to the empty chairs so I could critique myself. When it came time to present solo, I was ready but I was still nervous. I remember feeling my legs shaking. After the class, the evaluations were favorable. Then the thought crossed my mind that my focus had been off. I had only been focusing on being “good enough.”
Let me offer you some keys to overcoming feelings of inadequacy.
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Practice your skill. You can practice on friends, colleagues, family etc. The more comfortable you are the more your confidence will increase.
Study the Topic of Coaching.
Make a commitment to master your craft by reading and studying everything you can get your hands on about your niche and coaching. Strive to know the subject well.
Believe and trust the Vision Giver.
God has given you everything you need to be successful as a Christian coach. Ask yourself this question, “Would God have given me the assignment if He thought you could not complete it.”
Don’t try to be like anyone. Don’t compare yourself to anyone. Sure it’s natural to compare but you need to check yourself when you start comparing. Remind yourself that you are fearfully and wonderfully made and that there is no one like you. God planned it that way.
Get your eyes off of yourself.
Be clear that our adequacy comes from God and not ourselves. Paul made a decision to look beyond his limitations and focus on knowing that without a shadow of doubt that he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. (2 Corinthians 12:11) He had to shift his mindset. He had to believe he was not adequate in himself but his adequacy came from God (2 Corinthians 3:5).
Coaching is about asking the right questions. So ask yourself this question. Will you allow feelings of inadequacy, which manifest from fear, to keep you from doing God’s will for your life?
Nanette Floyd Patterson, MA, LPC