The Danger of Premature Certainty.....

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hi there,

Premature certainty is when a person seeks a solution in an attempt to jump out of some sense of discomfort or pain. Because the solution needs to happen quickly in order to get out of the pain it is not often well thought through and often create more pain and probelms in the long run.

Now there was this coaching client I will call Miss Y. She had been feeling a little lost in the world and disconnected from other people for awhile. Miss Y longed for a greater sense of certainty and direction. She found a solution which involved her leaving the UK and travelling back to her native land. Now all the signs were there that this was an ill conceived idea and had the potential to leave her feeling even more lost and disconnected in the world. This was because it meant leaving all her friends and connections behind. Now in a coaching session I began to challenge her solution. Her response was a fierce defence and an attempt to convince me that her solution was the right one.

I always get a little concerned when clients try to convince me or enroll me into their worldview. A coach is only useful to a client to the extent they can stay out of the client's story or worldview. Clients often attempt to 'hypnotise' me into their way of thinking and if that happens I will just become enrolled in their problem thinking patterns and will cease to be a help to them.

Now Miss Y was still certain at this point with her solution and held onto it with a grim determination. I did not hear from Miss Y for 3 months. She had sat with it that long. Fortunately a number of things happened that helped her question her solution and she sat with it long enough to not only change her mind but find a better solution, one that helped did not mean leaving her friends behind, and gave her the direction and connection she wanted.

If you are in an uncomfortable situation then I recommend you sit in the pain and do not seek to jump out prematurely. Pain is a great motivator and can help you find new solutions in life it you allow it to.

Steve Nobel
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