Ever seen a ghost? I have! I was in college and working as a janitor for a local company. One of their clients was the YWCA which was then in a huge, old Victorian mansion by Creighton University. Spooky place – secret passages, locked rooms with rumors of crazy residents. Legends of murders. We cleaned at night, when no one was there.
One night I was vacuuming in a large office on the second floor. I had all the lights on ’cause ghosts don’t like lights. No one there, just me. Vacuuming. As I worked, looking at the floor in front of me, I saw something in the corner of my eye, run by the window, outside.
But I was on the second floor. There was no “outside” to run on. I waited and watched. Nothing. Started vacuuming again, pushing the old machine around. Suddenly, there it was again, going the other way. I jumped! Watching again, saw nothing.
I got brave and went to the window. Yep, second floor, no balcony, no ledge. But I had seen something zooming by the window, outside. I vacuumed some more, and yes, saw it again. Totally spooked, heart pounding, I moved slowly to the side of the room – and then I saw it — it was me!
This old Victorian mansion had curved glass in the windows, so my reflection moved in the opposite direction I did. As I was vacuuming, the fast motion was me reflected in the curved glass.
In ActionCOACH we define FEAR as False Expectations Appearing Real. This is what happened to me. I had a false expectation of scary things and they appeared very real to me. It froze me, kept me from working. So the question is, What False Expectations appear real to you? “Employees don’t care.” “I have to work 70 hours a week.” “The economy is too bad to build my business.” I’ve heard all of these and the business owners are frozen – can’t make a decision, can’t see how they could change.
That’s what a coach does – helps you see reality, helps you make a plan to begin. Holds you accountable to work on your goals. It’s powerful – but it’s scary. Change always is. But fear is usually based on false expectations.