In his economic column of Friday November 18th, Amid Faljaoui mentioned the ‘confirmation bias’, namely the propensity we have to select the only information that confirms our beliefs. This is why the American middle class voters were lately influenced by what they considered as ‘irrefutable evidence’ of their beliefs, namely that “Ms Clinton was the corrupted outcome of the establishment”.
Our life experiences and the surrounding environment nurture our dogmas on many facets of our daily life: work, finance, politics, marriage, relationships, and on life in general. In our coaching jargon, we name them ‘beliefs’. These might be positive (I am a nice person able to move mountains…) or limiting (I am not able to… I have no self-confidence in…). And they contribute to ignite or block our actions.
Faljaoui referred to the English literary critics who used to ask bad writers to ‘murder their darlings’ (kill what they loved best), namely the superfluous sentences in their texts. This invitation to ‘kill our darlings’ is still valid today in many facets of our lives. This means that we could eliminate some superfluous elements in our lives and track contradictory ideas: the ones that contradict our dogmas. And in the same time, be open and curious to any ‘other ideas’ and give them a chance if they look logical, and even integrate them in our map of the world.
This is precisely one of the main tasks of the professional coach: help his client to take distance vis-à-vis his beliefs, challenge them with their contrary or neutralize them if they are negative. And encourage him to move on with positive and encouraging beliefs. This is a fact: we often do not have the necessary distance to challenge our thoughts, and even when our relatives or friends do their best to shake us… without any result… as we do not consider them as credible counterparts though they know us so well. While asking the adequate, powerful question, and while titillating his client’s curiosity, the coach accompanies his client in unknown paths, outside his current comfort zone. And this becomes so exciting for both parties, discovering together those unknown earths… those so fascinating terra incognita… the ones we name Nova Terra.