My 4D's Coaching Model: Dream---Dare---Do---Dance!


 My 4D’s coaching model emphasizes the vital partnership between myself as coach and my clients, the “we’re in this together” attitude, as well as the importance of writing things down to achieve them.






 All concrete reality and manifestations begin with dreaming, not the nighttime kind, but the wistful, yearning visualizations of what a person wants from life.


As a coach, I first encourage my clients to dream big, to throw their arms wide to delightful possibilities and potentialities.  I do this by asking them leading questions.  What do you want out of your life?  A fulfilling job?  A loving relationship (with a significant other, a family member, a friend, etc.)?  More abundance and prosperity?  We identify and write down all my clients’ dreams.






 Dreams are wonderful, but if you don’t create strategies for achieving them, they simply remain delightful, though insubstantial visions.  So after my clients have dreamed big and we have written down those dreams, next comes the daring strategy stage.  Together we sketch out what strategies my clients need to implement for their dreams to manifest.


You want a fulfilling job?  What steps do you need to take to achieve it?  Think concrete.  Would you need to write a cover letter and resume, apply online, network, attend job fairs and interviews, perhaps join a networking group or a pertinent conference?  Together we write down these concrete steps.  The same procedure would apply for achieving a loving relationship or creating more abundance and prosperity: dare a strategy by writing down the sequential steps.






 Once my clients have dreamed big and created daring, concrete strategies, it is time to take the plunge and just do it.  Nike didn’t become famous for their motto “Just do it” for nothing.  Though there can be fear with doing, there is also incredible relief and joy in actually implementing those strategies that will lead my clients to their successes.






Okay, my clients have dreamed big, written down daring, concrete strategies and then gone and implemented them.  It’s time, now, to celebrate their successes by doing the dance of joy.  Just like Charlie Brown and Snoopy dance, you can dance and celebrate with your clients.


Hip Hip Hooray!





My Power Tool: Procrastination Versus Proactivity




Procrastination is opportunity's assassin. ~Victor Kiam


In delay there lies no plenty.  ~William Shakespeare


Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow. ~Mark Twain


Even if you're on the right track - you'll get run over if you just sit there. ~Will Rogers


It is fatally easy to procrastinate.  You don’t like a task or a project?  Well, do it tomorrow.  Then tomorrow comes, and you say, well, I don’t have time for that; I’ll just put it off again.  Maybe I’ll do it tomorrow, or next week, or even next month.  So you continue, on and on, until you’re scrambling to do it, or you discover to your chagrin that it’s too late to do it at all. 


The consequences might range anywhere from mildly annoying—you never got around to booking that dentist appointment, so when you finally call, you discover you have to wait another three months—to catastrophic—you delay writing your graduate English research paper for your final grade, and when you finally gear up to write it, maybe two days before it’s due, it’s choppy, incoherent and earns you a “D.”  The same could apply to a business project.  You wait until several days before you frantically write it, and the result is so fragmented that your boss rejects it.  You might lose your client or your boss’s approval.  Worse still would be if you never even wrote that research paper or completed that business project at all, which would result in an “F,” perhaps a failing course grade or perhaps even your job.


So why do we procrastinate?  The easy answer most of us would give is that we don’t have the time.  But, as we all know, we find time to do the things we enjoy, anything from reading a trashy romance novel to watching the latest episode of “America’s Got Talent” to going salsa dancing on a Thursday night.


We procrastinate for three overlapping, interdependent reasons.  The first reason is due to low self-esteem.  For procrastinators, life happens to them, instead of their purposeful, joyful creation of their own lives as victors.  They perceive themselves as victims, to whom negative things endlessly occur.  And when they procrastinate doing things and these negative and even catastrophic things pile up, procrastinators can then further feel like victims.  They can say: see, I told you that I have bad luck.  I have bad karma.  I’m fated that bad things happen to me.


But we can’t just blame procrastination on low self-esteem, as compelling as that is.  The second reason is due to fear.  This fear can range from anything to fear of facing an unpleasant situation, in the case of that dentist appointment (who likes going to the dentist?) to fear of failure, in the case of the graduate student and the business person.  The graduate student is afraid of doing a lousy job and bringing down his/her grade, so the student procrastinates and does just that.  The business person is afraid of losing his/her client and boss’s approval.  So the business person procrastinates and—voila!—the very thing he/she fears would happen happens. 


Ironically enough, we can also fear success.  The English graduate student might very well be afraid of getting an “A” for the course, leading the student to worry: how will I ever be able to continue achieving “A’s” in future courses?  The business person might fear doing great with his/her project, leading the business person to obsess: will I be able to continue to create superlative projects for my clients and my boss?


The third reason we procrastinate is due to lack of effective strategies, tools and techniques.  Maybe the person who’s dreading contacting his/her dentist doesn’t understand the importance of making a daily list and crossing or checkmarking off completed items for a sense of accomplishment.  Maybe that English graduate student doesn’t know how to break down the components of the research paper (e.g. formulating a thesis, conducting research, writing several drafts, compiling a bibliography, obtaining a peer buddy, etc.)  Same for the business person.  Maybe he/she doesn't understand that the project has to be done in discrete stages, such as interviewing pertinent people, designing graphs and charts, and then writing several drafts of their proposal or PowerPoint presentation.


Here are two humorous, though revealing procrastination flowcharts.  The first, presented on the website, shows the need for the procrastinator to take immediate action and that person’s conscious or unconscious decision to simply—and incorrectly—say “no.”



 The second humorous procrastination flowchart, displayed on the website, demonstrates how a person can become so confused by so many questions and delaying impulses that they create a procrastinating monster.






The path to success is to take massive, determined action. ~Tony Robbins


All mankind is divided into three classes: those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move. ~Benjamin Franklin


If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. ~Milton Berle


The major difference between the big shot and the little shot is the big shot is just a little shot who kept on shooting. ~Zig Ziglar


In sharp contrast to procrastinators, proactive people have a positive view of themselves.  They see themselves as purposeful, joyful creators of their own lives, as victors, not victims.  They know that they are in charge of their destinies, and that if they want to make things happen, it is up to them to do so.  Proactive people can say: see, I wanted to do something and by God, I went ahead and did it.


Proactive people understand that life is all about facing fear, whether fear of unpleasant situations, like going to the dentist, fear of failure, such as getting a poor grade, losing a client or the boss’s approval, or fear of success, such as earning high grades or achieving excellent job performance.  Proactive people know that it is far better to initially face the fear of failure or success than to madly scramble and be forced to face such dire consequences as failing a class or losing a job.


Lastly, proactive people know all sorts of effective strategies and tools, techniques that they have absorbed through living or perhaps consciously learned through coaching, therapy or a support group, such as making lists and understanding how to break down a complicated paper or project into manageable chunks. 


Coaching Application


As a coach, it is my privilege to help turn procrastinators into proactive people. I do this,  first of all, by making thing as transparent as possible for my clients, by assisting them to identify their self-defeating feelings of low self-esteem and expose their hidden fears of unpleasant situations, failure or success.


Most importantly, I strive to provide my clients with lots of concrete strategies, tools and techniques, everything from making lists, breaking ambitious endeavors and projects into manageable chunks, visualizations, affirmations and goal setting, including benchmarks for progress and accountability.


Reflection Questions for My Clients


Self-Esteem Questions


Do you feel you have high, moderate or low self-esteem?


Do you think things happen to you, or that you can make things happen?


How do you perceive yourself, as a victim or as a victor?


Fear Questions


When you procrastinate in general or with certain unpleasant or dreaded tasks or projects, what is the fear fueling the procrastination? 


What are you most afraid of: fear of failure or fear of success?


What is the worse that you could think could happen if you procrastinate, or even if you never do something?


Effective Strategies, Tools and Techniques Questions


How do you typically tackle any task or project?


Is there any difference between how you tackle a pleasant versus an unpleasant or dreaded task or project?


Why do you think your strategies, tools and techniques for an unpleasant or dreaded task or project are not working?


What ideas do you have about formulating new strategies, tools and techniques for unpleasant or dreaded tasks or projects?