Rachel Henke is the Fearless Transformation Coach, bestselling author, and the creator of Fearless: A Course In Personal Transformation and the Transformation Conversation podcast. We recently sat down with Rachel to talk about how business leaders and entrepreneurs can transform their lives and get out of their own way so that they can experience success and happiness.
Tell us a bit About Your Own Personal Journey
Why did you decide to become a life coach?
I started out at as a wellness and business development coach working with an international company and from there developed my own body of work. More recently, after experiencing a huge shift in how I see the world, I’m now able to coach leaders and entrepreneurs on how their mind really works; because that’s what I’ve found impacts their results and experience most profoundly – whether in their personal life, career, or business.
Since your site talks about making a Fearless Transformation, could you tell us what that is and how it differs from more conventional “life changes?” By Fearless Transformation, I mean that when people are able to reconnect with their own true nature, there is no fear and no need to push through to be someone else or somewhere better. Transformation happens effortlessly by experiencing one’s own powerful insights which are perfectly tailored for the individual.
Given How Your Site Also References What you Call “Endless Personal Development”
Could you explain to us why that’s impractical or counterproductive?
I spent 30 years trying to self-improve and personally develop until one day I had a thought: “If this stuff worked, I’d be perfect by now!” That’s when I saw clearly how many people are stuck in an endless cycle of working on themselves so that one day they can finally feel successful. This common mindset of needing something from the outside to be highly-functioning steals your happiness in the moment. We are all equipped with the wisdom to be the leaders of our own lives. Most personal development keeps us focused on what we lack and what we need in order to be good enough. I believe we already have everything we need built into the system to be happy right now, and we are far more effective when we’re grounded in reality rather than always looking to the future when things will be better somehow.
Since you encourage people to “get out of their own way,” could you tell us what the most common barrier is that tends to hold back entrepreneurs and prevent them from succeeding? As humans, we get fooled by our own thinking because we’ve not been taught that our thinking is simply made up of thought and it’s not reality. That’s why we all experience the same event very differently. We run around trying to fix thought-created problems rather than seeing the true nature of where our experience comes from. Our experience of life is 100% thought-created, and when we see the inside-out nature of life and that our well-being is always intact within us and is not determined by external circumstances, we’re able to perform at a much higher level. When we believe our thoughts are real, it’s very difficult to see things clearly beyond our own busy mind. When we see it’s really not about us, we can be much more playful in business and life – which consistently produces much better results without having to work harder.
If Someone Were to say to you, “I Guess I’m Happy. I Mean, I’m Doing Okay, and Things Could be Worse, Right?”
How might you respond?
If someone says they’re happy, I’m not going to prod their insecurities to make them believe otherwise. Thought is transient, and they can be happy one minute and unhappy the next, which is simply the nature of being human. If they don’t see a problem, I’m not going to help them create one! I’d be more interested in pointing them to where their experience comes from so that when they do see a problem, they know how to solve it without suffering.
How Does Undergoing a Fearless Transformation Impact One’s Leadership Ability or Skills?
A Fearless Transformation allows you to operate from grounded reality, which means that you’re far more able to respond to what shows up in the moment and be a highly effective leader. When you see the true nature of thought, you also become a lot more compassionate with other people because you can see how they are getting in their own way by believing their own personal version of thought-created reality.
How Important is Self-Awareness and/or Emotional Intelligence in Being an Effective Leader?
Self-awareness is huge in leadership. I particularly love the book Awareness by Anthony De Mello, which shows you how much you get in your own way by being disconnected from reality. When you can spot yourself getting lost in a thought storm because you know you’re not the thought storm, life is a lot more enjoyable and you’re more resilient.
Name one Step That People can Take Today to Start Taking Control of Their Future
One very simple step is to start to observe for yourself the true nature of thought. The next time you experience unpleasant feelings, pay attention to your thoughts. One of the principles that underpin my fearless work is that thoughts are just your personal thinking, and so you don’t need to indulge the scary ones and take yourself off into a thought storm which leaves you feeling like you have a real problem to deal with! Instead, let your mind settle naturally, because your default setting is to have innate mental health; and the more we think about problems, the further we take ourselves away from it.