What does it mean to hold space for another?
It means that you are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on, without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them or, trying to impact the outcome.
Holding space is definitely a more modern term and one that I wholeheartedly embrace because, well…..it’s also my job as a coach. Plusi while working as a coach I realize I’ve been doing this my whole life, even before I actually became a coach.
I once heard it described like this—when we hold space for others, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.
That last bit is the key. NO judgement . NO control.
My mentor, Hannah, has one of the most inspiring observations about this thing we do called holding space. She says about herself
…if you came to sit next to me every story you told would feel somehow part of my experience.
Isn’t that fricken beautiful?
Wouldn’t you want to be seen and heard like that?! As if we become one in the telling of your story; with my existence sitting quietly in the background while your soul comminglings with mine for the briefest of moments…
…so that I fully get to understand your BEingness
...so that I really see YOU the person.
…so that I can be there with you in your hurt places, your angry places, your overwhelmed places, your I-don’t-know-wtf-I-am-doing places (yeh, those too).
How do we do this for another when sometimes our first thought is to fix what’s broken instead?
How do we get back to being more empathetic with each other?
Below I offer 10 ways you can hold space for someone who needs you to.
❤︎ Acknowledge what they’re going through—help them understand what’s happening—don’t dismiss their interpretation of things even though you might see things differently.
❤︎ Let them know that there are no judgements around what they’re encountering or what they’re feeling.
❤︎ Let them know that failure is okay—it doesn’t signal there’s something wrong with them, but rather that it too is all a part of their journey.
❤︎ Create an environment of support—offer the help that’s needed, not what you think is necessary.
❤︎ Keep Self (yours that is) out of the equation—personal feelings or thoughts are not a part of the process of holding space. It’s not about you or what you would do about it.
❤︎ Let the power remain with them. Release the need to control. Go with them where they need to go.
❤︎ Allow them to trust their own intuition—empower them to make choices and decisions that are in their best interests.
❤︎ Be present for them—even if it feels like you are doing nothing.
❤︎ Create a safe space—a container for the bigger emotions to filter through
❤︎ Be a listener more than a talker—talking without constant interrupting helps the other person to get out out of their head and opens up a deeper space to them to speak what’s on their mind.
Remember, unless otherwise stated, your person probably didn’t seek you out for a solution, but rather for you to hear what’s on their mind and feel what’s in their heart.
This is what a birth doula does for a birth mother. This is what a palliative care nurse does for the members of a family with a loved one at the end of their life.
This is what I do in my role as a wife, mother, sister…and as a mindset coach.
Holding space is the conscious act of being present. It is a gift you give to another.
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My gift to you in space holding:
—If you haven’t a clue what’s going on as you spend day after day hamster wheeling it away on tasks that you know is getting you nowhere in your business.
—If you know there’s something deeper that’s at the core of what’s going on but you’re afraid to, or can’t, get there on your own (psst…that’s ok too).
—If you’re tired of the stuck and constant overwhelm you’re experiencing.
Then I invite you to book a Shift Session with me.
It’s a complimentary (no pitch) coaching session where we’ll talk about what’s happening for you and do some digging to get to the heart of the matter.
Did you know that on your first call with me I DO NOT talk about how to work with me? No, really. That’s never been the point of these calls for me. They are all about holding space for you.
Ready to create your own mindset shift and move your mountain?
Schedule a Shift Session with me. I only offer 12 of these spots per month. Click the button below to reserve your “holding space”.