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Expert interview about fighting your fears and setting goals

Posted in Articles interviewed coach and consultant Shenandoah Chefalo

In business and in life, a great way to move forward and to find a sense of meaning is to create goals and a vision. This is what Shenandoah Chefalo, author of Setting your vision and defining your goals, addresses in this interview. Have a look and take a closer step towards your future!


1. You explain in your biography that you worked in a law office for a while. What took you from that to coaching and consulting?

I initially took a job in a law firm to help pay for college. It turned into a 17 year career. While working at various firms, I noticed a consistent theme of individuals who were coming to the firm for a specific problem (divorce, bankruptcy, criminal, litigation, etc.) but after the initial problem was solved they still had questions, primarily “What now?” The thing about the law office environment is that it usually solves a short term problem, but doesn’t get to the underlying issues. I saw coaching as the “next step” to helping those people.

2. You also mention your childhood and how you needed to start to overcome your fears when you got a bit older. How do you personally find the strength to overcome your fears?

By taking action! Many are terrified to act. They don’t like how they feel but they are afraid to do anything for fear of failure. Personally, I don’t believe in failure.  As long as I am doing something, I am moving in the right direction… forward.  Whenever I tell myself, “I don’t want to” I stop and ask, “What am I afraid of?” More often than not, the answer is what I should be doing.


3. We often hear professionals utter the words “I’m so busy”! Today’s intense interconnectedness seems to have created a blur for some people when it comes to calming down and listening to themselves. How important is it to sit down and think about one’s personal goals in life?

I liken the “busy” crowd to today’s Zombie Apocalypse, a throng of semi-dead people living in a fog, unsure of their purpose. If you are one that’s “too busy” ask yourself, are you enjoying life? If you are, keep doing what you’re doing. If, however, you are not happy and are just doing to do, ask yourself why.  The answers will reveal the importance of goal setting.


4. How can you make time for this important task of finding your personal goals?

Baby steps. When someone says “I’m too busy”, I suggest taking five minutes before getting up each morning to set the day’s intention.  Devoting a few minutes each day to thoughtful meditation can help clarify values and serve as a springboard into vision and goal setting.


5. When we are defining our personal vision, how do we differentiate between our true core values and what society says we should value?

This is a GREAT question. The easiest way to figure out if it is your value or societies’ value is to test it. I once identified honesty as a core value since I liked people were honest with me and disliked those who lied or who did not follow through on their word. However, over time I learned that I did like when people lied to me (especially when my feelings were involved) and sometimes I felt compelled to lie (to spare others’ feelings). By testing the value, I discovered that although honesty was important to me, it wasn’t one of my true values.


6. It can happen that when someone thinks of changing their values and vision, they are stopped by the thought of money or lack thereof. What would you say to them?

Money is only a tool! In modern society we have been taught that you need money for everything, that just isn’t so. Often times when I have clients stuck because of money, I ask “how else could that happen?” When they start brainstorming other alternatives besides money and they are able to release money as the “need” they start to realize their dreams and goals faster and easier.


7. When setting new goals for yourself, how important are the people around you? Can support be good and bad?

When clients approach me about working on personal development, I always ask them to work through these 3 questions first:

a. Why are you ready now?

b. How will you have the time?

c. Who is going to be your mission control team?

The first two seem logical but the third can be a bit trickier. I explain the personal development journey in terms of climbing a mountain. Before you start you want to make sure that you have a team to help assist you to the top of the mountain. Some members of the team will make the journey with you (like a guide or a Sherpa). Some members of the team will stay at base camp and will become your mission control up the mountain. It is important to not only decide who your team members will be, but to contact them and inform them of what you are doing and how you would like them to support your mission. We sometimes assume that those people around us want to help us, but sometimes, especially when you are working on yourself, those around us try and sabotage (unintentionally and intentionally) so it is important to have those conversations up front. Here are some examples of both internal and external support teams:


o   Coach

o   Spouse

o   Family

o   Best Friend

o   Girl/Boyfriend

o   Boss

o   Staff

o   Special focus/support group

o   Church group

o   Department

o   Selected customer

o   Personal Exploration Mastermind Group (?)


o   Weekly Meetings

o   Setting up a reward for each completed trail

o   Creating a consequence (without an element of “punishment”)

o   Setting a goal that requires a strong foundation


If you’d like to know more about setting your own vision, download the free eBook Setting your vision and defining your goals for free on For more information about the author, please visit: