May 8: Pride, Fear and Trust

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Coaching, Diary, Magnificence | 4 Comments

Pivot by @gapingvoid

I read a lot of Terry Pratchett. I learned a lot about people, and coaching, from Discworld’s Witches. (I submitted a lightning talk on that to Agile2013, you may vote for it here)

Recently I stumbled upon this:

The Weapons of a Witch

[amazon asin=”0552555592″ template=”simpleimage”] And what are my weapons? she thought. And the answer came to her instantly: pride.
Oh, you hear them say it’s a sin; you hear them say it goes before a fall. And that can’t be true. The blacksmith prides himself on a good weld; the carter is proud that his horses are well turned out, gleaming like fresh chestnuts in the sunshine; the shepherd prides himself on keeping the wolf from the flock; the cook prides herself on her cakes. We pride ourselves on making a good history of our lives, a good story to be told.
And I also have fear – the fear that I will let others down – and because I fear, I will overcome that fear. I will not disgrace those who have trained me.
And I have trust, even though I am not sure what it is I am trusting.
‘Pride, fear and trust,’ she said aloud.

(from I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett)


I tried for a few days to use pride, fear and trust as a check-in tool:

  • What am I currently proud of?
  • What do I currently fear?
  • What do I trust in (or is affecting my trust)?

I’m still experimenting with it, and currently like it. I usually use Mad/Sad/Glad/Afraid as described in the Core Protocols, and want to compare results for myself. Have you run experiments like this? Want to try this and share your experiences?


I’m proud that our first German Temenos lab filled up so quickly, two days after a private invitation we only have on space left. Thank you Christine!

I’m proud about my influence at the client I visited this week.

I’m proud I’m sticking to my plan to reach out to five people from my network every day and ask for work options.


I realised yesterday that not knowing which client I’ll work with two months ahead is something I need to get used to as an independent consultant. For some reason, that greatly reduced my fear.

Plus, allowing myself to be proud of achievements (and tracking them, my Trello board now has a column “serendipitous achievements”) helped me frame my anxiety. And improves my…


One piece of feedback this week I am very proud of was, “you helped me view my colleagues differently. Instead of judging them and thinking they don’t want to work, I now appreciate they’re doing their best and encourage them to ask for help. And you didn’t tell me to do this, I just followed your example of trusting them.” I’m really glad trust works this way, and I’m immensely grateful to Steve Holyer for helping me make my trust explicit. He’s a trust artist. Ask him for help if your organisation is lacking trust.

Check In

Pride (8). Fear (2). Trust (9). Awesome day. Enjoy it, too!.


  1. Mike
    May 8, 2013

    Lovely post!

    I love that you are experimenting on hard things that seem simple. It’s only 3 thing – how hard can it be.

    Each of these are doors to uncomfortable places. I guess the task of the enlightened is to open those doors and welcome all that lies behind them, like one loves one’s hairy back (it is, after all part of us!)

    Whilst ‘Trust’ is not one I would readily choose for my current situation, I will contemplate adopting this protocol and seeing how I get on.

    Pride(10), Fear(0), Trust(10) Love(100)

  2. Irene
    May 8, 2013

    What an interesting way to look at a day. And all of these are areas I should explore more, for different reasons. Pride – because I tend to understate my achievements. Fear – to become aware of things I fear so I can tackle them.
    Trust – because your sentence about making trust explicit instantly resonated with me. I suppose I should get in contact with Steve.

    Pride(2), Fear(too much, need to focus), Trust(1)

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