Why I Like Helping People Discover Their Inhibited Passions

We all have strong motivations — what I call passions. Some of us feel like we don’t, but we do. Motivations that drive us our whole lives, that we can always tap for energy to do things. Some we like, others we don’t. Some are solitary, others are social.


Joshua Spodek’s (PhD MBA) book, Leadership Step by Step, launches in February. He is an adjunct professor and coach of leadership and entrepreneurship at NYU and Columbia. His courses are available online at SpodekAcademy.com and he blogs daily at JoshuaSpodek.com.


One thing for everyone: our greatest passions are also our greatest vulnerabilities. Great passions enable others, if they know about them, to motivate us, or to manipulate us. Things we don’t care about we can drop if others judge or laugh at us for them. Passions we can’t.

So most of us learn to protect these passions. We inhibit how we express and act on them, meaning we inhibit many of the things we care about most. Some of us feel like we don’t have passions because we’ve protected them so much.

We admire people who overcome those inhibitions. We think of them as having conquered their fears or overcome their inhibitions. They’re like rock stars. They are more free for it. Liberated. Who doesn’t want that for themselves?

As a coach, I often work with people to discover and create this freedom, self-awareness, comfort with themselves.

Clients feel like I give them courage or cross a mountain. They feel like I did a lot, but I just showed them to put one foot in front of the other and enjoy it. Instead of overcoming a big hurdle, I help them see overcoming protections and inhibition, however challenging, not as hurdles but as passions — a joy in life.

When they see things that way, they want to open up and share more, which feels great to them, especially when someone makes them feel understood and, even better, supports them. In fact, one of the great feelings in life. Who doesn’t want to create that for people — to feel understood and supported for great passions that they normally don’t share?

I do that with clients and with friends. Who doesn’t want relationships like that — where you help people feel free about what they care about most, sometimes for the first times in their lives?


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