One of the biggest benefits you get from a life coach is a mental framework of empowerment. It’s the thing we were never taught in school -- and exactly what we need to make better decisions for ourselves.
This mental framework is the mental harnessing of our own greatness, the awareness that we create our own experience and have the power to change it at any time. It moves us from victim to valiant author of our own story, the story of our life.
It’s worth mentioning that coaches want you to become self-sufficient. They want to teach you how to think in your own best interest so they, or someone else, don’t always have to help you along.
My 12 months working with a life coach has taught me a new way to look at the world. It’s reduced my frenetic energy and thoughts. It’s helped me take a step when I was scared. It’s allowed me to take a break when I felt unready to move. Most of all, it’s helped me build a bridge to my inner wisdom that has always been accessible, yet just out of reach because I was living with limited expectations and awareness of what was possible.
Here are the 4 steps to creating a mental framework of I CAN. The steps to building this framework are purposely in this order because each one unlocks the next, starting with awareness and culminating in soul-centered action.
1. Become aware of your thoughts.
Coaches act as a mirror to your thoughts. They may repeat exactly what you say to help you see your own words from a different angle. In other words, they help you become aware of what’s actually coming out of your mouth by getting you out of your own head and into their position as a non-biased observer. Getting distance from your thoughts is the first step to understanding why you do what you do.
2. Thoughts create your beliefs.
Our beliefs are what shape our lives. Think of beliefs as 30-foot-tall cement walls, like the ones on the side of the freeway blocking homes on the other side from the noise of traffic. These huge walls that we create, or sometimes we are given by our parents/boss/role model, are self-imposed rules of life. What we can do, be, have, become -- and how we are allowed to go after what we want. One of my early beliefs was that I had to work in corporate America to make a living and meet my financial goals. I never considered that there were other ways, and maybe faster ways, to do so. One day I was working from Le Pain Quotidien and saw all these people in the middle of the day, mid week, working and having tea. My mind was blown. What was this other world?! I was only taught and only knew one way of making a living, and therefore my belief about what was possible was just that -- there was only one way.
3. Understand which beliefs are real, and which are made up.
Our beliefs are developed over time. Either by our own life experiences or by what was modeled for us by our parents, loved ones, bosses, friends. We don’t often question what we come to believe. Once we become aware of a belief, we look at 1) where it came from and 2) is it real? The first part is easy: Who told you this was true? You’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll be able to articulate when and how a belief was formed. The next part is to do a little homework: Can you prove yourself wrong? 99% of the time you will be able to show an example of other people doing it differently and getting the outcome you want. This helps you see the CHOICE you have in how you live your life. This begins to give you the freedom to think differently.
4. Momentum is your biggest ally.
Take action, immediately, on your newly reframed belief. What step you can take toward what you want with this new perspective? Coaches teach you that anything is possible, but you must start. Small or big, take the next step. You’ll learn so much more by trying something new than by thinking about how something will get done. So go, begin. Small steps add up to big strides, and soon enough, as you find your feet under you, momentum will pick up and you’ll experience big jumps in growth and improvement. And it all started with one little step.
I’ve found the most effective way to get perspective on why I do what I do is to work with a coach. You need that mirror to see the nature of your thinking -- and once you do, everything shifts. You also become a master of the reframe. Now I can instantly reframe a negative thought into an empowering one by using this mental reframe that my coaches used on me over and over again. It goes a little something like this:
- “I can’t make this company big on my own.”
- “I believe I am doing this on my own.”
- “In fact, I have so many coaches, partners and friends supporting me and wanting to help Collective Gain become a big social-good company.”
- “I am going to reach out to 5 supporters and ask them if they want to participate in a project.”
In 60 seconds I’ve gone from victim mode, feeling alone, defeated, tired and stuck, to empowerment mode, realizing I do have support and all I need to do is begin asking for and allowing that support to come through.
Do you see how this works? Once you create new beliefs that lead you toward living the life you want, you come up with the ideas, answers and opportunities that had been blocked by the 30-foot cement walls of old limiting beliefs. Your new beliefs are actually built on facts and come from a perspective of empowerment.
This has been one of the biggest gifts of working with a coach, and it’s just one of the many things coaches teach. This mental framework helps me get unstuck, recenter my energy to a place of I CAN and experience the freedom to be who I am and create a life I want to live.
Here’s to your limitless potential. May you realize what you’re here to create.