As most of us are already aware, adults often have a difficult time making significant behavior changes. That’s why so many of us stay stuck in negative behavior patterns. It’s not so much that we don’t want to change – it’s more that we don’t understand how to go through that change.
The way it often begins is that someone presents with a “pain point.” Something isn’t working and they’re frustrated. Usually at this point they blame others for the predicament they’re in. As humans, we tend to believe that our problem is because of someone else or something else outside of us, and we don’t realize we’re externalizing it.
As a coach, it’s my job to help people realize that they don’t have to wait for others to change – they can start to feel better and get better results despite what’s going on around them. Here’s how I do that:
First – help people identify the source of their pain. As most of you are aware, I teach the Thought Model – which says that our comfort and discomfort comes from what we tell ourselves about our circumstances.
Second – help people see it and understand it. There’s a difference between what’s really happening (the facts) and what we tell ourselves. How we characterize our experience in the world has everything to do with how we ultimately respond.
Third – invite them to notice themselves. Don’t have them worry about changing anything yet. They have to be willing to observe themselves. You can’t change something you don’t really see or recognize in yourself.
Fourth – involves courage or choice. Once people are aware they can start to choose something else and choose to think about their circumstances differently. We need to recognize that we have influence over ourselves and our results. Some people don’t want to make the choice, and that’s fine. Changing takes a lot of work and courage. Because of that, many people stay stuck; this is the hardest step. It’s simple on paper but it’s really tough to put into practice.
Finally – is the becoming. The more we make the choice to change the more it becomes who we are and the more it becomes natural.
Before coaching someone through something like this, try it on yourself first. Remember, “you have to live it to give it.”
I have a workbook that helps. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d be happy to share some of the questions with you.
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