Life coach basics: What to expect when you start working with a life coach

If you’ve never worked with a coach before, you might be wondering just what are some life coach basics. What is a life coach, anyway? What do they do, and what can I expect if I hire one? 

Those are all great questions, and that’s why today, I’d like to share with you 3 basic truths about working with a life coach.

1. You are always in control.

A life coach – a good one, anyway – will never make you feel uncomfortable, or do or say things you don’t want to do. They will never force you to answer a question, pressure you to take actions you don’t want to, or in any way make you feel threatened or pressured.

Why is that?

Because life coaching is built on the foundation that you are the master of your own life. You are in charge, 100% of the time.

In fact, it’s not holding that belief that often makes us need life coaches in the first place.

What the heck do I mean by that?

Let me tell you a quick story about one of my first...

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Should you tell other people your goals?

 

The other day, my friend Maddie called to tell me she’d reached her fitness goal of swimming a full mile.

“That’s amazing,” I said. “I didn’t know you were interested in swimming! When did you start training for that?” We’d been talking about fitness goals at the beginning of January, and she hadn’t mentioned this at all.

“Oh, forever ago,” she said breezily. “2018, I think it was. I took a COVID hiatus, but when my building’s pool reopened, I started up again. I wanted to tell you, but I didn’t want to jinx it. I never tell people my goals until after I’ve reached them.”

It was uncanny to hear that, because I’d just heard the exact opposite from my client Tim. “I always start by telling people what I’m doing,” he’d said last week. “That way, I’m on the hook—everyone’s expecting me to do it, so I can’t not.”

Hearing...

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The #1 thing you need to reach your goals

coaching goals Sep 18, 2019

Courage. Willpower. A million-dollar coaching course. There's no end to the list of things that will help you reach your goals. But in all the rush to visualize and manifest and achieve, there's one crucial piece that often gets overlooked – and yet without it, you'll get nowhere.

 That thing is hope.

 But what exactly is hope?

Here's how I think of it: hope is what tennis players have when they're on a winning streak. (Can you tell I was watching the US Open this month?) This is true in other sports, too, but especially in a tennis match, you can actually see the players' level of hope. When she's down and feels like she can't win, she's making unforced errors, she's losing her serve – it's obvious. It's in her body language, in her face, in how she carries herself. She's pacing, angry, distracted. You can practically tell she's going to lose.

 Until something changes. Usually it's a change in strategy. She tries something different – a dropshot,...

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3 ways to get a success mindset - right now

goals mindset success Jun 27, 2019

Have you ever set a goal, and gotten really gung-ho excited about it...only to fall away from it a few days or weeks later? (New Year's Resolutions, anybody?)

Well, today I want to invite you to call to mind a goal you were once excited about. What was it? What happened, that you fell away from it? 

I'm gonna guess that your mindset around that goal isn't the most positive one. And that can cause huge problems, because your mindset determines your results. So let's look at three powerful ways you can use your body to create a success mindset.

  1. Explore your vision.

When you visualize what you want, a couple things happen. First, you can see more clearly how to get there. It's like starting at the end, and working backwards. Second, you start to get emotionally connected to your goal. Both those things will help you work toward it.
 
Here's my favorite way to explore your vision: go on a Journey Walk.
 
Studies shows that walking unleashes creativity and helps you...

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How to stop making life harder than it is

coaching goals mindset Aug 28, 2018

Back in California, I had a friend and mentor named Sheva Carr. Sheva taught heart-math, which is the practice of syncing your physiology and emotions through your heart rhythms. (It’s a fascinating science – check out Sheva’s site if you want to learn more.) Sheva and I spent a lot of time talking about my love of acting, as well as my ultimate calling, which was this: to help people.

Naturally, I had concocted a whole strategy on how I would do this.

“First, I’ll redo my resume. Then I need to get a new agent, and maybe a new manager, who’ll help me get a role in a series. From there, I could get cast in a movie, and then I’ll finally be famous enough to help people,” I said, rather proud of my plan.

“Can’t you just do the last step?” said Sheva. “Can you skip over the rest?”

“No,” I said. “That’s what I have to do to get famous.”

“I’ve noticed something...

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Five tools to success you can use right now

coaching goals mindset Aug 07, 2018

When I first moved to Hollywood to try my hand at acting, I went to a LOT of auditions. The rejection rate for actors is somewhere near, I don’t know, infinity? But there was one audition where I tried something different. It was for the role of Lucy Cooper on Guiding Light, and the different part was, I used my nose.

I’d already had a couple screen tests, so at the final audition, I knew what to expect. I knew my lines, I knew the setting, and I knew I’d be auditioning with another actor. It was a romantic scene, so it called for a lot of intimate emotion. That’s where my nose comes in.

Seconds before the scene started, I stood outside the door, prepping myself. The last thing I did before I stepped inside was this: I took a long, deep breath, and I imagined the cologne of the guy I had a crush on at the time.

Instantly I was transported. It was like he was there with me. Imagining his scent opened the floodgates to a whole world of memories: how he...

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What to do when you feel lost

coaching goals mindset Jun 26, 2018

Whenever I feel like I’ve hit a dead end, I think of my friend Lisa, and how she found an incredible new possibility in a situation that didn’t seem to have an answer.

Lisa and I worked together on the set of Guiding Light – me as Lucy, her in the production office. Years passed, and we stayed friends, and a few years ago, she met a guy in a Yankees fan chat room. As you might guess, both are huge Yankees fans. And it wasn’t long before they got married.

He was living in Maryland, where he was from, and she was living in a tiny apartment in NYC. So the question was, where should they live?

Neither of them wanted to live in the other person’s city. But in order to create a new life together, they felt, they needed to start fresh, to build a life somewhere they both felt home.

They were in a stalemate. Until one of them said, “What if we bought an RV, and traveled the country until we find somewhere we want to stay?”

So...

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What would you do with a second chance?

This month, I completed my second Spartan Race up in Tuxedo Park, NY. I was part of an amazing team, including my dear friend Linda, who taught me a powerful lesson on the Slippery Wall.

Linda was my sorority “big sister,” but we lost touch after college until a few months ago. We reconnected through Facebook, which was how I got involved in the Spartan race in the first place. She’s a lawyer here in New York, and when we met up last fall, she was still wearing a head scarf from her second round of chemo for breast cancer. After her first round, she told me, she’d thought she was done with cancer. So when it came back again, it shook her to her core.

I have to live my life, she realized. I have to get out there, have fun, be with people. I have to step outside my comfort zone, and go for the things I really want.

One of those things was the Spartan Race, a couple weeks ago.

One of the obstacles was the Slippery Wall, a slanted wall that you had to...

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How to stop settling and get what you really want

coaching goals mindset May 30, 2018

Recently, I stumbled upon the question: Where are you accommodating in life?

In what ways are you settling or compromising? Letting someone else get what they want, but not you?

And why?

We do that for a variety of reasons. We want to be liked or needed. We want to fit in. We want to keep the peace. Maybe we’re afraid to go the extra mile. Or maybe we don’t believe in ourselves, so we just do what works for everyone else. We people-please, we discount our own needs.

Interestingly, this came up again when a client of mine, “David,” told me about a business class he took. He went in hoping to learn about negotiating, and came out with a lesson on accommodating.

The instructor began class by asking them to pair up and negotiate a deal. Each person would be marked on various aspects, including whether or not they actually made a deal.

David went about it the way he knew how, in a way that’s worked for him in the past. He started off by asking his partner,...

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How to Stay Committed to Your Goal

goals mindset May 22, 2018

Last year, I was working with a client I’ll call Lee. He was a young guy, new to New York, and working his way up the ladder in the publishing industry. He worked a ton, and he was exhausted all the time.

He knew he was going to burn out if he didn’t get more sleep. When he came to see me, he’d already resolved to go to bed earlier.

“Great,” I said. “What’s one thing you can do to make that happen?”

“Well, I’ve read that it helps if you put away electronics an hour before bed,” he said. “So I’d like to commit to doing that.”

Like many of us, Lee started off well. The first night he turned off his phone, iPad, and computerand put them in his office. He fell asleep later than he’d hoped, but more quickly than usual.

The second night he followed the same routine, and the same thing happened. Soon, he expected, he’d become a morning person.

Only he didn’t. The next week, he...

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