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.
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...
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.”
Thanksgiving is in the air, which means there’s a lot of talk around every mindset guru’s favorite topic: gratitude.
Most of us have heard (and hopefully experienced) the life-changing benefits of gratitude: it reduces stress. It boosts our well-being. It’s even good for our immune system. It’s key to a healthy mindset, a happy mood, and a fulfilling life.
And yet, despite how important it is, sometimes it feels like there’s a limited amount of info out there about how to practice gratitude. Most of the time, people talk about keeping a gratitude journal. And while that’s a fantastic tool and I absolutely recommend it (and I even remember to do it sometimes), it’s not the only way.
Today, I want to introduce you to a twist on gratitude – a not-so-common way to shift your mindset toward positivity and thankfulness. It’s called benefit finding.
Here’s how it works.
Your brain is designed to answer the questions you ask it....
If you’re like me, and about a gazillion other people right now, you might be completely dreading winter.
For many, winter is hard enough in “normal” years. It means less outside time, short dreary days, and seasonal affective disorder. This year, though, it’s poised to be especially difficult, with the tumultuous political climate and the threat of another lockdown.
Fortunately, I have good news: no matter what’s going on in the world, you are not powerless.
Your choices, thoughts, and actions impact how you feel, and how those around you feel.
Let me reiterate that: You are never powerless.
Today, I want to introduce you to an idea known in psychology as “small self.” This is an important idea because by tapping into it, we can free ourselves from those feelings of sadness, helplessness, and anger. We can open ourselves up to feelings of wellbeing, possibility, happiness, and joy.
Even in the dead of winter, we can choose to feel alive...
Carla sat across from me in my office, looking miserable. Her dark hair hung limp over her eyes, which were fixed on the floor between us. She looked nothing like the radiant, confident woman I’d seen on camera a few weeks before. She’d sent me her audition reel, because what she wanted, she said, was an acting coach. Now, meeting her in person, I could tell she needed more than acting tips.
“Tell me about yourself,” I said, and after a minute or so, she began to open up.
Carla told me about how she’d gone into acting because she loved performing in her high school musicals. She just lived for that feeling of getting into character, rehearsing with her fellow actors, and stepping out onto the stage. From the first rehearsal until closing night, she was in “flow.”
That’s what she wanted to feel when she moved to New York to pursue acting. But now, five years in, she was depressed, out of work, and starting to lose hope.
A few months ago, I was sitting in my living room trying to get some work done. Instead, I found myself staring at a blinking cursor, then out the window, then back again. Two whole hours passed that way.
Needless to say, I was stuck. Absolutely paralyzed.
If someone had walked into the room, they would have seen it right off the bat. My body language said it all: my shoulders were hunched and tense; I was barely breathing, as frozen as a statue. Big surprise, I wasn't having much "motion" in my thoughts, either.
Honestly, it's a little embarrassing to admit this. I'm a motivational expert! I've been in this business for years! Shouldn't I be past all that?
The truth is, everybody gets stuck sometimes. Neither I nor anybody else will ever be "immune" from it. Just like hardship, disappointment, feeling lousy – it's all a part of life. And just like those things, the trick isn't to deny the feeling, but to learn how navigate it and come out the other side.
So I decided to...
A few years ago, I met Caroline, a women’s clothing designer who was trying to lose weight. She came to see me because she was struggling to stick with the various diets she set for herself. No carbs, no eating after 7pm, a 3-miles run every morning – she had a lot of good ideas, but every time she committed to one, she inevitably fell off the wagon after a week or two.
“It’s just impossible for me to lose weight,” she told me, looking utterly defeated. “I don’t get it. I’m not an unmotivated person. I run my own business, for Pete’s sake! I work hard. I push myself, and I achieve things. Yet I cannot seem to stick to a freaking diet.”
Now, I often meet people who are going through something like this. Diets are notorious for being hard to stick to – but of course, it happens with other goals, too. Saving money. Working on a book. Learning a new skill. Across the board, it’s difficult to stay motivated when...
One Saturday night after making herself dinner, Ingrid realized something: she had the whole night to herself, and no idea what to do.
Her kids were in their teens, growing more independent by the day. Her husband had his own hobbies. She'd devoted the last twenty years to work and family—going to law school, raising two kids, working fourteen-hour days. She was constantly working, and when she wasn't, she was cooking, cleaning, chauffeuring, or sleeping. But now, she had no clue how to spend her time.
A colleague had invited her to one of my Moticise events called the Wheel of Life. That night, while searching for something to do, Ingrid signed up. That’s how she found herself in a room with nine other women as I asked them to look at different areas of their lives—Relationships, Money, Health, Career, and so on—and reflect on how each one was going.
One of those areas was Fun.
"I can't believe this is a category," Ingrid spoke up. "I never would have...
For the last couple months, my family has been moving around a lot, thanks to Covid. After a few weeks of quarantining in the city, we went to our house in Tuxedo Park, where we’d have more space and more access to nature. But it turned out, we had a little too much access to nature…meaning, we discovered we had a mice infestation. When they started falling from the ceiling (literally), we knew it was time to move again.
First, we went to Georgia for a month, where we hoped to ride out more of the pandemic. But then that rental lease ended, and so we found another rental house on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
When we got here on Sunday, I felt out of sorts, ungrounded. In Georgia, I already felt far from home, and now we’d gone even farther. The house here is beautiful; it’s on the very tip of an island, with water all around us. But instead of feeling like we’d reached some remote paradise, I just felt stuck. Like I’d reached the end.
In 1964, the journalist Norman Cousins took a really stressful trip to Russia. Work was wearing on him, and on top of that, his surroundings were pretty unhealthy, exposing him to dangerous fumes like diesel exhaust. Those factors, doctors believed, came together to cause the grave illness that overtook him soon after: ankylosing spondylitis, a degenerative spinal disease with a grim prognosis. Cousins was told he had a 1/500th chance of survival. Over time, he would lose all physical mobility.
Stress, combined with a weakened immune system, had caused this horrible condition, doctors said. Well, if that's true, then the opposite of stress should heal it, Cousins reasoned. And so he set about creating positive emotions that would boost his immune system.
Cousins checked himself into a hotel, where he pumped himself with vitamin C and embarked on an experimental form of therapy: laughter. He watched Marx brothers movies, read humorous books, and focused his mind on all things funny....
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