Coaching Topics

These are some of the many ways in which I help my clients.

Changing Limiting Behaviors, Beliefs, Thoughts and Attitudes

“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.”

The biggest limitations we have in life are not the ones we face outside, but the ones we have inside ourselves. Even if an external circumstance seems impossible to overcome, the problem is not the circumstance but our beliefs, thoughts, attitudes about:

  • what the circumstance is,
  • the possibility and our capacity to face it,
  • whether we deserve something or not, or
  • whether something is desirable or not.

If we change the habitual limiting thoughts, then our attitudes, feelings and actions will be different. They will serve us, instead of being a weight on our shoulders that limit our growth and our happiness.

The first thing is to find the root of the problem. And it usually is subconscious, so there is little chance for you to be aware of it. We start by listening to your version of the problem, to your perceived limitations. Because the root of the problem is usually expressed either in the way you talk about the problem or your non-verbal communication. We are able to detect the subtle clues that show what’s wrong in your thinking.

We then make sure we reach the bottom of your mental process, which can be either:

  • a poor mental strategy you are using to think about the problem,
  • limiting beliefs that don’t allow you to even start trying to change something,
  • a values problem, which means you don’t think it’s that important to actually do something about it, even though it might be.

We then challenge your limiting patterns, allowing you to think differently and therefore try new approaches that will definitely change things out there in your life.

Finally, we create together actions for you to take home and do between sessions, which allow you to validate your new ways of thinking and consolidate the learnings. This way you cannot avoid to become a different person; a less limited, more resourceful and more flexible person.

The problem: One of our clients once wanted to change a limiting behavior she had. Colleagues and friends had told her she did it all the time but she never realized it, and she didn’t know how to stop it. The problem was that she spent more time inside her own mind than outside, which is where the conversations were happening, this way she was not reading the situations and others’ non-verbal feedback well enough.

The solution: We first made some exercises to let her see what she was doing, because you can’t change what you don’t know. Once aware of her behavior, we guided her through a mental process of learning from her own acts, being able to see herself doing them and taking new conclusions from it. Once aware of the cause and consequences of the behavior, she then chose a better way of acting and programmed her mind to do it automatically instead of the old way.

The result: The very next day she was astonished by how many times she surprised herself almost falling into her old behavior, which saved her from doing it. She was then able to see how many good conversations and points of view she was missing out because of her old habit. She now feels grateful for knowing she is a better friend thanks to her new social skill.

We worked on how to deal with my habit of negatively talking to myself. I learned about what triggers it and how to change it. Now when I feel sadness I can sit down and work through it to make it better. I don’t need to go look for attention or a distraction so much.

Kaitlyn Churchyard

Political scientist, South Africa

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