When working with ourselves and our clients-we are sometimes afraid to to the thought work because we think it means we will have to take action on what we find.
For example, if you work with a client on her thoughts about her husband-she may be afraid to find out that she has many negative thoughts about him that she was unaware of. She may be afraid to look at them, or expose them to herself because then she will have to take action on what she finds.
I always remind my clients that coaching work is about self intimacy-about understanding ourselves and deepening awareness. It is not about reacting or controlling the outcome of what is found. I have had many clients discover that they have many hateful thoughts about their husbands that are affecting their relationship now. At first, they feel compelled to "do" something, like tell their husband how they feel or even leave their husband. I always encourage them to wait (especially when they are in a big hurry) to discover more about themselves before they take any action.
This can be a relief. It is good to know that you can tell yourself the truth and get to know your thoughts without having to do anything about them. This gives your clients the freedom of self-discovery without the expectation of "fixing" anything.
More often than not, clients discover they are the ones who need to change their mind and that nothing needs to change (at least right this second) in their actions.
Giving our clients permission to discover what they are thinking without taking action or changing if they don't want, is a tremendous gift.