Ep #123: Life Coaching Tools Review
As I was preparing for our upcoming advanced life coach training, I realized that in order to understand the basics of life coaching, you have to understand the tools and know how to use them. This is similar to a beginner carpenter who absolutely must get familiar with and understand how to use all of the tools in his tool belt in order to become good at his craft.
In my initial trainings, introducing people to life coaching tools is one of the most gratifying things I can do, because trying to live your life without tools, just as trying to build a house without tools, is nearly impossible.
Many of us are not taught any cognitive or emotional tools in our lifetimes. We simply don’t have a tool belt that helps us manage how we feel, how we think, and therefore what we do.
On this episode, I introduce and talk about the tools that we use at The Life Coach School. When you learn these tools and start applying them, your life will inevitably change and you will be able to obtain increased awareness and empowerment.
No matter if you’re a coach and you’ve been with The Life Coach School since episode 1 (this will be a great review for you) or if you haven’t been introduced to our tools yet, you won’t want to miss this episode!
Make sure to tune in next week for the detailed explanation of the advanced skills I teach at The Life Coach School.
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It's the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!
Listen to the show
What You will discover
- What it means to “hold the space” without judgement.
- The Self-Coaching Model and how it works.
- Emotional childhood vs emotional adulthood.
- The Manuals we create for others and how to back out of them.
- The power of asking the right questions.
- How to set boundaries.
- Why it’s important to process our feelings and how to properly do it.
- How to ensure we always reach the goals we set for ourselves.
- How to change our belief systems.
- The importance of unconditional love for ourselves others.
Featured on the show
- Learn more about The Life Coach School Certification Program
Get the Full Episode Transcript:download the transcript
Welcome to The Life Coach School podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems, and real coaching. Now, your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Hello, my friends. How are you guys? I'm back from Italy. I'm so happy to be here with you. What an amazing, amazing trip! I had some serious jet lag, too. I don't know what the heck was happening, but I had some serious jet lag, but I'm back in action now.
Here's what's going to happen for the next two episodes. I'm recording two episodes. One is called The Tools of Life Coaching and one is called The Skills of Life Coaching. I'm about, next week, to teach an advanced skills workshop. As I've been preparing for this course to teach it … It's a two-day workshop. You might still be able to get in if you're interested. Go to LifeCoachSchool.com, see if there's any spots. It's a two-day workshop where I talk about the skills of life coaching and the advanced skills of life coaching. What I realized is that, really, the basics of life coaching, you have to learn the tools. You have to learn what the tools are.
It's like if you imagine a carpenter and they have a tool belt, they have all these tools on their tool belt. When they first start working, they don't even know what's a hammer, what's a screwdriver, what are nails, what are all of these tools that I have on my toolbox. We have to introduce the tools. We have to explain what they're used for. We have to explain how they're used. In my initial trainings, introducing people to tools is one of the most gratifying things I can do because trying to live your life without tools, trying to build the house without tools is nearly impossible. It's the same with trying to live your life without tools.
Many of us are not taught any cognitive or emotional tools in our life. We don't even have a tool belt that helps us manage how we feel, how we think, and therefore, what we do. It's so delightful to introduce everyone to tools and to teach them the tools and how to use them. Of course, in the beginning, everyone is fumbling. They're hitting their thumb with the hammer and not really knowing how to use the screwdriver, not really knowing how to use a drill and making all sorts of mistakes, and going through the practice of learning how to use the tools.
That's really the magic, I think, is learning how to use those tools and becoming competent at those tools and then getting certified in those tools and be able to use them with our clients, being able to help our clients build literally the lives that they dream of because of these tools that we now have and that we know how to use.
The second layer of that is really becoming skillful with those tools and being able to use those tools in a way that you can't when you first learned them, but you can when you have many hours of practice and you have a deeper understanding of all of the experience that you have with the tools and how they can be used in ways that maybe that you originally couldn't be taught because you have to learn the basics first. In these next two episodes, what I'm going to do is introduce the tools in this episode and talk about the tools that we teach at the Life Coach School and I know that several of you are interested in joining us. Our next training is coming up in September, so this will be a great overview of really understanding what you would learn in terms of tools and how to use them in that course.
In the next episode, which will be Episode Number 124, I'm going to talk about the skills, the advanced skills of life coaching. In this one, we're going to talk about the tools and then the next one we're going to talk about the advanced skills and the workshop that I will be doing and the tools that I will be teaching in that workshop I'm going to cover in the next episode. You're in for a treat for those of you who are already life coaches with The Life Coach School. This will be a brilliant review for you. For those of you who have not been introduced to our tools, this will be a great introduction. Many of you have been listening to the podcast for years, so you will have already had a lot of familiarity with them.
I wanted to do an episode that just gave an overview of everything that I think everybody should have in their tool belt. If you hear a tool that is interesting to you and that you would like to learn more about and that you would like to apply to your life, I want to encourage you to check out our September training and I also want to encourage you go through the podcasts that I've recorded before because many of them devote an entire podcast to just that one topic and you can get a deeper level of understanding.
Finally, for those of you who are listening who are not coaches and do not want to be coaches, I want to encourage you to seek out one of our coaches if you would like to take this work deeper on a personal level. If you'd like someone to help you maybe with boundaries or help you with holding the space or being a watcher. I want to encourage you to go to thelifecoachschool.com and go to Find a Coach and find someone that resonates with you based on their profile on our site and be willing to hire them, at least for one session. Having a coach to help you work on your life instead of trying to figure it out being in your life can make all the difference in the world.
Okay, let's get started. I'm going to go through 10 of the tools that we teach at The Life Coach School. I'm going to give you a brief example, a brief discussion on each one and maybe some examples to help you understand. The first one is what we call holding the space, the watcher awareness. There's 3 different ways of describing it. I would say that coaching is really about increasing our awareness and that starts with the watcher. That starts with our willingness to be able to witness our own lives. What that looks like in the very beginning is that we're able to look at our life in a non-judgmental way.
We're going to look at, let's say, the results that we have in our lives and the actions that we're taking in our lives from just an evaluative way instead of from a judging way. Most of my clients and students come to me and they are unable to be a watcher, they are unable to observe their life without judgment. They do not have the skill of evaluation. They simply have an opinion and a judgment about every single thing they see in their life. That's not useful and it doesn't create an environment where you're able to understand, and it certainly does not create an environment where you're able to create a positive change.
I would say that the first tool that I teach all of my students is how to look at their life with curiosity, how to hold, what we call hold space for themselves and see what is true without making a snap judgment and without being critical. The way that this would look for you in your life, whether you're a coach or not is can you look at the results in your life from a very objective witness perspective, from a watcher perspective: This is what I've created in my life. This is what I have in my life. This is what I weigh. This is how much money I make. This is the car I drive. This is my family situation. This is my relationship. This is how I show up in my life. This is how many of my dreams have come true. This is how many of my dreams haven't come true. This is not where I wanted to be in my life results. This is where I wanted to be in my life results.
You go through and you look at those results from a very compassionate, observing place. That's really the first step of any self-coaching or coaching session. If you're in an initial session with a client, you can review with them all of the things that are going on in their lives from a very objective, compassionate place. That in and of itself is magic. Being able to look at your life from a perspective of love is magic. Having someone like a coach in your life that can help you do that, that can look at your life without judging you, is something that you may have never experienced before because most people in our lives judge us. That's positive judgment and negative judgment.
Holding the space is not identifying anything as good or bad, not anything as right or wrong, but simply just witnessing the life and evaluating it in a very compassionate way. That is one of the tools that we use in coaching. When we're doing that, we don't involve any of our own opinions about what should or should not be done about it, what should or should not be true, what should or should not have been accomplished or not been accomplished. It's simply what is.
Byron Katie talks about what is. That's what we're going to do. We're going to look at the facts. We're going to look at what is from a very compassionate perspective. So many of the thoughts we have in our heads are judgments so when we're able to look at something without judgment, we get an insight that we wouldn't otherwise get. That, in itself, is magical.
Also, being the watcher, what it does is it just increases our awareness. The ultimate goal in my opinion of all coaching is to increase consciousness and deliberateness. When you live a conscious, deliberate life, you are a co-creator with the universe, with God. You are creating your life on purpose. You're not just going with the flow. You're not just letting what happens to you happen to you. You're not abdicating responsibility for your life. You're increasing, first of all, the consciousness of what is and then you're increasing the consciousness of what you want to create. By increasing your awareness of yourself, of your life, of your feelings, of your thoughts, you have become the ultimate in the watcher and you will be able to hold space not only for yourself but for your clients. That's tool number 1.
Tool number 2 is the model. Now, a lot of you may wonder why I didn't introduce the model first because it is the main tool that we use. The model requires that we have the skill and the tool of holding the space. The reason why I introduced holding the space first is because as we do models, it will be tempting to judge our own models. It will be tempting to judge models as we are doing them. You don't want to have that interfere with being able to learn and apply the model to your life.
The model is what we call the self-coaching model. It is a model for how everything in our lives works. It's broken into five components and everything in life can be categorized into one of these 5 things. Once you have categorized one of these things, you can fill in the rest of the model. The first category is circumstances. These are the things in our lives that are facts. The way that you know if something is a fact is everyone will agree on it. This is a glass. I am a woman. I am speaking into a microphone. I am a life coach. These are things that you could present in a court of law and there wouldn't be any disagreement. These are the facts of your life.
Now, remember, just because you believe it doesn't mean it's a fact. Everybody has to believe it. Not just your friends, not just the people who know you, but everyone. You can ask a stranger and they would agree. Yes, that is a glass. Okay, so that's the best way for me to describe circumstances, which starts at the top of the model.
The next category is thoughts. The way that I defined thoughts is they are a sentence in your mind. They are what we think about the circumstance. This is a glass, so any judgment about that glass: it's pretty; it's ugly; it's mine; it's yours; it's expensive, whatever the thought is about the glass, that goes in to what we call the thought line or the t-line. It's a sentence in your mind. Thoughts are always optional and thoughts are the cause of all, and I mean all, of our problems and all of our success and all of our wins as well.
The next category is feelings. We call that the f-line on the model. Feelings are vibrations in our bodies caused by our thinking. We experience feelings in our body as a vibration and they are caused by our thinking: sad, mad, glad, happy, angry, frustrated, elated. One word: feelings, that describe the vibration in our body. We have circumstances which are facts. Circumstances trigger our thoughts which are sentences in our mind. Sentences in our mind cause our feelings in our bodies which are vibrations. Feelings cause and drive our actions, which is the next category.
Actions are our behaviors or our inactions that we do in our lives. Things that we do in our lives are all caused by our feelings. Then the last thing is results. The results are the effect of our action. No matter what your client presents with, you can always categorize it into one of those 5 categories. It's either a circumstance, it's either a thought, it's either a feeling; it's either an action or it's a result. Once you get in there, then you know how to fill in the rest of the model by knowing that circumstances trigger our thoughts; thoughts cause our feelings; feelings drive our actions; and actions create our results. Our results will always be evidenced for the original thought that we had.
Now, if this is your first time hearing about the model, I've just covered it very quickly and it may seem very confusing. I want to encourage you to go back to the earlier podcast when I break it all down step-by-step how the model works. Now, remember, I've just introduced you to this tool. I've just introduced you to this fancy, new drill that's going to make your life so much better once you learn how to use it, but you have to take the time to learn how to use this model in your life.
The first way that you learn how to use it is just by noticing and watching your mind and filling in the model based on something that you're doing in your life, something that you're feeling in your life, something that you're thinking, a result you're getting. The more you fill in a model, the more awareness you will create in your life. The more awareness, the more consciousness, the better you get at holding the space, the better you get at increasing your overall awareness of your life which ultimately, that level of consciousness will help you become a deliberate creator. The model is the second tool. It's where we spend most of our time in my in-person trainings and it's where we require the most practice. The more we practice with the model, the more adept we get at managing our entire lives.
The third tool is emotional childhood, emotional adulthood. This is a concept that is really important to understand. That's why I call it a tool, because when you can pull it out and recognize, "Oh my gosh, I'm an emotional childhood," or someone in my life has an emotional childhood, or I want to be more of an emotional adult. You'll be able to improve your life tremendously. Emotional childhood is where most of us are even as adults because we have not been taught how to take responsibility for our feelings.
Now, remember, from the model I taught you that thoughts create your feelings always. Other people don't create your feelings. Circumstances do not create your feelings. The only thing that can create a feeling within you is a thought in your mind, is your thought about a circumstance. Now, this is isn't to say that some thoughts should create certain emotions and we should be feeling certain emotions. I don't introduce the concept of emotional childhood so you can take blame for how you feel. I do teach the concept of emotional childhood and emotional adulthood so you can take responsibility for how you feel.
The reason why I want you to take responsibility is because that is where all of your power is. If you're the one responsible for how you feel, then you are the most powerful person in your life. If no one else in your life can make you feel a certain way, then nobody else has that same level of power in your life. I have no better news for you. That is the best news. If you are the one that has the most power in your life, that is the strongest place that I can teach you to be, but you have to be willing to accept that responsibility in order to have that power.
Emotional adulthood is recognizing that all of your feelings are caused by your thoughts. They are not caused by your mother or your mother-in-law or your past or someone driving in the car or something that happened to you or your husband or your children. All of your feelings are yours to take full responsibility for. Every thought you have creates a feeling inside of you and it is the only thing that creates a feeling inside of you is a thought you have. All of your thoughts are choices. This was the best news I ever received in my life. That emotional adulthood was my power stance and that it was available to me whenever I chose it.
Number 4 tool is the manual. This is a tool I came up with several years ago when I noticed that most of my clients had an operating manual for other people in their lives. You know how you have an operating manual for a TV? Most of my clients and students had operating manuals for other people and knew exactly how they should be behaving and had very clear instructions on how they should behave in order to feel good. I think this is one of our weakest points that we can put ourselves in because when you create instructions for how you want someone else to behave in order for you to feel good, you have handed your power over to them. You might as well say, "Here is your instruction booklet. You must follow it exactly. If you don't, I will be miserable. If you do, I will be great."
Now, all of a sudden you've handed all your power away and you're simply waiting to see if they behave the way you have requested. You're going to try and control them from a place of weakness because you will think that your emotional life depends on it. I have seen this manual ruin more relationships unnecessarily than any other thing. You can see how the manual comes from a place of emotional childhood because they presupposes that the way I feel is determined by how you act. Now, we know that this isn't true. We know that the way I feel is determined by what I think, not by how someone else acts. If I believe that how I feel is determined by how someone else acts, then my new agenda in my life is to control how someone else acts or to just be disappointed that they don't act the way that I want them to, and then I blame them for how I feel.
I've put myself to a complete powerless place to be. When I teach the manual, I use it as a tool of awareness to understand that you have a manual for someone and what that manual is. One of the ways that I help us back out of the manual, back out of having manuals for other people is to first identify what is it that you believe you will feel if somebody behaves that way and why. From there, we can understand what is it that you need to think and believe in order to feel the way you want. From that place, you can let the other person in your life be who they are. Nobody wants to follow a manual that you've written for them anyway. They get to be who they are and you get to manage and take care of your own emotional life and your actions and how you behave in your life, which is where all of your power is.
If you notice, the 2 things that I'm really teaching and encouraging and helping my students and clients create is awareness and self-empowerment. We increase the consciousness and we increase the power in each individual's lives. The next tool is or are questions. We teach about questions because questions are one of the most powerful tools we can use to manage our mind. The brain is completely open to answering questions. It always wants to answer a question.
If you ask it a fantastic question, it will come up with a fantastic answer. If I say to myself, "Tell me everything that's great about me. Tell me everything that's great about my husband. Tell me what I love about myself. Tell me what am I grateful for." Your brain will go to work to find thoughts to answer that question. Now, if you ask it terrible questions like, "Why can't I get ahead? Why am I no good? Why do I suck at this? Why can't I make more money?" It will give answers that are terrible and thoughts that are terrible that you will then think and feel terribly about.
One of the things that I teach is that you can come up with really powerful questions as tools to direct your mind. You can come up with very powerful questions to create thoughts that give you the feeling that you want. That's the first way we use questions. The second way that we use questions is by questioning our belief systems, by asking why, by asking "What are you making that mean?" by asking, "Why does that even matter?" or "So what?"
When we start to question all of our automatic thinking, when we start to question all of our programmed beliefs by using inquiry, by asking "Why? So what? What are you making that mean?" you're able to start to wiggle around thoughts that you may have thought were just part of who you are, that you may thought were just part of your character. When someone says to me, "Well, that's just how I've always been," and I say, "Why?" it makes you sit up a little bit. It makes you question, "Wait a minute, why is that that way? Why am I this way? Why do I believe that? Why do I act like that? Why do I make this mean something that doesn't serve me in my life?" We have a list of questions.
One of the best questions, really, is when you're not feeling well and you're feeling negative emotion is asking yourself why. When you believe something, ask yourself why. When you state something that you think requires that you feel negatively, ask yourself, "What are you making it mean?" You will realize that you truly are the cause of most of your own suffering. It's unnecessary suffering but it's not involuntary. You have a choice. The first step is we put awareness on it; the second step is you understand it; and the third step is you change it.
One of the best ways to uncovering what's going on in your brain is by asking your brain confronting questions, by asking your brain to explain itself, because very often it cannot. It has been programmed from a very early age and it has gone unquestioned for so long and that we think that's our identity. Questions is what can really turn that around.
The next tool I teach is boundaries. I personally had a terrible experience with trying to learn how to set boundaries in my family life and I shared it pretty publicly with my clients and on the podcast. When I learned how to set proper boundaries, I completely changed my life. Completely changed my life. Instead of feeling resentful and feeling like I had to stick up for myself and fight for myself, I dropped into a place of really clean boundaries, emotional maturity, and love. Instead of feeling like I had to put my dukes up against somebody, I could just have really clean boundaries.
A boundary is not to be confused with the manual. A boundary does not tell someone else how to behave. A boundary tells them how I will behave if they cross my boundary. If they come into my space emotionally or physically, this is how I will respond. The person can continue to do whatever they want but this is what I will do. When you set really clean boundaries that are really clear and from a loving place and you're willing to follow through on those boundaries, you will create relationships that are free from any kind of resentment, any kind of lying, and are open with love and compassion and honesty.
A boundary basically sounds like, "If you do this then I will do that." You can continue to do that all you want but this is what I will do to take care of me. Whenever you're setting a boundary, you want to make sure am I placing this from love, am I taking full responsibility for myself, and is this truly a boundary violation. Am I trying to manipulate someone else's behavior with a threat, which is very different than a boundary violation, so you have to ask yourself how is this person coming in to my boundary, how is this person affecting me.
Example of it is if someone is hitting you, if someone is yelling in your face, if someone is smoking a cigarette, if someone is using drugs in your presence, if someone is using language that you don't agree with…those kind of things are all boundary violations. If somebody's not cleaning up after themselves or if somebody isn't buying you flowers, that is not a boundary violation, right? Boundary violation is when someone has crossed over what is appropriate or safe for you and your personal and emotional space.
The next tool is feelings. We call it processing feelings. I take a lot of time to teach people how to feel, teach them the tool of how to process a feeling, how to allow a feeling. Most of us are very good at denying our feelings, resisting our feelings, escaping, numbing out our feelings. Most of us have not learned the concept of feeling a feeling all the way through and most of us have not learned of the concept of allowing a feeling without reacting to it. That's where all these tools come into play.
When we take responsibility for how we are feeling, we also recognize that our thoughts are causing our feelings. Although sometimes there are many feelings that are very appropriate for us to be thinking and feeling, there are some that are completely unnecessary and cause unnecessary suffering that cause us to feel badly about ourselves, to feel shame, to feel anger because they are unchecked and thoughts that we are unaware of that just keep playing like records over in our minds that may have been programmed into our minds years ago, and because we don't have the consciousness or the awareness of even what we're feeling, let alone what we're thinking, we never get to change that.
The way that I see this so often with my clients is in the way that so many of them overeat instead of feel, over-drink instead of feel, overwork instead of feel, or just go into complete denial instead of feel. You cannot change your emotional life if you're not willing to look at it. You cannot change your feelings if you're not willing to feel your feelings in order to find the cause of them. You cannot change the cause of your feelings if you're unwilling or if you don't know how to process an emotion all the way to the thought that's causing it.
We spend a lot of time in the course learning how to feel. We name our feelings by acknowledging that they're vibrations in our body. We open our bodies up so we can experience the feeling instead of tensing against it. We learn how to not resist feelings. Most of us resist our feelings and call that feeling. We learn how to not be afraid of our feelings. When you're willing to feel any feeling in the world, then you will be able to create anything you want in your life because you won't be holding yourself back because you're afraid of having some emotion.
All of the things we worry about in our lives are emotions. We worry about things happening because we're afraid of the emotion that that will create. When we recognize that there isn't any emotion that can harm us, that emotions in and of itself are not harmful, it's simply a reaction to them that is harmful, then that's not to say that some negative emotions aren't uncomfortable and that they aren't painful in their own ways, but there's nothing that you can't handle when it comes to a vibration. The worst emotion in the world is still something that you will survive and that you can process and feel all the way through.
The next tool that we teach are outcomes. I teach outcomes a little bit different than most people. I teach 3 main concepts when it comes to outcomes. You write your goal and you understand your why, why you have any goal you have in your life. You understand the why. Then you write down all of your obstacles to reaching that goal, and for each obstacle you convert it into a strategy. Anything that is in between you and achieving that goal is really just a rung on the ladder to achieve it.
If I think about losing 20 pounds, one of my obstacles to losing 20 pounds may be overeating cake. That may be one of the obstacles. When I take that obstacle and turn it into a strategy, I develop a strategy to not overeat cake, then that becomes an item on my to-do list in order to achieve it. When I take all the obstacles and turn them into actions and turn them into new thoughts and new perspectives. Then I have my journey. I have my direction. I have the steps that I need to take in order to get the results I want.
The next piece of how I use all outcomes is I do something that I called do goals. These are the things that you need to do. The distance between where you are now and where you want to be is just covered in steps, however many steps you need to take to get from here to there. When you can do what you need to do, to research what those steps are, create those steps for yourself and then calendar them, put them on your calendar, it's just a matter of doing them and you will achieve your goal.
The trick is do you have the practice, the commitment, the ability to honor your word to yourself and to follow through and to do those do goals when you commit to them? I think this is one of the most important advanced skills that I'll talk about in the next podcast, but really, the ability to be able to schedule something for yourself from a place of real consideration and then to have that be on your calendar and then to honor that commitment that you've made to yourself, I think is the secret of all confidence, of all integrity of your relationship with yourself and of being able to create anything it is you want to create in your life.
I have so much confidence in myself because I know that if I schedule something on my calendar, if I put it there and tell myself that I'm going to do it, I know that I will. What that does for me is when I set a goal, I know if I just do everything, all of the steps, that I'll achieve it. I know that I'll do all the steps. I can count on myself to do that, so I know that it will be done.
One of the things that I work with on my students a lot is we make commitments to ourselves. First of all, most of us don't even think about what we want. Second of all, we don't plan and write down the steps. Then we don't schedule the steps and we certainly don't follow through on those steps. I work with each of my students and clients all the way through that process, but most importantly, how do you do something when you don't feel like doing it?
When I've scheduled for myself tomorrow to record another podcast and tomorrow at noon comes and I don't feel like doing a podcast, how do I honor that commitment to myself? How do I overcome the thought/feeling combination that "It doesn't matter. There's no rush. Do it later. Not that many people listen," or whatever story that I'm going to tell myself that may or may not be there when I get to the time where it's time to record. When I know that no matter what, I will honor my commitment, no matter what noise or chatter goes on in my brain, that's how I build my relationship with myself. That's how I build the power with myself.
I really encourage my clients to set big goals that are challenging to bring up the obstacles that are between them and the goals, to write down the steps, to calendar them and then to honor the commitment. It's the best way I know to develop an incredible relationship with yourself because the process of honoring your commitment everyday builds that. Also, the achievement of the big goal really encourages you to have your own back and to have confidence in yourself and to believe in yourself because you know that you'll follow through and achieve what it is you really want to achieve in your life in a very deliberate and thoughtful way instead of just letting your life come to you.
The next tool that I teach is belief systems. It's really important that we understand what are the guides that drive our life. What is the navigation based on? Why are we going in the direction we're going in? Why are we doing the things that we're doing. It all comes down to what we believe. Now a belief is just a thought you keep on thinking. A lot of the work that you'll do when you're first introduced to a model may just be fleeting thoughts that you have on a daily basis. Eventually you will get to the point where you're really starting to see that there's a lot of thoughts that just keep reappearing and they cause a lot of problems, those thoughts. Those are typically belief systems that maybe were programmed into your brain a long time ago so you don't even notice that it's a belief. You don't even notice that you believe that about yourself.
For example, I have a client that thinks she'll never lose weight. It's not possible for her. I have another client that doesn't believe she can make more than $100,000 a year. I have another client that doesn't believe she's not smart enough; another client that doesn't believe she's young enough. All of those thoughts just seem to sit in the background but they're thought so many times they have such deep neural pathways in our brain that they are belief systems.
They are thoughts that we have thought so many times that they have really literally become part of the fabric, part of the physicality of our brain. In order to change a belief system that isn't serving us, we need to first become aware of it. We need to observe it with curiosity. We need to notice the effect that it has in our lives, the feelings that it's creating and the actions it's creating, the results that it's creating. Then we need to practice how to de-program that belief system and re-program a new one.
The first step and one of the things that's the most challenging is that a lot of times we understand intellectually that something is a belief system but we don't really get the mechanics of it. A lot of times I'll say to a client, "Hey, do you understand that 'I'm too old' is just a thought, it's not a belief? Do you understand that that's just a thought, it's just a belief; it's not true? Just because you believe it doesn't make it true and, in fact, it's an optional thought."
Clients will understand that intellectually, but to really have them start to wiggle that belief system, we have to introduce them to actions that contradict that belief system. What will happen is when you have a new thought that you're trying to believe in, new actions that contradict an old belief system, is it'll create a lot of anxiety. Remember, your brain likes to stay the same. The least amount of effort, the better, and the more it stays the same, the better. It's trying to be protective.
As you start noticing belief systems and trying to change them, it will be very important to remind ourselves, "It's just a thought, it's not who I am," because the brain is so attached to the thought because it's thought it so many times and it's so efficient that it will appear to be involuntary. That's how we work on belief systems, identifying those thoughts that we've thought so many times and unraveling them and proving them wrong. That's the next tool.
The last tool that we teach is unconditional love. This is a tool that will change mostly your relationship with yourself, I think, which is the most important relationship any of us can have. We have a relationship with our self first and then the nature of that relationship will determine our relationships with other people. We develop our relationship with ourselves starting when we're very young and typically most of us are not taught how to love ourselves. We don't even understand exactly what that means.
Unconditional love means I love you no matter what you do and I love you for the sake of feeling and experiencing love. When you love yourself unconditionally, you are both the lover and the loved. You get to experience love double down. Loving other people and choosing to love them no matter what is a huge benefit because you get to experience love no matter what. Think about if you loved everybody in your life. That's an option for you. Most importantly, and I think most beneficially, is finding a way to love yourself so you can experience being loved by yourself and loving yourself, having that double experience.
One of the things that we do is we uncover any reason why we think we don't deserve to be loved by us. Now remember, anything we uncover will just be a thought. We think we will discover some deep character flaw but we don't. All we discover is programmed thinking. All we discover is opinions about things that we've done. We experience thoughts about ourselves that are unloving and the way that we learn how to love ourselves unconditionally is by changing that thinking.
People are afraid if they love themselves unconditionally that they won't care about anyone else. All they'll do is care about themselves and become narcissists and it's the exact opposite. The more you love yourself, the more love you have to give. The more you love yourself, the better you get at loving and the better you are at loving everybody else.
Those are the tools that I teach at the school. There are a lot of them there. When you learn them and you start applying them, your life inevitably changes. The increased awareness, the increased empowerment that you have in your life, the willingness that you have to admit that you are responsible for everything that you create in your life will help you release other people from having to behave in a certain way and will change your relationships without those people having to do anything. It's the most powerful thing I can offer you, is these 10 tools. I have nothing better to give. I feel like it's my contribution that I gave to myself learning in this way and applying these to my life has changed everything and now it's my offering to the world. I offer it to you so excitedly because I know what a game changer it is.
For those of you who are interested in learning these on a much deeper level, I'm going to invite you to come to my 6-day training in September and I will teach them to you on the deepest level. For those of you who already know these tools, I want to invite you to come to the advanced training, if there's still room, and I definitely want to invite you to join me in my next podcast next week where I will be talking about how once you have these tools in your tool belt and you know how to use them, I'm going to teach you how to build the house with them. I'm going to teach you about the skills that you will develop having these tools mastered. I look forward to talking to you all next week. Have a wonderful, beautiful week. I'll talk to you later. Ba-bye.
Thank you for listening to The Life Coach School podcast. It is my honor to show up here every week and connect with people that are like-minded, wanting to take their life to a deeper level with more awareness and more consciousness. If you are interested in taking this work to the next level, I highly encourage you to go to TheLifeCoachSchool.com/howtofeelbetteronline. It is there that I have a class that will take all of these to a deeper application where you'll be able to really feel and experience how all of these concepts can start showing up in your life. It's one thing to learn it intellectually; it's another thing to truly apply it to your life. I will see you there. Thanks again for listening.