Ep #160: Lessons Learned from Steve Chandler
“Do it badly; do it slowly; do it fearfully; do it any way you have to, but do it.”
― Steve Chandler, Reinventing Yourself: How to Become the Person You've Always Wanted to Be
On this “Lessons Learned” episode, I chose to cover the work of one of my teachers, Steve Chandler – a self-help coach and a bestselling author known as an America's notoriously unorthodox personal growth guru. Over the course of his career, he has written over 30 self-help books and has helped thousands of people change their lives and level up their businesses.
I’m really excited to share with you some of Steve’s teachings on the importance of coaching, time management, dealing with fear, the power of the language we use, worry, and much more!
I highly encourage you to pick up any of Steve Chandler's books.
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
- Why the business of coaching has a low bar for entry and a high bar for success.
- Why we need to be coached.
- Time management advice and quotes.
- The lies our brain is telling us on a regular basis.
- Tips for overcoming fear.
- And much more!
Featured on the show
- Time Warrior by Steve Chandler
- The Prosperous Coach by Steve Chandler and Rich Litvin
- Reinventing Yourself: How to Become the Person You’ve Always Wanted to Be by Steve Chandler
- Kara’s free text message anxiety worksheet: Dating Stress Solution
- Email Kara Lowentheil at [email protected]
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.
What's up, my friends? How are you guys? Holy cow. It's such a beautiful day in California. I can't even get over it. I just took my dogs on a walk and I just want to take them on another one. It was like an hour long walk. I'm like, "Let's just do it again, boys." So freaking gorgeous right now. All the blossoms are in bloom. The sky is blue. I love our weather in California. I'm so in love with it.
Let's talk about today. Every tenth podcast I talk about an author. This time I picked Steve Chandler because we just read his book Time Warrior and because this month we're all talking about time in Self Coaching Scholars so I thought it would be the perfect choice to pick him. He's written several other books. I think I first got turned onto him from a book called The Prosperous Coach that he wrote with Rich Litvin. Great book on networking and building your business and marketing as a coach, if you are listening to this and you're a coach, I highly recommend. It's a great book to pick up. He's also written, I think, it's upwards of like 30 books. If you look him up, you will find a tremendous amount of content from him. I love the way he thinks. I love the way he teaches. I think he's fantastic. I think he's a great author and I love some of his ideas. I really enjoyed his book Time Warrior.
Here's what he does. He writes in a way where it's like short chapters, a lot like Steven Pressfield, and so you can flip to any part in the book and read just sections of his ideas, which I kind of like if you just want a book that you can pick up off the coffee table and get some good ideas from. I recommend his work very much.
The Prosperous Coach, a quote from that, says, "The coaching profession has a problem that is twofold: there's a low bar for entry and a high bar for success." Oh, that's so true. It's so true.
Listen, you guys, being a coach is the most awesome opportunity that anyone like me has in the world. If you are a person who knows that you are meant to be of service and you want to help people with their brains, becoming a life coach is simply as easy as saying, "I want to be a life coach," and you are a life coach. We are an unregulated industry. You can just claim yourself a life coach. Here's the thing. If you don't know how to coach yourself and you don't know how to coach other people, you're not going to be successful and that's what they mean by that. You really need to, in my opinion, get the proper training, build your business the proper way, and coach yourself over all of your self-doubt. This is something I do daily. I'm always coaching myself over my own self-doubt in order to create success in my life. I don't think anyone gets away from that. I don't think anyone gets into the coaching profession and just becomes an instant hit with all of their clients. We all have to get over ourselves, build our businesses, and really offer so much value and service to the world.
"The struggling coach has huge dreams that overwhelm them. The pro coach has huge dreams and takes tiny steps every day. But all successful coaches realize that the service formula is true. When they are on their game and into the groove, their bank account reflects it but only always.” “A coach without a coach is like a doctor who won't see a doctor." Oh, that's so good.
You know, I was just thinking about one of my clients who hired me to coach her in Stop Overeating Masterclass. That's a very expensive coaching program and she signed up. It was actually right after she had signed up for coach training. I told her, I'm like, "You should just double down." She said, "I want to be a coach, but I also want to be coached." I could tell how much she believed in coaching by putting her money where her mouth was. I will tell you in that moment, I will never forget it, in that moment, I knew that she was going to be an amazingly successful coach and I was not wrong.
If you are a coach and you're not paying for someone to coach you, how can you expect other people to pay you to coach them? Do you believe in your service enough? Do you believe in your industry enough to pay for someone to coach you? I certainly do! I pay a ridiculous amount of money for my coach to coach me and it's worth every dang penny.
Those are the quotes from The Prosperous Coach. Such a good book. Here are some quotes from his book Time Warrior. "When you say you fear death, you are really saying that you fear you have not lived your true life." That's really powerful. When you think about your life and you think about what you're doing with your time, be honest with your opinion. If you're in Scholars, I've given you some questions at the end in your workbook on this podcast. Answer them. Really look at how you are using your time, how you are making your time here.
He says, "When I write a book without writing a schedule, it's really a nightmare." This is what we talked about last week, planning your life, planning to write, sitting down and really planning. My coach, Frank Kern, what he does is he turns on a timer for 30 minutes and sits down and he can stare at a blank screen or he can write, but he's going to be sitting there for 30 minutes regardless. Love it.
"The more you procrastinate, the less energy you have." Oh, that's good. "The more you procrastinate, the less energy you have." Isn't that true? You start off with energy and then you're like, "I'm going to put that off. I'm going to put that off. I'm going to put that off." Then you're exhausted and you actually have to force yourself to do it.
"Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask, act." I love that. Take massive action in your life. Get to know yourself. Be willing to show up in your life.
"Serving is the opposite of pleasing." I think that's one of my favorite quotes. I'm always telling my students, "You have to be willing to serve." When I'm coaching a client ... Trust me, those of you in Self Coaching Scholars know this is true because you've watched me coach, I am not interested in pleasing my client. That is not useful for them. What I'm interested in is serving them, in showing them how amazing they are and showing them how their thinking is debilitating them. That's what matters to me the most. Serving is not the same as pleasing. It's the opposite. Great quote.
"If you desired to change the world, where would you start? With yourself or others?" Many, many, many people are trying to change other people in order to change the world, but your entire world can be changed by just changing yourself.
He wrote another book that I think is such a great title. I love it. I remember someone saying this is the only book you would ever need to read in order to change your life. I tend to agree. If you understand the basic idea that we lie to ourselves ... The way that we were raised, programmed our brain to believe certain things and we have continued to believe them inadvertently without even realizing it. What are the lies that your brain is telling you? I wrote down a few here.
"There's something wrong with me." It is unbelievable how many of my students have this belief, "There's something wrong with me." That thought, that lie, is always followed by shame and the action is always hiding, which perpetuates the shame. I think that's the number one lie, "There is something wrong with me."
"I can't because I'm afraid," is another one. Listen, fear is not a reason not to do something. Your brain will tell you that fear will keep you safe, not taking action will keep you safe. That may be true in very few situations. In this modern world, it is almost always not true.
Another lie that's holding you back from his book is, "I worry because I care." Now, let me ask you this. What has worry ever done for you? Worrying never does anything. It's not preventative.
"People really upset me." Remember nobody can upset you. Only thing that upsets you is your brain and the thoughts you have.
"Winning the lottery would solve everything." Now, in this version of this thought that he gives is any thought you have about happily ever after. Maybe for you it isn't winning the lottery. Maybe it's finding the man of your dreams or buying a house or getting the job or getting the clients or getting the car. Whatever it is that you think that you will do out there in the world that will solve all your problems is a lie and it prevents you from being happy now.
"That's just the way I am." Such a lie. You get to define who you are. Who you are depends on what you think about yourself. You are not just like anything. You get to decide who you want to be.
Here's some other quotes from him that I thought were great. "Do it badly, do it slowly, do it fearfully, do it any way you have to do it but do it." Write down ten things you would do in your life if you had absolutely no fear, then pick one of them and do it. I double dog dare you.
"Help me believe the truth about myself, no matter how beautiful it may be." "Some people use language to describe the lives they lead. Other people use language to create the lives they lead." Now, this one sentence, my friends, if you really truly meditate on this sentence and understand it, you can really change everything. Are you spending more time describing your life or more time creating your life? I will say that when clients first come to me, they are spending much more time describing it as if it is something that they don't have any control over. Once they've been working with me for a while, they start using language that creates their life. That is the exact shift that us as life coaches are trying to make. We are putting it out there in the world, creating that as an option. You can use the language in your brain deliberately to plan and create your life exactly how you want it.
"Worry is not true thought. Worry is a misuse of the imagination." I don't even have anything additional to say about that. How beautifully said is that? "Worry is a misuse of the imagination."
I want to just talk briefly about this for a second. This is what we talked about last month. We talked about the imagination and how, as humans, we have the opportunity to imagine a future that is better than our past. To use the imagination to think up thoughts that we have never thought before, to create a future that is not based on our past, to create a future from our imagination. I want to say that most of us do not use our imagination. We do not imagine what is possible for us beyond our past and our present. What I want to offer you is that using your imagination for your own sake is a skill that you can develop. You can start imagining what could be possible for your life. Notice when you start imagining that your brain will tell you how it's impossible. Your brain will tell you that it won't work. Your brain will bring up all sorts of doubts and fears. That's your brain's job. It's okay. But don't use that as a reason to stop imagining. Don't misuse your imagination to worry. I love it! Highly recommend you pick up any of Steve's books. They are truly fantastic.
Now, if you wait through to the end of the outro, you're going to have a treat, especially if you are single and you want to start dating. I want to invite you to listen to Kara's segment on dating. She is fantastic. I love her so much. She's in my Master Coach Training right now. She talks faster than I do, which is a pretty amazing feat in and of itself. Please enjoy her podcast segment. Talk to you next week. Bye bye.
Hey, if you enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out Self Coaching Scholars. It's my monthly coaching program where we take all this material and we apply it, we take it to the next level, and we study it. Join me over at thelifecoachschool.com/join. Make sure you type in the the, T-H-E, thelifecoachschool.com/join. I'd love to have you join me in Self Coaching Scholars. See you there.
Podcast Feature: Kara Loewentheil
Hello, Life Coach School Podcast listeners. I'm Kara Loewentheil and I'm a certified life coach through The Life Coach School, on my way to getting my Master Coach certification.
I work with two main groups of people in my coaching work. The first are lawyers, because I used to be a lawyer, and the second are women who are dating but find it super stressful and anxiety-producing, because frankly, I used to be one of those too. In fact, right now, I'm putting together material for a group coaching class I'm going to be doing called The Dating Stress Solution that starts in April. I thought I'd talk to you today about one of the most stressful elements of modern dating, text message anxiety, especially the anxiety you feel waiting for a reply when you've already sent a text or the anxiety you feel waiting for the first text when you've decided the other person should text you first.
Take for example just this week, I was coaching one of my clients. Let's call her Jane. Jane had gone on a great first date with someone. They met for a drink, then it turned into dinner, then it turned into a walk around the city, and they had a very romantic goodbye, kissing under the stars. They both said they wanted to see each other again but two days later, Jane hadn't heard from him and she was starting to lose her mind. She's not alone. This is the number one thing that stresses my clients out about dating, whether they haven't even met the person yet or they've been dating for months or even years.
There are a couple of things that make text messages a prime source of anxiety for people. First, you can't read tone over text. People communicate differently over text than when they speak and tone and facial expression are a big part of how we interpret communication. Without that there, we aren't sure how to read things and we have even more room to project our own fantasies or fears.
Secondly, the ubiquity of text messaging and smartphones, means that our cultural expectation now for many of us is that people will be available at almost any time to interact with us, but we're still in the middle of a cultural shift where some people grew up with smartphones and some people didn't. We have very different ideas about the function and purpose of text messaging and how quickly texts merit a respond. Some people use text messaging just to plan things. It's just completely functional for them. Some people use text messaging all throughout the day just as a way of staying in touch and expressing interest. If you have one person from each of those groups of people and they're trying to interact in the beginning of dating where they don't really know each other, it's really ripe for miscommunication and for assumptions about the other person in the relationship that really come from nothing but just different ideas about what texting is for and how often one should do it. The inconsistent nature of the responses when you're in that situation is really fertile ground for the thoughts that cause anxiety to crop up.
Third, the fact that text messages just sit in our phones to reread whenever we want just gives our brains more and more opportunities to make up stories about what is going on and to recreate thoughts and feelings about the relationship over and over at any time. So many of my clients, over my objections, insist on keeping their text message chains with people they're dating forever, even though reading over them constantly is a big source of trigger of their anxiety, especially when you're waiting for a response for someone. Every time you look at your texts, you see the text chain and it triggers those thoughts all over again. Even more than that, people go back and read and reread them and actually come up with new things to be anxious about that they didn't think before. I'll have clients who will come to me and say, "Oh, when we exchanged these text messages a few days ago, I thought everything was fine, but I was rereading them again today and I now I think the way that he used that exclamation point means he was actually angry." That sounds ridiculous but I'm sure it doesn't really to some of you who have thought that way and you're not alone.
Let's talk about what causes text message anxiety and what you can do about it. Remember, anxiety is just a physical sensation in your body. Our primitive brains evolved to keep us alive. When something our brain perceives as scary is happening, it sets off a physiological reaction. This reaction was designed by "evolution" over millions of years. It evolved over millions of years to produce the greatest chance of physical survival in the moment. Our brains interpret stress as being, "You're going to die." That's what our brains think stress is.
If you think about it in basic evolutionary biology terms, we developed the ability to have an anxiety or stress response because it's actually very helpful if we're really going to be killed and eaten. When you get stressed, your heart rate increases and it sends more blood to your muscles, your muscles tense, respiration increases, you may breathe harder or faster, cortisol and adrenaline flood your system, which can increase your endurance for a physical effort and blunt pain. In that scenario, stress makes us laser focus on the danger and do everything we can to get away from it.
When it comes to a text message, your brain interprets the absence of the text as the danger. What you want is a response. You think not getting a response, not getting a text, is freaking you out, so your brain thinks that the absence of the text is the danger. That makes your brain think, "Well, the way to get away from this absence is to get the text." If the lack of the text is the danger, then the way to feel better and to be safe is to get the text. Because anxiety makes you focus on the thing making you anxious so you can get away from it, that means you will laser focus on waiting for the text to come through. That's why you can't stop obsessing about it. That's why my client, Jane, had been thinking about this text message nonstop for 48 hours since the date.
Your brain thinks that what will make the danger go away, what will make you safe, is getting the text message. Your brain thinks in terms of physical safety, life or death. That's that primitive fear response. Even though a text message or the lack of a text message is actually not going to kill you or even physically harm you, your brain doesn't really realize that. Getting to safety, getting the text message is all it thinks about. Especially when you're waiting for someone to text you first, this can go on for literally days.
This is a problem for a couple of reasons. Some are obvious. Some might not be so obvious. The obvious reason is that it feels terrible. Stress and anxiety are not pleasant. Most of my clients who come to me for dating coaching are motivated by how anxious they're feeling on a daily basis, trying to navigate dating. Dating, for some people, is really a full-time job with the advent of Tinder and OkCupid and all the different dating platforms and all the constant communication with prospects. There are people who spend most of their day going back and forth with people on dating sites.
There's a less obvious reason that this is a problem too which is this. Anxiety puts blinders on your brain. Remember we talked about that later focus. When you're obsessed with getting a text back and your brain believes that getting the text is what you need to feel okay, you are literally unable to think rationally about whether you actually like the person, whether the relationship is what you actually want. You put yourself in the disempowered place of needing someone else to act so you can feel better. You'll become attached to that story and you won't even be able to figure out whether you really like the person or not.
What can we do about this? If you're a listener of Brooke's podcast, you know that the text message or the lack of text message is never what creates your feelings. Your thoughts are what create your feelings. In my experience, with text anxiety, there are two levels of this work you have to do. The first one is to ask yourself the following two questions: What is the text I want to get? And why do I want to get it?
Let's go back to my client, Jane. The only reason that she wanted to get a text message is that she had decided that if she got a text, she would make it mean something positive, that the guy liked her, that he wanted to see her again. Because of that, she was making the lack of a text message mean that the guy didn't like her and didn't want to see her again. Are you with me?
To identify with this, this is what I want you to remember. The only reason you want a text message is because of how you think you feel if you get one. The only reason you will feel that way is what you are thinking now that you will think when you do. Right now, your brain is making a prediction. If I get the text message, I will think the person likes me. I will feel wanted and desirable. The only reason that you want the text message is because of your brain's prediction about how you'll think and feel if you get it. The only reason you will feel that way if you get the message is what you will be thinking. You want the text message so you can think, "This person likes me," and you can feel wanted.
Of course if the person does like you, then they like you whether they're texting you or not. If they don't like you, then it really doesn't matter whether they text you or not. People who like you can not text you and people who don't like you will text. Either way, in any of those combinations, you can decide how you want to think about it in the absence of the text.
The second level to this is what we make it mean, not just about this person in question and whether they like us, but about whether we are likable in general. One of the reasons that I see my clients get so hung up on people they barely know, people they've gone on one or two or three dates with, is what they're making it mean if that person likes or doesn't like them.
Think about my client, Jane, again. Sure, it was a great night. It was a first date out of a romantic comedy. Really, over all, she had only spent four hours with this guy. She barely knew him. When I asked her why she wanted to hear from him again so badly, she said, "I'm just so tired of dating people for a few dates and then it doesn't work out. I'm starting to think there's something wrong with me. When we had such a great night, I started to have hope that maybe I can find love after all. But if he never wants to see me again, I'm afraid that means I'll be alone forever. I can't imagine a better date than that was." Do you see how much weight Jane is putting on the actions of this person she barely knew?
If you pin all your expectations and hopes for love and a relationship on each new person you go out with, you're making so much ride on whether this person who you barely know wants to see you again. This is another thing that distracts you from thinking about whether you actually want to see them again. When you're fixated on trying to be in a relationship, you don't actually pay attention to the particular people you're vetting for this predetermined slot in your life that you just want to fit someone into.
What compounds text misery and really makes text anxiety skyrocket is, on top of your thoughts about this random person, you are also having thoughts about your overall ability to find a partner, thoughts like Jane was having or thoughts like, "This is so hard," "This always happens to me," "Why doesn't he like me?" "I must be unlovable," "He must hate my body," "I'm never going to find a partner." My clients' favorite often is, "I just wanted this to work out." Think about work out. "I just wanted this to work out." It's so disempowering and puts you totally as the victim. All these thoughts are circling like vultures and the only thing between them and you is whether this random person you didn't know three weeks ago texts you back. You can see what a crazy scenario that is. If you were going to pick anyone in the world to be in charge of your feelings, it would not be some dude whose last name you don't know that you matched on Tinder with a week ago. For all we know, that person is married or they're a fugitive from the law or they were hit by a bus since your date and that's why they didn't text you. No idea.
If you've been listening to Brooke's podcast, you know that emotional childhood is when you give the power to determine your feelings to someone or something outside yourself. Millions of us are going around in total emotional childhood to our cellphones. Just let that sink in. The solution, of course, is to choose emotional adulthood instead. You have the choice of whether to take it personally when someone doesn't reach out to you or doesn't text you back. You get to decide whether to make it mean anything about you at all, much less your prospects for love and connection in the future.
The next time you're waiting for a text, here's what I want you to do. First, write down all the reasons you want to get the text. What are you making the text mean? Then write down at least ten reasons someone might not text you that have nothing to do with you. It will get your brain thinking about all the reasons that other people act the way they do that have nothing to do with you at all. The other thing you can do, of course, is sign up to work with me on this more intensively. I still have spots open for my new group course, The Dating Anxiety Solution, which starts in mid-April. If you want the details, here's a couple ways you can find me. I want to also offer you guys a free worksheet that will help you go through this exercise whenever you're feeling dating anxiety and it has a few more steps I didn't have time to get into in this conversation.
If you want that free worksheet or you want more information about the course, you can contact me at [email protected] You can also check out the course at www.redesignyourmind.com\dating and there will be a link there for the free worksheet or just go to the show notes for this episode and my contact information will be listed there.
If I don't see you there, remember, it's never the text you want, it's how you think you'll feel when you get it. That feeling, as Brooke always says, is available to you now. Have a wonderful week and go forth and date.