I’m close to finishing my training with Martha Beck to transition from therapist to Life Coach. I’ve discovered that there is very little difference between what she teaches and how I do therapy: she combines body/mind techniques to help people get unstuck, and then clarify and accomplish their goals.
I love it! And during the course of this adventure, I found there are people who have no coaching or therapy experience and are really starting out from scratch, others who have a great deal of life experience but are new to coaching, and still others – like me – who have a lot of life and professional experience in related areas.
One issue or question that keeps coming up for all of us (me included), regardless of experience, is how we are going to be successful as a coach when there are so many of us. It’s the idea that there are only so many people who want or need coaching and a lot of coaches providing this service; it’s the idea – the myth – of scarcity.
It comes up in comments – stated or implied – like this: “She’s so good and I’m just starting out! How am I ever going to compete against her? I don’t have a chance, and might as well quit!”; or “God! As soon as I open my mouth about Martha Beck, people simply want to read her books! I feel like a walking advertisement for her, instead of doing anything for myself!”; or “Dam! We’re in the same network group! How can we both talk about coaching without getting in each other’s way?”
These are a small sample of the fears that go through the mind and bodies of most of us, and they are all – every one of them – myths, based solely on our own limiting beliefs, and not on the reality of the situation at all. In reality, we live in a world filled with people who are looking for the kind of help coaches offer, and especially in this world of online access, our customer base is world-wide. There is more than enough work for everyone, and that happy fact means we can relax and focus on finding people who we work well with.
I’ve focused on coaching because that’s what I’m focused on anyway just now. But this attitude of scarcity is everywhere. It might be that you work in a small office where only one person ever gets promoted – forgetting that there’s a whole world of other similar opportunities out there; or that you want to make and sell fragrant soaps, but notice that every flea market has hoards of soap sellers. It doesn’t matter what you fear, the myth of scarcity can be examined, dismissed, and replaced with a belief that truly helps.
If you’re feeling anxious in this way, I’d like to offer the following to help you determine how much of that fear is real and how much is really based on a limiting belief (based on Byron Katie’s The Work).
- Write it out. Begin writing everything you can about your feelings, fears and beliefs. Don’t hold anything back – no one but you will ever see it, so get as down and dirty as you can.
- Find the belief, or set of beliefs that all of this fear is based on. For instance, let’s take the “As soon as I open my mouth” example above: I might begin with writing about how unfair it all is, how no one wants to pay anything for value, always looking for the least expensive way – writing about my pain and fears until they are all out in the open, on paper. Eventually, I’ll begin to calm down and notice a pattern through my words. It might be “I don’t really have anything to offer!” or “Deep down, I’ll never be good enough!”. The belief that we hold, deep down, is often something we would never say out loud, even to ourselves.
- Challenge this belief. Katie has a system she uses and teaches to challenge our beliefs, beginning with challenging the truth of the belief, then looking for examples of when it isn’t true. Then dives deeper, examining how believing it makes us feel (generally awful in some major way), and who we would be without that belief (generally good and even great). Then as a final nail in the belief coffin, examines variations of the reverse or opposite of the belief, often revealing something significant about why we have that belief. Continuing with the example, “I don’t really have anything to offer”: it isn’t always true – there are many ways I have something of real value to offer – all of us have this. But when I let myself believe this, I feel small, defeated, worthless. Without believing that I don’t have anything to offer, I’d feel fine – relaxed, engaged. Reversing the belief – I do have something to offer; My self-doubting mind doesn’t have anything to offer – shows me what really has to go (my self-doubt).
- Replace the belief with C. We all have something valuable to offer, and that value comes from who we truly are, authentically. The more we question any belief that stops us, the more we can relax into the truly powerful self we are, in whatever space we’re in.
Now I’d love to hear from you about your own experiences, knowledge, opinions. In the comments below, share one thing that you experienced as a mirror moment that changed your day, or even your life.
This newsletter is in three parts: the first part is my contribution; the second is a video I’ve found that relates to the topic in part 1; the third is a quote. I hope you enjoy the richness this brings to the topic of the week with all three parts.
Quote of the Week
If you think happiness is a rare bird you won’t see much of it. ― Marty Rubin
At times we need more – we know the logic, know what to do. And yet something is still blocking us. I offer both one-on-one consultations and coaching packages. For more information, visit my website www.thejoyofliving.co/services-and-programs or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org