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Coach in Training: Mindset

By: Kim Green

Mindset is the word that I have been meaning to use! The week’s valuable discussion on Mindset made me understand what is happening with my client. You know the one, the client I can’t stop writing about. The truth is I have been able to wrangle three clients, so far and they are all interesting in their own ways…but this one, let’s call her X, is the one that is not as straightforward as the others. She’s the one that makes me question whether I am getting through to her at all...

So, I had my session with X on Monday evening and at the end she said, “Remember when I was training to be a health coach?”

Of course, I remember. I was one of her guinea pigs way back then.

She went on… “I remember there was this one client who was so difficult. Every time we had a coaching session, I would give her suggestion on new foods that I thought could help her. And everything I suggested she would say, “I can’t.” Her reasons varied from allergic, to not available at her supermarket, to it made her stomach hurt. But no matter what I suggested she was never willing. Then, X says to me, “I was just thinking, that I hope I am not that kind of client for you!”

That’s exactly how she is for me! But I didn’t give in. I said that “As a coach I am here to bring awareness and although your mantra is, `I’m in a good place. I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy. I am in a good place.’ Because I care about you, I don’t buy it. X, I know there’s more to you than that. And I know because you said it last week.” For the first time, she was silent.

I don’t know if that was a win or a loss. I don’t know if Lynn would have approved of that response or not, but my gut told me to say it, so she could remember the safe place that I am. Well, my bringing awareness did finally start a discussion about her needs, not everyone else’s that she feels so obligated to. Needs, of course is the discussion that we were having in class.

Like a stubborn flower, X started to open up…a little. She at least used the word NEEDS. As the flower started to unfurl, she started once again talking about the needs of other family members and how she could still fit in to “help” even though she had already made a pledge to not butt in, so much. I quietly reminded X that she was talking about the needs of others, again. It was clear to me that her needs have been so deeply buried, she no longer knows herself or what she needs. All she knows is that she needs to be in service to others.

The good news is that the next week has started and we started talking about the next piece of the puzzle. Purpose. And I think this discussion can help X, perhaps it is another thing that she can ponder and won’t be able to put it on others. Purpose is all about her. I am hoping that once she can separate herself from her superficial value of obligation, she could look to herself to find her purpose and what all of this "obligation" has been for. And, ask herself, has it really served her? When I mentioned obligation as a superficial value – that seemed to resonate.

The other work that the class did last week is Lynn asked for a volunteer to do the Values exercise with her to help us help clients determine their own values. To begin, my classmate listed about 20 things that “were important” to her. She listed things like helping others, nature and connection. After much conversation about the words and how they played out in her life, she finally arrived at a stronghold of her values. It was remarkable to watch. She started by saying that her three most important values were Structure, Organization, and learning. And she ended with the most important things that really speak to who she is: personal power, authenticity and integrity.

When we look at who we are through someone else’s lenses, we see ourselves one way. But, when we look through the eyes of our soul, it’s something all together different.

The eyes of our soul always win.

Kim Green is a writer and a student at The Institute for Life Coach Training. In this blog series, she has documented her experience as she goes through the Foundational training. To read about Kim's journey, click here.