Why is mindset important for us as coaches?
I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again – mindset is everything.
On the surface, it may look like mindset is nothing more than a set of assumptions strung together that help us make decisions and progress through life. However, mindset is so much more than that. It stretches far beyond positive thinking and repeating affirmations each day.
Mindset comprises our thoughts, behaviours, beliefs, values, habits, strategies, emotions, identity, history, and experiences. Our mindset is a multi-dimensional element of who we are as human beings.
So, how can we, as coaches, use mindset to help our clients achieve their desires?
In the first episode of my new podcast, The Mindset Coach, I talk about the various layers of mindset and how coaches can help clients embrace their mindset to help them set and achieve their goals.
You can listen to this episode of the podcast below or keep reading….
We have an average of 64,000 thoughts per day. Thoughts race through our minds in response to different situations and events we experience in life. Understanding how your clients think about specific circumstances, situations, and relationships, is key in identifying how you can help them create real change.
You’re not a mind reader. So, how can you find out more about the way your client thinks?
Start by focusing on how they use language to communicate their thoughts. People experience the world through the language they use most often. You might find that one client uses visual language while another uses auditory or kinaesthetic language to communicate.
As a mindset coach, you can learn a lot about how clients experience the world through the language they use. Understanding how your clients experience and view the world is the best way to help them learn to see things in a different light.
When clients communicate thoughts through language, they tend to distort and generalise information. People don’t necessarily do this intentionally. We can’t pay attention to everything, which is why our minds delete some of the information coming at us. It does this in a way that helps us to make sense of the world. However, since people distort and generalise information in different ways, coaches have to discern the reality of the information shared by their client.
What are they really describing to you? And, what’s missing from their story?
Reading between the lines might be the only way that you can uncover their real thoughts. Once you understand how they interpret events that happen to them, you can take the next steps to help them reframe thoughts and experience life in new and different ways.
You can watch the video of this episode below…
Thoughts precede emotions. Emotions drive action just as much as they fuel inaction or inertia. You may have clients who are so consumed with procrastination and so overwhelmed that they feel like moving forward is impossible. On the other end of the spectrum, you may have highly productive clients who are engaged in what they’re doing (maybe even to a fault).
Helping clients strike a balance between these two emotional states starts by working with unresolved emotions. Many clients have unresolved emotions that don’t do anything to help them achieve their goals. If anything, unresolved emotions can hold them back. So, as their mindset coach, you can work with them and allow them to introduce more positive and productive emotions into their life.
Emotional flexibility is essential for driving desired actions and achieving desired results. For this reason, I recommend working with your clients to generate more motivating emotions that will help them achieve goals in life, in their relationships, or their businesses, etc.
Thoughts and emotions drive behaviour. Behaviour is an essential element of mindset that you must consider as a coach. Behavioural patterns can reveal a lot about somebody’s mindset. Encouraging clients to look for patterns in past behaviour can help them understand why they keep procrastinating or why they continue working for the same controlling boss, etc.
Understanding your clients’ behaviours and why they engage in those behaviours is a useful way to help them achieve their goals. Behavioural preferences are an important factor to consider in all of this. A typical example of behavioural preferences is whether someone is more introverted or extroverted.
Behavioural preferences are based on union psychology, which helps determine the contexts in which people behave and how they behave differently depending on how they feel. Shadow behaviours is another element of someone’s personality to consider. We all have shadow behaviours, where we behave differently in certain situations when we feel stressed, pressured, or unwell, etc. Our shadow behaviours tend to emerge when we don’t feel like the best version of ourselves.
As coaches, we need to understand all of the nuances of our clients’ behaviour. We can then know how we can help them overcome behaviours that hinder their progress and develop others that align with their goals. Of course, you have to be careful that you don’t ask your clients to do something outside their behavioural preferences.
Asking an introvert to post a live video on Facebook five days per week will likely be met with friction and resistance. Instead, start small and ask them to record one video and post it when they are happy. Always keep behavioural preferences in mind when working with clients, and make sure that you don’t ask too much from someone too soon!
Habits are closely aligned with behaviour. However, habits are often things that we do without having to think about doing them. When we wake up in the morning, we brush our teeth. We don’t think twice about it because it is a daily habit.
Habits can either help us or hinder us from achieving our goals, and our clients are no different. As a mindset coach, you must try to understand your clients’ habits. Not only existing habits but the habits they want to create. You can also help them remove unwanted habits and ones that get in the way of their success.
Strategies are often linked to behaviour and habits. While habits can turn into subconscious actions, strategies are more intentional. You can think of strategies like the blueprint to help you (and your clients) achieve your desired goals.
As humans, we have strategies for almost everything. We have strategies to help us foster relationships, strategies for attracting clients to our business, and strategies for everything in-between. By understanding the content of a client’s strategy, you can help them change it by identifying the steps that aren’t working and replacing them with effective alternatives.
Beliefs are an integral part of a person’s mindset. When you believe something is true, you automatically search for evidence that proves the initial belief to be true. Think of your brain as a pattern matching organism. It loves finding patterns because it helps it to make sense of the world.
When your client believes something is true, it is easier for them to take action because their beliefs fuel them. However, even though beliefs can motivate us, limiting beliefs can cause us to stop dead in our tracks. Gaining a deeper understanding about beliefs will help you uncover your clients’ limiting beliefs and instill beliefs that will enable them to move closer to achieving their biggest goals.
Values motivate our clients to take action on their goals. You have to make sure that you understand your clients’ values and how they align with their goals. Values reveal what is important to someone and whether or not those values are out of alignment with the ecology of the goal your client wants to achieve.
Once you can clarify your clients’ values, you can help them adjust accordingly using a series of conscious and unconscious change techniques. The ultimate goal here is to help clients explore their values to make sure they are congruent with who they are. Achieving goals is so much easier when values and goals are aligned.
History and Experiences
As a mindset coach, you must take time to get to know your clients. How did they get to where they are now? How do they continue to maintain or not solve the problem they’ve come to you with? You can learn a lot about someone by taking a look at their history and past experiences.
Shining a light on moments in your client’s past can help them finally see what they’ve been doing wrong. For example, why they keep dating someone who isn’t right for them. Suddenly, it’s like a light bulb turns on inside their heads, and they can finally see what has been stopping them from achieving their goal all along.
Some clients struggle to detach themselves from the past. Past behaviour can predict future behaviour, but that doesn’t mean that the past equals the future. If your client lives in the past, they will need your help to guide them into the present. To do this, you can use a combination of conscious and unconscious tools designed to unhook clients from the past so that they can finally be set free and move forward.
Your Client’s Identity
Finally, it would help if you considered your client’s identity. Identity is how we perceive ourselves and who we believe we are as human beings. Helping your clients understand their identity is an essential step as a mindset coach. When working with your clients on their identity, you may have to help them clarify who they want to be in the future. Who do they want to become? How do they see themselves once they have reached their ultimate goal?
Encouraging your client to step into the identity of the person who has already achieved the goal is so powerful. It challenges them to look at their values, habits, beliefs, skills, and how all of these things interweave to form their identity.
Identity drives action. It helps people understand how they really view themselves and identify what steps they need to take to turn their goals and dreams into a reality.
As a mindset coach, you essentially help your client progress through a journey of discovery and accomplishment. By helping them explore different aspects of their mindset from their thoughts to their emotions, beliefs, behaviours, habits, strategies, history, values, and identity, you help them move closer to achieving their goals.