Episode 104: What is Life Coaching?Jun 07, 2021
Most of us have never been coached and we might not know what to expect from coaching or how coaching can help us. In this episode, I explain what I do as a coach and how that can help you in your life.
I’ll explain the purpose of coaching, the method and the philosophy behind my coaching and the goals I have for all my clients. Most importantly, this episode will show how coaching is different than any other problem-solving technique you’ve ever used and how it can help you find the solution to any problem in your life.
Episode Tools and Questions
When I talk about coaching, and what coaching is, I talk about every aspect of it. The science of coaching, the tools, the goals, the rules, and also the philosophy behind coaching. But it’s important that you know that much of it is an art - coming from inside myself, and difficult to define or explain. The tools and the science, mixed with the art and the magic, together, those two things create the craft of coaching.
Today marks the two-year anniversary of starting the 100% Awesome Podcast, so a full episode dedicated to what coaching is and the type of coaching I do was a long time coming. I can’t wait to dive in with you to break down what coaching is and how it can help you create what you want in life.
In this week’s episode, I’m explaining the kind of causal coaching I practice, what my job is as your coach, what I will never do as your coach, and how coaching has the power to change your thoughts, and in turn, your life.
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Rumi: "Out beyond our ideas of wrongdoing or right doing, there is a field. I'll meet you there."
Welcome to the 100% Awesome Podcast with April Price, you might not know it, but every result in your life is 100% because of the thought you think. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome!
Hello, podcast universe! Welcome to episode 104 of the 100% Awesome Podcast. I'm April Price, and I want to welcome you to the podcast, and another glorious day on the planet where you get to have the experience of being a spiritual being housed inside a physical body, that is being run by a brain. Like, what an adventure, right? I used to think that the challenge of life was everything outside of me. Like all the temptations, and problems, and challenges, and people outside of me, like that that's what life is all about, and that's what I came to do, and that's why I came to have this experience in my physical body. And it turns out that the challenge is just inside of me, in my brain, like the whole challenge is managing the brain that is making this Earth-life experience possible in the first place. It's kind of fascinating, right? Like, the call is coming from inside the house.
Anyway, this brings me to today's episode. Today's episode is actually a long time coming, and probably, in fact, way overdue. I see it as kind of an oversight on my part. And so I'm going to try to correct that today. Today actually marks the two-year anniversary of starting this podcast, and I kind of can't believe that in two years I haven't actually addressed this topic directly.
So, the other day I got a D.M. from a follower that said, "Hey, I have a friend that is struggling, and I mentioned to her about hiring a coach." And this friend is unsure because she doesn't really understand, like what a coach does, how having a coach will help. And then, she asked me if I have a blog, or a post on Instagram, or something that explains what I do as a coach. And I thought, huh, I don't know if I've ever really talked about what I actually do as a coach. Like, I know I talk about coaching all the time, and I talk about how we should all have a coach, and how amazing coaching is, and how it is the best thing I ever did for myself. But have I ever really explained what I do as a coach, what coaching is like? Probably not. And maybe some of you are like, yeah, I have no idea what you actually do as a coach, and how that might help me, right? And so, I thought it was probably way past time to do a podcast episode about this. What coaching is like, and what I do for you as your coach. So, I hope I can do this some justice, and explain what I do.
In many ways, it's kind of like if you asked Tom Brady what he does. Yes, I just compared myself to Tom Brady, my brothers are dying now. But Tom Brady could tell you that his job is to lead the team as they move this ball down the field, right? And his job is to manage the football, and put it in the air, or put it in the hands of other people so that ultimately the ball passes the end zone, right? Of course, there are the mechanics, or the science, or the rules of football, but then there is the art, right? The magic, the stuff that Tom Brady does that no one else does, the stuff he probably does without even really knowing how he does it, or what he's doing, right?
If we think about a musical artist, Beyonce, or Adele, it's the same thing, right? Like they could tell you they open their mouths, and they hit the pitch at a certain tempo, and a certain volume, but there is also an artistry that is all their own. And so, when I talk about coaching and what coaching is, I'm going to be talking about the science of coaching, meaning the tools, and the goals, and the rules, and kind of the philosophy of coaching. But just know that there is so much of coaching that is art. There is so much that is just me, and harder to define or explain so much that is just my personal flavor of coaching, my personal power, and magic in coaching. And that only comes when you hire me. And together the tools, and the science mixed with the art and a little bit of that magic, together those two things create the craft of coaching.
Okay, so let's just talk for a minute about the science of coaching, the rules of coaching, like my philosophies about coaching, and what kind of happens in coaching. So, the kind of coaching that I do is called causal coaching, which just like it sounds, is about understanding the cause, the true cause, of our problems. Now, there are other forms of coaching which might focus on like accountability, or changing behaviors. But of course, the things we do aren't ever really the problem, they feel like the problem. We don't. They do. But they are never the cause of the problem, they are actually the symptoms of the problem. The way we feel, what we do, the way we act, what our life looks like, these are never the problem, they are just symptoms of the real problem. And as your coach, it's my job to help you find the true cause of your problem, not just focus on the symptoms.
So, last week when I went in to record my podcast, I walked into my daughter's room, and I noticed that the carpet was wet. So, I was like, weird, right? And as my brain was processing this fact, I remembered that the last couple of times when I had gone in to record the podcast, the door had kind of stuck, and I hadn't been able to shut the door completely. And suddenly I realized why, we had a leak somewhere, and I hadn't been able to close the door because the wood was expanding and stretching. And so, now the door no longer fits in the frame, right? Now, before I stepped into that room with wet carpet, I had had a few thoughts about fixing that door. Like the week before, I had thoughts like, that's weird, I wonder why the door isn't closing, I wonder what's wrong with the door, right? And I thought, well, maybe the hinge came loose. Suddenly the hinge just isn't working. Maybe the house shifted a little bit, and I need to move the hinge, right? Maybe there's something wrong with the door handle, or the latch bolt, or the latch plate, like maybe the latch plate is banging in the wrong place. And I even had the thought that maybe I need to like sand a bit of the door off on one side so that it will fit in the frame, right?
Now, some of you who know about these things are dying right now. It reminds me of the time that I was driving as a teenager, and I got home and I was telling my brother, like, there is something wrong with the car, I had to yank really, really hard on the steering wheel, on the right side, all the way home to make the car go in a straight line. And he was like um April, you have a flat tire. Like knowing the source of the problem is really the key here. Because notice that if I had done any of these things right, fix the hinges, fix the handles, shave the door down, right? It wouldn't have solved my problem, because the door wasn't the real problem. The door was just a symptom of the real problem, the wet carpet was a symptom. Like none of these things were the cause of the problem. And I could try to solve for them, I could stand and shave the door down, I could put a fan on the carpet, I could try to solve those symptoms all day long. But notice, and this is important, whatever I would have tried, might not have worked at all. And if it had worked, it would have only worked temporarily, because these were never the real problem.
And this is the same for us when it comes to our lives we see these problems in our lives, our weight, our relationships, our behavior, our habits, our feelings, our families, our jobs. And we go about trying to fix these problems. We try to take all this action in our lives by trying to do things differently, or change things only to find it doesn't work, or it only works temporarily. And this is because all of the results in our life are just the symptoms. They are never the real problem, we have to find the true cause of our problems in order to change things. And the source of every problem in your life is your thoughts. Everything in your life, your feelings, your actions, the things you do, the things you don't do, the things you say, the relationships you have, the behaviors you take, like everything, all the results you have in your life, are all coming down stream of your thoughts. They are all created by your thoughts.
And so, if any of these things are problems to solve them, or to change them in a real way, you have to go to your thoughts, the thoughts that created them, and make changes at the source in order to get the results that you want. Remember, we can shave the door down all day long, but if we don't get into the wall, and find the leaking pipe, we are never going to solve the problem. We are only going to be addressing the symptoms. Okay, so in a nutshell, what I am doing as your coach is helping you open up the wall, and really see what is happening, really see the cause of your problems.
So, for example, I was talking to a client this morning and she was talking about how her husband is very critical of her. And from the outside, it seems like the problem is her husband's criticism, okay? But the real problem is her thought that her husband shouldn't be critical, or you shouldn't misjudge her, or that he should understand her better, and that her marriage would be better if her husband saw her differently, and then treated her differently, and behaved differently, right? Like these are the true sources of her pain, her thoughts, and beliefs about her husband, and how he should, or shouldn't be behaving, are what are causing all of her pain right now. And when we can change those thoughts, and question those thoughts, and recognize that thinking that he should be different, or he should be responding differently is only causing her pain, then we can decide if we want to keep believing those thoughts that he should be treating her differently, okay? So, what does this look like when you are being coached?
So, we would be on a Zoom call together, and you would tell me about what is hard in your life, what is painful, where you're stuck, what you wish was different, what you think the problem is. Okay, and then as your coach, I'm going to ask you some questions so that we can, like, really open up that wall, and understand the thoughts you are thinking, the things that you are believing that are actually creating the pain. Okay, and once we find the thoughts that are creating your pain, we want to question those thoughts. And to do this as your coach, I will ask you to look at those thoughts from a lot of different angles to really explore where you might be wrong about what you're thinking, to really look at what it would be like to think something different. And in this process, what I'm trying to show you over, and over, and over again is that the true source of the problem is always your thought. Your brain wants to go back to blaming the carpet, but I am just constantly redirecting you to what is really causing your pain, and really creating all the damage. So, this looks like talking, and asking questions, and thinking, and talking, and suddenly seeing things in a completely different way. Seeing the real source is actually your brain, and never what you thought it was.
Okay, and then when you can see the real source, it is super easy to make all the other changes you want in your feelings, in your behaviors, in the things you do, and ultimately in the results you're getting. So, if we go back to my client who didn't like her husband's criticism, we know that her thought that he should understand her, and not misjudge her is the problem, that thought, believing that thought.
So, we want to explore this thought that her brain is giving her that he should understand her. Okay, so I might ask, why do you think he should do it differently? What would change for you if he did do it differently? What would change in your feelings, in your actions if he was doing it differently? What do I make his criticism mean about me, and my lovability? What do I make his criticism mean about our marriage? I might ask her, what is the most painful part about this criticism for you, right? We want to know how your brain is interpreting the criticism because truly, your spouse's criticism is never a problem, it's what we make it mean that hurts. So, that's the part that we want to look at. The way that we have interpreted the criticism is causing our pain, and there are so many more ways to interpret it, than I'm wrong, or he's wrong, or something's gone wrong in our marriage. And what we're trying to do in this process is to show ourselves what our brain makes it mean, is always optional. I can always choose something else to make it mean. We get to make our husband's criticism mean anything we want. And my job as your coach is to show you how your brain's current interpretation is causing your pain and what other options are still available to you.
Okay, now the other part of my job as your coach is to help you look at your life, your results, your actions, your feelings, and even those thoughts without judgment, because we are looking at all of these things, right? Our life, our results, our actions, our feelings, our thoughts with our human brain, which means we're naturally going to be judgmental of what we find when we look. That judgment is built in, our brains are constantly assessing what has gone wrong, and this definitely includes ourselves, right? And so, as we coach, and we look at our brain, and what we are creating, then we are inclined to think that we are bad, or wrong for creating it that way. Because sometimes when we find that we are actually the source of our problems, then we tend to get mad at ourselves for creating those problems. And my job as your coach is to show you that your brain always has a good reason for thinking the way that it does. And it's never a problem, right?
If we go back to our leaking pipe example, we could get mad at the pipe is leaking, or we could just change it, and fix it, and clean it up, right? We could be mad at our thinking, and the mess that it's creating, or we could just change it. We have to stop making ourselves wrong for what our brain does. Our brain is just looking out for us, looking out for the risks, where we are vulnerable, where we might get hurt and die, right? And to that end, it's offering us thoughts which left to our own devices, sometimes we choose to believe, and then we make a mess, and we ruin the carpet, right? But if we cannot make ourselves wrong for that choice, then we can curiously look at the thoughts were choosing, the thoughts that our brain offered us, and the thoughts that we chose to believe that are now creating pain, and then we can choose to think something else.
My job as your coach is to show you that what your brain has offered you is just one option. And right now that is the option that is causing your pain, and that is not a problem. We aren't wrong for choosing to think the way we have, we are just human. We had a good reason for thinking that way, but there are so many other options, if you want to relieve your pain. And as your coach, I want to show you that if you are willing to be wrong about what your brain has offered you, you could totally choose another option, and choose to believe something else instead. Without judgment, for any of it, right? For your thoughts, for your feelings, for your actions, for your results. Now, this doesn't mean without understanding our own responsibility. We can take responsibility without condemning ourselves, and when we take responsibility for what we've created, without judgment, then it's so much easier to choose something else.
So, I want to go back to my client from this morning. I want to show you how judgement was playing into her relationship with her husband, okay? Yes, her husband had criticized her, but this was painful because of her own judgemental thoughts about herself. Deep down, she thought maybe he was right, and she shouldn't behave in the way that she was. She had a thought that she would be a better person if she was different, or if she behaved differently. And her husband's criticism made her defensive in that area that she was already tender about. Like if she wasn't already judging herself as wrong, then somebody else telling her that she was wrong, isn't nearly so painful in this case. She thinks it would be better if she didn't raise her voice. But what if it's not better? What if it's just different? And what if she's not better, no matter what she does with her voice? And the powerful thing is, is that if we can stop condemning ourselves for yelling, then we can find out why we're doing it. If we stop condemning ourselves for making wet carpet, we can find out why the carpet is wet, right? There is a reason for the way we are behaving. And when we understand that it's coming from our thoughts, then we can change, and solve anything we want in our lives. Not to be better, or to be acceptable, or to finally be okay, but because we want to.
The other day my husband and I were watching a movie and at the end of the movie there was this poem on the screen by Rumi that said "Out beyond our ideas of wrongdoing or right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." That is where I go as a coach, out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing, or right doing, I take my clients to that field and meet them there so that they can see what they are creating, without judging themselves, or condemning themselves, or hating themselves for it. It's just a place of sacred recognition, and acknowledgement of what is really happening here, and out there in that field where there's no wrongdoing, or right doing, but just doing, and curiosity about that doing, that is where all the change you want happens.
So, I think this is a really good place to talk about what my job is not. Like, what coaching is not. Okay, so my job is not to tell you what to think. My job is just to reveal to yourself what your brain is thinking. My job is not to take away your pain, my job as your coach is to show you the cause of your pain, and let you choose what you want. My job is not to know what's best for you. My job is to show you what your thinking is creating for you right now, and let you decide what is best. My job is not even to get you to think differently, my job is just to show you that there are other options. And my job is never to tell you that you are doing it wrong, because you never are. My job instead is to show you where your agency is, and what else you could choose, and what that would create if you want. I don't give advice, or tell you what to do, or even tell you what you should think. None of that is my business. I see it as my job as your coach to show you what you are currently choosing, and creating, because often we don't even know that. We don't know that we are making a choice and creating our pain, we think it's just happening to us. So, I show you what you're currently choosing, and I show you that you don't have to if you want to choose something else. And whatever you choose is perfect.
So, that's how coaching helps, it helps you see what you are currently choosing. Instead of like seeing yourself at the affect of your life, or at the affect of other people, it helps you see where your real power is, where your choices, where your control is. And it gives you the perspective to be able to see your power to choose something else, any time you want it. And not condemn yourself for the choice you've made. So, here is what I believe about each of my clients, and each one of you.
First, I believe that you are whole. You are enough, you are doing it perfectly. And that you have a good reason offered to you by your magnificent brain for everything you do in your life, and nothing you choose to do will make you any better. I truly believe that you don't need to change that. Who you are, and what you do, and the choices you make are perfect. No change necessary. I also believe that you are a child of God with the unlimited capacity to grow, and change in any way that you want. There is no limit to what we can become, and the experiences that we can have, especially when we are willing to examine the thoughts, and beliefs, and stories that our well-meaning brain offers us, question those, and then make our own choices about what we want to believe on purpose.
I believe truly there is nothing you can't create for yourself by exercising your agency, and overcoming your brain. And I believe in your knowing. That you know what you want, and you know what is best, and all the answers are inside of you. I never believe that I know more than my clients, and as soon as I help them get their brain out of the way, that eternal, wise, knowing part of them always knows what to do, always knows what's best for them. And I trust them completely. And the goal in coaching is always to help my clients get what they want.
So, I think that's a really good segue into this last thing that I want to talk about with coaching to help you kind of understand what it is and how it can help. So, I just want to conclude by talking about the goal of coaching, okay? The goal is never to make you better, because that is impossible. The goal is never to make you happy, and make it so that you don't feel bad anymore, because that is also impossible. Coaching is never going to remove the 50/50 nature of life. No matter what you change, and no matter what you do in your life, it's still going to be 50% negative, and there is nothing that you can do about that. Your brain is programmed to find problems in every situation, no matter what. And the goal of coaching is not to remove your brain. The goal of coaching is to show you what you are currently choosing, that you are choosing it, and give you other options in coaching. We are trying to show you where you are using your agency consciously, and help you use that God given agency to get the things you want, and only you know what that is.
The goal of coaching is to show you, I think, where your real control is. It is never in other people, it's never in the world or in the circumstances of your life. Your only control is always in the interpretation, in the perception, in the choices that you make in your own mind, and how you choose to think about yourself, your capacity, your life, the people in it. And that choice is what will allow you to create the experiences you want in your life. I think the goal really is just to empower you in your own life to get what you want, to put you in charge of your life, and show you that no matter what, you can choose to love all of it.
So I think I've probably told you this before, but when I first came to life coaching, I thought, oh, this is awesome. I'm going to be able to clean up the mess that I am, right? I'm going to be able to clean up my life, and my behaviors, and I would be able to, like, straighten up and fly right. Like, I'm going to get my stuff together. And eventually I learned that coaching isn't about cleaning up the mess, right? It's about loving yourself in spite of the mess, and what I know now, actually, is that isn't even true. What I know now is that coaching helps me see that the mess only exists in my mind, and then the mess is only a problem in my own mind. Coaching helps me see that there's actually nothing wrong with any of the mess, because all of my learning, and growing, and becoming is happening in that mess, and there is so much freedom, and joy in that understanding.
And so, I want to invite all of you to coaching. A lot of you have been thinking about it for a long time. A lot of you have been wondering if it would work for you. What is it like? And I think the very best way to really see what coaching is like is to try it. To get on a call with me, and let me coach you, and see what it would be like to work with me, and give yourself the gift of really understanding the true source of your problems, and how to use the power of your own agency to stop creating pain, and start creating all the things you really want in your life. It is a free call. And I know most of you have never been coached, and you don't know what it's like, and even after this podcast, you might like, kind of understand the technical aspects, and the philosophy, and the goals of coaching, but you won't really understand the impact of it until you use it on your own brain. And you won't know what it's like to coach with me until you do it. Like there's the science of coaching, and then there's an art of coaching, and the best way to know what coaching with me is like, is to coach with me. And so I invite you to sign up for a free coaching consultation and try it.
I promise that you will leave that call thinking about something in your life differently, and that one call will have a huge impact on your life. The very best news I have for each of you is that the source of the problem, the source of any problem in your life is inside of you, is your brain, and the thoughts, and interpretations it is giving you, and that you are choosing to believe. But that also means that the solution to the problem, the solution to any problem in your life is also inside of you. It is there inside of you right now, and it is available to every single one of you. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome! I love you for listening, and I'll see you next week!
Thanks so much for joining me on the podcast today. If you want to take the things I've talked about and apply them in your life so that you can love your earth life experience. Sign up for a free coaching session at aprilpricecoaching.com. This is where the real magic happens and your life starts to change forever as your coach. I'll show you the believing your life is 100% awesome is totally available to every one of us. The way things are is not the way things have to stay. And that, my friends, is 100% awesome!
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