A Coaching Power Tool Created by Irene Adams
(Mindful Coach & Consulting, CANADA)
The significant problems we face in life cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them – Albert Einstein
Be conscious of your thoughts for they shape your life
It all starts with a THOUGHT…
Have you ever stopped to think about what you are really thinking about, when in fact you may not think you are actually thinking about much at all? Well, everything does in fact start with a thought, and all actions are lead by thoughts. For example, the action of walking your dog is led by a simple thought, – “I think I will take my dog for a walk”.
Our thoughts control all that we do each and every day of our life, both physically and mentally. However, many of us carry out the same routine day after day. Although our routines involve repetitive tasks which are essentially done through habit, void of much or any thought, they do originate from thoughts. When no conscious thought is applied to our thoughts we lack awareness, making our thoughts rigid and causing our behavior to be routine.
So the question is, how do we break our rigid thoughts which cause our routine behaviors, and how do we become more aware and conscious of our thoughts so we can create the reality we desire?
To live the reality that we truly want is to start by changing our thoughts. As our thoughts become our words; our words become our actions; our actions become our habits; and our habits become our character, and in essence our character is our REALITY. Sometimes we do not accept our reality the way it is which can cause unhappiness, discontentment, frustration and emptiness, among other things. However, sometimes we do accept our reality as it is, but regardless of the acceptance are we living the reality that we truly desire?
Reality is a projection of your thoughts or the things you habitually think about – Stephen Richards
The difference between our THOUGHTS and our REALITY is the energy we put into our thoughts. The more conscious we are of our thoughts and the more positive energy we give to our thoughts the more likely we are able to reach our goals, which provides happiness, satisfaction, contentment, fulfillment, and ultimately success. This does not necessarily mean that because you THINK about flying to the moon you will. I am referring to realistic thoughts that can help you improve and change your mindset, enabling you to gain your achievements and reach your goals, providing improvement in your quality of life personally and professionally. In reflection, you will probably note that when you do in fact concentrate hard on something it generally materializes, especially when you believe it will happen.
No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head – Terry Josephson
Similarly, there is much to be said about the power of positive thinking. People who are positive in thought tend to attract positive people in their life, generating positive circumstances and outcomes. On the other hand, people who are negative in thought attract negative people as well as negative circumstances and outcomes. Like generally attracts like.
Just as thought influences reality, reality can also influence thought, which can then influence reality again (THOUGHT – REALITY – THOUGHT). For people with positive thoughts this cycle reinforces the good things in their lives providing an abundance of desirable feelings and outcomes such as happiness, peace, contentment, joy, confidence and success, as well as encouragement to keep their thoughts positive, which in turn manifests a continuum of good. For those with truly powerful thoughts even when their thoughts do not materialize immediately they do not allow themselves to get discouraged. Their positive thoughts allow them to continue to move forward until things turn out the way they want them to, or alternatively they achieve what it is they are wanting.
On the other hand, THOUGHT – REALITY – THOUGHT can be a vicious cycle for people who think negatively. When negative thoughts plague their mind they truly believe them which cause them to continue thinking negatively over and over again. This negative thought cycle will continue indefinitely unless the person chooses to break the pattern.
In summary, although THOUGHT influences REALITY and REALITY can influence THOUGHT, the key is to be conscious of our thoughts always. For when our thoughts are conscious and positive we can then create the REALITY that we truly want.
Coaching is about change. The client has hired a coach because they want to move forward and change their life in some way. As coaches we empower ourselves and help our clients make positive changes in their lives. When a client has a specific goal or desired outcome they have been trying to achieve and cannot seem to reach it it is beneficial for the coach to explore the client’s ways of thinking, as well as their thoughts surrounding their values and beliefs. In doing so, coaches create awareness for their clients which help them realize why they are feeling the way they are and/or why their goals are not being reached, which is actually resulting from their own THOUGHTS which in turn is creating their REALITY.
The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds – Will Durant
Once awareness is created the client can then start practicing to be conscious and positive in their thinking. When they do, the client then has the ability to create the (realistic) reality they truly want, as opposed to the one they are living.
The following are useful tools that a coach can use to help their clients become more conscious and positive of their thoughts:
- COGNITIVE BEHAVIOURAL THERAPY (CBT): CBT is generally a short-term and goal oriented framework. It focuses on helping clients understand how their thoughts and feelings influence their behaviours. CBT concentrates on the “here and now” rather than the past or the unconscious. A coach can help encourage clients to think about their behaviour and identify alternative ways of thinking so they can change the way they feel. It helps put negative thoughts into perspective enabling clients to think in a more realistic and constructive manner. Once awareness is gained clients can adopt more conscious, positive and rational ways of thinking and behaving.
- MINDFULNESS. Mindfulness translates into awareness. Being mindful is about living in the present, not the past or the future, without judgment. When you are mindful you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience. When living in this state you gain freedom, and are able to make more empowering choices by not succumbing to powerful or negative emotions or states of matter.
- Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP): NLP explores the relationships between how we think (neuro), how we communicate (linguistic) and our patterns of behaviour and emotion (programs). NLP uses a set of powerful techniques for maximizing potential. It focuses on how the mind works, how we communicate both internally and externally and our patterns of behavior. Changes made can be quick and permanent. NLP can be defined as an imaginative approach, similar to visualizing or tunnel vision. As coaches we can help our clients tune into their senses in certain situations to maximize their abilities and talents.
You are today where your thoughts have brought you;nYou will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you – James Allen
- Is the reality you are living in alignment with your thoughts?
- Reflect on your own experience. Think back to a time when you decided to start working towards a desired goal. What were your thoughts at the beginning of the process?
- Think back to a time when you did reach a goal. Can you remember what your thoughts were? Where you conscious of them? Were they positive? Where they in alignment with the goal you were working to achieve?
- When you are not reaching your goal(s) what you are thinking?
- When you are feeling unhappy, frustrated, stressed, etc. what are your thoughts? What happens to your actions and the circumstances in your life when you feel this way? What happens to the people around you?
- What are your thoughts when you do feel happy, content, satisfied?
- Think about a time where you expected a certain outcome, or perhaps doubted a possible outcome. Did things happen the way you perceived them?