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Coaching Tip: What You Can Learn About Success From a Magician

Posted by Julia Stewart

I just watched Magician, David Blaine, tell how he held his breath for over 17 minutes (!) on the new TEDMED.

It's an incredible story of commitment and dedication to a goal. He sums it all up (through tears) with, "It's practice. It's training. It's experiementing and it's pushing through the pain."

His emotion clearly adds one more: It's passion. Not the kind you manufacture in an 'Law of Attraction workshop', but the kind that scoops up your life and hurdles you forward with relentless intensity.

Watch out! You (and your coaching clients) may be inspired right out of your comfort zone! David tell his story here:

 

 

Topics: Coaching, coaching clients, Law of Attraction, TED

Dear Coach: What if the Law of Attraction DOESN'T Work?

Posted by Julia Stewart

Law of AttractionI don't want to ruffle your feathers, but if you teach the Law of Attraction, don't you ever doubt whether it really works?

I'm not against the Law of Attraction. It's a great way to draw people's attention to the subtle ways that events seem to line for us when we are sure of what we want. Most importantly, it offers a good excuse for practicing faith.

For example: Recently a relative of mine told me she had a job offer that she really wanted to take, but it was a 9-month teaching position that paid about 1/4 less than her current job. I said, "If you really want it, there's probably a way that you can do it. So the question to ask is not, 'Should I do it?', but 'How could I do it?'". She knew there were lots of part-time temporary positions for her skill set, so she took the job on faith and within a month, her new employer offered her a summer teaching position that made up the lost pay. You could say she attracted the outcome she wanted. You could also say she realistically assessed the situation. Both explanations accurately describe her outcome.

My problem with the Law of Attraction is that tends to confuse people. And no matter how you explain it, confusion stops people from getting what they want. Most people who grew up in the 20th Century (I bet that includes you) were taught that hard work, strategy, education, research, expert advice and goal setting would help them get what they want. Then they hear that the Law of Attraction says all they have to do is think about what they want and they will get it. Does that mean they can throw out hard work, strategy, education, research, expert advice and goal setting? No. All those things include thinking about what it is you want, so keep doing them if they work for you.

Another example: Several months ago, I was musing that perhaps it was time to find a new coach. I'm fortunate to have some of the best coaches in the world as friends who will coach me, as needed, so quality of coaching wasn't an issue, but I fantasized that perhaps it was time for someone who was a spiritual teacher, whose training was different from mine (so they could surprise me now and then) and maybe someone who owns a coaching school, so they could relate to some of the challenges I'm working with; all of that would be nice. A week or two later, Lama Tantrapa called me up out of the blue and suggested we start coaching each other. When stuff like that happens, I've learned to just say, "Yes."

Sometimes things seem to happen like magic, but that doesn't mean that all we ever have to do is set our intentions. As Lama says, "The road to hell is paved with intentions." It turns out he found me via LinkedIn. Was it the Law of Attraction or a good social media strategy that brought him to me? Yes.

I belong to the local Science of Mind church. It's pretty much ground zero for the Law of Attraction. But even they say that LOA doesn't work for everybody. Children who grow up in the church seem to create more of what they want just by thinking about it, perhaps because they don't have competing beliefs that confuse them.

Third example: The other day, I ran into the pastor of my church at the Post Office. She told me how she broke her toe by slipping in the bathroom. She said she had broken another toe on the same foot so many time that it was crooked and she had been considering having it broken by a doctor to straighten it back out. In other words, she had been thinking about breaking a toe and she then broke one. Be careful what you think about! Was it LOA or a freak accident? Whatever story you tell about it, she still has a broken toe.

It's hard to prove causation. Scientists tend to point to correlations and avoid making up stories about causation. When we observe events like thinking about something and then experience what we thought about, we're observing correlation. But humans are story-making machines and we love stories about causation. Correlation feels  confusing.

Choose the stories that work for you. And let coaching clients do the same. Confusing them with the Law of Attraction may stop them from getting what they want, even if it works for you.

I'm here to say that the Law of Attraction is nothing but faith. 

Or maybe it's just correlated with faith. But faith is huge. And at the opposite end of the scale is doubt. All healthy humans have both.

Imagine faith and doubt connected by a line. Faith pulls us forward and doubt pulls us back. However, there is often hidden wisdom underneath doubt, so explore it, rather than try to eliminate it.

Confusion on the other hand, erases the line. Doubt carries wisdom and connects to faith. Confusion is full of missed connections and blurred vision, kind of like the words in the image, above.

Whether you have faith in science, Jesus Christ, hard work, the Law of Attraction or all of the above, that faith will help to pull you forward. Uncover what's behind your doubts and erase your confusion if you can (by creating clarity) and you'll be pulled forward with less effort. It's not a guarantee of outcome, but rather something that correlates with success. 

"No one should spend their time trying to think positive thoughts. We've all got better things to do." - Thomas Leonard  

Some of the most successful and honest thought leaders out there, like Bill Harris, who appeared in The Secret, and Thomas Leonard, who 'founded' the coaching profession, don't ascribe to the Law of Attraction. Thomas actually developed a very different approach to attracting what you want called, The Principles of Attraction. Coaching is about getting what you want and there are many ways to do it. 

Here's a secret: In my experience the Principles of Attraction, combined with the Law of Attraction is even more attractive. Consider trying both together.

What are your thoughts on Attraction? Feel free to share them in the comments section, below.

Want to learn about the Principles of Attraction for free?

Click me

 

Topics: Coaching, coach, Thomas Leonard, Law of Attraction, Attraction Principles, clarifying, clients, LinkedIn, IAC

Coaching Tip: If You Want Your Dream to Come True, FEAR It

Posted by Julia Stewart

Fear of Success?

Have you ever worried about something until it finally happened and then you said, Darn! I knew that was going to happen? Did you ever commit yourself to a difficult project or take a big risk and sweat bullets until it was over? Did you ever have an impossible deadline to meet that you worked frantically to complete, maybe even pulling an all-nighter and you were constantly stressed until you finished?

Those things you worried about pretty much all happened, didn't they? They usually do.

Scientists tell us that our thoughts change the chemistry of our brains, that they strengthen the connections between certain neurons and... that there is a correlation between frequent intense thoughts and emotions and the things that actually happen in our lives.

So why do we save our strongest feelings and most intense concentration on the things we hope won't happen?

One reason is our conditioning. We live in a veritable sea of marketing and "good" advice that is awash with warnings. For example, if you spend much time talking to an insurance salesman, you may become convinced that you're living on the brink of disaster. 

Fear sells and marketing loves to ping our fears. If you don't have enough life insurance, your family could become homeless. If you don't get a CPA to do your taxes, you might get audited. If you don't go to the gym, you're bound to get a heart attack.

And Boom! Some of those things happen. That reinforces them.

We use the things that happen to prove ourselves right. I knew that was going to happen! People like to be right. And the proof becomes a positive feedback loop that reinforces our worried thoughts and behaviors.

There are basically two sources of our fear. One is the lizard brain, which is the primitive part of the human brain that gives off basic warnings about any type of perceived threat. For many people, the lizard brain is eternally "on". They feel constant generalized fear and then their "higher" brain, the neo-cortex, tries to explain why they feel that fear. If I don't finish this project on time, I'll never get that raise! If I don't find enough clients this month, I could lose my house! If I don't buy a new car soon, I'm going to get stranded on the highway some night!

Remember, people like to be right.

Here's the thing: "Bad" stuff happens to everybody. Worry doesn't prevent it. In fact, it actually invites it.

There's strong evidence that some of the illnesses that plague us in the West, but are nearly non-existant elsewhere, are common here at least in part, because we expect to get them. In other words, our thoughts about those illnesses are scaring us to death.

If you're one of those people who feels scared all the time (I admit, my inner Frightened Frieda runs on autopilot) you might as well start making up new stories about it.

Instead of, Oh my god, if I don't find enough clients this month, I won't be able to pay my bills, try instead, Oh my god, if I start making a million dollars a year... 

  • My friends will hate me!
  • My relatives will hound me for loans!
  • I won't know how to invest it!
  • I'll might lose it all!
  • I could have gargantuan income taxes!
  • Charities will constantly hit me up for contributions!
  • My life will be much more complicated!
  • I'll have to start doing all the stuff I never did, because I "couldn't afford it"!
  • Etc., etc. 

Remember, frequency and intensity of your thoughts and feelings have a high correlation to what happens. Start worrying about what will happen when all your dreams come true. And start solving all those "problems", now. Then worry about the problems you can't even imagine!

Does this sound really un-coach-like? Do I have it all backwards? Were you taught that the Law of Attraction means you can get whatever you want just by thinking happy thoughts? Then who ever taught you, didn't tell you the whole story.

Yes, happy thoughts are much more pleasant and as long as they are intense enough, frequent enough and we believe in them enough, they will have a high correlation to what happens. But don't beat yourself up for being afraid. Fear is ubiquitous.  

Simply put your fear to work for you. Let it add intensity to your dreams. Let your dreams wake you up in a cold sweat at night. Let them put you to work frantically creating what you really want.

Along the way you might notice a few things.

Example: I used to have an intense fear of public speaking. I'd stress about it beforehand. Then I'd get up and my hands would sweat and my voice would shake. I could hardly focus on what I wanted to say.

Until I noticed something.

I kept getting up and speaking until one day it occurred to me that I wasn't really scared; I was thrilled to be speaking! My excitement about it was so intense that it felt really unpleasant, like I was petrified. 

After I made that shift, guess what? I started getting invitations to do a lot more public speaking. Now I pretty much make my living at it.  And I have a lot more fun!

My lizard brain and neo-cortex had been telling me my intense feelings were terror, but by noticing, I had the opportunity to change the story.

Next time you're overcome by fear, your might tell yourself you're doomed to reach your goals and that they are probably bringing you a whole boat-load of new problems. Let yourself get all worked up about it and then get into action making it all come true.

Fear is just energy for getting things rolling. By the way, the antedote to fear is action. 

We have quite a few more tools for reaching your dreams in our Personal Development for Coaches courses. Several of them are coming up over the next few months.

View some upcoming coaching classes here. 

Thanks to Rev.s Marigene and Larry DeRusha for inspiring me today. 

Photo by giraffe_756 at Flickr Creative Commons


Topics: Coaches, Law of Attraction, Coaching Tip, coaching classes, personal development

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