“A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”
– Tom Stoppard
The whole area of weight loss, health and fitness is a massive focus for millions (billions?) of people worldwide. The plethora of diet books and exercise videos (with new ones coming out each month) demonstrates that it’s something most of us are pretty clueless about. During the most recent Certified Clarity Coach Training programme, I did a coaching session with a very successful coach called Pam Featherstone. Pam’s super-motivated and a big achiever (she took her coaching business from zero to 1 million in under 3 years and became Action Coaches no.1 global coach of the year). But like so many successful people, she has an area of life where she’d been really stuck and struggling to make progress: the area of health, fitness and weight loss.
During the first module of Coach Training, Pam volunteered to be a demo subject, and I coached her for 20-minutes in front of the audience. Here’s how it unfolded. I asked Pam what she wanted to work on, and she said this:
“In my business I’m really successful and whenever I set myself any business goals I always achieve them but when it comes to me personally I don’t achieve the goals I set myself and I always feel that whenever I’m doing anything like ‘I want to get healthy and lose weight’ I feel really guilty giving myself any time for myself… so I look after everybody else in a really great way… and then when it comes to me I… I feel like I set myself up for disaster.”
This is actually very common. Most of us can think of areas in life where we really shine, and are able to take action and do what matters, but most of us also have areas where we feel stuck, and struggle to ‘get traction’. I asked Pam some questions, just to understand a bit better what was going on for her, and she told me this:
“…this is one of the battles I have in my head because I can tell myself logically that it’s the right thing to do to ‘put my oxygen mask’ on first to be the best version of me but I don’t actually feel it. There’s like a massive gap between what I logically tell myself and actually what I feel inside.”
Once again, this is not unusual. Most of us have plenty of ideas about what we ‘should’ be doing, but there’s a big difference between knowing something intellectually and actually living it in your life. That’s where I go next with Pam, asking her “Why do you think it is that a person would have something that kind of ‘makes sense on paper’ but they don’t seem to be able to get themselves to do it?” Here’s Pam’s reply:
“Part of it is that I feel really guilty spending time on myself.”
The word “feel” is at the heart of the matter and once again, it’s very common. Pam has feelings of guilt, and she thinks they’re letting her know that it’s not OK to spend time on herself, that she needs to be working rather than taking care of herself. She feels selfish putting herself first. I explain that that those guilty feelings don’t know about any of that stuff; they don’t know that there’s even such a thing as work. I tell her the feelings of guilt are an absolutely reliable signal letting you know that in that moment you’re wearing a pair of ‘guilty goggles’.
Pam concludes that she must be ‘choosing’ to wear guilty goggles, but I explain it’s not quite like that. We don’t choose our feelings. If we did, we would all likely choose to be feeling amazing all the time, but there’s something more powerful and more subtle going on. I say,
“Realising that you’re always feeling your Thought-goggles is infinitely more valuable than being able to choose which goggles to wear.”
“It doesn’t really matter what goggles you’re wearing, what matters is realising that your feelings are telling you about Thought, not about the things you’re looking at or thinking about, and that’s a big deal. If you see that for yourself that changes everything.”
I ask Pam a few more questions, and she realises that she doesn’t actually know in her heart that she deserves to be healthy. I explain that she could realise this for herself, because here’s the thing: we all know what we should be doing to be more healthy, but having the information isn’t what makes the difference. If having the information made the difference, we’d all be the ideal weight and in great shape. As I explain to Pam, the only things that will result in lasting change are insight and realisation. At this point, Pam and I fall into a deep sense of connection.
I love this point in the clarity coaching process. The space of deep connection seems to be a particularly ‘insight-friendly’ space. As Pam and I fall deeper into that connection, I speak to her about her true self, and she starts to have insights and realisations.
And that’s the true source of lasting change. Our capacity for insight and realisation is what makes the difference between a ‘good idea’ that we understand intellectually, and the kind of transformation that leads to a new life.
We followed up with Pam 7 months later. She’d lost stones in weight and counting, with no effort of will. She said…
“Since that session I’ve started putting myself first and looking after myself so that I can better look after other people, and so I make my health a priority every single day before I do anything else…”
She makes a point that’s probably familiar to lots of people who help others, saying:
“Even though I did all this coaching, and I’ve done lots of training about mindset and things, it never really worked for myself. Then when I did the Clarity Coaching it just made complete sense… after I had that shift in thinking it was really hard to believe I ever thought another way. It’s really nice to come every weekend and people keep saying “wow, you’re thinner…there’s only half of you now!”
While of course Pam’s behaviour has changed, the thing that made that change possible was a change of heart. That change of heart comes from your innate capacity for insight and realisation, and it’s available to all of us.
By the way, the certified Clarity Coach Training programme is formally open for registration and it’s not just for coaches; we’ve had all sorts of people go through the programme including computer programmers, doctors, call centre workers, layers, parents PR specialists, therapists, office workers, entrepreneurs, surgeons, people who are already coaches and consultants and trainers and even a professional footballer. If you’re interested it’s worth knowing that we’re not running the programme next year so the intake that’s starting this September (2018) is the last chance you’ll get to join us until 2020 at the very earliest.
So if you want to find out how to become a Clarity Coach and see what’s involved in bringing an understanding of these principles into every aspect of your life go to the Certified Clarity Coach Training Programme
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