Why Your Life Coach Is Getting It All Backward: 3 Hacks for Living Your Best Life
My perennial advice for entrepreneurs? Always stay curious, never stop learning, and settle for nothing less than ongoing personal and professional transformation.
This is a philosophy that has served me well throughout my life. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from some of the most sought-after, well-respected personal development and business coaches, and their influence has certainly played a role in inspiring me to grow Zen Media from a fledgling startup to an industry powerhouse serving companies all over the globe.
Every personal development or business coach I’ve ever come across has been sincere about helping their clients live their best lives and reach their highest potential. But have you ever noticed that when it really comes down to it, most coaches are working at the level of symptoms rather than getting to the root of the problems their clients are coming to them for help solving?
This has never made much sense to me, especially since what amounts to symptom management doesn’t lead to sustainable change.
This is why I became curious when I started hearing about a business coach named Jim Fortin and his Transformational Coaching Program. Jim’s clients were experiencing the kind of lasting personal transformation that was having a huge impact on their careers and businesses, and I couldn’t help but wonder what he might be doing differently.
That’s when I decided to dig a little deeper into Jim’s work. Here’s a glimpse into what I discovered.
Brainset over Mindset
The idea of changing your mindset is hugely popular and is the basis for peak-performance gurus like Tony Robbins’ and Gary Vaynerchuk’s approach. Of course, changing your mindset is hugely important, but the real question is how this actually happens in a way that sticks.
Our mindset corresponds with the neocortex—the part of the brain responsible for our conscious thought processes. Cognitive neuroscience, however, shows that 95% of everything we do comes from an entirely different, older part of the brain that is responsible for our subconscious habits.
In other words, when we work at the level of conscious thought and attempt to change our mindset, we’re working with only 5% of the brain and not dealing with where our mindset comes from in the first place (which is our subconscious, or what Jim calls our “brainset”). In essence, working with mindset is putting the cart before the horse, and without an approach to change our brainset, it’s no wonder that most of us struggle to truly transform.
Being over Doing
Another big difference between Jim and almost all other personal development and peak-performance coaches is his understanding that if you’re looking to achieve deep-order, permanent transformation (and not just temporary change) you have to work at the level of identity, self-image or what he calls “Ways of being.”
Our being is the hidden driver behind all of our doing, which includes all of our habits, thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
Said differently, our being, or identity, is sort of our personal “ground zero” for where the real action occurs. In fact, The Harvard Negotiation Project has found that our most change-resistant problems and conflicts originate at this level.
This is why without working directly with (and from) this place in ourselves, we mistake changing our mindset (which amounts to rearranging our mental furniture) for actual transformation (which involves rebuilding our house—our identity—from the ground up).
This is the reason that Jim’s work goes beyond the usual coaching approaches by shifting the focus from doing to being. In this way, clients dispense with willpower, positive thinking, shifts in perspective, behavior modification, and other forms of mental “doing” and instead transform their being so that permanent, positive changes in habits, thoughts, beliefs, and actions occur simply and naturally.
Abundance over Scarcity
The Law of Attraction (LoA), or at least some version of it, is something that almost every coach in the business espouses, and for good reason. Any psychologist or social scientist worth their salt can show you reams of research demonstrating how our beliefs, assumptions, and expectations tend to create “self-fulfilling prophecies” that we then tend to attribute to luck, or to other sources completely outside ourselves.
If you’ve worked with an LoA coach and failed to achieve lasting transformational change in your career and personal life, it might have left you wondering what you did wrong. After all, you probably followed your coach’s advice, made a sincere effort, and practiced diligently. So, what was the problem?
According to Jim, the problem is likely that you were trying to “think” your way to abundance using mental effort to overcome your subconscious identity-level experience of scarcity. In order to use the LoA to create your best life, you need tools for approaching it from an identity of abundance rather than a hidden mindset of scarcity. As Jim talks about in his podcast, this is really a matter of transforming your life from the inside-out.
With his powerful combination of leading-edge brain science, ancient wisdom, and transformational psychology, Jim is helping his clients—many of whom are already high achievers—create the kind of lasting, transformational change that many of us only dream of.
That game-changing focus on brainset and being, rather than mindset and doing, is the key.
So the next time a coach starts working with you at the level of your conscious thought process rather than your subconscious identity, take a moment to consider whether that’s where you want to stay. If not, think about this alternative approach. It may be just what you’ve been looking for.