Habits and Bahavior
In the last blog we looked at values, because the global pandemic and recent demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter made many of us question our habits and behavior.
But not just how we live and work, but fundamentally how we treat others. So to follow up on that theme, we are now looking at beliefs, because it’s a mix of both values and beliefs that really drive our behavior.
As a professional coach, your clients may ask you to support them to review their beliefs, misconceptions or unproductive behavior patterns. You will have a real opportunity to help them create the substantial, long-lasting transformation they are looking for. However to be truly successful, you will need to challenge, encourage and support them every step of the way, and guide them to really achieve their full potential.
During your initial coaching sessions, you would normally focus on the current state and future state to help your client identify and clarify goals, however in some cases we see them slowly slip back into their old habits and behavior, and this can be very frustrating for you both.
So for these clients, it is also important to work with them on their values and beliefs, if they want to make lasting changes to their behavior. The main issue with this is many of us have never thought about our values or beliefs, and were written into the story of our lives long ago, without us even knowing. Yet they tell us what to do, what to fear, what to want and what to hate.
This is because we are like sponges as children and pick up the many limiting beliefs held by our parents, teachers or other authoritative figures. Identifying any limiting beliefs will be the first step in a journey towards lasting change. So working with them to identify who they are and what they think, will help them understand why some things in life really bother them and other things don’t.
Learning to listen to what their inner voice is telling them, will unlock many of those life scripts that were established when they were children and still guide their habits and behavior, plus how they think, feel and act.
But not all life scripts are negative
And remember, not all of those inner voices are telling us we are not good enough, or will fail if we try. So developing positive life scripts can help us all achieve our life goals, build respect for ourselves or others and have drivers that can help us develop new skills.
You don’t need great insight to correctly predict that two people with the same genetic background will go on to lead very different lives, if one adopts a positive outlook and the other, a negative one.
The problem is, that once we accept a belief to be true, we will do all we can to demonstrate its veracity and give it credence. Changing beliefs is hard work and there will be times when we all slip back into old habits, but the important thing is to spot when this is happening and take action. This will involve you supporting your clients to identify, review and change the script they have heard for so long.
How to use repetition to anchor a positive belief
Developing a mantra or using repetition is just one way of changing the limiting beliefs that implant themselves in our minds. Because we have heard them so many times over the years, we believe they are true. However we can use the same process to get any new positive beliefs to replace those negative scripts.
To create a mantra, ask your client to swap a negative script into a positive one, then write it down 100 times and repeat it out loud every morning when they get up. Get them to do this for at least a month, as it helps create new neural connections. Little by little their words will modify their thoughts and they will learn to believe in the new mantra and modify their habits and behavior.
Some example life scripts:
– Negative = I won’t be able to
– Positive = I have faith in my ability to
– Negative = I am no good at math
– Positive = You can learn to be good at math with a good teacher
– Negative = I will never be good enough
– Positive = I have faith I will be given a fair chance
By continually repeating that they are worth it and they do have a positive contribution to make in the world. They will change their view of what they are able to achieve and helps them learn to believe it. But change cannot only be in their head, so you will also need to help them take positive action too.
We have published a Coaching Beliefs e-book that clearly explains what beliefs are. It then provides you with a simple step by step process you can follow when coaching others or for your own personal development. Negative beliefs limit development and hold us back, so we must help our clients focus on making them positive. This will help them fully succeed in life and can bring lasting change to both habits and behavior.
Image: Thanks to Pixabay for sharing their work on Pexels.
Please note – Our materials can only be copied and distributed, if you include a reference and link to the original source: (cc) MyCoachingToolkit.com – 2020