Life Coach Training
Embracing a Big New “Yes”
In a world of polarity we learn through opposites. When you or your client sets an intention to move ahead in life, the residue of old, limiting, or contradictory beliefs or patterns shows up. This is not a bad thing at all; to the contrary, it means that you are stepping toward positive and lasting change. Reframe challenges as signs that movement is afoot.
Whenever you choose a goal, you become keenly aware of two factors or forces:
(1) Everything that matches the goal; and
(2) Everything that opposes the goal.
This process empowers you to reach your goal by way of the following dynamic:
You start with a THESIS, or a posited statement or intention.
Your thesis calls forth an ANTITHESIS, or argument against the thesis.
You “sweat the opposites” until you have come to terms with THESIS and ANTITHESIS, and you come up with a SYNTHESIS, a solution or broader vision greater than either of the contributing polarities. Then you move ahead, leaving the apparently contradictory factors behind.
An ancient philosopher put it thus:
What does not kill me makes me stronger.
A more modern statement:
Confusion is the last stop on the train to clarity.
The above ideas bear immense value if you are facing conflict or confusion, or if your client is. Tell your client that the confusion he is dealing with means that he is very close to breaking through to a new level of awareness or understanding.
I observe this dynamic quite often when someone signs up for an in-depth seminar or training. It is not unusual for challenges or dramas to come up between the time the person signs up and when he attends the program. This is because the individual is seeking by way of the program to uplevel the frequency of his life. The part of the mind that does not want to change perceives that change is imminent, so it generates various upsets and forms of resistance to prevent the change from happening.
Some people are thwarted by this resistance and they don’t show up for the program. Yet most people remain steadfast and choose to keep moving ahead. At that point the issue evaporates and the field is clear for positive and lasting change. The person then has the benefit of the “muscle” he built by choosing the new frequency rather than giving in to the habit of the old one. Sometimes I tell students, “The fact that you sitting here means that you have already mastered the lesson of the course.”
This dynamic does not affect everyone who steps toward a new program or positive life change. Some people cruise through all aspects of process because they are aligned with their intentions and that of the new program or life situation.
You might point out the Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis dynamic to your coaching clients when they are reaching for a goal beyond their current experience. Let’s say your client signs up for a dating service with the intention to find a life partner; or is considering buying a bigger house; or is setting out to establish a new business. It is quite common in all of these situations for resistance to arise. The person seeking a mate has a string of bad dates; the house buyer has difficulty getting a loan; the entrepreneur’s relatives tell her that she is crazy for launching out in a risky market. While it seems that outside factors are attempting to thwart these individuals, it is their own resistance they are facing, projected onto the outer world. If you can help the client understand that nobody and no thing outside is doing anything to her, and that her challenge is helping her to make a clear choice that will manifest her desired result when she aligns with it, your coaching session will be valuable indeed, and manifest tangible, observable results.
I saw a dog trainer helping someone train their dog to not whine and bark when it wanted a treat. The trainer told the owner to not give the dog a treat when it whined. At that point the dog’s whining increased significantly. The trainer called this behavior an “extinction burst.” When the undesirable behavior was threatened, it magnified itself. But after a while the dog realized that it would not get a treat by whining, so it gave up the whining. The dog then learned to receive a treat by sitting quietly. When old negative behaviors are threatened, they may display an extinction burst. But this is a positive step because just on the other side of the burst is a new and more rewarding behavior. So reframe an extinction burst as a sign that positive change is imminent.
Everything that happens is a steppingstone to greater growth and broader vision. “It all ends up in the good pile.” Challenges are not outside the path of healing. They are a part of it. Make every experience work on your behalf, and teach your clients to do the same.
1. What person, people, or situations seem to challenge you on your way to your goal?
2. How might the resistance they represent empower you by motivating you to clarify your goal, deepen your intention, and move you to find new and innovative ways to achieve what you want?
3. Choose one challenging person or situation and fit its elements into the Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis model.
4. Consider a coaching client who is encountering resistance in the process of reaching his or her goal. What might you say to the client that will help him or her understand that the resistance is a sign that he or she is close to reaching the goal ?
Everything that happens is a part of my curriculum for awakening,
and that of my clients.
I turn obstacles into steppingstones to
rise in consciousness and master my life,
and to help my clients reach their goals.
The material in this lesson © by Alan Cohen is proprietary for the education of students enrolled in
Life Coach Training Program by the Foundation for Holistic Life Coaching.
Using for any other purpose without permission is strictly prohibited.