Life Coach Training – Lesson 17


Life Coach Training

Lesson 17

The Gift of Contrast


One of the most powerful reframes you can offer your client is to help him see that difficult or apparently negative experiences are contributing to him rather than hindering him. Most people regret hard times and either wish they hadn’t occurred, blame others for their problems, or beat themselves up for their errors. If your client is in the midst of a challenge, he may not see the gift it is offering. When you assist your client to recognize that all experiences are helpful, you empower him to change his perspective on what has happened or is happening, and move to the next more rewarding rung of personal evolution.We learn through contrast. When something happens that we do not like, it stimulates our intention to create what we want instead. Everything in life is either It or Not It.  

It experiences are those in alignment with our joy, passion, intention, and purpose. 

Not It experiences are those that grate against us, deplete us, and are misaligned with our joy and passion.

Not It experiences help us to recognize what is It and move in that direction. When you understand that an experience is Not It, the only real helpful question is, “What is It instead?” 


Some sample dialogue you might offer your client:


“So if dating guys who want to date other people is Not It, what is It?”

“Sounds like you’re done with working in the corporate world.”

“I’m hearing that you would much rather have your own private practice than deal with all the paperwork the system requires of you.”


Some clients tend to keep going over and over Not It, why Not It is Not It, and how angry, depressed, or victimized they are by Not It. But any further analysis or resistance to Not It will only keep your client stuck in Not It. Keep reminding your client that the only purpose of recognizing Not It is to give her clarity about what is It and move rapidly and wholeheartedly in that direction.

We learn from both It and Not It.If you are learning to ride a bicycle, for example, you discover that when you lean too far to the left, you fall and scrape your knee and it hurts. That’s Not It. Then you lean too far the right and hurt yourself in that direction, and you realize that, too, is Not It.  Eventually you learn to stay balanced and experience the thrill of riding a bicycle—that’s It

It would be nice if you could just sit on the bicycle for the first time and ride like a champion. But that hardly ever happens. You need to learn how to ride. So even the falls, scrapes, and hurts ultimately move you toward your desired goal. The good news is that once you learn to ride, you own the skill for a lifetime. So the Not Its that led to It were but a minor inconvenience compared to your ultimate success. Help your client recognize the value of Not It as well as It, and together you will make contrast, and all experiences, your friend.


“It takes great learning to understand that all things, events, encounters and circumstances are helpful.”

                                              – A Course in Miracles, Manual for Teachers, M-4.I.A.4:5






1.  Note three experiences in your life that seemed negative or painful at the time:











2. Identify the Not It these experiences represented:











3. What  It did each of these experiences lead you to?











4. Identify a challenging experience you are going through at this time:




    What Not It is the experience showing you?




    What It is the experience guiding you toward?





5. Identify a challenging experience a client, friend, or family member is going through:




    What Not It is the experience showing that person?




     What It is the experience guiding that person toward?







Contrast is my friend, always moving me to greater joy and self-expression.
I assist my clients to appreciate the value of contrast
as a source of growth and expansion.

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.