How to help clients move past self-doubt and judgment

One of the biggest reasons why I developed the Sacred Depths Coach Certification Program is because I see way too many amazing coaches out there not knowing what to do when their clients stop moving forward because of self-doubt and self-judgment.

You may know how it goes:

A client is steadily moving toward her goals, or has committed to starting toward her goals, and…

…BAM. Any and all forward movement halts.

She stops taking productive actions toward her goals.
Or she does take all the “right” actions, but they seem to get her nowhere.
And she becomes more and more frustrated with herself & the coaching process (& you).

It’s not because your client isn’t able to move forward.

It’s because she has stepped so deeply into self-doubt or judgment that she is literally paralyzed.

Perhaps she believes that she isn’t “good enough” to achieve her goals.

Or perhaps she believes that she’ll fail.

Or perhaps she believes that if she will indeed achieve her goals, she’ll never be able to balance success and her personal life.

When you don’t know how to support clients who step into self-doubt, it’s a recipe for feeling like a failure as a coach.

Over the last 20 years, I’ve developed a whole toolbox of ninja coaching skills to help coaches know EXACTLY what to do when self-doubt or judgment rears its head, and how to help clients step off of the negative thought train.

I developed these tools as both a response to wanting to help my own clients go deeper, as well as a way to help myself through my own paralyzing self-doubt.

My client Laura has a great story about this:

Laura is an unbelievable health coach. Laura goes deep with her clients to not only give them world-class suggestions on what to eat or which supplements to take…but she also supports her clients to be willing to make different choices in their lives, and to be ready to create new health habits for themselves.

She came to me with a client case that was totally stumping her.

Her client wanted to lose 45 pounds, but she would either not take actions toward her goal at all…or she would take action, but get nowhere.

Laura’s client was starting to feel really helpless, and Laura was not feeling great about her coaching, because they’d already devoted 3 sessions to “creating more accountability”, with no luck.

As Laura and I looked at her client’s case together, I could see right away that her client was mired in a Negative Thought Pattern.

Negative Thoughts are not to be underestimated. A negative thought, no matter how ridiculous or unrealistic is sounds, can literally take an entire project down.

IMPORTANT: Any particular Negative Thought rarely ever comes up only once.

Instead, negative thoughts feed on themselves, and the more a client thinks that thought…the stronger it becomes and the more often it comes up.

This is because your brain literally grooves any kinds of thoughts deeper and deeper in the form of neural pathways each time you think the thought (think of ski marks in snow that get skied over time and time again in your brain).

As a coach, you need to know exactly how to spot negative thought patterns cropping up for clients…and to know exactly how to Re-Wire those Negative Patterns.

Because it’s actually not enough to make clients aware of the pattern. That’s a wonderful start, but because of those deeply grooved neural pathways, you need to know how to help clients literally groove NEW neural pathways with much more productive thoughts.

So, Laura and I did a few things together to help her client:

  1. I gave Laura a Negative Thought Pattern Questioning Sequence so that she could help her client uncover the Negative Thought Constellation that was holding her back from making progress.The Sequence worked like a charm, and within 5 minutes they discovered together that her client was holding onto a life-long Negative Belief of “If I am healthy, my family will no longer love me.” This belief was literally stopping her in her tracks of losing weight, because she was unconsciously choosing her family’s love over her well-being over and over and over again.
  2. I shared with Laura a few Negative Thought Erosion exercises so that her client could begin to see the Higher Truth hiding underneath her Negative Thought Patterns.These exercises helped Laura’s client really see, understand and be willing to accept the Higher Truth that her family would love her no matter what. This was so simple and subtle, yet thoroughly revolutionary for her client to even consider.
  3. I taught Laura a Re-Wiring Protocol so that her client could work on re-wiring the negative thought pattern into the positive thought pattern over the next few weeks. This part of the process is essential because of those neural pathways. The Re-Wiring Protocol is what helps shift the old negative thought patterns for good.This protocol helped Laura’s client fully, 100% know and believe that she could achieve her health goals and still retain closeness and deep relationship with her family…and within weeks her client was starting to shed pounds!

Helping coaches learn how to support their clients through Negative Thought Patterns is one of my favorites! You are able to go from feeling totally stuck and frustrated with a client who is making zero progress, to feeling impactful and beautifully effective at helping her love herself more deeply and move forward.

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