Are you meant to be a life coach?

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00:00:44 Hi, Rhonda Britten here with Master Coach Mindset™ and we are in Season Two, Episode Four. That’s true, and yes, I used to be a singer in my younger days. I was that girl in junior high, elementary school and high school, always singing. When I was in elementary school, I would always be putting plays on and shows on and singing. I think about that now in the age of YouTube and social media, and I think, oh my God, if they had social media when I was young, I’d be like this, right? I would’ve figured that thing out, but instead, I just did it for my mom and the neighbors and the other kids. Then when I moved into junior high, I started singing solos and taking private lessons because I believed I’d be a singer.
00:01:31 You know, it’s so funny because I always felt I was flat or sharp or something so I never really, for most of my younger years, I always, you know, in the choir when somebody goes, the choir instructor, “Somebody is off over here, somebody’s flat, somebody’s sharp.” I was like, “it’s me, it’s me”! I always had the trigger of “it’s my fault.” Anybody else have that trigger? It’s my fault. Anything happening? It’s my fault, and it must be me, must be me? I had that.
00:02:01 The skill we’re going to be talking about today is so relevant in my personal life as well as the gift I give to my Clients. This skill…it is it. It’s the foundation of everything because if you can’t or won’t or refuse to do the work to be able to do this, then your past, your history, your opinion of yourself is more real than the truth about you.
00:02:39 Your job is to embody this skill for yourself as well as for your Clients. What skill is it? Skill Number One of our Eight Coaching Skills in Master Coach Mindset and what I teach at a workshop called Fearless Conversations™ Workshop. Number One skill that you need beyond any other skill is, “Speak as if they’re innocent.” Well, like I said, I was a singer for all those years, and if somebody was flat or off, I always blamed myself because I had the, “it must be me. It must be my fault. It must be me”. Did I have a capacity to see my own innocence? No.
00:03:23 Did I go to church growing up? Yes. Did they say be kind to yourself, count your blessings, be grateful, all those things? Yes, but it didn’t take away my fear that I was at fault or that I was wrong or there was something bad about me. I think most of us walk around that way. We walk around with a fear that maybe I am too damaged or maybe there is something wrong with me, or maybe I’m not fixable, or maybe I’m just not good enough. That’s overarching. When people asked me in Fearless Living®, “What are the top 10 fears?” I’ll say, “fear of loser, fear of stupid” and I go on. People always say, “I’m afraid of not being good enough.” I go, that’s generic. We all feel that way at times.
00:04:13 I’m not good enough, but then it becomes personalized to us. Fear of “I’m not good enough because I’m stupid.” Fear of “I’m not good enough because I’m damaged.” Fear of “I’m not good enough because of something.” There’s a deeper fear, and the fear of not being good enough is the overarching one. For me, to see my own innocence has been my greatest accomplishment in this lifetime. It is the gift I give my Clients. My job is to have no judgment. My job is to see who they are, in spite of what they try to convince me of. When I say this to people, “Speak as if they’re Innocent,” I think a lot of people go, “Yeah, yeah, I see my Client’s innocence.”
00:05:16 Then when I hear them coach, I think, “No, you don’t. You’re slightly shaming, slightly blaming, slightly judging, slightly believing that they should be different or more or something”. My greatest gift, my greatest accomplishment in this lifetime is to see my own innocence. To believe that cliché, “I’m doing the best I can” and believe it. That sometimes my best is here, and sometimes my best is here, and sometimes my best is here. Right? My best can move. To not compare myself to the best up here when I’m over here. I’m doing this just for ease. It doesn’t necessarily mean levels, but just for ease of this conversation. I think we always compare ourselves to what we think we should be, the fantasy of what we want to be, what we’ve been told we are or we’re comparing ourselves to a past version of ourselves.
00:06:18 When I think about my weight when I compare myself, I compare myself to my 25-year-old self. When I was “this big” and wore halter tops all the time, bell-bottoms and always showed my stomach. Always showed my abdomen. Always was like, “yeah, muscles”! I was working out heavy duty. As I’ve aged and different things have happened to my body, that has … If I want to beat myself up and put myself down, I have to compare myself to my 25-year-old. Yes, rationally I know I’m not 25 anymore. We can rationalize all we want and tell stories to ourselves about, “Well, I understand why I’m not.” It’s very different to tell ourselves a story to make it okay, versus really seeing our innocence inside of that.
00:07:11 That’s what I want you to give yourself as well as give your Client, to see their innocence, to see their wholeness, to see that they are doing the best they can. Here in Fearless Living what we talk about is, you know, you’re always doing the best you can. It’s not you. There’s nothing wrong with you. It’s just fear. If my Client makes a choice that doesn’t serve them, I know there’s nothing wrong with them. It’s just that they’re afraid. If my Client doesn’t do their homework, it doesn’t mean they’re difficult or resistant, it just means they’re afraid. If I can stand and understand that any time I’m not being, “who I think I should be,” or my Client isn’t, “doing what they say they’re going to do,” it’s not a question of integrity. It’s a question of fear.
00:08:05 If you can get off the integrity conversation, commitment conversation, and move into the fear conversation, then it’s a lot easier to see their innocence and yours as well. I think the question that I want to ask you today is, “How skilled are you? How open-hearted are you? How open-minded are you to see your own innocence”? You will discover how much ability you can see your own innocence by the innocence you see in your Clients. If you’re having a judgment thought, “They are going to make it, that’s a bad decision. They shouldn’t do that.” Or, “God, they’ve got to get it together. They’re just really being lazy.” Or, “I don’t think they’re going to get this.” When you’re having those thoughts deciding for your Client who they are, what they could do or what they’re capable of doing, then I guarantee you, you’re having those same thoughts about yourself.
00:09:07 You’re probably always judging what you should do, shouldn’t do, capable, not capable. I could go on. I think everybody knows how they beat themselves up. I think you know that really well. If you just stopped and asked yourself, “What are the negative things I say to myself? What are those beating myself up thoughts, put myself down thoughts”? When you’re having those thoughts, you are not seeing your innocence. When you allow your Client to indulge in those beyond venting, beyond sharing thought, but allow them to believe for a minute that they’re true, you’re not seeing their innocence. That’s why this First Coaching Skill, “Speak as if they’re innocent” is so critical to the coaching process. If I can’t fully be with my Client wherever they are, not just in the understanding way, right? Like, “I meet my Client where they are.” Okay, we all say that, right?
00:10:07 “Meet your Client where they are,” but do you do that? Seriously, do you do that? I find that speaking as if they’re innocent is very, very in truth in practice difficult to do. I invite you, I challenge you, and I ask you to start paying attention in your Sessions to, “Are you able to stand for their innocence? Are you able to truly see through the eyes of compassion, gentleness, kindness, openheartedness, open-mindedness? Do you use lip service that I see their innocence and you don’t practice it”? One of the things that I ask my Coaching students to do in the Life Coach Certification Program™ here at the Fearless Living Institute™ is they have to tape their Sessions, and they have to listen to those Sessions.
00:11:10 They have to see how they subtly judge and how they subtly do Dirty Coaching™, and how it all stems back to their own stuff. One of the great things about being a Coach is I always get to clean up my life. One of the great things about being a Coach is I get to practice my own innocence, and the great thing about being a Coach is I get to put my own work, my own personal work at the forefront of my life. My capacity to be a Master Coach is in direct correlation to my ability to go as deep and as wide as I need to do to clean up my own life. To become who I’m meant to be, to be who I’m meant to be, to see my wholeness and completeness truly. Not in theory, not in words, but in reality. This is the practice, “Speak as if they’re innocent.”
00:12:09 You might be saying to me, “Rhonda, Rhonda, how do you do that?” Well, like I said, it’s personal work. I have some tips and tools for you to use. When you speak as if they’re innocent, your Client will feel accepted. Your Client will drop the burden of perfection. Your Client will drop the burdens that they think they have to carry around to earn love, earn respect, earn success, and you’re going to take off your Client earning at all. Your Client is going to start feeling empowered and open and ready to make the changes that are calling them. They’re no longer going to hide or be embarrassed or ashamed. They’re going to be able to look at themselves eyeball to eyeball in the mirror and see their beauty.
00:13:19 That’s the gift of helping them see their own innocence because you see it and you use the language to do that. You’re constantly saying the words that relate and flow and move from that place. Like I said, this is a high spiritual path. Coaching to me is a spiritual practice, and it is a high spiritual path, and I’m always asked to go deeper and expansive. Let’s talk about some of the things that you must practice, things that you get to practice to start seeing people’s innocence. The first thing is releasing expectations. Not having an expectation of what a Client success looks like, what homework looks like, what they should say or what they should want to do, and it’s subtle.
00:14:06 Like you might say, “I don’t do any of that,” but if you listen to the tapes of your Sessions, you might be doing it a little bit. You have to release all expectations about the right answers, about the right goals, about what they should be doing. This is difficult when you’re calling yourself a Coach, but you’re really a consultant. Consultants tell Clients what to do. Coaches do not. One of the ways that we have to clean up the coaching industry is to actually label it correctly. If you’re a consultant, call yourself a consultant, call yourself a Mentor, right? You’re going to tell people what to do. A Coach doesn’t tell a Client what to do. That’s one of the confusions in the marketplace is that business consultants are actually calling themselves business Coaches, and financial consultants are calling themselves financial Coaches.
00:15:01 If you find that you are giving people answers, you’re not a Coach, you’re a consultant. That consultant mindset is going to have expectations because you’re going to have little check marks that you want your Client to achieve in order to triple that income or to reach that financial goal. One of the things is starting to clean up the marketplace and tell ourselves the truth, so release expectation. The second thing I want you to practice is detachment, detachment, detachment. Releasing expectations and detaching. How fast your Client should move, what they should be capable of doing, where they should be in their life, like detaching.
00:16:40 Here at Fearless Living, we talk about moving forward may look like moving back, but it’s the bravest, most courageous thing, the most Fearless thing that you can do. It’s not about moving forward in one direction. Movement forward might be here, there, left, right, back, forward. It might be up, it might be down. It is going to show up differently for different people at different times in their lives, in different moments, with different situations, with different people. We want to take off the judgment, the onus of “what does success look like.” Again, releasing expectations of who a Client should be, who you should be, and detaching, detaching, detaching from the outcome, and focus on the process.
00:16:52 One of the things that we say here in Fearless Living is we coach the process, not the problem. Yes, Rhonda Britten. Rhonda Britten: “Coach the process, not the problem.” That’s seeing their innocence, expanding your view of what coaching is and what you’re really there to do. Third, “Embrace your own innocence.” Embrace your own innocence. What if you were never wrong, never bad, never mean, never damaged? Like what if? What if? What if you purposely never hurt somebody and purposely never hurt yourself and it just happened? Somebody got hurt, you got hurt. Seeing your own innocence is the key to unlocking it for your Clients. If you’re honest, you have some work to do. Just like I continue this work on innocence. It’s critical to our success as Coaches.
00:17:51 I have some tips and roadblocks and how you know you’re not seeing innocence. I want to share one little tidbit with you now, and then I’m going to be continuing “Speak as if they’re Innocent” in our next Episode. Let me just share this little tidbit and then I’m going to answer a question. I encourage you if you’re not a member of the insiders club to join so that you can get this worksheet so that you can work innocence, embrace innocence, surrender to innocence. I know somebody right now is saying to themselves, “Rhonda, Rhonda, Rhonda, but you don’t understand. If I see my innocence, I’ll no longer be motivated. I’ll no longer want to change because what motivates me to change is I’m bad, and I’m wrong, and there’s something wrong like something wrong with me, and that motivates me to change”.
00:18:46 I guarantee you, I promise you, I promise you that you will still be motivated. You still will have the desire to make your life better, different, more wherever you need to go, but it won’t be based on trying to run away from yourself. It will be based on running towards yourself, into yourself, into your body and your life, your heart, and your mind. If you’re afraid to see your innocence because you fear you will lack motivation, then you’re being driven by fear toward success, not freedom. Most people say they want more freedom, but if you’re driven by fear to get freedom, let me give you a hint, you’re never going to feel free. Let me say the last little bit of innocence for this Episode is that, “Seeing innocence means trusting.”
00:19:36 It means trusting that the Client is doing the best they can at this moment with what they have, not what they know, because we know a lot. It’s not about what they know, it’s about doing the best they can based on their skill level, and how much they’ve eaten that day, how well they slept, who’s around them, and how they feel about themselves. Seeing innocence is trusting the Client is truly, truly doing the best they can. Not lip service, but believing that and that a Client, when you see their innocence, you know that they’re only lacking skills. Anything your Client wants to achieve. What if you trusted that they were lacking skills?
00:20:28 Some of those skills may be how to move from fear to freedom or communication techniques, right? Tips and tools. If you think about really believe, again not lip service, because I know we all say, “My Clients did the best they can. My parents did the best they could. I get it. Now they’re doing the best they can. I’m doing the best I can”. If you believe that, you would never beat yourself up, you would never put yourself down if you believe that. If you’re doing that, awesome, you are ahead of the pack and you gosh darn it, I want to meet you. I want to study with you, and I want to love on you. I say yes, yes, and 100 times yes. Seeing innocence means trusting that they’re doing the best they can and they just lack skills.
00:21:09 Your job is to support them through your questioning, through your coaching, on helping them figure out what those skills are, and figuring out where their mindset needs to be adjusted. To move their neural pathways from fear-based to freedom-based. Shifting their filtering system from fear to freedom.
Let’s go to the question of the day. Again, we’re going to continue “Speak as if they’re innocent” in our next Episode, in Episode Five. The question of the day: “Occasionally I find myself reacting to my Client’s story with expressions like, ‘Oh man,’ or, ‘I’m so sorry.’ Why is that such a bad thing? Is there a way to recover from it? When is it okay to do?” Really awesome. “Occasionally I find myself reacting to my Client’s story with expressions like, ‘Oh man,’ or, ‘I’m sorry.’ Why is that such a bad thing? And is there a way to recover from it? When is it okay to do it?”
00:22:14 Such a good question. It’s such a deep question. When a Client is telling you their story, and let’s just say for the first time, and let’s say it’s a horrible story. Let’s say it’s a “breaks your heart” story. You have full permission to say, “I’m so sorry that happened to you, I’m so sorry.” You don’t have permission to go, “Oh my God, I’m sorry,” or,”Oh man.” You’re shock, and your reaction ignites in the Client, maybe they’re too much, maybe the story is too bad, they’re going to be worried about being judged. That’s why we get to practice seeing everyone’s innocence as well as being present so that we can stand in the midst of anybody’s pain and suffering, the pain of the past, to stop the suffering of their story.
00:23:22 We can truly hold the container so that they can experience whatever they need to experience and it doesn’t become about us. That’s why when we go, “Oh my God,” it becomes about us in that moment. Then the Client shuts down usually and is like, “Oh my God, I shouldn’t have told you,” or, “Oh yeah, I mean it’s not as bad as it sounds,” and they start having to adjust based on your response. You want to contribute to the innocence of the story. You want to contribute to their acceptance of the story. You want to contribute to them embracing the story and being okay with the story. Yes, moving through the story. When we are “reacting,” it becomes about you, Coach. I know for me when I was moving through my life after my horrific day. I think most of you know, and if you don’t, I’m going to share very briefly. Tell it in one second rather than 20 minutes.
00:24:25 When I was 14 years old, my father murdered my mother and committed suicide in front of me. Now, how do you think that rolls over? Right? Me telling people that. First of all, never did for most of my life because of that exact reason. I didn’t want to hear “reactions”. No! I didn’t want you to take pity on me because that’s how it felt. I didn’t want you to look at me weird, so I never shared my story. That’s why our response to our Client’s story is so critical for their acceptance of it and they’re able to heal from it. That’s what we get to do. That’s what we get to support them with. We’ll talk more about this in Episode Five. The more that you can embrace your story and see your own innocence.
00:25:20 I’m no longer ashamed of my story. I can stand now in your freak out about it or you’re like “reaction”, but I needed a whole bunch of people to sit with me and look at me without shock, without freak out, without anything so that I could sit with it myself. Can you recover? Of course you can. Silence is a wonderful gift and a wonderful tool to use when somebody is sharing their story and you’re not sure how to respond. I just wanted somebody to sit with me when I told my story. I just wanted them to sit with me, and that’s the gift we give to our Clients. We see their innocence, the people in the stories innocence and yes, we can say, “I’m so sorry that happened to you”. I look forward to seeing you in Episode Five when we continue Skill One: “Speak as if they’re Innocent”.
00:26:28 Until then, meet me over in the Insider’s Club at I look forward to meeting you at the Fearless Conversations Workshop.
Of course, always Be Fearless.