Are you meant to be a life coach?

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00:00:37 Welcome to Master Coach Mindset™, a podcast devoted to Coaches, therapists, and those that want to become master communicators. Hi, my name is Rhonda Britten, and I’m your host and Master Coach. What I’m devoted to is helping people who want to become better at being great communicators as well as showing you, educating you, teaching you, supporting you in learning coaching skills that will catapult the way you connect with others.
00:01:05 I don’t care if that’s Coach to Client. I don’t care if that’s parent to child. I don’t care if that’s boss to employee. I know that when you are masterful at communication skills, in order to be that way, you need coaching skills. That’s what we’re here talking about today at Master Coach Mindset™. We’re in Season Two. In Season Two I’m actually sharing the Eight Coaching Skills that I teach my Certified Fearless Living Coaches™ in the Fearless Living® Life Coach Certification Program™. These skills I’ve never actually taught before beyond my coaching program. Soak it in. Just let it just seep into your body because these skills can really catapult your life.
00:01:49 Today we’re on Skill Seven. There’s eight coaching skills. If you have not heard this podcast before and you’re like, “Where’s the other six? Where’s the eight?” Go on back. Start with Season Two, and you will learn all about Dirty Coaching™, Therapy Versus Coaching, Coaching Skill One, and Two, and Three, etc. Today we are on Coaching Skill Seven and that is: “Speak to Acknowledge Risk.”
00:02:20 It’s all about acknowledging risk. One of the things that is our foundation here at Fearless Living Institute™ is risk. In fact, that’s how we start our coaching sessions. If you haven’t downloaded the Fearbuster Coaching Toolkit™, go on over to, because you’ve got to download your free toolkit so you know exactly what I’m talking about. How to open a Session using the word risk, talking about risk because risk is a function. I’m going to step back. When you start acknowledging your client’s risk, when you start acknowledging your children’s risk, your employee’s risk, your assistant’s risk; bottom line is you are helping them suss out what they are doing to grow, to change, to expand.
00:03:02 I don’t know about you, but what I noticed in my own life, as well as when I started coaching and my Clients’ lives, and my family’s lives, and friend’s lives, is that we never give ourselves credit longer than a minute. Let’s say that I make a change in my life, a little tiny change in my life, a little tiny, tiny change in my life. Maybe for 30 seconds, I’ll acknowledge it, but then what happens? I don’t do it consistently. I didn’t do it good enough, and I forget that I did it, so I never build up confidence. I never build up momentum.
00:03:40 We need momentum when we want to change our life, and so acknowledging risk is part of building momentum because when you have momentum, you actually have more motivation. If you’re ever faced with a Client that doesn’t do their homework, that beats themselves up on a regular basis, then this is going to be a key coaching skill. When you start acknowledging risk, they start training their brain because of your questioning. Their brain will start changing, their neuro-pathways will start shifting, and they will be able to see their own risks on a daily basis. More importantly, give themselves credit for those risks, and that’s a key component. That’s why it’s called: “Speak to Acknowledge Risk.” It’s not just good job on taking that risk. No, it’s acknowledging the risk at its core so that your Clients, so your children, so that your team can actually see how they are doing the things, that they are making the changes.
00:04:40 Let’s go back to the basics of what does it mean, “Speak to Acknowledge Risk?” We do not acknowledge risk based on how well somebody did it. Let’s say you want to start counting calories and you want to start losing weight. Let’s say that you are at 2,500 calories and you have a dream. You think, “Okay, I’m going to get down to 1,500. I’m going to do 2,500. I kept track of my calories, and it’s at 2,500, and oh my gosh, no wonder I’m not losing weight, and my body says I only need 1,500.” You’ve got to cut a thousand calories. A thousand calories, that’s pretty drastic right away. That’s what you say to yourself that you’ve got to do because that’s what everybody says, and if you’re going to lose weight, and you’re going to really do it, you’ve got to do it.
00:05:27 Let’s say you make this commitment. You’re going to do it, and the next day you only get to 2,200 calories. Before you were doing 2,500, you say to yourself, “I want to get down to 1,500. That’s the only way I’m going to lose weight.” The first day out, the third day out, the fifth day out, you only get to 2,200. Now, what do most of us do? “Oh my God, I only got two 2,200. Oh my God, I’m never going to lose weight. Oh my God, I’m never going to make my goal.”
00:05:52 ROLEPLAY:
No, when we “Speak to Acknowledge Risk,” we go, “Oh my gosh, what were you at before?”
“2,500 calories.”
“And where are you now?”
“2,200 calories.”
“Oh my gosh. How many calories? 2,500 minus 2,200. How many calories are you saving today? 300. Oh my gosh. And how many calories does it take to lose a pound?”
You acknowledged the fact that they made movement, that they took a baby step, that they made a micro-commitment and accomplished it. Again, “Oh my gosh, I do 2,500 calories, I want to get down to 1,500.” Your Client comes beating themselves up at 2,200. You go, “No.”
00:06:29 Instead you’re like, “Wait, wait a minute. What were your calories before?”
“And where are you now?”
“2,200. I’m failing.”
“Well wait a minute. Is 2,200 lower or higher than 2,500?”
“Okay. So I’m a little confused. What’s the problem? Are you eating more, or eating less? Are you having more calories or less calories?”
“Well, less calories, but I really need to have 1500.”
“Okay. And is 2,200 closer to 1500?”
“Well yeah.”
“So are you willing to acknowledge the fact that you eliminated 300 calories on a daily basis for the last day, last three days, again, whatever it is, and that you’re getting closer to 1500?”
“Well okay, but I really need 1,500.”
00:07:11 “I understand. And the movement that you made from 2,500 to 2,200, is that movement forward or movement back?”
“It’s moving forward.”
“Congratulations. That’s amazing.”
“Oh, really?”
“Yeah. Yeah. I mean, what if every week, every two weeks you had your calories go down by 300? How long is it going to take you to get to 1,500, your goal?”
“Oh my God. Now that you put it that way. Okay, I see your point.”
00:07:38 Let’s use another example called complaining. One of the exercises I give my complaining clients is they have to keep a complaining journal. Here are my Clients, giving them their complaining journal homework, and they’ve discovered that they’re doing 100 complaints a day. They’re complaining all the time, and I go, “Okay, so tomorrow let’s keep that complaining journal and see how we do.” The next day, my Client gets down to 99 complaints. Woohoo, amazing. What does my client do? “I’m still doing 99 complaints.” What do I care? I care about the gap between where they were and where they are now. The shift they’ve made because that shift tells me that they can do that shift again and again.
00:08:21 If you do not acknowledge that small shift from 100 to 99, from 2,500 calories to 2,200 calories, then the motivation isn’t there. They give up, they feel hopeless, they feel defeated, they feel like a failure. All their fears come up, “I’ll never be able to do this,” etc. There’s that rare individual that maybe he’s like, “Oh yeah, 2,200. Awesome.” You want to add to that your acknowledgment. You want to have them acknowledge themselves because then you want to get it moved to 2,000 or 1,800. Wherever they want to go.
00:08:50 100 complaints down to 99. My Client comes in saying, “I’m still doing 99.” Where I go is, “Wow, you’re only doing 99. How could your life change if you did 99 complaints a day versus 100?” “Well, I’d have maybe three, five more minutes of peace.” “Woohoo. Now, what if you got it down to 98 and 96 and 95? And what about if you got to down to 80?” “Oh my God, I want to get rid of it all.” Remember most of our Clients, when they’re going through a change, when we’re facing a goal that we want to achieve, a dream we want to achieve, a commitment that we want to do, like be accountable for, what normally happens is we have a tendency to look at black and white. Am I doing it or am I not? Am I doing it or am I not?
[00:09:37] We as Coaches don’t care about 2,500 to 1,500. We don’t care about 100 complaints to zero complaints. We’re looking for movement forward. That’s the power of acknowledging risk because when you acknowledge risk, it allows them to go, “Well, I did get it down.” As a Coach, you ask questions, “So tell me how you did that. Were you faced at all in the day about wanting to eat something or drink something and you didn’t? And what did you do and how did you do that?” “Well, I was at the 7-11, and I really like Slurpees, but then I said to myself, ‘Remember your number one goal this week is weight loss, or your number one goal is health, or your intention is to feel better in your body.'”
00:10:21 Again, whatever that is, and you say, “And so what did you say to yourself?”
“I told myself, you know what? I want to have my intention instead.”
“Awesome. And what time of day was this?”
“Oh, this was like three o’clock.”
“Wow. Three o’clock in the afternoon. Do you normally have an afternoon slump?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“And you didn’t have a Slurpee and were you in an afternoon slump?”
“I guess I was.”
“And you said no to the Slurpee? That’s amazing.”
“Well, yeah, but I ate ice cream at night.”
“Okay. So what time did you eat the ice cream?”
“Ten o’clock.”
“Do you normally eat something at ten o’clock or nine o’clock at night?”
“Yeah, I like to have a little something before I go to bed.”
“Awesome. Well, let’s figure out what else you could have that would support you better.”
00:11:04 I’m not going to say, “Cut it out,” right? That doesn’t help. Instead, we’re going to incrementally step our Clients back, incrementally step our Clients back. There’s that rare Client that can do it, no problem. They’re highly motivated, they’re type-A personalities, and acknowledging risk is just going to be a feather in their cap, and it’s going to be awesome. Most people who come to coaching, when they really want to make a dramatic change in their life, need that incremental positive empowerment through acknowledging risk that gives them hope, helps them believe, builds their confidence, builds momentum and motivation so they can keep going.
00:11:41 If I can support my client at ten o’clock at night, moving from ice cream to a teaspoon of peanut butter, or having a protein shake with raw cacao seeds. What is it called? Cacao. You know, chocolate. What is it? C-A-C-A-O. How do you pronounce that darn thing? I’m from the Midwest. I am horrible at pronouncing words. Kerko.? How is that? Jonathan? What is that?
Jonathan: Cacao.
Rhonda Britten: Cacao. Okay, Jonathan’s here with me. Hi, Jonathan.
Jonathan: Hello.
00:12:11 Cacao. Okay, Jonathan’s over there looking like “Rhonda, get this one.” and I’m like, “I don’t remember how to pronounce it.” So I, Rhonda Britten, if I want something at ten o’clock at night for whatever reason, or eight o’clock at night, raw cacao with protein shake, a little oil in it, MCO … MCI oil, cod liver oil, put that in. Awesome, right? I’m not going to beat my client up or allow my client to beat themselves up for not being perfect. I’m not interested in perfect. I’m interested in movement forward. I’m not interested how well somebody does something. I’m interested only again in movement forward.
00:12:58 This is the power of acknowledging risk. As I shared with you before in our Fearless Coaching Toolkit, acknowledging risk is a key component of opening and closing the session because when you start training your clients through your questioning … So just FYI, when you ask questions, you’re actually training your client especially if you ask the same question each and every time. They’re going to anticipate that you’re going to ask that question, and what does that do? It trains their brain to start looking for it in between your Sessions. That’s why I open my session a specific way. If you have not downloaded the Fearbuster Coaching Toolkit, please go over to and get that now because that is going to support you in understanding this acknowledging risk even more.
00:13:34 How do we acknowledge risk? We don’t acknowledge risk by saying, “Oh, you didn’t complain.” No, you do what they did instead. “Wow. What did you place it with? How did you do that? How did you go from 2,500 to 2,200 calories? What did you do? What was your mindset? What were you feeling? What were you thinking? Tell me how you did that” One of the things that I believe is critical to being a Coach, what our real job is … I think Certified Fearless Living Coaches, this is what I train my Coaches to do is that if I can train my Client, through my coaching, to understand how they process information, process feelings, process thoughts, etc., then they can have more choice.
00:14:19 What happens when we don’t know how we process is we go, “Well, I just felt like it. I had to.” Or, “Well, the thought came through me, and I just couldn’t believe in myself anymore.” Or, “I was compelled to take that action.” We feel at the whim of our feelings, thoughts, and actions. Why do we feel at the whim of our feelings, thoughts, and actions? Because we don’t know how we process information. We don’t know what we’re triggered by. We don’t understand ourselves. One of the things that I tell my Certified Fearless Living Coaches and what I teach in the Fearless Living Life Coach Certification Program is I help people understand Coaches. I help show them how to help a Client understand how they process information.
00:15:02 When you know how to process information, boom, done, lives changed. Not only are you having immediate change with your Client in the moment, but you are actually training your Client to do it for themselves when you’re not coaching them. This is my job. This is what I believe. My job is to take myself out of a job. I want to be such a good Coach that they don’t need me anymore. I’ve trained them on how they work, how they think, how they process. Does that mean they never work with me again? Of course not. Everybody has their blind spots. Everybody hits a moment where they don’t know what to do. I actually just talked to a client yesterday, and we had a two-hour session. Why? Because she has a big problem that is on her doorstep and she knows that if we talk for 45 minutes, an hour, two hours, boom, done, solved.
00:15:54 She doesn’t have to coach with me 10 sessions, because I’ve taught her how to think, how to process, how she does it. Not how I want her to do it, but how she does it and then tweaking it so it empowers her even more. Do my clients call me when they come up with a problem or have a big goal to achieve? Yes. Don’t worry that your client will never call you again if you teach them this or train them this through your coaching. No, they’re going to trust you more because you’re putting their needs first, their wants first, their lives first and not your pocketbook first.
00:16:26 It’s not about getting your Client to sign up for 20 additional sessions. It’s about changing your Client’s life. You have to ask yourself what your priority is, because if you’re coaching to get them to sign up for 20 more Sessions, then you’re doing something called Dirty Coaching, which I talk about in Season Two, Episode Two. If you’re not sure you’re doing Dirty Coaching or not, get on over to that Episode because there’s no Dirty Coaching over here at the Fearless Living Life Coach Certification Program with my Certified Fearless Living Coaches. That is not okay.
00:16:58 Let’s go back to “Speak to Acknowledge Risk.” You’re not going to focus on how well they did it. You’re just going to ask did they do it or not? Did they make progress or not? Did they move forward or not? Most people get caught up in perfection, get caught up in their comparison mind, get caught up in competing, get caught up in what they think they should do, and all of that language is fear based. All of it is an illusion. It has no sense of reality, and it is not going to get your Clients where they want to go. That’s number one. It’s not about how well they did something; it’s about did they do it or not.
00:17:33 That gives them permission to be more bold next time. They’re going to take bigger risks. They’re going to trust themselves to accomplish things. They’re going to understand that it takes more than one step, that it takes 20 steps or 30 steps. “Speak to Acknowledge Risk.” I cannot tell you, that is one of the foundational tools of Fearless Living because it’s about progress, not perfection. It’s about movement forward, not about completion all the time, not about reaching the goal every single moment. It’s about just moving forward. A way that you can support a Client is identifying those micro-goals, and I have a question today that this is perfect. I’m going to just go to the question right now before we keep going with acknowledge risk because it’s exactly what we’re talking about now is this question. So let me go grab the question of the day.
Question of the day: “Rhonda. I find that clients with kids are double slammed, and it’s even harder for them to incorporate new habits or routines in their lives. Do you make any specific suggestions to clients with kids for a better and faster chance at success and implementing your suggestions?”
00:18:45 Client has children, and this Coach asked me, says she experiences them, or he experiences them, that they’re double slammed. Sure, they have more to do. They have more responsibilities. The way that they do things, depending on the person, may be slower. It might take 10 steps instead of 3. It might take them more effort, i.e., setting up what’s called behavior chains. What are behavior chains? By the way, everything I’m saying for kids, parents with kids, works for everybody. It’s just that when you have kids, your time, because it’s your commitment to be a good parent, parenting is called one of your commitments.
00:19:34 If one of your commitments is parenting, that takes up some time, that takes up some bandwidth. That takes us some effort. That takes some energy. It’s not like, “Oh, my kids,” and using them as an excuse. It’s that, “Wait a minute, one of my commitments is being a good parent, i.e., the best parent I can be. Therefore, some of the things that I commit to are based on that intention of being a good parent.” One thing you can do is tie their goal, their dream, their intention to their parenting. That will support them, but also something called behavior chains. What does that mean?
00:20:13 Let’s say you want to start working out. Let’s say you want to start working out and you’re a parent, and you have no time. You’ve got to get up in the morning, you’ve got to get the kids ready for school, and you’ve got to make them breakfast, and it just feels overwhelming. Behavior chains are putting something in place that is very small and incremental to make the behavior change easier. This is a common one. I’m sure you’ve heard it, and I’m sure you’ve done it maybe. This is what I do when I am starting to want to work out better. I had hip replacement surgery recently, I was in a car accident, and my hip dislocated years ago, and now it’s finally gone, “You know what Rhonda? Now you’ve got to take care of that thing, girlfriend.”
00:20:54 How can I support myself to take action in alignment with who I want to be, and who I know I really am, and what I’m really committed to. One, I empty my house of all sweets. I empty my house of everything that I do not want to eat. My house has no access to that food. Now again, parents are going to be like, “Well yeah, but my kids need their Pop Tarts. My kids need their sugar cereal.” Really? They do? Okay. Not sure that’s in alignment with being a good parent. My niece actually is cleaning out her “kitchen,” and she’s slowly doing it. One week she gets rid of the Pop Tarts. The next week she gets rid of the sugar cereal and replaces it with something healthier. She’s trying to find things that replace it. That gives that same fun or healthy or aspect that the kids want to eat something fast and munchy. She replaces it with something healthier.
00:21:51 You can do it in incremental changes. If you’re wanting to, again, go back to the example of losing weight or feeling healthier or feeling more vibrant and more alive, your food is a key component of that. What are you stocking your house with? I know for me if I have nothing in my house that doesn’t support my commitment to health, if I want that, I actually have to get in my car, or on my feet, and go to the store. What happens there? I have minutes. I have 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, depending on how far away it is to re-decide to turn around.
00:22:30 If I get my clothes on, put my shoes on, get in my car to go get that thing. I have to ask myself, “Okay, what is my commitment? And oh, by the way, how much is my feelings, my loneliness, my need, driving me to go get that piece of cake? Driving me to go to get that frozen yogurt?” What is that about? Sometimes for me, it’s social. I had people come over my house recently and I’m right next to a yogurt shop, so we all walked over to the yogurt shop. It was a social occasion. I can decide what to put on that yogurt. Behavior chains are creating incremental pathways for the larger goal.
00:23:16 Another behavior chain for me is to put my clothes out in the morning. The first thing when I wake up is to see my tennis shoes, and see my workout clothes there, and get myself out on a walk. First thing. I think it was last week or the week before in the Episode I talked about energy level. Our brain is wired to save energy. Behavior chains, micro-commitments, all of the baby steps, all of these things help calm the brain, help minimize the energy the brain uses so that you can start making those changes possible.
00:23:50 If you’re a parent, and you’re double slammed, you say you can’t reach your goals, or can’t follow your dreams, or can’t keep your commitments, then I would tie it into your parenting. I would tie it into something larger because it’s going to give you more motivation, more inspiration, more courage to take that risk. Does that make sense? Kids, totally get it, and the reason you’re using that time with your kids is because it’s your commitment. Own that. “Oh, one of my commitments is being a good parent.” Got It. Great. Don’t use your kids as an excuse. Include them in your life. Don’t make them separate from you. They’re part of you, they’re part of your family, and it’s part of your commitment, yes?
00:24:34 Got it? I know that’s just a quick little talking about habits, but I think we again, speak to acknowledge risk. We beat ourselves up. We just beat ourselves up way too much. You as a Coach, you as a parent, you as a manager want to get really good at acknowledging the incremental changes your clients make, your employees make, your children make. You want to get really, really good at acknowledgement. I teach acknowledgement in Fearless Living Training Program™, and that is my number one online course. Over 3,000 students have taken that course. If you just want a little tiny step then I invite you to take Stretch, Risk, and Die™.
00:25:18 It’s a Stretch, Risk, and Die course. It’s 45 minutes and it’s three videos. I’m actually going to show you how to take risks, more risks, and I’m actually going to give you an exercise about Stretch Risk and Die. How do you do that? What does it mean to stretch? What does it mean to risk? What does it mean to die? If you’re really wanting to understand risk, Fearless Living Training Program. If you’re not willing to make that commitment at this point, because risk and acknowledging risk isn’t that important to you, then start small. That baby step. Sign up for Stretch, Risk, or Die. This will all be in the show notes. Again, “Speak to Acknowledge Risk” is our Seventh Coaching Skill.
00:25:56 I have so much more to talk about acknowledging risk. We are going to talk about it in next week’s Episode as well, and then our Eighth Skill coming down the pike in just two Episodes is “Speak to Opportunities and Possibilities.” I love that one. As you can see, we have a lot of work left to do. I can’t wait to share more about how to acknowledge risk. Of course, in an upcoming Episode, I’ll talk about opportunities and possibilities, and how you help that dream, and that vision come true. With that, I look forward to seeing you at Master Coach Mindset Insider’s Club, and I can’t wait to meet you soon at a live workshop, at the Fearless Foundation Workshop™ or Fearless Conversations™, but I can’t wait to meet you live.
Until then, as always, Be Fearless.