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Rhonda Britten: What’s the number one rule about opportunities and possibilities? You don’t say no. You ask them to do research, and they determine if it’s right for them.
You’re listening to Master Coach Mindset with Rhonda Britten, season two, episode 16, brought to you by the Fearless Living Institute. Welcome to Master Coach Mindset, a masterclass in the art of coaching. Hi, my name is Rhonda Britten, and I’m an Emmy Award winner, four time best-selling author, and a master life coach since 1995. Each week, I’ll be sharing tips, tools, and techniques that will uplevel your skills, increase your confidence, turning you into a Master Coach.
Welcome to Master Coach Mindset. My name is Rhonda Britten, your host and Master Coach, and this season of Master Coach Mindset, we’re talking about my eight favorite coaching skills that I created for my Fearless Living Life Coach Certification Program. All my certified Fearless Living coaches work to embody these and integrate these into their coaching practice because I believe that if you know how to coach these eight tools, these eight skills, then you’re coaching catapults. You have more confidence, more power, more trust in what you’re doing and how you’re coaching.
Today, we’re talking about skill eight, our last, eight, eight, eight, eight, eight. We have eight coaching skills. We’re on our last one. If this is the first time you’re listening, please go on over to season two, episode one so you can learn all eight coaching skills, but today, we’re focused on coaching skill eight, which is speak to opportunities and possibilities. Speak to opportunities and possibilities.
One of the things that I believe is that nothing is sacred when we coach, i.e., let’s say your client wants to triple their income. Of course, you say, “Yeah, let’s make it happen.” I believe that not only do we want to speak to that opportunity and possibility, like what can happen, again, just futurizing. Well, if you did triple your income, what’s possible for you because that’s one of the key things. In order to motivate and inspire our clients to take action, to build their momentum, they need to believe that it’s possible for them, but also, they need to believe how their life will change because a lot of times, our clients, and ourselves, don’t make the changes we want because we’re actually secretly afraid of what it will mean.
Will we lose our friends? Will we lose our family? Will we lose our job? What will we lose? So we’d rather stay in the status quo because we know what that’s about, and even though I want to go for that dream of tripling my income, maybe my friends will leave me, maybe my mother will tell me I got a big head, maybe my mate will say to me, “Well, you just think you’re better than everybody.” These things could happen.
When you’re talking about opportunities and possibility, it’s not only about, “Oh, what’s the amazing thing could happen to us? Let’s build something amazing.” Opportunities and possibilities also expand into what could happen when you achieve that goal. Let’s talk about what the opportunities are, what are the possibilities, what could happen.
Let me just ask you, “Okay, I want to triple my income.” “Great. Describe to me the life you’d have if you tripled your income.” “Well, I could buy that boat I always wanted, and I could pay for my child’s college, and I could buy that new house in that new school district for my younger children.” Most people go to material things in the beginning when you’re talking about money. Not everybody, but most, and you, of course, want to take that deeper, and you go, “How will you feel when you’re tripling your income? How would you feel if you tripled your income? How much do you make now?” “50,000.” “If you tripled it, it would be, what?” “150. 200.” Again, however they think of it, 150. “If you made 150, how would your life change? How would that feel?” “Oh, my god. I’d feel so amazing.” “Tell me the pros and cons of making 150. Tell me the costs and benefits of making 150. What are your secret fears? What are you worried about?”
We don’t want to have that sacred cow, and I say this in student coaching all the time is that they’re afraid to bring the client down. They’re afraid that, “Oh, well, if I talk about what bad things could happen … ” Well, first of all, you’re not talking about bad things could happen. You’re actually asking what they think the bad things are going to happen. Again, nothing’s bad, and you want to say to them, “What are the costs of making 150?” “Well, I’m worried that I’m going to be making more money than everybody, and everyone’s going to ask me for a loan.” “Okay, so let’s figure out a way. What will you say to people when they ask you for a loan, and you’re making $150,000?”
See, so I want you to really hear this. We get so focused on dreaming with our clients, which, again, is an important skill and is definitely part of this skill called speak to opportunities and possibilities. We totally want to help them vision and see the possibilities of what’s going to happen, oh, my gosh, but we don’t want to be afraid of actually asking them what their fears are about making this money, what are the costs of making this money.
They’re going to say, “Oh, everyone’s going to ask me for a loan.” If you don’t address that concern, most people, not all people, but most people will actually slow down, sabotage, ignore, get caught up in, and never make that triple their income. They’re going to say, “God, I know I can do it,” and they can do it. Yeah, they can do it, but the fear of not knowing what to do or say when that family member asks them for a loan, because they’ve tripled their income, is actually stopping them from tripling their income.
You, as a coach, must be brave enough and courageous enough and know what you asking these questions does not bring the client down but actually brings into the light their fears, worries, and concerns so that that you can support them and coach them through them, so now all systems are go, to go for that dream, to go for that goal, to live that intention. That is the benefit of not turning a blind eye, not turning away because it’s nothing negative about asking, “What are you worried about? What are you concerned about? What are the costs? What are your fears? What are your worries? What do you want for sure to make that happen, you don’t want to make this happen.”
Asking those types of questions just allows your client to have a voice of what’s already inside of them. If they can get it out, and you coach them through it using the eight coaching skills, then they’re going to have solutions to that problem if it comes up, and they are going to feel secure, and they’re going to feel more courageous, and they are going to have momentum.
When we’re talking about speaking to opportunities and possibilities, it’s not just airy fairy. “Oh, tell me about what your life’s going to be like if you make triple your income.” Again, gotta ask that question. Research has shown that the number one way to have somebody who’s young, in their 20s and 30s, to start saving money for retirement is to actually put them through a process of visioning themselves as an 85-year-old, a 90-year-old.
If they see themselves, if you can put them through a visioning process … Maybe I’m going to make a note to do an episode on that so we can do a visioning process together. If you put your client to that visioning process so they see themselves at 90 and ask their 90-year-old and talk to their 90-year-old about what they need and what they need to do now in their 25 or 30 or 35, they’re more likely to actually start saving and doing the things for their health that they need to do to be a vibrant 85, 90, and 95-year-old.
To tell a 25-year-old who already has a propensity, does not have the propensity to start saving money, just telling them they should save money, for most people, is not going to motivate, but moving them through that visioning process, that possibilities and opportunities actually helps them anchor who they want to be when they’re 85, how they want to live their life when they’re 85, and then discussing, “Okay, well, what do you have to do now to make that happen?”
You have to make it real, and you have to make it present to move people, motivate people, build that commitment and desire to take action now when their goal is in the future, and maybe five years away, 10 years away, 20 years away. You gotta work on now in order to make the future happen. That is speak to opportunities and possibilities.
Now, let me just say one other thing about … Well, I have so much more to say about opportunities and possibilities. Side note, I talk fast. I know I talk fast, so if I talk too fast for you, please go to Master Coach Mindset Membership, the Insider’s Club, and download the transcript and read along as you’re listening to me speak or watching the video. It’s going to supporting you in embodying so that you’re not really worried about every single word I say. You can actually read along with me, so be sure you do that.
Again, let’s go back to speak to opportunities and possibilities. Let’s say that one of your clients, 52-year-old guy, 5’1″, 200 pounds. You ask him what his dream is, and he says, “I want to be a professional baseball player.” Your job is not to go, “Well, it’s a little too late for what.” Your job is not to do that. Your job is to go, “Okay. What research have you done?” “Well, I haven’t done any research.” “Okay, great. I want you to do some research on what it would mean to be a 51-year-old … ”
Again, he told you the stats. “How you are? How tall are you? How much do you weigh? How much physical activity do you have?” You’re going to ask him all these questions, and then you say, “Great, I want you to do research on what it would take for you to audition, to do an audition for a Major League team,” or whatever team he wants to join.
He’s going to come back and say, “Oh, my god. The age is 35,” or, “Oh, you have to be this fast,” or, again, whatever he comes back with. You’re never going to be the Debbie Downer. You’re never going to be, “Well, you’re 51 years old, 200 pounds, and 5’1″. I don’t think that’s happening.” That’s none of your business. They figure that out by you asking them questions to go do their research. Now they come back and say, “Oh, there’s a age limit.” “Okay, so tell me about this dream of being in the Major Leagues playing Major League baseball?” “Well, I just like the comradery, and I just, I like the fans screaming. I like to do it, and I missed my chance when I was younger, and I really want to play baseball for the rest of my life.”
“Okay, so what other ways can you do that if there’s an age limit on Major League baseball?” and, again, I do not know if there is. I’m just using this as an example. “What else could you do?” “Well, I guess I could audition for the local team.” “Great. What else?” Now, they may not know, so they want to brainstorm because one of the skills you want to learn and be really good at is not only role-playing, because you must know how to role-play with your clients, but the other thing you must know how to do is brainstorm.
What does that mean? Thinking the impossible and the possible, what’s possible and what’s impossible that could become possible. Let’s say they say, “I don’t know. There’s a local baseball team. I guess I could audition for that.” “Awesome. What else could you do?” “I don’t know.” “Okay, well, are there farm teams? Could you work out with the pro team in your state, your favorite pro team? Could you be their baseball guy? Could you be the bat guy? What could you do? How could you get involved?”
He’s like, “I don’t know.” “Okay, great. I want you to go ask three people you know. Do you know anybody that is in a National Baseball League?” “No.” “Great. I want you to do some research. I want you to Google some things about how to play baseball at the age of 51, see what comes up.” You want them to do research. You want to brainstorm with them. You want to come out … Nothing’s sacred. I want you to come up with something outlandish. “Well, start your own baseball league.” “Well, I’m not going to do that.” “Okay.”
Again, they’re the ones that say yes and no. They’re the ones that say yes and no. Let me repeat that. They’re the ones that say yes and no. You never tell somebody they can’t do it. I don’t care if they’re 5’1″, 200 pounds, 51 years old, out of shape, haven’t worked out for 20 years, and their dream is to be in the National Baseball League. Don’t you dare tell them they can’t do it.
You do ask them research questions, you give them research homework, and they discover it for themselves, come back and say, “That’s not going to work,” or, “I can’t do that,” or whatever because then when that comes, now you can actually work on the reality of what’s possible for them at this age at this time in this shape in this moment. You want them to take action some way, somehow, right now, not five years from now when they get in shape or a year from now when they get in shape, but right now, what could they do? Could they coach their peewee team, their kid’s team? Could they go volunteer to be a ref? Could they train to be a ref? What could they do?
There are so many opportunities and possibilities, but again, most people think in black and white. “I have a dream to be the National Baseball team, to play baseball, but I’m 51, 200 pounds and I’m 5’1″, and I haven’t worked out for 30 years.” Okay. That’s the, quote-unquote, “reality” right now, but that’s not the reality forever. Where is the opportunities at that age with that weight at that time at that physical activity? How can he contribute to that baseball league because, remember, I asked him, “Well, why do you want to play baseball?” “Well, I want the comradery. I want to be a team. I want to be physically active. I love baseball. I watch every game.” “Awesome. What could you do? Could you start a blog? Could you start a vlog?” Could he be a commentator on a YouTube channel that he creates? There are so many things that give him access to his dream, maybe not exactly, not exactly but close enough where he gets that connection and that fulfillment and that yes.
Do you see how impactful and empowering it is when somebody comes with a dream, trusts you with it, by the way. They come to you, they coach with you to help them with their dream? That is the greatest honor of your life because they’re asking you to help them fulfill a heart’s desire. How awesome is that?
You want to honor them by supporting them, believing in them, trusting them, going for it, and yes, brainstorming, role-playing, helping them see what is possible based on their questions, based on their saying yes and no, not you saying yes or no. Let me repeat. You never tell somebody it’s too late. You never tell someone they’re overweight. You never tell somebody that they’re not good enough and they can’t make their dream happen. You never say that. I don’t care if you coach somebody who’s 60 years old, a woman who wants to get pregnant. It is not your place to say no. It is your place to ask questions, to ask them about research, and they come back and tell you the facts. They might do Google search on “women over 60 who become pregnant,” and they might find one.
You’re never the one to say no, even though their dream may sound completely impossible. Remember, it’s not about matching dream for dream. It’s about the qualities of being. It’s about the feeling they get. It’s about what they really want that dream, what’s that dream really about.
When I asked the gentleman, 51 years old, about baseball, what did he say? “I want the comradery. I want to be physically active. I watch every baseball game. I love to do that. I want a community.” Okay, well, he can get that lots of ways not playing Major League Baseball, lots of ways he can get those things, and that’s your job, to help your clients achieve the dreams, to dream the dreams that they want, and it may, like I said, not be the perfect pinpointed thing that they want, but it’s close enough where they get that feeling, where they experience it, and where it actually becomes even more real and more true to them.
What’s the number one rule about opportunities and possibilities? You don’t say no. You ask them to do research, and they determine if it’s right for them, and then you help them find a way to achieve the feeling of that dream, the qualities of that dream, the needs and the wants of that dream in a way that really supports them in the present moment. Yes, we gotta acknowledge the physical realities. You can’t pretend, but again, they’re going to do that.
What did I do during that whole role play that I just did, those couple role plays that I did? I was solution-oriented. I was focused on what’s possible. I wasn’t focused on, “Well, that’s not going to work.” I didn’t even have that thought, by the way. That thought didn’t even go through my head. Because why? I used skill number one, speak as if they’re innocent. I’m only seeing innocence. I’m not seeing them, “Well, they’re stupid. They’re ignorant. He’s 5’1″. He’s never going to be in the Major Leagues.” Who am I to say that? So I see their innocence. I see their desires. I see their dreams. That is the first component, our first coaching skill that I’m going to use right now in order to help me in this moment, help them get their possibilities or opportunities, their dreams, their intention, and their goals.
Be solution-focused. Support them in seeing the opportunities in front of them. I think that is critical, critical, critical. You can take away their language. “Oh, I can’t do that.” Take it away. “That’ll never happen to me.” Take it away. “That’s impossible.” Take it away. “Nobody will believe me.” Take it away. Take away those words that disempower them. Take them away. “Well, what if you can’t say can’t?” “I don’t know.” “Well, what if you never can use the word can’t again. What are you going to do now?” “But I am 51. How am I going to play baseball at 51? I don’t know. I don’t know, but let’s figure it out together.”
Take away their language, don’t be afraid, and replace it words can, will, possibility, opportunity, choose to, want to. Replace the words, and you’re going to have to ask them, go, “Is the word can’t, is that, you just said, ‘I can’t do it,’ does that support you? Does that empower you or disempower you?” “Disempowers me.” “Great, do you want to keep saying it?” “Well, no.” “So let’s replace it. Every time you hear yourself say, ‘I can’t do that,’ what do you want to say instead?” “I can do that?” “Sure. What else can you say?” “That maybe I can?” “Sure, what else can you say?” “I’m going to find something that makes me feel as good?” “Awesome.”
Do you see what I just did? I took away “can’t.” Based on my questioning, I had them find what’s true and give them, in that “I can do it” or “maybe one day” or “find something close” or “something that gives me the same feeling,” I’m giving them hope for their future by coaching. They have hope. They’re inspired. They’re moved. They’re motivated, and they feel possibilities.
I can’t tell you how critical this is. I mean, the world out there already is hard enough, is it not? The world out there already tells us we can’t, we shouldn’t, who do we think we are, and in our own brain, most of us have been taught, “Who do you think you are? You’re not good enough.” As the coach, we have the distinct honor, the distinct privilege of actually supporting our client and shifting their mindset and shifting their thinking using these eight coaching skills. This one, number eight, speak to opportunities and possibilities, is critical in order for them to see what’s possible outside the box, to get outside their comfort zone.
Let’s go to the question of the day. “Rhonda, I’ve heard you use the term ‘pretty problem.’ How would we identify pretty problem and get the client to go deeper when they don’t seem to think they need to?”
Pretty problem. Well, a pretty problem is kind of a faux problem. It’s a false problem. It’s a made-up problem. Now, let’s see. How can I say this? Let’s say somebody makes $200,000 a year, and they have a goal, and they want to buy a house. They say, “Well, I can’t afford a house.” We know $200,000 I think is either in the top 1% or 5% of the income in the United States, so we know probably they can buy a house, but based on their finances, based on their mindset, maybe they already own three homes, we don’t know, but that problem, again, not that it’s not real, not that it’s not real to them, but we, again, know possibilities and opportunities …
Oh, my cat’s saying hi. Hi, there. Hi, Jezebel. Does everybody see her little tail wiggling? Yeah, she wants … I put her in the other room, but she insists on joining us, and she’s saying hi with her tail. She’s going, “Hi, everybody.” Okay, so you want to join us. Okay. Thank you. Thank you, pretty girl. Thank you. All right. Jonathan, can everyone see her?
Okay, so a pretty problem is something that is fixable, doable really quickly and easily, but because of the emotional mindset that the person is having, they don’t see how to get outside the box, even though we know, and they even know that there is something that can be solved really quickly and easily, but because they make it harder on themselves or beat themselves up about it, it just feels harder than it really is. That’s why I think of a pretty problem is basically an illusion, and again, most of our problems are illusions, but a pretty problem is like, “Oh, I’ve got all this money, but I don’t know how to spend it. I’ve got all this money, but I want to buy a third house, but, boy, times are tough.”
Again, not that those problems aren’t real. Again, don’t judge it. It’s just a pretty problem. It’s not starving. It’s not “I don’t know how to feed my kids,” “I don’t know how to … I’m trying to get my kids in school.” It’s a problem that is solvable and doable, and it’s also, I mean, solvable and doable, it can happen.
Again, I hesitantly say this because you might be making $200,000 a year, and you do want to buy that third home, and it feels real like you can’t. I get it. Your finances may be completely tied up, but, again, I, as a coach, am going to support you in deciding and designing a life that works for you so that, quote-unquote, “pretty problem” either becomes solvable and you see the solution, or you discover that, “Well, the real reason I want it is to look more successful than my brother,” or, “The reason I want it is because I want to be the most successful person in my 20th high school reunion.” We find out the thing that’s driving them.
I hesitantly, and I, yes, I have said pretty problem, and yet I hesitate to use that on a regular basis maybe between me and you as coaches, but to the client, nothing’s pretty. Every problem is real. Every problem is real, and it feels really real to them. We’ve gotta honor it. We’ve gotta support them just like any problem, and yeah, some are prettier than others.
I look forward to our next episode. I’m going to talk a little bit more about acknowledgements and, excuse me, possibilities and opportunities, so I’m just going to do just a little bit more about opportunities and possibilities in our next episode, and I’m also going to wrap up this season, so I am so excited for next week to teach you more about opportunities and possibilities, and then to wrap up this season.
What we’re doing together right now is critical to the success of our clients and to you feeling confident, empowered, and making that impact that you desire. I want you to live your destiny as a coach. I want you to fulfill your purpose, and I want you to do it to the best of your ability, so go ahead and listen to season two. Become a member of the Insider’s Club, and let me give you that next step of those personalized transcripts that just, like my thoughts, and then, of course, that worksheet every week that you get so that you can embody each episode more deeply. Do that. Go over to Master Coach Mindset, and become a member. I’m so excited to see you there, and, of course, the Fearless Conversations Workshop Live. Until then, and until next week, be fearless.
Are you serious about becoming a Master Coach? Do you want to learn the eight coaching skills that I teach my own certified Fearless Living coaches? Until now, these eight coaching skills are reserved for students in my Life Coach Certification Program, but now, I’m going to teach them to you. Join me at my three-day live event, Fearless Conversations Workshop for Coaches Only. If you’re ready to get serious about becoming a seven-figure Master Coach, go to to learn more, and be sure to save your seat today. Seating is limited, so grab your seat at
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