If you can change the way you think, you will naturally change your experience and perception. These four valuable life coach tips will help you change your thought patterns.
Your thought patterns may seem hardwired (‘that’s just who I am’) but you really can change the way you think.
You may need a certain level of determination to override your ‘normal’ way of thinking as your mind has created a deeply ingrained habit; a default. Or by using these life coaching techniques, it could come to you very naturally and quickly.
When you change the way you think, you can reduce self doubt, increase self confidence and develop detachment (from people, situations, judgements, opinions). These techniques will help you come home to who you are.
* All names have been changed for privacy.
1. Change your narrative
A narrative, by definition, is a story or an account of an event.
You run various narratives as you think which are based on your experiences, beliefs and values. Plus you also run other people’s narratives as you think, sometimes by choice sometimes unconsciously.
Narratives can be helpful but they can also hold you back. When you change the narrative of your thoughts, you can change the way you think.
Loretta wanted to quit her job and start her own business. She had assessed the market and knew there was a solid opportunity; she felt happy she had the correct skills and had managed her finances to launch a business and cover her expenses for the first 6 months.
But she was held back because she kept telling herself that it was too risky, despite doing the due diligence.
Through coaching questions, we uncovered that she is actually running her father’s narrative. He spent his life as an employee at companies and always wanted to start his own business but was held back by fear of risk and failure.
It is worth noting that you sometimes run our own old narratives which are in fact out of date with who you are today. You are not who you were a year (or longer) ago.
2. Stop looking at what other people have
Sadly, you are likely conditioned (by society, media) to compare yourself to other people. But if you ask yourself ‘who am I without this comparison?’ you change the way you think and start to be able to see your wonderful self as you truly are.
Harriet dreamed of starting a local artisan market in the town where she lives. She kept looking at a similar, successful market in a neighbouring county but told herself she won’t be able to do it as well and worried they would be upset with her (for ‘copying’).
When I helped Harriet remove this comparison from her thoughts, she was able to see clearly that she had a great idea and her artisan market will provide a) a sales outlet for local creatives and b) a great day out for the people of her town. She went for it.
3. Is this thought true?
A classic coaching question to my clients is ‘do you know this to be true?’
It helps cut through fears, unsubstantiated reasoning, mind delay tactics and excuses and will change the way you think.
Andy really truggled with his boss who was mean spirited, condescending, erratic and rude. Andy in turn thought of himself as useless, rubbish at his job and about to get fired at any moment. He was constantly on tenterhooks at work and it was even ruining his weekends and holidays.
Andy had a great relationship with his colleagues who said they love having him as part of their team. Plus his boss’s boss praised him and thanked him regularly for all his efforts.
Is it true that Andy was useless? Bad at his job? Going to get fired? No it is not.
4. Reframe your negative thoughts
Reframing is a classic NLP technique. If you have a thought which is negative or holding you back, reframing is basically changing the thought to look at a situation or experience in a new light.
“Is this thought helping me or holding me back?
What can I think instead? How can I reframe this?”
Susanna had been on a number of dates with a new love interest and thought all was going well. After date 4, he said he didn’t want a serious relationship and thought they would be better as friends.
Susanna was upset; she thought this was going somewhere. She kept thinking and saying to her friends that this was such a waste of time and she was an idiot for thinking it could have been a deeper, more meaningful connection.
Once Susanna had the chance to share her disappointed feelings in a session together, I asked her about the good things that came out of the dates and experience. This helped her reframe the experience; despite the disappointment, she said “these dates helped me build my confidence, remember that I am a fun person to be around and I have a lot to offer the right partner”.
Working with a life coach and using NLP therapy will help you change the way you think and get different results. I am a certified Life Coach and Neuro-Linguistic Programming or NLP Practitioner. Book a free 30-minute Discovery Call to discuss how life coaching and NLP techniques can help you. I am an online life coach.
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