Ep. 092: COACHING & Being COACHED 🎧 The Fitness Matters Podcast with Pahla B - Pahla B Fitness

Ep. 092: COACHING & Being COACHED 🎧 The Fitness Matters Podcast with Pahla B


Here's The Scoop

COACHING🏆, as well as being COACHED, are essential skills that will pave the way for you to get where you want to go in life and fitness💪.

All the Details

Have you ever stopped to realize🤔 that when you’re listening to the Fitness Matters podcast that you are COACHING yourself and simultaneously being COACHED (by yourself)?  It’s sort of mind-blowing🤯, right?

COACHING🏆, as well as being COACHED, are essential skills that will pave the way for you to get where you want to go in life and fitness💪.

And that’s why I recorded this episode for you:  to help you get better at the COACHING🏆 part, as well as being COACHED.  They’re both essential skills that will pave the way🛣️ for you to get where you want to go in life and fitness💪.

But don’t worry – even if you’re not super interested in COACHING, there’s a whole episode-within-the-episode📺 conversation that you might find even more helpful!

This one has it all, friends:
🧃  A juicy back story
🥺  Painful realizations, and, yes…
📝  Practical advice!

Get your brain🧠 ready, and let’s go!

(Don’t wanna listen? Download the transcript here)

Find this episode on YouTube (video below) or on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, Spotify, and Google Play.

https://youtu.be/zoJ2yClNZms

Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/zoJ2yClNZms

RESOURCES MENTIONED:

Ep. 073:  The BEST FEELING:  https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-073-the-best-feeling/

Book COACHING with Camille Pagan:  https://www.evenbetter.co/about

Join the Get Your GOAL Coaching + Accountability group:  https://pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal/

COACHING & Being COACHED (Full Transcript) 

You’re listening to the Fitness Matters podcast with Pahla B, and this is episode number 92, “Coaching and Being Coached.”

Well, hello, hello, my friends. Welcome to another episode of the Fitness Matters podcast where every week, we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you. As I’m saying this, I’m already like, “Yeah, this one might not seem entirely fitness related, but I promise you, they always are in whatever way you want to make them fitness related. And they’re always related to other stuff going on in your life as well. As you probably know – and maybe you don’t know If you’re brand new. Hi, welcome. I’m Pahla B. I am a certified life and weight loss coach. And I’m also a YouTube fitness trainer. So, my podcast here intersects all of those worlds. We talk about mindset work, we talk about your actual physical body and fitness training, and we kind of talk about your life. This one to me falls under the category of life coaching.

But because we’re always talking about your goals and how to get your goals and the obstacles in the way of your goals in the form of your mindset and how to think about your life and your goals, they’re always fitness related also. So, hear this one however you want to. Here’s why I made this episode. I had a really interesting day yesterday, where I was both coaching and being coached. And as I went to bed last night, I basically had a coaching hangover. I was in so many different places in my brain that I was utterly exhausted in the best possible way. You know that energized exhaustion that you get sometimes when you know that you have given every single ounce of effort that you have? That’s how I felt. It was such a good feeling. So, so satisfying.

So, I wanted to talk to you about it. And partly because I love to talk to you about things that happened to me. But also I was thinking about how valuable this will be for you really specifically as a podcast listener who might never actually work with me. And I say that with love because there are lots of legitimate reasons why you might not want to join my coaching program or any other coaching program. First of all, coaching programs cost money. And I know that financially that might not seem like the kind of thing that you have the ability to do. And there’s . . . I mean, I’m going to mention this so many times in this podcast. So, I’m a total introvert. I know that’s really hard for some of you to believe just because I talk so much and because I do seem friendly and outgoing and I do have a big audience and all those kinds of things. But I am absolutely an introvert.

And for lots of us – and I’m including myself in this – that might feel like a barrier to being part of a group coaching program. The thought of being coached in front of other people, even if it’s only in a replay of a video or something, it just feels very vulnerable. So, knowing that there are reasons why you and I may never actually coach together, I wanted to kind of come at this from both angles. Because when you are coaching yourself, you are simultaneously the coach and the coachee. You’re the coacher and the coachee. Because that is a special skill set, I wanted to talk to you about how I feel when I am coaching, and how I feel when I am being coached. So in your own practice of listening to these podcasts and coming to your own self-knowledge and figuring out what to do with your thoughts when you decide whether or not they’re helpful, I wanted you to kind of hear it from me. I’m somebody who does coaching and gets coached. Understanding what that feels like on both ends can be more effective in your own self-coaching.

Because – and maybe I’ve never really thought about this before or explained it to you – but there is more to it than just listening to a podcast and being like, “Oh, that was super interesting.” And maybe feeling like you had a revelation about something that you’ve never really understood about yourself before. So, there is a skill set associated with it. So, let’s start with the skill set of coaching, of being the coach in this situation. Because, I mean, if I had to guess, I’m sure some of you are coaches. But I’m going to say the vast majority of my listeners are not coaches. So, this is the part of the process that might actually be more elusive to you. And this is the part that I was so fascinated with. I mean, I’m not going to say that I knew I was going to be a life coach for any length of time. I didn’t. I had no idea. I had no idea that I was going to be a life coach until basically I became one.

But I’ve always known [laughs] . . . sorry, I’m laughing at myself. I’ve always known that I love telling people what to do. I love being bossy. Okay, I’m going to digress here really quickly. When I first started talking about becoming a life coach and started talking about coaching as part of my business with my husband, he was like, “Aren’t you kind of nervous about that? What if you tell somebody what to do, and it’s wrong?” And I thought that was such an interesting question. Because the fact is, as a coach, I very rarely actually tell you what to do. Especially now, as a certified life coach. When I first started coaching, there was a lot more coaching about, “Here’s what you should do,” a lot more advice-giving. Now, I do give homework sometimes. But my entire job, the way I see it, is simply to ask you questions. I have zero idea what you should do. I have no idea how you’re going to get what you want or where you want to go.

I am not giving that kind of practical, step-by-step advice. I mean, I do. I do for somebody who doesn’t even know how to journal. Things like that. I do give practical advice. But in general, in a coaching session, my entire job is to help you see what you are thinking and to recognize your thoughts as thoughts. That is all I am doing. And the way that I do that is by asking questions. We’ve talked about this so many times: the best feeling (Ep. 073 The Best Feeling https://pahlabfitness.com/ep-073-the-best-feeling/). The best feeling as a coach is to come to a coaching session and simply be curious. And I have always, always been curious. I remember as a very, very young child, just really wanting to understand why and how, and have never really been satisfied with the answers. This still kind of carries over into my coaching sometimes. But I’m always so fascinated by everything.

I mean, truly everything. It is fascinating to think about how our brains work and why they do what they do and what we can get out of it. And let’s come back to why I knew I was going to be a coach. For me personally, as an introvert, I am that person who doesn’t love going to parties. But when I go to a party, I am not going to flip around the room and talk to everybody for five minutes apiece. I’m going to find one other introvert in the room because thank goodness, there’s always at least one other one. And that person and I are going to sit and have a one-on-one conversation for an hour and a half about your dog or something that’s not necessarily hugely deep or important. But small talk doesn’t interest me. In fact, it exhausts me. I would much rather dive deep into something just really interesting in a way that doesn’t necessarily have to be like your innermost feelings. But something that is interesting to both of us.

I would much, much, much rather have a one-on-one conversation than a lot of little light conversations. That’s how I think about it. Light conversations exhaust me. Deep conversations, where we get to something – the meat in the middle of whatever it is that we’re talking about – that fuels me all day long. I love having conversations like that. So, as your own coach, this is going to be really important for you to kind of assess yourself. Are you the kind of person who feels more comfortable just staying on the surface having a lighter conversation or a small talk kind of conversation? Or are you somebody who really wants to dive deep. If you are a deep dive kind of person, self coaching is like 100% in your wheelhouse. You’re going to be great at this. You’re going to love it. It’s going to be totally for you.

Somebody who prefers to stay a little bit more on the surface is going to have to work a little harder at developing this skill. And truly, I say this with love, might never gain the same kind of insights as somebody who really enjoys that deep dive. And that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a lot out of coaching. Again, I said that with love and with real openness. There are all kinds of coaching benefits. It’s not always about, “Oh, I found this thought that was so painful and so deep from my childhood, which is foreshadowing.” We’re going to talk about being coached, but you can find out things about yourself. You can gain self-knowledge, understand yourself, and be able to move forward in a way that feels really good and in alignment with yourself and really helps you get where you want to go without ever diving so deeply that you don’t feel like you can get back out.

But knowing that about yourself, about your personality, about your style, can inform how you coach yourself. Number one, just right off the bat, it will inform you that you don’t need to judge yourself if you don’t like that deep dive of, “I really want to think about this for a long time and really go in and figure out the nuances from every angle.” If that’s not who you are, stop judging yourself for not coaching yourself like that. Coach yourself in a way that makes sense for you. As a coach, this is something that I need to bring to the table. I need to understand that everybody who comes to me is going to feel differently about coaching. Thankfully, generally speaking, if you have listened to my podcasts or have encountered me at all, you already probably kind of know that my style is to get deep. I am again an introvert. I like that kind of thing. I’m going to keep asking you questions until we get to the root of something.

I’m going to ask you questions until we find a painful thought probably. I mean, the people in my Get Your Goal coaching group right now listening to this podcast are like, “Yeah, Pahla is going to make you cry.” And I promise that that is not on purpose. I mean, it is, but it’s not. It’s not my goal to make you cry. It is my goal to find the thoughts that are holding you back from what you want. We all have them. My style as a coach is to ask questions and to be curious and to stay non judgmental because not everybody wants to find that point where they cry. Not everybody wants to go there. Stay open to the kind of coaching that you want. As a coach, it is truly my favorite part of my job to ask and answer questions. I love finding the thoughts. I love helping you, I love watching you have revelations. I love watching you struggle with things when you can’t find the revelation because I know you’re going to because it’s there, everything you need. Everything you need is in your brain. It’s just a matter of finding it. So your job as your own self coach is to understand that your brain has all the answers and to come to your brain with curiosity, be ready to ask questions, and simply listen to the answers.

Now your job as the one being coached is slightly more difficult. Let’s come back around to me being an introvert. I belonged to Brook Castillo’s self-coaching scholars now for over two years. And I will tell you that I have taken very little advantage other than the fact that it has completely changed my life simply from the tools that she has given me as a self-coaching scholar and now as a certified coach. Being able to see the process and understand the process was what I needed in order to coach myself.

I have not taken as much advantage of being coached, as is available to me. In that particular program, there are all kinds of coaching available. I mean, tons of coaching available to me. And I’ve only taken advantage of it like a handful of times. And to be fair, the handful of times that I have taken advantage of it have changed my life. I mean, the revelations that I have had and the thoughts that I have been able to think, and the doors that it has opened for me are just . . . I mean, I’m having trouble even describing it to you how much it has changed the trajectory of where I am and where I’m going and the goals that I set for myself and how I see myself and all kinds of things. And yet – and yet – I still did not take advantage very often. I mean, I still could. I’m still a part of it. I did not in the past though take advantage of all of the coaching that was available to me. And part of the reason why was because I have felt really specifically in that group, the coaching is very wide open.

And that’s a good thing. I found out over the course of the past several years of belonging to the group, that I had a lot more to be coached on than I realized. And I probably still do have a lot more to be coached on than I realize. Being able to ask anything, to be coached on anything. I mean, it is literally life coaching. So any part of your life that you want coaching on, you can get coaching on it. And sometimes to me, that feels like too much. And by the way, that is a thought that I have frequently. It is one that I am starting to notice more and more often as being wildly unhelpful. And I’m starting to hear it. Maybe not every time. I don’t know if I catch it every time. But I am starting to hear it as something that I say. That “too muchness” is an interesting theme. I digress again. Anyway, sometimes I don’t know what to get coached on. That’s really where I’m going.

So, when I recently signed up with a book coach, I came to that coaching knowing exactly what we’re going to talk about. I know exactly what I want out of it. I know why I’m there. And therefore it is already extremely valuable to me. I also have a YouTube coach who is not a life coach. She really is a very practical coach. She literally tells me what to do. She gives me advice. Like, “Here, make a video about this. And this is the kind of title that you might want to use. And these are the kinds of words that it seems like your audience reacts to. And here are the kinds of thumbnails that seem to be getting the most clicks.” She’s very practical. She also tends to hear me when I talk about, “I have some resistance to that idea,” or “this is what I’m thinking,” and “this is how I feel.” So, she’s not a life coach, but she does end up kind of life coaching me on some of the things when we talk about YouTube.

It’s funny how even the most practical things . . . I coach with my YouTube coach to be better at YouTube. And yet, it always comes back to who I am and how I think about myself as to how much I can execute the advice that she gives me. But it’s really specifically with my book coach. My book coach pushes me in a way that I did not expect. I signed up for book coaching for two reasons. I signed up with the specific book coach (her name is Camille, by the way, and I will have a link for you in the show notes or description box, wherever you’re watching or listening, if this interests you). I highly recommend her. I knew from the get-go, from even just reading her website copy, I was like, “Oh, this is the one for me.” She is also certified from the Life Coach School, which means that I have a shorthand with her, and I already know how she’s going to coach me. I know how she’s hearing the things that I’m saying. 

But I also signed up with her because I knew that she was going to ask me questions that I wasn’t asking myself. And she also has practical knowledge. I mean, she really is telling me how to do something. She is telling me how to write a book proposal, how to come at the book-writing process, how to be a writer and how to get published and find an agent and all of those kinds of things. She’s walking me through the practical aspects, but she is coaching me through the “Here’s what you need to know about yourself in order to become a writer” stuff. That is the reason that I have coaching hangovers. Truly I felt super energized from being a coach yesterday and then went directly from being a coach into being coached. And what I dug up was such a revelation and not shocking to me exactly, but such good work.

This is the kind of episode within the episode about when you find a thought, this is what it feels like. This is what it feels like to be coached in a way that is going to be really good for you. So yesterday, my coach asked me a question. And I don’t even remember what the question was. Oh, she asked me a really innocuous question. Sorry, that took me a second. She asked me this really innocuous question about the point of my book if I had to describe it briefly. What is it? And that pushes me in a way that I know all the things that I want to talk about in my book. And she’s like, “No, no, no, synopsize it for me. Tell me what it’s about.” Because, of course, that helps me focus on what’s most important. I mean, every question she asks me, I understand why she’s asking me because she’s helping me be better.

But it’s also really difficult to answer the questions sometimes. And this one was particularly difficult for me to really focus down and be very specific about. This is the heart of what I want to help somebody with. And so then she asked me this really innocuous question, which is where we’re going with the episode within the episode. The really innocuous question was: why or what story are you telling yourself about your book that’s holding you back? And I realized that this is actually something that I had already heard for myself in my own self coaching. And it was funny because I had actually just been coaching myself on this over the past couple of days. This was something that I had realized: I approach a lot of what I do kind of defensively, meaning that I have the bias that I assume you don’t want to hear what I have to say.

I assume that this is a hard sell, that I’m going to be telling you something that you don’t want to believe in, or you don’t really think is right, or you’re skeptical about. I feel like my approach as a fitness trainer, as a podcaster, as a writer, as a coach, even sometimes – I feel like I have to convince you of why this is a good idea. And I’ve been kind of working on this for a while because I’ve recognized this in my life from early, early childhood. These memories go way, way back about I’m the only one who has it right, and everybody else is wrong. And I have to convince people of why I’m right. It’s a very martyred position to be in. It does not feel good to have this kind of bias. And I’ve been recognizing that that’s how I feel. I am always having to overcome objections even when you guys don’t have objections.

You very rarely voice objections to what I’m telling you. In fact, generally speaking, 99% of the comments that you guys leave me are things along the lines of, “Oh, thank goodness you are here to help me.” Why in the world do I think that I’m overcoming some kind of objection with you? And so, my coach asked me that. She asked me that question. She’s like, “Why do you think people would object to what you’re telling them?” And that wasn’t the way she asked me. I can’t remember exactly how she phrased it, but it was very interesting. Because she was actually asking me a question as a client. How would a book reader hear the answer to the question that she was asking me? But what I heard was her asking me the same question as a coach. And this is not what she asked me. This is totally not what she asked me because as coaches we don’t generally speak in . . . I’m blunt. I don’t necessarily say it quite like this.

But what I heard was, “What’s wrong with you?” And the answer that bubbled up immediately inside of me was: I’m not likable. People don’t want to hear what I have to say because I’m not likable. Now, let me stop immediately right now. Don’t leave me a comment about how much you like me. It’s totally not the point. I promise you, there is nothing about this episode where I am fishing for compliments. And if you are not a brand new listener, you already know that what you say and do does not create somebody else’s feelings. My thoughts create my own feelings. The only way for me to feel likable is to think that I am likable. It has nothing to do with what you say or what you do or the beautiful comments that you leave me. Thank you for the thought. I totally appreciate it, but you really don’t need to. Here’s what happened though in the coaching session. I’m telling you this story as though it’s kind of no big deal. I started crying.The thought that “I’m not likable” was so painful that it left me speechless in the moment.

I’ve had that thought so many times in my life. When I said it out loud to my coach, I was like, “Oh, this is old. This is an old, old, old thought.” This is probably one of my earliest childhood memories. I’m thinking really specifically of elementary school, grammar school, that kind of age of being around other people and kind of recognizing the thought. And I say “recognizing” as though there is some objective way to know whether or not you are likable. The only way we know we are likable is whether or not we think we are likable. But I thought at a very young age that other people don’t like me. And I’m going to parse that one out really quickly, just because I think it’s so interesting. The thought that other people don’t like me doesn’t bother me at all. If that would have been the thought that bubbled up, I wouldn’t have started crying. The thought of other people not liking me – it doesn’t affect me in the least. Because that’s on other people. Of course, other people don’t like me.

That is one of the least painful thoughts I can have, truly. I have long, long since done the work on other people’s opinions. I truly feel like you can’t be on YouTube without doing the work on other people’s opinions. Other people are 100% allowed to have their own opinions. And thank goodness, they disagree with me. Really, thank goodness, because I cannot imagine how boring the world would be if every single person in the world believed the same things. Wouldn’t that be just dreadful? There’d be like two choices, and then we’d all agree on them. And then it’d be like nothing. Thank goodness people disagree; thank goodness people don’t like me; thank goodness people even tell me that they don’t like me. It keeps me in a space of understanding how many different opinions there are in the world.

“Other people don’t like me” is not a problematic thought for me. It might be for you. And I’m going to suggest that if that one sounds painful to you that you maybe put that on your list of things to explore. Why am I making that mean that people don’t like me? What is the problem with that? But the thought that was super painful was “I’m not likable.” Again, for those of you in the Get Your Goal group, even though I’m not really specifically talking to you today, we talk about this a lot in the group. We talk about the two most powerful words in the entire world:  “I am.” When you put those two words together, anything that follows it is what you are creating for yourself in the world. When I think that I am not likable, I am creating a reality in which A) I don’t even really like myself because of the way I behave, and B) It’s really hard for other people to like me because of the way that I show up. Let’s follow this through.

When I think I’m not likable, I have a feeling and this was something that I actually did the work on after my coaching call. She and I talked through it and kind of came around to how that’s affecting me and what that means for my book and what I want to do with it. She gave me homework. She told me what to do. She gave me some homework to really explore that thought and perhaps get some more coaching on it from other venues and coach myself and things like that. So when we got off the call, and I had more practical things to do, I actually started in on some of the practical stuff right away. But then I realized that thought was still just really rattling around. And so I sat down with my journal, and I was like, “Okay, what is this thought bringing me?” So the thought was “I’m unlikable,” and it took me a while to kind of figure out exactly what I wanted to call the feeling. What I ended up describing the feeling as was desperately sad because it was definitely sad.

This is what happened. Again, I’m telling this story like, “Oh, this was all really lovely and peaceful and no big deal.” What happened was, I got off the coaching call with my coach. I was already at my computer. I opened up a Google document, and I started writing some of the ideas that I’d had about what we had talked about, about what I want to put in my book, and what it’s going to look like. I started sketching out some ideas. And what we had talked about was rattling around in my head, about how I’m unlikable. And while I was in the middle of typing about something else, I started sobbing. It’s almost indescribable to me to help you understand the depth of this feeling. The thing that I was thinking while I was sobbing was that it felt a lot like the time right after my sister died, when the grief was just so, so big and cavernous.

I remember one day, probably a couple of months after Vicki died, where I had just come in from a run. I had been thinking about her on my run, like I frequently do. And I sat down to do something, and I just exploded in sobs. I don’t even know what I was thinking. I just started crying so, so hard – the kind of sobbing where you almost feel like you can’t even breathe, and it feels so overwhelming. And I remember in that moment, that moment of grief, thinking, “Oh, this is never going to end. I am falling into a bottomless pit of this sadness and I’m never going to climb back out.” That’s how big and just overwhelming it felt. And I remember yesterday – when I was sobbing about this thought that I’m unlikable – I remember thinking that it felt like that same kind of chasm. Like, this is bottomless, this is way too much. I thought too much. This is too much sadness. This is too big of a thought for me to handle. This is too much feeling for me to handle.

But I allowed myself to feel it. I didn’t really feel like I had a choice in the moment. I was just crying. That was coming to me no matter what. But I went ahead and I stayed really open to it. I became both the coachee and the coacher in that moment of sobbing about my unlikability. And I just really allowed myself to feel how painful, how desperately sad it was. And it passed relatively quickly. This is something that I want you to take away from this episode. When you allow yourself to feel the big, deep, possibly painful feelings – rather than resisting them or rejecting them or trying not to feel them – if you just allow yourself to free fall into that deep chasm of thinking that this feeling is too big, you’ll find it’s actually not too big. Your body only has the capacity to feel something like that for a relatively short period of time.

And now that I have allowed myself to do those kinds of feelings more often, I recognize that they don’t stick around forever. And you can hear me . . . I mean, this is literally the next day when I’m recording this podcast. This is already how different that thought feels because I allowed myself to think it and to feel it all the way through. And I also did the work. Let’s get back to my journal. So, when I have that thought, “I’m unlikable,” it creates for me a feeling of desperately sad. From that feeling of desperately sad, the kinds of things that I do that are fueled from that desperately sad are things like approaching my career with disbelief.

I very frequently go on to YouTube, and as it’s loading up, I’m like, “Well, I wonder how many subscribers I lost. I wonder who left me a crappy comment today. I wonder how bad my analytics are going to look. I wonder how bad it is. I wonder how few views I got on my latest video.” That kind of energy, just so you know, is not helpful. Not helpful for growth at all. And I recognize it and over the past several months of coaching myself through it, I’ve gone through various stages of simply allowing the thoughts to exist. I don’t have to believe them or work on finding new thoughts. and I’ve done some of the practical things. And yet what I hadn’t done was recognize just how deep and how far back that thought goes about how I’m unlikable. This is work that I’m going to be on for a while. This isn’t just a one shot and done situation, and everything in my life is cleared up. But I recognized yesterday that I had never found this real root thought.

So that’s part of why my strategies of how to go on YouTube and not feel negative haven’t really been working for me. I didn’t know the root cause. Now that I know the root cause, there’s more work to be done here that I think will be more fruitful for me. Anyway, I approach my career with disbelief. I speak and act what I perceive as defensively. Again, coming back to my message sometimes to me sounds very much like, “Well, you’re not gonna believe this, but here’s the truth.” And, that kind of defensiveness . . . I definitely stay small in my career. I find myself holding myself back from announcing to the world that I have information that can help you because I do. I have information that can help you.

This podcast can help you. My other podcasts, my other videos, all of the work that I put out in the world can help you. And yet, I don’t promote it that way. I promote it like, “Well, I mean, you’re probably not going to believe it. You probably don’t want to hear this from me, because I’m unlikable.” So I stay small in my career. Not entirely related to my career, but I definitely try to keep people at a distance. I don’t ask for help. I assume that my message will be met with scorn or clap back. I wait for bad news, emails, cancellations, loss of subscribers, those kinds of things. I already described that to you. Those are the kinds of the things that I do and don’t do from the feeling of desperately sad.

And I think it’s pretty obvious when we go through that list of holding people at arm’s length and assuming the worst and not even necessarily speaking unkindly to myself, but coming to my work from this bias of, “Well, nobody likes you. You’re unlikable.” Of course, the result here is I don’t even really like myself. I feel very out of alignment with myself and my message, frankly, of loving myself when I have this thought that I’m unlikable. It’s very out of alignment with who I believe myself to be. And it creates for me a situation in which I find evidence that other people find me unlikable, and that I therefore am unlikable. You guys, this is the power of your thoughts. Recognizing that I have this thought – that for me is step one.

Recognizing that I have the thought at all was kind of huge. I’ve probably heard it without hearing it obviously for years. I talked to you about . . . I mean, these are some of my earliest memories. This goes way, way, way back to childhood. So, I’ve been having this thought, this thought has been so efficient for so long. And yet, until my coach asked me that one innocuous question, which was not, “What’s wrong with you?” but that’s how I heard it. “What’s wrong with you?” Until she asked me that question, I didn’t even know I was having this thought. My friends, step two, decide whether or not your thought is helpful.

Clearly, this one is not helpful. I mean, this is a thought that is 100% holding me back from where I want to be and who I want to be, and how I want to show up in my life, in my career, in the world. This thought is unhelpful. And when I can stay in coaching mode – either as the coach or the person being coached, either one of those modes – it’s really helpful for me to just stay open and nonjudgmental about myself. The fact that I have this thought, honestly, it means nothing about me, literally nothing. It doesn’t mean that I’m likable or unlikable. It doesn’t mean that I’m a good person or a bad person. It simply means that I am a human person with a human brain who has very efficient, unhelpful thoughts. These thoughts are not helping me.

Therefore, I get to choose what I’d like to do with it. What I’m choosing right now – like literally right now while I’m recording this podcast and while I’m thinking about it because I had not come to this conclusion yesterday; it just occurred to me right now – I am choosing to allow my brain to offer me that thought whenever it wants to. This is what I’ve done with another old thought of mine which we have discussed numerous times. But again, if you’re new, you might not know this. My brain frequently offers me the thought that I’m stupid. And I only discovered that even though I’ve been hearing that thought in my brain for 40 plus years, 45 plus years, because I’m 51 years old. So, my brain has been offering me that “You’re stupid,” or “I’m stupid” thought for a long, long, long time.

I discovered it in my brain sometime within the past two years. And I have not gotten rid of it. I have not eliminated that thought from my life. That thought absolutely still crops up with some frequency. I allow it to be there, and I simply don’t feel the feelings that it could create for me. Because I know the thought is coming, I’m already prepared to hear it. And I’m prepared to understand that it’s an unhelpful thought. I’m prepared for the fact that it creates a little bit of disappointment or frustration or whatever, depending on the situation in which I hear it. But I can move through that feeling very quickly. It does not stop me in my tracks. I can’t remember the last time that that thought stopped me from doing anything, but it still comes up.

And I think that this thought of being unlikable, I feel like that’s how I’m going to work with it. My coach actually said something to me, which I found very helpful in the moment, and I’m still kind of ruminating on it. She said that her first year of being coached, when she first came to life coaching, was around the topic of being unlikable, which I thought was really interesting. This is so off topic. I’m just gonna throw it out there. We as coaches tend to attract people who need the same kind of coaching that we ourselves needed. I find this in the people that are attracted to me and my message. Lots of you come to me with the same sorts of fears and problems that I have already gone through. Sometimes it’s because of things that I’ve talked about. She had never mentioned that to me before.

I mean, the fact that she felt unlikable was truly shocking to me. I find her to be incredibly likable, much like maybe you heard when I told you about me. “What do you mean? You’re so likable. You’re so open. It’s so easy to talk to you.” That’s how I feel about her. So it was really helpful for her to say to me that that was something that she had also struggled with. It’s just a thought. It’s a thought that brains offer us, lots of us. So one of the things that she has come to understand is that that thought of herself as being unlikable, is part of her superpower.

That is something that she has so much empathy for as far as where other people are in their lives. Having felt that – this is me using my own words – desperate sadness that comes from that thought, it helps me understand your desperate sadness when you come to me with your thoughts. Maybe the thought that you have is that you are unlikable. Maybe the thought that you have is that you are not worthy. Maybe the thought that you have is something in that vein of likeability, worthiness, belongingness. All of those kinds of thoughts create such a deep, desperate sadness in us. And I understand that having gone through some of the things that I have gone through like losing my sister, having this thought about my likability. These are the things that create my highest power as a coach. The more I discover about myself, the more I can walk through my feelings with myself, the better I’m capable of coaching you. I’ve now felt myself jumping into that pit of desperate sadness, not knowing whether or not there was a parachute to catch me, not knowing whether or not there was a bottom somewhere.

Allowing myself to feel that feeling all the way through helps me help you through the same thing. Your thoughts are not liabilities. They are not problems. Your thoughts – even the ones that feel desperately sad – are the thoughts that can help make you a better person and a better coach, whether or not you ever want to coach somebody else. But it makes you a better coach for yourself. When you have your own back, you allow yourself to feel the feelings, no matter what they are, no matter how hard they feel in the moment. You are being coached by yourself and you are coaching yourself in that moment. You are holding your own space for yourself. You are letting yourself be vulnerable. You are allowing yourself to be curious and nonjudgmental. That is what we do, you guys. That is what we do about any thought that we have about our weight. Here I’m bringing this back around – still the Fitness Matters podcast – about our weight, about our ability to do things, about our jobs, our relationships and our lives.

This is helpful no matter how you take this work, no matter where you’re applying it in your life, whether or not it’s for weight loss or for making money or for reaching a career goal or reaching some other kind of life goal or applying it in your relationships with other people. Your job, as the coach of yourself, is to ask yourself questions and allow yourself the space to answer them in whatever way comes up. Maybe it’s thoughts, maybe it’s feelings, maybe it’s actions like crying, maybe it’s whatever it is. Your job as the coach of yourself is to stay open with curious questions and lack of judgment. That nonjudgmental space.

Your job as the coachee is to simply think what you think and feel what you feel. Being messy is part of this process. Being both the observer of the mess and the creator of the mess is what is so beautiful about either being coached or coaching yourself, being the person who can feel what you feel and think what you think. And simultaneously not judge yourself for it, hold space for yourself to simply be a human being with a human brain that thinks really illogical, unpleasant, and unhelpful thoughts. My friends, when you can do that for yourself or make yourself vulnerable to having somebody else hold that space for you, you will discover every single thing that you need to know to go where you want to go.

Do you have a coaching hangover now too? Right? It’s a lot. It’s a lot to unpack. And it produces that exhausted, exhilarated feeling when we unpack it. You guys, I really, really hope that this one was helpful for you today. Thank you so much for listening. I’ll talk to you again soon.

So are you totally loving this mindset work and you really want to do it like every day in order to get your goal? Then my friend, you need to join the Get Your Goal group. It is my personal and private, very interactive coaching and accountability group where every day we talk about your mindset and we get your goal. You can learn all about it at pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal. I’ll see you in the Goal group.

Ready to take the Ideas from the Podcast into Real Life?