Working as a life coach and owning my own business is wonderful. I’m so in love with it. At the same time, it’s a lot of hard and consistent work to connect with people, create programs, grow my client base, keep my coaching skills top notch, and take great care of myself and my family.
When I am mentoring other coaches, I always start each session with a self-love check-in. This involves finding out how they are taking care of themselves, what internal messages they are sending to themselves, and how often they give themselves a break.
I was working with a client who is a fitness instructor. She is adding coaching to her wellness services. This woman is vibrant, warm, charismatic, and completely able to motivate others just by being in their presence. She has it going on.
During our session she shared how she was listening to a webinar on fitness trends and how to grow her client list based on some tried and true strategies. She said the presenter was very knowledge, clear, and well respected in the fitness community. This presenter was also running a highly profitable business, able to work independent of location, and had created a luxurious lifestyle by employing the tips she was about to share during the webinar.
When other participants started asking questions and posting comments, my client said she had a meltdown.
As the presenter described the numerous moving parts, online tools, additional accounts, and potential contacts a successful and profitable fitness coach should have – this instantly sent my client running while she internally screamed, “I am not enough! I will never be enough!”
My only response to her was: Today we start your deficit thinking cleanse.
A deficit cleanse is designed to help you pinpoint triggers that send you into a “I’m not enough” tailspin. The deficit cleanse shines a light on how you think and process internal and external thoughts. The cleanse also provides a safe space to learn and reprogram your thinking process so negative thoughts do not become hurtful actions and harmful results.
To get started with the deficit cleanse, I asked my client to commit to journaling for six days and to use the prompts below (one prompt per day).
E: Evaluate your life and yourself on how you want to be in the world. You get to set your own metric. Do not spend time thinking about how things should be. Get clear on what you want for yourself and spend time working towards that.
Guiding question/prompt: What would I do with my life/in my life if I didn’t worry about measuring up?
N: Nurture your creative side. By doing this, you will develop more self-confidence to feel good enough and inspired to take necessary risks and to try new things. You are the best person to encourage yourself to make choices that shift you away from deficit thinking.
Guiding question/prompt: The last time I tapped into my creativity, I was doing/working on _____________. I felt ________________. I behaved _______________.
O: Own your journey. There may be easy paths to take and maybe you forgot, were not able, or were completely resistant to taking the easy route. That is your personal journey. Do not worry about wasting time. Keep learning and try again.
Guiding question/prompt: If I stopped worrying about my life, I would feel _____________, be ___________, have _____________, and know _____________.
U: Understand that what seems impossible today may become possible in some days, weeks, months, or years. Deficit thinking keeps you small and stuck. By staying open, nurturing your creativity, and owning your journey – you remain ready to receive all you want for your life.
Guiding question/prompt: When I think about not being enough, I think ________________ and feel __________________. The parts about these thoughts and feelings that are true are: _______________. The parts about these thoughts and feelings that are false are: _________________.
G: Greet each day with your personal strength and vision working collectively from a positive lens. Be honest with yourself. Speak to yourself with loving and supportive thoughts. Do not view hard work as the enemy and do not put success on an unreachable pedestal.
Guiding question/prompt: Today I am capable of _____________. When I experience doubt or fear, I will say _________________. I hope the results of doing this will be _________________.
H: Have compassion for yourself during your best and not so great times. There is not one way to get it right and your journey is unique to you. When you start thinking you have to have your shit together 100% of the time, deficit thinking takes up prime real estate in your mind.
Guiding question/prompt: When I have compassion for myself during the tough times, I can/am/say _____________. When I do not have compassion for myself during the tough times, I can/am/say _____________. Which of these is more aligned with my journey? Why?
How often do you feel like you are not enough? How do you treat yourself and work through this?
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