56 Secrets Life Coaches Won’t Tell You for Free

There is no one secret to life but there sure are a bunch of smaller secrets that can help you have better relationships, be a better worker, and reach your life goals

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You're not reaching your goal because you didn't actually make one

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"When you get crystal clear about where you are going on a project, in your career, or in your life, each decision you make will get you closer to or further from that vision. If you are struggling with big decisions it may be because you don't have your destination clearly identified." —Alexis Robin, co-founder of pLink Coaching Center

Switch your default setting from critical to curious

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"When a situation arises that you're unsure of, instead of defaulting to feeling critical, try to be curious. For example, if someone brings up an idea you shared a year ago like it is a new instead of saying, 'I said that last year and you shot it down,' try 'That sounds a lot like what I brought up last year. Can you help me understand how this idea is different?' It's a small change but can make a big difference in your attitude." —Alexis Robin

Stop trying to be good at everything

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"People have strengths, and that's where they should focus their energy. As clients move up the ladder at work, they sometimes take on a false belief that they should be good at everything. This results in them spending a lot of time on things they aren't good at, when they could delegate it instead. Trust me, you do not want a charismatic and visionary CEO doing the spreadsheets." —Alexis Robin

Your body is speaking but you're not listening

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"To figure out what's working in your life and what's not, start to pay attention to your body. What tasks do you consistently dread? What feels like a struggle for you? What makes your gut feel tight and heavy? What makes you feel worn down and miserable? This information from your body is telling you what you need less of. Think about ways you can reduce the amount of time you spend on things you dread. On the flip side, also notice what makes your heart sing. Which tasks do you enjoy? Which things leave you with a feeling of satisfaction afterward (even if the task itself isn't fun)? What comes easily to you or gives you a feeling of flow? These are the things to get more of in your life. Few people are able to arrange their lives so they have only enjoyable and satisfying responsibilities. But anyone can, over time, shift the balance so that more and more of your day is filled with what makes you feel good. That's what makes for a happy life." —Jill Whitney, LMFT, therapist and author of Keep The Talk Going

Stop 'should-ing' yourself

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"Anytime you start a sentence with 'I should,' change it to 'I want.' This changes your intention and makes you more likely to follow through. So instead of 'I should go to the gym tonight,' say 'I want to go to the gym tonight' and see how different that feels." —Roger Ziegler, certified life coach

Don't ignore your nighttime dreams

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"You can use your dreams as a life guide. Ask yourself a question before you go to bed then when you wake up, record your answer. You'll be amazed at what your mind is trying to tell you as you sleep." —Roger Ziegler (Here's more about what your dreams are trying to tell you.)

You're suffering? Good.

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"Whether it's for financial, spiritual, physical, or mental success, my first tip to my clients is to build a positive relationship with suffering. I have had clients that have struggled with PTSD, anxiety, depression, stress, and fear and they're usually surprised when the first thing I tell them is 'Great!' The point is not to get rid of any of these as they are not 'bad' emotions despite what we have been led to believe. Instead, embrace them, harness them, and leverage them to work for you." —Akshay Nanavati, life coach, author, and creator of Fearvana

If you're stuck, pushing harder won't make you move faster

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"If you're stuck on something in your life, take a break from it and learn a brand new hobby or skill. This takes the focus off being stuck, builds confidence and energy around something else entirely, gets your endorphins going, and boosts your serotonin. Eventually this will make it easier to naturally get unstuck in the original problem." —Lisa Barrington, certified coach and workplace strategist

You're the one limiting your options

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"I've seen too many people who think that in a given situation they must choose between 'a' or 'b' and get upset when neither of those things are what they want. But in reality, the world offers unlimited options. You're the one limiting yourself." —Lisa Barrington

You don't have to be as busy as you are

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"Many people feel controlled by their schedule so I ask clients who are feeling overwhelmed or out of balance to take at least half of what on their plate off of it. Get as creative as you need to in order to make that happen. Initially, most people think they can't do it. But the truth is you can—and most do when they really try. Once you have the space to reevaluate, be very deliberate about what goes back on the plate and which value or goal that is meeting." —Sally Anne Giedrys, life and work reinvention coach based in Portland, Oregon (Here's what successful people do every weekend.)

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