Lindsay Dotzlaf

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Mastering Coaching Skills with Lindsay Dotzlaf | How to Help Your Over-Feeling Clients (Part 2)

Ep #183: How to Help Your Over-Feeling Clients (Part 2)

Last week, I showed you how to help your overthinking clients when they get stuck in unhelpful thought patterns. This week, I’m diving into the second part of this series, sharing how you can show up for your clients when they’re spinning in their feelings but they aren’t aware they’re doing it.

It can be tricky to know how to approach your clients when they’re in a state of over-feeling. However, after today’s episode, you’ll have the foundation required for meeting your over-feeling clients with exactly what they need so they can begin working on their thoughts and actions instead.

Tune in this week to discover how to help your over-feeling clients. You’ll learn how to identify when your client is stuck in their feelings, and I’ll show you how to get your clients out of that place when it isn’t serving them, so they can begin to move forward and ultimately start feeling better.

If you want to hone in on your personal coaching style and what makes you unique, The Coach Lab is for you! Applications are open, so come and join us!

If you want to hear me talk about mistakes I’ve made in my business over the past year, join me for Behind the Curtain, a video and audio series dedicated to all the mistakes I made that stopped me from hitting my goal over the past 12 months. Click here to check it out!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why this work isn’t about diagnosing your clients or labeling them ‘over-feelers’.
  • How it looks when a client is in their feelings during your coaching sessions.
  • What your client is avoiding when it seems like they’re constantly in their feelings.
  • Why you might need to advise your client to see a therapist in some rare cases.
  • How to help your clients move forward when they’re stuck in their feelings.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • For even more resources on making your work as a coach and success for your clients easier, I’ve created a freebie just for you. All you have to do to get it is sign up to my email list at the bottom of the home page!
  • Get an exclusive peek into my coaching journey from 2023! Dive into a series filled with vital lessons from real experiences to fuel your coaching path. Sign up now!
  • If you want to hone in on your personal coaching style and what makes you unique, The Coach Lab is for you! Applications are open, so come and join us!
  • Join me for Behind the Curtain, a video and audio series dedicated to all the mistakes I made that stopped me from hitting my goal over the past 12 months. Click here to check it out!
  • If you have a topic you want to hear on the podcast, DM me on Instagram!
  • Ep #182: How to Help Your Overthinking Clients
  • Pirates Matcha Chai Latte

Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills episode 183. To really compete in the coaching industry, you have to be great at coaching. That’s why every week, I will be answering your questions, sharing my stories, and offering tips and advice so you can be the best at what you do. Let’s get to work.

Hey coach, I’m so happy you’re here today. I am back today to build on what I talked about last week, although if you just found this podcast and you’re listening for the first time, you don’t necessarily have to go back and listen to last week’s episode. But if you want to, I’ll give you a little brief description of what I talked about last week and what I will be talking about also next week.

So I’m doing a three-part series on how to help your clients who show up to coaching sessions and you identify them as kind of being stuck in their thinking or in their feeling or in their actions, kind of without being aware of the other things. Or you can just identify they’re not really moving forward, they’re not getting the results that they want, and they present in certain ways when they come to coaching sessions. You’ll understand more as you keep listening.

Last week was about your overthinking clients. Today is going to be about your over-feeling clients. And then next week will be those clients that just love taking all the action. They don’t want to pause to examine anything about the way they’re thinking or feeling, and they just want to go take all the action, but it’s not really working, okay?

So today is over-feeling. First, I want to say something. I had a laugh when I sat down because I have to tell you about this tea. And I debated – I sat down with my tea. Let me be clear about what happened, I sat down at my desk. I have some tea and I thought, oh, I should mention this on my podcast.

And then I thought, it’s going to sound like I’m a sponsor, right? Like it’s an ad. At the beginning of all my favorite podcasts a lot of them have ads, like non-coaching podcasts. They have ads and they’re always sometimes kind of funny.

And so I sat down and all these funny things started going through my head about how I could pretend like it was an ad. And then I was like, oh, this could be like manifesting. Like maybe if I just say my show is sponsored by, and what I mean by that is because it’s fueling me, that maybe they would be a real sponsor. Okay, I don’t actually think that’s going to happen. I don’t plan on having sponsors, but it did give me a laugh.

But I have to tell you about this tea because it’s the best thing I’ve ever had. It is called Pirate’s Chai. And if you’ve never heard of it, it is – So I’m not a huge tea connoisseur. I do love tea every once in a while. I’m pretty open to all the kinds of tea. I do love chai. A very spicy chai, I think, is delicious. And, but this is like a matcha chai latte. And I think the website is just, I’m pretty sure. Chai like C-H-A-I.

And it tastes like matcha, except sometimes I think matcha doesn’t taste like green tea mixed with dirt. And this does not taste like that, I don’t think. It has a very delicious flavor, but it still tastes like matcha. So if you don’t like matcha in general, you won’t like this. But then it also has chai spice in it. Oh my gosh, it’s so good.

Now, if you go to the website, just know it is not the least expensive tea you’ve ever bought and the shipping takes forever. I do believe it’s totally worth it. But if you’re like, if you want to try it and you’re unsure, I would start with a very small amount because it’s not inexpensive. And my trick, which is where I lose the sponsorship probably, because my trick is I mix it with vanilla, unsweet vanilla almond milk. So it just gives it a little vanilla flavor to go along with it. It’s just so good.

It does have quite a bit of caffeine. So if you don’t do caffeine, then you can’t have it. I’m sorry. I don’t actually know how much caffeine it has, I just know that after I drink it, I can always tell that I’ve had some caffeine.

Okay, so let’s dive in. So the first thing I want to say, after recording last week’s episode I thought of this, I want to be clear that as I’m going through these three episodes, these are just tips for you to use as the coach. These are not diagnostic tools. These are not necessarily things that you’re going to say to your client, oh, you are an over feeler. We’re not diagnosing our clients and that’s not even a diagnosis, right?

This is just when you notice that your clients are presenting a certain way when they come to coaching sessions, this is just knowledge for you. Not necessarily something you’re going to go teach them or a label that you’re going to put on them. I feel very strongly about this in general in coaching.

You will never hear me say, “Oh, you’re a people pleaser.” I just don’t think we should ever be telling our clients, “Oh, you’re a people pleaser,” right? We all people please in some way. Do some people have more pleasing tendencies that they’ve learned over their lifetime? Of course. And there are even coaches, I’ve had them on here. Sarah has been on the podcast and she coaches people on their people pleasing. But that is still, we’re not diagnosing people as anything, right? This is just like, these are tendencies that people have.

What you might find surprising about this week’s episode is I’m going to talk about feelings, but I actually think it’s very similar to the thinking, the overthinking episode. And here’s why I say that.

Actually, this is my opinion mixed with a little bit of knowledge, just that I have from taking so many psychology classes and so many neuropsychology classes, which were some of my favorite when I was in school because I thought it was fascinating to really learn how our brains work and like what actually happens inside our body when we have a thought and when we’re feeling something or whatever. All of that, I think, is fascinating.

I do not want to get into the argument of which comes first. I don’t think it matters. My personal opinion is that it can be one or the other, and that certain people are just better at noticing certain things. So I do think some people are just really good at noticing their thoughts. Is there a feeling that happens before that? A feeling in their body that accompanies it? I’m sure there probably is, but the first thing that they notice is a thought.

I think this is also true for people who are just very attuned to their feelings, right? They might be able to say how they’re feeling before they can describe what thoughts are coming along with that. I actually don’t think it matters ever which one you talk to a client about or where you start. One way to just kind of know which one your client is, I’ve talked about this before in a way that’s like, it’s just two different languages, but you’re talking about the same thing. And one way to know when it comes to your clients is just which they lead with, right? Which they tell you first, I felt this way, or I was thinking this.

Or they might even, because most of your clients aren’t coaches, they may not use those words. They might say, well, it felt like, and then they’ll say a thought, right? It felt like that was an unfair thing to happen to me. So the thought is that it was an unfair thing to happen to me, but they’ll lead with a feeling, right? With like, it felt like that.

So some of you might actually be teaching your clients how to feel, how to talk about their feelings, how to experience their feelings, the difference between resisting a feeling versus actually just experiencing it and feeling it. So I just wanted to say that upfront I think that feelings and thoughts kind of go hand in hand, and I don’t think it matters where you start.

But I’m going to give some specific examples today of how to know, just like I did last week, how to know if this is what your client is doing and then what’s maybe actually happening for them and then how to coach them through it.

So I also want to lead with, just like I said last week, this is only when you notice that it’s a problem, right? Like that’s when you’re going to use these methods that I’m going to talk about. That’s when you’re maybe going to know, oh, we should maybe address this.

And how you know it’s a problem is just when week after week after week, maybe they’re not moving forward. It seems like they’re a little stuck. They’re not making any progress towards their goal. Maybe they’re coming with coaching for the same thing over and over, which sometimes can be okay. But in this case, it’s specifically like they’re coming like they never had coaching on it before, right? Like they’re coming with the exact same thing. And you’re like, wait a minute, is this like deja vu? What’s happening?

So what this might look like in client sessions when your client is presenting with this kind of over-feeling or over-focus on their feeling. One thing to consider is that, and some of you may agree or disagree with this, and that’s okay. One thing to consider is that I actually don’t think that you can just sit in one emotion and just sit there for long periods of time, right?

Even think about some extreme positive or negative emotions that you may experience throughout the day or throughout your life. You go to an extreme one, right? If you’ve ever experienced grief, if you’ve ever had a loss in your life, grief, you can probably, if you’ve experienced it, you can feel right now like what it feels like in your body. You could probably pull it up, probably not as heavy as it is when you’re really in it.

But even think about that. You don’t sit in that for just like hours and hours and days and days and days. You kind of go into it and then you come back out and you go into it and you come back out, right? And it’s like this experience where you’re really in it and feeling it. And then the other times it’s not like it’s completely gone, it might just be a little lighter or maybe you’re just not focusing on it at the time and so you kind of forget about it, but it gets pushed away.

And then depending on how heavy it is, it might come back quickly or come back later, right? Even over years, possibly, right? Something might pop into your mind that reminds you of someone, a twinge of grief might pop up. But I just think it’s important to know I don’t think your client is actually in their feelings a hundred percent of the time. I think that would actually take too much effort to just stay there and be there.

So normally what might be happening if they’re coming to you talking about feelings or bringing this up every week, it could just be that they’re thinking about them, they’re avoiding them, they’re resisting them, but we’ll dig a little bit into that. I just wanted to kind of point that out going into this.

Just like I probably could have said that in last week’s episode as well, where we’re not just a hundred percent of the time sitting around thinking about our thoughts, right? Just noticing our thoughts, being a hundred percent, just completely aware, this is what I’m thinking moment to moment. That would just take too much effort.

And I also think that every individual’s experience of these things is totally different. So I can’t remember if I’ve talked about this on here before, but I’ve met a couple of people who are like, I don’t have a running dialogue in my mind. I’m not like narrating my life. I don’t have thoughts, like constant thoughts happening in my head.

For me, that’s like, what? What is that like? Tell me about that magic. So just consider that, right? Like it’s possible that all of us are having a very different experience.

Okay, that was a bunch of lead in, but I just felt like I should say all of that before we get started. So how do you know if your client is showing up being overly invested in how they’re feeling?

The first thing is, this might be very obvious, they’re constantly bringing the coaching back to the same feeling over and over, right? Like I’m so overwhelmed or something like every time I go to take action on this plan that we created, I feel so overwhelmed.

They’re just consistently bringing it back to, this is how I feel. I feel so anxious, right? They’re just constantly describing their feelings and it might tend to be the same one over and over. They make their feelings a problem or they’re almost scared of them, right? So again, they’re bringing them up a lot and you can tell by the way they’re talking about it, that there’s this consistent avoidance of certain feelings or of experiencing certain feelings.

They make it really clear they don’t believe they can take certain actions without feeling a certain way. Like they have no control over it. They just are like, well, but if I do that, I’m going to feel this way. And I don’t want to feel this way, so I’m going to just avoid it.

You can tell how most of these are not examples of a client being actually in the feeling in the moment, but just being very, very aware. Maybe that’s a good way to say it, they’re very aware. There’s like this constant awareness of this is what I’m feeling right now, or this is how I will feel when I do that or when this thing happens.

Or maybe you as the coach have an awareness that they are consistently resisting their feelings and emotions instead of processing them and actually working through them, right? So they’re talking about them a lot, but maybe you can tell that they haven’t really sat with it and just experienced it in their body.

Now, often what is happening when your clients are coming to coaching sessions like this, very similar to what’s happening when, in the last episode, right? When people are overthinking, when your clients are overthinking.

What is usually happening is they think they’re creating some sort of safety, right? Like they are protecting themselves either by feeling the thing that feels the most normal to them to feel, or by protecting themselves ahead of time, you know, predicting how they are going to feel and then just deciding to avoid that at all costs, right? Like if I focus on this, on how I’m going to feel when I do this thing, I’m just going to not do it so that I don’t have to feel that way.

Or it could also be the opposite if we’re talking about positive emotions, right? They could be taking some action over and over and over that has them feeling a certain way that they’re really focused on feeling this positive emotion.

This is interchangeable with everything I talk about in this episode, right? It’s interchangeable, whether it’s negative or positive. I find usually what’s happening in coaching is that clients are avoiding some sort of negative emotion. And those are the things that they’re bringing to the calls and that we’re talking about, but it could also show up as the opposite.

It’s kind of the same thing, right? Like if I focus on only feeling joy and I’m obsessed with feeling joy, and it’s all I think about and I think if I keep doing the same thing over and over and over, I’m just going to feel joy forever. They’re still, if a client is doing that, they’re still avoiding something else, right? They’re avoiding just feeling anything negative that might come up that might be different or opposite than when they feel joy.

So what can you do about this? How to coach them? Again, some of these are going to be very similar to last week, but we’re going to go through them anyway. And some of them are going to be very different, but just through the lens of talking about helping your clients move forward, move through those feelings, get on the other side of them and or just not be scared of them, right?

So the first thing is to really question, I think this is very powerful actually. One of the most powerful things you can do with these clients is just ask, like kind of point out the difference between thinking and feeling and question this right now, are you actually experiencing it right now? Or are you thinking about experiencing it?

Are you thinking about this morning when you felt that way? Yesterday when you felt that way? All the times you tried to take action on this thing and you felt that way, right? Are you thinking about it or are you actually experiencing it? Just showing them that can create immediate safety, right? Especially if it’s a client that is feeling very kind of scared of emotions or scared of feeling a certain way, that can just create safety, right?

Oh, okay, you’re not actually experiencing it right now. You’re just thinking about it when you’re telling me about this thing. That’s where I would start with any client like this, if it feels appropriate, right? You probably will know, is that the appropriate place to start? Just kind of showing them the difference between actually sitting with it, feeling it, experiencing it, and then just thinking about experiencing it.

The next thing is just helping them process that emotion or direct them on how to process it and sit with it after your session. Now, I’m not going to go too deep into this because you can do this in so many different ways. Lots and lots of different ways. There are so many different trainings on how to help your clients have this experience in their body. I’m just going to give you a couple of tips, a couple of things that I teach, and a couple of things we do in The Coach Lab.

So, really just questioning – I’ll give you a personal example. Recently, I had a launch. I actually don’t know how recent this was, but I had a goal, right? I had a launch goal and I didn’t hit the goal and I just quickly moved on afterwards. I went like, okay, what’s next? What am I going to do? What’s the next training? I just immediately moved on.

And so I was getting coaching on what I was doing next and instead, what came up was, have you really sat with the disappointment? Because I said, I’m disappointed. Emotions started to come up, I got kind of teary eyed and the person who was coaching me at the time said, have you really just taken some time to sit with the disappointment before you move on to the new plan?

So that could be something that you do with your client. You could either do it with them, really have them access the disappointment in their body. What does it feel like? One of my favorite things to do, and some clients will really relate to this and some won’t, so you have to kind of figure out what your client relates to.

One of my favorite things to do, a very simple exercise is just where do you feel it in your body? So if I’m going to sit with disappointment, I’m going to ask myself, maybe I’m self-coaching or maybe I’m doing this with a client, but in this example I’ll just pretend like I’m doing it to myself. I’m going to ask myself, I’m going to close my eyes, take some deep breaths and say, okay, what does this feel like? What is the physical sensation of this in my body? What is the somatic experience that I’m having right now when I just let it actually wash over me? I’m not going to resist it. I’m just going to let it overtake me.

And I think sometimes maybe this is the point where you point out to your clients before you take them through this that I think sometimes what we’re scared of is that once we feel it, we’re just going to be stuck there forever. We’re not going to be able to get out of it, which like I said at the very beginning is rarely true.

And we’re talking about cases of just your typical coaching session. I’m going to get, like at the very end I’ll talk about how to know if this is out of your league as a coach. But this is just in a normal coaching session. Just normal human emotions that come and go, that we experience, that we try to avoid, that we make pretty much all of our decisions based on.

Just help your client sit with it. You can also, if they don’t want to do it with you in the session, this is a time I would ask for consent. Would you like me to help you process through this or would you like to do it after? You can just tell them how to do it. Put your hand on your heart, take some deep breaths, really go in your body to the disappointment, or fill in whatever the emotion is for them that keeps coming up that they’re avoiding.

And just sit with it and breathe into it. Maybe ask yourself, how does this feel in your body? Where can you feel it? Is it moving around? Some people might ask, can you see it? What color is it? What does it look like? I don’t resonate with that so much. I can’t normally access that. My feelings don’t tend to have lots of color. I don’t know why, but for some people they clearly do because they can answer it very easily. Sometimes they do it for me, but not all the time.

So just kind of play around with some questions like that and offer for them to do that on their own if they like. Or you could find a guided meditation that helps them do this or give them some resource that’s just going to help them sit with it and work through it.

One thing we have in The Coach Lab that’s one of my favorite things, I love to access and work through things sometimes with music. Music really shifts so many things for me in my body. And we actually have a playlist that is sitting with some negative emotion. It’s kind of moody, slower songs and just songs that bring up like, I’m just going to sit with this. I’m not going to shift out of it. I’m just going to be here.

It even helps me assess where it’s coming from or what is this heaviness that I’m feeling. So you could try that too with your client. Have them access their feelings through music. Think back to times in your life where you felt very emotional. I can easily access, for example, breakups as a teenager. And I can pinpoint the exact songs that I listened to for certain breakups. I think that our body is just so connected, for most of us, so connected with the feelings that music allows us to be in and to really process. I think that’s why we gravitate towards sad songs or happy songs or whatever. I think it really helps it be in our body, vibrate through our body and move through our body.

Okay, that was a kind of long-winded answer, but just whatever your version of helping them process or helping them do it after the session.

Get curious about how often they are actually experiencing this emotion and how often they’re thinking about experiencing it. It kind of goes back to that very first thing I said, right? Just get really curious about it. Just ask all the questions.

How often do you actually feel overwhelmed versus how often do you avoid feeling overwhelmed? How often are you feeling anxious versus how often are you thinking about feeling anxious or thinking about not wanting to feel anxious? Coach them on their ability to feel it, right?

Explore what’s wrong with it being there. What scares you about this? Why don’t you want to feel it? What is wrong with you feeling overwhelmed sometimes, right? Just kind of showing them, like normalizing it, like, oh, you’re working so hard to get out of this or to stay in it, whichever. I think it could go either way. What if you just didn’t have to work at it and you just let it be there? What would be wrong with that?

Explore what it’s protecting them from. So again, let’s be clear, you’re not going to use all of these with one client. You’re going to pick which one fits the situation that you’re coaching on, right? But maybe explore like, what is this protecting you from?

If it’s one that they continually are coming back to, what’s the safety in it? Why does this feel like a safe thing for you to feel versus whatever it is they’re trying to avoid?

Consider there may be something underneath the feeling that they’re actually presenting to you, right? So one of my favorite things when a client says – I haven’t coached anyone on this for a while, but when I was doing one-on-one sessions, sometimes my clients would say that they feel so angry or they feel rage. And I would always explore, like, ooh, what’s under that?

I sometimes think some of those feelings or shame, some of the big ones that really take over your body, I would sometimes get curious about what’s happening underneath that. What’s the one that you are actually not feeling by instead going to this go-to one, maybe?

If your client is someone who constantly is going to shame or going to anger or like a big, heavy emotion like that, I would get curious. Like what’s under there? If we strip away the shame and dig in there, what’s actually underneath?

This is something actually that I learned when I was a psychology student and something that comes up a lot that I hear people talk about in different ways in coaching, but I’m going to give you a way to talk about it.

So you’ve probably heard of neural pathways, right? These are just like our bodies, in the most simple way to say it would be the way our brain works when it’s kind of on autopilot, the easiest, most efficient path, right? The thought that we’re used to thinking, that we come back to. The thought and the feeling that we’re used to, right? Like kind of our go-to.

Those are normal neural pathways. They’re the most connected, the most kind of worn down. For those of you that are scientists or physicians listening, listen, I’m just explaining this in a very simple way. I’m sure you could do it way better justice, but I just think as a coach, this is the most simple form of it that you need to know.

One analogy that one of my professors gave that I’ll never forget is, I wish I could remember his name so I could give him credit, but I don’t. But he said, it’s kind of like your body is made, your brain, your body were made to be efficient as humans. So when you think about neural pathways, the ones that our brain is just naturally going to take are the ones that are the most commonly used.

So I’ve heard analogies that are, it’s like the highway or it’s like the whatever. My favorite analogy is like you’re walking through the forest. If you’ve ever walked through the forest or like woods or whatever, you can see the paths that the animals take because they’re worn down. You can see like there might be an actual human path that might be the most worn down.

But like behind our house there’s a nature preserve and there is a path, but you can also see when you look around, you can see where, for example, the deer run. Like it’s a worn down path. It’s not as big as the human path, but it’s a worn down path. You can see those.

Those are the ways that you, as a human, experience thoughts the most efficiently. The way your brain and your body works together the most efficiently. Here’s the worn down path, let’s go. Those are things that you’ve just practiced over and over and over, right? Because you’ve walked on that path so many times, or the animals have walked on that path so many times that it’s worn down. It’s the easiest.

Now, if you decide to not walk on the path and you’re just going to walk through the woods, it’s going to be a lot harder. You’re going to have to clear things out of your way. You’re going to have to work harder to get from point A to point B.

That’s exactly what’s happening in your brain when it is creating new neural pathways. It feels hard. It takes more effort. You can explain that to your client when you notice that they’re consistently coming back to just well-known, well-practiced thoughts and feelings, right? You can explain this to them to normalize it.

Of course you just had that thought. Of course, you go straight to overwhelm. That’s just what you’re used to. You’ve practiced it so many times. That is the path in the forest that’s the most worn down. What I’m going to teach you as a coach, this is actually a great way to explain what coaching is. What I’m going to teach you as a coach is how to make new paths and notice the other ones. They’re still going to be there. They’re not going to go away automatically. You’re going to create new ones and it’s going to feel like more effort, but it’s totally possible to create them.

Just explaining that to your client, they can be like, oh my gosh, that makes so much sense. Then the next time when, let’s go with overwhelm, can you tell it’s one of my go-to? It always comes up for me in my examples. But let’s say the next time they are like, oh, I’m so overwhelmed and they’re really feeling overwhelmed, they can take a step back and say, oh wait, no, am I actually overwhelmed or is this just the path that I always take?

What would it be like to take a different path? It’s going to feel like a little more effort, but what would it be like? You can help them create a plan with the first few steps and include time for feeling along the way, right? So if they’re presenting with these big feelings and they’re like, I don’t want to do the thing because I’m going to feel this way and I’m scared of it, okay, use some of the other things I already mentioned, right?

Like ask what’s wrong with feeling whatever it is that they’re afraid of. Coach them through that, but then also create a plan. Here are the first few steps. One thing that I hear often from coaches, so some of you might resonate with this is I’m so scared to tell the world I’m a coach. I’m so scared to post it on social media. I’m so scared to tell people about my website. I’m just so scared to say it because of what people are going to think.

And really, we know as coaches that that means because of the way you’re going to feel when you assume this is what people are thinking, right? In this case, you can create a plan. Okay, well, what do you want to do? Do you want to use, let’s say social media for example, to build your coaching business? Okay. What’s just the very teensiest step? Maybe write the post and then take a pause.

What’s coming up? How are you feeling about just writing it? Okay, but are you safe? Like, are you actually safe at this moment? Yes, some feelings are coming up. But are you still safe? Maybe you’re terrified, but are you actually safe? All you’ve done is written the post. You haven’t posted it, you’ve just written it. Can you feel that? Like, what is your tolerance to just feel the fear and do it anyway, right? But what is the tolerance of can I just sit with this until it passes?

And then what’s just the next teensiest step? Open Facebook on your phone. Pull up the app, open it up like you’re going to post. Okay, check in. How are we feeling now, right? Like you can take your clients through that process, help them create a plan.

Then when they come back to the next session, okay, how did it go? How far did you get? Were you able to kind of go, how many steps did you get through while planning for the feelings right to pause and feel if that’s what they need to do. Even if you don’t get it as the coach, even if that’s not how you operate, doesn’t matter. Not about you, right? It’s about them.

Remember we’re doing this because they keep coming back having not made any progress. And so this is the plan, they don’t need to not feel the things. They just need to feel them and plan it in. The last thing is you can just show them how whatever it is that they think they’re avoiding or that the feelings that they’re thinking about a lot, how they’re just feeling it ahead of time instead, right? So if you use that example I just gave of feeling terrified to tell people that you’re a coach because of whatever it is they’re going to think and how you’re going to feel, but are you maybe just feeling that now?

Like just when you think about that, are you already feeling terrified? You’re just feeling it ahead of time, right? You’re just creating that thing. It’s like another example of that would be the example I gave of me when I didn’t hit a goal, right? And it was like, did you take time to process, like really sit with the disappointment?

My guess is if I look back, this was a while ago, but if I look back and I think about when I was just planning, right? When I was like in the launch or in the selling of the thing, I don’t even actually remember exactly what it was. I was probably feeling disappointed ahead of time because I was probably believing it wasn’t going to work or that certain parts of it weren’t going to work.

We’ve probably all been there, right? You just feel it ahead of time. You just decide this isn’t going to work. And your clients probably do this with all different things. It doesn’t matter what it is, they don’t have to have a business to do this. They decide it’s not going to work and then they’re just feeling disappointed right now where they are.

Okay. Hopefully these were super useful. These are all things that we talk about in The Coach Lab. These episodes were prompted by new content that I’m creating for The Coach Lab, where I obviously go more in depth than what I can do on a podcast. And they’re things that we coach on every single week in there. So if you want to join us, come on in. We are waiting for you.

And the last thing I want to say, because of what we’re talking about this week, if you have a client who is consistently coming with very, very heavy, negative emotions that you don’t know how to help them with, that they are not making any progress, they’re not moving forward, and not only that, but it seems like maybe the tools that you have aren’t the tools that they need to help them through this, right?

If they’re presenting or even tell you that they’re depressed, if they are just so anxious that it’s like overtaking them, if it’s just something that you’re like, I don’t know. I just want to give you permission as the coach, because I know, I know how much you want to help them. I want to give you full permission that there’s never, ever anything wrong with saying, this isn’t something I know how to do, and either referring them to someone else, helping them find different kinds of help, right?

Maybe this is something more suited for therapy or something along those lines, right? I just want to give you full permission that that is okay. You have done nothing wrong. And actually, I think you’re doing everything right. When you notice this is out of my league, I’m going to help this client in the way that I can right now, which might look like referring them to someone else or to a different type of help.

And I would say this isn’t super common. It probably depends maybe on what your niche is. It may be more common in some niches. This isn’t the most common. So I’m not saying that this would be happening all the time, but just to really be honest with yourself and know, this is what I have the tools to handle and the capacity to handle. And this is what I don’t, this is what coaching is. This is what coaching isn’t. And just being okay with, maybe they’re going to come back later, or maybe they need something simultaneously with coaching. That’s not a problem at all.

All right, I just wanted to leave you with that today. Happy coaching, my friends. I will talk to you next week, goodbye.

Thanks for listening to this episode of Mastering Coaching Skills. If you want to learn more about my work, come visit me at That’s Lindsay with an A, See you next week.

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Hi I’m Lindsay!

I am a master certified coach, with certifications through the Institute for Equity-Centered Coaching and The Life Coach School.

I turn your good coaching into a confidently great coaching experience and let your brilliance shine.

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