Mastering Coaching Skills with Lindsay Dotzlaf | From Therapist to Coach with Jess JohnsonI have another amazing interview for you in this week’s episode with another client of mine. However, this one is a little bit different because after we’d worked together in Coaching Masters, not only did she decide to sign up for a second round, but I found her so incredible that I decided to hire her to coach me on some of my own stuff.

Jess Johnson is a former therapist turned life coach and is certified in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping). She’s had an interesting journey to becoming a coach and has a rich background in working with all kinds of people. On top of all of this, she has yet to pick a niche and is very happy working as a general life coach. So, if you’re experiencing niche drama, you need to listen in today.

Tune in this week as I discuss with Jess what EFT is and how she incorporates this into her work as a coach. Jess is sharing with us what she learned from her first round of Coaching Masters, why she signed up for a second round, and she just has so many insights from her journey to becoming a coach that I truly believe every single life coach out there needs to hear this interview.

If you want to take the work we’re doing here on the podcast and go even deeper, you need to join my six-month mastermind! Coaching Masters is open for enrollment for a limited time, so click here to start working on the one thing you need to be a successful coach.

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I am so excited to hear what you all think about the podcast – if you have any feedback, please let me know! You can leave me a rating and review in Apple Podcasts, which helps me create an excellent show and helps other coaches find it, too.

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • What EFT is and how Jess got into it.
  • How Jess uses EFT to help her clients identify and conquer their limiting beliefs.
  • What made Jess want to join Coaching Masters not once, but twice.
  • How Coaching Masters helped Jess fall in love with coaching all over again.
  • Why Jess has absolutely zero drama about being a general life coach.
  • Who Jess generally works with, as a coach with no specific niche.
  • Why I decided to hire Jess as a coach to work on something specific, which isn’t something I often do with my clients.

Listen to the Full Episode:


Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

Hey, this is Lindsay Dotzlaf and you are listening to Mastering Coaching Skills, episode 31.

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.

Hello, friends. I’m so happy to be here today. I have the most amazing conversation coming up for you with my client, Jess Johnson, who is so fun. And I can’t wait for you to hear everything she has to offer. Let’s just dive right in.

Lindsay: Hello, hello. I’m so excited you’re here today.

Jess: I’m excited to be here as well.

Lindsay: Tell everyone who you are and what you do.

Jess: I am Jess Johnson, Jessica Kissane Johnson. And I am a life coach and EFT practitioner.

Lindsay: So, let’s just start there for just a second. Juts briefly tell them what EFT is. It’s not something I talk about, although I mentioned it and you corrected me at one point because I referred to it under the wrong – I said the acronym correctly, but I said the words incorrectly. So, just briefly for the people that don’t know, tell them, what does that mean and how did you get into it?

Jess: Sure. It stands for Emotional Freedom Techniques and it is an energy healing modality that involves tapping on some points traditionally used in Chinese medicine, acupuncture, acupressure points. And I got into it actually because I was dealing with arachnophobia, a fear of spiders. And it created such a powerful shift for me almost immediately. I started incorporating it into my work with veterans and just continues to see the impact it was making, so I was certified in it. And now I use it in my coaching practice to help people conquer limiting beliefs, or sometimes even finding out what they are. Oftentimes, people don’t know what that really means.

Lindsay: So now, as a coach – well first of all, let’s go back to arachnophobia. I am terrified of spiders. Maybe we’ll talk about that later. But I love – is that literally why you started using it to begin with? I did not know that.

Jess: Yeah. I had started working at a camp actually. I did a venture-based counseling working with veterans, running retreats out in the woods. And my first day there, there was a spider infestation, the first week. Big old wolf spiders. Those are the worst kind.

Lindsay: Yes, I would have been right out of there. No way, absolutely not.

Jess: I wanted this job so badly. It was like the team was incredible. What I had already seen them do was incredible. And so, it kind of shows the power of knowing your why, right? I was able to confront this fear, do what I needed to do, despite being terrified.

And I had to have one of the other facilitators come and pull my twin bed out from the wall, inspect it underneath for spiders, look all around it, and then leave it in the middle of the room because I was scared that if the bed was pushed against the wall, a spider would crawl up the wall and then onto my face and eat my eyes.

Lindsay: Obviously, that s 100% what they do.

Jess: Definitely. So, I was laying in the middle of the room in this twin bed in a cabin by myself, because I was the new girl. And every time I closed my eyes, I saw armies of them coming for my eyes. And so, I was actually in therapy at the time for arachnophobia, hadn’t had too much movement. Actually, I wrote her a crazy stream-of-conscious email that night as I was battling the spiders in my head. And it never got sent to her.

But the next day, I told one of the facilitators, I literally hot an hour and a half sleep last night and I’m just so dead. This is really freaking me out and I want to be here, but just please know it’s difficult. And she’s like, “Oh, let’s do this thing. You tap on your face…”

Knowing that I know now, it’s almost comical because had the points right but the setup statement was a little weird, like everything was just – everything I do now is so much more honed in. But because of that, I continued working at this camp for 18 months. The spiders were still there. I didn’t like them, but I was able to sleep. I wasn’t fixated on them. I didn’t see them coming for me in the night.

And I was able to sometimes spray them myself and kick their little bodies out of the cabin door, which I don’t like to kill spiders. I feel very passionate that this is their place, we live in this world, especially in nature. So, it was really distressing to me…

Lindsay: We have so many similarities. I also despise spiders. I am terrified of them. As you know, you can see me right now, I am sitting in my closet and literally every time I come in here to record a podcast, I do a spider check, just in case, even though we have literally no spiders in our house. It’s a new house and we, unfortunately because I’m so scared, we do spray for spiders on occasion. And I never see spiders. And yet, I am convinced they all live in my closet. So, every time I’m in here, I just do a little check before I start.

Jess: Yeah, we are so similar in this way. And that’s what so far the work I’ve done – that helped get me through the last 18 months. So, I’m actually certified in something called clinical EFT. I apply it directly to memories that people have had. That’s a really great modalities for those who’ve experienced trauma, a really gentle way to help people reprocess their memories and kind of loosen some of the terrifying or stuck or sad energy around past experiences.

And so, I had done very basic work on the spiders that got me through – however I am going through clinical EFT right now with my mentor because whereas I stopped checking every room for spiders, like if I was having this conversation two years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to sit here and it with my legs under the desk like they are now because I’d be like, “Well, I just summoned one. It’s crawling up my leg…”

Lindsay: I summoned one… You live in Hawaii where there are fancy spiders.

Jess: Just one. They’re cane spiders. Well, cane spiders are horrific demons that came from the deep. But I don’t see them very often. And other than that, it’s not like other tropical places where there are a ton of them.

Lindsay: That’s good to know. It’s always been a thought of mine when I think about coming to Hawaii. I’m like, “But I bet there are lots of spiders.”

Jess: Nope, it’s not a thing.

Lindsay: Love it.

Jess: But yeah, so I am doing that because it was impacting my life. My husband is a climber. He has been climbing for 18 years. He is like spiderman going up a wall. I’m a novice climber, which means I am clinging to any hole and surface that I can find. And if anybody here is listening to this who has climbed before, you know all the interactions you have with bats and spiders and snakes when you have to put your hands in places like that. And I do really enjoy climbing and I was unable to do that. So, I am going back in and all I want to do is be able to go climbing without terror. There’s a normal reaction to a spider crawling on you and then there’s an abnormal one. So, if I can just get to the normal reaction like, “Eww, I don’t like it, brush it off,” instead of the, “I summoned one and it’s coming for me.”

Lindsay: Someday, remind me to tell you the story about when I ripped my shirt off in front of hundreds of people. It’s fine. Whole shirt, just gone, because there was a spider. Whole shirt had to go. And I was screaming, so of course everyone looked. It happens. It’s normal.

Okay, so we got a little sidetracked, but I think you are such a good example of – so you’re in my mastermind, Coaching Masters. We should tell them that. And I love that you are a great example of someone who kind of comes in with this skill that is separate from coaching and lets just talk about that for a minute, what do you want to say about that? What made you get into Coaching Masters? Why do you think it’s important to combine coaching with the EFT? What are your thoughts?

Jess: Yeah, so I actually am a therapist. I started off as a therapist. I’m a licensed clinical social worker. And at 32, I joined the army. I was an active-duty therapist in the army. And when I got out, I pivoted to the coaching space. I really wanted to be part of helping people move forward.

So, that was about four years ago. 2016 is when I went through iPEC and got my certification. And when I began my certification in EFT last year, I really was all in on EFT. But very similar to coaching, you do your swaps to get proficient at what you’re offering, I was seeing that we were doing a lot of healing but not replacing it with anything, “What do you want to do next? What do you want to think about yourself?”

And I had a couple – two of my iPEC sisters are in the 2K. They’ve been telling me about Stacey Boehman’s 2K. And so, I had started listening to her podcast and I heard an interview between the two of you, really talking about stepping into your different personalities as coaches.

And so, I started reengaging with mindset coaching and started with the 2K and then joined Coaching Masters in January and it has just helped me, like, meld these two modalities that I am so passionate about together, like helping people.

When we talk about being coaches, I know sometimes something I’ve struggled with is, “Okay, I’ve done the thought work around this. I know this belief is no longer something I want to hold me back. I know I have the new belief that I want to step into.” But there is something pulling me back every time I try to create a new self-concept or believe that I can charge a lot of money or believe that I don’t have to worry about the judgment of others.

And so, what Coaching Masters has enabled me to do is really reengage and re-fall in love with my love of coaching and help it really seamlessly fit into the EFT practice, helping people learn to navigate their way around their heads, learn how to choose what they want to think. And when it’s really so hard to just push forward, just to have these new beliefs, be able to apply EFT to whatever is kind of running in the background, running the show.

Lindsay: Tell me what kind of coach you are.

Jess: I am a general life coach. And I am killing it is a general life coach.

Lindsay: I love it. Yes you are.

Jess: You know, sure, niching is important, so great. But it is not so important that when you are starting out as a coach, you are crippled with fear and confusion because you are worried about picking the right thing, am I going to love it? And am I going to be able to work with these kinds of people? How do I say it, the perfect elevator speech, all of that?

When I just embraced, like, you know what, I’m really good at what I do. I have a plethora of experience and knowledge and skill that help me help my clients, I can just help all the people that I want to and that are ready to work with me. It was so freeing. And being able to just kick that to the curb and fully embrace and feel like I’m a general life coach, that’s okay, I can help, what you got?

Lindsay: I just love that so much. And right before we started recording, I told you, I think this is so important to talk about because we hear this, from some coaches, like you have to have a niche, or some business coaches or if you’re buying some sort of business program, you have to have a very specific niche. And then you’ll have other coaches who say, “You don’t have to have a niche, you can be a general life coach.”

And I just see so many coaches get stuck in confusion over this and I’ve made it very clear my stance on this podcast, which is if you don’t know what you want your niche to be, if it isn’t, like, this is it, be a general life coach. People need them. General life coaching is underrated, one of my most favorite things.

I hired a general life coach. She helped me literally with everything. And I love that you can bring that to the table and say, no, I’m committed to being a general life coach for a while until I figure out what the thing is.

Jess: Yeah, until the thing comes to me and locks and I feel as secure with it as I do with saying I’m a general life coach right now, this feels so good, why would I do anything different? And this is without a website, with a messy-ass social media presence. Like, I don’t get it. What are stories, seriously? Why do we need – I thought the 24-hour thing was for people who are cheating on their spouses and they want something to go away. So, I cannot believe this has gone on. That was my first thought about Snapchat. I don’t get it. They’re both my personal and business are melded together, because you get all of me. I am professional and I am tough and I am great at what I do. But I am also fun and silly and I bring a lot of that into my coaching with my clients as well.

Lindsay: Yes, you’re pretty much me like three years ago, a few years ago, at some point before I had a niche and I was just like, “I don’t understand all this fancy stuff. I don’t need a website. I’m just going to see what happens. I’m just going to meet people and say I can help you.”

Jess: I want to help people. And so, if I’m helping people, like every day I step into this belief that with every – my only rule around social media is that it is authentic to me and that it is, I feel, important for somebody to read, even if that person is me a year in the future and needs something to pop up on Facebook memories or scrolling through my Instagram and be like, “Wow, I said that. I knew exactly when I was when I felt that.” So, it never feels like me forcing anything for me or anybody else.

Lindsay: I really love that. I think whenever things pop up in memories for me, I have one of two reactions. So many people tell me that they sometimes cringe and I’m like, but why? In my opinion, I have two reactions. One is like, “I have grown so much.” That’s the difference of cringe versus, like I’ve grown so much. Or, “Ooh, I needed to hear that today.

Jess: Absolutely. Actually, I write a lot in Word and determine, is this going to go to something else or will I post it – well, because I’ve had a lot of times where I go to post something and it’s inspiring, thoughtful, and amazing, and the it goes somewhere, but not where I wanted it to go the second I click.

So, now I write things in Word and there’s like 10 Word documents open. And I guess, I must have, a couple of weeks ago, started writing something on anxiety, myself feeling anxious, and I had never gotten around to posting it. And so, it popped up in Word in front of me and it was what I needed to read in that moment.

So, of course, I immediately posted it after that because yeah, I needed it that badly, somebody else probably needed it that day. And it’s really fun. And maybe I have people stopping me in the gym or calling me or people saying, “Hey, can I pass your info onto somebody?” And whether those turn into consults or clients, it doesn’t matter. It tells me I’m making an impact on the world and forming this planet to be the kind of place that I want it to be or I hope for it to be by helping others, and that is enough.

Lindsay: I love that. So, just tell them some examples of who you work with. And you don’t have to go into specifics about every client, but how do your clients vary. Because people say, “But if I’m a general life coach, who do I talk to? How do I know who my clients are?” Who are your clients?

Jess: I work a lot of times with – so, because I’m also a therapist, however I’m not operating as a therapist anymore. I still do have my license, but I’m about to let that go…

Lindsay: You have an understanding of therapy, how about that?

Jess: Exactly…

Lindsay: Yep, much deeper than most would.

Jess: Exactly, so because of my background, I do attract people who maybe have had courses of therapy and aren’t still maybe moving forward like they want to, or they feel like I’ve had all this therapy but I’m not sure what I want to do next, or they’ve had all this therapy and then something comes up for them and they’re like, “This means something. I thought I was healed. I thought I was over this.”

And it’s important to recognize that healing, just like personal development’s a journey, things are going to come up for us after we think we’ve dealt with something. And it doesn’t mean it’s coming back. It doesn’t mean that all of that work we did beforehand meant nothing. It just means you’re ready for a new layer of integration of learning.

And so, I love being able to help my clients do that. That’s something that has happened several times. So, that’s a big thing that I see, a big theme with my clients.

Another one a lot is brand new coaches who it’s almost like a one-on-one version of Coaching Masters. It’s like, “I want to do a program, I don’t have a niche, I don’t understand what you mean when you say I can actually do this without being purposeful on social media or define myself in some way. How do I set boundaries with my family? How do I out myself to friends who might have known me five years ago before I began my own journey. I’m married, what if I change so much that my spouse and I grow apart?”

There’s all these things that new coaches go through that get in the way of even deciding what certification program or mastermind, like what do I need? And so, I love helping new coaches work through their mindset, see what it’s like to work with a one-on-one coach, be in that breakthrough, and then be able to make a decision from a place of this is the program that I know I want to do, program or mastermind. And I also know what I am going to do to get the most out of it.

Because a lot of times, I see new coaches, and this was me, you go into something with the understanding that this is going to give me something, instead of this is giving me something to work towards and implement and integrate and become awesome.

Lindsay: I think that’s so funny because when I was just listening to you talk, I was thinking just in my mind, what’s the similarity between the two things? But I think that there is a piece. And I’m curious what you think about this, of you teach your clients how to take extreme ownership for all the things. Like, no matter which client it is or where your client is on that, you know, from clients who have had trauma in their past or the brand-new coaches or anywhere in between, there’s something there about extreme ownership of their life and their results.

Jess: Yeah, thank you for catching that. I’m very big on knowing and using my core values. And I’ve always had a set of personal values. And I love how in Coaching Masters you talked about the core values for your business that help you make decisions.

And because of that, I now separate the two. Some of them re quite similar. But there are things that I bring into my business and how I view my clients a little differently than how I make decisions for myself. And one of my personal core values is taking responsibility and taking ownership.

But because of that, my other core value, or one of them is self-compassion because sometimes that feels really scary. Like we hear, when I’m taking ownership of something that something’s my fault or I have to beat myself up for a choice I made or something I’m not through yet.

And so, one of the things I love to talk about with everybody is space and grace. This is something I think I offer my clients. And I think it’s space in the form of time, how to slow down, figure out how to have your own back, and grace in terms of self-compassion.

And when you can do that, that’s what we mean when we talk about failing forward and using failure as an opportunity to learn instead of feeling like we did something wrong or we screwed something up.

Lindsay: I have to say, I’m so grateful for you and for you talking about space and grace within the mastermind because I personally used that a lot in the last month or so, when I’ve been going through some family things and with my dad passing and just all of the things. Not just that but then my business and taking time out of my business.

All the things that came up, those words kept coming up to me and they just felt so powerful. I could just hear your voice saying it because you talk about it all the time in the mastermind. And I just love those words. They’re really good examples of what it takes, I think, to just take ownership, to take extreme ownership without beating yourself up over anything.

Jess: Yeah, absolutely. And I’m a big believer in choices too. That comes along with the personal responsibility. Like, helping my clients see that there is always a choice. The choices don’t have to feel great, but there is always a choice. And when you give yourself the time to recognize that, have your own back, there is never really any wrong one because hey, you get to change your mind. I love teaching people about that concept too because it’s something I don’t even think I realized I was stuck in until I, at 32, was like, “I feel stuck. I want to do something else, what do I do? Oh, I’m going to join the army. Why not?”

I think I’ve spent so much of my life just running from things. And now I’m in this place where I am taking purposeful and intentional action because I’m thinking things through and learning from them, it’s just a really fun, empowering place to experience anything from, whether it’s coaching, whether it’s time with family and friends, adventures, anything like that.

Lindsay: I’m curious how you think or if you do – I’m guessing you probably do – how do you think your time in the army either influenced your decision to be a coach or to go in this area or how does it affect you as a coach?

Jess: Yeah, my time in the army definitely taught me that I can do anything. And being able to make that decision at that age – and yes, I grew up in the military. My parents both served. But I was 32. My dad got out when I was 16 and I’d had an entire other career.

But I think being able to take that first step, to do something so huge in my life had a big impact. And then – this might be controversial but I’m going to say it…

Lindsay: We can always take it out if you decide…

Jess: What I’m about to say does not negate any of the real issues that people serving in the military, those of us who have been in the military are dealing with in terms of PTS, difficulty transitioning into civilian life once we leave.

But a lot of times, there’s kind of this joke that when you think about enlisting in, I’ll say the army because I was in the army, like you think you’re going to go fight bad guys, especially in the heyday of the wars we were in and seeing all the stuff that movies have made up and you think you are just going to go out there and be this badass.

And then, quite often what happens is you are sweeping the motor pool. That’s what 90% of certainly your time back home is doing. And so, when I joined the military as a therapist, when I commissioned in, I thought I was going to be healing PTS, I was going to be working with post-traumatic stress, I was going to be helping people move forward and heal.

And yes, I did do a lot of that. However, I also did a lot of navigating kids. Think about how old you have to be to join the military. 17 with a GED and parental signoff. Our brains are still forming until 25. It’s like, we haven’t even grown into that yet.

And so, a lot of what I was seeing – and this is very important too, I’m not negating that, is kids who just didn’t know what the fuck they had just signed up for. And the expectations were shot. And going forth too, there’s a lot of stuff now just in terms of generational things, like the coping skills that people have or don’t have anymore.

And so, being able to help people work on that was what got me interested in coaching. Because when you’re in the army and you’re a therapist in the army, there are a couple of particular modalities that they really want you to use in your practice.

And I actually sought out a certification in coaching just because I wanted it to actually supplement what I was seeing, what did my clients need in the military. Because a lot of what I did, particularly in my last duty assignment, I was the behavior health officer for the aviation brigade out at Fort Drum, New York.

And part of the job of being a BHO, which was my favorite part of the job, half of my time was spent in the clinic having a case load, and then the other half is talking to commanders and helping guide them on the culture of their companies and be able to help them be a leader, identify what might be a behavioral health issue, when people need help, helping them understand and navigate trends. And I love that part of my job.

And so, I wanted to learn a little more about coaching so I could better prepare them for being the best commander that they could be. And so, with the coaching program I did, you could do just this standalone weekend and then determine whether or not you wanted to actually continue in the certification process.

So, I went and did this standalone weekend. Kind of horrified at the beginning because my trainer came running in to music and it was everything I was not. It was like, what the shit did I just sign up for? I remember, I had a whole body reaction of, “Oh my god, this weekend is just going to be a bunch of on people jumping around and cheerleading each other.” And I was not for it.

And I just backed myself up and was like, let’s see what you can get out of this weekend. It changed my life. It changed my life so profoundly that I came back, it was three days of 10-hour days, on Sunday night I called my husband who was then my fiancé and I was just like, “Look, so here’s the plan with me. I’m going to get out of the army. I am going to be a life coach instead of a therapist. We’re not married yet. We can talk about this, but this is what I’m going to do. You get to decide now, are you coming with me?”

And he of course – we’re married now – is incredibly supportive. And this is another thing I see with new coaches that worry so much about, “Well my partner doesn’t believe in coaching. My partner doesn’t coach. My partner doesn’t get this.” Nothing has changed with Eric and I, my husband. He still doesn’t get coaching. Don’t ask him to tap with me, my god, every time he seems surly and I’m like, “We could tap, babe…” taping is EFT, he’s like, “I’m just hungry. I’ll go eat a snack and then I’ll be fine.” And then he hides so I don’t make him do that.

But he is so supportive. He is curious about what I do. He respects it. Just because he doesn’t want it for himself, that’s okay. I also get to him, but just because of who I am, he can’t help but sometimes come back to me and be like, “So, I’m choosing to think… I noticed myself getting upset and I decided that I’m going to look at this differently.”

There’s a lot of fear and mistrust when you think about stepping into new roles. I got sidetracked there, but that was how I started engaging with the coaching there and then I brought that back into the military and started, right from then, it made me a stronger therapist. It made me stronger in my relationships as an army officer as well.

And when I got out, I really did struggle with my transition from the military was and just in kind of a dark place for a while. And I got really involved with Team Rubicon, which is a veteran-led disaster response organization. And I was on the wellness tea, for them, brought in coaching to that.

And my military experience is just such a part of that because I got to do crazy things in the military. I had a nine-month tour in Afghanistan. I lived in Hawaii for the first time then. I lived up in New York and I hate being cold and that place – the place I lived in New York was up near Canada. I had to pull all my tools out to cope with that.

Lindsay: Yeah, well I’ll add something else that I think that you have taken from your military experience and brought it into coaching. So, you and I, I actually hired you for the first time ever. I’ve never actually hired a client before. It’s going amazingly. And I hired you to help me with something specific.

And one thing you said to me that was so powerful on one of our calls – you might not even remember saying this because it was literally in passing. It was just an offhanded comment on your end but for me it felt so powerful. You said, “Listen, I’ve heard everything.”

And you just said it in – I don’t even remember what we were talking about. I don’t remember why you said it. But I just remember kind of like, an exhale, and really thinking, “I bet she had heard… my crazy is probably nothing compared to some of the things that you have heard,” just stories from situations that I can’t even imagine. So, I’m sure that influences your coaching.

Jess: Yeah, thank you. I do appreciate that because that’s something I actually was going to mention in terms of – one of the things I do hear about me a lot is that people can tell me anything, that I am nonjudgmental, I don’t make them feel bad about all the shame that they’ve carried around.

So yes, I was in the military, heard a lot of insane things there. but I don’t even know if we’ve talked about this that much. Prior to the military, I worked in corrections. I was a mental health coordinator working with inmates. And at detention level, I covered three different detention centers. I was doing that for seven years. That was part of what led me to join the army. I wanted an adventure. I knew the life that the military had given me. I wanted to be part of something bigger.

And I was seeing veterans on my caseload – I’m a big believer in being proactive so it was like, what can I do to mitigate that? Before I worked in corrections, I worked with kids. I’ve worked with sex offenders. I have worked with murderers. I’ve worked with – there’s very few populations that I haven’t.

So yeah, I have heard everything. Nothing surprises me. And nothing’s weird or crazy. It’s just a human experience that is shaped by everything that’s happened to us and we’ve been taught and learned, and that’s why I think EFT is so powerful because it helps us really drop these stories that we’re convinced we’ve done so much work on, they’re just such a part of us that there’s nothing we can do about it ever, that’s just it.

Lindsay: Yeah, I’m so grateful for you doing all of that work. I did not know that that was all in your background, but it does make a lot of sense to me. And again, it’s just one more way that you and I have so many similarities, I think, but not because I have done that work, but because working with a lot of my clients, especially previous to what I do now when I was just a general life coach, coaching all of the people, I had a lot of anxiety prior to coaching or when I first hired my coach. And so, I was attracting lots of clients that had lots of anxiety and lots of just stuff coming up.

And always, I was like, listen, you can’t tell me anything that is going to surprise me. You are so safe here. Just say it. We’re going to be fine. I’m going to help you through this. And yeah, so I’m not surprised at all to hear any of that. It makes a lot of sense.

Jess: I have something I want to say about anxiety that I also wanted to circle back to something that you once told me actually that has stuck with me that might have been a one off for you. And it was when I had the call with you prior to joining Coaching Masters. And I knew I wanted to do this. But connection is one of my core values and I like to talk to people one on one.

And you had said that you watched some of my Facebook videos. Sometimes I jump on there and do tapping circles or I show how I use tapping or I pick a topic and you said that I had made this kind of really woo work very accessible, just kind of reachable in a way where somebody who might otherwise, “That shit crazy, she a witch…” like make it seem like, maybe that’s true, but also, this doesn’t seem so weird.

I make it make sense in a way where people, I think, are more open to it. I do, when I talk to my clients a little bit about what’s going on I the brain and why this works, because that is important for people to know. It’s not just a made up tapping on made up points. There is science behind this. But I also just really stand on, do a session with me, you’re going to come out feeling something. And if your mid doesn’t change after that, then that’s something to coach on because there’s something that’s fearful there, is how I think of it.

Lindsay: Yeah, I love that you brought that up. I’d forgotten about that. And I’m pretty open about that on this podcast, that I am a very analytical person. I like to think about my brain and other people’s brains and how they work and our thoughts.

And you know Sherri, she is my best friend from college. She’s been on the podcast. She’s in our mastermind. And so, now you know her. And she’s like the opposite. She’s the opposite of me. She’s on the other end of the spectrum, loves all the woo. And I love it too.

I love hearing her talk about it. I love hearing other people talk about it. But I’m always like, I’m not the first person to say, like, that’s for me. I think it’s interesting. I’ll go along with anything. But I am not going to get in line to be like, “Sign me up for all the woo.”

And when I saw some of your videos, they were just Facebook lives, because you applied and I had never heard of you before, so I just looked you up on Facebook. And the very first thing that popped up was just a video of you doing EFT, I think on yourself. And I don’t even remember what it was about. But I just remember thinking, every time I’ve seen someone talk about it in the past or heard about it or seen videos about it, it was easy for me to kind of dismiss it as, like, that’s just not for me. And then I saw your video and I thought, “Oh, that’s so interesting. She is doing this thing and speaking my language at the same time.

Jess: Yeah, I actually have a fair number of clients like that, these overthinkers, very logical, very process-oriented. And that’s actually been really fun for me because I’m not that. I very much own who I am but I can be – it’s like organized chaos and then coming back and being able to use this tool, and keep people, giving them that space and grace when they are overthinking, when they are going through that rabbit hole of all the possible situations, that how does this work and why, and where does this go, being able to rein that back in and give them the ability to focus on what’s right in front of them, make decisions more quickly, and feeling more empowered.

Lindsay: I will say this one last thing and then we can move on from talking about EFT, and I want to hear whatever else you were going to say. But I think for me – and I’m curious if you would say that this is true, but for me, EFT has felt like, the times that we’ve done it together, it has felt like just a different way to process emotions. I don’t know if that is what you would say. But I know at one point, I messaged you and I said – I’ve never told you this, so why not just tell everyone?

I messaged you and I said, “I really don’t think I can coach today,” or however I said it, and it was kind of like I’m working through some things, I’m not ready. Because sometimes with coaching, with the thoughts and going that route, sometimes you’re not ready for that. You don’t want to be out of how you’re feeling in that moment. It’s like, I don’t want coaching on this because I’m fine – I might not feel good but I’m not ready to move on. I have some things to process here.

And you convinced me to get on the call, which was amazing and it was exactly what I needed. And I realized after that that I was really thinking about it as, “I don’t want coaching,” but what you helped me do was just really see, what am I experiencing in the moment? Not even having to move out of it, but that really allowed me to feel that emotion or emotions and see where they’re coming from and help me understand them a little bit.

And I had such a big moment after that that was like, “Oh, this kind of is two different things. I don’t have to move out of the emotion I’m experiencing. EFT can really help me tap into it a little more and understand it.

Jess: Yeah, one of my clients actually recently said – actually she isn’t even a client. She came to a tapping circle I did, which is a group thing that I do periodically. And she was like, at the beginning of the tapping circle, the experience she was tapping on or she used, she was very aware of it and it brought up a lot of grief and sadness for her. And at the end of it, she’s like, “It’s interesting. I have a new level of awareness but the grief is not there, and a new understanding.”

And I think that it’s very much like when we help our clients make decisions. Sometimes, we get caught up – and this is something I learned in Coaching Masters. We think that making a decision means we have to take action. And so then, we allow our brains to tell us, like, “I don’t know. And I don’t need to think about this, so I’m not going to now.”

And sometimes. Just acknowledging, okay, the decision is there. I don’t have to do anything with this. It’s so powerful. And that’s how I look at what happened with you.

I remember you messaging me and saying, “I think I need to process this.” And I just said, “We don’t even have to discuss that. But we can talk about how you feel about that, and all of these other things.” It’s kind of like decisions.

Particularly when I am in a portion with my clients where they are feeling very tender and very open and not ready to go there, I am never going to force somebody to go there. But being able to still have that hour where somebody is holding that space for you, listening to you, letting you say whatever, whether we get to EFT or anything at all, I think is so important.

So, for anybody listening to that whoever feels like they’re having a moment where they don’t want to show up for coaching because they think it’s too big or too painful or too messy, know that you get to decide what you coach on that day.

I start every one of my sessions with, “Hey, this is our goal. What can we work on that? What do you need today, or is there something else?” What do you need to get you through that? You get to decide. Those hours are for you to implement in your life.

Lindsay: And for all the coaches listening, because that is mostly, besides my mom. Hey mom.

Jess: My mom’s going to listen too.

Lindsay: Hey Jess’s mom. So, most everybody listening is a coach, so it’s also important to remember that on the coach’s side. Which of course I know that. But in that moment, I was having a human experience. I was not a coach. I was a very emotional human, and a coach, of course. But I was not attempting to coach myself out of any of it.

But I just think it’s important to remember as the coach also, sometimes when your clients come to you in a very tender space, it is okay that they don’t want coaching or don’t want to move forward on something, maybe they just want to be there in that moment and process emotions. And as a coach, you can help them do that without knowing EFT. This isn’t like everybody must know how to do EFT. There are many other ways to do it. But it is an important thing to know as a coach, to just kind of be aware of.

Jess: Totally. And this brings me back to something that I also see coaches being scared of, and that’s people with mental health diagnoses or suicidality or things like that. And there is a time and a place for coaching and therapy, but it’s never like one or the other. Sometimes, they both work really well.

So, a person can have a therapist and help somebody with the things that are going on outside of therapy. And I also think too, the important thing to realize, or at least the philosophy that I come from and I embody so much of who I am because of coaching and because of EFT work, that the more I put that into myself, the more I make myself my number one client, that comes out to the rest of my clients like 10,000-fold.

And so, being able to recognize that just because you’re a coach, doesn’t mean you’re never going to have things that feel super tender and like you can’t handle them. There’s the difference between me four years ago is now I know exactly who to ask, what support I need, and how to use it, instead of feeling like I have to do everything myself.

What helped me in the past, since November when I joined Coaching Masters – Coaching Masters again, I just signed up for Coaching Masters again because the first round was so damn good.

I look at it like a favorite movie, or I’m a book nerd, like a really great book. Like every time I read The Hobbit, I get some new teaching or something that maybe I missed the other few times, but something that’s my favorite or just like my posts that I need for that moment. and I learned so much in Coaching Masters the first time around and I started applying it immediately. But I feel like by going through it a second time, because my goal this year is to focus on this one-on-one practice and focus on being the absolute best coach and EFT practitioner I can be. That’s what has gotten me to this point in the first part of this year. It’s only going to continue making me even stringer the second part.

Lindsay: I love it, and I didn’t even have to pay you to say that, so that was really fun.

Jess: I meant it.

Lindsay: I’m kidding. That was so great. And yeah, I don’t think I mentioned that before, you did just join a second time. And of course, I am so excited to have you. Although, we’ve established that you have a plot to get me to host a retreat in Hawaii, so you’ve decided that you have to stay close so I can’t forget.

Jess: Yeah, I’m planting that in other people’s ears in your mastermind too by the way.

Lindsay: Hold on, so what you’re saying – so I enroll Coaching Masters every quarter. So, right now I have two going simultaneously. So, what you’re saying is you know people in the other round of Coaching Masters and you’re letting them know to tell me this? This is perfect. Oh my goodness. Okay, well you never know. Now that I know there’s only one crazy spider there, maybe we’re in.

Jess: Exactly. And you’ve got me to get you through it with EFT, so nothing to worry about.

Lindsay: That wasn’t actually a factor. I did have to cancel some in-person things when COVID very first started, so I lost quite a bit of money because it was right at the beginning, everything got crazy. And so, I have some – I want to say PTSD, although for you that’s a very serious thing that you work with, but you know what I mean. I’m a little shy on the, “Okay, let’s do it, let’s go all in.” I’m kind of waiting to see what happens. But it is a definite possibility. We’ll just throw that out there.

I love in-person – and you and I have talked about this and I know I’ve talked about this on some of my other podcasts, but I love creating community within my mastermind. I think it’s one of the most important things. And it’s just so much more fun. Who doesn’t want coach friends to help them get through everything?

Jess: Yeah, it’s the – I’m going to butcher this saying, but whatever, I’m going to say it anyway. You’re the product of the people you surround with, the five people you spend the most time with. And for me in particular, 2020 was hard. I didn’t let myself even think about how hard it was until really March. Because I was in survival mode.

I lost my job. I lost the job in Maryland that I loved, the retreats I had been running were actually flying me from Hawaii, after I moved from Maryland to Hawaii, back to Maryland once or twice a month to continue running retreats.

And so, the first six months I lived in Hawaii until I lost my job because of COVID in March, and that’s when I had to pivot to entrepreneurship. But I was alone. My husband deployed. He deployed with 36 hours’ notice in the peak of lockdown here. So, I did not have a lot of support. I didn’t know very many people. I don’t have any – I hate introvert, extrovert labels, but I do thrive off being around people and I did not have the community support and I wanted and it was literally me and the cats. They’re awesome, but I mean, you can only meow so much.

Lindsay: I hear you making all the cases for a retreat, that’s fine. Just don’t start crying. That will put it over the top. That’s too much.

Jess: Oh man, muster some tears.

Lindsay: Okay, let’s wrap this up. We have been on here a while, I feel like we could just keep going for hours. At the very end I’ll have you tell people where they can find you. Is there anything else you want to get in before we finish up? Did we forget anything?

Jess: If you’re thinking about it, join Coaching Masters. It really will accelerate and build your belief in your coaching ability and give yourself space and grace with anything and everything, but particularly right now post-COVID. Because I think a lot of people are feeling that right now.

Lindsay: Yes, I think I talked about it on one of my episodes. I can’t remember exactly how I said it, but where I said I didn’t realize how many emotions I was having around it or how blah I was feeling until I started to move out of it. And then I could see the difference. I could feel the difference and it really felt very heavy.

And yeah, it has been an interesting year, I think. I think I was just ignoring it a little bit, like we’re just going to get through this, it’s going to be fine, I have to just keep moving forward. And yeah, when it was all – obviously it’s not all over, but when things started opening up a little bit and the weather was getting better and I was able to leave my house, it really was like, “Whoa,” a big exhale that felt like a lot.

So, definitely, everybody listening, love yourself no matter what’s happening. You’re going to get through it. Alright, thank you so much for being on. Tell them where they can find you. Where do you love to hang out?

Jess: Absolutely. So, it’s between Instagram and Facebook really, inconsistently. But my Instagram can be pretty funny. I’ve got a funny bathing suit picture coming up. But my Instagram handle is @seekingagreatperhaps1 and I can be found on Facebook at Jess Kissane Johnson. And then from there, you’ll find Jess Kissane Coaching Services, or I think it’s just Jess Johnson Coaching Services…

Lindsay: We’ll link all of that in the show notes. So, if they’re like, “Wait, what? How do you spell that?” it will be in the show notes on my website. Just go right there. All the links you need to find Jess, just look at her amazing tattoos. That should be at the top of your list.

Jess: One other thing too, if anybody is interested in experiencing tapping, I am doing a free tapping circle, depending on how many people are going to show up to it, because it will be virtual, we’ll tailor how I do this. But it is going to be on tapping for self-love.

So, if you need to make some room for really understanding what self-love is beyond bubble baths and the external pampering, how to set boundaries, how to step into your belief, on May 22nd at 9AM Hawaii time, I will be hosting a free tapping circle. You can find the details on my page of how to sign up for that.

Lindsay: Love it. And if this comes out after that, because it might, that’s okay, but I’m sure that you will be doing others, that will just be the first one. So, go find you, see all the amazingness you’re offering. You did one of the tapping circles in our mastermind. You did it for everyone. and it was so much fun. So, definitely everyone should come find you and get involved in one of those for sure. I love it. Alright, thank you so much. Have an amazing weekend.

Jess: Yeah, thank you.

Well, that wraps it up. I loved this conversation and I hope you did too. She had so much goodness to offer. Lots of good takeaways for all of you, hopefully. And again, all of her information will be in the show notes on my website, I will see you next time Bye.

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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