Have you been wondering about your soul’s purpose? What were you put on this big wide world to do? What is your true calling? How do you ignite your passion and find that beautiful inner light? What were you designed for? Or maybe you might ask, “what is my spiritual purpose?” if you’re a spiritual person looking to experience more of your higher self.
No matter how you say it, we’re all looking to feel fulfilled and satisfied. We want to have a purpose, and we want it to feel like our lives have a purpose, that we matter.
YOU absolutely have something you were designed to do. You have something that will click and make your whole life suddenly come into focus. The only problem is that finding out what that “thing” is takes time, commitment to yourself, and willingness.
What is a soul purpose?
Now, note that I am using the phrase ‘soul purpose’ and not ‘sole purpose.’ ‘Sole’ means single or solitary. The sole purpose of a screwdriver is to screw in screws. 🔩 The sole purpose of a diaper is to, well, you get the idea. 🙈
On the other hand, a human being’s ‘soul purpose,’ also known as your soul’s purpose, refers to the guiding light of your life. It’s where you find the most fulfillment. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning before you even think about that delicious cup of hot, nourishing coffee. Your soul’s purpose is completely in line with your values, your needs, your spirit, and your aspirations, and once you discover your soul purpose, everything starts to click.
Discovering our soul purpose can help us to see things more clearly, to figure out our place in the world, and to understand the happy and traumatic events of our lives in a larger context.
Now I’m sure you’re asking, “Rhonda, just how can I reach my soul purpose?”
Great question! And perfect timing because that’s exactly what I’m going to get into right now!
How Do You Follow Your Soul Purpose?
1. Determine Your Own Needs
To follow your soul purpose, you first need to figure out what it is. Begin by reflecting on your own personal needs. Do you even know what they are? Are your own needs something you’ve put thought into before?
Don’t worry if you haven’t. So, so, so many of us haven’t taken the time to focus on ourselves long enough to determine our own needs. We believe that being a good, thoughtful person means putting others’ needs before our own.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. The more you neglect your own needs, the more difficult it is for you to be there for those around you. You become strained, burnt out, and resentful because your needs (whatever they may be) are not being met. Ever snapped at one of your kids or a spouse out of nowhere because you were spread too thin?
Making sure your own needs are met is not being selfish—it’s being healthy.
YOUR NEEDS ARE IMPORTANT.
Say it with me, and say it about yourself.
My needs are important.
My needs are important.
My needs are important.
So, now that we got that out of the way, how do you figure out what your needs are anyway?
Everyone’s needs are different, and at the same time, so similar. What your needs are might come to you instantly or they may take a little more time to figure out. Think about what you need in order to be happy and fulfilled. When are you the most happy? When are you the most content? What things in life are most important to you?
On the other side of things, what makes you want to yell or pull your hair out if you don’t get it from other people? What exhausts you? What drives you absolutely bonkers?
Taking care of your needs is often a misunderstood concept, so if your arms are crossed right about now, you’re not alone. Just allowing yourself to think about your own needs can be challenging.
Figuring out my needs eluded me for decades. I thought I was so self-sufficient that I didn’t have needs. And worse, in the past, I was told “no one has needs, they only have wants,” so that squashed any desire to find my needs. So be patient with yourself.
Finding your needs, and then honoring them, will be a lifelong process—but you have to start somewhere.
Here are some common needs:
- Financial Stability
Once you know what your most important needs are, you can start to make sure they are being met. Do the important people in your life know what your needs are, and do they understand the importance of them? Relationships are always a two-way street. The people in your life must respect your needs, and you, in turn, must respect theirs in order to have a healthy relationship.
Understanding your own needs and making sure they are continually being met is the first step to finding your soul purpose.
2. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Let’s talk about comparing yourself to other people. It’s a completely natural thing to do; in fact, it’s wired into our brains. And it’s something I’m guilty of too. 🙋🏼♀️
But, in nearly all situations, comparing yourself to others does more harm than good, and this is true of following your soul’s purpose.
Know that everyone’s soul purpose is different. Now, it’s one thing to know that and another thing to live it. It’s quite common for people to get caught up in someone else’s life purpose because they believe it must be theirs too. The closer you are with someone, the more likely this is to occur.
For example, let’s say your sister is an excellent writer and you’re not bad yourself. You come from a family of talented, published authors too. You’ve both been a little competitive about it throughout your life and you’ve learned from one another. She is pursuing a career as an author and loves it, so you naturally follow suit, only to realize years later that you enjoyed it when you were young, as a hobby, but you actually hate sitting down to write every day.
You despise your work, what was once fun isn’t anymore, and you don’t understand why you aren’t feeling more fulfilled. You feel guilty because you should be happy. You feel like you should be fulfilled. But “shoulds” are never good and they will never get you to happiness, and the truth is being an author was your sister’s soul purpose, not your own.
Similar examples come up for people time and time again. Whether it’s people close to us, acquaintances, or society in general, we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. But your soul purpose is not a competition, and you don’t need to follow the same path as anyone else.
Just because a 9-to-5 office job makes sense for lots of people doesn’t mean it makes sense for you. And just because lots of people find freedom in unconventional career paths doesn’t mean you have to abandon the stability of a more traditional role.
Everyone is different, and that’s okay! It’s actually pretty great that we’re all so different. 🥳
When thinking about your own soul purpose, take everyone else out of the equation. You are not competing with them. You are only competing with yourself in your quest to be a more authentic, transparent, and loving you.
Ask yourself: How can you be better tomorrow and the day after? How can you continue to prioritize your own needs? How can you pave your own path? What’s the one dream you refuse to believe in? Hint: That may be a seed of your soul purpose.
3. Your Purpose Might Not Be Career-Focused
This next point is more important to some than others. If you’re super career-focused and passionate about your work, you may not need this reminder. But not all people find their soul purpose in their work. And that is completely okay!
Speaking of unconventional jobs filled with freedom and fulfillment: Have you ever considered becoming a Life Coach?
Your soul purpose may not be career oriented. Your purpose could be being a great mother or a phenomenal grandparent. Your soul purpose might be cooking or baking—but only when you do it freely and on your own terms. Your soul purpose might be being observant, taking in your surroundings, enjoying everything nature has to offer, and finding beauty in the simplest moments.
Careers and making money are not the only things that matter, but they are often mistaken for our one and only purpose in life.
Now, let’s take one step back. It’s okay for a job to be a plain old job. It can pay the bills while you enjoy all the rest that life has to offer. But—and this is a big BUT—be careful that that job is not a soul-sucking one. Don’t allow that job to take away all of your joy, happiness, and personal time, and watch to make sure your personal needs are being met and no personal boundaries are being crossed.
4. It’s a Continual Pursuit
Finding and pursuing your soul purpose is not a simple, one-time task. It’s a continual, ongoing pursuit, and there will always be ups and downs along the way. You won’t all of a sudden find it and ride off into the sunset forever. You’ll have to work at it and work at being your best self on an ongoing basis.
And here’s the cool part: when you click into your soul purpose, you want to be your best self because you know that will only help you fulfill your soul purpose. It creates a desire to risk and grow to be able to keep expanding what’s possible for your soul purpose and the impact you could make.
There’s a good chance you will change and adapt along the way. What you thought was your soul purpose as a child, teen, or young adult may be different as you get older and discover new passions.
Continually check in with yourself. Are you still on a path you want to be on, are you headed in an intentional direction, or are you running on cruise control? Are you living the life your soul intended?™ (or at least headed in that direction?)
And another thing—it’s okay if you don’t know right away. It’s okay if it takes you time to figure out what the right path is for you. It’s not a race; it’s a journey, and you will get there in your own time.
I had no idea my true calling and purpose in life was to be a Life Coach in my early 30’s. I could barely understand my own fears at the time. But I continued my journey and followed my soul’s path, which happened to be a heck of a lot of work. Yes—I’m looking at you, fear!
5. Finding Your Purpose Isn’t a Cure-All
Sometimes we mistake finding our true calling, direction in life, or soul purpose with complete and unwavering happiness. Well, folks, that non-stop happiness you think you found along with your soul purpose won’t always be there. It’s not a magical solution to all of your problems, and it certainly doesn’t mean everything will be sunshine and rainbows from here on out (just ask any working actor or artist!)
You are still going to have ups and downs. That’s okay. I definitely have “bad” days too. Yes, I am doing work I love. I am living the life my soul intended™. But I still have those “bad” days. I have fewer of them, and I’m not sidetracked by them or think they mean anything, because I am free from my shackles of fear, but finding your purpose is not a cure-all for every downtrodden feeling you don’t want to experience.
A “bad” day doesn’t mean you aren’t on your destined path. It’s just that—a “bad” day. Once you get this fearless thing down, you’ll discover that there are no “bad” days, just fear-based ones.
When you know the direction you are being called to, stay the course. There will be ups and downs, and there will be times when you question whether you are on the right path. Take time to consider the path you are on and whether or not your needs are being met, but don’t give up when things aren’t perfect or exactly how you expected.
Continue being willing and continue showing up for yourself. As we always say in Fearless Living: “Do what you can the best you can when you can.”
So, Rhonda, What If I Can’t Figure Out My Soul Purpose?
Great question. I’m going to give you the answer I give to every one of my students who asks that same question.
If you’re not clear what your soul purpose is, do all the above, yet, in the meantime, I have a soul purpose you can use to support your willingness to find and embrace a future version of your soul purpose.
Remember, soul purpose doesn’t have to be anything that involves what you do for a living.
So here goes: Love.
That’s it. Love.
Sages through the ages have said there are two basic emotions: Fear and Love. That’s easier said than done. Just think of the last time you were in a loving relationship but were anything but? Exactly. Being loving when the world is not is “saint stuff.” So, choosing love as your soul purpose, at least until another one comes along, will give you so many opportunities to become more you—the real, authentic, transparent, empowering you.
Imagine what’s possible if you focused on expanding and embracing love as your soul purpose.
Well, let me tell you. Everything will happen. You will be a love magnet. Love attracts like-minded people who also are focused on becoming more loving.
Love opens your heart. Love opens your mind. Love allows you to give compassion to yourself and others. Love empowers you. Love creates more health in your body. Love is a cure-all for life’s ills. Love is the one soul purpose that we can all claim as our own. And it’s the one thing the world needs.
So if you’re unsure of what your soul purpose is and find yourself stalling to take action in your life because of that, choose love.
By the way, to get good at this love thing, you will have to befriend your fear. It’s a requirement, whether you like it or not.
Living the Life Your Soul Intended™
It doesn’t matter where you are in your life currently, you have the power to face all of those fears that have been holding you back, and when you do, you will open yourself up to a world of possibilities. You will finally see and feel who you were meant to be, and you can begin living the life your soul intended.™
My 10-week Fearless Living Training Program is based on decades of learning how to crack the secret code to fear—the fears that are keeping you from your soul purpose in life. With Fearless Living, you’ll learn how to determine your personal needs, prioritize healing and growth, and finally begin to follow the path you were destined to be on. Join us!
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Boy—do I know all about how to start over! Though it took me a long time to realize that starting over was the best thing I could do, I know now just how powerful and critical the choice to start over has been for my life, time and time again.
I also know this because I’ve witnessed thousands of others’ starting over moments. On the hit Emmy Award-winning reality show Starting Over, which aired Monday through Friday on NBC from 2003 to 2006, I was the lead Life Coach who helped the women start over.
Each woman came to the Starting Over house with a dream, and it was my job to help it come true. There was the beautiful Andy Paige, who had zero female friends when she entered the house and left with a boatload of them along with a new career. Or Jessica, whose mother died on 9/11. As her Coach, I had the privilege of moving her through the grief of losing her mother in a very public way as well as helping heal the collective grief of the United States.
The women who entered the Starting Over house wanted to start over and knew they needed to—or else their life would keep going the way it was going.
Unfortunately, far too many of us see starting over as a setback—something that proves we’ve gone down the wrong path, something that should be avoided at all costs—but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Don’t worry; I was right there with you many years ago (as were the women of Starting Over). I thought the idea of starting over meant I was going backward. I thought it meant admitting defeat. I thought it meant I had failed. 😱
What I know now, and what I hope you will embrace too, is that all of that hesitation to start over was fear talking.
If you’re new to Fearless Living, welcome! The Fearless Living site is filled with helpful resources and training tools designed to help anyone who is willing to crack the secret code to fear. In this how-to post, I’m going to help you lay the groundwork for starting over. This is the start of your journey towards living the life your soul intended.™
If any of the following resonates, this one’s for you:
- Do you feel stuck in a rut?
- Do you feel unfulfilled by your career?
- Do you feel like you have no time for yourself?
- Do you feel stressed and burnt out all the time?
- Do you wish there were more hours in the day because you always feel behind?
- Do you go to bed every Sunday night dreading the start of a new work week?
- Do you feel like you’re living your life for your family and never for yourself?
- Do you feel miles away from the dreams you once had?
- Do you feel like you have nothing to look forward to?
Your soul did not intend for you to walk around half-fulfilled, consumed with self-doubt, and lacking a true purpose. If you answered yes to any of those questions, starting over may be the change your life is craving. But how do you start over in life when the idea of change seems so far away and impossible? Let’s start with some basics. The following are not exact steps; they are guiding principles for your journey.
How to Start Over
1. Know That It’s Never Too Late
It’s never too late to start over. While that might sound cliché, I truly mean this, and it’s an important point to hit home.
I’ve worked with countless life coaching clients who believed for far too long that they were too old to make a drastic change. They had settled into mediocrity or, even worse, a life they absolutely hated but felt they had no choice to change because they thought they were too old (too young, too heavy, too weak, too shy, too something) to make a change.
It doesn’t matter if you’re 25 or 85—you have the power to turn your life around and design it so that you are happy and fulfilled.
Let me tell you about Bill, a life coaching client I worked with who, at the age of 60, changed careers and became a Life Coach himself in order to find peace, fulfillment, and freedom from his career.
At the age of 60 years young, Bill was ready to retire from his high-level corporate job, but he wanted more from his early retirement. Starting over was not a setback but a new life filled with opportunity. He’s now a mentor inside our Life Coach Certification Program. He coaches corporate executives while being happily married and enjoying the freedom of his successful coaching business.
His time is his own and he determines how much money he makes. He and his wife are able to travel more because he can coach from everywhere. And his marriage has become stronger than ever.
Bill did not let his age determine his path. He designed a brand new career for himself because he wanted more meaning in his life, to give back, and to use his experience for the benefit of others. He wanted to live a more balanced, empowered, and fulfilling life. Becoming a Coach far outweighed what he was receiving from staying on his corporate track.
Learn more about Bill Grout’s journey, including how he transitioned from corporate America to a successful coaching business, in my podcast: S05E01 – Becoming a Coach After 60.
2. Stop Waiting for the Ideal Moment
I have some cold, hard truth for you—The right, ideal, perfect moment will never come. And believing it will is only an excuse that’s covering up your fear that it will not work out.
Whether you want to believe it or not, you’re afraid of what might happen if you try to start over. You’re afraid you might fail. You’re afraid of what other people might think of you. You’re afraid of the unknown. And it’s natural to feel this way—I’ve felt the same thing! But letting your fear guide your life will keep you running around in circles, living a life that is not yours.
Do any of these sound familiar?
I’ll do it when I have…
I’ll do it if I get…
I’ll do it when I know more…
I’ll do it when I have more money…
I’ll do it when it feels right…
I’ll do it when I have more time…
I’ll do it when the weather cooperates…
I’ll do it when my kids are grown…
I’ll do it when I’ve paid off my debts…
I’ll do it when I’m happier with my appearance…
I’ll do it after I meet the right person…
All of these “I’ll do it when’s” keep you trapped. They hold you back from ever making a big change because you always have that excuse to fall back on.
In order to start over and truly commit to the process, leave behind all of those ifs, whens, and buts. The ideal time is not on its way. You won’t be anymore equipped for the difficult, eye-opening, heart-expanding journey of starting over later in your life, and the sooner you begin, the sooner you can have a life you actually want to be living. There’s no time like the present!
If starting over is something you want or something you believe you need, know that it is within your grasp. It’s only you who is holding yourself back, and your excuses are masking a deeper reason why you’re refusing to take that first step.
3. Move Beyond Excuses
Are you afraid of what your family might think? Are you worried you won’t make enough money if you make a career change? Do you lack confidence and question your own abilities? Do you constantly feel like it’s not the right time to pursue your dreams?
Excuses are incredibly powerful because they’re real… at least a little. But the kernel of truth within your excuse does not have to keep you from starting over and designing the life you want to live.
I made excuses for myself for years. My mother died at the hand of my father and then he took his own life when I was fourteen years old. I saw it all. I was right there. I let that fact be my excuse for everything. I let that shocking, horrifying time guide my life and my identity entirely far too long. I was afraid I would fail if I tried to do what my soul was calling me to do, so I leaned into my excuses.
I made excuses for my drinking. I made excuses for being an insecure partner. I made excuses for not finishing college. I made excuses for treating people poorly. I blamed my parents (big giant excuse) for just about everything in my life that wasn’t working, which was just about everything. The list goes on, and I believed it completely.
I thought that not having a bunch of fancy degrees meant I could never run my own business, and boy, was I wrong. I thought I couldn’t look for a long-term relationship until I lost weight, but what I really needed to focus on was my own self-love and forgiving myself. When we allow excuses to take over, we prevent ourselves from making real progress in our lives. We hold ourselves back because we are so afraid of the unknown.
Recognizing your own excuses and moving past them will help you find the courage to start over. You’ll begin seeing the unknown for what it really is—filled with opportunity and possibility!
4. Take a Healthy Risk
How do you feel about risks? Risks have a bad reputation, but they are often exactly what’s needed to move you forward with the big changes that are calling you. When we talk about risk, we’re not talking about breaking the law, running out in front of traffic, or gambling away money you don’t have.
Taking a risk can be a bright and beautiful thing for your life. In fact, most of the time, making a change in your life is a risk, but it’s those risks that lead you to living the life your soul intended.™
Starting a business as a Life Coach (before life coaching even existed!) was a huge risk! I didn’t know for sure that it would work out, and to be completely honest, there were times when I was terrified. Publishing my first book was a huge risk, too.
But I wouldn’t change a thing because I wouldn’t be where I am today without those risks. It was the risks that got me here.
Heck, it was also a risk every time I opened myself up to love. What if they didn’t love me in return? What if I said “I love you” and that person didn’t say “I love you” back? But without risk, there are no rewards. I wouldn’t have grown as a person or experienced the great relationships I’ve had without taking a risk on love.
Starting over is a risk. I’m not going to lie to you about that. (Just ask Andy, Jessica or Bill.) But I want you to rethink how you feel about risks and understand that there are many, many risks in life that are worthwhile. It’s the risks that can lead you down a new path, and it’s the risks that can lead to endless rewards (or at least a worthwhile learning opportunity.)
In fact, without risks, your confidence will stall. Confidence is built one risk at a time, whether it’s successful or not. It’s taking the risk that gives you the confidence you need to take more risks.
Learn how taking risks can actually be a good thing—and often a necessary step in reaching your goals. In my article How Taking Risks Can Lead You to a Better Life, I share real-life examples of risks that lead to positive outcomes and strategies to move past your risk-averse instincts.
Oh, and be sure to check out my risk-building course inside Fearless You called Stretch, Risk or Die. (No, you will not die. Promise! 😊)
5. Be Willing to Make a Change
Lastly, I want to cover a point that I discuss time and time again because it’s so, so, so, SO important.
Being willing is the most important aspect of making a change. No matter how many strategies, tips, and real-life stories I provide you, you won’t be able to start fresh and make progress on the life you want to live until you are willing.
It doesn’t matter how many times I or someone else in your life tells you what you “should” be doing; it won’t do you any good unless you are willing.
Are you willing to show up for yourself every day?
Are you willing to do the best you can?
Are you willing to take a few calculated risks in order to turn your life around?
Are you willing to go on an intense but worthwhile journey to find a fresh start?
The great news is you don’t have to take the journey alone. The Fearless Living community is filled with individuals just like you who are committed to progress and lifelong learning.
Star Over With Fearless Living
If you’re ready for a fresh start, my 10-week Fearless Living Training Program (FLTP) can help you start over, one small step at a time. It’s designed to crack the secret code to fear—the fear that’s been following you for your entire life. I’m talking about all of the fears that are keeping you from making the fresh start you so desperately want.
With Fearless Living, you’ll learn how to prioritize your own needs, build new habits, live life to the fullest, maintain boundaries, and find self-fulfillment. Plus, we have a community of like-minded individuals that will be there for you no matter what. Getting started is only a click away.
Want access to it all? The Fearless Living Training Program lives inside Fearless You, where you can access my Starting Over course and my risk building course, Stretch, Risk or Die. All three are right inside Fearless You. If you’re serious about starting over, join me.
What is mentorship, and do life coaches need it?
When Coaches ask me if they need mentorship for professional development, I always say ABSOLUTELY! Of course you need a good mentor to grow your coaching business! It’s one of the best ways to uplevel your coaching, build up your skills, and gain constructive feedback.
Unfortunately, the mentoring process still isn’t popular in coaching curriculums. Though therapists need an average of 2,500 supervised hours to get their license, mentorship only plays a minor role in most coaching programs.
When I developed the Fearless Living Life Coaching Certification Program (LCCP), I made a promise to myself: mentorship would be an integral part of the program and everyone would receive it.
So, what is mentorship? In this article, I’ll answer that question, discuss how a good mentoring relationship works, and why all life coaches should seek mentors.
What Is Mentorship? How It’s Different From Coaching
First, let’s get one thing out of the way. A coaching mentor shouldn’t be the same person as your personal life coach. In a professional setting, a coaching mentor is someone who has a more advanced role and can share their experience in a way that supports your growth.
Mentoring experiences can help you progress faster in just about any field because mentoring enables you to gain wisdom from someone who has already achieved what you want to achieve. In the coaching world, this often means getting supervision from a Master Coach who can answer your questions and support you through confusing moments with your clients.
A healthy relationship between a mentee and mentor should have a few distinctive traits:
- Mentorship is based on mutual respect. Even though the mentor is more senior, they take the mentee seriously and don’t look down on them.
- The mentorship provides opportunities for mutual learning. When an expert and beginner come together, they can both benefit from the mentoring relationship.
- The mentorship is constructive. A good mentor is someone who provides a balance of support and constructive feedback.
- The mentorship is focused. A mentor is dedicated to supporting you in becoming a more skilled and confident Coach.
If all of that sounds a bit like coaching, it’s because the two aren’t that far off. However, there are a few important differences between life coaching and mentorship.
- Depending on a client’s goals, coaching can be short-term or long-term. Mentorship is a long-term relationship focused on the mentee’s personal growth and career development.
- In coaching, it’s often assumed that the Coach leads the way. In the mentoring process, it’s up to the mentee to take initiative, asking questions and sharing their innermost thoughts.
- While great Coaches are not directive, mentors can give you feedback since they are devoted to supporting you in acquiring the coaching skills necessary to succeed.
Learn more about what a Life Coach does specifically in my article: What Is a Life Coach and What Do They Do?
Let’s dig deeper into why a supportive mentor is so important to becoming a Life Coach.
Why a Mentor Is Crucial to Your Professional Development as a Coach
One thing you should keep in mind as a beginner Coach is this:
You don’t know what you don’t know.
After you receive training as a Coach and learn the basics, you may fall for the trap of thinking you already know everything you need to. It’s a common phenomenon called the Dunning-Kruger effect. It means that in the early stages of the learning curve, people tend to overestimate how much they know. When they get more experience, they start realizing there’s still much more to learn.
This is why I believe a mentor is essential to your development, especially over the course of your first 100 coaching hours—an experienced individual who’s been where you are and can quickly point out both your strengths and weaknesses as a Coach. They can answer questions that you’d otherwise take months or even years to fully understand.
A good mentor will help you achieve your career goals faster. For example, if you record your coaching sessions and analyze them with your mentor (with your client’s expressed consent, of course!), you can gain valuable feedback on your coaching method from someone who’s been doing it for years.
So, how do you know what to look for in a good mentor? And if you want to become a mentor, what traits are the ones to strive for?
Traits of a Good Mentors
To help you advance your coaching practice, it’s best if your mentor has at least a few years more coaching experience than you do. But effective mentoring isn’t just about how senior the mentor is in relation to the mentee.
It’s also about the kind of person a Coach is. Your mentoring experience will depend on whether your mentor is passionate about the process and committed to helping you become the best that you can be.
1. Mentors Are Role Models
There’s a popular saying: “Only take advice from people you’d trade places with.” A mentor is someone you look up to and someone who inspires you—not just someone with a few more years of experience on the job.
They’re more than an experienced Coach; in terms of their values, they’re the kind of person you aspire to be. Effective mentoring depends on how a mentee relates to their mentor and how inspired they are by them.
2. Mentors Deliver Constructive Feedback
Folks, as you know, not everyone is willing to tell it like it is. Some people are too afraid to hurt your feelings by providing feedback that isn’t 100% positive—and these people don’t make the best mentors.
Delivering feedback in a kind, compassionate manner is an art. Look for someone who knows how to be direct while maintaining mutual respect in the mentoring relationship. Your mentor must be able to be able to speak to you about your strengths and weaknesses constructively.
3. Mentors Are Good Listeners
There’s much to be said about the value of active listening in every area of your life. But when you’re getting mentored as a Life Coach, it’s even more important.
Without active listening, the mentor can’t empathize with you and recognize how your path is different from theirs. Someone who isn’t really listening may tell you to follow their exact path instead of empowering you to find your own path.
How do you recognize if they’re really listening? Here’s a trick. After you share something, pay close attention to whether they respond to what you said or just continue their monologue. It’ll soon become clear if they’re actually listening or just thinking of what they’ll say next.
4. Mentors Share Their Knowledge and Experience
Effective mentoring depends on how eager your mentor is to share their knowledge. Some people are more generous than others in this respect.
If your mentor is guarding a part of their knowledge for fear you might use it to compete with them, that’s not a good sign. Look for someone who’s secure enough to share what they know. This won’t just help you pick their brain, it’ll also signal you’re dealing with an emotionally mature person.
How to Find Your Mentor
Finding the right mentor is where most people get stuck, which is understandable. After all, how are you supposed to find the exact right person? Someone you get along with who can also help you with your career goals?
To be honest, establishing a good mentoring relationship often requires a lot of trial and error. There will be people you click with, and people who you just don’t connect with. It’s unlikely that a mentor is going to find their way to you. Put in the time to get to know people, seek new connections, and network within the coaching community.
An alternative to formal mentoring relationships is peer-mentoring. However, I see the most benefits when a mentor has more experience than you, as opposed to someone at your level. In fact, peer mentoring is more like getting advice from a friend rather than a seasoned professional.
You don’t have to be a beginner coach to benefit from mentorship. If you’re ever at a crossroads in your practice or keep encountering the same issues as a coach, you can search your professional network for experienced individuals you can learn from.
There’s one answer that’s a lot more simple than searching for a mentor on your own. Choosing a coaching certification that features a mentoring program as part of the curriculum can save you a lot of time and get you matched with a passionate mentor right away.
Find Your Coaching Mentor at LCCP
The Life Coaching Certification Program at the Fearless Living Institute is exactly that. While few other programs offer mentorship within their training (and it’s usually not more than three hours), I made it a point to place mentoring at the forefront of our coaching education.
In LCCP, we include 75 hours of supervised coaching with real clients. That’s more than 25x the nearest certification program offers. All those supervised hours are included in the tuition because I believe mentorship is a crucial component of the coaching path.
Our mentors will help you:
- Identify where you can improve as a Coach
- Acknowledge the natural strengths of your coaching and learning style
- Help you get unstuck when you don’t know how to deal with a client
- Ask thought-provoking questions to raise your self-awareness as a Coach
- Be your greatest advocate while you grow your confidence
Of course, LCCP offers much more than mentorship. If you’re wondering whether this is the right program for you, take this short quiz to help you decide.
Being open-minded is the key to flexibility, resilience, and peace of mind. And too many of us, whether we realize it or not, are not very open-minded. In fact, when other ideas challenge our existing beliefs, we can act like pretty close-minded people.
Do you think you’re open-minded? Let’s see…
Get ready to raise those hands! 🙋🏼♀️
Do you ever find yourself thinking you know how to do something better than someone else?
Are there any foods you just don’t like, and no matter what, you will not try them again? (I think of me and olives. Hated them for years, but I love them now.)
Have you ever been in an argument in which you just couldn’t—or refused to—see the other person‘s side no matter how hard you tried?
Have you ever avoided trying something new or getting outside of your comfort zone for fear of making a mistake or looking silly?
Are you convinced you’re smarter and more knowledgeable than the leaders who are supposed to know the most?
If someone walks away from you, do you find yourself following them throughout the house or down the street because you’re still trying to prove your point, even if they don’t want to hear it?
Do you refuse to travel, not because you’re afraid to, but because you don’t want to experience a different culture or be surrounded by people that are not like you?
Do you wish there were more people like you but are completely convinced no one will understand you?
Do you think one political party, either “democrats” or “republicans,” are crazy or stupid? What about spiritual versus religious? Yep, when you judge people and justify it by saying you’re right, you’re not being open-minded.)
🙋🏼♀️ I’m definitely guilty of some of those for sure! How about you?
If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, you’ve come to the right place. Today we’re going to talk about the importance of having an open mind, examples of being open-minded, and strategies to become more open-minded.
Why Is It Important to be Open-Minded?
Being an open-minded person affects every single relationship you have. It affects the strength of your relationships. It affects your ability to be an effective manager. It affects how you handle new situations. And open-mindedness affects your willingness to show up for yourself.
Without an open mind, you can’t grow. And in time, this causes you to become stuck—stuck in bad habits, stuck in a cycle of needing to control everything and everyone, and stuck in a very small, lackluster, isolated, lonely life you’re just not happy with.
What is an open-minded person called? A whole lot of adjectives worth striving for! Open-minded people are seen as approachable, observant, tolerant, accepting, impartial, broad-minded, interested, perceptive, unbiased, and understanding.
As a parent, sibling, manager, entrepreneur, best friend, and more—do those qualities matter to you?
An open mind is the antidote to fear. At Fearless Living, an open mind is one of the most important things to bring with you. How can you cast away those incorrect beliefs that say “I can’t” if you don’t open your mind to the world? An open mind replaces fear with possibility. Instead of being afraid of what’s around the next corner, you can be curious and embrace wonderment about what’s ahead.
Having an open mind will help you live a more fulfilling, happy, and healthy life, all while being someone the people around you respect and admire.
What is an Example of Being Open-Minded?
Examples of being open-minded can be both large and small, from being open-minded about other people’s opinions and beliefs to being open-minded about trying a food you’ve never had before.
Let’s get into some real-life examples.
Let’s say your teenager or 20-something has a passion for travel that you just don’t understand. They want to travel the world, but what’s wrong with right here? What’s wrong with being close to your family? Why do they want to be so far away from you?
Now, if you don’t keep an open mind, you might close yourself off to the idea of travel altogether. Your grown child’s dreams don’t align with yours, so how can you relate to them? Why even try when you’re clearly so different?
But keeping an open mind allows you to remember that everyone is different—and that’s perfectly okay!
Our differences are what create opportunities for love, vulnerability, and transparency. Instead of distancing yourself from the people you love, an open mind means every difference is a learning opportunity. Maybe travel isn’t for you, but you can still engage with your kid by having themed dinners to learn more about the various foods of the world. You may not end up liking it, but your mind is open to the possibility, and this openness will help you learn more about your family and build stronger relationships with the people you love.
Are you asking yourself, “how can I be open-minded” yet? Let’s look at an example from the workplace.
Let’s say your coworker has an idea for a big project you’re working on together. But you don’t like their idea, and you’d rather go in another direction.
You could dismiss the idea in favor of your own, but that will degrade the relationship you have with your coworker, and since it’s your idea, you may have to put in even more work—and your schedule is packed as it is.
Instead, you could have an open mind and allow others to contribute to the project in their own way too. This means work is evenly distributed across the team, leaving you a little extra time for some much-needed self-love; plus, your coworker will feel both valued and heard. And hey—you never know. Their idea might turn out to be pure gold!
There are so many benefits of being open-minded both at home and at work. So, how do you become more open-minded, especially when you’ve been close-minded for so long?
How to Become More Open-Minded
1. Let Go of Some Control
First, you must accept that you can’t control everything. You are not the only one person in this big world, and you can’t take on everything yourself.
Whether at home or in the workplace, choose to give others the space to express their opinions and pursue their own ideas. Even if you think you “know” they will get it wrong, it’s important to let them try; otherwise, no one around you will ever have the opportunity to learn. And those you love will never feel seen, heard, cherished, or understood.
If your daughter is terrible at doing the dishes, it doesn’t mean you should take over that chore yourself. Be open to the way she does things, even if it’s not the way you would do it. Let her learn. You can offer guidance, but being upset that it isn’t being done the way you want doesn’t do anyone any good, and it will only breed resentment between the two of you. If you berate her for the way she washes the dishes, do you think she will feel safe coming to you when she has a bigger problem to solve?
On the work side of things, if you’re managing a team and you don’t trust them to carry out any tasks without your guidance, you’re what’s called a micromanager. What happens when you’re always looking over everyone’s shoulder? Your team will lose motivation and morale because they won’t be able to take ownership over any of the work. And you’ll soon be completely burnt out because absolutely every piece of work needs to have your hands on it.
The whole point of having a team is to spread the work around. Just because someone might do something differently or not as fast as you doesn’t mean you need to control it.
By the way, I so know this one. I value excellence. I want everything to be done to the best of everyone’s ability. But for far too long, I didn’t take into account everyone’s best; instead, I compared their work to my best.
What’s so funny is one of my goals when I started in coaching in 1995 was to be a great business leader, a great boss. It took me a good twenty years to finally figure out how to do that. And, first and foremost, it took learning to be open-minded.
Case in point, I recently went away to the ocean for seven days for a long-needed vacation. I told my team no contact—I’m going to give myself a digital detox. As I watched the whales swim by my rented AirBnB and tried to forget about my work, my team was hard at work being better than ever. The first day back, my team announced I should go on vacation more frequently. I got the hint. Back off even more. 😂
To become open-minded, learn to give up some of your control. If I can do it, you can too.
2. Allow Yourself to Get It Wrong
Anyone here afraid of making a mistake? Anyone here afraid of getting an answer wrong? Anyone here afraid of looking silly?
Me too. I was so afraid of feeling stupid and looking like a failure that I didn’t ask a question ever in high school or college. When someone did raise their hand, I whispered under my breath, “stupid,” even though I may not have had the answer myself. Growing up, I was laughed and sneered at if I asked a question, so I learned real quick that asking questions was bad.
That was my fear of failure talking, and it’s a fear that’s super common. So many of us are paralyzed by a deep fear that we may fail—so much so that we stop trying altogether.
Learn more: How To Overcome Fear So It No Longer Controls You
In order to have an open mind, you must allow yourself to get things wrong. I know, I know, I know! It’s easier said than done. But if we stop failing, we stop learning, and if we stop learning, we stop living! I can tell you with absolute certainty that you will learn far more from getting things “wrong” than you will from not trying at all. (By the way, if you’re wondering, I am really good at asking questions now because taking risks and growing is more important to me than being right.)
We learn from our failures. We grow and we become even stronger because of them.
Take one small step in the right direction by going easy on yourself. The next time you get something “wrong”, instead of giving into embarrassment, trying to hide it, or engaging in negative self-talk, show yourself some compassion. I’ve learned to laugh at myself in a loving and not sarcastic way. Then I pat myself on the back for putting myself out there.
Allow yourself to get things “wrong”, and take every failure as a learning opportunity.
3. Work With Change Instead of Against It
Change is another incredibly common fear. Fear of change grounds us squarely in the past; it makes us scowl angrily from the sidelines while we watch the people around us learn to move forward and adapt with the times.
It’s hard to get over the outdated or incorrect beliefs handed down to us by our parents and society at large—especially when change comes so fast! You don’t have to agree with everything, and you don’t have to like every change that comes your way. All you need to do is keep an open mind. Instead of immediately saying “NO,” say, “MAYBE!”
One of my Certified Fearless Living Coaches, Jerilyn, always says no when I ask her anything, so now, we play a game together.
“Hey, Jerilyn, say no,” I say.
“What?” she replies.
“Say no,” I say with a huge smile on my face.
“Okay, no,” she usually says with her eyes rolling back in her head.
“Great, now that you got that no out , let me tell you my idea.”
And then we laugh. The jig is up. I see her. She feels seen. She may not say yes right away, or at all, but in that moment, I’m honoring her process, and that gives her time to open her mind to saying yes as well as no.
Keeping an open mind means learning to work with change instead of against it.
There’s no use fighting change because change is constant. It’s one of the few things we can actually count on in this life besides sunsets and taxes. Technology will advance, our careers will develop and change over time, our children will grow up (and so will we!), and the social norms we grew up with won’t stay the same. Everything, everything, everything changes!
The more you fight change, the more harm you do to yourself. The next time you encounter change, instead of immediately fighting against it, take a pause. I encourage you to take a few deep breaths and ask yourself some questions. Why are you fighting against this change? What would happen if you embraced it instead? What possible good could come of this change that didn’t occur to you immediately?
Aunt Dorris was over 80 years old when she got her first smartphone and learned to text with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was willing to change because she wanted to keep up with the times and because if she could text, communication was easier with those she loved. They reached out much more often, sharing photos, emojis, and love. Due to her willingness to change, she never felt lonely, even though she lived alone for many years.
To become more open-minded, accept change as a constant in life and do what you can to work with it instead of against it. If we learn to accept change as a simple fact of life, it can even become comforting. Change isn’t scary; change is reliable! Choose to be open to the possibilities that come with change; after all, change is on its way whether you like it or not.
Be like Aunt Dorris. ❤️
4. Embrace Our Differences
You are unique and beautiful and wonderful! That is the absolute truth! At the same time, your children are unique and beautiful and wonderful, your neighbor is unique and beautiful and wonderful, and that person you just met is also unique and beautiful and wonderful.
As humans, we are all different, and that’s what makes the world such an interesting and special place. It’s OK that you don’t think the same way as everyone else. We would never have new ideas or inventions or interesting conversations if we all thought the exact same way.
Be open-minded with yourself and how you live your life, but also remember to be open-minded about other people’s choices. Embrace our differences. This is the hardest to do when you’re in the middle of a debate or argument. How could the other person possibly have the opinion they have? As hard as it may be, be empathetic and understanding of where other people are coming from.
Reframe “how could they possibly think that?!?!?” into “Isn’t it interesting that they think that—I wonder why?” Ask questions and keep an open mind in order to get to know other people‘s points of view. People love love LOVE when you ask them questions about themselves.
To become more open-minded, embrace other people’s differences, and take time to hear other people‘s opinions (even if you disagree).
This is the way we will heal the world together.
Open Your Mind With Fearless Living
One of the core teachings we lead by in Fearless Living is to begin by being willing.
Being open-minded means you are willing.
Choose to be willing to start, willing to show up for yourself, and willing to do what you can when you can the best you can. The simple act of being willing will help you begin the process of opening your mind. And once you start to open your mind, the possibilities of your life will continue to grow.
You’ll love my 10-week Fearless Living Training Program. It’s based on decades of learning how to crack the secret code to fear, including those fears that keep you from being open-minded. With Fearless Living, you’ll gain insight into what your core fear is, learn how to work with your feelings instead of against them, and how to utilize an open mind for personal growth.
Are you willing to take this step for yourself? Let’s get started!
Uh-oh! I’m about to break all the rules. I said I would tell you how to motivate people, but I’m about to turn that concept completely upside down. Are you ready to learn the truth about motivation?
Time for the real truth: You can’t motivate someone else.
Sorry, I said it, but don’t worry. There are plenty of other ways you can guide your clientele to live the life their soul intended™, and here, I’ll give you a quick overview of how to use them.
As a Life Coach, it’s not your job to motivate. It’s to inspire people, support people, and hold them accountable when they need it.
Who am I to make these bold claims about human motivation? Rhonda Britten here. 👋🏻
I’ve been a professional Life Coach for over 25 years, starting at a time when the industry didn’t even exist. I created the Fearless Living Training Program based on decades of learning how to crack the secret code to fear. I also developed the Life Coach Certification Program (LCCP), which has been called The Ivy League of Life Coach Training.
Enough about me. You came here to learn how to motivate people—or, at least, encourage, guide, support, and hold people accountable. In this post, I’m going to share some lifelong insights into helping people become unstuck. The strategies I’ll share will help you bring long-term progress to your clients. Benefits that will far outlast simple motivation tactics! 😉
How To Motivate People: What Motivation Gets Wrong
Motivating someone is a temporary, short-term strategy, and we’re looking for long-term results. When someone is looking for motivation, they’re actually looking for something outside of themselves—an external source that will get them over procrastination, off the couch, and into their life. But in reality, what’s keeping them on the couch is much deeper and ingrained than a simple lack of motivation.
When someone thinks they have a lack of motivation, it means they are being held down by an invisible wall of fear. It’s their deep, core fear that’s holding them in place and keeping them stuck. My fear of failure kept me from getting an education and pursuing a career. I was afraid I wasn’t smart enough, that I would fail, and that it was ME who wasn’t good enough.
I didn’t need a little motivation to turn my life around. I need much more than that. I needed to understand where all of my doubts were coming from before I could reframe those excuses I told myself over and over again into potential.
Your clients won’t be able to access their passion, their purpose, their desire, their wants, and whatever else until they reframe their inner fears.
It takes personal acceptance, self-awareness, and practiced positive psychology for someone to reignite their passion and alter that all-too-human behavior. Oh, and a whole lot of hard work, too. The client has to want to make the change and want to put in their best effort.
You can’t be your client’s motivator. To achieve real success, human beings need their motivation to come from within. It must be intrinsic motivation (motivation that comes from inside) over extrinsic motivation (motivation that comes from outside.)
Extrinsic motivators are fine to get you to work on time, but they’re not going to help you break through the root of a behavior or thinking pattern. A client needs to be intrinsically motivated in order to spark real change and improve their wellbeing.
You are there to guide them on their journey and give them the tools to succeed. You will ask the right questions at the right time and inspire them to do what they can, when they can, the best they can.
Strategies That Produce Better Results
So now that I’ve told you what doesn’t work, I better tell you what does. I’ll share a few of my favorite pieces of advice for inspiring clients to break through that invisible—yet totally crippling—wall of fear.
Help Clients Identify What’s Keeping Them Stuck
Identifying your core fear, the invisible thing inside of you that’s keeping you stuck, is a key step to living a fearless life™. Help your clients figure out what it is inside them that’s really holding them back.
The first step to helping them identify their core fear is to encourage your clients to become aware of how they respond to fear. We call those fear responses. A fear response could show up as a fear of letting go, a fear of change, a fear of failure, or a fear of not being good enough.
There are so many different types of fear responses, but they all lead to the same problems. They keep you stuck. They keep you from putting yourself out there, from trying new things, from having healthy relationships, and from having faith in yourself. These fears say “you can’t succeed,” “You’re not smart enough,” “No one loves you,” or “You’re not good enough.”
Simply taking the first step of identifying your own fear responses brings relief and decreases stress and negative self-talk. Understanding how they drive you is an important step to keeping fear from sitting in the driver’s seat. And if you’re no longer listening to the fear that keeps you comfortable and stagnant, you’re closer to igniting your passion for growth.
Once your client realizes how they respond to fear through their fear responses, they can then unearth their core fear, the fear that is at the heart of all their fear responses. You are there to guide them, help them understand the power of their thoughts, and ask pointed questions that will help them progress. Help them unlock their core fear by asking about their expectations and excuses. What common complaints do they repeat over and over again? These complaints point to what they are actually afraid of.
“Complaining advertises your fears” – Rhonda Britten
When your client is willing to feel and face those tough feelings and deeply learn about themselves, that’s when the real change will happen. And that’s much stronger than any short-term motivator. Help clients get to the root cause of what’s holding them back by first helping them become aware of their fear responses. Next, help them identify the core fear that is the cause of them all. By working through this process, you will be able to fundamentally shift how they see themselves and the world around them.
This small point just barely dips our toes into the waters of my Fearless Living Training Program. If you haven’t already, sign up to learn about the power of the Wheel of Fear, including how cracking the secret code to fear can help you advance your coaching career. It will help you truly get to the root core of what’s holding your clients back.
Help Clients Build a Gratitude Journal
Gratitudes are so powerful—plus, they’re intrinsic. They provide positivity, motivation, and purpose from within. Help your clients understand the importance of gratitude and teach them how to reframe a complaint into gratitude.
A gratitude doesn’t have to be anything huge and meaningful. It can be simple, so long as it’s a specific gratitude. “I am grateful for the sun” is not specific, and it doesn’t recall a particular memory or positive emotions. WHY are you grateful for the sun? Did the sun make you warm when you were cold? Did the sun glisten on the petals of the flowers in your backyard this morning?
When we write gratitudes here at Fearless Living, we begin with:
Today, I am grateful for…
The key again is being specific. When you’re specific, you’re effortlessly rewiring your brain. As I always say, general gratitudes leads to a general, generic life. Being specific will shift the way you see the world because it changes your filtering system. So be specific for maximum impact.
To make the most of gratitude, ask your clients to contribute to their gratitude journal on a daily basis. Five gratitudes a day is best, but that may be difficult to begin with. Even one gratitude a day is a good start, and doing that action every day will make it a habit after a couple of months of practice.
Help Clients Set Intentions Over Affirmations
Affirmations have helped a lot of people, and if they’ve worked for you or your clients, that’s great news! But many people struggle to gain real-life progress from affirmations alone.
I spent years hoping one day my affirmations would materialize.
“I am in a happy, healthy relationship.”
“I am in a happy, healthy relationship.”
“I am in a happy, healthy relationship.”
It didn’t matter how many times I said those words, those words alone weren’t going to find me a meaningful relationship or get me over my own fear of commitment. Affirmations didn’t yield results. I was stuck looking outside myself when I needed to look inward. I needed to set real intentions.
Help your clients move away from the elusive magic of affirmations to real intentions that put them in control. Help them look inside themselves instead of outside.
The key words in an Intention Statement are WILLING and PRACTICE.
“I am WILLING to PRACTICE speaking better about myself around other people.”
“I am WILLING to PRACTICE letting go of being right all the time.”
“I am WILLING to PRACTICE being honest with myself and those around me.”
This proactive, empowering approach will get your clients to think about the change they want to see as only being possible by being accountable to themselves. It’s a process-driven approach that will lead to more meaningful results than affirmations or simple goal setting techniques.
Motivation is a word that’s tossed around a lot, and it’s big in the coaching industry. Yet, the idea of motivation fails to recognize the deeper layers behind why someone isn’t motivated in the first place. As a Life Coach, help your client discover the real reason they are lacking motivation. Only then will they be able to break free and manage the fears that are holding them back.
You’ll Learn So Much More From the Life Coaching Certification Program (LCCP)
My nine-month Life Coaching Certification Program (LCCP) is designed to help you become the Life Coach that everybody wants. It’s a comprehensive program with a monthly structure that can be completed while maintaining a full-time job, so you can fit it into your everyday life, no matter what you already have on the go.
What sets our program apart from other certifications is the real-life training we provide. Our coaching students receive 18 one-on-one mentoring sessions and 75 real client hours. We make sure you emerge confident and ready to begin your life coaching career with support to guide you as you set up your very own business. Check out our coaching perks, such as the Master Coach Mindset™ Podcast, and the Fearbuster Coaching™ Toolkit.
Take the first step towards achieving your certification, an important step that will bring you a little closer to a meaningful, fulfilling career.