Here are 3 steps to share with your clients for separating shame and responsibility in order to generate the extraordinary results they desire in life.
When clients comes to you and they don’t have the results they want in their life, it’s important for us as coaches to help those clients understand that their current results didn’t just show up by accident.
The clients actually have a role in generating these results. It’s our job as coaches to help our clients understand that frankly, it’s only by taking responsibility for the results they’re experiencing that they can execute the power to shift those results.
But here’s the key: Taking responsibility doesn’t mean engaging in blame or shame.
And likewise, you can help your clients take responsibility without communicating blame or shame to them.
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What taking responsibility does not mean
Taking responsibility just means accepting that we have complete freedom in the response we give to any circumstance, situation or condition.
We don’t get to NOT create results.
The first thing to explain to a client to help them understand that they are responsible for the results in their life is that results happen no matter what.
Every one of us is always creating results just by breathing.
We have results in the areas of our health and wellness, our relationships, our vocations, our time and money freedom, and so on.
Our results come from the responses we have to the things going on around us.
For example, I may say to myself,
“You know what? I have made so many mistakes in my life, I don’t want to make another mistake. I’m just going to stay in bed today and put the covers over my head!”
And guess what the result is? I create is a day in bed with covers over my head!
I don’t get to not create results and neither does your client.
We have control over our responses to circumstances…
Now here’s the thing – your client has probably been trained to believe that when they experience undesirable results, they should feel bad about themselves or mad or blameful toward others.
But this doesn’t have to be the case, because your client can choose how to feel in response to a particular result.
For example, most of us have been trained to believe that if we get fired from a job, that’s a horrible thing and our response should be to get mad or upset about it, or to get down on ourselves.
The problem with defaulting to feelings of shame or blame in a situation is that doing so actually victimizes us.
A client will often believe that the source of a problem they’re experiencing is outside of themselves, and this is what creates the blame and shame they get stuck in.
Now there are plenty of circumstances we don’t get to control.
We certainly don’t get to control the weather!
But we do always have control over our responses to what’s going on in our life.
It’s only by taking responsibility for our own responses to things that we gain the power to operate at a different frequency and generate different, better results.
3 steps for taking responsibility for without heaping on blame or shame
1. Help your client neutralize their results
If a client expresses to you that there’s a result in their life that they’re unhappy with, your job in this situation is to help them neutralize the result.
No matter what, it’s just a result.
It isn’t inherently good or bad, it’s neutral. It’s just a result.
Taking the emotion out of a result helps a client see it more objectively in order to make different, better choices.
When you help your client neutralize a result, they can take ownership of it without spiraling into feeling bad about themselves.
2. Help your client personalize their responses to results
This step involves you helping your client see that they are the person who gets to choose a response to a particular result.
Maybe your client is saying something to the effect of,
“This is a horrible thing happening right now, and it’s going to take me years to get over!”
You can help them shift their thinking to something more along the lines of,
“You know what? This isn’t what I wanted but I’m a quick learner! I’m going to take what I’ve learned and choose to move forward quickly!”
Personalize the power your client has to choose how they respond to a result and they’ll be able to move on and generate different results more efficiently.
3. Help your client realize their inner power
Remind your client that there is a power within them that’s far greater than any circumstance, situation or condition they will ever find themselves in – that they are more than anything that has happened in the past.
By taking responsibility for their internal weather, not the storm outside of themselves that they can’t control, they’ll be better able to move forward.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said,
“All the water in the world can’t drown you unless it gets inside of you.”
The world may seem chaotic and challenging at times, but if your client lovingly embraces the power within themselves, they’ll find it much easier to generate the results they desire.
Shame and responsibility are contradictory mindsets.
It’s okay to want different results in life, but shaming and blaming ourselves or others for the results we do have is actually counterintuitive to changing them!
To take full responsibility for the quality of our lives means doing so objectively and compassionately, without coming down to hard on ourselves or shaking our fists at our external circumstances.
A great life coach reminds their clients of the importance of taking responsibility, and a willing and open-minded client will be astounded at the results they generate by means of doing so!
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