Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Who Needs a Mind Coach?
It's not often that a relatively unknown tennis player beats seven top 20 opponents within 12 months. But that's what Johanna Konta has done. Having ranked 146th globally, this Sydney-born 24-year old is now all set to reach the top 40. Success like this doesn't come easy, and Konta later revealed that she had used a mind coach since October 2014. She was spending about two hours a week with Juan Coto, a former business consultant who helped her build the mental toughness needed to win.
Even hard-rocking band Metallica famously used Phil Towle, a personal enhancement coach seeking help when the band was falling apart in the early nineties. Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson, actress Nia Long, and singers Leona Lewis and Kelly Rowland have all used mind coaches to accelerate their success. Let's not forget Michael Jordan, Michael Phelps, and other elite athletes have all used mindset coaches to go from being the best in the world to becoming legendary.
The Rising Demand for Mind Coaches
Despite the financial crisis, demand for coaches is increasing. The International Coaching Federation (ICF) has seen a staggering 50% rise in membership in the last five years globally.
A leading happiness expert claims that a mind coach could be the missing link between you and success in terms of love, work, and money. Paul Dolan, a behavioral scientist at the London School of Economics and the author of Happiness by Design, says
"Just as people have been employing personal trainers to help them get fit and lose weight, similarly mindset training can help apply similar principles for achieving goals and success in life."
Behavioral science can explain the difficulty we have in sticking to the goals we have set ourselves. It seems our brains have two systems, one that governs the fast, automatic processes we do without even knowing we're doing them. And second, the slow, deliberate moves we make as we rationally think about them. Dolan adds, the trouble is you're making between two and 10,000 decisions each day, and your subconscious brain automatically makes most of them.
If you choose a coach wisely, he/she can intervene in these automatic 'habit loops' by giving you the small, practical, daily strategies to create new ones. A mindset training by a coach involves receiving feedback on when you're getting close to reaching your goals. And feedback is the key.
Most people know they need to set challenging but achievable goals and break them down into bite-sized chunks. But we also need feedback along the way. A mind coach can help you attain your objectives by giving you feedback on your micro wins. Although these goals may feel small in scale, they let you know you're on the right track.
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What's the Difference Between a Mindset Coach and a Therapist
Magdalena M. Nook, chief executive of the ICF says,
"Mind coaching is about the future, whereas the focus on psychotherapy is often on resolving difficulties that arise from the past."
Another main distinction is they manage your progress and accountability. According to Gill Fennings-Monkman, chair of the British Association of Counseling and Psychotherapy (BACP) coaching branch, 'Once the action plan is created, a coach can hold the client accountable for what he/she has agreed to do each day.'
A mind coach will use daily reminders, mindfulness practices, pictures on the fridge, or a 30-day journal outlining exactly how and when the client has worked on steps in the plan to achieve their goals.
As per the ICF figures from 2014, men were more likely to seek a coach's help for increasing their self-confidence, optimizing their work performance, and improving their business strategies than women. Fennings-Monkman says that though men might see the idea of having therapy as a sign of weakness, they'll be perfectly fine with the idea of seeing a coach for mindset training. This fact is because they may assume having therapy suggests they have deep problems.
Before hiring a coach, she further recommends asking about his/her qualifications, experience, and education. This is to steer clear of the pushy sales techniques that offer big promises or discounted courses. Choose a mindset coach carefully as the right one will definitely help you attain that elusive goal!
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