5 Coaching Success Principles to kick butt at work and in life

If you want to feel fulfilled in life, follow these success principles and you will be well on your way to kicking butt!

These coaching success principles come from behavioural psychology research and were first used by sports psychologists for professional athletes.  Get a competitive edge by using them in your professional or personal life.

1.  What you focus on is what you get

Our unconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between fact and fiction. This is why professional athletes will often visualise themselves making the winning shot or winning the race before they start.

It might sound a little woo-woo, but what we tell ourselves, think about and focus on is what we get. That doesn’t mean if you focus on something without taking action and putting in the effort, it will magically appear. But if you’re focusing on what you don’t have, what you are lacking, then this steers your unconscious mind towards these things, impacts your vibe and you will find you attract situations that sabotage your success. 

I had a coaching session with a business owner and she was having issues with sales calls.  She really hated doing them, felt like she had to defend herself with potential clients and went in with the mindset that she had to try really hard to get sales. In our session, we covered a number of strategies to address this, one of them being for her to write down all the benefits she could provide to her clients through her service and read them before she made her sales calls. That week after our session, she signed up six new clients (the most she had signed up!) 

Are your thoughts supporting your goals, or are they going against them? Focus on why you will succeed, focus on your strengths and how you will feel when you achieve your goal.

A practical way to do this is when you catch youself saying negative “what ifs…” to yourself (e.g. “what if” I don’t get the promotion, “what if” having my own business doesn’t make enough money, “what if” this relationship doesn’t work) swap this to “imagine if” xyz went right/was a success/happened.

2. Continually expand your belief of what is possible (i.e. boundary conditions)

It’s a natural survival instinct for our mind to be cautious of new things. So instead of taking a massive leap, start doing gradual things that move you toward where you want to go. Maybe you know your job isn’t right for you but you don’t know what work you should be doing that uses your strengths and passions. Start trying things on the side, for example attending networking events in your area of interest, taking short courses or talking to someone who is in the industry. The more action you take, the more clarity you get. 

Constantly learn, try new things, read, go to new events and have a thirst for knowledge.  Question your beliefs – is this belief serving me, helping me grow or moving me in the right direction? It can help to have a support person who you trust to bounce ideas off.

3. Live above the line

Do you take responsibility for what happens in your life, or are you blaming external events on other people?

When you focus on what you can control in a situation, this makes you feel empowered and enables you to take accountability for what you can do to improve the situation. We have a choice in how we react to situations and blaming outside sources takes this power away and can make you feel stuck or like a victim. This isn’t helping you to achieve the outcomes you want.

4. There is no such thing as failure, only feedback

School teaches us that it’s not okay to make mistakes. Actually, the most successful people are the ones who have failed the most. 

You may have heard the Michael Jordon quote, which really epitomises this principle: ‘I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.’

The more you take action and give things a go, the faster you learn and the better you get.

5. The map is not the territory

Everyone has their own map of the world, the way we interpret things, the way they look at things. You can have two people see the same situation and interpret it completely differently. This is such an important thing to learn for the success of your relationships with other people, whether it be in business or your personal life.

The reason relationships work is either because two people have a similar map of the world, or two people have the empathy and emotional intelligence to work to understand each other’s map of the world. Just because you have a different map to someone else, doesn’t mean your map is the territory (i.e. the ultimate truth). The other person’s map is their reality, and their truth.