Wow! If I had only known that as a child! The formula for my life was very different: “You are such an idiot.” (Complements of my unaware Dad) + “She’s not educational material.” (Complements of my 1st grade teacher) = An ordinary life with a potential of 3 inches off the ground if I was lucky!

Add to that my dad’s feelings about the “country bumpkin” in my mother’s family. He said (not in a loving way) often, “You can take those people out of the country, but you can’t get the country out of them.” I stayed with my Mamaw every summer in the backwoods of Arkansas, just around the bend from where Bear Bryant grew up. Upon return home, I heard disparaging comments all about how I became a country bumpkin over the summer.

(By the way, even though I don’t live in the country now, I am proud that you can’t take “country” out of my heart!)

If I had only had a Life Coach… If only my brain had been trained correctly …  If only someone had told me the sky was my limit … If only the key people in my life had known this!

You are the key in many people’s lives. The information I want to deposit deep in your heart today will not only make a major difference for YOU … but also for the people you influence (like your children, young or adults, your spouse, your friends, your family, the people you work with, and the people you spend time with.)

Think about it … your future is being built by the programming in your brain and by the people who influence you … and many lives are being influenced by you!

What a powerful thought. Lives are in our hands, even if only for moments each day. And our lives may be in the hands of others, if only for a few moments each day. And for far too many of us, our lives are in the hands of news, TV or radio, news talk shows, Netflix, or social media.

So who needs a Coach? Most of us! And before you retort with: “I just don’t have the funds …” let me help you become your own Coach. I know research says that even highly effective Coaches are not nearly as effective with themselves as they are with others. But research also says that those who “Coach themselves” are at least 25% more successful and fulfilled than those who do not even strive to Coach themselves.

I love training and certifying Life Coaches, but I always stress to my students the importance of learning to Coach yourself as well as Coaching others. Of course, having a Coach is even more effective, but you can increase your own success and fulfillment by practicing on yourself as well!

Let’s look at both of the components:

  1. A well-trained brain
  2. Coaching that helps you to embrace the sky as the only limit

First, you must recognize that your brain is already trained. By whom? How was it trained? When was it trained? What should I be doing to train or retrain it? GREAT QUESTIONS! I’m glad you asked!

Your brain began its training in the womb and has continued until this moment. And if you are reading this with an open mind, I will be doing minor training or retraining of your brain in my few moments with you.

Brain training is done by parents, siblings, teachers, sports Coaches, clergy, extended family. Actually, by anyone you were exposed to. But as indicated above, brain training is also done by media of all types. Scary in a way.

As I teach in “Life Coaching 101: Designing An Extraordinary Life,” you have an “Owners Manual” that was installed on the hard drive in your brain by age 7 or 8. It contained your beliefs, your values, your views and perceptions. It contained full programming that would affect and direct your destiny. For some of us, that was awesome brain training, for some of us it might be frightening!

It was modified throughout your life by your experiences: the more intense the experiences, the greater and deeper the edits and modifications (or grooves in the DVD of your life). The modifications and edits have occurred every waking moment until this very second. My hope is that I can help you take a look at that manual (that you likely don’t even know exists). Not only to look at it but to intentionally make your own edits to align with your purpose, your calling, your desires.

In a Coaching session a few months ago, I helped a young man deal with guilt that consumed him. He had done some good reading on the matter, yet guilt ran his life. It seemed to him that everything that happened that had any negative impact was his fault. This created huge anxiety and required anxiety medication. He was paralyzed by questions about what he “should” say, “should not” say, “should” do, “should not” do. He said, “I just can’t stop the madness!”

I asked him, “What happened in your family as a child if someone made mistakes?” He explained that if you apologized profusely, accepted all responsibility, and vowed to do better, that then, and only then, did you receive approval from your Dad.


His Owner’s Manual said:

If you feel guilty and apologize profusely, accept all responsibility, and vow to do better … you will be rewarded with your Dad’s approval!

I already knew the answer to the follow-up question: “How else could you get your Dad’s approval?” He paused before responding: “No other way, I guess?”

And I already knew the answer to the next question: “How important was that approval to you?” He teared up before responding quietly: “The most important thing in my life.”

This was not an opportunity to “bash Dad,” because likely, Dad was doing the best he knew to do with his own dysfunctional “Owner’s Manual.” The opportunity was not about his Dad’s Manual.  It was about changing his Owner’s Manual.

I posed a question that created an “ah-ha moment” for him:

“What if your Dad unknowingly wrote in your Owner’s Manual that: ‘If you feel guilty and grovel, I’ll give my approval. And without it, you are going to feel very inadequate, insecure, and unsuccessful? So make sure you are adequately guilty and prepared to grovel at all times’?”

His response was not uncommon, “He’s been gone 10 years now, and I’m still living for his approval in order to feel adequate, secure, and successful … and that requires constant guilt! OMG!”

I Coached him as we worked together to edit that part of his Owner’s Manual and retrain his brain. Earlier this week, I received a text from him that said, “Major positive changes have visited me after we rewrote and installed edits to the guilt/approval part of my Owner’s Manual, including my doctor discontinuing my anxiety meds. I have three more things I think I need to edit. Can we do one more together, so I can learn to do it myself?” I was delighted at his result and excited that he wants to learn some things about Coaching himself.

What areas are you struggling with? Choose one at a time, then repeat the process (that I taught this young man, and as I train my Coaching students) with each area of struggle.

You can Coach yourself. In three steps:

  1. Identify what your Owner’s Manual says about that part of your life. Ask yourself some key questions:
  2. When I was young, what did my family say or do with the thing I’m struggling with?
  3. What life experiences have I had in this area?
  4. If I could magically choose how to handle what I am struggling with differently, what would I choose?
  5. Is that different from how my family handled these things?
  6. Which do I prefer?
  • Decide what changes would make the outcome closer to what you desire. Answer these questions:
  • What do you want in this area of your life?
  • What hurdles or other entries were made in your Owner’s Manual?
  • Does that entry serve you and propel you to your purpose?
  • What modifications/edits need to be made?
  • How have I reinforced that entry?
  • What do I need to say “yes” to, and what do I need to say “no” to in order to stop enabling that entry that is detaining me?
  • Install new entries in your Owner’s Manual. Do these activities:
  • Write old entries you wish to remove or edit on a piece of paper.
  • Destroy it (rip it up, jump on it, burn it).
  • Write the new entries down (or print them).
  • Read them aloud daily with intensity and energy (jump up and down, do it while running on the treadmill, get active!)
  • Repeat for 77 days.

Yes, it takes time, and it requires discipline. The rewards?

  • Your brain is retrained
  • Your struggle is gone
  • Your fulfillment and success is increased

That is training your own brain.

DO that exercise over and over when you experience roadblocks, disappointments, or setbacks. Within a matter of months, your brain will be trained to handle life’s challenges better.

You will stop settling for mediocre!

I am a big believer in a life of abundance. And yes, I believe in financial abundance. But I am speaking of far more than just finances. I believe in the abundance of joy, peace, love, fulfillment, and contribution.  I believe in abundance that will propel you toward your purpose.

But your brain will only go where you train it to go.

In my personal experience, my Dad often called my sister, my Mother and me “idiots.” My sister somehow had an entry in her Owner’s Manual that said, “My Dad is the idiot here, and I’ll just laugh at him and show him who’s who.” And she did! I envied it as a child. My precious Mother had an entry in her Owner’s Manual that said, “I’ll let you believe that because I’m scared to tell you differently, but I am smarter than you think!” Sad to say, the entry in my Owner’s Manual was: “I am not smart at all, and I’d better just figure out a way to end up with someone smart enough to make a living because I’m not.”

Another major edit occurred when I went through a divorce and had to become a waitress to support myself. I didn’t even know anything about Owner’s Manuals, much less Coaching. But thankfully, I heard a message one Sunday called: “I Can Do ALL Things.’

I sat there amazed. I wondered: “If that’s true, and I could actually get an education (as an idiot) … and get a career doing what I’ve always wanted to do (counseling) … how different would my life be?” I dared to dream about what my Owner’s Manual said. A major edit began to take place … against all odds. (Thank you, God!)

I began reading a book about a King named David who reigned millennia ago. At one time, he was hiding in a cave and was journaling about his life.  

He said, “I have confidence that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

I don’t know what that really meant, but I knew the interpretation for me was, “I am confident that some good things can happen for me.”

I knew I was not king, but I knew that when he was a kid, he would take lunch to his brothers in battle, and they would say things like: “What are you even here for? What do you know?” Almost like they were calling him an “idiot.” This story was immediately real for me.

For me, I never thought I would become a queen or a king, but I thought if his family said all of that stuff and he became a king, maybe I could get an education, despite being labeled an “idiot” by my own dad. Then I remembered what my first grade teacher said about me not being education material. I considered that perhaps she was just an old grouch. How did she know? I smiled, thinking what it would feel like to send her a photo of me with a Bachelor’s Degree. (See, at the moment, I thought a Master’s Degree was way out of my reach. And NEVER, EVER dreamed I could earn a Doctoral Degree!)

It was enough reprogramming to inspire me to apply for, and complete a Bachelor’s degree with an outstanding GPA!

Unknowingly, I had begun training my brain and having great results. Even though I didn’t quite know what I was doing at the time.

But what about the Coaching? Why do I wish I had a Coach?

Let’s start with one of the common definitions of what a Coach is:

  • A person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges.
  • A person whose job is to improve the quality of his or her client’s life, by offering advice on professional and personal matters, such as career, health, and personal relationships.
  • A Life Coach is a type of wellness professional who helps people make progress in their lives in order to attain greater fulfillment. 

Those are all accurate definitions and part of what I train all Coaches to do. But if I had to define Coaching in seven words or less, I would say this:

“They transform your belief in what is possible.”

This brings us to another important part of our Owner’s Manual: sometimes, it’s hard to identify what we believe to be possible.

But all Coaches know that the sky is the limit! (Except, I train my Coaches that the sky is way too low! How about no limits all the way to the moon, to the sun, to the galaxies, to the heavens!)

Unfortunately, because of my debilitating fear as a child and teenager, I emerged as a young adult believing that very little was possible. 

AND, unfortunately, I also emerged with an equally crippling related belief: “And there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it!“

If I had had a Coach reminding me that anything was possible, the course of my life may have been significantly different.  

What do you believe is possible? Do you believe you could accomplish and do well in whatever you set your mind to do? Do you believe that there is a plan for your life that is good? That will not harm you? That will bring you success? That will prosper you? Do you believe you have great purpose? That you have a legacy to leave?

If not, I hope you will find someone who can Coach you in believing all things are possible. 

As for me, my moment began by listening to the message that I referenced in the beginning of this blog. I dared to believe it was possible for me to graduate from college. It wasn’t until then that I dared to believe that I could make an effort at graduate school. Hello!!

It wasn’t until I was writing my master’s thesis that I dared to believe I could also write a dissertation and earn a doctoral degree. It wasn’t until then that I believed I could open a private practice and make a difference.

It wasn’t until my private practice was flourishing that I believed I could open an inpatient and outpatient treatment center.

It wasn’t until then that I believed I could train and certify Life Coaches, Health Coaches, Relationship Coaches, Executive Coaches.  And, that all these Coaches could catch the vision and carry the legacy forward.

It wasn’t until then that I believed I could begin offering digital courses and writing blogs that would spread the opportunity to believe all things are possible to amazing people like you!

Examine your Owner’s Manual. Retrain your brain.  Believe all things are possible. Get a Coach to help you with your belief!

Your life will become extraordinary, your influence will become amazing, and you will be more fulfilled than you ever dreamed!