[00:00:05] Kim Ades:
Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching™ and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast. Today is Fridays with Ferne. My daughter comes onto the show and shares with us a challenging case.
[00:00:21] Ferne Kotlyar:
Hello! It's always a pleasure to be here. Thank you for having me.
[00:00:25] Kim Ades:
Of course! So what do you have today? What is the case that you want us to work on?
[00:00:30] Ferne Kotlyar:
All right. So today this case is about a woman named Sabrina. Now, sabrina's in her late 20s. She's done pretty well in life, you know, passed her undergrad with flying colors, top of the class, dean's honor list, tons of awards and acclamations. She finished her Master's at a very high end university. She got her first job, pays pretty well.
The thing is that Sabrina is chronically dissatisfied. She does all these crazy things, you know, really impressive, especially for someone her age. But she looks on LinkedIn, she looks on Facebook and she sees all the people around her and says "wow. I'm not doing that. I'm not good enough because I haven't accomplished these things. Look at all the people around me".
And she constantly has these crazy goals. She achieves them, accomplishes them, and then once she passes them, she feels happy for a day or two, and then moves on to the next thing and never feels happy with where she's at. And she feels, honestly, a bit lonely and a bit lost because she's trying so hard and yet doesn't feel good enough.
And so, how do we move Sabrina from this place of constantly not feeling good enough and chronic dissatisfaction into a place of peace?
[00:01:54] Kim Ades:
So, Sabrina is very much like almost all the clients I work with. And let me stop for a minute and describe the kind of people we work with, because she sounds so much like the people I encounter every single day.
So typically these are people who are very, very highly driven. They have massive goals they want to achieve. They want to make a big difference in the world. They are people who want all the greatest things that life has to offer. A nice home, a good salary, or even more than a salary, an outstanding salary or an outrageous salary. They want to travel, they want to have an amazing relationship, they want great abs. They want all the things that life has to offer.
And at the same time they have a feeling of dissatisfaction. They feel like they're never quite where they ought to be. They feel like they're behind the eight ball. They're not maximizing their potential. There's so much more in them and they have no idea how to do that. And they also feel like people around them don't quite understand that urge for success and that need to achieve.
And so that sounds like Sabrina, right?
[00:03:08] Ferne Kotlyar:
Sounds pretty accurate.
[00:03:09] Kim Ades:
Right. So here's the thing that... we love people who achieve things. We love people who want to make a difference in the world and who do achieve outstanding goals. However, as a coach, the fact that you're achieving a goal is wonderful and great, but it doesn't necessarily tie to your level of happiness or satisfaction in life.
And so when you're describing Sabrina, she's happy for a day and then she goes back and she basically, it sounds like "what's next?" She's on this cycle on a rollercoaster and it's hard for her to get off. And so for her, for someone like Sabrina, she ties her value, her self-worth to her achievements, and she's doing a lot of comparing of herself to others in the world.
And so what she's really done is she's hooked or hinged her happiness, her level of satisfaction on external factors. And so what we want to teach someone like Sabrina is that your happiness has nothing to do with your accomplishments or your goal attainment or anything. It has all to do with the story you're telling about what you're achieving and what you're not achieving.
And so the way we think fundamentally has an impact on the way we feel. And the way Sabrina's thinking in her case, it's cyclical. She's thinking "I'm only good if I achieve these goals. I'm only valuable if I'm better than, or on par with these people in the world".
And so that story that she's telling, that thinking pattern that she's engaged in is running her down, is exhausting her, is causing that chronic dissatisfaction. And so we want to separate... give me one second. We want to separate her achievements from the way that she thinks about her achievements.
We want to separate the way she thinks from everything she does and help her understand the relationship between her thinking about herself and her accomplishments and the people around her and the way she feels and give her ownership over that. 'Cause right now it seems like she's at the mercy of what's happening around her, what she's achieving and not achieving and what other people are doing and not doing.
And we want to give her control to decide how happy she wants to be.
[00:05:32] Ferne Kotlyar:
Interesting. And so you mentioned that we have to change her story or she has to change her story. And so, what story should she be telling?
[00:05:42] Kim Ades:
Well, I never want to use the word "should" when I coach, right? So it's not about what story should she be telling, it's what story is she choosing to tell? Right? And so right now, the story that she's choosing to tell is that if and only when, when and only if she achieves certain goals, then she's important, she's meaningful, she has value, she's worth it. Right? She has worth.
And that story keeps her trapped. That story creates chronic dissatisfaction. So there are a million other stories she could tell.
[00:06:21] Ferne Kotlyar:
[00:06:22] Kim Ades:
Like "I am valuable because I am a kind, loving, generous, caring person. I'm valuable because I am compassionate and spend time with my friends and my family members". And so she can tell a million different stories. And so what we really want to teach her is that she has choice and that she's tending to choose the story that causes her to be unhappy. And that is completely 100% in her hands and in her hands alone.
So we want to give her that control. We want to give her the ability to choose how she's interpreting what's happening around her. And right now her choice or the choices she's making is causing her to feel bad, and that's optional. So we want to teach her. And then we want to give her a little bit of practice so that she starts to develop the muscle of choosing stories that are more aligned with how she wants to feel.
[00:07:32] Ferne Kotlyar:
What kind of practice would you give her?
[00:07:35] Kim Ades:
Well, we would help her notice when she's feeling that dissatisfaction and we would help her kind of pull it apart and say "what is the story you're telling? Let's show you how you can trade up". It's a technique we use in coaching, which is telling a different story about what's happening here.
[00:07:54] Ferne Kotlyar:
Can you give us a little example of that?
[00:07:57] Kim Ades:
Well, I'll give you a good example, right? So... A lot of people believe in the concept of affirmations, right? You might look in the mirror and you might tell yourself something over and over and over again until finally you buy it. And I'm not a big fan of affirmations because that buying is difficult. Right?
So if I look in the mirror, for example, and I say to myself "your stunning, you're hot, you're amazing", the back of my mind won't necessarily believe it. Right? I'll be like "who are you kidding?" Right? And so that kind of affirmation isn't useful because what it actually does is create a greater distance between how I feel and how I want to be feeling.
And so what I encourage people to do is something called trading up, is to look at the mirror and choose a thought that is buyable. In other words, that I could really believe. So I might look in the mirror and say "you know? I look pretty good for my age". I could buy that. Right? I could believe that. That's not a thought that's so far, that's such a stretch for me.
And so we want to teach her some of the techniques we use in coaching to help her get to a better feeling place.
But in her case, another technique we might use is something we call pivoting. So when she's focused on "oh my God, I'm not good enough. Other people are rocking it and I'm behind", and all of that stuff, she's focusing on exactly what she doesn't want. And so we might say "hold on". When you notice that you're feeling out of control, when you're spinning, when you're dissatisfied, stop for a minute and say "hold on a minute, where am I focused?"
[00:09:55] Ferne Kotlyar:
But isn't she-- oh, sorry. Isn't she focused on what she does want because she wants what other people have?
[00:10:02] Kim Ades:
But does she really? I think what she really wants is to feel good about herself. And she thinks that having what other people have will bring her that satisfaction. But we know that it does for a minute and then she goes right back.
So what she really wants is to feel good about herself and what she's doing is using outside factors to help her feel good about herself. And we know that that's not sustainable, and we know that what really needs to work for her is that her thinking will create a better feeling experience for herself.
And so what we want to do is when we notice that she's heading down the wrong path, we want to teach her to stop for a minute and say "what do I want again? Oh yeah. I just want to feel better about myself" and help her turn in the other direction and help her pick up thoughts that lead her to a better feeling place.
[00:10:58] Ferne Kotlyar:
And this technique that you mentioned, that's called pivoting.
[00:11:01] Kim Ades:
Pivoting. Exactly. So we have lots of techniques that we can share with you, and we would love for you to come and visit us at our website and learn more. So our website is frameofmindcoaching.com.
[00:11:16] Ferne Kotlyar:
And so, if you were to give Sabrina one last piece of advice, what would that be?
[00:11:21] Kim Ades:
My piece of advice is not advice per se, but it's helping Sabrina understand that it's your thinking that creates the feeling you want. It's not the goal, it's not the achievement, it's not the awards. Those are good. We like getting awards, nothing wrong with that. Right? But it's how we feel, how we think about what we're doing and what we're getting and who we are in the world that creates ultimately the feelings we're after.
That's my last piece of... not advice, but guidance, you could say for some Sabrina.
[00:12:04] Ferne Kotlyar:
I love it. Thank you.
[00:12:05] Kim Ades:
Thank you. That was a good one. I enjoyed that one.
[00:12:08] Ferne Kotlyar:
[00:12:08] Kim Ades:
For those of you who are listening, if you have a case that you want to share with us, please reach out. Ferne, how do people find you?
[00:12:20] Ferne Kotlyar:
Please email me. My email is email@example.com. And I will write them out in the show notes.
[00:13:01] Kim Ades:
Amazing. And send them to her because she will create cases that she will share with us on the podcast. And if you want to reach me, it's firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those of you who are listening, please like, please share, please send us your feedback. We love hearing from you. And until we see you again next week, have a great time!