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Steve's Life And Business Coaching Notes

August 2012


Summer glorious summer.


1) A Little Neuroscience On What It Takes To Change Our Thoughts, Emotions, Behaviours - Ever had thoughts or emotions you really didn't want to have? Here is some information to help you really "change" your mind.

2) Another Good Reason Why (Those Of You With Websites) Want To Get More Comfortable with Social Media - Here is a short article on how to get a higher page rank and thus more traffic to your website, by making the most of social media.

3) It's Here - The affordable, no-pressure, proven, transformational, satisfaction guaranteed, holistic, mentor program for coaches wanting to build more successful practices is here again and starting soon.

1) What Neuroscience Tells Us About Changing Our Thoughts

One of the wonderful things coming out of the latest strides in neuroscience, is a better understanding of how memories, thoughts and feelings are made and modified.

This is really good news for anyone wanting to change how they think, feel or behave and experience greater success and happiness. 

I suspect we all have certain thoughts that we either don't enjoy or that don't serve how we want to show up in our lives. Let me give you a practical example of one set of thoughts I have been working on.

For the past few years my wife and I have been devoting more time and attention caring for our aging parents. Between dementia, cancer and various accidents, there have been times where we get into a state of anxious preparedness, where we seem to be just waiting for the phone to ring with news of the next crisis.

The human mind hates uncertainty and when you don’t know what will happen next, it is easy for the mind to dwell on the negative possibilities.  
So how might a better understanding of neuroscience help us change this?

Well in my case, I have been giving attention to a bunch of anxious thoughts concerning the future of my Dad. My brain has responded by reinforcing a network of neurons around thoughts about Dad, that include many negative possible developments.  The more I think these thoughts, the more negative possibilities I remember, the greater the mental attention and energy they command. The more attention a thought garners, the stronger the cluster of neurons become and the more prominent it becomes in my awareness. Anything that triggers one of these thoughts can quickly translate into many other negative/anxious thoughts and emotions. The emotions reinforce the thoughts and become a mood. And a mood can drag on long enough to affect your disposition and behaviour.

Now, we may not be able to control the initial or triggering threat thought. But we can definitely control how much attention we give it.

In my case, whenever I choose to take my attention off a negative thought and put it on another thought, say one of acceptance, (“God’s will be done.”), or gratitude (“I am so grateful for all the time we have had together.”) or optimism (“The Universe will unfold as it should and it will all work out in the end.”) I actually reinforce the new thought.  The more attention I give the new positive thought, the stronger the association (neuro linkage) is.

The really interesting fact is that through the repetitive re-directing of my attention this new positive thought can become the most dominant thought associated with my Dad. The new thought literally becomes wired in place neurologically. It turns out the glue that sticks all thoughts together (neuro growth factor) is actually in short supply. So by repeatedly redirecting attention and belief to the new thought, the glue to reinforce the new positive thought actually comes from the brain disconnecting the old negative/anxious thoughts (neural connections).

The formula is quite simple and has actually been part of conventional wisdom for years. (I am pretty sure my grandmother had some sage advice on this topic decades ago.) You simply want to keep taking attention off the negative thought and keep putting it on the positive thought. Sometimes you will need to do this dozens of times before you can really begin to stick with the positive thought. And sometimes it may help to put your attention on your breath or your toes or some other bodily sensation, particularly when it is difficult for you to come up with a positive thought you resonate with.

Attention off the negative thought translates into better feelings, better moods, different behaviour and just generally being more present.  

However, the deeper teaching comes in the awareness that all thoughts and emotions are in constant flux. When this transience is fully seen, one begins to be a little suspect of becoming overly invested in any particular mental state or set of life circumstance.

Happiness is discovered not to be something produced in those brief moments when everything is "perfect" and all agitation is momentarily absent. Rather it is recognized as being constantly present, an underlying attribute of our true nature. (i.e. - If I am not giving attention to any thought that things need to be different, if I am not buying into any stories of how things should be, if I am simply watching the predictable reactions, choices and judgments of the mind float by like clouds on a summer day, my mind remains quite spacious and quiet.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”


2) Making the Most of Social Media to Increase Traffic To Your Website

If you have a website, and have been reading this newsletter for any length of time, you probably know the importance of your Google Page Rank (PR). This is Google’s measure of how important your site is relative to the other sites you are competing with for the specific keyword phrases you want to be discovered with. The higher your PR, the higher you will show up on Google’s page of results.  Ideally you want to show up in the top 5 results on a number of keyword phrases that thousands of your ideal clients type into the search engines each month.

Over the years there has been a lot written about increasing your PR.  And because Google is always evolving, what actually influences your PR is also evolving. Years ago, it was enough to exchange reciprocal  links with many other sites. This strategy is no longer useful and now may actually penalize your site.

So, what does work?

In addition to getting high quality one-way or incoming links from a variety of highly ranked sites relevant to your keywords, one of the biggest changes over the past few years relates to the social media imprint your website has.
You see, Google reasons that if your site has valuable information on it, others are going to be mentioning it on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Google+, etc.

So, in addition to the conventional practice of striving to have really good content on your site that does get picked up or referenced  by other sites, directories, press releases, online forums, etc., you will want to be routinely sharing, posting or otherwise disseminating your content on the whole range of social media.

As a practical example, let say you write a newsletter and send it out to your distribution list. Take the extra step to log on to your Facebook (and Twitter or Google+ account) and make a post telling all your friends and followers something to the effect, “If you are interested in [the topic of your piece] you can check out my latest newsletter/article here.” Making the “here” a link back to your website where you have posted your content. And ideally you want to use your keyword in the text part of the link. (i.e. – Rather than “here”, use “career transition article” if your main keywords related to career transitions.)

The more links back to your site that get spread throughout the social media universe, the better it is for your Google Page Rank.  The higher your Google Page Rank the higher you will come up in the results.  This will translate into more and more ideal clients finding your site.

3) It's Here Again - Attention: Any Coaches Wanting More Clients, The Next 6 FIGURE PRACTICE PROGRAM Is Starting Soon.

I only have time to run this program twice a year. It is popular and the list is already filling up for next edition which will start in early September.

So if you love coaching and are simply not getting the results you want with your marketing, please check out THE 6-FIGURE PRACTICE MENTORING PROGRAM and get your name on the notification list. This affordable and limited enrollment program will help you find a path with heart to a very successful coaching practice.

This program is designed to teach you all you need to know to find a niche, establish your brand, set up your marketing systems, move past your doubts and fears and generally build a great practice. And, it will support you long enough to actually put what you learn into action.

Please read the course description and testimonials of the very happy participants over the years. It comes with a full satisfaction guarantee, so if it is not of tremendous value to you, you can leave at any time.

If you are interested, you can email me at scmitten@shaw.ca to secure your spot. 

Mentor Program Testimonials

"I really love the way you gently helped me move through all my doubts and find a way to market my practice that felt authentic to me. This has been so worth it."

"After 2 years of struggling alone, I took your program and am now profitable, paying all my bills, and I have 4 people to get back to today."

"Thank you, I deeply appreciate working together,
I am getting more value than I ever expected or could hope for."

"This is deeply important. Our conversations truly move me and inspire me to develop a similar depth of compassion and depth of knowledge for my clients."

"Working with Steve literally transformed my coaching practice and took my life to a whole new level."

Visit Steve at Life and Business Coach Steve Mitten.

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