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Steve Mitten's Life And Business Coaching Notes - March 2006

Dear Subscribers,

  • What holds us back when we really want to play a bigger game in our life and business?

  • Is it time to adapt a better (scientifically based) coaching model?

  • What to do when established coaches reach a plateau in their practice.

These are some of the topics covered in this month's newsletter. 

I hope you enjoy it.




1) The Problem With Trying To Fit In.

2) In Marketing: Fitting In = Commercial Failure. 

3) In Search of A Great (Science Based) Coaching Model.

4) Business Development For Coaches That Have Hit A Plateau.

1) The Problem With Trying To Fit In.  

As children, one of the first social lessons we learn is to fit in. Our parents, teachers and peers tap into our innate social longing to be "part of the group" and subconsciously we learn to conform. We are taught only to speak when we are spoken to. We learn not to dress or look differently or risk being picked on. We learn not to answer a question unless we are sure we are right.  Anyone who stands out risks being ostracized. 

Many of us learn these lessons far too well. In fact before most of us are 10 years old, we have adapted a social survival strategy of fitting in, playing it safe, playing it small or otherwise conforming. 

The problem with such deeply conditioned conformity is that it robs us of one of the greatest joys in life, being fully expressed as the unique individuals we all are.  As I mentioned in last month's newsletter there is more and more research (Seligman, Diener) indicating that our happiness is linked to our ability to be fully engaged and more fully expressed in activities that are meaningful to us. This is hard to do when we are conditioned to be invisible.

The further challenge is simply gaining this insight does not allow us to change behavior (Thomas, Amini, Lannon).  Our "thinking" (neocortical) brain does not command the deep behavioral habits of our "feeling" (limbic) brain.  We may want to do something, but find ourselves held back by a feeling of fear.

If you find yourself with "stand-out-a-phobia" don't try to think yourself past it. Get some help.  

Three approaches to change this behavior are:

  • Develop and embody an inspiring vision for your future state that is emotionally compelling, and keep that vision alive. It seems you can choose the "channel" you tune your mind into. The default channel (habit, fear, old limitations) may result in a default behavior that no longer serves you. If you routinely "tune in" to an inspiring, compelling vision you access more courage to change. 

  • Establish a close, ongoing relationship with someone who exhibits the behaviors you want to adopt.  It is through the resonance of our emotional minds that we revise what we perceive to be true about ourselves and the world around us. As we begin to feel more is possible for us, we are more likely to risk new behavior.

  • Learn how to detect and disempower the negative feelings that keep you in your current comfort zone, either through process coaching or other noticing techniques where you will learn to be present, feel into the center of the physical manifestation of your fear, and let it pass. 

It is interesting to note that we humans grow and evolve best when we are in active relationship with others. I believe this is one of the great raisons d'etre of the rapid growth of the coaching profession.

"I'll spread my wings and I'll learn how to fly.
I'll do what it takes till I touch the sky.
Make a wish, take a chance,
Make a change, and break away."

- K. Clarkson

2) In Marketing; "Fitting In" = Commercial Suicide. 

The marketing consequences of trying to "fit in" are well articulated by Seth Godin.  Seth is a Yahoo alumni and a widely read marketing guru.  In his book, PURPLE COW, Seth makes the point that our early conditioning to fit in results in most of us avoiding being noticed like we would avoid the plague.  We simply do not want to risk criticism.

The problem is that, as Seth puts it: 

"In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failing."
- Seth Godin 

In other words all our habitual behavior of trying to fit in, and not getting noticed, essentially programs us to fail as marketers because we will never stand out, get noticed and get hired.  

"In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible." 
- Seth Godin

This underlying "avoid getting noticed" behavior is one of the biggest challenges new coaches face in marketing their services. The underlying fear keeps them on the sidelines, distracted by minutia, "playing small" and feeling like they are just not ready yet.  

As mentioned above just having this awareness is not enough to ensure a change in behavior. 

If you find yourself playing too small in your marketing, get some good coaching with someone who is already doing what you want to. It is through getting very clear and emotionally connected with where you want to go, AND by learning new ways to view yourself and what you think is possible, that you will grow beyond your current limitations.

3) In Search of A New Coaching Model.

I believe there is an art and science to great coaching. Up until now, our young profession has leaned heavily on the art, with much of what we know about coaching coming from intuitive insights of those passionate souls who were first called to do this work.

In service of finding a better (scientifically based) model, I would like to open a dialogue amongst serious coaching professionals. If you are interested, please read on here.  

4) Business Development - Have You Hit A Plateau In Your Practice?

Most coaches hit a plateau in their practice, far below where they want to be. If you are not happy with the business side of your coaching practice, feel free to check these programs out. They have gained a great reputation for delivering solid value to coaches. 



A Group of Established Coaches........1 year........ 1 Goal......... A 6-Figure Coaching Practice.

This program was designed to provide affordable and convenient mentoring for coaches who have been in business a few years and find themselves plateaued out making between 30 and 70K.

It is focused on providing the support, information and accountability to help them to a much more enjoyable and rewarding place in their business and life.

The program combines a monthly 1 to 1 call with me, a monthly group call, and weekly accountability calls with a small group.  (The January and February 6-Figure Practice Mentoring Program filled quickly. Everyone has enjoyed the deeper work this program allows.) 

If you are ready to make a big breakthrough in your practice and would like to join this program, just let me know.   

You can read all about the program at: 

The waiting list for the next program is forming.


The 2006, Revised and Expanded Edition of 
Marketing Essentials For Coaches is available for review and download at:
Check out this Industry Best Seller that has helped thousands of coaches build their practices. 


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Life Coach and Business Development Specialist Steve Mitten B.ApSc, CPCC, MCC helps individuals, professionals and leaders find their niche, be their best and make an impact.

Visit Steve at


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