Last night I was visiting a certain website for the first time. It belonged to a business owner who recently wrote a book. I hopped on Amazon.com to check it out. I was startled by what I read in the author’s bio section:
“She quit the highest paying job she’ll ever have … to found [company].”
Wha????? Did this mean she was making her highest salary working for someone else, but now she’ll surpass those earnings via her company’s profits? Or did it mean she chucked her high-paying job in order to be her own boss, feeling fulfilled while not making as much as before? Either way, this struck me as self-limiting language.
Since going back to school to study coaching, and since starting my practice, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to how often others…and I…make statements that limit ourselves. When I’m in a conversation with friends, relatives or colleagues, I often let the statement slide. When I hear it in a coaching session, I’ll gently call this to the client’s attention. After all, I’m being paid to coach and my clients know they’ll get my honesty wrapped in compassion. When I hear self-limiting statements coming out of my own mouth, I try to stop in my tracks and figure out why on earth I would sabotage myself with such language.
It is my custom to provide potential clients with a free informational call to explain the coaching process. There are NO STRINGS ATTACHED and it does not hurt my feelings if the potential client does not hire me. I just assume that God has other clients in my queue.
Recently someone reached out to me to inquire about coaching. But something must have happened between the time she sent the email and when I responded. She refused my offer of the informational call. Without knowing what I charge she explained that she couldn’t afford to hire a coach. Unfortunately, her self-limiting language prevented her from perhaps receiving free coaching. You see, I’ve made a personal commitment that I will always have one client on full or partial scholarship, based on the client’s financial need. God has blessed me and it is my hope that having a client on scholarship blesses someone else. The person making the inquiry didn’t allow the process to play out. In short, she limited herself.
I don’t judge this woman. I know that financial stress can create the kind of fear that keeps the chest tight and the stomach in knots. Instead, I used the experience as a mirror. I want to root out all of my own self-limiting language and behaviors.
I am working with another client on scholarship and the journey has been amazing. And I’m grateful for the lesson the “almost client” taught me.
Do you ever catch yourself engaged in self-limiting talk? Leave a comment to tell us how you turn that around. And feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to make a confidential inquiry about the coaching process. There are no strings attached, I promise!