Shake off old thought patterns

“I love your necklace,” I said as we began Keri’s life coaching session.

Keri beamed. “Thank you! I made it myself! I love making jewelry. It’s my new hobby and I think I have some talent,” she responded.

“You’ve been talking about how empty you feel in your job,” I said. “How would it feel to find something you love AND get paid for it?”

“I couldn’t make money at this,” Keri said, gesturing toward her necklace.

“Why not?” I countered.

“Well, it’s impossible to think that I could make a living out of doing something I love,” Keri said.

“What’s impossible about that?” I asked.

“Jobs aren’t supposed to be fun,” she said. “You can’t make real money with a hobby.”

“It sounds like you have a belief that you work for money, but not necessarily for pleasure,” I said.

“I guess I do separate the two. The purpose of working is to make money and hobbies are for fun,” Keri said.

“How long have you had this belief?” I asked.

“It started when I was in a photography class in college,” Keri said. “I loved creating special effects with the pictures and had hopes of making photography my career. But then my father reminded me that I needed a real job in order to make real money and pay the bills.”

“How silly of me to think I could pursue photography when I needed to be serious about my career,” she said, sounding as if she was mimicking her father’s voice.

“Realizing that you hold this belief, can you see where it has held you back?” I asked.

She immediately nodded. “It’s sad to think what could have been,” Keri said.

“Let’s fast forward say five years into the future,” I suggested. “Could this belief impact your future career choices?”

“Yes, unfortunately,” Keri said. “But now that I know, I can change this pattern, can’t I?”

“What will help you to change the pattern?” I asked.

“Remembering how I’ve made limiting choices in the past will help me to change my behavior in the future,” Keri said. “When I project how this belief will impact future choices, I can clearly see how I would be motivated to change.”

“What will help you seal in these reminders?” I asked.

“I’ll write down some examples of where this belief has limited me, starting with my interest in photography,” Keri said. “I’ll also project this belief into the future and imagine where I’ll be if I continue to let this belief drive my behavior.”

“That sounds great,” I said.

“In the meantime,” she added, “I’ll call my friend who owns a gift shop to talk to her about selling my jewelry.”

Not only was Keri open to challenging her belief, but she was willing to actively change her behavior in the process, a sure combination for movement and, possibly, success.

Coaching challenge: Think about a belief that you have that may be limiting you in any area of your life, for example: “I’m not good enough;” “I’m too old/young;” or “I couldn’t do that.”

How has this belief impacted your decisions, behavior, etc.?

Think about and feel the results of holding this belief. Imagine how this belief could impact your life and the decisions you make in the future.

With this information, what changes can you make about your belief (and in turn, your behaviors) to help you move forward?

Sheri Fisher is an intuitive life coach living in Grand Junction. The situations and characters in her column are fictional to maintain client confidentiality. For more information and to access her blog, go to


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