Selfish: Meeting your needs at the expense of another’s ability to meet their needs.
Selfless: Meeting another’s needs at the expense of your own needs
and then there is Self Accepting.
Self acceptance means different things to different people but it’s primarily seen as awareness and acceptance of your strengths, weaknesses and behaviours. Dr Glasser never really addressed self-acceptance. If he had it would probably have gone something like this: Accepting your needs and the behaviours you choose to meet those needs, as being the best you can do with the information and abilities you have.
Jeff Developed a Slightly Different use of the Term – Self Accepting
This was to support clients who were having difficulty understanding where the boundaries between selfishness and selflessness might be. Often they were choosing selflessness and did not want to change their behaviour for fear they would become selfish. Jeff introduced the concept of self-accepting as a way of operating that is neither selfish or selfless, and is sustainable.
I’ve taken the work Jeff did on this straight from our Choice Practice Institute site because it explains the concept better than I could.
Over to Jeff…
A Selfish person cares too much about their own needs and not enough about the needs of the other, this doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t care at all, just that they put their needs first at the expense of the other. They expect others will cooperate in meeting their needs and demand that they do so. As they demand more and more they tend to value what they get, less and less. They may become resentful and angry when they believe their needs are not being met, and usually become even more demanding. They often end up with selfless people in their lives, because they wont accept those who insist on their needs being met too!
A Selfless person cares too much for the needs of the other and not enough about their own needs, this doesn’t mean they don’t care about their own needs at all, just that they prioritise the needs of the other above their own on most occasions. They hope that others will meet their needs and wait for them to do so. They wait…. and they wait,…. then become unhappy and maybe resentful or angry when their needs are not met over time. If they resort to doing something selfish to try to meet their needs, they will usually feel guilty and often try to make up for their selfish behaviour. They often end up with selfish people in their lives , because by giving too much, others begin to accept that they don’t have needs of their own and give up trying to be fair to them.
The Self Accepting person cares equally about their own needs and the needs of the other. They accept responsibility for meeting their own needs and leave the responsibility for others needs with them. They know that if they are unhappy, it is their job to identify which needs are not being met and make changes to better meet them.
They also know if others are unhappy it is up to those others to take responsibility for meeting their own needs and change what they are doing. They co-operate with the other in creating an environment where both parties needs can be met fairly, but not at the expense of their own needs or the needs of the other.
Self accepting people will usually have other self accepting people in their lives, because they always insist on fairness in meeting their own needs and the needs of others, those who continue to be selfish or selfless will find that behaviour is not working with a self accepting person. (ref: Jeff Steedman)
But What about the Kids?
Parents can find navigating this course especially difficult. They may be able to apply the concept to their friends and adult family members but see themselves responsible for meeting the needs of their children.
Obviously when children are very young this is true, especially in terms of physical needs. As children grow however, using this concept is an excellent way of making sure everyone in a family is able to meet their needs effectively. Being a selfless parent is not going to produce a child that is resilient and capable of meeting their own needs as an adult.
This is a big topic, far bigger than I could ever hope to cover in a blog post. We are in the process of creating a new course called Be Your Best Self With Choice Theory. I have already started an email list of interested people who will have an opportunity to input ideas about what is covered in the course and receive pre-launch information. If you would like to be part of that group leave your details here.
Thanks for reading, and as always please pay it forward by leaving a comment to ask questions, help others, help us to provide relevant content and help Google to find us.
I originally wrote this post for the solstice and because of the difficult times but it seems that there is a demand for this course at this price that has gone beyond the solstice. So I’m extending it as a special gift and thank you for taking the time to visit this blog. As a writer having an audience is important and I’m a writer, not a You Tuber or podcaster so if you will keep reading I’ll keep writing.
By all accounts, people continue to suffer from unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety. We know the material that Jeff uses with his counselling clients works and so we know that our course How to Deal with Stress and Anxiety Effectively will work to put you into the healthy stress zone that we call Eustress. This is the “zone” that top-performing athletes find when they are giving their very best.
This course is different from any other Stress and Anxiety Course we know of. It’s also different from most counselling therapy that you may have had. Here’s why: –
It goes further than simply advising you on how to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety, it gives you a solid plan for tackling the underlying causes of your specific stress and anxiety.
You will not have to dredge up your past. You are feeling anxious and stressed in the present and that’s where it’s most beneficial to deal with it.
This short video explains the difference between stress first aid and really getting to the bottom of your stress and anxiety once and for all.
Click here and let Jeff tell you all about it himself.
This offer will give you 24/7 access to support material, videos and activities for less than half of the cost of just one counselling session.
PLUS you can contact Jeff via the course comments and he will reply asap (not 24/7 😊 )
PLUS a number of the modules deal with Choice Theory Basics. This is learning the basics of Choice Theory in a nutshell, something most people spend days of face-to-face training doing. We have seen through Jeff’s offline work just how transformation applying this material is.
Give it a go, you will be very pleased that you did.
If I had known Choice Theory when I was younger I would have saved myself literally years of trying to meet my needs in some really dumb ways, with often disastrous results. This is a difficult post to write because it’s based on my story and it’s exposing. I won’t go into all the gory details but I want to summarise the basics of Choice Theory which have made a huge difference to the way I live my life. I’m writing it because I hope it can save other people from having to go through what I have, to get their lives working properly.
Ineffectively trying to Meet Needs
I grew up with high power needs in an environment with very few ways to meet them. It was a time when parents were quick to criticise and slow to praise, at least directly. I was pretty much doomed from the start.
I spent the first fifteen years of my adult life trying to meet my power needs via the success and adoration of my first husband. While that strategy worked for a while, eventually it wasn’t enough and my mental health began to suffer significantly. In my mid-thirties I was diagnosed and hospitalised with bi-polar disorder and told I would have to be medicated for the rest of my life.
I might not have known Choice Theory then, but I knew medication wasn’t going to work for me so I set about curing my “bi-polar disorder”. It took me over ten years, but I believe I have done that, although I know my behaviours can still cause bi-polar behaviours to recur. If I had been introduced to Choice Theory I’m sure I would have made the connection between my behaviours and my mental health a lot faster.
Stop Groping Around in The Dark
Without having a good understanding of my needs I see now that I was groping around in the dark, grabbing at any bright, shiny thing that I thought might give my life the meaning, happiness and peace I was desperately searching for.
Recently I’ve been writing articles for other people to use on their websites. I’ve had to make our Personal Need’s profile available for those people because just about every article comes back to pinpointing what people’s individual needs are and how they might be able to meet them. Life really is about meeting our needs and the better we are able to focus in on that the more successful we will be in all areas of our life. You can download your own Need’s Profile in the sidebar so you can target your needs more accurately, if this is an issue for you.
Focusing on What You Can Control
The only thing we can control is our behaviour and the most important behaviour to control is our thinking. This is because the actions we choose are a result of our thoughts. We can choose thinking that serves us, or thoughts that set us back. This has taken me ages to come to grips with because I didn’t think that I could control the things that I most needed to, in order to meet my needs. I believed I had very little real control over my life. I even made myself more powerless by giving myself a so-called mental illness. Instead of focusing on meeting my own needs I spent much of my life trying to “fix” others. Not surprisingly that didn’t work so well.
We can only give ourself the power to change our situation if we take responsibility for our part in creating it. Blaming someone else is a huge barrier to change because we relinquish our own power, and avoid self-evaluating and choosing more effective behaviours.
The behaviours we choose to meet our needs determine how successful our life will be. If our mental health is not what it should be chances are we are not meeting our needs very effectively.
In the end Willian Glasser, creator or Choice Theory, tied everything up very neatly in his simple four step strategy:
What do you want?
What are you Doing to get it?
Evaluate (i.e. how is that working for you?)
Plan (to meet your needs as best you can)
Even after meeting Jeff it took a few years for me to fully embrace Choice Theory and the work of William Glasser. The mental health industry has made mental health so complex and Dr Glasser made it so unbelievably simple that I found it difficult to grasp its depth. In fact if I hadn’t experienced its value first hand maybe I still wouldn’t have. There are after all, still many bright, shiny and expensive solutions out there.
If you don’t want to learn Choice Theory for yourself learn it for your kids and give them a great start in life.
Whether you’re entering the winter solstice as we are in Australia, or you’re in the northern hemisphere and are entering the summer solstice; I wanted to acknowledge this as a period of change in the hope that as a global community we are moving into happier times. To do this we’re giving out a 50% discount coupon over this solstice period, for our course “How to deal with Stress and Anxiety Effectively”. This course is different because it uses Choice Theory to deal with the underlying causes of stress and anxiety as well as depression and so much more.
Even if you aren’t Stressed and Anxious
At a 50% discount this course is great value even if you don’t suffer from stress and anxiety because it includes the core components of Choice Theory that will benefit you in your relationships with your family, your friends and even in your workplace.
The Needs that Drive all our Behaviour
Our Quality World
Our Perceived World
Our Comparing Place
What Do I have Control Over ?
What can I Change ?
The Road Forward
These seven modules are basic Choice Theory and comprise nearly half of the course. Being proactive and learning these core facets of Choice Theory may mean that you will never have to live through severe stress and anxiety. You will certainly improve your mental health, your wellbeing and the quality of your life. To get the course with the 50% discount click any of the links, including right here, I know you’ll be glad that you did👍
Thanks for reading, have a great week and an even greater life.
Just a heads-up 😊 We made it into the top 100 Personal Development blogs on Feedspot this week👍 .
Chances are that over the past few months you have been spending more time with your significant other than ever before. How is that working for you? Has the closeness of contact brought you closer together, or has it driven you further apart? The answer to that question is likely to depend on whether your relationship is based on Internal or External Control Psychology.
Internal and External Control Psychology
What do these terms mean? In simple practical terms, external control is when you have a belief that, “if only he, she, it or they were the way I believe they should be, then I would be happy.” Your efforts are then primarily focused on trying to make them be the way you think they should be. Internal control differs in that when he, she, it or they are not the way you would like them to be, you self-evaluate your own behaviour and work out what you can do differently to get a better result.
The dominant psychology of external control is so endemic that really good people are caught up in it without understanding that what they are doing is destructive. It starts early in a relationship when one party begins to take a controlling position. “This is how things have to be…”, “Don’t do this or say that….” ,”This is how I want things to be..” and a myriad of similar statements.
On the surface it seems reasonable, they have probably been told somewhere that what they are doing is being assertive and believe that they are simply stating what they want from the relationship. However if it isn’t balanced with an effort to find out what the other wants and to negotiate something that works for both, then it is controlling and damaging to the relationship.
It may even seem to work for a while, as long as the other person is prepared to go along with it for the sake of the relationship. However this can’t last, as resentment builds up and the other starts to fight for what they want or may even withdraw from the relationship altogether. This fighting or withdrawal may last days, weeks, months, years or even decades, but eventually the relationship will fail.
Over the years Jeff has worked with numerous couples in counselling and has concluded that there are several things necessary if a relationship is to survive and ultimately to thrive.
Taking responsibility for your own actions is essential if your relationship is to survive. As long as you blame your partner for how you are feeling, thinking and doing, then little progress will be made.
William Glasser’s quote, ” I have noticed that happy people are constantly evaluating themselves and unhappy people are constantly evaluating others” has great relevance here. Successful relationships are the result of the participants focusing on self evaluation and choosing more successful behaviours for themselves, rather than judging each other’s behaviours.
Let it Go if you Can
Pick your battles. Before you decide that something needs to be changed, think carefully about whether it actually does. Does it really matter if your partner doesn’t colour code the pegs when they hang out the washing? The simplest solutions to you feeling better about it might be your acceptance of it, or for you to do it yourself.
If it is a bigger problem which really does impact on your ability to meet your needs, not just your wants, then negotiate fairly. Come up with something that works for both of you. Remember, if it works for you but not your partner, the relationship will be damaged.
If you can’t negotiate over something that is important for you to be able to meet your needs, you will have to decide whether you can accept it for the survival of the relationship or not.
If you are the victim of domestic violence, whether emotional, financial or physical your should seek support. You can do this by searching online for domestic violence assistance in you area, or by connecting with a good counsellor or psychologist. If you believe you are in immediate danger you should call the police.
The Only Person You can Control is You
This is a critical thing to understand. The belief that if I just keep coming back to the issue often enough, long enough and hard enough, that eventually I will wear you down and win…. is the dry rot which destroys the foundation of any relationship. If your relationship is very strong to begin with, and while it is new, it may not seem to have a damaging effect. But that is the nature of dry rot, it quietly works away without you noticing……until the whole structure collapses.
If something is not working for you, you should focus on what you can do to make it better.
It’s important to understanding that how your partner sees things is as real to them as how you see things is to you. Respect and acceptance, even if you don’t agree with your partner, are connecting and will put you in a better position to negotiate fairly than nagging and ridiculing them.
Feelings and Motivation
None of us knows what another is thinking or what they are feeling. Resist telling your partner that you know better than them what they are thinking and feeling and what motivates their behaviour. Accept what they tell you and move on to what you are going to do so it works better for both of you.
No one can change the past. A willingness to focus on how you can improve your relationship ……..rather than on how it has been, is important in order to move forward. Acknowledge what each believes has happened, but shift quickly to jointly creating a picture of how you want it to be in the future.
Typically sexual satisfaction is higher when everything else in a relationship is working well. Dissatisfaction over sex is still relatively common however, whether you’re with a new partner or have been partnered for many years.
Jeff has designed an online quiz to help you better understand your own sexual needs and those of your partner. It’s free, anonymous and only you get to see your results. Click here if you would like to complete the quiz
Couples in successful relationships put the health of the relationship before the wants of the individual. We all have needs that must be met, but our wants are only one of an infinite number of possible ways to meet those. A willingness to give up what you want so that you can better get what you need, is the hallmark of a healthy, creative and mature approach to a relationship.
If you would like further assistance with your relationship, please use the contact us page. We can answer any further questions or arrange online or face to face counselling and support.
Please also share a comment below, your engagement will help others and also give me ideas about what kinds of things I should write about in future posts.
Prior to Covid 19 I had planned a range of elaborate launch options but with everything that is going on in the world, we decided to just get it out there because we truly believe that the world needs this course right now
Our First Course: – Dealing with Stress and Anxiety Effectively
This is our first course and is a good example of how all our courses will be structured. You receive online access to a series of short videos with accompanying activities and downloads. You also have the ability to ask questions. The videos give you information and the activities help you to apply what you’ve learned to your own life situation.
If you are wondering how to deal with stress and anxiety effectively this course will answer your questions. You will learn how to: –
Zero in on the specific causes of stress in your life
Self-evaluate so that you can change the behaviours which are distressing you
Use stress effectively in your life moving forward
Make choices that align with your individual needs
Understand what stress is and how you are creating it
Our mission is to help you live your best life using Choice Theory. Choice theory really is the gift that keeps on giving. The more you learn about it the deeper you go and the more life works. People also come to Choice Theory because a specific area of their life is not working and they want an effective resource that will change that. This is another reason we are creating our online courses. They teach Choice Theory basics, but in a way that is appropriate whether you know anything about Choice Theory or not, and the courses are directly related to specific problems or goals.
Most people know of Choice Theory via a smattering of required learning they did during a psychology or education degree. Over the years it has had to compete for attention amongst a few other theories such as Cognitive Behavioural Theory and Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy, all of which cross over in some ways. Choice Theory has probably not received the attention it deserves because of its apparent simplicity, but also I believe, because it hasn’t had particularly accessible platforms for delivery.
Dr William Glasser, the developer of Choice theory wrote a number of books on the topic as well as on many variables of the topic, and his idea was that people get together in groups to develop their practice of it. There is also a formal pathway of courses you can take via the network of William Glasser Organisations around the world, but these are expensive and require days of attendance or months of study.
My Personal Experience
I didn’t come to Choice Theory via a psych or education degree. In fact, until I met Jeff, I had never even heard of it. The simplicity and structure of Choice Theory intrigued me and I quickly completed the four-day Basic Intensive program, followed by the Basic Practicum. With each intensive learning phase came a period of wonder and renewed understanding of myself, my needs and behaviours.
Like anything you need to stay aware and when I needed Choice Theory the most I couldn’t see the wood for the trees. I blamed others for my own unwillingness to address issues and I didn’t pay attention to meeting my needs. The end result was catastrophic and I ended up in hospital. Fortunately, I had Jeff and I knew enough Choice Theory to get back on track quickly.
Choice Theory requires us to take complete responsibility for our behaviour and until we actually try to live that, we don’t realise how far we fall short of it. It is so much easier to look outside of ourselves for reasons why we are the way we are, and yet the closer we come to taking full responsibility the more control of our life we achieve.
The hardest part of all this for me was accepting that my thoughts are a behaviour and create my feelings and emotions. This, along with understanding that all our behaviours are an attempt to meet our needs is perhaps the core of Choice Theory
Glasser wanted people to understand the concept (and reality) of internal control, that is, that we are not controlled by circumstances outside of ourselves, nor are we victims of life’s curveballs, but rather we are the architects of our thinking and our behaviour. While the world is coming to understand the importance of mastering our minds, mindfulness and mindsets, we are still bombarded with opposing messages like “he/she/it made me”, “that’s just me”, “I just lost it.”The transfer of this knowledge into continuous action is an ongoing process that benefits greatly from sustained input and support.
Although still in its infancy, we will grow Choice Theory Online into a resource and community that provides that sustained input and support. If you would like a Choice Theory meme each day to help maintain a Choice Theory Mindset you can sign up here.
The other way to stay in touch with us is by downloading the Needs Profile in the sidebar. Understanding our needs so that we can effectively meet them is a great first step towards living our best life.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments please leave them below and we would be happy to answer them. Your comments are so important because they help us to know how we can serve you better.
Not all stress is bad in fact, we all need some stress in our lives. Too much stress, however, is very unpleasant and can cause nasty physical symptoms. This is distress, and if it isn’t addressed, these physical symptoms get worse and can undermine our overall health.
Physical symptoms can include things like muscle pain, insomnia, fatigue, headaches, chest pain, high blood pressure, and more. Unaddressed these symptoms can, in themselves, cause even more stress as we not only stress over the initial stressor but also over the stress symptoms we are experiencing. If we don’t take action a vicious cycle develops.
Because stress can impact our physical and mental health if we don’t address it, we want to have stress relief solutions that we can rely on as part of a routine. If we’re proactive about stress, we can manage it better. The problem is that often when we are distressed we let go of the very things that are stress relievers, e.g. we stop exercising, we start eating unhealthily, we let our minds loose at night, and then have trouble sleeping.
Mastering our mind is the single most important thing we can do to relieve stress and anxiety. Nothing that happens to use is innately stressful. Stress is always the result of how we respond to what is happening, or what has happened to us. If we can change our minds, we can literally change our lives.
This sounds simple but it is far from simple. Mind mastery is a practice that we can and should employ throughout our lives. Mastering our mind goes hand in hand with a growth mindset and the first step is to acknowledge that it is the most important thing we can do to take charge of our lives.
A great deal of what happens in our lives is beyond our control. All we can, or should even attempt to control, is ourselves. This is a tall order because the illusion of being able to change others seems easier. How often do we say things like “he makes me”, or “if only she didn’t then…”? These statements all reinforce to us that if something outside of ourselves was different, we would be different. Perhaps we would, for a while, but we would not have solved our problem, only avoided it until next time someone behaves in that way.
Four Days to Feeling Better Mini-Course
If you are feeling stressed and anxious right now, try our Four Days to Feeling Better Mini-Course. It will help you to reduce stress and take charge of your life over the next four days. Signing up will also put you on our email list so that when our new digital course Managing Stress, is released you will be one of the first to know.
Managing our mind is the single most important thing we can do to manage stress and anxiety, however, there are other things that we can do too.
Exercise is a great way to keep stress under control. This is because exercising gives us a boost in endorphins, our feel-good chemicals, and reduces the amount of cortisol, which is linked to stress.
Learning meditation techniques can prevent stress from escalating because it can relax the body and keep emotions calm. Meditation can give us relief from whatever is stressing us out. The practice gives us the ability to be centred and prevents our responses to little irritations from turning into major stressors.
Meditation helps to keep us centred in the present, and we don’t have to sit in a chair, or cross-legged on the floor to meditate. Yoga combines meditation and exercise, as does walking or running in nature. Even cycling can be a stress reliever because our mind has to be firmly in the present and on the road ahead.
Keep a Healthy Work/Life Balance
It’s important that we remember to leave room in our schedules to do the activities that relax us and give us a break from responsibilities. This means learning to say no to anything that would encroach on our downtime and zap our energy.
Setting limits means understanding what we’re capable of dealing with before we allow our minds to go into stress mode. Often the first thing that we skimp on is sleep, whether that’s due to pulling all-nighters or allowing our mind to run rampant so that we can’t sleep even though we want to. Stress is more likely to be an issue when we don’t get enough sleep, or we don’t get the restful sleep that rejuvenates us.
Food and Drink
Many of us have learned to use food as a comforter, when in fact maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of our mental health hygiene. Eating poorly increases stress because it can make us feel unwell, unattractive, overweight, and lethargic. Making the choice to relieve tension in a healthy way, rather than stuffing a box of donuts down our throat, is something we need to learn if we are to effectively manage stress. The same goes for alcohol and sports drinks.
We can talk about whatever is stressing us with a loved one or therapist. We might even choose to write it out in a journal or embark on art therapy. Gardening, cooking, sculpting, pottery; literally anything that absorbs us in the present and is enjoyable for us should not be overlooked as part of our mental health hygiene arsenal. Practicing calming techniques such as deep breathing, visualisation and the reframing of our thoughts are also useful.
Learn How to Manage Stress and Anxiety Effectively
Live your best life. Register for our online course How to Deal Effectively with Stress and Anxiety and learn how to deal with the underlying causes of your stress and anxiety.
Have you ever asked yourself “How can I be the best I can be?” Perhaps not, most of us create goals and make choices thinking that they will lead us to being better, but most of us don’t consciously consider the question holistically.
No One is an Island
The book, About a Boy by Nick Hornby, which has became a much-loved movie starring High Grant, is a great illustration of how someone who believes he is an island, grows and makes an extraordinary contribution to the lives of others by taking a mentoring and coaching role with a boy who latches on to him.
The boy in the story, Marcus, clearly sees that if he is going to better himself he is going to need support. Everyone needs support; whether like Marcus we are just trying to survive, or whether we are consciously working towards being the best we can be, we all need a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, and someone to inspire the potential in us.
These days those connections that add value to our life will not all be on a physical level. Increasingly we are building valuable relationships online and this is a huge advantage in us being the best we can be because we are no longer dependent on allies, mentors, and coaches being in our direct vicinity.
How to Build a Support Network
The number of people currently in our life with the capacity to effectively support us towards being our best is a very individual thing, some of us have a great support network, while others virtually no network at all. Fortunately, most of us have a reasonable network of people in our lives and its made up of a mixture of people who lift us up and others who we can choose to lift us up or let bring us down. It’s all a matter of perspective.
It’s important that we become fully aware of who sits where on the continuum. Those people who are valuable to us in terms of drawing us forward towards our goals are people we want to encourage in our lives and nurture relationships with. These relationships are valuable alliances.
Other places to build our support team are more formal: some we will have to pay for, some are free, and some will be a mixture of paid and free support, but all of this support is important.
Investing in Ourselves
“Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you have to keep moving,”Albert Einstein
There is room for every one of us to meet our needs and build a satisfying, successful life, as long as we are aware of the choices we are making and the consequences of those choices. Learning never stops, we are lifelong learners and we can either be proactive and direct that learning ourselves, or life will do it for us by serving up challenging experiences that may derail us.
Growth and success are achieved by small daily actions, repeated consistently over time. Even people deemed to be “overnight” successes, will tell you that they struggled away in obscurity for years before they became an “overnight” success. They will also generally tell you that they invested in themselves along the way and they continue to invest in themselves.
This doesn’t mean that you have to spend a lot of money, although it does help to spend some because it saves time and unnecessary angst. For most of us a mixture of paid and free support according to our budget, is the way to go. All careers have professional development components, this is personal development and it’s just as important.
The Learning Habit
It’s not just a matter of what we learn, but creating the habit of enjoyment in learning. The more enthused we are about learning something the more we associate learning with excitement and pleasure, so the more we will want to learn.
Learning is only half of the equation in growing to be the best we can be after learning comes implementation, which is a continuing form of learning but which involves taking practical, physical action. All the learning in the world is of little value unless we use it to create and to make change.
Coaching is becoming a popular way of being better in a wide range of ways. Historically coaching was related to sports but now we can receive coaching for weight loss, career progression, finance, spiritual practices and even to get better at dating and relationships.
The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximise their personal and professional potential.”
A good coach will work with clients in a collaborative way, with both parties having input into the agenda. Coaches aren’t expected to have all the answers for their clients, but they generally have a higher level of expertise in the area they are coaching, than their clients.
This kind of coaching is very different from some old ideas we may still have running through our minds of bullying sports coaches. Rather than telling us what to do and how high to jump, coaches should gather information from us to help us to evaluate what we are doing and how we can do it better. Coaches operate from the perspective that we have many of the answers we need inside of ourselves and their job is simply to help us access that knowledge, evaluate it and then implement it.
Awareness and clarity are significant benefits to be found by working with a skilled coach. Quality coaches support their clients on their journey toward self-awareness and give suggestions and feedback on action plans that clients decide upon to move themselves selves forward. Throughout the journey, a new paradigm is created that allows the clients to scale obstacles that, in the past, have hindered their personal and professional development
Another benefit of coaching is accountability and tracking successful movement toward desired outcomes. Regular achievements and acknowledged milestones help keep clients motivated and resilient on their journey.
Mentors have more experience in an area than the person they are mentoring and they offer informal advice, support, and encouragement. Mentoring is generally:
loosely oriented towards growth
Mentors may work with developing co-workers or they may support someone outside of their own business or organisation that is trying to achieve similar skills. Sometimes companies will assign a mentor to an employee, but it is just as likely for mentoring relationships to develop organically.
Unlike coaches, mentors give advice based on their personal and professional experience and expertise. Support is generally driven by the mentee seeking advice related to challenges they are having or related to their development.
In reality many areas of coaching and mentoring overlap, and that’s fine because the overall goal is that we are being supported to be the best we can be, using whatever supports we have available to us.
Counselling is another important way that we can get support to be the best that we can be. Counselling benefits clients by creating a trusted and safe space for overcoming challenges. People generally seek counselling to deal with a specific problem or problems. Skilled, and experienced counsellors are comfortable sitting with the sometimes difficult emotions of their clients. Counsellors and psychologists use a range of theories to support clients. Historically these have used retrospective based solutions but increasingly counsellors using theories such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and Solutions Focused Therapy, are working on getting clients to self-evaluate their current behaviours in order to solve their problems. Choice Theory moves even further away from retrospective navel-gazing by clearly establishing a person’s needs as a basis for understanding their behaviours.
Whereas most forms of counselling have tended to be “why focused”, Choice Theory is needs-based and has a WDEP focus:
What do we Want?
What are we Doing to get it?
Evaluate: how is that working for us?
What is our Plan moving forward?
This cut-to-the-chase approach helps to ensure that counselling does not need to be nearly as long-term as it has often been in the past. In fact, a Choice Theory counsellor develops a coaching and mentoring role as the client is assisted to self-evaluate towards their desired outcomes.
It can be useful for us to have relationships with a mentor, a counsellor and a coach and to have all three supports working symbiotically. People will often have an organic relationship with someone they view as a mentor, while coaches and counsellors can work together and/or refer clients between each other.
An example could look like this:
Georgia enters counselling for alcohol abuse. After a number of sessions it comes to light that Georgia has a desire to start her own business. The counsellor could refer her on to a coach who was experienced in that area. The three of them work together on finding a concrete action plan for Georgia. If this was a Choice Theory counsellor, he could move into a coaching role to focus on any limiting behaviours Georgia might have that may be holding her back.
Coaches will generally have established relationships with counsellors and psychologists. If they are working with a client who presents with psychological issues, that only a trained counsellor or psychologist should be dealing with, they can then offer a referral to someone they trust to provide an appropriate service.
Coaches, counsellors, and mentors are all important people to have in our support network, but these services no longer need to be face to face. They can also now be accessed online via platforms such as Skype or Zoom, and also via learning modules. A mixture of Skype and Zoom, together with online modules and downloads can be a very cost-effective way to work and achieve results.
Great counsellors and coaches reach a ceiling in terms of the number of people than can physically work with. This is the reason why we created Choice Theory Online, so that we can make the work that Jeff has done with clients, on an individual basis, accessible to a much wider audience.
Our learning modules are coming soon but if you would like to receive Choice Theory Daily Quotes, or you just need some help to feel better right away, you can sign up for one of our mailing lists and we will be sure to let you know as new course modules are opened up. You can also book a Zoom online counselling session with Jeff at any time.
We hope that this post sets out clearly for you how mentoring, counselling and coaching can be effective components of your support networks to help you to become the best that you can be. Please share any questions or experiences below in the comments section. You never know who you could be helping.
Your Fixed Mindset will have you believing that your success or failure is the result of your traits … traits that you were born with and can do nothing about.
If that’s your reality what do you do?
You avoid singing because someone said you can’t sing
You avoid anything creative because … you can’t …draw…paint…act…fill in the blank______
You avoid people because you “aren’t good with people”
You can’t cook, garden, or do anything technical .. just because something went wrong in the past?
You aren’t good at study so you don’t
…The list goes on and on
The End Result?
You seriously reduce your ability to meet your needs, live the life you want and be your best self.
A Growth Mindset vs a Fixed Mindset
A Fixed Mindset sees challenges as evidence of shortcomings or failures. You give up or avoid trying altogether so you can’t fail or be judged
A Fixed Mindset is outcomes-driven and sees failure as wasted effort.
Whereas a Growth Mindset…. sees challenges, problems and failures as opportunities, feedback, or at worst temporary setbacks.
Obliterate your Fixed Mindset and develop your Growth Mindset to steer your life in the directions you want and MOST IMPORTANTLY … stay the course and appreciate the journey.
The First Step!!
Download our Needs Profile to understand your unique needs. Then come straight back to understand how to use them in developing your Growth Mindset.
Choice Theory Supports a Growth Mindset
Choice Theory helps you understand how your Fixed Mindset developed and how to move into a Growth Mindset using the five basic needs:
Love and belonging,
A high need for survival means you will not want to take risks or make mistakes. You will follow paths that are easy, familiar and less risky.
To move towards growth
Invest time in back-up plans and a safety net
Research your decisions carefully
Get feedback from others who you respect
SURE ... your need for fun is about amusement ... but it is also about learning. A love of learning for learning sake goes hand in hand with a Growth Mindset. It's important you give yourself, your loved ones and particularly your children the space and the encouragement to learn without criticism and judgement. Fear of failure and mistakes destroys a love of learning.
Young children are allowed to experience the wonder of learning and have fun doing it. As you progress towards adulthood learning becomes results driven. All the joy is sucked out of learning and mistakes are avoided at all costs.
To move towards growth
Create your own schedule as much as you can and change it up to keep it fun
Allow yourself the freedom to learn
Believe there is always time for the things you love
Find the fun factor in everything you do
Allow yourself the freedom to do things your way
Allow yourself some space for freedom however you can within your life
Shore up your boundaries against people and situations who try to control you
Love and Belonging Needs
A Fixed Mindset can impact the social and emotional areas of your life.
"I'm not a team player"
"I'm no good in social situations"
"People always end up hurting me"
These are all chosen thoughts that get in the way of your L & B needs. Anyone can learn how to work and play well with others.
If you score high in L & B developing a Growth Mindset around the way you interact with others is important.
A high need for Power can get in the way and overtake everything else. In Choice Theory your need for Power is your need for internal power through acknowledgement, achievement, influence and doing things of worth.
You tend to do things that you can excel at, avoiding things that challenge you too much. You give up when the going gets tough and fear looking like a fool. If you couple this with a high need for survival, you have powerful ingredients to create a Fixed Mindset, but it doesn’t have to be that way!
Use your thoughts and those around you to invest in getting good rather than simply looking good. Continually remind yourself it's safe to do this.
Obliterate your Fixed Mindset
A Fixed Mindset can be changed because it is just a belief or series of beliefs that you've developed over time ... due to judgements and comparisons made by yourself and others.
Choice theory is an excellent lens through which to view a Fixed Mindset and turn it around. In order to overcome a Fixed Mindset the most important needs to unpack are your need for Power and Survival.
Being aware of your Needs Profile and the behaviours you are using to meet those needs is the key to turning a Fixed Mindset around. You can’t change the needs you were born with ...but you can change the behaviours you learned to meet and protect those needs.
A Fixed Mindset works a little in meeting your needs, but a Growth Mindset will open up all sorts of possibilities and pathways for meeting your needs ... and will ensure you have the greatest possibility for success and happiness.
Thanks for reading 😊
As always if you have any questions, comments or feedback we would love to hear from you in the comments below. Your comments help others by your sharing and they also help this post to rank in Google where people can find it amongst all the online noise. So if this is something you think is valuable please take the time to leave a comment below before you go.
Every day you nourish your body with food and you hydrate your body with liquid, but what do you do for your mind? Inspiration and motivation need to be topped up just like anything else you want to have available to use every day.
Jeff has been creating memes to keep Choice Theory in the fore front of people’s minds for the past five years. He has such a collection that we able to offer you a meme a day to lead you through your day with positivity, optimism and something meaningful to think about.
The more you can keep your mind on the bigger picture and positivity, the less room there will be for doubt and negativity. When you take charge of your mind you take charge of your life and your life is all that you can take charge of. You can only control yourself but you are all you need to control in order to build a great life.
Reading something positive each morning will help you create a mental and emotional attitude of expecting favourable results but also accepting not so favourable results, and not becoming disheartened when plans don’t go quite the way you want.
Head right over to here to sign up for your daily top-up of wisdom and positivity.