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Coach Biases and Limiting Beliefs_Final

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>> Hello again. We're going to round up this module with a brief lecture that covers some ways in which biases and limiting beliefs affect your coaching and three ways that you can help clients challenge their own bias and limiting beliefs. Consider this a "teaser" for part two of the course in which we dive more into how to support clients around emotional eating. Here are a few questions to continue thinking about as we proceed. What are your biases and assumptions when it comes to health and emotional eating? What are your limiting beliefs? How do these biases, assumptions, and beliefs affect the language that you use with clients? And how do they influence your approach to goal-setting with clients? In this course, we provide plenty of opportunities for you to reflect on the material by journaling. You might find it helpful to keep your journal handy so that you can jot down any new thoughts that arise based on new material we cover or on personal experiences that come to mind. Let's take a minute to highlight a few connections between biases and limiting beliefs. First of all, biases, including the healthy bias and limiting beliefs, keep us stuck in our unique but limited perspectives. Remember that a perspective is just one way of looking at things. Also, remember that like our beliefs, our biases are based on our previous experiences. However, one might say they're "justified" and they can inhibit connection with others and can stand in our way. Are you familiar with the phrase, "Put yourself in my shoes"? It basically means trying to see a perspective other than your own. For example, I might be really angry with my friend for arriving very late to our lunch date, however, after learning that her work meeting ran late and she also got lost multiple times, I might understand that she's probably very stressed at the moment. My anger might shift to compassion because I can put myself in her shoes and recognize that I would be late and stressed out if I was her. In other words, I can empathize with her. This is a struggle for all of us at times. Sometimes, we're so set in our ways of doing things that we can't wrap our heads around other perspectives. As a result, we might form unfair judgments or assumptions like biases. We also might hold limiting beliefs that prevent us from unsticking ourselves and seeing other perspectives. In other words, left unchecked, bias can block empathy. Are you with me so far? Secondly, both biases and limiting beliefs can lead to pigeonholing, putting people in neat little boxes and making assumptions about them that might or might not be true. Take the healthy bias for example. Imagine you're working with a client who looks very fit and "put together" on the outside and imagine that for you someone who looks like that is someone you'd assume is probably very healthy. You assume that this person eats well and exercises well and is "healthy" overall. Now imagine that you learn that she, in fact, suffers terrible heartburn and is always tired and irritable and she actually eats a lot of junk food which affects her sleep. Whoa. Mind blown. This is what's known as cognitive dissonance, a helpful concept to know when coaching emotional eating. Dissonance means lack of harmony, like two musical notes that clash with each other. Cognitive dissonance is when your brain tries to hold two clashing or conflicting ideas at the same time. Here are three ways to think about it in relation to beliefs and biases. When something challenges our deeply-held beliefs or biases, our brains don't know how to handle it. This is because the information clashes with our perspectives which we believe are the right perspectives. When we try to hold two competing or contradictory beliefs or biases simultaneously, our brains don't know how to handle it. For example, I once met a British bulldog named Princess. I found it very funny because my idea of a "princess" was definitely not a British bulldog. And when we act in ways that don't fit with our beliefs or biases, it can lead to emotional discomfort. For example, when I experimented with veganism in college, I would sometimes wear leather shoes which made me feel conflicted. When we experience cognitive dissonance, we seek consistency. In other words, we want to eliminate inconsistent beliefs or biases. We might try to do this in one of three ways. One, we can change the beliefs or biases, the ones that lack harmony with the rest. However, changing ingrained beliefs or biases is challenging as you know. Two, we can acquire new information that outweighs our dissonant beliefs or biases. For instance, when I met Princess the British bulldog, she was very sweet and well-behaved which helped reduce the inconsistency in my brain. Three, we can reduce the significance of our beliefs or biases. For example, telling yourself that life's too short, do what makes you happy might help you justify eating delicious junk foods. Why? Because this belief decreases the significance of the belief that eating healthy foods increases quality of life. In other words, it tips the scale in favor of living a "happy life" through junk foods. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you can always go back to two of your most important jobs. First, continually identify and challenge your own biases and limiting beliefs in order to increase self-awareness. As usual, we're providing plenty of opportunities in this module. Secondly, help your clients identify and challenge their biases and limiting beliefs, which leads them to see things how they think they are instead of how they actually are. This requires creativity because biases and beliefs are tough shells to crack. Here are three ideas to get you started. Number one, try the ABCD approach. In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor describes a helpful framework for challenging beliefs. A stands for adversity. Adversities are challenges that we face, things we can't change. As hard as it might be, we need to learn how to accept them. B stands for belief. We can influence beliefs. For example, Achor talks about how, when faced with adversity, we can either bounce back or use adversity to help us bounce forward. In short, beliefs are mindsets, and they're malleable. C stands for consequences of our beliefs. Shifts and beliefs affect consequences. For example, if I believe that eating a giant ice-cream sundae will make me feel better, I'll be more likely to eat a giant ice-cream sundae. If I believe that it will give me a stomach ache and make me feel guilty, I might not eat it. D stands for disputation. This is perhaps the most important piece of the equation. It means recognizing that a belief is just a belief, not a fact. In other words, it's about challenging beliefs. When working with clients, it's helpful to continually return to questions like... "Are those emotions serving you? Are those beliefs serving you? Are those habits serving you?" We can get so stuck in our ways of thinking and doing that we might not ever step back and really think about how they affect us overall until someone, like a Health Coach, asks us to do so. You'll have an opportunity to practice this framework in the chart and challenge beliefs handout. For now, let's move on to number two. Help clients see other perspectives. Changing a bias or removing a limiting belief means opening yourself up to all the possibilities out there. As a coach, you can open your clients up to options they might not have considered before or that they pushed away because they created cognitive dissonance. Remember that cognitive dissonance creates discomfort, and we want to avoid discomfort. Another way to think about this is creating new and empowering beliefs. Again, this is a process. It doesn't happen overnight. Our reptilian brains like to follow familiar patterns and routines. However, like habits, ingraining new beliefs or perspectives through mindsets and behaviors can lead to change over time. Number three, focus on neutrality. Biases aren't bad, beliefs aren't bad, we all have them and we develop them for valid reasons. Viewing them from a stance of neutrality can spur honest inquiry and open the door to insight and forward movement. Can you help your clients take a step back and examine their biases and beliefs without judgment or shame? As a coach, it's so important to keep returning to this basic idea when working with clients, especially in sensitive topics like emotional eating. As we discussed earlier, a healthy bias can perpetuate emotional eating cycles. And as a coach, you want to help your clients move towards positive cycles and health promoting relationships with food. You'll see neutrality woven throughout this course for good reason. Let's recap. Biases and limiting beliefs keep us stuck in our own perspectives and can lead to pigeonholing. Cognitive dissonance is when something challenges our deeply-held beliefs. We act in ways that don't fit in with our beliefs or when we try to hold two competing or contradictory beliefs simultaneously. Cognitive dissonance creates feelings of discomfort, so we might see consistency by changing the beliefs or biases, acquiring new information, and reducing the importance of our beliefs or biases. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, two important jobs are to continually identify and challenge your own biases and limiting beliefs and help your clients identify and challenge their biases and limiting beliefs by trying the ABCD approach, helping them see other perspectives, and focusing on neutrality. In part two of this course, we'll discuss in greater detail how to apply these ideas to emotional eating coaching, but we want to encourage critical thinking by having you brainstorm first. Are you ready to practice this? This week, sit down with a coaching partner and guide your partner through the chart and challenge beliefs done-for-you handout in the Business Toolkit of your Learning Center. Think about this particular person's way of thinking. An analytical thinker might relate more to the ABCD approach while an intuitive thinker might prefer a less structured approach. As always, practice using high-mileage questions. Send out any insights to the Facebook group, making sure to keep your partner anonymous. And finally, share this information with someone in your life who might value it. I'll see you back here again soon.

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Duration: 11 minutes and 42 seconds
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Language: English
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Posted by: integrativenutrition on Aug 30, 2018

Coach Biases and Limiting Beliefs_Final

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