NOTE: As of 2022 the Center for Executive Coaching is now accredited with the ICF as a Level 2 Coach Training Organization. The ICF has changed their language and replaced ACTP with Level 2. We were among the first group of coach training programs to receive this accreditation, after a rigorous review by the ICF.

Four ways that coaches can reframe their own limiting beliefs to be more successful

Pee Wee Herman said, “Everyone has a big BUT.” He is not referring to our posterior region, but rather to the reasons we tell ourselves that we can’t succeed.

Many coaches have big buts (again, not butts – which is a discussion between you, your mirror, and your pants and not this newsletter).

Here are some examples of the big buts that coaches have, and that keep them from getting out into the market:

– I am not smart enough.

CEOs won’t think that I have anything valuable to offer.

  I don’t have an MBA.

I am too young.

– I am too old.

– I have been out of the workforce for a long time and so no one will hire me.

– Clients won’t like my persona.

– I don’t know enough.

Let me suggest four ways to reframe the above buts.


One: Turn your perceived weaknesses into strengths.

You don’t have an MBA? Perfect! Most companies are teaming with MBAs and still struggle with poor communication, conflicts, low productivity, and lack of engagement. You can see things that MBAs can’t.

Are you older? Excellent! You bring wisdom and experience to help new leaders and their companies mature. You also can connect with seasoned executives.

Are you younger? Great! You bring a fresh perspective, for instance, about how different generations can work together, and about how to engage people in a virtual world.

Two: Instead of worrying about you, focus on the prospect/client.

Do you worry that you don’t know enough or are not smart enough? Instead, focus on the client’s needs. Listen. Ask great questions. Make it about them and their issues, not you and your issues. Focus on them!

Sometimes we get so stuck in our own minds that we forget that we are here to serve others. Focus on service, and the rest will follow.

Three: Use your belief to hone in on your ideal target market.

Many coaches believe that they can’t work with CEOs and executives, that these people won’t see them as adding any value. However, when I explore this belief with them, they are often thinking about CEOs and executives of Fortune 500 companies. There are 14 million CEOs in the USA alone, because there are 14 million businesses here. In fact, if you run your own coaching practice, YOU are a CEO.

The Fortune 500 is a crowded place. Big consulting firms like McKinsey and Accenture are often all over the place. The sales cycle is long, and they can be difficult and bureaucratic. I tend to avoid them.

Meanwhile, there is a huge market in smaller companies. Think about the types of executives and CEOs that will relate to you. There are many possibilities!

For instance, I recently worked with a coach who believed his persona would not go over well with clients. It turns out that he was focusing on a market that was completely different than his background and personality. When he thought instead about working with engineers and scientific leaders, he relaxed, because he knows that his personality is a good fit with this market. (It sounds easy when we use others as examples, doesn’t it?).

Four: Use the “if/then” approach to reframe your big but.

Let’s say you believe you are not smart enough. That is a deep belief, probably one you have held for years. It makes no sense to compete with that belief, for instance with affirmations saying, “I am smart enough.” That only challenges your belief that you are not smart enough, and puts it on the defensive.

Instead, create an if/then statement to carve out actions you can take, with or without the belief about being smart.

For instance: “If I am curious, ask great questions, and focus on my target market’s top problems, they will be more likely to want to work with me.”

The above reframing is specific and action-oriented. It has nothing to do with being smart or not. It is about listening, asking questions, and focusing on the market’s needs.

The New Year is coming. Resolve to get rid of your big but today!

We show you how to develop a compelling marketing message and take action in ways that attract clients. We show you the coaching methods and processes to get results and rave reviews. We even work with you one-on-one to reframe any of your big buts.

For more information about the Center for Executive Coaching, visit today. You can also email me at anytime at




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