Mid-week Live Coaching: Mia
People might think that coaching is an easy job to do, but coaches are people too who have their own walls to go over. In this episode, Adam Quiney coaches life coach Mia Kielty-Bande around how she is sold on the idea she can create more but tells herself she doesn’t know what. Mia also goes deep into her issues with having coaching conversations with her clients, tying this in with her attitude towards money. Mia then talks about wanting to get to the point of being able to invite people to have a coaching session with her while also exploring her issues with arrogance versus brilliance.
Listen to the Episode Here:
Mid-week Live Coaching: Mia
We are going to do live coaching with Mia Kielty-Bande. She’s from the UK. What I like about this conversation is I found it challenging. I noticed my ego showing up a lot. By my ego, I don’t mean my desire to look awesome, which often is how we think of our ego. There are a lot of times where I was in a conversation like, “Am I going the right direction? Should I be on this path? Where are we? What are we doing? Adam, you are doing it wrong.” A lot of self-doubts, that part of me needs to perform as opposed to simply letting go and getting back over there with a client and letting us flow to where we go. I was distinguishing that for myself as I was going along.
You will notice me do that a couple of times in this coaching, especially at the end, where I catch some places where I’m like, “I was doubting myself here. I’m doubting myself there. I’m going to trust what I’m feeling. We are going to go down that path. I’m going to give it back to the client.” This an interesting coaching conversation. In coaching, we are looking at where are you? Where do you want to be? What’s in the way of getting from where you are to where you want to be? After that, we coach to move that thing out of the way. We call that coach to close the gap.
Mia wants to get into conversation with people. I invite them into a coaching conversation. As we started to look at that, a new thing came up and got in the way. We were now in a conversation to figure out what was in the way of her getting what she wanted and a thing got in the way of having that conversation. It gets a little meta or fractal if you like where you are addressing this thing over here and you realize, “There’s something in the way of even addressing that thing we are trying to address and now we’ve got to go there.”
Coaching can sometimes feel that you are going down like one rabbit hole and then it branches off into another rabbit hole and you were like, “I’ve got to remember that is the path that we are on so that we come back.” This is a part of the reason coaching works best in a committed container, is that if you get derailed by the thing that needs to be dealt with, you can always make sure that you are keeping the overall arc of the client’s progress moving towards that which they want. Their intended results for their life.
It’s a cool conversation. Mia does a beautiful job of being vulnerable. This is a great example of coaching. As soon as you think you know the direction you are going in, it’s time to release that. Check back in with the client and like, “What is the direction it’s going?” Rather than, “What’s the direction I think it should be going in.” This is one of the things that eat new and especially untrained coaches alive. They insist they don’t have an agenda. They do that because they can’t see their agenda because they haven’t got much training.
They are oblivious to the fact that they have an agenda. From their agenda, they were like “The client is supposed to create a breakthrough, results and get here.” They are there in a battle with the client. They are getting frustrated because the client is not creating what the client should be creating. That makes the coaching miserable. It also keeps the client stuck. The fastest way for us to create change is to remove the need for that change. To get people’s expectations off of us. We have the freedom to change or freedom to not change and hang out there as long as it takes before we choose something different. I hope you enjoy this conversation. Apologies if you didn’t.
How was that?
That was good. I started scribbling notes.
It’s neat to go through it. As I said, I’m resistant to project design myself. It’s a cool thing to out that and to put it out there. It enrolls me in the practice when I’m sharing it. That’s cool. How are you doing?
I’m feeling good. I thought I would be horrifically nervous but I’m feeling just a small amount of nervous.
To me, that always feels how the possibility feels for me. If I’m doing something where it’s going to create possibly something outside of what I know, there might be something new available, then I feel a little nervous. If I feel confident, that probably means I’m pretty used to what I’m doing and then it’s time to get nervous again. It’s often how I feel. Mia, we started together in The Forge. This is like a precursor to that. On to more important things. What are you bringing for us to grapple with?
I would like to be coached around my attitude to money. I have been scribbling all sorts of different things. I decided that money was the thing I want to be coached around. That’s making my hands sweat.
What is your attitude to money? Let’s start there.
I don’t think I know quite what my attitude is. I know the practicalities of how I relate to money. I feel like I don’t have enough money. I made some changes and got a second job so that I would have all my bills covered. I did that because I felt if I had that covered, I would then be able to go out and have the coaching conversations you are talking about more easily. I started that job. I have had two paychecks from that. That does make me feel more relaxed around money. I feel like I have never generated a lot of money and I don’t know why. I’m clever, creative and capable. I think lots of positive things about myself. Yet it feels that’s something that other people have. I feel that’s something that is not for me and not in this lifetime.
Let me check and let me calibrate us because I realized we dived in. Where do you want to be at the end of this call?
I would like to be somewhere different in my head. I would like to have the capacity to do something different as well. I am doing things differently. For twenty years, I have worked part-time to be around my children. I feel I can take on more work now and I’m not compromising my parenting. I have made changes. I have taken action. I’m loving what it’s bringing me. I would like to be able to act differently so that I make more money somehow.
I heard a couple of things. On the one hand, you said, “I am doing things differently.” On the other hand, you want to do different things. I want to check if we were able to rearrange your relationship to money, are there certain things you imagine you might start doing or places where you are like, “Is this thing is happening because of this? I want something other than this thing that’s happening.” You said that you want to do things differently or do different things. Are there actions you want to be taking that you are not currently and believe it because of the story about money? What is it that you like to have gone differently?
It’s both of those. The action that I would like to take to create money, I would like to be going out with people and say, “Do you want to have a coaching conversation with me?” I want to get to the bit where I’m saying, “This is what you will pay,” or whatever the expression would be, “This would be your investment.” I want to be able to do that action because I’m not doing that action.
The action being, can you simply make that clear for me?
Inviting people to have coaching conversations with me, which would be the first part of the act. Assuming they liked it and loved it, I would be inviting them to have a longer-term coaching relationship with me. That’s the action that I want to take to see what will happen because I’m not doing it. The things that I believe, think or want that money will bring me if I have more money in my life is more physical space and more capacity to be spontaneous and do fun things. Rather than if I do something spontaneous and fun, I’m going to pay for it later because I don’t have the money.
On the one hand, you mentioned inviting people to have coaching conversations with you. On the other hand, which may be related or I’m not clear about it yet, the current relationship you have with money. How are those two related or are they related?
I think money is for other people and not for me. I earn enough to pay my bills. I know that it’s okay for me to earn enough to pay my bills. Even now you are saying that I could get to the point where I’m able to act out the action of asking somebody to pay me for coaching. I can do that action. If I imagine that, I imagine myself asking for small amounts of money. I think it has something to do with self-worth. It sounds a bit corny.
You are doing fine. I noticed we are in that part where you are trying to figure yourself out, which is a risky place for us to be. You don’t have to do that. I’m going to invite you to let go of needing to understand why you are doing a thing. I will support you in that inquiry so that you can then have the gift of fully being a client in this conversation. I have to get into your head. How do I pull this apart? What I want to check on is, one, you are not inviting people into a coaching conversation with you. In addition to that, you are not proposing to them. It doesn’t sound that there are much of an opportunity too because you are not inviting them into a coaching conversation.
We can look at your relationship to money. I’m happy to do that. Is the thing like, “I want to get into conversations with people and invite them into coaching conversation,” or is it like, “I want to get clear on the relationship I currently have with my money and start to create a shift there?” We don’t know yet what’s in the way of you inviting people to a coaching conversation. I’m hearing you say it might be because then you have to propose. Who knows? We haven’t gone too deep into that. I want to make sure that we are going down the path that you want to go down.
Not getting into coaching conversations is the place that I don’t want to talk to you about. It is the thing that I need to talk to you about.
That’s the place to look. Maybe in exploring that, it is all about money. What’s our primary thrust? Does that make sense?
It might open up a conversation about money. It might be something else entirely. In which case, the money thing doesn’t get addressed. I’m making clear for both of us, what’s the primary thrust that we are driving towards? Is it like, “I want to open up money?” It sounds like there’s something in the way of me inviting people into a coaching conversation. That’s what I would like to move beyond. Tell me what are the stories in your head. What’s the conversation about doing that when you imagine that?
Beforehand, you were talking about training. When I was on my training course they said, “You need to go out and start inviting people into coaching conversations.” I thought it was ridiculous because we didn’t know it was about coaching. I went out and started seeing opportunities to have conversations with people. I felt safe in doing it because I was training. I didn’t have to say, “I’m brilliant at this.” I felt there was no expectation that I was brilliant at it or anything like that. It was, “I’m practicing. Is it okay if I have a coaching conversation with you?” I picked up all of the coaching clients and hours that I needed easily. It was so exciting. I felt like I was on a treasure hunt. It felt exciting and freeing. I didn’t feel restrained.
It’s great. It sounds that there was a time when making an invitation to people felt all of this way. Afterward, it doesn’t. Help me get clear. What’s distinct between where you are now and where you were when it was easy and free and you did it that sounded pretty effortlessly?
Back then, I was training. I could say in the conversation, “I’m training. I’m on a course. It’s part of my course.” I had a script but it was true, I was on a training course.
What’s special about the fact that you are on a training course? What does that provide you? As a result of the fact that you can say, “I’m training,” then what?
You will not expect me to be particularly good because you will know I’m still on my training course.
Great. Okay. It’s like, “Don’t get your hopes up. I’m new at this.” What’s the story about when you make this invitation now? The conversation you are in with yourself about like, “If I go to talk to that person or make an invitation or whatever,” what’s the story about that?
The story is that they are going to have higher expectations of me. I’m chipping away at it because I have taken another job, which means I don’t need to coach for money.
Do you remember the question that you are answering?
Great diagnostic. I asked you, what’s the story about inviting people about whatever. You said, “They have high expectations of me.” That makes sense. That’s part of the story. After that, you went into a conversation about what you are doing to try to address that. I want to set aside everything you are doing to try to address it. What we are looking at is the belief you have created about this thing. Makes sense? What else feels true for you? “I’m going to invite them and all of these things.”
I will fail. They won’t think it’s all that great.
What will they think it is?
They won’t be able to put their finger on it. They will feel differently and they will probably be different. It will be odd because it will just be a conversation. It’s not like they are buying a chair. If they were buying a chair, they would have a chair and it would be a solid thing. I have a story about it.
It’s not a real thing.
Part of where I’m curious is we’ve got, “They will think it’s not that great. They will think it’s not a real thing.” That’s the negation of something. If something’s not great, it could be good, excellent, exquisite, bad, horrible, it could be everything under the sun other than great. Your belief sounds like a disempowering belief. Your disempowering belief has crappy stories. I want to get us to, what is the crappy story? They will think it’s not that great. What will they think it is by virtue of that?
They will think it’s quite nice. They will think it was a nice conversation and quite relaxing.
That’s the crappy story?
Yes. They will think It was quite nice to have a chat. They will think, “She’s nice. She asked some nice questions.” I don’t know what happened. Those are the positive statements that are the opposite of the negative statements.
Let me reflect on your disempowered story. They will think it was nice, I was nice and be quite relaxed and they won’t know what happened. It doesn’t sound that disempowering over here.
It’s disempowering for me because that’s not what it is.
What is it? Take all the time you need.
It’s what’s happening now. It’s the ability of one person, the coach, for me, to listen and focus all my attention on that person. To work with them with what they have and who they are. I want to say to raise them. It’s elevation. That’s what I see.
That’s a good metric for us. You are inexperienced at the moment. There’s a motion there for you but you don’t know what you are talking about. From that place, what are you afraid people might conclude about you or about what you are trying to do?
I’m not that odd. I’m a bit weird and peculiar.
For everyone that’s reading, it’s worth checking in what’s your experience currently in this conversation as an observer. When I check in with myself, I’m a little bit confused. It feels a little bit like we are dancing around something but not going to the heart of it. That could be for many reasons. That’s not like, “Mia should go to the heart of this.” Nevertheless, that’s what I’m present to. It’s like, “It’s not a real thing. They will think it’s not that great. I’m a bit weird and peculiar.” For the emotion, I felt from Mia relative to this story, what I’m present who is the emotion felt poignant.
The story that I’m hearing from Mia feels milquetoast, tepid, lukewarm. Do you know what I mean, Mia, when I describe it that way? It’s like “I’m a bit peculiar. I’m a bit weird.” “Yes, so am I. We should have a beer together, so what?” I don’t mean so what rhetorically. I mean, literally. “So what?” People think you are a bit weird and a bit peculiar. Is that the thing that’s stopping you? Is there something else here that we haven’t yet uncovered?
I feel quite calm because I feel like, “No. It isn’t that weird. I’m not that weird.” I don’t know where that emotion came from.
What’s the question are you currently answering, Mia?
Where’s that emotion coming from?
Let me check in with you first. I can feel your tenderness. Is there anything you need at this moment?
You are doing beautifully. I get you are a strong woman, that’s one thing I am clear on about you. I get your strength and capacity. I want to make sure that we are not stepping over the emotion if there’s something that needs love, tenderness or whatever. You’ve got emotion arising here. The story you are describing is lukewarm. If a kid was bawling their eyes out and we are like, “What’s wrong?” They were like, “A cloud came into the sky.” We would be like, “Is that it? Is there more here? There are clouds all over the place and they are always around. It’s there more to what’s got you?” That’s where I’m bringing our inquiry. I’m curious about that disconnect. I’m feeling between the emotion that’s arising for you and what you are describing is in the way.
I’m curious about that disconnect, too. I feel like I’m holding a huge force and I am holding it down.
In this moment?
Yes, and a lot of the time. At this moment, I feel there are some huge force that wants to come out and I am containing it.
I’m present to that feeling too. First of all, if your internal dialogue is like, “I’m a bit weird. I’m a bit peculiar.” That’s way nicer than my internal dialogue. Bless you, if that’s how it sounds inside. Mine is nasty, “You are lazy. You suck. You are fucking stupid. You are an addict.” All of that stuff. It’s fierce. My seeing of you and my experience of you is ferocious. I don’t mean I’m ferocious in seeing you. When I see you, Mia, I’m present with strength, ferocity, determination and willingness to do what it takes. All that feels pretty consistent with what you are describing. The feeling that you are holding something together in.
I want to say that I’m holding myself back. I have all that other stuff. I do sometimes think I’m lazy and I don’t know how to gauge where I am with other people. I feel I’m holding myself back. If I let go or take the lid off, I don’t know what will happen. It might be a tiny trickle. Maybe that’s why I’m holding it back.
We are on risky territory now because we are starting to get into why. You are doing fine. I want to distinguish that for both of us like, “Maybe, why?” What we know is that you are holding some stuff back at this moment. It sounds like you are distinguishing, “I’m doing that everywhere including this moment.” Is that right?
We can use this moment like a microcosm everywhere else. What is above is below. What happens out there happens in here. What do you think has you holding back at this moment? Not why. What is it that you think would have you hold back?
I think I’m all these great things and I would find out I’m not. It would be my thoughts that would hold me back.
Is there anything you need to permit yourself to allow that?
It already happened.
It’s a great metaphor, isn’t it? What is there for you at this moment are tears. You don’t want to let yourself cry. It occurs, there’s what’s going on for you and then there’s trying to hold it back. What’s the experience of doing that? At this moment, having a desire to cry or there are tears and not wanting that, what’s the experience that leaves you in?
The physical experience is like being strangled. My throat’s constricting. I feel tense. I feel like I’m constricting.
Is that a familiar feeling for you?
Yes. I remember feeling this intense every second of every day. I noticed the feeling of intense passion. I don’t hold back. It’s this exciting energy.
I remember you sent me an email from that place. That was our first introduction to each other. You responded to something I had sent out and said, “Hey.” After that, you sent me a long email. I’m going to lay some bread crumbs for people reading. Where we started with Mia was what does she even want. We’ve got to the point where there’s a money conversation to have. The thing she wants to do is get in more conversations with people where she’s inviting them to a coaching conversation than coaching them. We started to look at what’s in the way of that? What’s the story operating that has me not inviting people into a coaching conversation? As we have explored that, we started to look at what’s the negative story you are telling yourself?
Our beliefs start everything. If I believe that people find me rude and obnoxious when I have a conversation with them, my actions are going to be consistent with that. I’m going to avoid having a conversation with people. That’s why we are looking at the beliefs. What is the current set of beliefs that Mia has around invited people to a coaching conversation? As we have looked at that, they have been a bit disconnected from her actions. The like belief she’s had makes sense but they are lukewarm. There are not a lot of, “That’s the thing in the way?” Trying to figure out the thing in the way, we have come up against a new thing that’s in the way. We have to go to that, “There’s a new thing in a way. Let’s move that out of the way.”
Before we can get clear on what would move Mia forward in our coaching practice, we first have to look at what have you holding yourself back? Until Mia can fully express and distinguish, “This is a shitty story I’m telling myself,” we can’t work with it. If you are trying to work with someone and they were like, “Here’s the problem.” In a conversation like this, they only give themselves half of the problem or a euphemized version of the problem. You can’t construct a solution that addresses the full thing because you are only working with half the picture. That’s where we are at with Mia in this conversation. There’s a thing in the way of getting clear on what’s in the way. We have moved back one step and now we are looking at that. Does that make sense to you, Mia, in terms of where we are at?
What do you think it is for us to do at this point in the conversation? Notice everyone, I’m giving the reins back to her.
Somehow, flick a switch or ask a question or something happens that I’m not holding myself back. I want to say as much as I can. I feel like in those American films, you see somebody does something to a fire hydrant or something in the street and a lot of water comes out. That’s what I feel I’m holding back. It’s an enormous pressure. It’s some enormous energy that I’m holding back. I don’t know if I’m frightened of anything or what it is. I feel like I’m going to die at some point and I want it out. I want it to come out.
I get that. It’s certainly relatable. One, what I know is true about humans is there are always going to be more fullness of expression available. In a way, you could couch it like the tragedy of the human condition. We are infinite in what we can express. The possibility of what a human can express is infinite. Our capacity to do so is finite, no matter what. There’s always going to be an edge for us to step over and then we get to express more of who we are. I get it even from a conceptual level. I get in this moment this desire to express more. The same with Mia, she can relate to resisting the tears at the moment. That’s her desire too. What would get expressed if we were able to do that magic thing where we push the button or flip the switch or pull the lever or whatever? What would you, at this moment, be expressing that you aren’t currently?
I want to say things that feel like they sound stupid and arrogant.
It’s something I have heard you say a lot, my brilliance. I think I’m brilliant. In my capacity to do stuff, I feel capable. If I let go more of that stuff out, I would do more.
I will reflect on what you have said, which is if I held backless, I would do more. The exact words were like, “If I was holding back less of my capacity, I would do more.”
I felt like I would be paring through stuff.
We will have more of it on the table.
It feels everything would move more quickly. I would tell you what it would be like, Adam. I would be the man in the film Limitless. That’s what would happen. Do you know that film?
I would be Bradley Cooper in Limitless.
There’s a real possibility available if you were to take this on, it sounds like. Is that right?
By holding back at this moment, what are you avoiding?
I’m going to say being an arrogant asshole. I’m avoiding having a different opinion from somebody else, hurting people and living the life that I want to live.
I feel the emotion in that. Does that need anything?
That sounds like a consequence rather than the thing you are intending to avoid. I’m imagining you are not like, “At this moment, I’m going to hold myself in check so that I get to avoid living the life I want to live.” That’s probably not what’s happening there. It’s fine. It’s good information too. There’s the payoff. By holding yourself back, you avoid being arrogant. You avoid being an asshole and hurting people. The consequence is you don’t get to live the life you want to lead. What are their payoffs at this moment?
Neat, small, and contained.
What’s the payoff of being contained?
I don’t have to upset anyone. If I bust out, I will upset someone.
How are you doing?
This conversation where we are at with Mia is a beautiful example of why coaching can be at its best in an ongoing, committed container, as opposed to a one-off. We are getting through some stuff here with Mia. This thing sounds that it’s in the way of a lot of what she wants. In the way of living the life she wants. We will create some stuff for her to start to work through here. Remember, we are like, “Here’s the thing she wants. Here’s the thing in the way of that.” We have to address what’s in the way.
For me, to create all of what she wants, there’s probably going to be more conversations where she starts to move this out of the way. She then can fully speak her story about herself without holding it back. We can go to like, “Let’s start to address that story and move that out of the way.” We then can get into action. It’s also why the fantasy of the silver bullet, one pill, take it and I’m done is spurious. It’s not real. This is the conversation very much for Mia and me to be having. You can tell because that’s the conversation we are having.
Trying to step over it is always going to pull us back. Mia and I could go into a conversation about money and be like, “What’s the story about money?” It’s probably going to be more of that lukewarm, milquetoast things. We have to address this. You can’t step over the steps. The way coaching gets you there sooner is by having you get clear on the stuff in front of you and be there even though you don’t want to. We are not going to resolve all of this in a day, Mia. I don’t have the pill that Bradley Cooper took that makes you old quickly but super smart. You said by holding back, you avoid being arrogant, asshole and hurting people. You get to be neat, small, you don’t upset anyone. That’s true. Are there times that you are arrogant?
I don’t know if other people think I’m arrogant.
I’m not asking them.
I don’t think I’m arrogant.
That seems pretty arrogant to me. How about being an asshole?
I can be an asshole.
To yourself, if not, to other people?
I would go back to the joke I made. I would share this anecdote. When I was writing my first book, I was interviewing the smartest people in the room. I had interviewed them and I spiderweb out that way. One of the themes was arrogance. The quality of brilliance tends to breed a degree of arrogance. When you have more brilliance than most people in the room, it doesn’t make you better. There’s just a natural degree of arrogance born out of that. When you are the most generous person in the room, there’s a degree of righteousness born out of that. “You only donated 1%. I tithe 10%.” You get the idea. These aren’t bad things about the people. They are not a condemnation. It’s the shape of the shadow cast by a particular light.
I was interviewing people and one of the questions I asked was, “What would you change about people if you could fix these people out there in the world?” One person, his answer was, “I wouldn’t change anything about anyone. People are fine. They are exactly who they are and they are perfect. I don’t hold that against them. I see the best in everyone,” which sounds on the face like, “Great. You have attained Jesushood.” Where I was left was like, “How fucking arrogant is that?” To fool yourself into believing there’s nothing at all you would change about anyone. Unlike everyone else, you have the capacity not to get triggered by anyone. Can you see there is a level of arrogance in believing that we could somehow be unaffected by our ego? My story is not the best one but can you see what I’m talking about?
Yes, I can. It was great when you said it. It made me laugh.
That’s good, too. We want you laughing. Can you see my arrogance? Are you present to that over here, the capacity for it?
I’m talking to people about what we are doing. It is arrogant. It sounds that you are answering you can also see it a little bit with yourself now that I have said that. What’s one of the ways that your arrogance can manifest?
I think I’m right a lot. I say, “Everyone is allowed their own opinion, but I like my opinion better.”
Everyone is allowed their own opinion, you fucking stupid people. You are allowed that opinion.
I didn’t say that out loud. I’m saying that everyone is allowed with their own opinion.
You do a lot of work to hide that, would that be fair?
I don’t use that language. I say that I am holding myself back. I say that I am being mindful of other people’s feelings. I say stuff like that.
I want to make sure we are on the same page with it. It sounds like there is a story, a fear, a conversation about your arrogance or about wanting to be anything but arrogant. You simultaneously can see your capacity for it to be arrogant at times. You actively do things to not let that out into the world, either hide it or believe people, “You are entitled to your own opinion even though you are wrong, stupid.” You would never say that. That’s a way of holding it back and hiding it back.
I didn’t think I was arrogant until I came into this conversation with you. It’s not a word I would ever have used about myself. I completely agree and believe everything you said about the shape of the shadow.
I want to pull us back. I’m laying some planks. I’m intentionally cutting you off so that we don’t digress too much. I wanted to make sure you can see some arrogance. If not that, you could see your fear about being that thing. Would that be fair?
That one, 100%.
From your fear about being that thing, you do a bunch of stuff so that thing doesn’t come true. This is what we are all actively doing is like, “I’m afraid I might be this thing. Being this thing is the wrongest in the world. I have to then do all of this stuff to ensure that never comes out.” Have you felt some of my arrogance in this conversation?
I dodged that bullet. I imagine some of the people reading might have had times, “Adam is talking over her. He’s cutting her off. He’s interrupting the conversation.” Even if it’s not the way it’s landing on you, I do a lot of work to try to be responsible for it. Part of what being responsible for something requires is a willingness to accept that sometimes it’s going to show up and we are not going to see it. Are there times when being arrogant could be helpful?
Name one of them.
What you did in the coaching is arrogance. I don’t think it is arrogance. To take command and take control of something is because that’s your job. To do that thing because that’s your job. That’s your role.
What about when there are some decisions required and a bunch of people has different opinions about what needs to happen but it’s an important decision that needs to be made? Would it serve to be like, “I’m right, we are doing this,” if you are the leader?
There are times when it might occur as arrogant but there’s a benefit to doing that.
It varies in situations.
Where do you see we have arrived at in this conversation?
In that second when you said that, I do not see myself as a leader. I see myself as, and regularly joke, that I am a minion.
That’s what you took from that moment I shared. From this conversation that we have been on, where would you say have you arrived?
A lot happened and I have been in it. I feel a bit less scared. I’m just going to say some stuff and then I feel a bit less scared to allow that thing to happen. To be less inclined to do the covering up and a bit less scared to let the stuff out.
I don’t know if it makes sense. I will tell you what you said. You feel a bit less scared to let the thing out. Does that make sense to you?
I almost feel like I have been given permission.
Here’s where I see we have gone so that you can see them with some altitude. We started with like, “Money is the conversation to have.” You also mentioned, “I think money because I’m not inviting people to a conversation about coaching because I’m afraid I will have to propose to them.” We are like, “Is the money or is it getting into the conversation?” We started with that. From there we asked like, “What’s the story about getting into a conversation with coaching?” You had a bunch of emotions but we are holding back because of what we distinguished from sharing the fullness of your story. From that place, we start to look at this holding back thing. What are you holding back? What are you trying to protect? What are you trying to prevent from happening? As long as I hold back, I don’t get labeled arrogant, I don’t get labeled an asshole. I don’t hurt people. I need small and I don’t upset anyone.
Where we have looked at it from there, looking to see if you can get present to the times when you are these things. Not to condemn you for it but you can see part of your humanity at play and get that they are not always a bad thing. Let me put a few things on the table and we will wind down. We could spend our whole lives trying not to be something. We spent our whole lives trying not to be arrogant and asshole. What we get is a life that is the expression of trying not to be an asshole, which is different than a life that is the expression of expressing your brilliance.
You could spend an entire football game playing to not lose. The other team puts the ball in our net. That’s bad so we will play to not lose. We will have the greatest defense in the world and we will have zero offense and that team at the end of the year, their track record will be the expression of having played to never let the other person score. At best, what are the results of a game that they are playing 0, 0? We have no offense. We just passed the ball back and forth between defenders but they never scored. We can play our game with a commitment to winning, which means at times we may get scored on because we are willing to be scored on in service of going after winning. This is making sense so far?
Perfect. The football analogy is perfect for me.
First of all, one of the gifts that are available I believe for humans. I am making an assertion here. These are my beliefs, you don’t have to take them on. My invitation is to try them on like you try a coat and see how it fits. My first is that a human is everything, we are the capacity to be all of this stuff. What we tend to do is, condemn a particular quality in ourselves because that’s what we were trained in. We condemn it in other people. We were like, “That person is a bully. I would never be a bully.” Guess what? You are. That is a part of the human capacity to be expressed. You can spend your whole life trying not to be a bully. What that’s going to do is have you unable to see the times when inadvertently you are. The thing we are most committed to never being is the thing we become. Does this make sense? What does that mean when you are the most committed to not being arrogant? What’s the upshot to that?
The question is making my head skip.
Let me give it to you simply because it’s not meant to be complicated. The thing we are most committed to avoiding or never being is the thing we become. If you are most committed to not being arrogant, what will you become?
You could spend time trying to avoid that or you could put your commitment on something else like, “I want to be fully expressed or I want to share my brilliance and be a clearing for other people to share their brilliance.” That’s what I would invite you to take on as a practice here is to notice when you are avoiding or preventing or trying to protect against being a certain thing. The things that you might want to write down or arrogant asshole upsetting.
In those moments, you might check in like, “What is your commitment in terms of life?” Is it to never be arrogant? That’s a totally fine commitment. It will give you a life that is the expression of never being arrogant. There are some things that we want in life that might require a willingness to be seen as arrogant. Just like if you want to score ten goals in football, you might have to be willing to have the other team score 3, 4, 5 even 9, it doesn’t matter.
Thank you for the football, that helps.
Notice when you are avoiding being arrogant, asshole or upsetting. The game is not to be like, “I’m going to be an asshole.” You will get a life that is the expression of being an asshole. That’s not good either. What is it that you are committed to for yourself? Maybe it’s the full expression? Check-in with yourself in those moments like, “Maybe that requires a willingness to be an asshole but it’s not that that is my commitment.” How are you doing?
You feel like you have released some stuff. Let a bit go. The last practice I would invite you to take on is to sit down and get clear like, “What is this shitty story I have about inviting people to a coaching conversation with me?” You can write it down. “They are going to think…” Anytime you get like, “It’s not real,” but what will they think? My conversations are like, “They are going to think I’m a pathetic loser, a wanker and I have no skill.”
Even at this moment. The conversation in my head is I’m doing too much telling in this conversation. I’m telling you too much. I’m not asking enough questions. I have interrupted you a couple of times so I’m rude. People are going to think that about me. There are a couple of times that I asked questions where I asked a question and another question like stacked questions. I asked questions in a stacked way, that’s confusing. I’m hard to follow too, I’m all over the map. I can distinguish that story, then I can choose not to react to it. That’s the strength and getting clear, “This is the bullshit story I’m telling myself.” Sit down and practice not holding back on that story. Your job is not to be responsible or transformed or generous to everyone. It’s like, “What is the bullshit story, the shitty story I’m telling myself that these people think?” Would you be able to do that?
One hundred percent.
We can work on it in The Forge bring it in. Before we can work on something we have to be willing to fully look at the thing before we can do anything about it. If we are trying to do this and then like, “It’s got like that.” It’s like, “We can make a solution that’s trying to work with that. It’s going to be cranky.” It’s not going to give us what we want. I want you to know, you are in good company. It’s common for people to struggle to define the problem for a variety of reasons. The first one is that we would rather put our attention on the solution because then it feels like we are moving forward. The second reason is that looking at the problem is painful and been required like, “If you break your arm and your bone are sticking out. To fix it, you’ve got to look at this gross bone sticking out of your arm and that’s gross.” We are like, “I don’t want to look at that, I will just design a cast over here.” That’s not going to work.
The third reason is that it’s scary to look at the problem. When we have a way of dealing with a problem of running away or numbing ourselves or whatever. It makes it so we don’t have to confront the problem and look at it but it also means that we don’t get fully present to it and then address the solution completely. I acknowledge you for your courage and your willingness to slow down, hear me out and be with all of that and let yourself sit in it including the emotions that get driven up. Anything that you want to say to be complete?
None. Thank you.
You are welcome. Thank you. I want to acknowledge you for your brilliance and that coupled with the challenge of being either arrogant or revealed to be stupid. It’s a double-edged sword. Almost every particular light cast to similar but different shadows. They are like opposite ends of the spectrum. You can think of the spectrum like that. They meet at a very close place. It’s like, “I own my brilliance then I’m going to come off as arrogant,” or people will laugh and be like, “You dummy,” and then I will feel stupid and then I’m stupid. In both those situations like, “I’m not going to put myself out there.” I acknowledge the brilliance that I’m present to being reflected in the duality of that challenge. I acknowledge you for the courage requires to be in a call like this and to let yourself feel what you are feeling.
One of the first ways we avoid being with what is so is our emotions. We run upstairs, hang out here where there are a lot of brilliant thoughts. We don’t have to be with emotions. I want you to know, you are practicing right here right now, at this moment. I acknowledge you for your tenderness too. You are a strong woman and I get your dedication and commitment to do what needs to be done. I acknowledge the other part, the yang to your yin, the feminine side.
There’s a real delicate flower that is part of who you are as well. It’s beautiful for you to allow that feeling body to exist simultaneously with the brilliant mind on top of your shoulders. Anything present for you? It was shifted a little bit of a debrief here. Is there any particular place you thought we were meant to go or we are going to go and didn’t? Any experience you want to share partway through?
I had loads of stuff scribbled down beforehand which felt complicated. Money somehow felt clean but it wasn’t clean. It wasn’t a clean thing that I thought it was going to be. I’m aware of that. I enjoyed it even though it was horrific at points. I just really enjoyed it. Thank you so much.
I was talking to a friend of mine. Arrogantly, I have a belief about why you think it might have been why you think I think of it as challenging. Nothing to do with you being difficult. The challenge for me in this conversation was letting go of where I thought we ought to go. You started with that money thing and I’m like, “Let’s look at that,” but then, “Is that the thing? Am I doing bad coaching? Is this my agenda? Am I pushing us over in this direction, when Mia wants to look at money?” Coaching can get heavy, burdensome and crappy for the coach when they are attached to the client getting somewhere, to the call or the conversation going in a particular direction.
As with you, Mia, I love solutions and moving people forward, breakthroughs and all that cool shit and they happen. I noticed they happen a lot sooner if I let go of needing them to happen. Trust this. It gets connected here and let go. Let us go to what shows up. When we do that, the beautiful thing is that it always goes where it needs to go, we always find out where we need to go. What did you want to say to that?
When you said to me that’s lukewarm and emotion comes out about something else. You call that out. That was brilliant for me. That made a difference in the conversation.
That was edgy to do. This is why we need our coaches. It serves coaches to get trained because, at that moment, a couple of things are happening in my head. One was, “Am I meeting my client to show up differently than she is?” Is it just that I need her to share the story crappier? It’s my agenda, that was one thing. The second was, “Am I not asking the right questions? Are we not digging enough?” The third was I’m going to surrender all that stuff. “Let’s say what I’m feeling,” which doesn’t seem that bad which ironically brought up a ton of emotion like, “We have a disjoint.”
To get to the point where we can trust what showing up requires a lot of getting feedback and being supported by other coaches and leaders and trains so that we can start to pull through our ego, derailing the conversation and trusting what’s showing up and trusting the client. That’s what I was doing at that moment. Does this seem that way to you? That did feel like a shift for both of us. This is probably the thing for us to work with.
Jess jokingly says, “The goal isn’t Jesus dumb?” It is for me, Jess. I know at this point sometimes I know I will never achieve it but my ego is still like, “You should try, Adam.” Leo says, “Beautiful work, Mia, I love the vulnerability. Thanks for showing that side of yourself. Thank you for the great coaching call, Adam.” Thank you, Leo, Love you. Jess says, “Thanks Adam and Mia for sharing your great work.” Where do people find you? If they want to talk to you or get to know more about you? To have you give them a coaching conversation?
I’m on Facebook, Mia Kielty-Bande.
You are on Facebook. You are in The Forge. Everyone lets watched and like, “I like her or I don’t know how I feel about that.” You are going to get TV and some deep work with her. That’s exciting for both of us. Thanks, everyone for joining us. Big thanks to Leo, Jess, Rachel and Maria, for piping in and Christy as well. It’s always nice to hear voices other than ours. It’s cool to know that there are people out there that we are in connection with. I appreciate that from everyone.
I said at the top of this that The Forge is now sold out. If that was something you were thinking about, perhaps next year will be your year. Don’t sleep on it next time or do. That’s fine as well. I mentioned at the beginning of this, the course I have been putting together starts in two months. It’s $1,000, it’s ten weeks. It’s going to be a lot of cool engagement. There are some beautiful values there. If you are wanting to create whatever transformation, maybe from some with Mia, or whatever else it might look like and get better at enrolling people into your practice, whether it’s coaching or something else. Reach out, send me an email at Adam@AdamQuiney.com or send me a Facebook message and we can talk about it. It’s going to be cool. Thank you, everyone. I love you and I will talk to you next time.
About Mia Kielty-Bande
Certified Life Coach
1-2-1 coaching for individuals who know they are capable of more and are prepared to challenge themselves.
She was trained in solution-focused work as part of her work as a family support worker on behalf of local government. Also attended the BRIEF SFBT summer school in London and currently training and practising as a coach.