One of the more challenging aspects of coaching is getting someone to believe in what I, as a coach, can see as possible for the client. People have a hard time believing how much they can accomplish. As Jim Rohn said, people overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a year.

The problem is not in the imagination. People can imagine all kinds of results for other people, both good and bad. The problem is in the belief. Many people believe the desired results are not for them. This negative belief can come from many reasons. Maybe they feel they are not capable of doing what has to be done. Maybe they believe they are not worthy of the rewards they see. Maybe they believe the success is not possible simply because they are “unlucky”. Whatever the reason, the belief in themselves is just not there.

So what can be done to generate the belief which is so key to their actions? How does a person get the belief necessary to go ahead and act, to strive for the envisioned results?

Simply saying “You have to believe” is not enough. Robert Anthony says that there is no such thing as will power; will power is conscious attention, and when the attention shifts so does the will to act. Positive thinking, positive self-talk, visualization, vision boards, and all the other tools help build the belief, but not fast enough, not enough to overcome the inertia in most cases. There are those few who can start forward on their own, but they are few and far between.

What is needed is an outside force. Physics teaches us that a body at rest will stay at rest until an outside force acts on it. People are the same; they will stay in the same situation, no matter how bad it is. As the story goes about the dog lying on the nail, it doesn’t hurt bad enough to make us move.

So where does this outside force come from? For most people, there are two possible sources. The first is their love for someone else. People will do things for other people that they will not do for themselves. The other is some type of coach or mentor. People can feed on the belief of a mentor, a friend, a coach, or even a colleague; they can tap into the belief of the other person to “prime the pump” and get them to act. Once the action starts, it is easier to keep going. Again, looking at physics says that a body in motion will stay in motion until an outside force acts on it.

One of the most powerful techniques a coach has is their belief in what the client can do. The client can put his trust into the coach, saying to himself, “He believes in me. I cannot see it for myself, but he believes in me. Let’s see what happens.” And so the action starts.

If you are having trouble getting started, consider finding a coach, a mentor, a friend who is willing to believe in you. That belief can be priceless.

Author's Bio: 

John Steely is a certified life coach concentrating on personal and professional development. His site Steely Services provides information on personal development topics. John shares his love of classics in his Monthly Classic program of free books.