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The Internal Saboteur by Donna Astern

Jun 5th, 2009 | By | Category: Wellness Coaching Guest Posts

A Look Inside the Heart

This is a guest post by Donna Astern, of

heart-with-lightSometimes the real solution for a frustrated dieter is not another meal plan, but a look inside the heart to discover the hidden belief system of which the client is unaware.

An iceberg is typically 90% under the surface.  Like an iceberg, what the client says or thinks she wants is only the visible 10%.  Underneath the surface may be a massive and powerful hidden belief system running counter to her stated desires. This internal system will sabotage her efforts to lose the pounds or adopt healthier habits.

Uncovering the saboteur

As you coach her, investigate to learn if there is any part of her that doesn’t want to succeed.

Help her discover her belief system by asking probing questions:

1.      Give me an immediate answer. Fill in the blank:

“Slim people are ________”

“Slim people are ________”

“Slim people are ________”

Or, “Athletes are ________” (Again, asking three times in rapid succession to get the honest answer from the heart.)

If there are negative answers like “Slim people are stuck-up”, or “Athletes are freaks”, it indicates a belief system that will not allow her to become of those “horrible people”.

2.      Why don’t you have what you want now?

Stop here for a moment and let her think how to answer. Any negative response is a red flag.  Does she blame somebody or something? “It’s my genes, it’s my mother’s fault, it’s my job, it’s the kids!” Often, blame is just a diversion to keep the iceberg hidden.

3.      What is the reason you should not be fit and healthy or slender?
The answer is revealing. Deep down, she may feel she doesn’t deserve what she really wants. If she doesn’t believe she deserves it, it will not happen for her. There may be some guilt and self-condemnation for letting herself get into this shape.

Some Christians believe God is glorified in their poor health, or that He has cursed them.  Some adopt an attitude of passivity or rather, irresponsibility, that “if God wants me well, He’ll just do it.”

4. How might your life change when you reach your goal? What possible negative repercussions might there be?

Look for any fears of unwanted sexual attention or added responsibilities at home or at work. Are these fears rational? Help her work out how she might face those fears.

If she doesn’t believe she deserves it, or if she is afraid of what the change might bring, her inner belief system will sabotage every effort towards success in order to keep her “safe”.

As you coach her through it, she will begin to grow settled that it is both safe and okay for her to proceed. She can forgive and accept herself and move on. She will begin to believe she deserves to be fit and healthy.

The power of decision

Every good salesman knows to ask for the sale. Ask your client to make a decision about her future, not a commitment to a plan, but a decision of power stating how it shall be. Different results won’t happen until she makes the decision how her future is going to be. When she decides, when she chooses, then she is positioning herself to walk in that reality.

Deciding is a power position. After all, God decided to create, and released that decision with “Light, be!”

Encourage her to verbalize her decision. “I have decided to be/have ________.”  Have her check again for any sense of internal resistance.

Once she has spoken her decision, she will be more empowered to have that reality, especially with you by her side to encourage and support.

donna-favcrop-lowres-2inches-asc_3887Donna loves to see people move forward with the unique plan and person God has for their lives. She is a life coach and an apostolic prophetic minister who leads Destiny Spirit Apostolic Network. She and her husband reside in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

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