A bold statement, yeah?

Maybe so.  But I’m not here to pull punches. I’m here to change lives.

I’ve never worked with anyone who was “addicted” to anything that I couldn’t crack. No habit or limiting belief I couldn’t alter.

The caveat being, the client actually had to want to change. For themselves, first and foremost. And they had to have skin in the game. Meaning, they had to “ante-up” in a way that loss with no return would be painful.

And no, that doesn’t always have to be money. I’ve worked with kids where I worked out a trade of chores for their parents or church. Money is just the easiest form of energy transfer, but I don’t let that limit my creativity or who I choose to work with.

Physical addiction?  Bullshit. And yeah, it’s usually the first element of pushback I get from those I’m working with, or from those who say these transformations are not possible.  Do you engage in the activity while you’re sleeping? No? Then this is a temporary mental/emotional attachment, nothing more.

I’m not saying it’s not strong and destructive, I’m AM saying it’s not physical.

Once an addict, always an addict?  More bullshit. For the same reasons above.

Unfortunately the “physical addiction” and  “once an addict, always an addict” lie are perpetuated by those who would profit on that lie being perpetuated.  The mantra of marketing and business being that repeat business is where it’s at. All cool if we’re talking about a widget or product. Seriously unethical if we’re talking about a human life.

I don’t work that way. It is, as I said, unethical.  I charge what I’m worth up front (which is rolled into the “skin in the game” aspect), elicit the change and move on.  Believe me, there is plenty of need out there and few who can provide it.  So no need for client retention.  Referrals come without asking because once a person is optimized, they want *everyone* to feel the same.  The optimized human doesn’t know scarcity, and so he shares freely.

“Addiction” to any substance – and I don’t care what that substance is (food, porn, smoking, alcohol, street drugs of any sort, lying, cheating gambling… whatever) – is a coping mechanism for a deeper issue.  The action (or shitty habit) didn’t just spring up out of nowhere.

Same thing with limiting beliefs.  In other words, the “I can’t X because Y” mindset.  Excuses supported by a bullshit story the client has chosen to believe.

Quite simply, it’s a story the afflicted chooses to tell themselves to get beyond that deeper issue. Typically reinforced by the environment.  Change the environment, change the habit. Then rewrite the story.

The key to ridding the person of the addiction (or shitty habit or limiting belief)?  It’s a simple two-step process:

1. The coach has to unrelentingly call bullshit on the story and rewrite the client’s internal subconscious programming, and

2. The client has to be all in.  Willing to take full responsibility for the past (which may require forgiving – self or other) , rewrite the story, and move forward.

Simple, yes.  But not easy.  This is why so few are successful in changing their own habits, and why coaches generally suck at driving compliance.

The problem? Few coaches have the intestinal fortitude to challenge a client, face the emotional blowback (yeah, it can be intense), and bring out that client’s excellence. 

And, too, few coaches know how to deal with the subconscious mind, where the change has to be made. There’s art and science there as well.

There can be no “savior” or “guru” complex involved on the part of the coach. The entire goal is to get the client to fully stand, unsupported, on their own.  The coach is teaching the client to save themselves.  And, ultimately, not need the coach.  See the potential blind spot here on the part of the coach?  Yes, this is a real thing. The coach isn’t a bad person, just blind to their own issues.

There is excellence and genius within EVERYONE.  I’ve seen this in every client I have ever worked with, every kid I have ever coached.  It’s just not been *expected* of everyone.  And so often I am the first one who will accept *no less than* excellence (in an effort > outcome kind of way) from the client.  That in itself is a game-changer.

And, too, many clients have “secondary gain” around their condition.  This is often woven into the low expectations trap.  That is to say, their identification is wrapped up in being an “addict” or the “struggling dieter” or the victim of (fill in the blank), or whatever.  Here too, the coach has to be strong in calling out the bullshit.

So you can see there is a lot of “calling out bullshit” involved in this process.  There is, and it’s crucial if the end goal is to actually elicit permanent change in a client.

Or, you can be “nice” and enable an on-going habit change circle jerk. That’s a thing, for sure.  And both parties can feel good about that arrangement.  I’m just not about that.

Because here’s the thing: I love my clients enough not to let them lie to themselves.  I’d alert them if someone else were lying to them, why in the hell wouldn’t I do the same if they were doing it to themselves?

You are here for so much more than mere puttering and survival.  Love yourself enough to start thriving like it.

Thrive on,

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Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.


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