Talking with a Life Coach Increases Emotional Intelligence

One of the best aspects of talking with a life coach is that each session is specifically tailored to meet your needs. Based on the goals you provide (or outcomes you prefer), as well as your personalized answers, a life coach can adjust their skill set in order to best meet your needs. Those working on relationships will receive far different feedback from those working to advance their career, and so on. It’s a completely individualized experience from the start, as well as each individual session.

One aspect that remains somewhat universal, however, is that of emotional intelligence. When talking with your life coach, this might be something you wish to explore without even knowing it. Oftentimes when people are looking to become more mature or make better big-picture decisions — again, even if they don’t know it — they’re looking to grow in the area of emotional intelligence.

This differs from traditional intelligence as it deals directly with one’s ability to comprehend relationships and their reaction to everyday events on an emotional level. It’s the relationship equivalent to that of books or studying. Just like with schoolwork, the more you study and read up on a specific topic, the better equipped you are to take on the subject. Just like studying from a book, one can learn to better control their emotional health.

Taking the Course

There’s even an entire course dedicated to that of emotional intelligence. Whether you work on this aspect in an individual setting or through the proven workshop, with a little dedication you can work to improve yourself immensely.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how working on it can improve your personal and professional lives, click the tab or this link. You can even get signed up today!

Life Coaching for Married Couples: How it Can Help

When one hears the term “life coaching,” it can have a very different connotation than other forms of counseling. Especially that of marriage or relationship counseling, which is generally considered to be a deeper, more personal experience than that of a life coach. As well as focusing specifically on a couple’s communication with one another.

But did you know that couples all across the country are receiving positive results from their joint life coaching sessions? While the terms might have gotten muddled down along the way, life coaching is actually a viable options for couples of all statuses. Whether you’ve been together a few months or decades, a life coach can bring the insight needed to help your relationship succeed. In whatever capacity that’s preferred.

Why a Life Coach?

Life coaches have an immense amount of experience dealing with others on a personal level. Including finding a proper way to help them help themselves. Whether done as a couple or in separate sessions, life coaching can be just the cure your relationship needs to get past whatever rough patch it’s been going through. Additionally, a life coach can help you work on other areas of your life — whether as a couple or separately. By intermingling these topics, many couples have been able to find more success and in quicker fashion. Rather than just working on the relationship itself, they’re able to find positive movement in various areas of life.

While it might be the first go-to practice that comes to mind when thinking about relationship work, life coaching can be a great way to bridge communication gaps without cutting off other aspects of one’s life.

To learn more or get started today, head to our marriage and relationship page.

.

Using a Life Coach for Personal Relationships

Personal relationships of any kind require work. Oftentimes on a daily schedule. Whether dealing with a significant other, a friend, or an outside acquaintance, talking and communicating with one another can benefit or hurt our daily interactions. Based on one’s mood at the time, an interaction can greatly change the dynamic of two people. One angry day can create a fight, while being more understanding can prevent one. It’s a difference than often changes relationships in a big way.

But because we’re emotionally involved, objectively looking at how we interact with one another can often be difficult. No matter how we try to lay out the facts, our personal preferences and feelings toward a certain instance will get in the way of our overall understanding of a scenario. This can also be said for the other party involved. As well as friends or family whom you go to advise. Because they know you, and perhaps the other party involved, their opinion isn’t able to be objective.

However, a life coach is able to give outside advice from the perspective of someone trying to resolve conflict. Not show who is right or wrong within a scenario. They also have experience in counseling, which means they know how to help others better communicate.

When it comes to determining relationships, working with a life coach can help you better determine a recurring problem, as well as finding a solid solution. A solid way to end relationship rough patches whenever they may arise.

How Can You Benefit From a Life Coach

When setting out to make a large decision, weighing the pros and cons can often feel like a burden. There are so many variables in play, any of which could lead to a different outcome. And stopping to think about which actions might lead to the best results can be overwhelming. With outside help, however, especially from someone who is specifically trained to help create the best possible outcome, those decisions can be made with far more confidence.

Life coaches are trained to help with these types of large life adjustments, as well as the everyday choices that helps us get them there. With additional guidance from these professionals, you can work to make small decisions that lead toward an overall goal.

However, when it comes to life coaching, they’re there to coach, not enforce. Use your life coach to bounce ideas or talk about various career or school choices as they arise. Here, you can play out different scenarios and determine which steps will better lead you toward your overall goal(s). The best part about dealing with a life coach, however, is that they are unbiased. Rather than a family member who will have opinions based on your past, present, or future, a life coach will look at the pros and cons of each situation and be able to asses them for what they are. Life coaches can also be used to bounce ideas off of without the fear of hurting their feelings.

When it comes to making life decisions, there is plenty to be gained from using a life coach. Not only do they have experience evaluating various life decisions, they can be used as a safe sounding board for important life issues. Consider signing up for your own life coach today to receive ongoing support when working to move forward in your personal or professional life.

Does your Life Need a Life Coach?

life-coaching-quoteWhen stopping to consider the future, many get bogged down and overwhelmed with the possibilities. With career choices, schooling, and personal changes all to be looked into, choosing just a single path is almost always the most difficult step. With the help of an outside perspective, however, those choices can not only become easier to make, but become clearer as to how they fit into your future.

Friends and family members often make a good sounding board, but can actually have too much information. Not only do they know your dreams and ambitions, they know everything about your past. Which is why an outside, unbiased source is the best stop toward finding your future. With the help of an experienced life coach you can not only earn some much-needed advice, but get started on a researched plan to help get you where you need to be. Without all the second guessing.

So, do you need a life coach?

If you have problems making decisions, are not where you’d like to be personally or professionally, or are just looking for some outside advice, a life coach may be the solution you’ve been looking for. They also specialize in helping others – whether in relationships, schooling, jobs, etc. – so you can be sure to find the perfect fit for your specific needs.

Working with a life coach also allows you to create a customized plan for your own life. Rather than placing people into categories, these coaches talk with you, ask questions, and more, in order to find the best path to meet your projected outcome.

Life coaches specialize in:

• Helping healthy, but not necessarily satisfied, people expand their horizons
• Allowing you to find the way to meet your own goals
• Creating a more fulfilled life, in a number of areas
• Helping you move forward with life and get “unstuck”

No matter if you think your life needs a little bit of coaching or a full-on overhaul, a life coach can help you work through whatever issues may arise. Together with their help you can create a happier, healthier life.

To learn more today, contact us or read our classes page.

Marriage Counseling Austin: Being Clear about Sex

In marriage counseling sessions, couples many times express sincere attempts to be tactful, to be “nice.” There’s nothing wrong with being kind, thoughtful, and considerate, we should all be. There’s also a time to be clear, to be firm with one’s partner in all of your interactions, yes, even when it comes to sex. Following is an edited conversation in couples counseling I had with a client who wasn’t very happy with her partner.

In the movie, “The Notebook” Noah (Ryan Gosling) asks Allie (Rachel McAdams, “What do you want.” Her response “It’s not that simple,” is what many people who spend their lives living for whatever everybody else wants fail to ask themselves.

Marriage Counseling Austin:

Client: My husband doesn’t get it about sex.

Coach: How so?

Client: He thinks groping equals foreplay.

Coach: What have you done about it?

Client: I’ve tried explaining nicely that I need a connection with him first. I feel guilty, is there something wrong with me sexually?

Coach: Sometimes a woman needs to be much more direct with her man. He’s not listening, but that’s his problem, your job is to make sure you’re very clear what you like and what you will not tolerate.

Client: But that doesn’t sound very nice.

Coach: You’re right, sometimes people can’t hear “nice” so you have to be firm.

Client: But maybe there’s something wrong with me.

Coach: There is, you’re not asserting yourself. Quite often, men understand one thing when it comes to sex, “me want, me get.” It’s different for women, you have a need to feel connected, to feel sexy and attractive, to feel loved and safe. There’s nothing wrong with this, you need to honor your own sexuality. Stop getting your cues about what is right or wrong from anyone else; listen to your own instinct and be an advocate for yourself.

Client: But what if he doesn’t listen to me?

Coach: First make sure you’re speaking loud and clear, you’re not doing that yet. If he still doesn’t get it you need to search for other ways to get past his indifference. Is it okay with you that your partner doesn’t listen to what’s important to you?

Client: No it’s not okay, I need to start being firm!

It won’t be an easy thing for this lady to change what is likely a lifetime habit of being overly tactful, it’ll take work and she’ll likely get push-back from her husband because he’s used to her being a doormat. He will want to keep the arrangement they have developed over the years. Regardless, it’s crucial to both her peace of mind and to the relationship that she change, if she doesn’t her resentment will increase and will spill over into other areas of her marriage and life.

Life Coach Austin, David Cantu

Marriage Counseling Austin 512-653-4316

Love Coaching: Neither One of You is Perfect

Love coaching for a better relationship! It’s an easy thing in relationships to get carried away by the imperfections of your lover. It doesn’t take a lot of skill to point out to your partner what she does wrong and to imagine that the true fault in your love life has much more to do with her than yourself. Love and relationship coaching is about looking at yourself, asking yourself what things you can do to improve your partnership or marriage, and better appreciating how your partner loves you.

One of the things we focus on in love coaching is communication. A key for improved communication is empathy, better understanding your partner’s point of view. People naturally want to express what they do, what they want, what they think. This is well and good, but when it comes to closeness, it’s far more important to put energy into what your partner feels, needs, and wants. This is not to say that your needs are unimportant, rather that the most powerful way for you to get your needs met is to make sure you understand where your partner is coming from. As you better understand her, you make it far more likely that she will want to reciprocate to help meet your needs.

A client recently and expressed frustration that his wife felt unheard and unimportant to him, she told him she felt very little hope that he would ever change. When I asked what his response was to her complaints about him, he said he tried to explain that she was very important to him and that he did listen to her. He went on to say how she then became angry with him. I explained to him that his response was very natural, that he was in the best way he knew trying to reassure her. Then I suggested to him that it was the worst thing he could do and that he made a difficult situation worse. In amazement he asked how that could be so. I told him that basically he had called his wife a liar. In shock he asked “what?” I told him that what he needed to do was appreciate her better by recognizing what she said and acknowledging the truth of her feelings. His response to me was, “but she was wrong!” That idea is what was getting my client in hot water. He sees himself as attentive and as a good listener, but he’s ignoring that she “feels” unimportant and unheard. The fact of whether she’s important to him is not the issue. The moment he defends himself he is in fact telling her that her feelings are wrong. The result is likely to be a fight, tears, blame, withdrawal, and frustration. I gave my client a love coaching homework assignment: “Go home, tell your wife you haven’t been really listening, that you haven’t acknowledged her feelings, that you’re truly sorry, and that as of today you’re going to practice being more attentive.”

Fortunately this client really loves his wife, but he didn’t realize that he was focusing on her imperfections rather than the things she does right. He realized that he was behaving as if his words and actions were truly perfect and all that needed to happen was she needed to listen to him. In the coming weeks, with a bit more tweaking and love coaching, he’s highly likely to become a much better listener. Marriage and family counseling can really help couples. For a marriage counselor, give us a call at 512-653-4316.

Premarital Counseling Questions, Who Are You?

Premarital counseling questions typically include ideas about spirituality, religion, finances, culture, blended families, compatibility and identity. One’s sense of identity directly affects that person’s ideas of compatibility. The reality is we’re unique and at our core we’re the same, we all want happiness, intimacy, and fulfillment in life.

Premarital counseling questions surface many deeply ingrained and cherished beliefs about who we are. But are these images real or a veneer? Yes, you are aware of what you do, what you say, and how you respond to others. But do you honestly observe your thoughts and your feelings? If you believe you are a good, loyal friend to someone you have known for years, do you respond with kindness and support, or do you criticize and avoid them? How do you treat yourself? Are you overly critical, do you overly value yourself, are you controlling, are you a people pleaser, or do you see yourself as you truly are? Honest self-appraisal is difficult habit to implement, you’re likely to delude yourself unintentionally about who you truly are and the true reasons for your habits. This makes it difficult to accomplish your greatest goals.

Marriage counseling questions can help you find out who you truly are by encouraging you see yourself in a more expansive way. Having the courage to try things when you may fail is scary, but will teach you what you are good and not so good at and provide you with clarity about who you are, how to change, and how to be true to yourself. You’ll learn what you want rather than what others around you want. You’ll open yourself to the opportunity to develop your strengths and passions and find others to help you on your life journey. The peace and self-confidence of being self-aware can be yours.

For more information about Couples Premarital Counseling please call us at 512-653-4316

Marriage and Family Counseling Austin

Most client couples prefer to focus on their intimate relationship, but many still contact us for help for the entire family. We ask that children be at least in their teens, our focus with families is the parenting as well as the marriage relationship. We believe that a stable marriage creates a critical foundation for a strong family.

Marriage and family counseling begins with a focus on responsibility. Most couples who come for help emphasize the faults and failures of the partner. While these things can be helpful and we need to know the problems of the marriage for effective family counseling, it’s essential that each person be willing to address his or her own contributions to the breakdown in the relationships. It’s not so much who did what wrong, but what each person can do to improve the situation.

Being good parents is, to say the least, a most rewarding and at the same time challenging task. Parents love their children a great deal and yet find themselves frequently overwhelmed with the tasks of balancing work, a partner’s ideas of child rearing, blending families, and the innumerable demands of running a household. It can be difficult figuring out the line between love and discipline. Is there a line? Parents also have to deal with children who are trying to establish their own identity and balancing that against their experiences as kids. As marriage counselors our aim is not so much to tell you how to be better parents, but to help you expand your ideas of parenting and explore better ways of relating to a partner, or an ex, especially when it comes to children.

Our goal in working with teens can be summoned up in one word: Trust. In order to help your children we focus first on building a relationship of trust by getting to know them and at the same time encouraging them to see themselves and others differently. We find that one of the biggest challenges for young people is confidence and feelings of helplessness in being heard. We help bridge the gap between parents and their children.

For more help with marriage and family counseling, please contact us, we are here to help.

Is Life Getting Worse, or Are You Living the Good Life?

Living the Good LifeDuring elections, a common miss-perception among voters is that if the “other” party wins, life is bound to become downright miserable. People put a great deal of stock in their emotional beliefs about what is good and what is bad, often without a realistic interpretation of past, impending, or future results. The reality is that once the election is over, the doom and gloom many people expect rarely materializes. This does not apply to elections only, as a life coach and marriage counselor, I see this sort of negativity many other aspects of people’s lives, including marriage, family, and relationships. In the following article by author Steve Johnson we’re asked to assess the state of a number of indices of everyday life. Surprisingly, we tend to see life quite negatively, despite the reality. Before you read on, ask yourself, “Are you living the good life?”

“Over the past two decades, what have the U.S. trends been for the following important measures of social health: high school dropout rates, college enrollment, juvenile crime, drunken driving, traffic deaths, infant mortality, life expectancy, per capita gasoline consumption, workplace injuries, air pollution, divorce, male-female wage equality, charitable giving, voter turnout, per capita GDP and teen pregnancy?

“The answer for all of them is the same: The trend is positive. Almost all those varied metrics of social wellness have improved by more than 20% over the past two decades. And that’s not counting the myriad small wonders of modern medicine that have improved our quality of life as well as our longevity: the anti-depressants and insulin pumps and quadruple bypasses.” Click her for the complete article.

Couples Therapy Questions for Austin Marriage Counseling

How does it work?
Our sessions for couples counseling in austin, or online, is highly interactive. After getting information from a couple we begin by giving feedback and confirming with each person about the appropriateness of the information. Couples will both get information specific to them. It’s practical, personal, and effective. We strive to make each session informative and helpful, we also give specific homework assignments to help couples implement changes.

What if the other partner doesn’t want to come in?
This happens very often with couples. The best approach is let your partner know that the intent is not to “fix him,” but to create a better foundation for the relationship. If your partner thinks it’s your problem, then encourage him to come in and tell us what exactly those problems are so you can get to work on them.

Will it help to come in without a partner?
Yes! Even though a partner is hesitant, or unwilling, we can give you specific ideas about things you can do to implement change in a relationship. It’s a myth that we can’t change other people, we can, we just need the right tools for the job! That said, it’s still an inside job, in other words the more you change yourself, the easier it will be to better influence your partner.

What if the problem is outside influences?
Unfortunately this happens all too often. Rest assured there are things you can do to address these challenges, but your primary problem is often not with the outside influences, but your relationship with your partner. Most of the time the challenge is with how the partner handles those influences, rather than the influences themselves.

Can you help with inter-cultural, inter-racial, gay, or lesbian relationships?
A relationship is a relationship is a relationship. We help people in all walks of life. With a shifting world dynamic people find themselves dating, or marrying people from all parts of the world. We’ve had Russian, Mexican, German, Canadian, English, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian… clients. Well, you get the message. We live in a shrinking world and our Austin marriage counselors have extensive experience coaching couples from any race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. To set up an initial session call us at 512-653-4316, you can also E-Mail David Cantu. For fees go to Affordable Life Coaching and Marriage Counseling Fees page.

Couples Counseling Techniques

Probably the most important couple counseling technique any counselor can use is empathy, the ability to sense and understand what each person is experiencing and feeling throughout the relationship. Without empathy a coach will be distant, the opposite of what is required to gain a person’s, or a couple’s, trust. With trust a couple will find themselves sharing both their darkest secrets and deepest needs, thus giving the counselor the most relevant information needed to best guide them forward.

Maybe the second most important couples counseling technique is the ability to read beyond a couple’s “story,” to decipher those things that are truly relevant and the root cause of their difficulties. Couples have a sense of their problems, but are often blind to their own failures and sometimes fail to see hidden motivations that greatly impact a relationship.

The third most important tool is a willingness to be firm and direct while maintaining compassion and consideration. Knowing that a coach isn’t a 90lb weakling strongly reinforces a persons confidence in him. At the same time, knowing he cares and is considerate makes it easier to deal with painful factors, rather than avoid them.

Motivation and encouragment are indispensable in counseling couples. A good coach works dilligently to create hope and a clear direction for couples to achieve their goals and overcome obstacles. A calm and peaceful demeanor, blended with humor when appropriate, are essential backdrops that make it easier for a couple to cope with serious hardships brought to the surface in a marriage counseling session.

Dozens of other techniques are important, including knowing the most opportune times to deal with certain issues, warning clients of potential dangers, sharing one’s own personal experiences, and being humble enough to acknowledge mistakes.

Emotional Maturity Level

I got an email from a client recently in which she described herself as emotionally immature. She’s a very warm person, hard-working, and intelligent, but I asked myself, “Is she immature?” The simple answer is yes, she is, but aren’t we all emotionally immature in our own ways?

It’s helpful to think of emotional maturity as residual. We are each as emotionally mature as our experience, actions, and beliefs have led us to be. A good analogy for this idea is physical health. If you do sit-ups regularly you’re likely to have strong abs; your physical strength is based on your past actions. In other words, in the present moment we have no direct control over our emotions.

The point about my client is that her awareness of emotional immaturity is very beneficial to her and can lead her to make changes to live a more fulfilled life and better relationships. Her past is certainly affecting her current outcomes, but it doesn’t need to define her future. Merely saying she want to change isn’t sufficient either, she needs to take action which will help her increase her emotional maturity.

What kind of action might she take? A good starting point is awareness of her emotions. We are all emotional creatures and quite often our emotions dominate us. In order to change this we need first to pay attention to our feelings and realize that just because we feel a certain way doesn’t mean that we’re judging a situation, or event accurately. With practice we can better manage emotions so they don’t swamp or dominate us. We can also take charge of our thoughts. A strong emotional experience often leads to repetitive thinking that doesn’t lead to real change. This repetitive thinking is more likely to increase our emotional turbulence. Once we realize this, we can begin practicing putting a stop to such thinking and instead learning to focus out attention on whatever it is we are doing in the moment.

How to Listen Effectively

Understanding Others Through Healthy Communication


People tend to respond to what others say
with their own thoughts. This is a natural part of the ebb and flow of conversation. However, it often means they aren’t listening.

Even though we all “know” how to listen we often do a poor job of it. True listening takes effort and practice. How will you know you aren’t listening?

  1. The other person keeps repeating herself.
  2. You keep repeating yourself.
  3. You’re angry.
  4. You’re thinking what to say next.
  5. You’re arguing.
  6. You’re convinced the other person is a moron.
  7. You’re being defensive.
  8. The other person says you aren’t listening!

To be a good listener take the following steps:

  1. Be curious and ask questions.
  2. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
  3. Look for ways to acknowledge how he’s right.
  4. Don’t become defensive.
  5. When you disagree, state your point directly without criticism.
  6. Avoid “facts” which are irrelevant to the discussion.
  7. Remain calm, remember the other person is merely expressing ideas.
  8. Make it a priority for her to feel understood.

This Friday evening class begins at 6:30 p.m. and goes until 11:30 p.m. The life coaching class is led by David Cantu and Carrie Manongdo. In addition to the participants, assistants who have previously taken the course also attend. A typical class includes ten people. Participants should be at least 16 years old; singles, couples and families are welcome. The fee for the class is “pay as you choose.” Please call (512) 653-4316 or email [email protected] to register.

buttons_side_calendar

What Does Chemistry in a Relationship Mean

Chemistry in a relationship is like a performance; one is electrifying and another is boring. But no matter what, for love’s sake, you have to keep working at it to make it better.

Chances are you’re reading this because you’re in a relationship lacking in chemistry and wondering whether to stay or go. Maybe the chemistry was once there, but you no longer feel “in love.” Or it was never there and you suspect you made a big mistake. Consider this: Maybe the real issue isn’t so much the lack of chemistry but some other problem you haven’t identified.

How do you define chemistry? I think of it as a strong attraction that includes love, lust, infatuation, and a desire to be involved intimately with someone. Chemistry is emotional desire for relationship. It is outside of the realm of reason. With it, you may be attracted to someone who you know, intellectually, is not good for you. Without it, you may be with someone you respect but are not attracted to. At best, you can have both chemistry and love; at worst, you may have chemistry and misery or no chemistry and misery. Regardless your definition, chemistry is unconscious; we don’t “choose” who we’re attracted to. Even so, we aren’t helpless. We can do much to understand and manage it. Following are guidelines that can help you navigate the minefields of attraction.

1. Do you have to have chemistry for a successful relationship? No, but don’t fool yourself into thinking you will learn to love someone. Yes, it’s possible; but if you aren’t attracted to her, you may come to resent your decision. Be honest with yourself; do not choose a relationship primarily because “she’s a good person.” This is a formula for disaster. On the other hand, if the attraction isn’t there, it can grow. Many times people grow to love one another as they get to know each other better.

2. Because it’s unconscious, searching for chemistry in a relationship is a hit-and-miss proposition. You can find it, but you’ll have to be patient. How will you know you’ve found it? You won’t be arguing with yourself whether or not you love him. If it’s a debate, then either the chemistry is missing or he’s a poor partner for you.

3. Once found, you’ll have to be patient again – or you may make a mistake you’ll deeply regret. Chemistry isn’t the end-all, be-all solution it may appear to be. Because it’s unconscious, feeling deeply attracted to someone can be a result of childhood issues you’re unaware of or haven’t resolved. A big red flag is when you see a problem in your partner and you tell yourself things like, “This isn’t such a big deal; I can handle this,” or “I know he has a problem, but he’s working on it,” or “He really loves me; I’m sure we’ll work it out.” Ignore these problems now and you’ll have much bigger ones to contend with later.

4. If you’ve made it past these hurdles, you have one more challenge: The test of time. I’ve been coaching and counseling couples since 2000. One of the comments I hear most often is, “We’ve been married for years, but haven’t felt ‘in love’ since the early part of our marriage.” The “high” of new love rarely lasts more than a couple years. Once over, you’ll need to replace it with something more substantial: caring, respect, forgiveness, and an ability to communicate. These things can be learned, but you’ll have to work hard at them. Some may be difficult skills for you to master. You can definitely do it; roll up your sleeves and get to work!

5. Can you recreate lost love? Yes! In order to do so you must have one essential ingredient – willingness on the part of both people involved. My experience with couples is once a person has “given up,” has decided in his heart he no longer wants the relationship, the chances of rekindling love are minimal. You don’t have to have a lot of willingness; faith the size of a “mustard seed” can be enough. Counseling to help resolve underlying problems and to motivate you can be helpful. Keep the faith!

David Cantu
Life Coach Austin, Texas
Chemistry in a Relationship – Is it Love? How Do You Define it?- Article © 2009