What’s getting in the way of your client’s magical change?

When I first started coaching I was terrible! The first course I did in coaching was a short NLP course and while I thought it was amazing at the time, when I tried to implement what I had been taught, I couldn’t get the damn processes to work half the time, my clients did things I had no idea what to do with and I felt like an utter failure. I even quit my first coaching business. 

When I retrained in NLP some years later, suddenly I could get the kind of magical results I knew were possible but had been unable to get before. (That’s why I’m always banging on about the how important the quality of a training is!)

Yes, your skill set, methodologies and modalities you apply matter when it comes to helping your clients change. But what I’ve also noticed over 15 years of coaching is there’s some common, consistent patterns, stumbling blocks, that get in the way of magical change.


When a client is rejecting their current experience (the problem) too much they bring a lot of tension to the situation and into their bodies which tends to make it harder to change.

A soft, relaxed body makes it easier to change.

When they’re too attached to the outcome they’re seeking or fixated on the way that things MUST change and what that MUST look like, that level of rigidity can get in the way of softening, opening up to more suitable options, choices and possibilities.

Oh and as coaches, FYI we can also be too attached to the result so check yourself too.


I see this one A LOT, especially in the training room. People place arbitrary timeframes on themselves for how quickly they SHOULD be able to get a particular result. They place enormous amounts of pressure on themselves and the stress of those expectations can be counterproductive. This can often lead to narratives about something being wrong with them or that it’s not possible for them to change, I’ve even seen clients decide they must have a disorder when all that needed to happen was just give themselves the time they need. There is nothing wrong if you need more time than other people, because they aren’t you!

Oh by the way, as coaches we can do this to ourselves too. It would be great if we could do miracles and magic in minutes every single time, wouldn’t it? Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t (even with the worlds latest, greatest magic bullet technique).


This is a common one. I often see this when it comes to business goals. It’s our job sometimes as coaches to challenge our clients to make bigger leaps than they think are possible. But sometimes the leap they’re trying to make is too big from where they are and they need some stepping stones to get from point A to point B so it’s also our job to facilitate this.


This one is huge. Safety is something we are wired for at a deep nervous system level. If it doesn’t feel safe to change something or perhaps even to reveal something to you or to themselves, they aint gonna. They will hold onto what they think they need in order to preserve a certain level of safety. This is where you might also see some psychological defence mechanisms play out. Unconscious tendencies to vague out or be forgetful, to overwhelm you with lots of detailed information or to distract from the heart of the matter with other issues just to name a few. These are all strategies to keep the client and the problem safe.

With love and warmth,


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I’m Amy Bell, NLP Trainer & Coach.

For close to a decade I have been exploring, learning and experimenting with NLP. I’ve trained extensively in both Australia and Europe with some of the worlds most acclaimed NLP Trainers.

I’m both intensely curious, and obsessive about my own ongoing development, the creation and delivery of my work and the results I get for my people. 

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