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Finding one word that can positively change the direction of negative thought patterns is a powerful coaching tool. When old scripts come flooding back, telling clients they can’t or shouldn’t, they can tap into a sensory experience that gives them strength. Boiling the experience down to one word is a technique that can quickly help a client pivot and reframe. The trick is finding the word that the triggers positivity and motivation.

The way a client stumbles upon their word is unique to their experiences and wants. One client loves the Serenity Prayer, and distilled it down to the word “change.” He used the word to give him the strength to end a marriage with an alcoholic and find the courage to change himself, live the life he deserves and be the father he wants to be. Another client, who is a Type A/Fix It personality, found herself fighting ovarian cancer and discovered that the word “stable” calmed her. Recognizing what was stable in her life allowed her to take quick inventory that stopped the spinning. She tells herself to lean on the stable bits of her life like her family, her education, her resiliency, and her ability to advocate for herself. Doing this helps her feel more in control of an unknown situation. While one word seems simplistic, it is layered with experiences and is rich with emotions.

One word can unlock the drive clients need to achieve goals. When one goal is achieved, the seed of inspiration is planted and clients are empowered to tackle more goals. Leaning into the word that gives courage, strength, awareness, and hope, can reframe challenging moments quickly and easily. With the help of one motivating word, seasons of struggle can become seasons of gratitude, opportunity, and growth.

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