I’ve used this mental toughness coaching technique since the 1980’s, and it helped me become one of the highest paid coaches in the Fortune 500. In this post I address the reason most coaches fail to empower their charges, as well as how to fix the problem in less than 2 minutes. Every life coach, sports coach and business coach should steal this technique immediately. My other recomendation in this post is a world-class resource called The Success Training Network. My show is called Mental Toughness with Steve Siebold, which just won the 2007 Telly Award for Most Outstanding Motivational Talk Show. You’ll also see speakers like Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Bob Proctor, Jim Rohn, Jim Cathcart, Steven Covey, Don Hutson, Les Brown, Harvey Mackay, Tom Peters, Denis Waitley, John Gray, Tom Hopkins and many other million dollar professional speakers and thought leaders. Check it out at tstn.com  (4:06 )

Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

24 thoughts on “Coaching Frustrated Performers”

  1. Jiangyi,

    The best way I’ve found to help someone uncover their dream is to help them set their fear aside for a few hours. Tell them they can pick up there fear later, but for now, it’s time to dream and let the imagination run free. Here’s a great question to ask. I got this years ago, from one of our board members, personal development legend Brian Tracy: What would you attempt to do with your life if you knew you could not fail? This question trancends fear and gets the person in an abundance based consciousness, which is what it takes to get them dreaming.

    Give it a try and let us how it works for you. And give my best to Bing and the little guy. (Thumbs up!)

    Steve Siebold

  2. Steve,

    This blog is really awesome. I am lucky to be coached by you and this blog will be a perfect way to motivate me. Right now, I need to visualize my dream as clear as I can see it. It is still very very vague to me. Do you have any suggestions on this?

    As you said, if a person has a dream, it will stimulate him/her to explore the potential to the uttermost limit. If a person does not have a dream (or he/she just does not dare to dream), as a coach, how can you help him/her?

    Congratualtions for the awards and thank!

  3. Steve, Congratulations on your award and thanks for pointing out the difference between a coach and a cheerleader. It’s become obvious to me that I have hired several cheerleaders in the past and only when I joined The FAT Loser’s program did I discover what “real coaching” was like…it’s been awesome and I look forward to learning more…Thanks!

  4. Lisa,

    Thanks for the kudos, comment and question: My current white moment is the completion of the design of our waterfront estate. We’ve been finalizing this design for the last 3 years, and we’ve changed the lakefront location 4 times. We purchased an in between home on Lake Lanier near Atlanta earlier this year, and we may build the estate somewhere on this lake. So here’s my White Moment: Pulling into the 1200 foot driveway with the limo and seeing the gates close behind the car, and then seeing the home we designed from from top to bottom in the foreground. This dream began back in 1976, when my doubles partner in Chicago took me to his familes estate so we could practice on their private tennis court. As we sat there drinking lemonade during the changeovers, I secretly promised myself I would become successful enough one day to live in an estate like this. The truth is I coulda done this a few years ago, but the more time I’ve spent around world class thinkers like yourself the bigger the vision of the estate has become. I’ve come to realize there are no limits whatsoever, so we just keep expanding this crazy dream.

    This white moment visualization takes 2-3 seconds to flash on my mind. It immediately sends a rush of adrenaline through my body and motivates me to continue moving forward. I don’t get down very often but I do get complacent, and the White Moment technique jolts me out of my complacency. Give it a try and let us know how it works for you!

    Thanks for being part of the mental toughness community!

    Steve Siebold

  5. Hey, Steve!
    Yeah, that moment of reminding someone of their own emotional motivation leads to such a high, huh?? It’s one of the things I adore about counseling. I can’t wait to get out there and influence more and more people —
    Thanks for the Gove-Siebold Speech Workshop. I’m keeping my feet planted in one spot 😉 and moving forward!

  6. Hey Steve,

    I love the audio/visual blog; it’s much better than a written blog.

    Great topic, thanks! As all of us coaches know, all long-term motivation is self-generated. When you help folks reconnect with their purpose and/or vision and find their fire as you did, they are liberated to easily pursue their goals that are consistent with their vision and purpose.

    I always find great value in your perspectives.

    Thanks for your insights.

    TC North, Ph.D., CEO Catalyst High-Performance

  7. Steve,
    A great insight that is worth more than a $1 million! Emotional connection to our vision will light our path to success even in our darkest moments…
    Mike Scogna

  8. Steve,

    Thanks for getting me to the mental toghness link. What a great wake up call. I was motivated to order the book. I should have purchased 2 years ago when I attended the Bill Gove workshop. I need to find my white moment. In my position I have to do a lot of coaching and I need to be a better coach. I love coaching and helping others attain their goals. Your book, your blog and your tips will help me get there. Now I need to find a coach. Thanks

  9. For anyone wondering if the TSTN.com is worth investing it, I’ve been a member since August 31, 2007. The Success Training Network is my morning news offering me mental food for thought as I get ready for my day.

    Another thought regarding “Emotional Motivators” – From my experience nearly everything I’ve personally or professionally achieved in a superior way only occurred through an emotional motivator. In fact, anything that did not have an emotional motivator attached to it, I quickly lost interest in.

    I remember working in my parent’s mom and pop’s breakfast/lunch restaurant. It was my mother’s dream to be an entrepreneur, and she went after it. While I grew up washing dishes, serving customers and playing cashier, deep down I did not really want to be there. I loved the people-side of getting to know others stories the most, but the actual grunt work (e.g. peeling potatoes, cleaning the bathroom, etc.) really was unappealing to me. Rather than complain about it, I used my emotional frustration to do the two things I loved most growing up – being an excellent student in formal education, giving it my 100% in figure skating and being a knowledge junkie bibliophile. I did not realize it then, but now I understand why I succeeded today with those areas of career, education, and even sport was because I did not want to own a restaurant. Strange, but true. Thanks Steve, Michelle M. Strbich

  10. Steve,
    It’s obvious you are passionate about coaching. Finding the “White Moment” is a new concept to me as I have been coaching myself. I think this will be really helpful. I have recently begun competition (at age 50) in long course triathlon, with the goal of qualifying for the Kona, Hawaii world championships. I have gotten down and wanted to quit- “What’s the point, you’re not good enough.” The acquisition and practice of new skills and even learning the language associated with athletics is the same thing we do when we strive for success in our businesses. I’m going to stay tuned, thanks!

  11. WOW…never thought about the whole “cheerleading” problem. Steve, you have re-directed me and it will be a pleasure to re-direct my clients.

  12. Wiz, Thanks for your comment. Glad it helped. I can’t wait to start listening/watching your blog on Military Leadership Lessons. I think there are a lot of ties to mental toughness. Please let our community know when it’s up and running.

    Steve Siebold

  13. Tiger Donna Marie,

    Thanks for your comment, and the kudos. I appreciate it.
    I hope you decide to try the audio blog. You have so much to offer so many people, and I’m not sure the written word is the answer. I think people are more likely to listen. I could be wrong, thats just my guess based on limited experience. What I love about your content is you help people who are sick lighten up and use humor as a mental toughness tool. I think this is the perfect medium for your message.

    Thanks for being part of our community!
    Steve Siebold, CSP

  14. Will, Thanks for your comment. Glad you like the blog and the book.
    A Critical Thinker is someone who uses specific criteria to elevalute reasoning and make decisions. Example: A person is standing in the middle of the highway staring down a truck headed directly towards him. The positive thinker would say, the truck will see me and avoid hitting me, so I don’t need to move. The critical thinker would say, the positive thinker is probably right, but just in case the driver is distracted, I’lll go ahead and move out of the way. Critical thinking is driven by logic. Positive thinking is driven by emotion. I did a whole TV show on this subject on The Success Training Network. Check that out if you’re a subscriber. If not, go to tstn.com And if you want to read a great book on Critical Thinking, I recommend “Becoming a Critical Thinker” by Sherry Diestler. It’s an excellent resource.

    Thanks for being a part of our community, Will!

    Steve Siebold, CSP

  15. Hi Steve my name is Will and I’ve found your blogs very informative. I haven’t been to your any of your mental toughness colleges etc. I’ve only got your book.
    I now totally understand now what objective reality, the “white moment” and what emotional motivators are.
    I’ve figured out some of my own emotional motivators already. When I listened to your blog I found some of your emotional motivator’s so inspirational and I’m going to add them to my ulitimate vision.
    1)Financial freedom
    2)The ability to do what, when and I what I want to do with work. Being your own boss and not someone else telling you to that you have to start at a specific time. That’s suits me down to the ground.
    I’ve finally found out what I was missing and I wanted to say thank you for sharing them with me.

    I don’t fully understand what “critical thinking” means. So, I thought I’d ask the source.

    Thanks you again and I look forward to your response,
    Cheers Will.

  16. Steve,
    Congratulations on the Telly Award!! From my own experience in competitive sports, I am in total agreement with your advice on coaching. Without question, from my observation, the most effective coaches were the ones who took the time to learn what motivated each individual player. Then, when things weren’t going right for that player they would simply use the motivational technique that worked best on that player. Many coaches won’t use this technique because it looks like they’re treating some players differently than others and it requires a softer approach with some players than others. But the most successful coaches use it because it gets the maximum performance out of the team.


  17. Woo-Hoo! Steve!

    What a fabulous, outstanding audio/video blog. I am so proud to be mentored by you. You are certainly setting the pace and so on the pulse of not only technology but of the whole Mental Toughness arena.

    Your information is priceless on and off the court. After listening to you I asked myself what do I do as a coach? I was happy to come to the realization that I am doing what you suggested and then I thougt…well, of course, Steve has been coaching me! You set a great example.

    I remember you bringing me back to my own self reflection and it had made all the difference. I suddenly rose up from the ashes into the upper level of performance in The Tiger Program. What a thrill to have broken through my terror barrier. Woo-Hoo!

    I hope to be following in your footsteps with a fabulous blog and presence in the cyber world. Thanks for all you do.

    All the best,

    Donna Marie Laino
    Philadelphia Tiger

  18. Steve,

    I watched this post three times. I can’t tell you the number of times I THOUGHT I was coachine someone – it turns out I was only a cheerleader! (And a pretty ugly one that that!)

    I thought my job as a coach was to motivate someone.

    Now I see that my job is rather to probe, to explore, to ask uncomfortable questions – to REALLY find out what makes someone tick.

    That’s not easy – for the coach or the performer. I guess that’s why so few coaches do it – and why those particular coaches are the World Class ones!

    Thanks for the coaching, Steve!


  19. Steve love the live video. I’ve been coaching for years and have always been the “cheerleader”. Now, after reading your mateiral and understanding more about YOUR take on coacing – I know I need to change the way I think – especially when it comes to coaching others. Emotional motivators – brillant! Keep it coming!! Michelle

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