Moving Forward

Moving Forward


Our Philosophy

The Life-Changing Coaching practice is rooted in the philosophy of "Moving Forward". The Moving Forward philosophy is a powerful belief system that helps individuals move beyond challenges and achieve desired goals to live a satisfying and fulfilled life. There are five key components to this philosophy that typically help individuals move forward in life:

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Synchronicity
  3. Connection
  4. Deliberation
  5. Adaptibility
The mastery of these five principles leads clients to discover who they are and where they belong in this world. It enables them to achieve the life goals they envision for themselves. The principles are covered in depth in my book Moving Forward, but you can see an overview of this philosophy by clicking on each of the links below.

1. Self-Awareness

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Self-Awareness means knowing who you are and what makes you tick. It is being aware of your Life Code so that you can design a personal and professional life that helps you express and meet your core needs.

1a. Your Whole Person

Moving   Forward

There are two components that make up your whole person: your personality and your identity.

Your personality is made up of those traits, natural inclinations, and temperaments you've had since you were born. This is what I call your core self - who you are by nature.

Your identity refers to the elements of you that develop over time in response to the external world and your journey through that world. It is the part of you that develops in interaction with others. This is what I call your adapted self  - who you are by nurture.

1b. Your Life Code

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Your Life Code is the five-letter combination of personality preferences that identify your natural inclinations for "being" in the world.

  1. Your reenergizing preference: Extroversion (E) or Introversion (I)
  2. Your information-gathering preference: Sensing (S) or Intuiting (N)
  3. Your information-evaluating preference: Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)
  4. Your decision-drive preference: Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)
  5. Your communications preference: Directing (D) or Requesting (R)

For example, my Life Code is INTJD, which means that I have preferences for Introversion, Intuiting, Thinking, Feeling, Judging, and Directing.

You can accurately determine your Life Code by taking the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

Your Life Code resides within your personality or your core self.

1c. Your Personality

Your Personality & Identity

Your personality is made up of those traits, natural inclinations, and temperaments you've had since you were born. Your personality is innate and immutable. You are born with your personality and it will not change over time. Your personality is surrounded by your identity, which does develop and change over time.

1d. Your Identity

Identity & 3Bs

Your identity refers to the elements of you that develop over time in response to the external world and your journey through that world.

The three elements or layers that make up your identity are called the three Bs: Behaviors, Beliefs, and Belongings.

These three Bs surround your personality - the natural traits and characteristics of your true self. Your behaviors, beliefs, and belongings have the power to support your personality or to mask it.

For example, if you have adopted your three Bs to please others, then chances are that they don't support your personality (and may be why you're stuck somewhere in your life).

If, in contrast, your three Bs have developed as a natural extension of your personality, then they most likely do support your personality (and help you move forward in your life).

1d1. Your Behaviors

Your Behaviors

The first element of your identity is your behaviors. Behaviors refer to the way we act and conduct ourselves in the world and consist of the things we do. Behaviors include things like the words we use, the clothes we wear, and the actions we take.

We can change our behaviors and often do regularly. In fact, it is easier to change our behaviors than it is for us to change any of our other identity elements.

1d2. Your Beliefs

Your Beliefs

The second element of your identity is your beliefs. Beliefs are those thoughts, feelings, or ideas that we hold to be true about ourselves and the world around us.regardless of whether they're actually true.

Beliefs include things like your philosophy of life, how you feel about yourself, and what you think about others.

As with our behaviors, it is possible to change our beliefs. And though we often do change our beliefs, beliefs are much harder to change than behaviors.

1d3. Your Belongings

Your Belongings

The third element of your identity is your belongings. The term belongings as I use it does not refer to possessions or material things but to the relationships that we form with other people and the communities to which we belong.

Belongings are similar to behaviors in that they are very visible to people. Belongings include things like your family, your religious community, and your social network.

As with our beliefs and behaviors, it is possible to change our belongings. But of all the identity elements, belongings is the most difficult element for us to change.

2. Synchronicity

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Living "in-sync" means that your identity supports your personality. Your belongings, beliefs, and behaviors match up with your personality preferences rather than run counter to them.

Here is an example of how my identity supports my personality. Because I am an introvert (personality preference), occasional alone time is essential to my having the energy to pursue my goals and plans. So whenever I start to feel rundown or stuck, I know to stop and take some quiet time (to adjust my behaviors to support my introverted personality). This often gives me the energy or perspective I need to move forward in my life.

3. Connection

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The Moving Forward philosophy is an others-help philosophy, not a self-help philosophy. To help yourself move forward in life, you have to reach out to others for support!

Your belongings —or relationships with others— are absolutely essential to your ability to achieve your life vision. Your belongings are also instrumental to your happiness and fulfillment in life. Here are some ways that you can nurture your belongings:

4. Deliberation

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To achieve a life of fulfillment and satisfaction, you need to know what your aiming for. What kind of life do you hope to live? What kind of person do you want to be?

Designing a life vision will provide you with a picture of the life you want to live and a plan for achieving that life.

Specifically, a life vision is a dream of what you'd like to achieve in life and the kind of person you'd like to be in the world, supported by a detailed plan of how to turn that dream into a reality.

Dream + Plan = Life Vision

4a. Vision vs. Fantasy

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A life vision is different than a fantasy in that it is achievable given your gifts and the reality of the world around you.

A fantasy is a dream or a vision that is unlikely to come true. Based on your own limitations or the world's limitations, a fantasy will never be transformed into a reality.

For example, if I am terrible at playing basketball, a dream or life vision of playing in the NBA would be a fantasy. It is not grounded in what is possible or real, so no matter what plan I follow to achieve it, it is highly unlikely to come true.

Don't worry! A fantasy can be tweaked and adjusted into an achievable vision. I often work with my clients to help them differentiate between life visions and fantasies and then to remake their fantasies into realistic, achievable life visions. One of my clients who wanted to play in the NBA (a fantasy for him, given his height and talents and age) ended up coaching high school basketball and loving it.

4b. Creating a Life Vision

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  • what you want to have in your life (not necessarily material)
  • what you want to achieve in your life
  • the quality of person you want to be in the world
  • what your personality preferences are

To create your life vision, also consider what you would like to have, achieve, and be in all of your life domains:
  • professional
  • personal
  • community
  • spiritual

Then create a plan for how you will achieve your dream in each life domain. Once you draw up a picture for what you want to achieve, have, and be in your professional, personal, community, and spiritual lives and a plan for attaining those dreams, you will have a life vision to guide you.

5. Adaptability

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Another important skill for moving forward in your life is learning how to behave outside of your personality preferences when needed to advance your goals.

Example: Interestingly, although I'm an introvert, one of my life purposes is to teach. Teaching is an extroverted behavior because it involves spending time with groups of people and, for me, expending a lot of energy in the process. But if I want to fulfill my calling to teach, I have to be willing to adopt the behavior of an extrovert at times. If I don't learn to get out of my comfort zone as an introvert, I will never be able to realize my mission of teaching. So I've learned over the years (not only as a professor, but also as a leader and life coach) how to adopt extroverted behaviors. This doesn't alter my preference from introversion to extroversion, but it does allow me to reach beyond the initial boundaries of my preference for introversion and live the life I want to lead.

In short, because I know the five personality preferences that make up my true self —my life code— I can adopt an identity that is out-of-sync with my personality when I need to. But when I do this, I do it intentionally, in support of achieving my goals. I don't do it because I am confused or because my personality is masked.