Meta Programs Matter

Beth Donovan

By Beth Donovan

The meta-program of moving towards a goal, rather than away from something negative, is very powerful.  It is a total shift – a different mindset.  Beth Donovan

I learned about this during my coaching certification.  I work with this particular meta program frequently in health and weight coaching.  Clients tell me initially what they want to get away from or avoid.  I hear things like “I don’t want heart disease.”  “I want to lose 100 pounds by ____.”  Those statements are moving away from something negative, such as heart disease or 100 pounds.  The goals, what they do want, are a healthy heart or to weigh 150 pounds.

Changing the mindset and looking at where they want to go is an amazing way to get there.  My instructor from coach training, Cathy Liska, often says that if you go to a travel agent, you tell them where you DO want to go.  Telling them where you don’t want to go does not give them a destination.  If we have a destination in mind, then we can plan how to arrive there.

Shifting things from “I don’t want…” to “I do want…” gives us a target of a sort.  It is motivating as we begin to picture results in our lives.  My clients enjoy doing vision boards or journaling about what life will be like at their goal.

Another important meta program is internal versus external motivation.  Internal motivation is stronger and more lasting than external motivation because we are more invested in it.  The more we want something for ourselves, the more likely we are to go get it.  When we have external motivation, we are doing something for someone or something outside of ourselves. 

There are other meta programs and they all matter.  These two along with being proactive are ones that I have noticed seem to make the greatest difference in client success.


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