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Targeting The Roots

Years ago Tony Robbins made a powerful statement. He said, "Heal the boy, and the man will appear." Canadian author, speaker, and trainer Danielle Strickland says, "Transformation involves getting to the deep-rooted beliefs which feed values, create actions, and lead to results." These statements powerfully speak to the fact that fundamental, significant transformation begins with work at the root systems in a person's life.

As a mindset coach and leadership consultant, I often get clients that will share things in their life they are looking to get past. Inevitable struggles in the realm of their thinking become clear. Mental models are apparent that keep them strapped to behaviors not conducive for any kind of growth intellectually, professionally, financially, or spiritually.

Various coaches will address roots matters from different avenues of approach. Whatever the method, here is what never works: If we need to remove a fruit tree, going after the fruit never solves the problem. Fruit can undoubtedly help identify root issues, but if you want to remove an orange tree from your backyard, plucking oranges never works. If you deal with the fruit of a tree, when you return another time or season, the tree's fruit is still there. See, you have to target the roots. If you kill the source, you kill the tree because removing the tree was your ultimate goal in this example. If I coach or consult, I may observe the fruits, but I don't target them. I like to say "root assessment" always leads me to roots and patterns of thinking.

I may ask critical questions that help my client see fruits that raise the flag to an existing root system through coaching. Through consulting, I help them identify those roots. I can finally empower my clients to identify and transform their own thinking, mental models, belief systems or shifting their perceptions or perspectives.

"Transformation involves getting to the deep-rooted beliefs which feed values, create actions, and lead to results." - Danielle Strickland

Ultimately the changing of thinking patterns cannot come from the mindset coach or consultant. A good mindset coach/consultant will ask the right questions to unlock what the client needs to discover themselves. As a coach, I can undoubtedly provoke you to constructive thought about mindsets, limiting beliefs, etc. By the way, part of the success is asking the right questions at the right time. If you ask any question, you get an answer, the wrong question, you will get the wrong answer. The right question will get you the right answer. But, the right question asked at the right time often produces the right solution.

I am thrilled when a client discovers their thinking and how their thinking has held them back for years. I love witnessing when they find out they can shift it rather quickly. Naturally, any new thinking that produces values they seek will take some time to develop a new root system.

On August 18, 2016, it took me one day to shift from a survival, homeless mindset to thriving on the street as a homeless man. Why? I targeted the roots of my thinking. In the deepest parts of my mindset, my thinking realm, the boy in me was healed, and then the man appeared.

Dr. James Marcia's study on Four Identity Statuses comes to my mind in my own life during my homeless time. I finally crossed over from Identity Foreclosure, through Identity Moratorium, into Identity Achievement (Marcia, 1966). My identity foreclosure was intertwined with my root system. More in another article on the Four Identity Statuses.

As a homeless veteran, I learned and experienced I could change my thinking. This empowered me to grow a coaching and consulting business while I was still homeless. This ultimately changed my homeless situation. Suppose I target my client's thinking roots and don't become distracted by even the low-hanging fruit. I can truly empower them to be better positioned for amazing personal and professional transformation.

Target your roots because because it's time for you to appear.

Live like a lion!


Marcia, J.E. (1966). Development and validation of ego identity status. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 3, pp. 551-558


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