Why "Backward" Is Better
Updated: Jul 6
What you know about health and wellness is about to be turned on its head. And it's probably not what you think.
“No problem can be solved with the same thinking that created it.”
– Albert Einstein
Who am I?
I teach performing artists, speakers, teachers, and others who use the stage the proven success techniques to adopt a positive mindset; perform with energy, stamina and clarity; and to feel healthy, strong and self-confident.
Over the last 35 years as a holistic health practitioner, speaker, retreat leader, and coach, I have developed deep, trusting, authentic relationships with my clients. Due to our deep commitment to each other, they were willing to courageously share a secret with me that changed everything for them.
Based on the truth they shared with me (and it was true for everyone who got the results they wanted!), I have totally reversed the way I used to work with clients.
Typical health coaching stuff
Working for years as a health coach, I dutifully progressed through the recommended order and activities as taught by multiple coaching training programs. And they tried. They tried.
As I did for them, I can provide you with done-for-you meal plans, exercise routines, and stretching handouts.
We can talk about macro and micronutrients, the science and benefits of hormone-balancing, menopausal belly, keto, Mediterranean, pescatarian, blood-type, vegan, and vegetarian diets. I've studied--and tried!--all of them. (Yep, really.)
Yoga, cardio, walking programs, couch to 5K, HIIT (high-intensity interval training), aqua aerobics? Yes, yes, and yes.
And I am delighted to dig in, research, and find exactly the right stuff that matches the priorities and the mind-body wiring of my beloved clients.
As my confidence and my clients' trust in me grew, I wanted to offer some extra, special practices I'd learned from my own personal health journey (more about that journey another time). I hesitatingly introduced meditation, mindfulness, affirmations, and Ayurveda.
And an amazing and unexpected thing happened.
My clients started getting results. They started asking me for grocery store tours. They wanted to know how to cook greens. They forwarded me articles on the benefits of bone broth.
"Sally, I wasn't sure I should tell you this..."
During their exit interviews, they shared with me that while the weight loss, better sleep, clothes that fit, job promotions, pain reduction, more fun, closer relationships, better singing, and breathing easier were all terrific, what they were most happy about was their change in attitude, their improved self-confidence, their increased self-esteem.
(You can read about those stories here.)
It was those last three that preceded the other successes. Ding, ding, ding!
Backward is the way forward.
So what's the upside of this reversal?
They paved the way for everyone after them -- you, my dear -- to get the good stuff right up front. I flipped the script so it works from the very beginning.
See, most health-oriented coaches throw this in at the very end, hoping the hard work you’ve done will “stick” after they let you go. Well, that’s part of the reason change is hard and you can't seem to make the changes last.
This stuff I specialize in--the psychological, spiritual, and "woo-woo" health and wellness tips and techniques--are the root, the beginning, the foundation--of making lasting changes. Consult the work of a neuroscientist, meditation expert, Tibetan monk, brain biologist, and behavioral analyst. I did!
I worked with Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer. I went to see His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. I visited with Dr. Candace Pert. I attended a lecture at Radio City Music Hall featuring Dr. Oz, Michael Breus ("the Sleep Doctor"), and Dr. Christine Northrup. I watched, read, devoured books, documentaries, TED talks, and peer-reviewed medical research articles from John Assaraf, Joe Vitale, Joe Dispenza, Vasant Lad, and many, many others.
I discovered what my clients were living--you gotta change the brain first. Then the behavioral changes will follow with much less effort, more ease, more enthusiasm, more commitment. And you'll get different results.
Here's the secret formula:
Thoughts > Beliefs > Behaviors > Habits > Results
My dad is an engineer and mathematician. My brother is a computer science and math guru. As much as I love them and appreciate their skills, I didn't need them to figure this out:
When you change your thoughts, you eventually work down the chain to change the results.
Another way: to change your desired outcome, you have to start by changing what you're thinking about.
Another way: Change your thinking, change your life.
Get it? Isn't this amazing and, ultimately, pretty simple?
YES! But, it ain't always easy.
Changing your thoughts by choosing different words (the cellular level of results), can be a challenge at first. Remember, the "habits" are way further down the line, and THOSE unconscious bits of words are driving your behaviors. Your choices are pretty much unconscious when you begin your journey of change.
No wonder it's so hard.
If you have a goal (i.e., you want something to change and be different from the way things are now), you'll get to start the process by changing what you think.