When asked how he carved his infamous statue of David, Michelangelo replied, “I just chipped away what wasn’t David.”

In the business of personal coaching, group coaching, and culture audits, our goal is similar: to help individuals and groups chip away what gets in the way of inherent possibility.

“There was time before you felt (insert limiting belief here),” I tell clients. “The You from that time is still inside.”

Then we proceed with the process of chipping marble–of chipping thinking, feeling, and doing.

What You Think

A friend told me last week, “I am always good. My automatic thinking sometimes gets tweaked.” Our brains run. No, they sprint! The brain works with mechanical speed when we’re aware and when we’re unaware, and like a computer, it runs its code. Despite the programmed code that triggers stress reactions of fear or anger, at the spiritual level…we’re good.


It’s what Buddha figured out, and Jesus taught, and Ghandi knew. At the spiritual level…we’re good…and equal. Humanity’s struggle comes from the transient nature of life. There’s always the possibility of losing something. We can’t hang on to everything, but by god that won’t stop us from trying!

Coaching through a host of mental activity brings the chisel to full force. What do you value? What unwritten rules are driving you? How excessive is your thinking?

We venture into these individual mental spaces first, and then group spaces second.

What You Feel

Feelings are friends. Sounds trite, but when we look at them this way, they work for us instead of against us. They wave a white flag to get our attention. It’s me, Fear, I’m trying to tell you that you’re thinking something bad might happen. Process that will ya?

When emotions don’t feel good, they’re saying, “Hey, you’re looking at the marble instead of the statue. Let me refocus you toward the truth.”


Many spend chunks of life avoiding, distracting, or coping with unsettling feelings. Without addressing where the emotion is pointing, the unsettling can linger, impacting and directing our lives toward staying stuck in the slabs of cold stone.

What You Do

Addictions, coping, gossip, blame, and the inner self-critic become perpetual automatic behaviors when emotion’s message is ignored. In an attempt to survive or release emotional sludge, people do something. (Even if it’s to shut down and do nothing, it’s something.)

Adaptive behaviors help us tolerate discomfort within a team, a family, or oneself, but they often keep us from our inherent wisdom, peace and love as well.

So, we think. We feel. We do.

As a coach, my goal is to have eyes like the great sculptor Michelangelo and see beyond the marble casing. I love calling the True Self to attention, and I’m grateful for a history of mentors, coaches, and friends that did (and still do) the same for me.

The statue in me honors the statue in you.

Let’s keep reminding each other of our statuesque nature.


Rachel is a certified coach with an eye for sculpting. Learn more here.


Team Websitewww.inspiredleadershipwithin.com

Facebook Communitywww.facebook.com/leadershipbeginswithin

Twitter:  @RachelThalmann @TamaraKonrade @MikeSanders19 @tjfellers


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