cover art for episode 78 with Kim Ades on uncovering limiting beliefs using journalling as part of coaching

Kim Ades (pronounced add-iss) is the President and Founder of Frame of Mind CoachingTM and JournalEngineTM Software. Recognized as an expert in the area of thought mastery and mental toughness, Kim uses her unique philosophy and quirky coaching style to help leaders identify their personal blind spots and shift their thinking in order to yield extraordinary results. Author, speaker, entrepreneur, coach, and mom of five, Kim’s claim to fame is teaching her powerful Frame of Mind CoachingTM process to leaders, entrepreneurs and influencers worldwide.

Kim has been featured in a variety of online publications including Forbes and Inc. and has spoken for organizations including Microsoft and SHRM. In addition to being interviewed on many top-ranking podcasts, Kim coaches leaders live on The Frame of Mind CoachingTM Podcast.

In the episode, Kim invites you to to email her your answers to two questions that she asked. If you do, she will reply to you.

We recorded this episode on May 6, 2021.

When you say things like yeah, but…, yeah, but I can’t, yeah but that’s impossible, yeah but I wish I could. So we’re helping people to pay attention to the language they use and really ask themselves if that language is aligned with the desire. And very often we will find that language is… 

Kim Ades, Frame of Mind Coaching

Your Challenge Invitation

Spend a few minutes journalling your answer to these two questons: 1) what do you really, really want more than anything, and 2) what’s stopping you from having that.

Note the use really, really in the first question. This is intentional so that you can consider what you truly deeply want inside, not what you think you should want, not what is expected of you, not what your mother wants for you or your spouse or your children. What do you truly, deeply want? You may find it hard to answer that question. Think about your life in general. It doesn’t matter if you focus on your personal or professional life. What do you truly, deeply want? 

Next, write down all the reasons you don’t have what you want. Those reasons are an indicator of your beliefs that are getting in your way. They’re the starting point to help you understand how your thinking is slowing you down.

If you are really bold, send your journal writing to Kim by email. She shared her email in the episode and will personally respond to everyone who reaches out to her from the Changers Community. If you’re respond to this invitation, especially the step of contacting Kim, it shows that you are ready for change.

Contact and follow Kim at Frame of Mind Coaching, on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, or YouTube.

You can connect with Damianne on the Changes BIG and small website, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. You’re also invited to join the Changes BIG and small Facebook community.

Everything you do is a function of your thinking. So if you’re not happy with your results, let’s look at your thinking. – Kim Ades

Related Episodes

Timeline of the Chat

02:00 – Starting Frame of Mind Coaching
03:40 – The Importance of Paying Attention to Find Your Purpose or Idea
05:04 – What’s wrong with the accountability model of coaching
08:40 – Taking a journey with your coach
09:36 – The most important thing to look at if you’re unhappy with your results
11:16 – The advantages of listening to recordings of yourself telling your story
14:31 – The most dangerous habit against self-acceptance
15:55 – How you can show someone that they matter
18:39 – Overhauling the concept of life buckets
20:30 – Some journaling prompts you can use to see inside your brain
20:53 – Invitation/Challenge – Two questions that you must answer to be able to have the life that you want
22:23 – How to recognize your blockers and limiting beliefs 
24:55 – How to align your language with your desire
26:05 – The Weight Loss Struggle 
30:59 – Where we go wrong with intuition
33:57 – How to build self-acceptance by changing your thoughts and your story
37:38 – Understanding your journey to the present
39:29 – How to choose the right coach for you
42:40 – How to learn from observation and reading experiences
45:02 – Final Five

When your thinking changes, your behavior naturally changes. – Kim Ades

Quick Links

What do you really, really want more than anything. – Kim Ades

Transcript of the Episode

Starting Frame of Mind Coaching [02:00]

Damianne President: [02:00] Let’s get right into it with talking about Frame of Mind Coaching and what was the journey that helped you develop this methodology and framework? 


Kim Ades: [02:11] Wow, the journey. Well if we go back you know, honestly I have been always interested in working with people. Ever since I was young, ever since I was in high school, I was the person that people came to talk to. So coaching is a little bit in my makeup, you could say,. Having said that, before I started this coaching company, I used to own a software company and we used to build simulation based assessments, and the purpose of those assessments was to help companies make better hiring decisions. And so we ended up testing, really hundreds of thousands of people. And my goal was to help companies figure out who’s going to be the top performer. And we collected a lot of data and that data gave us important information.

What we learned was that it didn’t matter what industry, it didn’t matter what position there was one key indicator of top performance that superseded all other indicators. And that was, if a person had a high degree of emotional resilience, they would be much more likely to succeed. So that was a bit of the backdrop. I had this nature to help people, and then I was equipped with this data. What ended up happening was I sold my business and I got hired by a coaching company. Well, that didn’t go too well for me. I lasted about eight or nine months in that company. And the reason that I lasted so long is because I really am not built to work for other people.

The Importance of Paying Attention to Find Your Purpose or Idea [03:40]

I’m an entrepreneur through and through, so it’s hard for me to work with somebody else’s ideas. But the second thing is that I had a chance to observe how they coach and I thought to myself, I think they’re doing it wrong. I think they’re missing an important component of coaching, and I think I could do a better job. And that’s when I started Frame of Mind Coaching.

Damianne President: [04:03] And was this an intuition that you had, or were you able to practice some things that led you to this realization? Where did this realization come from?

Kim Ades: [04:11] Well, so here’s what I observed. And again, remember, this was quite some time ago because I’ve been running this business for nearly 17 years. So imagine 18 years ago, I’m in this company, I didn’t know much about coaching; it was a new concept for me. And what they did was they worked with business owners and they helped those business owners create a business plan. And in a business plan, they created milestones or action steps that would help them reach their goals. The job of the coach was to help them make sure that they were doing all the things on the plan to enable them to reach their goals. So they were holding them accountable for all these steps. And I thought to myself, you know what, people can make plans. They know how to do that, but why don’t they do what’s on the plan? Why don’t they execute? What’s getting in their way? 

What’s wrong with the accountability model of coaching [05:04]

And I thought this whole accountability model of coaching doesn’t sit well for me. Number one is, as a coach, I don’t want to hold people accountable. I have five kids. I got a lot on my plate. The last thing I need to do is worry about all the actions that somebody else is taking. That doesn’t sound like fun. But on the flip side is if I’m that person who wants to build a business and someone’s just making sure I get all the things done, they’re missing something. They’re missing a core understanding of what’s stopping me from being independent, what’s stopping me from getting it done on my own, what’s getting in the way. And I thought to myself, if I can help someone remove those barriers and help them achieve their goals independently, now I’m doing something right. And that was the seed or the birth of Frame of Mind Coaching. 

Damianne President: [05:53] So interesting when I hear you talk about it from that perspective, because when I was coaching teachers, I used to think, oh, if I do this properly, I’m going to be out of a job because then they’re going to be developing the skills and coming up with the processes and having systems in place so that I I’m kind of not really needed because they’re working at their own pace and they’re confident, and they have self-efficacy and all of those things. It sounds like some of what you’re getting at. 

Kim Ades: [06:22] That’s exactly it. So imagine, imagine if you thought, well, it’s better if I keep my job. Right. So I’m going to make it so that they’re dependent on me. From my perspective, it’s not effective, but it’s also unethical.

Damianne President: [06:36] To be fair. I don’t think most coaches think of it from that angle in terms of, I want to create this codependency, but I think that is a very common model in terms of accountability, as you’re saying.

Kim Ades: [06:49] You’re a hundred percent, right? Like I’m not, I’m not really questioning the integrity of the intention of a coach. That’s not where I’m coming from. I think that their approach has problems and they’re not conscious of these problems. So if let’s say I’m coaching you and I hold you accountable and it works. Let’s say you’re achieving all your goals, and you’re like, wow, thanks Kim, without you, I couldn’t have done it. I’ve created a model of dependency and that’s not ethical. But let’s take it one step further. It gets worse than that. What happens when you hire me as your coach and you hire me because you’re frustrated, you’re not reaching your goals and now I’m holding you accountable and you’re still not doing all the things? Now how do you feel? 

Damianne President: [07:29] And I’m laughing because I definitely have been in accountability groups where I am running to do the things on the list the day before we meet again. And I recognize myself, there is something wrong there.

Kim Ades: [07:43] Yeah. But how do you feel if I’m holding you accountable and you’re still not achieving your goals? How do you feel now?

Damianne President: [07:50] Oh, that’s even worse because even I’m paying money. 

Kim Ades: [07:53] feel even worse. 

Damianne President: [07:54] In theory, I should be doing all the stuff, but I’m not. 

Kim Ades: [07:59] Right, exactly. So here’s the thing, that my good intentions actually created a bigger problem for you. For me the greatest fear, the greatest worry. As a coach, my job is to help you become independent and to reduce your problems, not to add to your problems.

Damianne President: [08:19] So what most people do and what I have caught myself in as well is think, okay, I am messing up here, that means I need to do harder. I need to try harder, but it sounds like you’re saying we need to flip that. So, tell us about your model and what you find is a bit smoother and more successful.

Taking a journey with your coach [08:40]

Kim Ades: [08:40] In the Frame of Mind Coaching Model, my job is not to hold you accountable. My job is to go on a journey with you. And my job is to be your guide on this magical journey and to show you things you’ve never seen before. So imagine we’re climbing a mountain together, and my job is to say, oh, watch out. There’s a rock. My job is to say, if you put your foot here, it’ll be easier. My job is to say, oh my God, look at the beautiful sunset. My job is also to say, you can do it; just take the next step. 

My job is to say I got your back. I’m here. I’m right beside you. I’m not going away. We’re taking the journey together. Very different from accountability. 

 Damianne President: [09:21] Yes. And it seems to be very much perspective switching in terms of helping me see a different perspective because the value that you really bring them is something that I’m incapable of doing for myself. In theory, I could hold myself accountable.

The most important thing to look at if you’re unhappy with your results [09:36]

Kim Ades: [09:36] Correct. So how we approach coaching, number one is I’m really interested in how you think, and how you’re thinking impacts everything you do and then the outcomes you get. So everything you do is a function of your thinking. So if you’re not happy with your results, let’s look at your thinking. Let’s look at how your thinking sometimes aligns with your goals, and often doesn’t. Let’s make some adjustments there. So first of all, our philosophy is to look at a person’s thinking as opposed to looking at their behavior. 

Now, your behavior tells me about how you’re thinking, but my job isn’t to create behavioral change. When your thinking changes, your behavior naturally changes.

Damianne President: [10:20] How do you get to know what I’m thinking? What’s your process for that? How do I get to know what I’m thinking sometimes? 

Kim Ades: [10:27] Thank you for asking. We work with a highly driven population. We work with leaders, entrepreneurs senior management, executives, people who have big goals they want to achieve, people who want to make a difference in the world, people who want all the great things that life has to offer, but also people who are frustrated because they aren’t maximizing their potential because they aren’t where they want to be because they aren’t moving as fast as they think they should move.

 And so how do we get to know their thinking? Well, we always start off with a 10-week coaching process. Why only 10 weeks people say? Because these people want to move quickly. They want results fast, so we create a very intense and intimate experience designed to create quick results. Many people stay with us for years, but we only ask for a 10-week commitment.

The advantages of listening to recordings of yourself telling your story [11:16]

So what happens is there’s a call every week with a coach, and we record every call so that you can start listening to your recordings. When you listen to your recordings, guess what? You start to pay attention to how you think, you start to hear your voice, the stories you tell, the places where you are emotional, and as you’re listening, you’re going to notice the places where you get emotional again. You start to become aware of who you are and how you show up. In addition to that, we ask you to journal in a private and secure online journal with your coach. So at the beginning of the week, you get a journaling question or a prompt and you start journaling.

Every journal that you write goes back to your coach who reads and responds to your journal every single day. So you’re in conversation with your coach every day. So I’m working with a gentleman right now. He literally journals three times a day, at least. And every time he journals, I receive his journal and I read and respond to his journal by asking him questions, by digging deep, by making him reflect, by really looking at what he’s saying, and asking him to consider some different ways of looking at things. I’m kind of pushing him to be completely truthful.

Now, every time I ask him questions, he answers them. What happens when there’s all this communication? We start to see very clearly how you think, what the patterns are, where you keep getting stuck over and over again, how you’re driven, how you’re wired, when you are pressed to the wall, how you respond, and on and on and on. So what I’m doing is I am collecting a great deal of data, first from the calls and then through the daily journaling. So I’m able to piece together who you are, what matters to you, what your values are, how you react and behave when you’re stressed, all of it. I can see how you think, and I can show you how you think in ways that you’ve never seen before.

Damianne President: [13:19] How do the people you work with respond? Is this surprising to them when you start pulling out observations and naming things that you notice?

Kim Ades: [13:30] First of all, they expect X when they come into coaching and they get X plus Y plus Z plus A plus B plus C. They get so much more than they expect. And one of the reasons they get so much more is number one is they’re shocked at how present we are as coaches, how responsive we are. They’ve never had a relationship with anybody who’s so present; that’s number one. And that’s transformative in and of itself. Number two is they’re working with coaches who are extremely skilled, who can see very quickly those patterns. And so very often they’re shocked at what they see, but they also feel, for the first time in their lives, seen and understood. What happens when you feel seen and understood? Relief that I’m accepted for who I am.

Damianne President: [14:19] Let’s get into the self-acceptance piece, since you brought it up in terms of, they begin to see that they’re accepted for who they are. Tell us about what that looks like when you’re working with somebody. 

The most dangerous habit against self-acceptance [14:31]

Kim Ades: [14:31] Well, imagine you’re working with someone who spends their whole entire lives maybe trying to please someone, maybe trying to achieve goals, because they think that when I achieve those goals, then I’ll be valuable, then I’ll be important, then I will matter. And what if you say you already matter, and it’s not just cause I’m saying so, but it’s because I’m showing you that you matter. You see the silence in the room, things get calm suddenly. 

 Damianne President: [14:58] I want to dig into that a bit, because how do you show somebody they matter? Sometimes people might say this to a listener, for example, and they might not believe it. So what makes the switch.

Kim Ades: [15:09] Again, it’s not just a verbal conversation. So a lot of people ask me, what’s the difference between coaching and therapy. I’m not a therapist, but I’ve been to therapy. I went through a divorce and so I went to family therapy and I remember the first week I went in and I cried my heart out and I left like a wet rag like I was finished; I was completely spent. The second week, the same thing. The third week, still the same thing. But the fourth week, things started to feel a little weird for me. I realized this is a very one-way relationship. And I remember going into the therapist’s office, sitting on the couch and saying, so what’s new with you, because there was this imbalance, this terrible imbalance in the relationship that didn’t feel sustainable or comfortable.

How you can show someone that they matter [15:55]

So what do I do differently in Frame of Mind Coaching, I do multiple things. Number one is I show up every time you journal. I’m reliable. That tells you you’re important. Number two is that I see what’s hard for you to see, and when you see someone shining, a light on you and taking such time and care and attention to you, that shows you that you matter, but I’m going to give you one more thing. In Frame Of Mind Coaching, it’s a two way relationship and a huge part of this relationship is showing you, verbalizing, your impact on me because we’re on a journey together. My job is to express in many, many ways how you impact me. 

I’ll give you a perfect example. So I started coaching this gentleman, and as I mentioned, first week, he’s journaling every day, three times a day. I’m reading and responding to his journals and he’s right there answering every one of my questions. So there’s a lot of exchange back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. So we have our first call and then he listens to the recording because we want him to listen to the recording. He takes notes on the recording and he shares them in his journal. And I say to him, you’re my dream client. You know what he does?

He gets a t-shirt that says, dream client. He takes a picture her and he sends it to me. And I expressed to him how much that matters to me, how much that means to me, how much he made me smile and laugh that day. In fact, I asked him for permission to put it on social media.

Damianne President: [17:30] The thing, that’s standing out to me is that although self-acceptance is an internal thing that happens like we go through the process ourselves, we don’t do it in isolation. We do it in relationships with other people and in community with all the people. And so it sounds like that’s really what’s happening in your coaching relationship that is helping those people come to the realization that they do matter. 

Kim Ades: [17:53] Yes. So when they experienced someone accepting them completely 100% as they are, bumps flaws and all, then there’s a possibility that they learn to accept themselves. 

Damianne President: [18:05] I think this is where modeling is so important. In a coaching relationship, that’s a very close relationship and a prime opportunity to model. 

Kim Ades: [18:13] Exactly. It’s a very close relationship, even though most of our clients are very, very far away; we never see them in person.

Damianne President: [18:21] I did listen to a few episodes of your podcast and in one of them you were coaching somebody on relationships. You do work with leaders and executives and I was like, oh, look at that, we can’t just say, oh, this is personal life, but this is professional life. It sounds like it’s really integrated in your approach as well.

Overhauling the concept of life buckets [18:39]

What are the elements of coaching? How do you define the things that make up a coaching practice in terms of, the different maybe buckets or components that may come up?

Kim Ades: [18:50] Well, for me, there are no different buckets. There’s one bucket, the person. That’s it, one bucket. And what we look at is how a person thinks in all areas of their lives. The way you behave as a parent will give me insight into the way you behave as a leader and vice versa. So I’m looking at how a person thinks in all the possible scenarios and circumstances of their lives because that gives me information. That gives me data that allows me to understand this picture more effectively. But one of my greatest observations is that a lot of coaches simply try to coach with not enough information, not enough data. Calls alone don’t give you the data you need. 

Damianne President: [19:31] Do you have specific questions that you get people to journal about or is it open? Is it a combination of those things? And are there specific questions that everyone should be regularly journaling on even just for themselves? 

Kim Ades: [19:46] Lots of questions. At the beginning of the week, we do give them a question, a journaling question, or a prompt to consider. And we have a series of questions that take someone through a journey. They’re deliberate and they’re specific to our philosophy and our approach.

Typically what happens is that person takes a question and starts journaling, and that starts the communication or the conversation going. But the following day, they can continue with that prompt, or they can create a completely new journal that is free-flowing. We want to extract data related to these questions, but at the same time, we want to know what’s going on for you here and now in the today.

Some journaling prompts you can use to see inside your brain [20:30]

What are you grappling with? What are you what’s happening in your world? What’s working, what’s not working. What conversations are you having? What successes are you having? What frustrations or challenges are you having?

Damianne President: [20:41] In general are there questions that you think everybody, or is there a question that if somebody is new to the journalling practice, that they could get into the practice of thinking through, writing about.

Invitation/Challenge – Two questions that you must answer to be able to have the life that you want [20:53]

Kim Ades: [20:53] For sure. And if you’re open to it, I’ll even give your audience a challenge. Is that cool? Can I do that? 

Damianne President: [21:00] Excellent. 

Kim Ades: [21:00] Okay. So here’s the journaling question. Actually, it’s two questions. If you have a piece of paper and a pen, write it down. So the first question is, what do you really, really want more than anything?

Now, I said, really, really. I didn’t just say, what do you really want? I said, what do you really, really want? And the reason I did that is because I want you to consider what you truly deeply want inside, not what you think you should want, not what is expected of you, not what your mother wants for you or your spouse or your children. What do you truly, deeply want? And interestingly enough, when I give people this assignment, some of them find it very hard to answer. It’s not coming to them with ease. Or they say should I write what I want personally, or should I write what I want professionally? And the answer is it’s the same thing. Tell me what you really, really want. There’s no distinction. Your professional life is part of your life. You show up in both places; it’s the same you. So what do you truly, deeply want? 

And then the second question is, so what’s stopping you from having that. Write down all the reasons you don’t have what you want. And I will say to you that those reasons are an indicator of the beliefs that are getting in your way. They’re the starting point to help you understand how your thinking really is slowing you down.

How to recognize your blockers and limiting beliefs [22:23]

If you say, the reason I don’t have what I really, really want is money, there are beliefs around money that are slowing you down. If you say the reason I don’t have what I really, really want is because I’m not in a relationship, if we dig a little deeper, we will find beliefs around being in a relationship that make it hard for you to be in a relationship. If we think about, I really, really want my business to grow, we look a little deeper. We’ll look at perhaps your opinion or your view, your beliefs around resources, leadership, delegation that might be getting in your way, even your beliefs around strategy and what’s possible and what’s not possible that are getting in your way. So it’s a starting point.

Again, do those two journaling assignments. And if you are really bold, send it to me. I will personally respond. Here’s my email address: it’s You know, why offer this? I’ll tell you why I offer this. You want to know why offer this and I’m not afraid to? because most people won’t do it. That’s why. So, I can offer it to 10,000 people. You know how many people will respond, maybe five. And it’s only those people who really, really, really are ready for a change. Those are the people who will respond. 

Damianne President: [23:48] Okay. Changes Big and Small listeners. you have your challenge, and if you will email Kim, she will email you back. So let’s get a few people emailing her. 

Kim Ades: [23:57] I will email you back.

Damianne President: [23:59] I think what a lot of us struggle with, and I’ll put myself in that boat too, is we have all sorts of limiting beliefs. And so having the courage, having the love, whatever emotion is necessary, to be able to say, to be able to admit what we really, really want is difficult because we let those limiting beliefs hold us back.

Kim Ades: [24:22] Every time, every time. Even when I say you’re allowed to have anything you want, they still come with limiting beliefs. They still come with a list of things they want that is less than ideal, every time. 

 Damianne President: [24:37] All of these limiting beliefs are really closely tied to self-acceptance too. And they’re really about the story that we tell ourselves about who we are, what we deserve and all of those different elements. 

Kim Ades: [24:51] Yes. It’s all tied together. You are a hundred percent, right?

How to align your language with your desire [24:55]

Damianne President: [24:55] If we think about limiting beliefs more broadly, do you have any particular habits that you’ve noticed really help people start to address their limiting belief? 

Kim Ades: [25:05] One of the things that we try to do is help people pay attention to the language they use because the language you use is a reflection of your beliefs. It’s easy to catch yourself with the language you use, especially when it’s in writing. When you say things like yeah, but…, yeah, but I can’t, yeah but that’s impossible, yeah but I wish I could. So we’re helping people to pay attention to the language they use and really ask themselves if that language is aligned with the desire. And very often we will find that language is not aligned with desire 

Damianne President: [25:40] That makes sense. And I think writing it down also makes sense because definitely when I write things down or even when I listen to myself again, I’m like, huh, I say that word an awful lot of the time, more than I want to, and we might not pick that up in our day-to-day lives.,

Kim Ades: [25:57] And it’s not just about the word, it’s what’s behind the word. Our view of the world is behind the words we use.

The Weight Loss Struggle [26:05]

Damianne President: [26:05] I’ve been in Italy for five weeks. This is my last week here. And we talked last time about how so many of us are often on a weight loss journey. I had mentioned last time about how I was listening to a podcast and the advice that I thought was really helpful was to find the things that make your struggle easier. Find the things that make success more likely. Go with the flow in the direction where you want to move. And I was thinking this morning, going to Italy really wasn’t that choice for me because I moved to the middle of pasta and pizza and all sorts of pastries that I love. Maybe that wasn’t the best choice if weight loss was my primary goal, but at the same time, being here has brought so much joy to me that I cannot regret it. 

Kim Ades: [26:59] I’m not a weight loss expert, not on any level. That’s my journey; that’s my challenge. okay. But there’s a belief in there that says I can’t be healthy and lose weight and eat the things I like. 

Damianne President: [27:11] Absolutely. That is the conversation I have too. 

Kim Ades: [27:15] Exactly. And so what do we do? We restrict ourselves and how sustainable is restriction. It’s sustainable for a month, two months, three months until you explode. Something happens and then you go the other way. You’re like, I already messed it up; let’s eat all the pizza. What happens is when we follow every, and again, I’m not the expert, please don’t think of me as the expert. I’m learning this as I go. But when we follow all the experts, we lose touch with what’s right for us. We’re not even listening to our bodies, whether we’re hungry or not. We’re like, oh my God, I can’t eat that pizza; I won’t eat that pizza. And we deprive ourselves. Or when we stop depriving ourselves, we gorge on pizza. In both cases, we’re not paying attention to what’s right and good for us. 

Damianne President: [28:01] Yeah and I was having this conversation with a friend because I was telling her I feel like it has become obsessive to some extent where the more I try not to think about it, the more it’s on my mind. And of course, there is science behind this as well. And so I was telling her, how do I get to the point where I don’t worry about what other people say, I don’t worry about the experts or anyone else, even though I’m sure they have very good information. How do I get to the point where I can be in the moment and choose okay, for this moment, this is what I’m doing intentionally.

Kim Ades: [28:39] Yeah. And again, I’m figuring it out as I go, but here’s what I’m learning and really mindful of is that people who are thin listen to their bodies. They say, am I hungry right now? Do I feel like having that right now? Will this make me feel good? And if they’re hungry, they eat. They don’t starve themselves, they don’t deprive themselves, and if they’re not hungry, they don’t. But you and I, we eat when we’re not hungry

 Damianne President: [29:05] Yes, there’s that and there is what do I want to eat as well, and what do I prioritize eating? 

Kim Ades: [29:11] Exactly. And you know, people who are thin don’t prioritize eating; they prioritize everything else. 

Damianne President: [29:20] Yes, exactly. I heard a coach who is an expert in this area, and this is exactly what she said. She said I eat to fuel my body. It used to be that eating was one of my pleasures, but now eating is not a pleasure. Eating is for fuel. And I was like I have a lot of pleasures in my life, but I still think of eating as also one of my pleasures. And is that wrong? 

Kim Ades: [29:40] I get it. I’m with you. I have the same problem, but you know what? I’ll tell you something. I’ve been looking at the weight loss department, the weight loss field, for most of my life, to be honest. And now there’s this massive, massive trend to, you know, eliminate all sugars, all carbs, all dairy, like all the things, and on top of that implement intermittent fasting. those are the trends. And so are we listening to our bodies? We’re not; we’re listening to the experts. We just stopped listening to ourselves. I’m really noticing that we’re at such a loss that we’re like, fine, I’ll do whatever you say. We’ve tuned ourselves out. We don’t even know

Damianne President: [30:27] It’s so interesting because sometimes I will try one of those things that the experts say, and it won’t work for me and I’ll think I must be doing it wrong rather than trusting my body’s intuition. 

Kim Ades: [30:40] And then, when you say I must be doing it wrong, you’re like I don’t like the way I look and I feel like I’m heavier than I want to be, and I’m doing it wrong so boy, am I ever done. 

Damianne President: [30:52] And what kind of place does that put you in for making any sort of progress? 

Kim Ades: [30:56] Zero impossible. You can’t get there.

Where we go wrong with intuition [30:59]

Damianne President: [30:59] I don’t know if you’re finding that as well, but I think that for me, I’m beginning to see little glimmers of spaces where I am getting that intuition that people talk about, and I used to think, I don’t understand what they mean. And now I’m beginning to. get it sometimes. 

Kim Ades: [31:17] For me, as a coach I’m 100% intuitive, so I can hear, I can listen, I can read, I can pay attention to the problem, the story, and it’s a hundred percent intuitive and I don’t doubt myself. There’s none of that. It’s natural. It’s easy. So I have intuition. I’m just not applying it here. So it’s like when you say I have glimmers of intuition, you have more than glimmers of intuition. You have a lot of intuition. What you have is a lack of practice and applying it to how you feel yourself, how you move, how you drink liquids, not paying attention. It’s not a muscle you’re used to exercising in this department. 

Damianne President: [32:00] I think actually I’m paying a lot of attention, but still finding it difficult to make the choice that I know my wise self would make. 

Kim Ades: [32:09] But hold on a second. When you pay attention, what are you using your intuition or your mind or your brain?

Damianne President: [32:14] Oh my brain. 

So when we’re struggling with things that we want to change more broadly- we’ve done a nice little segue into our weight loss journeys because that’s something relevant to us and I’m gonna sure it to many listeners as well- when we’re struggling with things we want to change, some people think that this is an opposition to self-acceptance. I don’t think that’s true at all. In fact, I think that progress requires self-acceptance. How do you think about that? 

Kim Ades: [32:44] Well, I think that it’s okay to accept ourselves for where we are right now. We have to totally accept we’re here. This is the situation. These are the facts. No denial. Let’s accept ourselves for who we are and let’s embrace ourselves for who we are, and it’s okay to want something new, something different, something more. It’s okay because the minute we stop wanting something more is the minute we stop living, we stop growing, we stop being, we stop breathing and existing. Wanting something more, something better, something different is inherent in being alive and being vibrant in any shape or form. So there’s no inconsistency here. There is consistency. 

The problem is when we look at our current state and we hate ourselves for it, whether it’s looking in the mirror and detesting our weight, or our size, or looking in the mirror and saying, my business should be bigger by now or no, one’s going to love me; I just got divorced and I’m doomed to be alone forever. That’s where the problem starts, right there, because that thinking, that perspective is not aligned with the goal you’re after. It clashes. And as long as you’re hating yourself, it’s really hard to reach your goals.

How to build self-acceptance by changing your thoughts and your story [33:57]

Damianne President: [33:57] What do you do when you’re struggling with self-acceptance? Let’s get personal like we haven’t already been. 

Kim Ades: [34:04] Let’s get personal. You know what, honestly, it’s very interesting, and I will be completely transparent right now. So I run a business, Frame of Mind Coaching. I have a team of 10 coaches, and I’ve been doing this for nearly 17 years. In my mind, this company isn’t nearly what it needs to be, nearly what it could be, not nearly what it should be. I have often thought to myself, if someone else were the leader, it would be 10 times this size. Having said that, when I look at myself, again, not that it’s a good idea to compare, but among the industry, I’m doing much better than the average coach, like much, much better.

We have a system, we have a process, we have incredible clients. We have an incredible team of coaches. The coaching we deliver is second to none, et cetera. Okay. So I have this, this battle inside of me that says, yeah, okay but if we’re that good, why aren’t we bigger? Why aren’t we reaching more people? Why isn’t our revenue much higher and on and on, so that battle, that happens.

 Well the other, day for the first time in my whole life, cause that battle has existed for years, I thought to myself, do you know what, if I look back at the past 17 years, what have I been up to. So first I got divorced and I was a single mother. And then I started a business. And then I was trying to figure out, you know, not only how to be a single mother, but how to date for the first time in my life because I got married very young. And then I met my husband who had three kids. And then we merged the families. So I was busy merging these families together. And then one of them had cancer so it was busy with that. And then my father had a stroke and then I was traveling back and forth to Montreal. And while that was happening, my mother had Alzheimer’s. And then, my husband’s father passed away. And then I was still traveling back and forth, back and forth. And through this whole thing, I’m going through my own physical transformation as I’m aging. And I’m traveling for work and I’m doing presentations, and I’m raising my kids, and we’re putting dinner on the table, and dealing with all of their teenage crises. One child was coming out and, you know, dealing with his sexuality another, super angry, another one doesn’t talk, you know, you have all these things going on. And my father passes away. Then my mother passes away and we have kids and then finally they leave and I’m like, no wonder that it’s not bigger then. I was a little busy. 

And for the first time in my life, I said, wow, with all that’s on my plate. It’s unbelievable that we did this, that we achieved this goal that we built it to the size that it is, that we have this team, that we’re delivering such amazing coaching, that we certify people in this methodology, that we have people leaving with a transformation in their lives, that it trickled down to their families, that their relationships are completely changed as a result of coaching. Incredible.

For the first time in my life, I finally said, oh my God, stop beating yourself up. The funny thing is I’ve worked with many, many coaches and I’ve brought this issue to many, many coaches, not one said, what were you doing in all those 17 years? Why aren’t you at the size that you think you should be, what actually happened? Not one helped me go back and tell the story. 

Understanding your journey to the present [37:38]

Damianne President: [37:38] So you had to do this for yourself. 

Kim Ades: [37:41] I did it for myself. I tried to understand what really was slowing me down because in my mind the only thing that was slowing me down was I’m not smart enough. Somebody else could have done a better job. I must be dumb. How to overcome self-doubts [37:54]

Damianne President: [37:54] Clearly there are varying degrees of self-doubt, right? You had this self-doubt, but you also had grown this business into being something that you can be proud of, even though you thought I’m not quite where I should, could be. So what makes the difference for each of us? I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to say it’s our thinking. 

 Kim Ades: [38:16] It is our thinking. That thinking has slowed me down. There’s no time for it. There’s no space for it. It’s noise that simply gets in the way. If I could have brought it to the surface and addressed it, all of a sudden, the path in front of me is a lot clearer. So here’s the message that I really want to say and deliver to your listeners.

 When you’re feeling stuck, when you’re feeling frustrated, when you’re feeling dumb or not smart enough, or feeling like you should have been further ahead and accomplished a whole lot more, understand that what’s really getting in your way is a certain view, a certain set of beliefs. It’s really your thinking. That is your primary culprit preventing you from reaching your goals. And so when you do the work to figure that out when you sit down with a journal, maybe a journal with a coach to really explore this problem and do the work to move these ideas, these perspectives, these beliefs out of the way, your life changes. Your life becomes lighter, clearer, easier, easier to move to where you want to go to.

How to choose the right coach for you [39:29]

Damianne President: [39:29] The other message I’m hearing from you, Kim, underneath what you said is the importance of the coach that we actually work with because it’s not that you didn’t have coaches that at some point might have mentioned that to you, but none of them did. And so finding the coach that we need, finding the coach that will actually help us is a big part of the journey, and also being advocates for ourselves, recognizing what do we need? And so you may have a coach, but you have to recognize when that coach might not be meeting your needs, might not actually be helping you make progress in the way that you’d like. 

Kim Ades: [40:06] Exactly. A really good coach would have said, so like, what is this bullshit you’re telling me that you didn’t grow as fast. Let’s really examine that. Let’s look at that very carefully. Let’s look at this story you’ve invented about yourself and let’s challenge some of that. That’s all your invention because that’s who we are. We invent things, every one of us, and many of the things we invent run us down, tear us up, don’t build us up. 

 Damianne President: [40:35] So you have 10 coaches and people work with you. How do we choose the coach that will help us make the progress that we want or the progress that’s right for us. 

Kim Ades: [40:45] You don’t choose; I choose. So what happens is I talk to you. I hear you. I listen to you. I get a sense for your personality, about your needs. And I say, I have the right coach for you. And I assign you the coach that I think will do the best job for you. So for example, right before this conversation, I had a call with two of our clients. They’re partners in business, and they’re getting coached by two of our coaches. They have completely different personalities. One is, you know, direct and he doesn’t beat around the bush. And the other one is a lot warmer, a lot softer, a lot kinder, a lot more gentle. Same process, same framework, same philosophy, same methodology, same concept, same everything, two different personalities. Given the partners that were in front of me, these were the right choices for them.

Damianne President: [41:39] You know, just yesterday, I was talking to somebody at work and she recommended a lady to me as a coach. It was funny because that was actually one of the coaches that I had chosen to work with. And that I had sessions with and we were not at all compatible. Her view of the world and her approach to coaching were not what I was looking for. I did not feel listened to. I didn’t understand what her perspective was and the lady from work said, oh, she was perfect for me. and the way my brain works. This was exactly an example of what you’re talking about, where it’s not just about finding or being matched with a good coach, it’s about being matched or finding the coach that’s Right for you.

Kim Ades: [42:27] Right. So if you’re looking for a coach, I know a whole bunch of really good ones. 

Damianne President: [42:33] Definitely. You have a book What You Focus On Grows: Stories for your Frame of Mind.

How to learn from observation and reading experiences [42:40]

Kim Ades: [42:40] Yes. I have a book, and what is that book. That book is literally a series of short stories about different things. Sometimes it’s about raising your kids. Sometimes it’s about an observation that I see when I’m in a restaurant, whatever it is. The idea is to encourage the reader to think about common things in a very, very different way. So I’m pushing readers to really reflect that if I were in this situation, what would I see? What would I think? And could it be a different story? Could I see things differently? And so it’s presenting things from a very different perspective and getting the reader’s mind to start to stretch a little bit from what they’re used to, to something completely new.

 Damianne President: [43:28] Yeah, that sounds very thoughtful. I read a lot of professional development books and the one challenge that I have to give myself is to stop and then write what I take away, how that applies to my life, and what kind of circumstances I can imagine that in. Otherwise, it’s just like eating potato chips, right, like your done and you don’t remember; the experience is gone. 

Kim Ades: [43:52] Exactly. So I’ll give you a quick example. I remember I was at a Subway restaurant, you know, where they make sandwiches. And I saw this man coming in with an older woman. He was in a wheelchair and he had special needs. He ordered a sandwich and he ate it with so much enthusiasm, so much joy, so much pleasure. And whoever I was with said, oh, that’s so sad, who knows if he’s ever going to get a job, what does the future hold? And I said what makes that so sad? Maybe he’s got it right. Maybe he’s enjoying life the way we should. Who knows if that’s actually sad. So that’s an example of a story in the book.

Damianne President: [44:36] It really sounds like the person that you were with was looking at it from the oh this poor person perspective, instead of even recognizing the pleasure of that moment or the savoring in that was happening in that moment. 

And we can always choose. 

Kim Ades: [44:51] We can choose, but also we don’t know. 

Damianne President: [44:54] That’s interesting. I mean, we could riff on that for quite some time, but we don’t have time to do that in terms of what we know and what we make up as well.

Kim Ades: [45:01] That’s right.

Final Five [45:02]

Damianne President: [45:02] To finish up, I’ll ask you five questions that you can answer with a sentence or a word.

The first question is you have a high power meeting coming up in 12 hours. What are you doing in the 12 hours before it right? 

Kim Ades: [45:17] The 12 hours before is not the time to prepare for that high-powered meeting. I already prepared for it the week before. So the 12 hours before I’m doing all the other things.

Damianne President: [45:27] Do you have a phrase or a pep talk that you give to yourself for motivation?

Kim Ades: [45:32] Something like it’s all good.

Damianne President: [45:34] Where do you live? And if you have guests, what’s the first thing that you show them or the first place you’d take them.

Kim Ades: [45:40] The dining room table, and I give them a meal. 

Damianne President: [45:43] What is the thing that’s guaranteed to recharge you and increase your energy? 

Kim Ades: [45:48] Journaling every time.

Damianne President: [45:50] You have been given the gift of time and so you have a free day and you can do anything you want with it. What are you doing on that day?

Kim Ades: [45:56] I am sitting in the sun, I am reading. I am writing. I am exercising. I’m spending time with my husband, my family. I’m just like everything that’s not work. 

Damianne President: [46:09] And I asked you earlier, what you do for fun. And you said, watch Tik TOK videos. 

Kim Ades: [46:15] I do. 

Damianne President: [46:17] I would share all your social media links in the show notes and in the post. Do you also post on Tik TOK or are you a consumer there? 

Kim Ades: [46:26] Yeah. Right now I’m a consumer. We have a Tik Tok account. I’m not the one fueling it yet. I need to get myself there. We have a young dynamic person who’s putting up Tik Tok things on our behalf. She’s actually a client of ours who loves what we do.

So she’s doing it, but yeah, I’m, I’m dying to do Tik Tok,

to be 

Damianne President: [46:48] okay. We’ll have to look out for on Tik Tok.

Kim Ades: [46:51] I w I L I love to com 

Damianne President: [46:53] thank you so much for chatting with me today, Kim. 

Kim Ades: [46:57] thank you for having me again. 

The minute we stop wanting something more is the minute we stop living, we stop growing, we stop being, we stop breathing and existing. – Kim Ades


Pay attention to the language [you] use, because the language you use is a reflection of your beliefs. – Kim Ades

About the Author
I'm a curious problem solver.

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