The Weird Little Success Coaching Process For “Performance Issues”

Do you have a success coaching process that you use for clients that want better performance?

In my practice I work with lots of business and professional clients that are driven to succeed, compete, and break through to the next level of performance.  They struggle with things like:

  • staying focused and motivated
  • performing under pressure
  • staying confident
  • letting their creativity and charisma flow

Below (and in the video) I’m going to share a weird little success coaching process that I recently used for a client that was coping with performance issues that she raved about as a major paradigm shift for her.  Check out the video right here (and you’ll see the full transcript and notes below in this article):

I call this success coaching process the “attachment awareness process.”  We’ll also talk about:

  • where attachment limits your client’s success
  • the kind of results your client gets from the attachment awareness process
  • the most common coaching myths and misconceptions around attachment

My Coaching Client’s “Performance Anxiety”

01:05  I recently used the attachment awareness approach, and it was in a coaching session that happened last week with a client of mine.  She was worried about the webinar she was about to do  that evening (we were doing our session in the middle of the day) and she couldn’t even be a 100% present with me in her coaching session (She couldn’t be totally focused.).

I told her,

Notice how attached you are.

She stopped and she thought about it… and didn’t really respond.

So then I asked her, “What are you attached about that has to do with the webinar?”…

…and she gave me a list of things.

01:53  She said, “I am attached about the webinar going well, and attached about the tech working out okay, and attached about people responding to me.”

It was a “laundry list” of things that she was pretty attached to.  She probably didn’t use those exact words.  She probably said something like, “I was concerned about it, or I’m anxious about it, or I’m worried about it,” …something like that.

I wanted to shift the focus to the attachment she had to the way she wanted her webinar to go, so I told her,

Look, you’re just attached to all that stuff. You’re attached. Be aware of your attachment.

02:35  What’s interesting about this client?  She was a performance artist in a previous life.

I talked to her about this and used that as an example, asking her, “You know when you performed in the past as an artist, had you ever had a time when you would perform perfectly?”

She said, “Oh, yeah.  I had plenty of times where I performed perfectly.”

I said to her,

During those performances, you weren’t attached.  You just flowed.  You didn’t think about how it was going to go.  You weren’t worrying about that stuff. You had no attachment (or whatever attachments you had, they weren’t stopping you from your performance).  This webinar, for you, it’s the same.  It’s a performance that will be diminished by your attachment if you let it diminish you.

03:29  Then I gave her some straight coaching.

I said, “When you’re done with this session today, what I want you to do as you’re preparing for the webinar, is just keep being aware and notice your attachment.  Just keep looking for and be aware of when your attachment comes up and how it impacts you, and then just acknowledge it.

As soon as you see that you’re attached, just acknowledge it and say, “Hey, I’m attached.  I’m attached to this. I’m attached to that,” and then just repeat that:

  • When you’re preparing for the webinar
  • as you’re starting the webinar
  • throughout the entire webinar

…just notice how attached you are to all the things happening the way you want it to happen in the webinar.”

04:11  A few days later, she emailed me and said,

This is a major paradigm shift for me.

I don’t know what other breakthroughs have happened for her as a result of this, but I can already tell she’s raving about it… so I’m excited to find out.

Where Does Attachment Limit Your Client’s Success?

4.30  Where does attachment limit your client’s success?  Pretty much every area of their life.

Think about it:

Relationship Attachments:

In your intimate relationship or in your client’s intimate relationship, they could be overly attached and so they become needy in that relationship.  Or maybe they’re attached to their partner being a certain way and they’re so constantly complaining or upset about that.  In relationships with people there can be attachments about the relationship going a certain way, to having certain type of relationship with a certain individual, etc.

05:11  If your client

  • speaks in front of people
  • connects with a group
  • tries to climb the career ladder with their coworkers

And you find that they’re trying to impress certain people or look a certain way to people during that process.

…they’re probably attached, and that attachment, even if they have influence with those individuals, is probably going to reduce their performance and their ability to make a difference in that relationship… to show up the way your client would like to show up.

Money Attachments:

05:38  There are so many money attachments.  People get stuck in their career because they are attached to the money that comes from their current work, even though they’re not really happy with that career.

Your client might be afraid to make a certain investment decision because they are attached to the money involved, so they just hold on to their money as it diminishes through inflation.

Career Attachments:

06:04  There can be an attachment in your clients role in life, as a homemaker, or as a CEO, or as a coach!  If you have an attachment to that role, you might limit your growth in that role or the possibility of changing roles (so you can grow to a role that’s at a higher level for you at this point in your career).

Performance Attachments:

06:33  There are many attachments when it comes to performance.  If you’ve got to speak in front of a group or perform in a certain way (especially under pressure), if you’re attached to things going a certain way, that’s going to diminish your performance.

Health / Fitness Attachments:

06:47  In the area of health or fitness, you might have an attachment to food or a certain level of “comfort” that might have you rigid and inflexible in your ability to move to the next level in those areas… to make positive changes in your behavior (to change your habits).

Pretty much every area of your client’s life could be impacted by their attachments in that area.

How to Use The Attachment Awareness Process With Your Clients

7:10  In the Attachment Awareness process, you’re coaching your client to be aware of their attachment.


Start by telling your client, “Notice where you are attached, or notice what you are attached to in this area,”

Guide them in that awareness.


07:34  Give them a second to be aware of that, and then coach them to acknowledge it.  Tell them, “First, I just want you to acknowledge that attachment.”

And by the way, they don’t necessarily have to respond to that, but generally we can tell if our client is confirming or denying something.

Just their silence may tell us a lot.

Or they might say, “Yeah, you’re right, I’m attached.”


Then just coach your client to repeat that awareness as often as they need after the session.

That means especially during (or better yet, before) a moment where your client needs to let go of that attachment to remain unconstrained by those attachments

That’s it!

It’s a pretty simple process.

The Kind of Results Your Client Gets From The Attachment Awareness Process

8:20 What are the results that your client gets from the attachment awareness process?


First, your client will tend to let go (at least temporarily) when they actually do this process for themselves.

The attachment may come back over time, but at least they’ll get a temporary reprieve from that attachment to let go of it.


As your client lets go, fear disappears.

Fear is really often the symptom of being attached to something (or your coaching client’s attachment to something being a certain way).

Neediness disappears too… and how often does fear or neediness get in the way of a client’s ability to perform, especially in high-pressure situation?


09:13 Finally, your client creates the possibility of flexibility and power in that situation.

If you’re attached…

If you’re needy…

If you’re worried about something…

…then you’re probably not going to be very flexible.

…there probably is a limit to the amount of power you can exude in that situation.

As soon as that attachment disappears (or at least the attachment’s impact on your client disappears), or they let go of that attachment, suddenly they’re flexible.

They can play with the moment.

They can have power where they didn’t before.

The Most Common Coaching Myths And Misconceptions Around ‘Attachment’

9:46 Finally, let’s talk about the most common coaching myths and misconceptions around this thing that we’re calling attachment.


This exercise, this process, it doesn’t mean detach.

We’re not saying “attachment is bad”.

We’re not making attachment the enemy here and saying that your client should just be completely apathetic or detached from reality or detached from the results that they really do desire.

That’s not the point here.

The point is awareness, not trying to crush or destroy attachment.


10:24  There are psychological misconceptions here.

There’s a conversation that I’ve heard around fear versus apathy.

It suggest that if your client is afraid, then they detach, and then they’re suddenly apathetic about things.  That’s not necessarily the most empowering place to have them.

Fear is when your client makes something more important than it really needs to be, and that is usually a result of attachment.

The thought process is…

I’m so attached to this thing, I’ve got a stranglehold on it because it’s so important to me.

10:59  Apathy is making something less important than it needs to be, which is almost always a lie.

Usually, when your client is apathetic about something (and they brought it up to talk to you about in their coaching session with you, or it’s an area that has an impact on them) the reason is that they actually have an attachment in that area.

They probably really care about that area, but they failed to ‘win’ in that area in the past.

Maybe they’ve had a sense of loss, or maybe it’s an area of pain for them.  So instead of taking that area on and deciding it’s important to work on that area, they lie to themselves and act like they are apathetic about it, or they make up in their head that it really doesn’t matter…

…just to get themselves out of the pain of loss.

11:50  Fear or apathy, those two extremes… neither one of them is acceptable.  The Attachment Awareness Process is not about making an apathetic client, and it’s not about getting your coaching client out of fear.

The process is about your client clarifying, realizing, and being aware of the attachments that they have, so that they can find the greatest balance between making something as important as it really is and being motivated towards that, but also being flexible and powerful and fully committed in that process.

Your client can’t allow attachment to limit them while they’re going through this growth process.


12:28  Sometimes a client will come to a session and they’ll say, “I’m so committed to this that it has to happen.  I’m going to do it or I’m going to die.”

They’re really, really intense about it.

That’s not committed.

It’s great to be motivated, but chances are, your client is actually attached, not committed.

Attached is like a weak addiction.  It’s like crack cocaine for your client.

Committed means that your client still “wants it”… it doesn’t mean they have no desire.  It means that your client’s desire has not constrained their power in fully moving forward with pursuit of their desire, leaving your client unstoppable in that process.

It’s powerful, it’s flexible, and it’s free, while your client moves towards success.

I hope you took some great value out of this tutorial today.  What’s your experience with attachment?  Do you have any attachments that you need to stay aware of?  Has ‘staying aware’ worked for you?

What about your clients?  What are they attached to?  What’s your plan now that you’ve read this tutorial?

I love to hear your feedback so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions.

Special Bonus – Learn 3 simple ways to become a life coach with the “30-Days to Become a Coach” video toolkit when you fill in the form at the top right and click the“Watch The Videos Now” button. You’ll learn how to change your client’s life in 45 minutes.

Jeffrey T. Sooey
CEO, JTS Advisors
Founder, Coaches Training Blog community



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