It may sound strange to hear, but many people are programmed for failure. We come up with all sorts of rationalizations, but what it really comes down to is that we are used to not succeeding. We learn all kinds of habits that defeat us, from putting off work over and over again to repeating self-defeating predictions to ourselves until they become self-fulfilling prophecies. Success coaching is a simple idea, but a powerful one: by focusing on learning the techniques, habits, and skills of success, we can all become more productive, successful, and happy people.

Of course, the idea of success coaching isn’t exactly new. As matter of fact, it has its antecedents in many disciplines of psychology. Freud himself did a lot of work on the self-defeating and self-undermining attitudes that so many people have. He had his own theory about why they occur, as other psychologists had their own theories. The success coach doesn’t focus so much on the theories as on the behaviors themselves. In success coaching, we don’t really try to look for the underlying causes, but find out the ways you can break through the behaviors.

I have only been successful for a short time, and I spent many years as an extremely unproductive, unsuccessful person. I had friends who are life coaches and even knew a few people who were involved in this success movement, but none of them really rubbed off on me. Ultimately, I have always been the kind of person who has to make his own mistakes. I only got into success coaching after everything else failed for me. When I finally hit bottom, I knew that I had to take a stand and change things. I looked at my own life my own habits and made a list of everything I do wrong and everything I do right. Then I systematically decided how I was going to take the wrong and turn it right.

Of course I’m making things sound simpler than they are. For me, success coaching was quite a struggle. As a matter of fact, it took me a few years to get my life back on track. By the time that I realized there were success coaches out there and that I could get the training myself, I had already worked through most of the basic principles on my own. In some ways, this made it a deeper lesson. You can learn a lot from other people, but sometimes having to figure things out yourself makes the message that much more profound. Nonetheless, sometimes I wish that I had had someone step in in those early years and tell me what to do. It would have saved me a lot of time and struggle if nothing else.