What is a Transformative Coach?

Coaching from the Inside-Out

What follows is my playful attempt to define the term ‘transformative coach’. A sharing of the 3 Principles or Inside-Out understanding with another.  One who engages in a meaningful conversation about being human, using the Inside-Out understanding of the human experience. That’s it…

Queen and pawn chess pieces - transformative coaching definition


A Playful Definition of Transformative Coaching

Transformative Coaching: Four Sayings and a Metaphor!

The ‘transformative coach party conversation’ goes a little something like this:

  • Them: “…So what do you do?”
  • Me: “Er…” (Anguished here-we-go-again look) “I’m a transformative coach.”
  • Them: (Somewhat puzzled) “So what’s one of them, then?”

Now if only I had a page on my SMNash.com transformative coaching site that explains, more or less, what a transformative coach is, if only


But first, “you may say, I’m a dreamer.”

Yes, before the metaphor and the 4 quotations (sayings) get to do their thing, I’d like you to imagine that you’re dreaming. Right now. You’re in a dream. And it feels so real, this dream, but it’s still a dream.

So a transformative coach, then, would enter your dream, tap you on the shoulder and wake you up to the dream. “Hey, it’s just a dream!”


Bill Hicks - It's just a ride Kinetic typography

…The dreamer (you) then sees the dream, sees that you’re dreaming, and thus becomes… a lucid dreamer.

So now you’re lucid dreaming in your own very own dream.

  • You can fly if you want to.
  • You can face your enemies, at last.
  • You can decide to change the dream into something else,
    at any time, cos it’s a dream and you’re in charge.

THIS IS what a transformative coach (like me) does in your REAL LIFE – wake you up to the (infinite) possibilities of your character in YOUR life.

So your real-life transformations could look like this:

  • No more low self esteem – you stop believing the labelling thoughts
  • Life is much less of a struggle
  • You lose your phobias
  • Life starts to feel wonderful
  • You trust yourself more – listening to inner wisdom and insights

How on earth would I do that then?


Saying #1 – What is a Transformative Coach?

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
– Maya Angelou

I would do nothing, that’s what I’d do, because nothing is, in fact, wrong. Which means:

  • No coaching techniques, hypnosis, or ‘positive thinking’
  • No NLP, CBT, EFT (or any other TLA)
  • No nothing, just…

Just deep, impactful, listening between two human beings – with me listening with nothing on my mind; listening to understand; listening for what I don’t know.

A sacred, silent space which often allows for… connection, access to inner wisdom & intuition, and fear transforming into love.

And all from an understanding that human beings, as Maya Angelou understands, are always doing the best they can in each moment, from how they understand things. And your best can radically change as soon as you start to see the Inside Out nature of the human experience; as soon as you can appreciate that nothing is ‘wrong’ with what you experience…


Saying #2 – What is a Transformative Coach?

“If the only thing people learned was not to be afraid of their experience, that alone would change the world.”
– Syd Banks

A transformative coach, aka a 3 princpiples practitioner, is there to show you that your experience of life comes from the inside out. Once you see this, once you start to truly ‘get’ how you really experience life, how everyone else experiences life too, then you start to be more and more curious about the feelings that flow through you.

You get to be curious about your feelings, because you know a new feeling (thought) is liable to come along at any moment (cos that’s how life works).


Saying #3 – What is a Transformative Coach?

“Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.”
– John Allen Paulos

Yes, once you see the true nature of the human experience – Inside Out – you also start to notice that everything changes, nothing is certain, nothing.

You see in the Outside In paradigm, it makes sense to believe you have control over your experiences/circumstances, and thus over your feelings. But you do not have control. At best, you have influence.

So you let go of being a control freak, you let go, and you start to take life less personally – any of it.

Very liberating. And just a natural consequence of seeing the true nature of life for yourself more and more.


Saying #4 – What is a Transformative Coach?

“How soon will you realise that the only thing you don’t have is the direct experience that there’s nothing you need that you don’t have?”
– Ken Keyes, JR

Hmm, simply put, a transformative coach is someone who helps you see the truth of Ken Keyes statement above. (But how?)

They, I, would talk to them about the source of their human experience, for one thing – is it really Outside-In (circumstances causes feelings), or does Inside Out (thinking causes feelings) make so much more sense?

Now it’s not that easy – and Michael Neill, my mentor, has created Supercoach Academy and programs like Coaching From The Inside Out to train transformative coaches into helping people recognise their own power (help people understand the inside out nature of the human experience) – but, because it’s true, it’s really very simple indeed.

Just as if you were to tap a dream character on the shoulder in their dream – chances are, if they looked closely enough into the contents of their ‘reality’, they would ‘glimpse’ that it was, in fact, a dream. And from a glimpse of the truth, everything changes…


Metaphor – What is a Transformative Coach?

The obvious metaphor to use here is that of the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly.

A transformative coach’s job, then, is to keep telling the caterpillar that it’ really a butterfly, keep asking them to see for themselves.

And whilst the caterpillar makes this transformation the one time in its life, a human being can do this transformation of their experience time and time again, letting go of layer after layer of made up thinking:

  • Relationships transform before your very eyes
  • Stress becomes a thing of the past
  • You worry much less
  • Goals become less important
  • You try stuff for the fun of it, and are much less outcome-dependent

You understand, deep down, that you are OKAY, as is.

You keep remembering you were never a caterpillar, you’ve always been a butterfly.

The transformations are amazing, and completely unique to the individual – because the individual has a very individual set of made up thinking (aka personality), which continues to drop away and not feel important anymore.




Isn’t ALL Coaching Transformative Coaching?

Granted, any good life coach worth her salt is able to help her client feel transformed in some way. But unless you understand the inside out nature of the human experience, via an understanding of the 3 principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought, then you’re always going to be blaming the outside world, always going to be wanting to control, never going to be taking FULL responsibility for your life.

In short: no.

Most life coaching, in my opinion, gets you to go round the hamster wheel faster, or mabe you get to swap the hamster wheel for some other kind of illusory trap. You’re still trapped inside the Outside In paradigm. Yes…

Waking up is the only game in town!

If it wasn’t I really, really wouldn’t be here. The last thing I ever wanted to do in life is to add to the ever-bulging ranks of life coaches, believe me. But to share the truth of the human experience, to show people Who They Truly Are – wow, what a beautiful thing to do in life…


About Me as a Transformative Coach

Steve M Nash image (c) 2013 - Hebden Bridge|UKIn case you didn’t know, my name is Steve M Nash, and I came across this inside out understanding of the human experience (in October, 2012). It was some years after I’d created my own guru-free self-help website (called SelfHelpCollective.com), after I came across some inspirational words so powerful, so apposite, that they literally changed my world.

I will leave you with those very words, then, by famous scientist, mathematician and astronomer Galileo Galilei, as they just about sum up what it is to be a transformative coach / 3 principles practitioner:

“You can’t teach anybody anything, only make them realize the answers are already inside them.”
– Galileo Galilei

And if you are at all interested in the sayings (quotations) I’ve used to explain what a transformative coach is, then you simply must visit this transformative quotations page, mustn’t you.

Otherwise, why not see what transformative coaching is for yourself…


Whilst You Are Still Reading...

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