To choose a clean language coach is a transformational choice

Our inner world is constantly switched on; thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The thoughts we have, estimated to be around 60,000 per day, affect greatly how we feel and behave. How well do your thoughts and feelings ‘serve’ you?


We give considerable focus to our environment and our outside world. Clothes, looks, success, and what people think. Yet we forget the most important thing – what we are thinking inside, which determines, ultimately, how we feel. 

When you listen, understand and appreciate your inner world, your outside world falls right into place!

Is it fear or regret, feeling lost and insecure, or just not sure what to do with how you’re feeling? If this is you, then clean language coaching might be just what you’re looking for.

Clean language: What does it mean?

Not using bad language? Not in this case. In fact, it’s nothing like that - it’s coaching but cleanly. It describes the technique used to enable you to work through your thoughts and concerns without external interference or influence.

Clean language was first introduced back in the 1980s by psychologist David Grove whose influence came from neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). It was initially used to process traumatic memories through metaphor; describing something by likening it to something else. Working with metaphor enabled those he worked with to explore trauma but not directly, as focusing directly can mean re-living the trauma. To re-tell is to re-live.

Clean language is not always about metaphor but it is always about keeping you in your own way of thinking; not clouded by well-intended interpretations. A clean language coach won’t influence your thoughts but they will support you while you work through them on your own - which is why it’s clean.

I don’t know which way to turn is a clear metaphoric example and describes so well a feeling of confusion. Focusing attention on that ‘know’ for instance, enables us to examine feelings which are often difficult to articulate.  

The complicated working of our mind doesn’t allow for easy articulation of feelings and emotions; they are processed in a separate part of the mind called the limbic system. Try it - when you feel contentment, what’s that like? No doubt, your eyes will have moved from the page and you will have to think really carefully.  

It’s very easy to describe an object, saying “A car is red” because you can see or imagine it, and it’s easy to make that memory association.  However, if you say, for example, ‘I feel like I’m at a crossroads’; this is about feelings and we often resort to metaphor when we cannot easily articulate what those feelings mean in reality, likening that feeling to something else - something we can associate with; something tangible.

We are obviously not literally stood at a crossroads but it explains perfectly being at a point where there are multiple options. Those few words – at a crossroads, encapsulate a whole thought process. It’s a way to condense and summarise thoughts and feelings to something with which we can all associate. When a clean coach enables you to see what kind of ‘crossroads’ that is, you can then begin to understand and know better your solutions. 'Going forward', getting on the ‘right path’, and knowing the ‘next step’ are all common metaphors we use to describe unexamined thought processes.

Overwhelmed, for example, means something different for each of us. Working cleanly enables the coach not to assume what 'overwhelm' means. Instead, they help you to discover this for yourself. That way, what you learn internally makes absolute sense to you. Often, a clean coach will be unaware of a ‘penny that has just dropped’ for their client because they enable deeper thought but are not a part of their ‘aha’ moment.

As I say, clean language is not all about metaphor and very often metaphor doesn’t come into the coaching conversation at all. Some of us are very conceptual or literal so metaphor can seem a little strange. Either way, the clean approach keeps the coach out of your reality.  

We rarely take the time or the curiosity to understand what our feelings mean and looking from a disassociated position can feel much less intense and less intrusive.

Why choose a clean language coach?

Our individual experiences make us totally unique and that’s why no one can fully appreciate your journey. No one has walked in your shoes or felt your experiences, in the unique way you have, so how can anyone comment on what is best for you? The key is to tap into your resourceful way of thinking; the type of thinking that means something to you. You hold all the answers you seek within, and a clean coach will help you discover them.

What makes us similar is that we all have the same basic human needs like the need to feel loved or the need to feel important. What makes us unique are our experiences and what we associate with those experiences – the ‘meaning’ we give to our experiences.

If our internal questions could be answered by external means, we could all read a book or be told what to do and our lives would be back on track. How many self-help books have you read? Now tell me what you remember of them. If someone tells you how to solve your problem, they will be telling you from their perspective, based on what feels right for them. Real change comes from within and a clean coach will enable you to safely and cleanly make that connection to your inner thoughts and so understand for yourself. It’s not easy to make sense of how we feel and having support to do that can get you there much more resourcefully.

Clean language coaching is a very positive, resourceful and forward-focused type of coaching and basically enables you to work things out for yourself. Consequently, it can have a very real and tangible effect on your thinking and health.

The best investment you can ever make is in yourself. Making a coaching choice is an important decision. Having an experienced coach who will hold you gently and securely as you discover will make every difference to your coaching experience. Good, clean coaching is often life-changing, and transformational, as frequently there’s an internal, often unidentifiable, shift.  

If you feel that coaching is for you, treat yourself to being coached cleanly. Who knows what your journey will be or where it will take you? You will hopefully feel all the better for a clean coaching experience.

Isn’t it odd, we can only see our outsides but nearly everything happens on the inside.

Charlie Mackesy The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Stockport, Cheshire, SK12
Written by Linzi Wood, Time Served and Accredited Coach, NLP, MNCP, Clean Language
Stockport, Cheshire, SK12

Linzi Wood, a time served coach who serves those feeling stress and uncertainly by enabling them get to the heart of themselves and so gain inner understanding, strength and confidence.
Accredited both as a coach and a clean coach, a constant learner who loves reading and is fascinated by people and the world of health and psychology.

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