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Change your life by changing your thoughts

Everyone perceives the world through a filter that can be adjusted, Newberg life coach teaches

Although “life coaching” might sound like something a person seeks when they have a problem to solve, Newberg coach Danielle Isaac says the applications are much broader than troubleshooting.SUBMITTED - Local life coach Danielle Isaac got her start in the field when she felt she wanted to make a change after 12 years in a corporate career. In order to make that change in her life, she took similar steps as those she now guides her clients through.

“It’s really that you’re ready to go to another level in your life,” she explained. “We have a natural desire to grow and increase. That might be to grow in the area of having more free time, or that might be to grow in the area of having more income because you’re tired of making ends meet or that you’re ready for a bigger home, or maybe you’ve always wanted to have acreage and a farm.”

It’s different for everyone, but the fundamental process and obstacles in working toward a goal are a constant.

And if the client doesn’t have a particular goal envisioned, but rather a sense of wanting something more, Isaac helps develop a goal to work toward.

In fact, that’s how she got into the business: she wanted to make a change in her own life.

Two years ago she was working for a Fortune 50 company and had worked there for the previous 12 years.

“I knew that I wanted to do something different with my career and knew there were certain things about my existing career I was not happy with,” Isaac recalled. “But I wasn’t sure what the new career was and what that would look like.”

Her interest in self-help and life coaching really dates back to 2001, when she first read “Conversations with God,” which opened her eyes to a new way of thinking.

“Up until that point I was very much, like most of us, under the belief that circumstances happen to us and we have no control over them,” Isaac said. “We just kind of weather the storm, so to speak. What I started to learn is we actually have a lot more control than we realize.”

So when she was feeling discontent in her career and pondering another path forward, something clicked and she suddenly gained clarity.

In September 2014, Isaac got certified through the Life Mastery Institute, a training center for new life coaches. She began coaching clients on a part-time basis and eight months later left her corporate job and decided to go full time as a life coach. Last fall she moved from Sherwood to Newberg, operating her practice locally.

Once a goal is identified, the focus of life coaching turns to figuring out what stands in the way of achieving that ambition and surmounting those obstacles. Some of those obstacles are internal.

“Fears hold us back,” Isaac said, “and negative thoughts.”

Changing these thoughts is easier said than done, but the “coaching” element means it’s a continued process of back-and-forth with Isaac.

“A big part of it is about helping people build up their awareness to a level where they start to understand the thoughts they are carrying that have actually been working against them,” she said. “Just helping them see that, taking themselves through a process where they start to see all those thoughts that have been holding them back.”

The idea that changing one’s thoughts can change how a person feels is more than an interesting concept to ponder. It’s connected with scientific study in a field called neuroplasticity, which contends that the brain undergoes changes throughout a person’s life rather than remaining more or less the same after a certain age.

Neural pathways can be changed through a change in thought patterns, neuroplasticity maintains. It sounds lofty, but really it comes down to the simple, repeated action of overriding negative thoughts with positive, and therefore changing the way a person perceives reality.

“You can change that filter in front of you,” Isaac said, “so you start to see more good in your life; so you start to appreciate more of what you have. And then, as you do that, you’ll actually attract more good things into your life.”

More information about Isaac’s business, called Family Dreams, can be found at www.danielleisaac. com.