Last Updated on November 28, 2023


Many people seek coaching because they want “accountability.”

But what does this mean?

To most people, being “accountable” means you get punished if you fail.

If you don’t do what you say you will, you will suffer the consequences.

This kind of accountability relies on pain and shame.

It is literally fear-based motivation.

“If I don’t do what I say, I am a bad person.”

“If I fail, I will disappoint my coach or my accountability group.”

We imagine other people being mad at us or disappointed in us if we fail.

And then that fear motivates us to act.

Because if we don’t, we will die!

Or at least, that’s what our sympathetic nervous system thinks.

The Punishment Paradigm

This whole way of doing things is what my friend Joy Livingwell calls “The Punishment Paradigm.”

When we are in The Punishment Paradigm, we believe the only or best way to motivate ourselves and others is through fear of punishment.

Fear can be a powerful motivator, it’s true.

But it also comes with a very high cost.

When we motivate ourselves with fear, we feel stressed.

A stressed body literally pumps the heart faster.

Blood pressure increases, hardening the arteries.

Fear also hardens our perspectives, closing off other possibilities.

“It has to be this way.”

There is no other choice!

But actually there is.

To bastardize Rumi, beyond all-or-nothing thinking is a field of pure possibilities.

I will meet you there.

The Progress Paradigm

What if you could do what you intend without the fear, pain, and shame?

What if there was a much easier and more enjoyable way to live?

In fact, there is.

Enter The Progress Paradigm.

In this alternative way of thinking, we tap into natural motivation.

This is motivation beyond fear, pain, and shame.

It’s the motivation to contribute, to be of service, to create just for the joy of it.

Everyone already has this kind of motivation in abundance as a kid.

But sometimes The Punishment Paradigm covers over it.

We can learn “The Joy of Doing” by making things easier and more enjoyable

Take care,

p.s. If you want to practice embodying The Progress Paradigm, consider joining my coaching group.

We meet Sundays at 11am Denver time for an hour.

Starting in January we will be going through all 8 “Principles of Joyful Doing” in a twelve month sequence. You can join anytime, but if you start in January you’ll get to do it in order.

Membership is only $47 a month. Get a free 30-minute consultation to see if this group is right for you.