Coaching in a Nutshell

Are you ready to wake up and create the life that you want?

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A Powerful Life-Changing Tool

I’m back and glad to be here with you again.  Life’s been crazy busy – I’m sure you can relate, right?  I’m excited to share with you the life-changing info I’ve been learning.

As we count down to Christmas (yikes – wasn’t it just July?), I want to share a weekly newsletter with you to help you create the best holiday season yet.  Each newsletter will give you tips and strategies that will help you move past the “stuff” in your life that is keeping you blocked and stressing you out.

It’s great to be connecting with you again, and I hope you’re well.  To better serve you and bring you solutions to create a life you love to live, I’ve been compiling my favorite coaching tools.  I want to share those with you because you are vital to this Coaching In A Nutshell community.

Tapping/EFT is by far the most powerful tool I use in coaching my clients (and in my own life as well).  I’ve watched my clients make astounding breakthroughs as we’ve used EFT in their own challenges.

In my personal life, Tapping has helped me nip stress in the bud.  I’m able to tackle those stressful situations much better and with more grace than I did before I started using Tapping.

I had the chance to use Tapping just last week when I was on a business trip.  In two days, three of my four flights were delayed anywhere from 35 minutes to an hour-and-a-half.

Before I learned to use EFT, I would’ve paced back and forth impatiently in front of the gate like a caged tiger, muttering under my breath.  But on this trip, I took a deep breath (or twelve!), did some tapping, acknowledged that it was an inconvenience (especially because I didn’t get home until 3 AM) and then read, wrote and walked calmly around the airport while waiting for my boarding call.

Of course Tapping is amazing in more areas of our lives than just waiting around in airports.  My clients love tapping and use it to help them release “stuck” and painful feelings that have been holding them back for years.  This allows them to get on with their lives and do great things.  Fun things.  Meaningful things.  All the things they couldn’t do before because they felt trapped.  It’s also quick and simple so clients get real results in just a few sessions, which means they don’t need years of coaching or counseling.

Because I know how powerful Tapping is, I’m finishing up some programs for you that include tapping.  I’m really excited to share them with you!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be releasing several surprise interviews just in time to help you sail through this holiday season so you will be ready to handle the wind and waves that come along at this time of year.

Each week I’ll send a quick tip right to your inbox to help you make your holiday season easier, brighter and more of what you want it to be.  Then you’ll be set to welcome in a vibrant and fulfilling New Year.

Hang on to your hats, my friends. This is going to be one heck of a ride. There’s a New Year coming full of exciting possibilities. Are you ready?

Anne Pustil, MEd, CCC,
President, Coaching In A Nutshell
Certified Therapist and Relationship Coach

Thanks and a Gift for You

First a HUGE thank you to everyone who took the time to reply to my question of what is keeping you stuck and preventing you from living a passionate life.

I received so many replies that it has taken me this long to sort through them.  I would like to assure everyone that anything you share with me is totally confidential.  I will never share your personal story.

Because I received so many responses to my question, I decided to draw another name so that two of you will receive the download of all the interviews from my next teleseminar series. The two individuals whose names were drawn have been contacted.

AND you are all winners!  I am so touched by the number of people who responded that I have a gift for everyone.  I interviewed Rick Carson who wrote Taming Your Gremlin and A Master Class in Gremlin Taming.  Don’t let the titles fool you.  Your Gremlin isn’t some cute little thing.

I was going to give you a link to the interview so that you could listen to it for the next two weeks.  But I’m going to give you the interview so that you can listen to it at your leisure.  Here’s the link for the download: Click here to download/listen.

Can I ask a favor of you?  Instead of forwarding the link to your friends, relatives and anyone else you think could benefit from Rick’s wisdom, I would be delighted if you would send them to my website ( – They can just scroll to the bottom of the page and see the sign-up formto sign up for it so that they can learn more about their Gremlin and how to tame it to find greater peace and happiness.  Thanks!

Just like you do now, when they sign up, they will have access to all of the interviews I will be doing over the next five months to help all of you to create:

  • more joy
  • more freedom
  • better health
  • more love

In your life.

In a nutshell.

Stay tuned for my upcoming interviews.  Some of the speakers will be offering packages and some won’t.  If it speaks to you, feel free to purchase it.  I will let you know if and when I’m an affiliate.

As we move towards September, I want to help you to love your life.  Right now.  This moment.

Keep sending me your ideas for speakers you want me to interview and topics you want to know more about.  Thanks.

In my next newsletter I will tell you about the workshops I am planning for you.

Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Anne Pustil, MEd, CCC,
President, Coaching In A Nutshell
Certified Therapist and Relationship Coach

What are your rules for living?

We all have rules for living.  We insist that others follow them as well.  Mostly we’re not aware that we have rules about how people should behave because our rules make so much sense to us and seem so obviously true.

How do you know whether you have a rule?  Whenever you hear yourself thinking or saying out loud  “You shouldn’t do it that way.  You should do it this way.”  Or “If…then”.  “If you really loved me, then you would have remembered my birthday.”

We generally have rules about how to be a good brother, sister, daughter, aunt, uncle, grandparent, parent, teacher, religious leader, politician, teen, child, husband, wife, guest, co-worker, etc.  We also have rules about how to do everything correctly from running a business to being a loving person to spending money to eating food.  For every possible action you can be sure that someone somewhere has a rule about how to do it right.

Here is one of my rules:

Don’t be lining up in the 15-item express line when you clearly know that you have 30 items even though you’re pretending that 7 cans of tuna are one item.  I believe that that is inconsiderate behavior and my rule is that people shouldn’t be inconsiderate.

Now many of you might disagree about that being inconsiderate behavior.  Or not care about people being inconsiderate.  Or think that it’s petty.

But that’s the thing about our rules.  They’re subjective.  Meaning they are based on our experiences and our perspective of the world.  Because we all have such diverse experiences and perspectives, we react to people and situations very differently.

We all have different rules.  And that’s why our rules create tremendous chaos in our relationships.  We judge others for their rules and for the things that bother them and affect them.  We make them wrong instead of accepting that we are unique people with unique perspectives, feelings, needs and concerns.

In every relationship issue that I work with, whether it’s couples, parents, adult siblings or friendships, having different rules causes enormous conflicts between people.  We expect – actually demand – that others live by our rules because they make so much sense and seem so obvious to us.  Clients have said to me, “They’re not rules.  They’re reality.”

It’s really important to be aware of your rules and to remember that they aren’t necessarily shared by everyone else.  (Have you noticed how being aware seems to come up regularly in my newsletters and blogs?)  Be aware as well when you make other people wrong because their rules are different than yours.

Complaining Challenge – Wrap-up and Summary

Welcome to the final day of this challenge.  I promised you a brief summary of what we talked about this week.

As always, become aware of your complaining.  See if there are patterns to your complaints.  What are you complaining about?  When is it happening most often?  What information do they have to give you?  What are your feelings and what thoughts are behind those negative feelings?

When you catch yourself complaining, ask yourself “So what do I want?”  What expectations, hopes or desires aren’t being fulfilled?  What can you do to change that?

If you’re complaining because you feel stuck and don’t know how to create the changes you want in your life, get some help.  Coaching and counseling can help you deal with the blocks that are getting in the way of your fulfillment.  You deserve to be happy and live a meaningful life.

I would like to add one more source of complaining (and I’m sure that there are more).  We tend to complain when we aren’t taking care of ourselves.  That’s when we tend to be more vulnerable and have a shorter fuse.  So you might find yourself being crankier if you are short on sleep, aren’t eating well or if you’re ill.

Here’s a wonderful example of shifting perspective to avoid complaining from Suzanna Gratz, publicist extraordinaire.  Suzanna was talking about the weather in the Pacific Northwest which is notoriously wet and cold at times.  “The rain and cold today is only going to make next weekend’s warm forecasted sunny days more beautiful with the flowers. How lucky are we to have green grass and flowers in June!”  Now how’s that for finding the positive in a situation?  Thanks, Suzanna!

A great big thank you also to Mike Street from Australia who told me about the “A Complaint Free World” campaign at  Will Bowen has written books about a complaint free world and complaint free relationships and you can read about and buy them on the site.  Thanks, Mike!

Thank you to those brave individuals who have taken part in this challenge and have commented here or personally to me at

Thank you as well to all the wonderful people in this community who take the time to read my newsletter and this blog.  I know how busy you are and I really appreciate you spending your precious time with me.

Finally, (this is starting to sound like an Academy Award speech!) thanks to all of you who contact me and who let me know that you are listening and hearing and being helped to create more meaningful and fulfilling lives.

Every single one of you makes it worth my time and energy to do what I do.  I wish you joy.

With warmest regards,


Please feel free to share this or any post and please credit Anne Pustil, Thank you.

Copyright Anne Pustil 2011,

Complaining Challenge – Day 7

Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses.  ~Proverb

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”  William Arthur Ward

Welcome to the final day of our complaining challenge.  I have a bad cold but, instead of complaining about it, I’m taking responsibility for pushing myself really hard this week.  (OK, I might complain once or twice about it today.)  I know that my body is giving me a message and it’s my job to decide what that message is.

We complain because things are not as we would like them to be.  But I believe that there’s another level to our complaining.  One level is the subconscious belief that we don’t deserve better or we’re not worthy of having what we really want.  Because those beliefs are subconscious, we aren’t aware of them so we can’t do anything about believing that we aren’t worthy or that we deserve to have what we want.  The other level is that we don’t know how to go about getting what we want and we feel stuck so we complain.

So pay attention to your complaints!  Don’t try to get rid of them before you have heard their message.  If you’re having trouble dealing with their message seek help.  You deserve to have a great life.

Tomorrow I’ll do a recap of the week.

Make it a memorable day!

Please feel free to share this or any post and please credit Anne Pustil, Thank you.

Copyright Anne Pustil 2011,

Complaining Challenge – Day 6

Congratulations for making it to Day 6!  Today let’s talk about our expectations.

I believe that we often complain because our expectations aren’t being met.  This happens in at least two ways.  First we have expectations about how other people should behave.  Remember that anytime you hear the word “should”, that’s the voice of your inner critic either telling you or someone else what to do.

People have many reasons for not behaving in line with our expectations.  Maybe they are being defiant; maybe they have their own agenda; maybe your needs, wants, desires aren’t a priority for them; maybe they are just living their life their way.

Sometimes we have expectations of other people and we haven’t even told them what we want!  (This is a big issue in the couples I work with.)  In any case, it’s their life and they are free to choose what they do.  And our expectations are our issue – not theirs.

But we complain when what they do irritates, frustrates, disappoints, aggravates or confuses us.  What would it be like to accept other people for who they are and how they choose to live?  Especially those who are closest to us.

We also complain when situations don’t turn out the way we think they should.  We often complain when something takes longer or is more difficult or complicated than we had expected.  Who ever told us that life would – or should – be easy?  Or that the path from desire to fulfillment would be a straight line?

I have a friend who rarely complains.  Sometimes I try to get him to complain by being compassionate and understanding about a situation he is involved in.  I know, though, that what I’m saying is mostly projection on my part about how I would feel if I were dealing with the same issue.  My friend’s response is always the same:  “It is what it is”.

OK, your assignment today is to take a look at your complaints and ask yourself what your expectations are about another person’s behavior or the situation you’re in.  What “should” they have done differently?  What “should” have happened instead of what did happen?  Really listen for the “should”.

Then ask yourself how this moment would be different for you if you accepted the reality of what they actually did or how it actually turned out.

Have a great day and let’s hope the Vancouver Canucks get back in the game!

Please feel free to share this or any post and please credit Anne Pustil, Thank you.

Copyright Anne Pustil 2011,

Complaining Challenge – Day 5

Here it is Day 5 already.  How are you doing?  What are you noticing about your own thoughts, behaviors, feelings?  What do you complain about the most?  The least?

I’m noticing that my inner complainer is getting quieter.  I have been working on being aware of different aspects of my behavior, including complaining, for many years so this focused week has created more shifts in my behavior.  I’m also responding to other people’s complaining differently and with more awareness.  Sometimes asking them, “So what do you want?”.  Sometimes pointing out that there might be another way to look at the situation or person they are complaining about.

What about you?  Is there another way to look at the person or situation you are complaining about?  What might be affecting them that’s causing their behavior?

Is there anything positive about the situation?

Most importantly, what can you learn from the situation?  There are no failures.  There’s always learning.

Your complaints have terrific information for you about what you want and how you’re living your life.

Make it a great day!

Please feel free to share this or any post and please credit Anne Pustil, Thank you.

Copyright Anne Pustil 2011,

Complaining Challenge – Day 4

Well, we’re into Day 4 of our challenge.  How are you doing?  Today I’m going to talk about one of the ways I deal with my inner complainer which really changes my focus and turns my energy around.

Michael Losier, who wrote the book Law of Attraction:  The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don’t, suggests a great way to deal with other people’s complaining as well as your own.  Whenever you catch yourself complaining, ask yourself “So, what do I want?”  How simple.  (But not necessarily easy of course.)  You can also ask other people “So what do you want?” when they’re complaining to you.

Your complaints are messages from your soul to your self that whatever you’re doing isn’t working for you.  It’s not fulfilling you.  This is not the life your soul wants.  This is not how your soul wants to be connecting to other people.

Stop and ask yourself “So, what do I want?”  Too often we just continue on our way day after day, year after year not stepping back, taking a breath, looking at our lives and asking ourselves if we’re living the life we want.  If our life is meaningful and fulfilling.  Don’t wait until you wake up one day and ask yourself where the years have gone.

Listen to your complaints!  They have important information for you.  The big question is:  Are you willing to listen?  And then do something about it?

If you need a hand creating the life you want, get in touch with me at  I have opened up a few spaces to do some work with people who are committed to creating a spectacular life.

Make it a great day!

Please feel free to share this or any post and please credit Anne Pustil, Thank you.

Copyright Anne Pustil 2011,

Complaining Challenge – Day 3

Don’t ignore your complaining.  There’s important information there for you.  Behind every complaint there’s a feeling.  Are you dissatisfied with something in your life?  Are you frustrated by someone or a particular situation?  Do you feel hurt or betrayed?  Are you stressed out and overwhelmed?

The purpose of this challenge isn’t to get rid of complaining.  We’re doing this so that you can learn more about yourself and what drives you so that you can get back in the driver’s seat in your life.

Once you’re aware that you are complaining about something see if there’s a pattern.  Do you tend to complain about the same person or the same issue in your life again and again?  If so, that’s great that you’re aware of it!

Now ask yourself what the feeling is behind those complaints.  Then go one step further back and ask yourself what your beliefs are that are creating those feelings that are leading to your complaining behavior.  Once you can access those thoughts and beliefs, then you have something you can deal with.

For example, let’s say that you are having dinner with some friends at a restaurant.  Everyone is enjoying their dinner, but your meal is tasteless, cold or just isn’t what you were hoping for.  You complain to your friends (or keep it to yourself).  You feel frustrated because you are really hungry, you heard that this was a great restaurant and you have been looking forward to this meal all day.  You’re also disappointed.  Later you realize that you have the belief that “Nothing ever works out for me.  Other people get what they want, but not me.”

I worked with a client who always complained about her sister.  No matter what Beth did, Marcy complained about it.  (All names changed to protect the innocent.)  As Marcy became aware of the feelings behind her complaints about Beth, she was able to discover her beliefs that were creating those feelings.  Marcy was angry because she believed that their mother spoiled Beth but had high expectations of Marcy.  As we worked on her beliefs, Marcy was able to change her relationships with her mother and Beth and ultimately stopped complaining about Beth.

How are you doing?  Are you becoming more aware of when you complain and what it’s about?

Write down your complaints.  Then ask yourself what you’re feeling.  Allow your feelings to come up as you think about whatever it is that you are complaining about.  Then write down your thoughts about the person or situation.  Now you’ll know what your beliefs are.  That’s what’s really driving your complaints.

OK, what can you do instead of complaining?  We’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Please feel free to share this or any post and please credit Anne Pustil, Thank you.

Copyright Anne Pustil 2011,

Complaining Challenge – Day 2

Well, I have to admit that I’m a bit surprised.  I am pretty aware of my thoughts and feelings but I really didn’t realize how much my inner critic complains, criticizes and judges.  We’ll deal with the criticizing and judging in another challenge, so I’ll stick to my gremlin’s obvious love of complaining here.

Right now, I’m just being aware of the when and what of my complaining.  How often am I complaining and what are my complaints about?  I don’t complain as often to other people as I do in my head.  But while I was working yesterday I noticed how often my gremlin was unhappy about something and had to comment.  Even in my yoga class, my gremlin was complaining about how hot and stuffy the room was when I walked in!

This ongoing, noisy, cranky, onerous, time-consuming, silly running commentary inside my head about how things don’t measure up or should be different is amazing to me.  I had no idea how much of my thinking time it is actually consuming.  This is really eye-opening.  How wonderful!

Oh, I knew that my inner critic could be a cranky complainer.  But it is amusing to me to see how much complaining goes on and here’s the kicker.  How do you think all the complaining that we do affects our perceptions, our feelings, our behavior and our relationships?  Our complaining creates negativity inside us that leaves us feeling drained, unhappy, negative and not the powerful beings we truly are.

Right now I’m continuing to observe.  Expanding my awareness of my inner critic’s tendency to complain about things.  Tomorrow we’ll talk about what to do once we’re aware.

Oh, I said I would explain the title of my newsletter yesterday, “I’m not complaining, I’m just being realistic.”  I was talking with a friend about complaining and she said that, whenever her husband complains about anything, he always says that he’s not complaining, he’s just being realistic.  Well, a rose by any other name is still a rose…  (Which, I just discovered is not what Shakespeare actually said.  He said “A rose by any other name is still as sweet.”  You get my drift.)

Remember:  awareness does not include judging yourself.  As I said, I’m actually quite amused at what I’m discovering.  My inner critic/gremlin has a lot to say.  Now I will teach it how to speak powerfully in a positive way and to play nicely!

Have a great day – with or without your complaints.  See you tomorrow.

Please feel free to share this or any post and please credit Anne Pustil, Thank you.

Copyright Anne Pustil 2011,

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