9 coaching lessons from cleaning out your closet

Last week I invested in a closet detox with Tokyo based stylist, Corin Kanazawa. I’m now the proud owner of a pared down, easy to style capsule wardrobe as well as a whole new level of awareness on what works for me and what does not.

All through the 4 hour session, I was thinking…”Wow, this is a lot like coaching. There are a lot of parallels between this process and how clients grow during a coaching session.” Here they are, 9 coaching lessons from cleaning out your closet

“Because I’m worth it”

Investing in your development is essential but something we often shy away from. It feels frivolous, self-indulgent, a waste of money but as one client said to me “just signing up for coaching made me take myself seriously, think about myself differently. I felt like a L’Oreal advert ‘because I’m worth it’. It’s the first thing I have done just for me in the last 12 months.”

You also don’t need to invest in everything! Looking at quality. making mindful choices about what you really need and overcoming FOMO will leave you with a much richer life.

You already have changed

I found things that used to suit me but no longer do.  Even though I love those items, I have to admit that they really don’t suit me anymore.

In coaching, those thoughts that protected you from embarrassment, vulnerability, don’t “suit” you anymore either. You are a different person now with different goals.

Clear goals matter

A stylist will ask you what you are trying to achieve with your wardrobe, just as a coach will drill down on those goals for your coaching sessions. Without a clear visualistaion of what success if going to look like and how you will measure it, the coaching sessions won’t have impact.

Those agreed goals are going to come back to you in your ongoing work so they had better be compelling and meaningful or you will not be able to commit to change.

Saying goodbye

As you clear out your closet, you will find things that are hard to part with. In coaching, you will have the same thing.

This is where the konmari method can help – showing reverence and saying thanks to the thing you are about to get rid of:

“Giving sincere thanks to an item will significantly reduce or even eliminate any guilt you may feel when you decide that you will no longer have it in your home.”

When we can kindly say goodye and thanks to these items and thoughts we can move on to a less cluttered mind without guilt. Try it!

Fresh pair of eyes and a different angle

Having an expert ask the difficult questions and open you up to new perspectives is so helpful.

By challenging the client and holding the goal up again, stylists and coaches help to keep clients on course. And of course, coaching is all about opening up to new perspectives.

“Of course, you can keep this “t-shirt/ underlying belief”. How will it help you to reach the goal you set at the beginning of the session?

Get a full length mirror and wear shoes in the house

You need to be able to see yourself from top to toe. In coaching, using psychometric tools like Saville Wave can be one way to understand your competencies. Combine that with feedback, visualisation, and weekly check ins are ways to raise your own self awareness, to see yourself warts and all!

And shoes in the house? A Japan specific issue but how can you really know what your outfit looks like in your socks? Be creative and find a way to put everything together (even if it means stretching cultural norms!)

Ditch the yoga pants… unless you are doing yoga

Stop wearing your pjs to the shops – those comfort clothes “for around the house” – well we usually go our the house in them too.

“All coaching is life coaching after the third session,” is a common refrain from Master Coaches at the International Coach Academy. Like our slobby clothes, we end up going out with old beliefs and thoughts leading our actions. Whilst they might have been helpful in the past, these beliefs don’t serve us anymore. So ditch ’em!

Play and experiment

It won’t be natural but this is why you invested in the session. If you go back to the same old closet standards and beliefs, why did you bother?

The work you do outside the session and the new awareness you bring to your goals is more important than the session itself!

Trying a tool like Points of You (watch this space for session info!) makes you look at your issue in a new light and opens up the possibility of a insight and growth.

Creating autonomy and support

“I can’t be here to style you everyday. You need to be able to put new outfits together based on what we discussed. You can send me a picture and I can give you feedback”

Corin’s goal was to give me enough insight into my own needs that I can style myself. She was also available as a sounding board.

As a coach, my goal is to help clients create and communicate change in their lives, to give them the awareness and tools to “style themselves” everyday.


So, there you have it, 9 coaching lessons from cleaning out your closet! Who knew that there would be so many parallels in chucking out a load of old clothes and your personal growth?

Want to clear out the clutter in your mental closet? Contact me for a 30 minute discovery session today and find out how we can work together.

Based in Tokyo and want to clear out your actual closet? Be sure to contact Corin Kanazawa Stylist through her FB page.

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