What is self-coaching?
Before I answer this for you, I actually want to clarify what coaching is – and isn’t – to make sure we’re on the same page.
Coaching is a form of personal and professional development. Coaching is a powerful relationship in which a coach creates a safe container for change for the client. The coach asks questions that help the client see herself and her world in new and powerful ways that create change.
Coaching is not therapy. Therapy asks questions about the past to figure out how you got here. Therapy supports the healing of past traumas and supports working through behaviors in the present.
Coaching is not consulting. Consultants also ask you questions about the present and the future to figure out how to get you there, however consultants tell you how to get there. Coaches will ask you what you want to do to get there, and help you to find the solutions that are perfect for you.
While there are deep reflections and often lots of emotions (including many tears!) in my sessions, coaching is not, fundamentally, therapy. Coaches ask lots of questions, which makes it feel like therapy, however instead of asking questions about the past, we ask questions about the present and the future, to figure out how to get you where you want to go. This is not consulting, because we don’t tell you how to solve the problem, we trust that you know what’s best for you
While coaching is something I believe everyone can benefit from, it’s often too expensive for most people to commit to on a regular basis – and that’s not okay.
Coming out of my own coach training program, I remember thinking, “ohmygod…I know how powerful this coaching is, and I just spent 12k on this program, and I’m a new entrepreneur, bootstrapping my way through life, and I just can’t afford this right now.”
I spent the next few months bartering for services and participating in peer coaching until I could finally afford to hire my own. And I did. And it sucked. He didn’t coach me at all – he told me what to do. And in that moment, I remember thinking, “I could coach myself better than this.
And my self-coaching workbooks were born.
While I maintain that there’s nothing more powerful for personal growth and development than having a coach in your corner to love you fiercely, to ask questions that will open eyes and opportunities and insights, and to call you on your shit, self-coaching can be super powerful.
Here’s what self-coaching is...
- Self-coaching is the ability to create a safe, supportive, conducive space that will serve as the container for your own growth and development.
- Self-coaching is the ability to see yourself as “in progress,” and to learn and reflect in ways that will cultivate your own self-awareness, and to bring attention yourself as an observer, an actor, and a responder in this world.
- Self-coaching is the ability to bring mindful attention to the beliefs, stories, thoughts, patterns, and habits that govern your life.
- Self-coaching is the ability to use your greater awareness to create change through small experiments in how we show up in the world, and to nonjudgmentally analyze our own results.
- Self-coaching is a team effort as we seek support and greater awareness from friends, family, co-workers, and our communities (including the GLY community!).
- Self-coaching is a commitment to educating ourselves about limiting beliefs, polarities, paradoxes, fears, adult development theory, competing commitments, insecurities, and shame. The greater awareness we bring to our own thought patterns and the messages that have been inculcated with, the greater we can understand the influence and impacts they have on our lives.
Strategies for self-coaching include...
- Create the container for growth: This may mean having a dedicated time, space, playlist, or ritual that you engage in.
- Write everything down: Countless studies point to the importance of writing down goals, journaling, and reflecting on paper. Even if you don’t consider yourself the journaling type, do it.
- Set goals: What is this all for? Set a clear goal for what you want to be different at the end of your self-coaching engagement. What do you want to be different? How do you want to be different?
- Integrate mindfulness: Reconnect your head to your body through breathing techniques, nonjudgmental awareness, guided or unguided meditation. You’ll be surprised at what clarity and insight come from simple mindfulness techniques alone.
- Ask yourself questions you can’t yet answer: And don’t expect an answer to come right away. It may, it may take time journaling, or you may need to sit in the question for some time. That’s a perfectly normal and acceptable result of coaching.
Top tools for self-coaching are...
- Start out with the Wheel of Life (read more about that here!) to get a visual on how balanced your life is…or isn’t.
- Consider envisioning a new future to help you visualize your goals.
- Set SMART or DUMB goals.
- Read thought provoking content that will help you to challenge how you see yourself and see yourself in the world (and consider signing up for a GLY membership for monthly content and self-coaching workbooks designed to do just this!).
- Enlist an accountability partner (or several in the GLY community!).
- Practice gratitude and self-compassion on the way.
Self-coaching isn’t easy, however when done consistently over time, you are able to create greater awareness about why you do what you do, and to create the change you want to see in how you show up in the world.
Comment below: Have you tried self-coaching? What did you think?
Looking for more tools to support your self-coaching journey? Head to the article The Top 6 Tools Life Coaches Use To Get You Back on Track to download my favorite tools!