What is “self-coaching?”
When I looked it up on Google, I found that self means “A person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflective action.”
In turn, ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.
So, when we combine the two words, the concept we end up with is that each of us is unique and complete and that with the power of coaching we are able to provoke our thoughts in a creative way and that leads to fulfillment of personal and professional growth. In self-coaching, one part of me is the coach and another part is the client. I partner with my own self and this coach in me believes that everything is achievable and is able to trigger thoughts, so as to be able to achieve my goals.
I have been coached many times in my own coaching journey. Each time the actual coaching would finish typically in an hours’ time, and then I would quickly make some notes on my take-aways from the session. In the beginning, I would often write them, action them a few times and forget about them in a few days.
Working with a coach can be a life-changing experience, but for the actual “doing” to happen so that you can achieve goals, self-coaching can be the answer. Ever since I started to coach myself on those handwritten take-aways, I’ve witnessed more progress. Initially, I started with being my own coach for some smaller things in my life. Now, after over a year of practice, self-coaching has made me more aware of myself.
In a traditional coaching setup, the coach holds the space and supports us to be vulnerable. Achieving this vulnerability when you’re coaching yourself is the most difficult part of self-coaching. The brain is already prepared and convinced that you are not capable of certain things and it will try to convince you about the same. The only technique which I have found profoundly helpful is by becoming a witness. You literally have to witness what is happening. You become a “fly on a wall” and you watch the conversation between two people – both of who are a part you.
The self-coaching model that works for me is structured like normal coaching. We need to move from a thought-based conversation, to a more feeling-based level, which leads us to a doing state, and then ultimately to achieving the results or the goals.
These are the steps I follow when I coach myself:
- Identify your goal
- Listen to yourself, your systems (that would entail, you, the other players who would support you in this goal, the larger space that is going to benefit by achieving this goal, and finally the universe)
- Be present for yourself and in your circumstances (focus!)
- Have unconditional positive regard for yourself
- Watch out for your beliefs and values and challenge yourself by asking which beliefs are serving you and which aren’t anymore.
- Identify your accountability partner, who can be your friend, a well-wisher, a colleague, or your journal book. Sometimes my feelings are my accountability partner. My own example with fitness where I have identified is that on the days I do exercise, I feel motivated, charged up, positive. I want to experience that feeling every day, so my focus is on that feeling and I end up exercising with less effort. What do you want to focus on? Who can be your accountability partner?