What do you want out of your life, dear?
Perhaps you’re all familiar with the term coaching. And perhaps you’re also familiar with what coaches do and how much they shall earn for their work. Yet, as a Coach myself, I have to admit that there’s still a significant amount of biases and misunderstandings around what coaching is, what it does, and who it is suitable for.
To clarify the confusion, here’s an explanation for you. If you don’t need any, feel free to skip to the next part.
What coaching is and does?
Coaching is not new, but an ancient discipline that derives many of its teachings from Ancient Greece. These were introduced and used by Plato, Socrates, Aristotle as well as the Stoics and the Epicureans.
Greek philosophy existed precisely for the same objective and so, to help the men to become the best version of themselves, to fulfill their potential and find lasting happiness.
Coaching targets progress which comes through self-improvement.
Self-improvement is achieved by an ability to self-reflect — look at things from a different than our usual perspective that’s limiting, and taking decisions from there.
Our perspective is often limited because while we are in a difficult situation, the gravity of it and our emotional attachment to the problem is covering our full vision.
Coaching points us in a direction to see new perspectives we can’t seem to see ourselves. It does so by using the ‘’coaching dialogue,’’ a method of asking specific questions that encourage our self-reflection, forming new insights, and reaching solutions.
Yet, coaching is not a therapy, counselling or consulting. It doesn’t deal with patient’s mental conditions and past circumstances such as trauma, neither it does engage in patient diagnosis, or give medical advice. Coaching as compared to counselling and consulting, doesn’t give any advice at all.
Coaching is action-oriented. It drives progress and aims to help the client’s decision marking, planning, and goal achievement by providing them with adequate guidance, encouragement, and techniques to self-improvement. Essentially, coaching is suitable for individuals who are looking to move from A to B and progress in their life, make better decisions that are in line with who they are as a person. It is meant to help them organize themselves and live happily and more meaningfully. As well as achieve the goals they do have.
The same way as cognitive psychology, coaching is based on the principle that how we think (cognition) determines how we feel (emotion) that in effect determines how we act (behaviour). Therefore, by changing the way we think, we change our feelings as well as our behaviour and actions.
Coaching is becoming more and more sought-after by individuals who look to understand themselves better and make a progress in their present and future lives, which involves understanding the profound reasons behind their feelings, thoughts, and actions.
Now, if you have come across the industry already, I guess you probably heard that everyone needs a coach and that we all should have one. While I think it’s quite accurate to say so, I also have to admit that often, we are able to self-coach ourselves.
So yes, sometimes you don’t need the help of somebody other than yourself, to establish clarity and confidence about your circumstances or the next journey, or to come out of a challenge, problem and life struggles. If, of course, you as the one to help yourself, do know what to do.
Here, I want to tell you just that. So, if you want to, listen carefully, it won’t take too long.
Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to listen to what we have to say — carefully, honestly and thoroughly.
How to successfully self-coach yourself
There are three inherent steps to a successful self-coaching. None shall be omitted if you want to do this well. Let’s look at them each.
1. Get in the now
Allow yourself to lift the thoughts of what may happen tomorrow, or what has happened yesterday, or all those days, weeks, or even years back, and centre in the precise moment you’re experiencing now.
Close your eyes for a moment and focus on your breath. Breath in deeply, and then breath out. Now, open your eyes, and acknowledge everything around you, become aware of it while you’d take another deep breath in and out.
Focus on your immediate environment, on where you are at this point. What’s your surrounding like? Are you in a building, a room, or outside? How does it look like out there? What are the colours around you? Are there any noises? What does it feel like to be there?
If you do all that, you’d feel as if you’re in a different world, a different dimension. You’ll notice your own presence in the now. Nothing as such should disturb you in the now. Apart from the intensity and depth of it.
You’d realize that the now consumes you all into it.
2. Get comfortable with it
Does your environment support you to be fully present?
If there’s any noise that’s preventing you to focus on yourself and the moment, such as the background noise that seems to be troubling you, silence this noise if you can. If you can’t, accept it as a part of the present moment you’re in.
Get comfortable with the now, acknowledge how is it being there, in your skin, in your body, in your mind and heart? How is it making you feel precisely right now? What triggers — thoughts and emotions are surfacing for yourself?
Is there any ‘inner noise’ — the thoughts that circulate on your mind, and don’t seem to be going away? Don’t silence but acknowledge them all.
3. Question yourself
Now with the awareness that you’ve build-up, it’s time to use it for self-reflection by asking yourself specific questions.
Let me give you an example of such questioning…
1. What did you notice about yourself in the last few minutes?
2. How does being there make you feel?
3. Any particular thoughts/ feelings came into your mind?
4. What are they? Are they reoccurring?
5. Why do you think/ feel that? What is causing you to think/ feel that?
6. How is it making you feel about yourself?
7. Do you like it or you want to let go of it? What would need to happen so you can?
8. Are you happy about where you are now? In your situation, circumstances With what you do/ have?
9. What would you like to change? When? And why?
10. What would need to happen so that you feel differently — good/ happy/ fulfilled?
11. If that’s what you want… Why do you want it?
12. What can you do to make it to happen?
13. What will you do for it to happen?
When you’re trying to understand why you want something in your life and for yourself, as well as why you think or feel something, try to get at the bottom of it.
For instance, if after asking ‘What do you want?,’ you respond ‘I want to get a better job,’ don’t stop there as you didn’t yet get at the core of your desire. Keep digging and asking yourself ‘Why,’ until the purpose, your desire comes clear.
Here’s an example of such a dialogue that requires further questioning.
Why do you want a better job?
- Because I want to earn more money.
Why do you want to earn more money?
- Because I’d like to be able to afford more.
What would you like to afford more specifically?
- I’d like to buy myself a house.
Why do you want to buy a house?
- I want to have a place that’s mine.
How would having a house make you feel?
- Independent, secure, accomplished, settled.
It seems like getting a better job, or earning more money is not your main goal. Only one of the milestones to accomplish a far bigger goal you have. Is that right?
- It is, indeed.
What is your main goal?
- My main goal is to own a house for myself.
And there you have it.
As it was discovered here by questioning, it’s not just a better job my client was looking for but a whole lot of other things that were much more significant a drive — a motivation for achieving their goals.
You’ll have a similar kind of an experience.
If you keep a shallow goal without a big enough ‘Why’ at the forefront, you may not even gather yourself to make a move to accomplish the goal you set. If you start, you may give up in the process as your ‘Why’ wasn’t big enough.
Getting at the core of your desires enables you to recognize your true motivations and knowing that pushes you forward in a much more consistent manner.
And that is it!
Please do let me know about your experience if you’d try this yourself.
In case you’d get stuck at some point while self-coaching yourself, and wouldn’t know what to do next — where to more from there, get in touch and I’d be happy to help.
You can contact me over [email protected]
As always, wish you the best on your Journey-to-Self!