Throughout life, we all go through periods of feeling overwhelmed, unhappy and discontent. Frequent negative feelings are a sign that something needs to change; whether it’s your daily habits, behaviours, your relationships, or your beliefs about yourself and the world. Your feelings are the most real thing you have, so listen to what they are telling you!
hange and transition are rarely easy because human nature doesn’t like the unfamiliar. Going through changes can be uncomfortable, confusing, and even scary - but this is where coaching comes in.
A coach can provide you with tools and support as they help you understand that you are not your mind or your circumstances. Coaches show us that our unique map of reality is not the only possible reality. There are, in fact, infinite realities for you to choose from.
No one knows you better than you know yourself
Self-coaching is really about remembering who you are behind all your baggage and conditioning, rather than trying to change or become a better person. When you become your own coach, you tap into your own inner wisdom and experiences to determine what is right or best for you.
As your own coach, you’ll see yourself as a work in progress as you develop new habits, learn new behaviours, and take the necessary actions to create the life you want to live.
Does that sound like something you’d like to do for yourself? Here are the 7 steps to becoming your own coach!
Observe your own behaviour and thought patterns
The human mind creates 60,000 – 80,000 thoughts per day. An enormous 95% of these thoughts are reactive or subconscious. Our subconscious mind is where we store our belief systems that influence how we physically move, interact with others, make decisions, present ourselves and adapt to situations in our life.
Practice viewing your own life from an objective standpoint. Notice how you react to things that happen in your external world, as well as internal stimuli, such as your own thoughts.
How do you react to stress, excitement, anger, and anxiety? Ask yourself why you react in this way. Is a value or belief you’ve held your entire life being violated or threatened? And is that value or belief really your own?
When you first begin to observe your thought patterns objectively, you might find that they are overwhelmingly negative in content. Awareness is the first step catching your inner critic, and the next step is to reframe your relationship with it.
Recognise that this voice does not speak the truth, and get back on your path by consciously reframing your negative thoughts in the positive. Your inner voice can either build you up or break you down, so take responsibility for what you’re saying to yourself.
When traumatic or emotional experiences aren’t fully processed, this energy is stored in the body
Release old baggage
If you’ve decided to become your own coach, you probably want to focus on upgrading and adding new things to your life. However, because of our intricate mind-body connection, there will be tension and stress if you’re still dragging all your old stuff around.
When traumatic or emotional experiences aren’t fully processed, this energy is stored in the body. We store our emotional baggage in our muscles and fascia, and it requires extra energy to carry this baggage around. It’s near impossible to use the conscious mind to access, release and integrate stored emotions, so we have to get to them via the body using our breath, sound and movement.
Without acknowledging and releasing this tension, you may be driven by unmet needs. Perhaps you’re looking for validation and basing your self-worth on whether you reach goals that don’t even resonate with your truth? This is why goal-setting is not at the top of these 7 steps to becoming your own coach!
Identify your goals, but don’t focus on them
A goal is a result to which effort is aimed, and if you focus on your goals, you focus on the results. The effort aimed at the result is the process, which is where our focus needs to be because the process is what drives the result - but more on that later.
So how do you decide what goals to set? Consider the areas in your life you’d most like to improve. Be very specific about each goal and ask yourself why you want that particular result. How would it make you feel? What would this mean for you? Your ‘why’ is very important; it’s what will keep you motivated.
Setting goals is an opportunity to explore and develop your talents, as well as identify new interests and personal values. Great goal setting comes from introspection and insight, so dig deep to uncover what it is you really want. Your true goals aren’t what you think you should do, should have or should be. Ask yourself:
- What is really important in my life?
- Where do I most want to see change?
- Who is the person I want to become?
- What is my gut telling me?
- What would I do if other people’s opinions didn’t matter?
Focus on the process, not the result
So here’s the thing - you can’t control the result. However, you do have complete control over the process. We must focus on the process so that we can play in the present moment; not in the past, and not in the future.
When our thoughts are always in the future, we can become anxious and start playing out worst-case scenarios in our mind. When we are mentally in the present, we’re focused on the things we can control in each moment.
Everything you learn through process and failure makes you ready for the next level, so be present with where you currently are and make the most of it. If you suddenly reached your goals without going through the necessary process, you wouldn’t be ready! It’s like unlocking a level in a video game to discover a whole new world where you need to use all the skills you mastered along your way from the previous level.
Build the right habits
Do you have any habits that are holding you back from where you want to be? Too much change at once is overwhelming and counterproductive, so just make one positive change at a time.
Consistency is key! It takes 66 days for a new behaviour to become an automatic habit. Nurture new habits that will support and empower you to reach your goals. These habits might include meditation, journaling, waking up early, reading before bed, making healthy food choices and moving your body daily.
Success can be found in your daily habits, so create an action plan that is all about leaving your comfort zone and getting familiar with the unfamiliar. Don’t just make yourself do the thing - make yourself like it. It’ll become part of who you are, not just a thing you do.
Just remember that failing is so much better than procrastination, so be willing to fail and be prepared for setbacks. You will learn a lot from them!
Give yourself permission to see things from a new perspective
Question your limiting beliefs
Once you’ve set your goals and you’re focusing on your processes, you’re probably going to come up against some self-limiting beliefs. Many of our limiting beliefs were developed during childhood. When we experience overwhelming and emotional situations as a child, limiting beliefs form as protective mechanisms that enabled us to interpret upsetting events that our nervous systems weren’t yet ready to process correctly.
At the time, our limiting beliefs helped us survive. However, they have long since served their purpose, and you don’t need them anymore. In fact, they are false beliefs, and they are holding you back.
“If you accept a limiting belief, it will become true for you.’ - Louise Hay.
Here are just a few examples of limiting beliefs that might sound very familiar:
- "It’s too late to pursue my dreams.”
- “If I ask for what I want, I’ll get rejected.”
- “I’ll be judged for being myself.”
- “I’m not enough.”
- “I want something, but it’s not available to me.”
Create your own list of limiting beliefs and take some time to consider the actions you take (or don’t take) as a result of these beliefs.
You make your beliefs, but then your beliefs make you. Your stories and beliefs are energetic instructions out to the world, so the world starts to honour whatever you believe. There’s something in our neurology called the reticular activating system, which causes us to seek evidence for what we believe and ignore the evidence for what we don’t believe. We don’t even notice what’s been there all along if our beliefs don’t support it.
Challenge your beliefs: when was that belief formed? Who told you that? What is during childhood or later? What were the circumstances, culture and people that shaped that belief?
If it no longer serves a purpose - let it go! Give yourself permission to see things from a new perspective; welcome the unfamiliar.
Start journaling to record your progress
Getting things out of your head and down on paper provides a totally different perspective. When your thoughts are still in your mind, they can be overwhelming and almost impossible to analyse objectively. When it’s all out of your head and on to the page, you can see yourself as separate from your thoughts. Switching from a first-person view to a third-person perspective is essential in becoming your own coach.
Journalling enables us to see from a birds-eye view, and it can supercharge your self-development. Not only does journaling record your process and validate your progress, but it can also help you solve complex challenges and increase clarity around your purpose and direction. It’s an excellent tool for practising gratitude, but it also increases motivation and creativity.
Check-in with yourself regularly, just as a coach would if you hired one. To assess your results and tweak your process, ask yourself: what’s working? What’s not working? What are some different approaches I can try?
Surround yourself with positive people.
Humans are social creatures, so other people naturally have a significant impact on our lives.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with” - Jim Rohn.
Can the people you spend time with offer you helpful feedback, ideas and insights? Are they also on a self-development journey?
When you’re self-coaching, a support network is especially important. Each of these steps will be more effective if you have a network of people who empower and inspire you to focus on your process and stay on track with your goals. Surround yourself with positive people, ask them for accountability and offer it back to them.
Is it time to tackle the things that no longer serve you or the person you’re becoming? Give yourself permission to see things from a new perspective; be open to new feelings and new ideas, and welcome the unfamiliar.
Celebrate your awareness because accepting yourself is ultimately the most important aspect of self-coaching.