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Self Coaching

This is my attempt to complete a trilogy.  Or maybe it’s a trifecta.  Or more likely I just picked one blog topic and found that it took three separate blogs to covey what I had to say.

I started about a month ago with a blog on self-reflection.  Self-reflection is the act where you reflect on a performance or an act, and then plan how you would do better whenever that situation re-occurred.

Then, several weeks ago I wrote about self-care.  Self-care is a proactive approach to take care of your mental and physical state so that when needed, you will be ready and able to lead and care for others.

One common attribute to both self-reflection and self-care is that they will cause you to need to make personal changes.  Both self-reflection and self-care will identify habits, characteristics, and thinking patterns that you need to add, eliminate, or modify.

One way to make these changes is through self-coaching.

Self Coaching

Self-coaching is a method where you can change your current negative thinking and bad behaviors that are keeping you from reaching your life’s goals.

While there are many processes to follow in self-coaching, I’ve identified five principles that should help you transition from the behaviors you identified needing to be changed to living the kind of healthy, successful and happy life you want.

  1. Identify Areas for Improvement. Through self-reflection and self-care, you identified areas you want to improve.  Now is the time to drill down on those areas and define specifically what it is to be improved.

Remember, change and transitions are rarely easy.  Consistently increasing your self-awareness, however, can make the process much easier by allowing you to make modifications to your ultimate goal.

  1. Set Manageable Goals. A goal is preferably three to seven words and is something you can remember.  It’s got to be embedded in your brain.  The best goals need to be something you are moving positively toward rather than something you are trying to avoid.

Develop a strategy to track these goals such as a spreadsheet or journal.  The purpose is to look back and see what you were doing on the days you failed to achieve your goals and what were you doing on the days you achieved your goals.

Also, in this step, try to separate fact from fiction.  Facts are objective, observable, here-and-now phenomena. Fictions are based on interpretations, judgments, and prognostications about the future.  Did you really fail to meet your goal or did you just feel that you might have failed?

  1. Gather Support. Be aware that just because you’re not working with a coach, you don’t have to go through self-coaching without any external support.  Research shows that being in a support network is incredibly empowering and helpful for staying on track with goals.
  2. Motivate Yourself. Motivation and momentum are two vital components to following through on your self-coaching practice. To sustain your efforts to break the bad habits you have identified, you need to maintain an empowered attitude and sufficient energy.

You must challenge the myth that anyone other than you can solve your problems. Professional help can provide value, but even so, you still have to do the work.  Personal change is your responsibility.

  1. Mastering the Art of Starting Over. It’s not a matter of when life will throw challenges and obstacles in the way of your progress; it’s how often. When this happens, you will need to remind yourself of what’s important to you, what next action you need to take to get back on track, and, then start over.

The Bible

Self-coaching is a matter of identifying unhealthy personal characteristics and then working through repetition to instill new, more positive characteristics.  You are coaching yourself, just as a coach would, by setting goals, finding outside help, and setting measuring methods to determine progress.

The Bible provides many of those steps by identifying for you the needed goals, giving you stories and lessons as outside help, and eliminates the progress measurement by eliminating the need to compare to anything other than the Gospel.

The Bible is designed to help everyone change.  Ezekiel 36:26 says.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

It is possible to make the changes you want to make, and self-coaching is one effective way to make personal changes.  If you rely on the Bible, however, it is really not self-coaching because you always have God’s help.  And that advantage is what will make your changes successful and sustainable.