Coaching remains one of the fastest growing industries in Australia. The concept of working alongside a Coach to further your own – or business – development is becoming socially and culturally more accepted, to the point where we’re seeing many “spin-off” services emerge. Health Coach, Sales Coach, Money Coach. When you start to see these additional branches of an industry emerging in a market, you can be quite sure that the concept has truly taken up residence.
If you have already worked with a good qualified Coach, then you can understand why we are embracing this practice more and more. There are numerous benefits, apart from the obvious one of improved performance. Self-awareness, managing the change process within yourself(and your business), overcoming limiting beliefs and learning new behaviours are all part of the package when you engage a qualified personal Coach. Working with a qualified Coach is always the best option for growth and support, but it is not the only option for everyone. Many of us are self-directed learners with a good sense of self and can, to a certain extent, learn to coach ourselves.
Here I will share with you my Top 5 Ways to coach yourself. Some of the concepts will be easier for you to use than others and all of them require a certain amount of practice and repetition to gain the real benefits. But I guarantee that the increased self-awareness and the resulting progress you make will be incredibly rewarding. I recommend that you start with just 1 or 2 of these practices at most. Practice/engage in them for a month before trying the other suggestions.
- Ask quality questions
Our brains are designed to find answers. If you ask yourself a good question, your brain can’t help but try to find the answer, it’s the way it’s wired. While, many of us look at our problems and ask questions, they are not always helpful questions. Why did this happen? This is not a helpful question. How can we prevent this from happening again? What is the ideal outcome in this situation? How can I make it better?These are more helpful questions. They focus on the future and they open up new ideas and opportunities.
2. Become aware of your stories
We can only go as far as our stories will let us. Our stories are the narratives that we’ve told ourselves about our life situations, our achievements, choices and results. Our minds naturally create stories to make sense of the world around us and we’ve been doing this mostly unconsciously since we were born. So all of those experiences you’ve had in early life are shaping the way you interact with the world, based on a story you have about the world and yourself. An example of a story could be: Money is great if you have it, but you have to work hard for it. It requires sacrifice.ORI can stick to a new habit for a few weeks but then I just give up. I’m not good at sticking to things.Becoming aware of the stories that you have is important because they influence what you think is possible for yourself. Do your current stories still serve you or are they limiting you? As we develop and grow over time, we naturally outgrow our stories and need to update them. If you’ve ever gone through some major changes in your life, you will understand that what you used to believe about something has completely changed. This is a significant shift in your story.
3. Encourage yourself (like you would your best friend)
We’re all quite good at supporting our close friends in their endeavours but are often more critical of ourselves. Ask yourself: What would I tell my friend in this situation? If you imagine having a conversation with your friend and them presenting the situation that you are actually in, how would you react? This exercise is to help you to become more compassionate towards yourself and to see things from an outsider’s perspective. Encourage yourself like you would your friend and see what a difference that makes.
All of the events of our lives are interpreted by the thoughts we have about those events. All events are neutral, until we apply our thoughts, opinions, calculations and judgements to them. So it is therefore possible that there are multiple ways of thinking about the same event. With this in mind, ask yourself: What other angle can you look at a problem or situation from? What different perspective can you find? This is called reframing. You essentially create a new way of looking.
5. Understand the change process
All of us experience change as it is a natural part of the human experience. Some changes are bigger than others and can affect your whole sense of self and your perception of the world. Other changes are smaller and almost unnoticeable. A lot of the work I do as a Coach is in helping people to navigate the change process. Most of us don’t fully understand that it is an actual process and not a switch or single decision that creates change. Understanding that change takes time, persistence and a plan to keep you on track is essential. As human beings, our brains naturally resist change, which is why habits are hard to make and break. Ensure that you’re on board for the long term and learn to embrace change as a process that you walk through over time. With the right tools and support and a realistic time frame, you can create any positive changes that you wish to create for yourself or your business.