Self-coaching is a process of gaining more awareness of your mind and directing it on purpose to create an intentional life.
It is a process of gaining awareness of what you’re thinking, feeling and doing, taking full responsibility for all of it, questioning all of it, and then deliberately deciding whether you want to continue thinking, feeling and doing those things.
If the answer is no, the process becomes learning to think, feel and do something different. It’s a process of intentionally managing your mind in order to feel differently, take different actions or get different results.
Self-coaching can handle any problem you might be experiencing and it can show you how you are creating those things in your life that you already love and wouldn’t change.
Why is Self-Coaching Important?
Self-coaching is important because our thoughts literally create our lives.
Imagine a person who works as a data entry clerk making $35k. She’d like to make more money, but she thinks it’s not possible given her skillset and current salary. If you asked her if she thinks she could ever make a million dollars, she’d say no, that’s impossible. She can’t do it because she’s never done it before, or because she doesn’t know how or she’s always sucked with money.
A person who believes they could never make a million dollars will never make a million dollars.
How could someone believing they can’t make a million dollars ever make a million dollars? It’s not possible. Believing she can’t is so demotivating that the kind of action required to make a million dollars would never be inspired by the feeling of demotivation.
So, how does someone who believe they can’t make a million dollars make it a reality?
She has to change her mind through the process of self-coaching. She changes her mind about what she believes is possible for herself.
I’m using money as an example here, but insert whatever you think is not possible for you.
What Does Self-Coaching Entail?
Step one is always to become aware of what we’re thinking. We can’t change what we don’t understand. One way to find out what we’re thinking is to choose a topic and do a thought download onto a piece of paper. What you write down are your thoughts. Now, there may be some facts mixed in there, but they will mostly be thoughts.
The reason we do this is so we can see our thoughts outside of our own minds. Once we can start to see our thoughts as the optional sentences that they are, we can begin to gain authority over them.
Step two is to choose one of the thoughts from your thought download and ask yourself how you feel when you think that thought. A feeling is just a vibration in the body. It should be a one word answer.
Step three is to ask yourself how do you act when you feel that way? What things do you say? What do you do? What don’t you do when you’re feeling that way?
Step four is to find out the result of your thinking. The result always proves the thought true.
Let’s explore this with the example of a million dollars. I’ve determined one of the thoughts is “I can’t make a million dollars.” When I think that, I feel demotivated. When I’m demotivated, I don’t do much of anything. My result is I am not making a million dollars, which proves my thought true.
To put this into more of a visual representation, I’ll lay it out in Brooke Castillo’s model. To learn more about the model, listen to episode #26 of the Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo.
Circumstance: One million dollars
Thought: I can’t make a million dollars
Result: I’m not making a million dollars
So we can begin to see why we’re getting the result we’re getting.
At this point, we get to decide what to do. Do I want to continue thinking this or not? Am I okay with this result?
How To Change Your Thinking
If the answer is you want to think something else, feel a different way or get a different result, the work becomes learning how to think something new. The reason we have to practice new thoughts is because we haven’t thought that way before. The brain isn’t used to it and it just wants to continue thinking what it’s always thought. It feels weird and foreign and unnatural, kind of like lifting 5 pound dumb bells the first few times at the gym. Once you do it a few times and your muscles get used to it, it’s not so uncomfortable. It’s similar with learning to think differently.
To come back to our million dollar example, if my goal is to make a million dollars, I have to think in a way that drives action to get that result. However, to go from believing “I can’t make a million dollars” to believing “I can make a million dollars” is probably too big of a leap. We can start by making incremenetal shifts in our thinking which will eventually lead us to believing “I can make a million dollars.”
When we’re selecting a new thought to practice thinking, it should be something believable. If we try to think something we don’t believe, we’re actually just reinforcing its opposite. If I try to think “I can make a million dollars” while subconsciously thinking “no I can’t,” it’s not going to work. It has to be something believable. That’s why we can choose a thought that’s ever so slightly different yet still believable.
So, for now, maybe all I can believe is “there are lots of people in the world who have made a million dollars – maybe it’s possible for me, too.”
It opens up the mind to possibility. It helps us get creative and come up with ideas for how we might start shifting in that direction deliberately. If we keep shifting our thinking, eventually we’ll believe we can make the million dollars.
And as soon as we believe it, it’s as good as done.
That is the power of self-coaching.